Hip-Hop

Artist: 
Murs
Label: 
Strange Music Inc.

The biggest peeve I have with rap music is when I can't understand the lyrics, or when there isn't a lot of "music" in the song...

But this song has nothing peevish about it! I was already hooked when I heard the first few seconds of the song--it has a similar sound to Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz "We Own It"-- a little piano intro with a boom-boom- pow beat.

Sounds Like: 
Lupe Fiasco
Sounds Like: 
Macklemore
Sounds Like: 
Aesop Rock
Name: 
Hibah Ilyas
Date Reviewed: 
03/07/2017
Artist: 
Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos
Label: 
Slide

New music from Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, and Migos has everyone in a frenzy. While Calvin Harris puts out new music quite often this song is one of the more catchy and pop-y songs I've heard in awhile. I love this song for Frank Ocean, and its great to hear new music from him before a 6 year hiatus. If Ocean keeps this up all his fans will be very happy because Calvin Harris and Frank Ocean work very well together. Now, I have never heard Migos (I know, that's a problem - I'll fix it) before this but I really enjoyed their contribution to this song.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean & Migos
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
03/06/2017
Artist: 
Jalen Santoy
Label: 
2016 Ventwood Entertainment / EMPIRE

Jalen Santoy’s debut album, Charlie Eastern includes 7 tracks that show us who he really is. The album features his hit track, “Foreplay” which samples the great oldie track, “Sunny” by Stanley Turrentine. This track struck me because I am a lover of oldies and he sampled the track in the most dope, jazzy way. This is also the only clean track off the album. Santoy does not feature any other vocals on the album except his own, but received help from various artists to create the beats and album.

Sounds Like: 
J. Cole
Name: 
Alessandra Posada
Date Reviewed: 
02/28/2017
Artist: 
Mila J
Label: 
Self-released

        "MILAULONGTIME" is Mila J's 7-track Valentines Day mixtape. Although it's a Valentines drop, the songs are pretty diverse in moods. The opening track MOVE is a trap banger with that 'fuck the haters' type of vibe. FUCKBOY is a funky r&b song, probably holds the record for r&b song with the most f-bombs. YESTERDAY is a trap ballad featuring I.Rich.

Sounds Like: 
Kehlani
Sounds Like: 
Jhene Aiko
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
02/22/2017
Artist: 
Young Dolph
Label: 
Paper Route Empire

Adolph "Young Dolph" Thorton released his new mixtape "Gelato" the day after releasing Play Wit Yo Bitch, a Yo Gotti diss track. The 11-track mixtape begins with title track Gelato and ends with the You Gotti diss track. The features on this record blend well with Young Dolph's trap style. Wiz Khalifa is featured on On the River.

Sounds Like: 
Migos
Sounds Like: 
Yo Gotti
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
02/22/2017
Artist: 
Sampha
Label: 
Young Turks

You have may have heard him on his collaborations with Drake's Nothing Was the Same, or on the last track "Saint Pablo" off of Kanye West's excellent The Life of Pablo, or even more recently on "Don't Touch My Hair" by Solange. Sampha Sisay's (simply known as Sampha) has been widely recognized by an array up popular artists, and has been floating around the R&B spectrum of music since 2010, releasing two excellent EP's and a few promotional singles within that period of time.

Sounds Like: 
FKA twigs
Sounds Like: 
James Blake
Sounds Like: 
Solange
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
02/22/2017
Artist: 
Komplex Kai
Label: 
KK Entertainment LLC

Komplex Kai's "Do Right" is an album that goes harder than I expected. If you dig classic hype jams like DMX and hooks that you can chant along to, then this album is the right fit for you. "On The Map" really emphasizes how he's from the Northwest. While the song is repetitive and doesn't really have any shifts, the hook of the song is pretty good and it's easy to get the words right. However, the constant beep led to my boyfriend and I joking about how it sounded like a microwave that wouldn't stop going off.

Sounds Like: 
Knowmads - Similar rap style as Wilson
Sounds Like: 
DMX - On the harder tracks
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
02/19/2017
Artist: 
22 Savage
Label: 
Travis James Entertainment

22 Savage, not to be confused with the totally not famous rapper 21 Savage, has a new mixtape called "Nothing 2 Live 4." While it may seem that 22 Savage has so many things to live for (his hos, his money, his hood, and his reputation), surprisingly enough he still has nothing to live for. Maybe it's because people still think that 21 Savage is better than 22 Savage? Don't be confused, as 22 Savage says, "this ain't 21 b****, this 22!" He makes that abundantly clear in the first track.

Sounds Like: 
21 Savage - ... Does this really need an explanation?
Sounds Like: 
Young Thug - Sings like him on "rain"
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
02/19/2017
Artist: 
Rexx Life Raj
Label: 
Rexx Life / Empire

This is what I love about hip hop; no two rappers rap the same nor produce the same. However when you look at trap music, this distinction is nearly impossible to make. With Rexx Life Raj’s album Father Figure, the Berkeley rapper’s new album looks at everyday life in a new light, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Sounds Like: 
Khalid
Sounds Like: 
Eli Sostre
Name: 
Maximilian Serventi
Date Reviewed: 
02/17/2017
Artist: 
Canon