Hip-Hop

Artist: 
Frank Ocean
Label: 
Def Jam Records

Chanel by Frank Ocean is the second unexpected single after Slide with Migos and Calvin Harris. Chanel is a really dreamy song with a dark undertone. Ever since Frank Ocean became a hit phenomena with OFWGKTA, many people were interested in his sexuality due to his ambiguous lyrics (why anyone cared though I'm not sure).  A lot of people have given this song praise for Frank finally talking first hand about a boyfriend or a non-binary relationship. Putting politics aside, this song is really cool.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
03/31/2017
Artist: 
Pimp Dzol
Label: 
We Rollin' Records

In all my time of doing CD reviews (which is not very long but still), I've never been so pleasantly surprised with a small-time rapper before. Pimp Dzol has charisma and power which I think are the two key things that every hip-hop artist needs. While he's not exactly over the top in the lyrics department, Pimp Dzol's intense voice still keeps you engaged and listening to his voice. Not to mention, both of the songs "Turnt Up" and "I Own That" have a bass heavy, typical hip-hop beat.

Sounds Like: 
Mystikal
Sounds Like: 
DMX
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
03/29/2017
Artist: 
Wale & DJ Luna
Label: 
Self Released

Wale put together this mixtape with DJ Luna and it really surprised me how good some of these tracks are. I haven't really followed Wale as of late but I want to say this is the best thing he has relesased in a while. Hopefully this mixtape will remind his fans how skilled of a lyricist he can really be. The beats on this mixtape are also very good. A lot of the samples are 70s soul inspired. It is good see Wale has gone back to his roots with this mixtape.

Sounds Like: 
Pusha T
Sounds Like: 
Lupe Fiasco
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Lupe Fiasco
Label: 
1st and 15th Entertainment

Lupe Fiasco’s new album introduces itself with a shocking display of force: “Dopamine Lit (Intro)” is two minutes and 49 seconds of foghorn bass, fiery bars, and a half-joking, half-drunken chorus that includes a Billboard flip-off, a Lord of the Rings reference, and some self-consciously nonsensical trap grunts, for good measure. The song especially feels like a pleasant surprise attack when held against the eternally put-upon rapper’s consistently inconsistent delivery over the last few years.

Sounds Like: 
Ab-Soul
Sounds Like: 
Wale
Sounds Like: 
Kid Cudi
Name: 
Jacob Sky Bruse
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Rick Ross
Label: 
Epic Records

YO this album go soft and hard at the same time. Chris Rock yellin and being savage, just makes it that much better. Trap Trap Trap easily one of my favorites, young thug spitting bars again, and this time you can understand him a bit better. Summer Seventeen, we've heard it somewhere, cough* Purple Lamborghin *cough. It's all good it's still lit. Maybach music hits hard once again, and delivers an a great sound that sticks. Ross is able to single handedly and skillfully put many of his personal styles in one album.

Sounds Like: 
Yo Gotti
Sounds Like: 
Young Dro
Name: 
Alex Paris
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Taylor Bennett
Label: 
Tay Bennett Entertainment

With Chance making his more than indelible mark on the city of Chicago in the form of music and public outreach, it would be silly to assume that the entire Bennett family isn’t talented. The father of the family being a political face in a rather tumultuous environment in Chicago, Chance making a big name for himself through tours, self-marketing, and free music via chanceraps.com, and now all eyes are on Taylor Bennett with his second studio album “Restoration of an American Idol”.

Sounds Like: 
Chance the Rapper
Name: 
Maximilian Serventi
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Rapsody
Label: 
Jamla Record / Culture Over Everything

After listening to this album, Crown EP, several timees I can say I've liked it more and more. Lauryn Hill often came to mind. I love the tracks on this album as it shows true talent of a female MC spitting rhyme after rhyme. Gonna Miss You is probably the popular track that features Raphael Saadiq that is one of the more upbeat tracks. Tina Turner is probably my favorite track that whose beats take turns making it one of the more original songs. #Goals is another favorite track that has her providing catchy vocals that flow smoothly along with beat.

Sounds Like: 
Lauryn Hill
Name: 
DeRay Chatter
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
The Lox
Label: 
Roc Nation Records

"Filthy American... Its Beautiful" by The Lox, came out in 2016. It is very hard and intense, sort of old-school 50 cent-esque rap. Most of their songs deal with how dope they are and how many people know of them. I would like to say I am a connosieur of rap and I haave never heard of them. Their rap style is a lot like SnowGoons where it has  hard hitting beats and a sort of yelling way of rapping. If the yelling rap is done right I like it a lot but they seem over their heads in their fame.

Sounds Like: 
50 Cent
Sounds Like: 
SnowGoons
Name: 
Patrick Baker
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Knoxx
Label: 
Freetown Dreaming

Knoxx, a man from Sierra Leone, came out with an album "Freetown Dreaming" by the cover you would think that it would be rap album but the first song "Take Me Away" starts country guy named Kenton Shelley singing "oh girl just take me away" and it definitely threw me off, the song then goes to Knoxx rapping over an acoustic guitar but honestly it just sounds like a country dude wanted to try rapping. It was hard finding a sub-genre for this album as every song ahas a new and weird sample, to it.

Sounds Like: 
A young young Lupe Fiasco
Sounds Like: 
A sound cloud rapper that likes to go backpacking in impoverished nations
Name: 
Patrick Baker
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Yarley G + Zig Short
Label: 
Midnight Ent.

TRAPNINJA 101 is honestly one of the hardest albums I have ever listened to, made me want to straight rob a bank. I suddenly now own a trap house and I'm selling crack after listening to this album. Jokes aside this album is consistently good throughout and it flows really well. The beats, to me sounded a lot like Riff Raff's beats which is a good thing. Can I mention about the album cover, my man looks like he is wearing ski goggles and it looks cool just based off listening to the music.

Sounds Like: 
Riff Raff-esque
Sounds Like: 
Maxo Cream
Sounds Like: 
Current Soulja Boy
Name: 
Patrick Baker
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017