Hip-Hop

The King of Beats

Artist: 
J Dilla
Label: 
Yancey Media Group

Jay Dee AKA J Dilla's legend remains as one of the greatest producers of hip hop. Using a drum machine and sampler, he created beats for Busta Rhymes, a Tribe Called Quest, and many other greats. Following his death in 2006, Ma Dukes Yancey took over the management of her son's estate. She has now released 40 tracks from J Dilla's "Batches" with 5 never-before-released tracks.  This set of beats is truly beautiful. The tracks are short, and each one offers something new.

Sounds Like: 
Slum Village
Sounds Like: 
A Tribe Called Quest
Name: 
MTucker
Date Reviewed: 
03/04/2015

Before The Album

Artist: 
DJ Baby
Label: 
n/a

Given the questionable name of the artist who created this CD (mixtape? it is titled "before the album.") this was better than expected. It's pretty standard gangsta-themed party rap. It's upbeat, there's solid base production, and DJ Baby has a pretty urgent and sometimes tight way of talking about making money and being a baller. He reps North Carolina so he's got a southern drawl which I always enjoy personally.

Sounds Like: 
TI
Sounds Like: 
Emininem
Sounds Like: 
Snoop Dawg
Sounds Like: 
DJ Dave from the viral youtube video "whole foods parking lot"
Name: 
Amelia Marsh
Date Reviewed: 
03/04/2015

Before The Album

Artist: 
DJ Baby
Label: 
n/a

Given the questionable name of the artist who created this CD (mixtape? it is titled "before the album.") this was better than expected. It's pretty standard gangsta-themed party rap. It's upbeat, there's solid base production, and DJ Baby has a pretty urgent and sometimes tight way of talking about making money and being a baller. He reps North Carolina so he's got a southern drawl which I always enjoy personally.

Sounds Like: 
TI
Sounds Like: 
Emininem
Sounds Like: 
Snoop Dawg
Sounds Like: 
DJ Dave from the viral youtube video "whole foods parking lot"
Name: 
Amelia Marsh
Date Reviewed: 
03/04/2015

I Swear To God [Single]

Artist: 
Young Thug
Label: 
N/A

Yooo another Young Thug singlecool. Young Thug stays to his eccentric and interesting hip-hop style with a mix of rap and singing. I Swear To God is a bit more experimental with a slightly auto-tune vibe which Young Thug pulls of really well. I'd describe the style as Lil Wayne, but a lil better and more outlandish.

Sounds Like: 
Lil Wayne
Sounds Like: 
Rich Homie
Name: 
Ali Shareef
Date Reviewed: 
03/04/2015

Snakes & Ladders

Artist: 
Wiley
Label: 
Big Dada

If I were to describe this album in one word, it would be: loud. This album is certainly not dull. From the very beginning, you can tell that there is going to be a lot going on in every song, and the beats are pretty unique too. This isn't the kind of music we're used to hearing in the US, especially not on the radio. The rap is fast and intense, and with the complex backgrounds, this album has a lot to offer. This dude is a big deal in England as well, and has been hailed as the "king of grime" by many people across the pond.

Sounds Like: 
Tinie Tempah
Name: 
Jesse Macbeth
Date Reviewed: 
03/02/2015

Single

Artist: 
DJ Carnage
Label: 
self-released

If this song gets played by the right people it has potential to become as big as Tuesday or IDFWU.  It is a textbook party song that could easily be played at any frat house between the hours of 11 PM and 3 AM Thursday-Saturday.  "I like tuh make money, get turnt" is a pretty relatable statement and when it is mixed with a decent beat and a catchy tune it has all the fixin's for a party anthem.  ILoveMakonnen is featured on it so in reality it is already half way there to being "Tuesday".

Sounds Like: 
ILoveMakonnen
Sounds Like: 
Big Sean
Sounds Like: 
Bobby Shmurda
Name: 
Krissy Baca
Date Reviewed: 
02/27/2015

If You're Reading This It's Too Late

Artist: 
Drake
Label: 
Cash Money Records

The Man, The Meme, The Legend

Sounds Like: 
You know what Drake sounds like
Sounds Like: 
Come on now
Name: 
Jake Ramirez
Date Reviewed: 
02/25/2015

I Never Know What She's Doing

Artist: 
James Fauntleroy
Label: 
Roc Nation

A strange song that is autotuned at certain points. Still a good song overall, but probably not everyone's cup of tea. Fauntleroy is clearly talented, but this may not be the single that will get him to the top. Clever title though, and if you were wondering: yes, that is a reference to wedding crashers. Still, the song is catchy, and was made for Valentine's Day. The song definitely grows on you, because I wasn't all that impressed at first, but I've really grown to appreciate the song the more that I've listened to it.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Name: 
Jesse Macbeth
Date Reviewed: 
02/25/2015

A Better Tomorrow

Artist: 
Wu-Tang Clan
Label: 
Warner Bros. Records

It's the first studio album the Wu-Tang Clan has released in 7 years, and that is a pretty big deal. The Wu-Tang Clan is one of the most recognizable and influential rap groups of all time, so it's nice to hear some new music from the entire group. ODB is even featured at the beginning of the first song on the album. However, A Better Tomorrow doesn't feel like classic Wu-Tang to me. Others may disagree, but aside from a few songs on the album, I wasn't blown away.

Sounds Like: 
Method Man
Sounds Like: 
RZA
Sounds Like: 
GZA
Sounds Like: 
Ghostface Killah
Name: 
Jesse Macbeth
Date Reviewed: 
02/25/2015

2014 Forest Hills Drive

Artist: 
J. Cole
Label: 
Roc Nation

Another solid album from J. Cole. He claims to be the best in the rap game right now, and while Kendrick may disagree, not many others are putting out music like this right now. This album came out of nowhere, and the singles used for radio play were released the same day as the album itself. Releasing the album like this was a bit of a gamble, but it certainly worked out for J. Cole. The beats flow well together, and the album feels cohesive. It's the smooth, catchy type of music we've come to expect from J. Cole, without the songs feeling corny or clearly made for the radio.

Sounds Like: 
Born Sinner
Sounds Like: 
Cole World
Name: 
Jesse Macbeth
Date Reviewed: 
02/25/2015
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