Hip-Hop

Artist: 
Injury Reserve
Label: 
Las Fuegas

Floss is the sophomore album of Tempe hip-hop trio Injury Reserve. This record was my introduction to the group and I really wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard it. Little did I know this record ended up being one of my favorites of 2016, as well as one of the records I listened to the most. This is an incredibly refreshing take on modern hip-hop. From the loud catchy bangers such as "Oh Shit!!!" and "All This Money" to the softer, more emotional tracks such as "Keep on Slippin", this record is all around breathtaking.

Sounds Like: 
Run The Jewels
Sounds Like: 
Shabazz Palaces
Name: 
Brandon Serrano
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Gucci Mane
Label: 
Atlantic Recording Corporation

I was curious to see what Gucci Mane did upon getting out of prison. Would it be a somber, reflective project about dealing with the trappings of fame while maintaining your initial identity and ethos, or the utter bangers that we all wanted to hear? Thankfully, it was the latter. Gucci has been expanding his brand lately, producing the chart-topping hit Black Beatles, but he is still able to make great rap songs. This was a small EP release of three songs, but all of them are awesome. He boasts and is incredibly cocky on these songs, but deservedly so.

Sounds Like: 
Travis Scott
Sounds Like: 
Migos
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Barclay Crenshaw
Label: 
Ponies & Cavemen, LLC

Barclay Crenshaw is the real name of DJ Claude VonStroke, an electronic artist who has made a name and following for himself by hitting the festival circuit and pushing the boundaries of EDM. I expected this to be similar to a VonStroke project, and frankly, I was blown away. The album heavily incorporates hip-hop elements and features while maintaining VonStroke's signature style. Upon researching the album I discovered that local Tucson artist Daniel Martin Diaz produced the art for the album, which was a definite plus.

Sounds Like: 
Claude Von Stroke
Sounds Like: 
Tchami
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Migos
Label: 
Quality Control/Atlantic

Culture (stylized: C U L T U R E) is the 2nd studio album, and the 16th official project from Atlanta Hip-Hop trio Migos. To put this into a bit of context, the Migos broke out into mainstream hip hop in 2013 with their hit single "Versace", which featured a very successful remix feature from a still up and coming Drake.

Sounds Like: 
Migos- really who else do they sound like?
Name: 
Sai A. Sreedhar
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2017
Artist: 
Kid Cudi
Label: 
Republic Records

This album is bipolar, but that’s okay! It adds a bit of flavor, almost in a good way.

Sounds Like: 
Mac Miller
Sounds Like: 
Lupe Fiasco
Name: 
Alex Paris
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2017
Artist: 
Wiley
Label: 
Wiley

   This is the first grime album I have listened to in it's entirety. I have heard grime before like Skepta and Jme but only their hits. Wiley's eleventh album "Godfather" is pure grime and it is so good. As someone who has only dipped their toes in grime, I was immersed in this album from start to finish. Every song is high energy but the beats are so diverse that it creates a whole different type of mood with every track. Songs that stood out to me are U Were Always, Pt.

Sounds Like: 
Skepta
Sounds Like: 
President T
Sounds Like: 
Jme
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2017
Artist: 
Dutch Boy
Label: 
Dutch Boy

If Chris Brown and Travis Scott had a mysterious love child, this is it fam. Where has Dutch Boy been?!?! His voice needs to be spread!

Sounds Like: 
Travis Scott
Sounds Like: 
Chris Brown
Sounds Like: 
The Weeknd
Name: 
Alex Paris
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2017
Artist: 
Coolio
Label: 
J Star Entertainment/Super Cool Entertainment

Coolio brings back his 90s influcence in 2017 in his lastest  track "Kill again." The single brings heavy beats and discussing the reality of gang violence often and its influence from lyrics "No family, no friends, no education so don't you pretend that you understand cause you'll never know why they kill again." The course continues with "It's dark and its cold and I feel for my soul in here. When will they kill again and again? Children women and men, family neighbors and friends" likely referering to victims of gang violence.

Sounds Like: 
Xzibit
Sounds Like: 
Warren G
Name: 
DeRay Chatter
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2017
Artist: 
Vision That
Label: 
Vision That Entertainment

Tucson-based Vision That's mixtape demonstrates Vision That's (Renk Remy and Zee) variety of skills in hip-hop music production. The mixtape is literally a mix which is refreshing since most rappers stick to one type of sound and that's it. There's a total of 16 tracks and most of them sound pretty different compared to each other both in terms of beat and rap. Track 1 starts out with a beat that immediately had me nodding my head followed with charismatic rapping that really had me relating the ambition Zee has.

Sounds Like: 
Drake
Sounds Like: 
Pusha T
Sounds Like: 
Big Sean (when they sing-rap)
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
02/06/2017
Artist: 
Kehlani
Label: 
TSNMI

Sweet, sexy, savage. Kehlani's pretty good at summarizing her own album within its title. Granted just like sweet foods, Kehlani's album "SweetSexySavage" is fills your hunger at first but then as you have more and more of it, you eventually get tired of it. I get that Kehlani knows her sound and what is good for her but after about five songs having the same classic R&B sound, I didn't want to listen to the rest. Kehlani has a beautiful voice that glides over every note effortlessly like the classic R&B singers.

Sounds Like: 
Kyndall
Sounds Like: 
Ella Mai
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
02/06/2017
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