Feb 12, 2019
46
Ariana Grande can’t seem to catch a break in the atmosphere of today’s culture. Grande has experienced moments and feats in her career that acclaimed artists have not even endured themselves. With her career blasting off in 2010 as an actress on the Nickelodeon series Victorious, Grande has metamorphosed into a mainstream cultural icon with her ventures into music and further acting. Three number-one albums, ten top-ten singles, and a handful of film and television portrayals are ... read more
Feb 10, 2019
71
In the 21st century, life refuses to slow its pace for a brief break. As the demands of society skyrocket, stress levels directly spike. For some, adapting to this lifestyle is walk-in-the-park. For others, the overwhelming pressure caves in on them. Among the population exists a group who have realized the underlying significance of the system and in consequence have developed a strategy to cheat the system. As simple as it sounds, their tactic consists of allowing life to take control as one ... read more
Feb 3, 2019
15
According to the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2017, Ed Sheeran with his song “Shape of You” took the spot for most popular song. In 2016, the Chainsmokers clung on to the number one position for the weekly charts with their track “Closer.” In 2012, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” saturated the airways across the globe over the course of several months. These examples, along with countless others, all share something in common. They all are composed of a ... read more
Jan 31, 2019
79
What separates Aesop Rock from his abstract hip-hop contemporaries is more than his impressive ability to employ the most complex vocabulary in the music industry. Aesop Rock is the music he makes. Aesop Rock is abstract. Abstract hip-hop is the unconventional structure of sound compared to traditional hip-hop music. By the turn of the 21st century, prominent black figures who went from rags to riches, such as Jay-Z or Puff Daddy, and artists who expressed their concerns for society in the form ... read more
Jan 26, 2019
68
In 1994, Queensbridge hip hop duo Mobb Deep released The Infamous, one of the most quintessential albums of the genre that decade. With its outright dreary boom-bap instrumentals and rugged lyricism, Prodigy and Havoc expose the true reality of the ghettos of New York City. Throughout its runtime, the listener is held hostage on a tour through the slums of the city. Two years late, the group returned to the rap scene with 1996’s Hell on Earth to once again reveal the atrocities of the ... read more
Jan 8, 2019
19
Who is the mastermind behind the beats that bounce of songs like Jay-Z’s tropical “Big Pimpin’,” Aaliyah's addicting “Are You That Somebody,” Justin Timberlake’s futuristic “My Love,” and Genuine’s enticing “Pony?” The answer is Timbaland, a one-man producer from Virginia whose beats are bound to blow any speaker. Given this context, one may think that the title of this album being Shock Value would indicate that the ... read more
Jan 6, 2019
60
It's bound to happen to any musical artist in their career. He or she releases their first few albums to critical acclaim, but by the time the fourth or fifth project rolls around the fans begin to compare the more contemporary works to those of the past. Danny Brown, an experienced hip-hop artist from Detroit, started his career with two distinctive solo projects that respectively drew influence from the boom-bap era of groups such as Wu-Tang Clan. The murky, fierce instrumentals accompanied ... read more
Dec 31, 2018
70
At the start of their careers, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of the respected hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest cemented their own unique style of jazz rap into the overall rap genre, ultimately influencing the music of the other artists around at the time. Yet, times change. Now eight years later from their debut album, A Tribe Called Quest released their fourth studio album to the world, The Love Movement. All in all, the project shows a slim amount of faults. The issue with ... read more
Dec 26, 2018
83
I didn’t even have to try hardcore drugs to understand what a bad trip feels like.

Death Grips is one of the few musical groups, let alone the only experimental hip-hop group, that is proficient in translating intense feelings into vehement sound. And the group’s second studio album, No Love Deep Web, furthers that assertion. Once again, Zach Hill and Andy Morin’s vigorous production bounces off of MC Ride’s profound lyricism and vice versa. In its fast-paced, dense ... read more
Dec 24, 2018
68
Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar all rose to fame with the strategic prescriptions administered by Dr. Dre himself. The Game is an additional artist who found their spot in the music business through Dr. Dre’s guidance. In 2004, The Game made the most out of his influencer’s presence and unleashed The Documentary, an aggressive gangster-rap album from the era of 50 Cent. However, the years following the album’s release brought nothing but distress for The ... read more
Dec 9, 2018
71
There is a scarcity of individuals in this world who are willing to voice their concerns no matter the circumstance. In order to progress as a society, people with this characteristic are essential to exist since they extend the boundaries to what is considered acceptable at the time. The nation of the United States has been granted the gift of being subject to reform led in the eyes of the political hip-hop group Public Enemy. On their debut album, Chuck D and Flava Flav express their ... read more
Dec 2, 2018
54
A confident debut project by the abstract hip-hop group Brockhampton that is effective in allowing each individual artist to demonstrate their personal contributions to the group. Though no specific track corresponds with any other on here, the variety of sound and styles preview what the group would experiment with on future projects. Therefore, All-American Trash works as a test for the group in order to realize what would work and not work on a project at a larger scale. That being said, ... read more
Dec 1, 2018
61
Musical artists who dissociate themselves with their original sound for something completely opposite automatically should be granted a pat on the back for attempting to go against the grain. However, one can experiment with their own sound and still fail. In this case, Electric Circus still contains the thought-provoking messages Common is known for presenting, but the underlying rhythms and noises fail to compare with his traditional sound. Common veers away from his distinct, heavily ... read more
Nov 25, 2018
76
At arguably the peak of his career, Drake takes advantage of his superior position on the rap game with the release of this mixtape. The Canadian rapper is notorious for having a variety distinct moods that imbed themselves within each one of his projects. What makes If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late so successful is that it offers all of Drake’s atmospheres in one package. For instance, the reflective Drake presents himself on “You & The 6” when discussing ... read more
Nov 17, 2018
40
The title being Oxymoron may not just be a reference to the doing malicious acts for successful outcomes in the drug-infested life described by Schoolboy Q in the same words over and over again on top of separate instrumentals throughout this whole project. The title may also serves as a hidden nod towards the contradictory relationship between the transitions of one song to next. One moment, Q is boasting about using his tongue like he’s playing a game of Operation only to express the ... read more
Nov 4, 2018
69
Who remembers Dr. Dre’s promised Detox? For over a decade, Dre teased the project to release the next year, only to have its release delayed once the release date came. As time passed, the anticipation grew for Detox, until it was announced the album would never be released. Which leaves us to ask ourselves: “Did Detox really exist? Or was it a stunt pulled to keep Dr. Dre’s relevancy in a changing culture. Since Lil Wayne announced the upcoming launch of Tha Carter V back in ... read more
Nov 4, 2018
70
Two swaggering Virginia-based rappers, Pusha T and Malice, who favor discussing nothing other than hustling and their roots in the ghetto team up with the familiar production group, The Neptunes. At first, the thought of a gritty hip hop duo spitting vulgarities over mainstream sounds may seem like mixing dirt and purified water. Yet the confidence that accompanies each member of Clipse with their stories of pushing weight complimented by the beats cooked up by The Neptunes results in a product ... read more
Nov 4, 2018
79
The distortion in its tone mixed with the boastful, aggressive, and political language that spills from Peggy’s mouth grabs the listener by the throat and makes them inferior to JPEGMAFIA’s control. With this project, Peggy allows the complex sounds of each distinctive track to play with the listener like Silly Putty, stretching not only the boundaries of experimental hip hop but elasticizing the mind of the listener for 47 minutes. Oh, and the ODB sample pn “Real Nega.” ... read more
Sep 8, 2018*
55
The fire that Mathers lit up under his ass during the start of his career is far from over, but a return to his once focused form could be seen on his 2013 release The Marshall Mathers LP 2. In the projects that made up the time between the end of his prime (Encore) and 2013 (The Marshall Mathers LP 2) the anger and motivation that once drove Eminem was missing, but he still delivered material with satisfying substance. Yet in the years leading up to the abysmal Revival, Eminem’s rapping ... read more
Aug 26, 2018
72
Wu-Tang Forever is an album that concluded the “golden age” of the Wu-Tang Clan and their sound. Drawing from the sounds and styles of the solo projects released by each member of the group, the RZA once again establishes the lofi, synth, kung fu and soul-sampled, and eerie production in which he is known for. In contrast to the majority of the group’s material in the past from this album’s release, Wu-Tang Forever shows each group member at their most conscious and ... read more
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