Hip-Hop

Artist: 
CSLX & Lushlife
Label: 
Shine On

Producer Lushlife and CSLSX enlisted Ariel Pink, Melissa Nadler, Killer Mike, and more on their collaborative LP Ritualize. The long list of feature is what drew me to the album, and I was particularly curious to hear Ariel Pink on a Hip Hop song. The instrumental features lush (no pun intended) 80's synths that are reminiscent of Ariel Pink's pom pom. The next song Incantation features one of the album's many soul samples over a boom-bap drum pattern. Front to back, I was really impressed with the instrumentals on this album.

Sounds Like: 
Vic Mensa (Lushlife)
Name: 
Charlie Franco
Date Reviewed: 
04/27/2016
Artist: 
D.R.A.M. Feat. Lil Yachty
Label: 
#1EpicCheck

Two of the newest rappers in the game teamed up to deliver this great single. Imagine somebody rapping over the Peanuts piano theme and you've got a pretty good idea of what this sounds like. Its just a goofy song with a simple piano riff and verses about weed. The bars could be used on a normal rap song but hearing it over this ridiculous theme makes it that much better. Its a simple fun single that you should play on your show before its too late.

Sounds Like: 
Chance The Rapper
Sounds Like: 
Rae Sremmurd
Name: 
Henry Jensen
Date Reviewed: 
04/27/2016
Artist: 
A$AP Ferg x Tory Lanez
Label: 
RCA

A$AP Ferg consistantly puts out tracks that manage to keep the hype unreal. The long vibrato based backing give this track a distinct sound. The sounds of strings and passionate screaming line the back of this track really calling into a deeper feeling of passion. Although this song calls its listeners to "line up the flex", it shows a more passionate and deeply rooted commitment to coming out on top. This feels like a breath of fresh air since recently it feels that the pursuit of wealth has become more superficial within hip hop.

Sounds Like: 
A$AP Rocky
Name: 
Nick Ziolkowski
Date Reviewed: 
04/26/2016
Artist: 
Dej Loaf
Label: 
Self-released

Dej Loaf is back with her new mixtape All Jokes Aside. Being %100 real and independent is important to Dej Loaf, especially since she represents the female side of the rap game. Each of her verses are rattled off without a second thought. But rather than sounding unprepared or substandard, the tracks sound completely raw and intimate. Whether she's telling somebody off or reflecting on her career, you can be sure Dej isn't holding anything back.

Sounds Like: 
Big Sean
Sounds Like: 
Rae Sremmurd
Name: 
Henry Jensen
Date Reviewed: 
04/17/2016
Artist: 
Twenty88
Label: 
Getting Out Our Dreams

Take the biggest investments of love and dating emotions and the biggest build up of hate and distrust and put that to futuristic beats with good lyrics. Imagine sitting down with your ex and trying to talk about the good and bad times and trying to reconcile. Now imagine sitting down with your current significant other and trying to talk through the mess from your past relationships. This CD, explores all of those emotions. Big Sean and Jhené Aiko reflect on the multiple feelings that are experienced during a relationship.

Sounds Like: 
Big Sean
Sounds Like: 
Jhene Aiko
Name: 
Andres A Portela
Date Reviewed: 
04/13/2016
Artist: 
Drake
Label: 
OVO Sound

So Drake released two singles – Pop Style ft. The Throne and One Dance – recently and they’re your typical Drake. Pop Style is really slow and very serious whereas One Dance is super catchy. You find yourself dancing to One Dance – probably the point given the name. But either way, these two songs are really good for any Hip Hop show. Pop Style has a real eerie tone to it and is just a good slow, dragged out song – in a good way. Pop Style ft. The Throne is a little more sexual than One Dance.

Sounds Like: 
Drake
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
04/11/2016
Artist: 
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White
Label: 
Mello Music Group

Open Mike Eagle’s second collaborative album, this time with London musician/producer Paul White, continues Eagle’s intellectually challenging and emotionally nuanced style of rap in novel tandem with White’s layered, sample-rich psychedelia, making it an excellent listen. Dark Comedy remains my favorite of Open Mike Eagle’s releases, though; his comic aspect is downplayed in this release in favor of more personal, serious lyrics (hence the album title, apparently).

Sounds Like: 
Aesop Rock
Sounds Like: 
Busdriver
Name: 
Leo Hamerlynck
Date Reviewed: 
04/06/2016
Artist: 
Monkier
Label: 
Monkier

From the very first song on this album, you can hear the effect that rappers like Kendrick Lamar are having on the rap game. This album is heavy on the instruments and light on the beats. Every track is jazzy to the point that sometimes you can forget you're listening to a rap album altogether but then the vocals come back in and it all fits together nicely. Each intrumentalist seems to be highlighted almost as much as the dude spitting the bars which makes sense since Monkier is a collective and all of their talents is what makes this album so good.

Sounds Like: 
Kendrick Lamar
Sounds Like: 
Audio Push
Name: 
Dalmar Wiltshire
Date Reviewed: 
04/04/2016
Artist: 
Rae Sremmurd
Label: 
Interscope Records

"By Chance" is the new single by Rae Sremmurd and producer Mike WiLL Made It. It's one of those songs that everybody likes but still doesn't go big. The song is more mellow than what Rae Sremmurd usually puts out and that's probably because its about looking for weed and xanax. None of the verses are that impressive but its got a catchy piano instrumental it's Rae Sremmurd so it at least deserves a listen. 

Sounds Like: 
Yo Gotti
Name: 
Henry Jensen
Date Reviewed: 
04/01/2016
Artist: 
Drake & PARTYNEXTDOOR
Label: 
OVO Sound

Summer Sixteen (Drake)

Sounds Like: 
Future (Summer Sixteen)
Sounds Like: 
Drake ca. Take Care (Come and See Me)
Name: 
Leo Hamerlynck
Date Reviewed: 
03/30/2016