On The Mixtape About Nothing, Wale emerges fully-formed as a rapper and as a thinker, a lightning-witted, irreverent guy blessed with both an infectious swagger and a sound moral compass.
Joey Bada$$, however, is doing his best to further the period's legacy of boom-bap production as an authenticator and advanced-level lyricism as a meal ticket.
On If You’re Reading This, all of this chest beating is delivered over the most darkly hypnotic beats Drake’s graced since So Far Gone.
It's just a distilled take on everything that made last year's albums such an event, with all the chrome ripped off and upholstery pulled out so it'll run faster, louder, nastier.
Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book is one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to.
If anything LIVELOVEA$AP is a triumph of immaculate taste.
Chance’s Acid Rap is a triumph of meditative moments, open-ended quests, and brass flares. The hooks are more jabs than uppercuts. None will probably bang in a club, but most will make sense live, as chanted back by a thousand fans.