Hip-Hop

Only One ft. Paul McCartney [Single]

Artist: 
Kanye West
Label: 
Def Jam

This song was released on New Year's Eve and is the first of many to come from Kanye, Paul, and other big artists in preparation for Kanye's new album. The lyrics are in the perspective of his late mother, Donda, who supposedly gave advice from the afterlife when he wrote the song. The single is completely in autotune with McCartney playing keyboard throughout. It's a lot softer and more personal than anything else Kanye's put out but is still worth the listen if for no other reason than to hear two of the biggest names in music cross genres. 

Sounds Like: 
808s & Heartbreak
Sounds Like: 
Ty dolla $ign (provided unofficial vocals)
Name: 
Henry Jensen
Date Reviewed: 
01/25/2015

This Ends Today [Single]

Artist: 
Garner Family
Label: 
N/A

"This Ends Today" is a song by the Garner Family that is in response to the untimely death of Eric Garner, who was killed by an act of injustice. With verses from members of his family and a hook from his daughter Erica, the memory of Eric Garner's life and death lives on in this track. This may not be the most amazing song you've heard lyrically or production-wise, with basic flows that aren't going to blow you away.

Sounds Like: 
An important reminder of the daily injustices people face!
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/20/2015

Ferg Forever

Artist: 
A$AP Ferg
Label: 
N/A

Quick note on the non-airable tracks:  ONLY the KAMP burned version is consistent with this, since the gorgeous André cleaned it except for those two tracks.  If you’ve got your own version, be mindful of that and use the KAMP version!

Sounds Like: 
Who else can compare?
Name: 
Daniel Witter
Date Reviewed: 
01/20/2015

Sunday Candy ft. Jamila Woods

Artist: 
Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiment
Label: 
N/A

Ever since the release of Acid Rap in 2013, Chance the Rapper has blown up, embarking on countless tours and festival runs. However, he hasn't released much new music outside of the occasional feature. This lack of output has made me slightly tired of listening Acid Rap and leaves me wanting some new from Chance. Luckily he delivers in the form of "Sunday Candy" the first single off of the forthcoming album Surf that he is doing with The Social Experiment.

Sounds Like: 
Childish Gambino
Sounds Like: 
Vic Mensa
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/19/2015

PRhyme

Artist: 
PRhyme (Royce da 5'9" & DJ Premier)
Label: 
PRhyme Records

Two of the most well-respected members of the hip-hop community come together on this project, as Royce da 5'9" and DJ Premier form PRhyme, and they deliver one of the most underrated and slept-on albums of 2014. Royce is known as one of the most lyrical rappers out, and he doesn't disappoint on this one, dropping rapid fire verses and punchlines that you have rewind to make sure you heard it right. In all honesty, I was never the biggest Royce fan coming in because of how dense his music was lyrically, as it lacked any strong melodies that appealed to me.

Sounds Like: 
Slaughterhouse
Sounds Like: 
Crooked I
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2015

Ray Gun ft. DOOM [Single]

Artist: 
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
Label: 
N/A

One of the most surprising collaborations that has come about recently is the union of Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD, but if the singles that have been released are any indication, the album is going to be a treat. Ghostface has been known for his propensity to venture out of his comfort zone and collaborate with non-traditional producers, and BBNG was an excellent choice. The instrumental that backs "Ray Gun" would have sounded as a song itself, but the inclusion of Ghostface and the legendary DOOM put this track over the top.

Sounds Like: 
Adrian Younge + Ghostface
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2015

Actin' Crazy [Single]

Artist: 
Action Bronson
Label: 
Vice

Action Bronson is set to release his debut album "Mr. Wonderful" in March and he just dropped the lead single off the album "Actin Crazy." Produced by Noah "40" Shebib out of the OVO camp, Bronson sounds smooth and his punchlines are on point as usual, delivering some hilarious quips about Anita Baker while also riding around in four different cars throughout his two verses. The hook is what really makes this one though, as Bronson's colorful personality shines through in an earworm of a chorus.

Sounds Like: 
Ghostface Killah
Sounds Like: 
Roc Marciano
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2015

Chimes [Remix] ft. Pusha T, Future, French Montana, and Travi$ Scott

Artist: 
Hudson Mohawke
Label: 
Warp

Hudson Mohawke dropped his "Chimes EP" in late 2014, and while it certainly was a decent listen, it didn't live up to the standards that he has set with his previous TNGHT projects. However, this remix came out at the end of the year and the presence of rappers over this beat makes it loads better. Aside from a weak appearance from French Montana, Pusha T kills his verses and sounds superb over the brooding horns and drums of HudMo production. This joint gets me HYPED so definitely bump this on your shows, bump this in the whip, bump this EVERYWHERE.

Sounds Like: 
TNGHT
Sounds Like: 
Lunice
Sounds Like: 
Rustie
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2015

Pelican Fly [Single]

Artist: 
Young Thug
Label: 
N/A

It's no secret that Young Thug is one of my favorite new artists, and with "Pelican Fly" he's delivered another hit to start off the new year. Part of the allure of Thug is his eccentric delivery and flow: slurry, off-kilter, and occasionally completely unintelligible. His mix of rap and singing is infectious, and with a bubbly beat from Dun Deal, "Pelican Fly" is one of my favorite songs that Thug has released. Amid the warm sounds of the beat, you get a hint of darkness and Young Thug's high-pitched warbles add a layer of eeriness.

Sounds Like: 
Rich Homie Quan
Sounds Like: 
Future
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
01/16/2015

Trial and Era

Artist: 
Trial and Era
Label: 
None

Trial and Era have the street edge of Mobb Deep coupled with lyric dexterity of Boot Camp Clik meets the Geto Boys. As a whole “Trial and Era” feels like a debut album yet, there are moments which reach the highs of a group far more established within the genre. Trial and Era may still have a long while before they can truly harness and finesse their sound as a group despite their short comings however they still bring enough raw energy to keep you wanting more. 6/10

Sounds Like: 
Mobb Deep
Sounds Like: 
Troy Ave
Name: 
Roberto Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
12/10/2014