Hip-Hop

Artist: 
Mac Ayres
Label: 
Fate Records LLC

Mac Ayres's "Drive Slow" was an album I knew I would like as soon as I took a listen to one of the songs, "Slow Down", one day. So, naturally, once I found this CD up for review, I knew i had to review it myself. Mac Ayres has wonderful R&B vocals that are soft yet masculine. His vocal style and lyrics are reminiscent of Khalid. Smooth vocals that don't have too much energy but not boring glide over each melody. His voice is clear and hits every note perfectly like a seasoned performer.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean = simple beats and professional vocals
Sounds Like: 
Khalid - lyrics are similar in style and both have great voices for R&B
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
11/14/2017
Artist: 
Blu & Exile
Label: 
Dirty Science / Fat Beats Records

Sounds Like: 
Nightmares on Wax
Sounds Like: 
Logic and Q tip in a blender
Name: 
Ellery Page
Date Reviewed: 
11/13/2017
Artist: 
Wyclef Jean
Label: 
Columbia Records
Wyclef Jean’s “Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee” released this past September comes as the latest installment in his Carnival Trilogy. The rapper-singer-producer's newest album contains a variety of global (even cosmic) sounds featuring a diverse collection of features.
 
Sounds Like: 
Fugees
Sounds Like: 
Mase
Name: 
Amit Sen
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
Ethnic Fluency
Label: 
N/A

This single, found on soundcloud, is by a hip-hop duo from Los Angeles. The beat and their voices are nice but the lyrics and melodies sound amateurish. They use a mostly melodic rap style. Some of rhymes sound like a kid wrote them. There’s one part where it sounds like they’re trying to have a bridge but the beat stays the same and the vocals kind off clash with it. Despite the awkward lyrics and forced melodies there are some parts where you can hear a good song hidden within.

Sounds Like: 
Logic
Name: 
Madeline Friberg-Landon
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
Ozy Reigns
Label: 
Self-Released
After a brief hiatus from his last LP, Ozy Reigns has come out with the wide-ranging, EP, "Sunborn". Reigns states the EP is "a dedication to all who strive to live their dreams", as the EP works to inspire the struggles of the hustlers and dreamers around the world. It's demonstrated with the EP's alternative hip-hop vibes, perhaps straying from the mainstream, but more personal and meaningful for the audiences who are listening. 
 
Sounds Like: 
Mos Def
Sounds Like: 
Talib Kweli
Name: 
Amit Sen
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
Young Thug & Carnage
Label: 
YSL/300/Heavyweight

Meet Young Thug – one of hip-hop’s most ambitious and norm-bending rapper’s in the game at this current moment. Meet Carnage – a Guatemalan producer who makes weird yet interesting beats and is soon to blow up at any moment. The pair had been teasing a collaboration together for quite some time before the release of their collaborative EP titled Young Martha.

Sounds Like: 
Future
Sounds Like: 
Lil Uzi Vert
Sounds Like: 
Travi$ Scott
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
GoldLink
Label: 
RCA

This single is arguably the greatest single bop to come out this year. If you haven't already heard the track, which was released earlier this year as a single and then on GoldLink's debut album release "At What Cost", then I guarantee after hearing the vamped intro that fades into a simultaneous beat drop and infectious hook introduction followed by two verses, you won't be able to get it out of your head and you won't want to. Washington D.C.

Sounds Like: 
Kaytranada
Sounds Like: 
Anderson Paak
Sounds Like: 
Sango
Name: 
Kiara Johnson
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
Tai Lawanson
Label: 
Self Released

Tai Lawanson has a clear motive in his new EP, “Greener Lawns” and that is to make his mark in a super competitive industry. From spending time with local producers to learn the process of making music, to observing and understanding how engineers mix and master records. Along with taking vocal lessons and various other instruments to further understand how music is composed, it is clear that Lawanson knows how to add melody and life to a track through his lyrics and instruments.

Sounds Like: 
J. Cole
Name: 
Miles Schuk Ehler
Date Reviewed: 
11/07/2017
Artist: 
Vic Mensa
Label: 
Roc Nation Records

            The Autobiography As Told by Vic Mensa takes is an introspective debut album. Originally, Vic Mensa planned to release his debut Traffic in 2015. However, he scrapped it right before its release in order to create an album that he felt was a ‘better representation’. Well, this album really does a good job showing Vic Mensa’s personal connection to music. Similar to J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only, the album has a storyline, only less clear.

Sounds Like: 
Joey Purp
Sounds Like: 
Isaiah Rashad
Sounds Like: 
Mick Jenkins
Name: 
Grace Penry
Date Reviewed: 
11/07/2017
Artist: 
Kelela
Label: 
Warp Records Limited

After her highly successful EP release in 2015 entitled "Hallucinogen", R&B artist Kelela is back on the scene with her first ever full length studio album "Take Me Apart". This album is impressive both in terms of the production, and lyrics. The producers of this album clearly paid close attention to detail on the musicality of the background tracks. Each note is well shaped and crisp, making the songs sound 3-dimensional and flowy. The tones chosen in the background sound very euphoric and provide a harmonious overtone for the vocals.

Sounds Like: 
Sevdaliza
Sounds Like: 
FKA Twigs
Sounds Like: 
90's R&B (But a little more upbeat)
Name: 
Tyler Dille
Date Reviewed: 
11/05/2017