2012 was a rather lackluster year for rap. Lots of overwhelming albums and disappointment. This is why I present to you Fuck Rap: The Quintessential White Nigga Guide to the Best of 2012 the Mixtape. This is a collection of all the good music you missed out on because you were shaking your dreads to Chief Keef vide0s. Tracklist Below.
1. Kimbra-Settle Down
2. Sam Sparro-Happiness
3. M83-Midnight City
4. Beach House-Wild
5. Chromatics-Kill for Love
6. Lana Del Rey-Blue Jeans
7. Twin Shadow-Five Seconds
8. Jessie Ware-Running
9. fun.-We Are Young featuring Janelle Monae
10. Mumford & Sons-I Will Wait
11. Passion Pit-Constant Conversations
12. Grizzly Bear-Yet Again
13. Regina Spektor-Patron Saint
14. ZZ Ward-Cryin Wolf featuring Kendrick Lamar
15.The Killers-Deadlines and Commitments
16. Tame Impala-Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
18. Ellie Goulding-Lights
(dont complain about how tagging sucks)
Illmatic. Ready to die. Reasonable Doubt.
No, good kid, m.A.A.d. city is neither one of these albums, but Kendrick Lamar used his major label debut to tell his story in a similar fashion.
While his previous release Section.80 was socially conscious, it was mostly on a macro scale. Good Kid, m.a.a.d. City puts a magnifying glass over Compton, and specifically a 17 year old Kendrick Lamar Duckworth.
As the cover says, good kid, m.A.A.d. city is truly an audio biopic. It’s a coming of age tale of a teenager who is truly good at heart, but must fight off external influences. What makes this album work, besides his great story telling, is texture. Yes, texture. Just like any great movie, a great score is needed to carry the story along. Great thought was put into hand picking instrumentals and sequencing them in a way to make a sonically sound project.
For example, the album opens with “Sherane AKA Master Splinter’s Daughter”, which features a very dark instrumental. This helps paint the picture of Kendrick driving down Rosecrans Avenue is search of Sherane, his current love interest.
As Kendrick tells his story, the major theme unfolds: fantasy vs. reality . In “Backseat Freestyle”, Kendrick is arrogantly rapping in the backseat of his friends’ car, possibly to escape the reality of what lies ahead-”The Art of Peer Pressure”. After the robbery in the song before, he snaps back into the fantasy realm with “Money Trees”. Surely his heist didn’t produce the wealth he speaks of in the previous song, but this song explains why he did it. “Poetic Justice” is an almost foolish love (lust) song about his main interest Sherane, but judging from the title of the first track, he doesn’t think too highly of her now (Master Splinter’s Daughter = Hoodrat).
Kendrick departs from his personal anecdotes to describe Compton as he sees it. “Good Kid” and “maad city” contrasts each other but are important to the story. “Good Kid” is Compton as he sees it and “maad city” what Compton will make him if he allows it. Kendrick is often criticized for his inflection when he raps, but it is used well on “maad city”. His high pitch voice on this shows youth and ,once again, adds textute to his content. On “Sing About Me” he actually talks about how his songs affect those around him. This song connects to “Dying of Thirst”, where he seeks salvation for the sins he previously commited. Although the themes previosly mention includes lots of different issues, it never becomes too heavy for the listener.
Enough of singing this album’s praises, let’s talk the negatives. Like past Kendrick albums/mixtapes, the hooks aren’t the best. Anna Wise is sure to get on your nerves singing “I’m real, I’m real, I’m really really real” but you won’t even care by the end of the song because of the message. “Backseat Freestyle” will get REALLY annoying towards the end, but this song still fits well into the album’s context. Another weak point is the production. If banging beats are your prequisite for an album, then this one won’t blow you away. But once again, texture applies. The production on this album fits well sonically, even though there’s few amazing instrumentals here. As you can tell, any real negative criticism of this album is just nitpicking.
Final Grade: 4.8-5
Even though this album is great in every way possible, it’s still far too early to call it a classic. If this album can stand the test of time then it deserves to be in that conversation. For now, we can just admire the effort that Kendrick and crew put into this great project. There’s no filler here. Each song is significant. Each verse serves a purpose. Every word matters. Kendrick skillfully resurrects the lost art of storytelling to give you his biography. It’s personal…sometimes even too personal, but it is truly appreciated. As his mother states at the end of “Real”, this album is truly an inspiration to anyone who has ever had to overcome hardships. This album is a phenomenal beginning to the legacy of Kendrick Lamar.
This album review comes with a quick history lesson so my upcoming comparison will make sense. In the winter of 1978, Marvin Gaye released Here My Dear, possibly his most commercially disappointing album. Despite this fact, it may be one of his most brilliant albums in retrospect.
Distrive Phive member Vega kicks a few bars. Listen up
With the recent release of the Yellow Album, Dom Kennedy has secured his position as one of the best “new” artists. New is an unfair title considering he’s been putting in work since 08. I put together some of his best tracks along with features to get you up to speed. Download below.
As we approach the closing of the sixth month of the year, I would like to recap. Here’s albums (and mixtapes) that deserve a listen. Some you know, and others you probably never heard of. Nonetheless, the all have my stamp of approval.
(Retail albums won’t have download links, sorry)
Special thanks to @BaronAmatoChrls for letting me preview this album early. Over time, I’ve become a fan of the District Phive collective’s organic style and this album only continues that. If you like pure hip-hop, I HIGHLY recommend this one (and check out previous projects while you’re at it).
This is my blog and I run it entirely alone. I opened up an Artist Submissions portion of the site and response has been overwhelming. To those who have heard back from me, thank you. From those who I haven’t spoken to yet, my apologies.
Which is why I’m asking for your help. Do you like music? Do you have free time on your hands? Do you utilize social media often? Where there’s a position at Hip-Hop Sense for you. For Free.99 per hour, you get to rummage through my music archive and give artists feedback for their music. A) I can’t do it alone B) A second opinion is always useful.
Interested? Click that Contact tab and let me know.
17 year old New Yorker Joey Bada$$ brings classic NY hip hop back with his long awaited mixtape 1999. Download below.
After releasing album quality free projects starting with Krit Wuz Here in 2010, Big K.R.I.T. has quickly ascended to the elite class of new hip hop artists. As expected, the bar was raised high (unfairly, even) in anticipation for his debut. If you go into this album with expectations, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed and miss out on a good album.
Live from the Underground tells a story and may even be far more personal than its predecessors. Although there’s still songs like “I Got This” and “Yea Dats Me”, K.R.I.T tells the story through the music itself. The album and cover itself, shows K.R.I.T crash landing into the mainstream from the underground (The South). Although southern hip-hop has been a force for years, K.R.I.T. still feels that it is unappreciated and uses this album as a bold reintroduction.
K.R.I.T uses samples and instrumentation to form the landscape for this album. There’s elements of blues, gospel, along with hip-hop influences ranging from Memphis to Atlanta. This is immediately heard with “LFU300MA”, the soulful, spoken word intro that blends right into the title track. “Live from the Underground” is a formulatic “let me tell you what this album is about” track that will be an instant highlight. At the end, there’s a skit where K.R.I.T. crash lands into the “mainstream” from the south.
This album offers everything you expect from previous projects with “Money on the Floor”, “What U Mean” and “My Sub Part 2″ but it was quite evident that he wanted to take his debut in a different direction. This album still has his normal formula: Intro-bass heavy tracks- decrescendo to socially conscious tracks, but the order is more reversed. This project seems to be more as a statement album where he’s saying “The South has something to say”. Songs such as “If I Fall”, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and “Praying Man” featuring the legendary B.B. King fill the latter portion of the album. This journey comes to an end with “Live from the Underground (Reprise)” where he uses an audio clip of his late grandmother singing.
While K.R.I.T. is a talented MC, this album isn’t a showcase of stunning lyricism but he uses effective verse construction. The conversational flow on the majority of the songs to get his point across. This is backed by the well developed instrumentals to bring out the southern essence of the album.
Although a classic outing was expected by many on this debut run, this album still provides a strong message and adds to his legacy.
Final Score: 3.75-5
Since departing from Young Money, Curren$y has made a name for himself with his Do-It-Yourself approach to making music. For the first time ever, he has a big budget at his disposal. Although the features are more well known and the producers are bigger, Spitta still manages to keep that underground feel.
Like any other Curren$y album or mixtape, there’s two parts to Stoned Immaculate‘s success: 1. Using insanely good beats for the album 2. using those insanely good beats correctly. Anyone could take good instrumentals and use them but Curren$y has a knack for making an album sonically cohesive.
Curren$y instantly sets the mood for the album with the smooth “What It Look Like” produced by Bink! (And a great first verse from Wale). The mood is continued with tracks such as “Privacy Glass” and “Showroom”, both of which should be enjoyed at maximum volume during a long drive.
Curren$y does venture outside of his normal comfort zone and experiments with instrumentals that the average fan wouldn’t be accustomed to hearing him on. “Chasin’ Papers”, “That’s the Thing” and ” Chandelier” close the album on a good note by introducing these new sounds.
As Curren$y stated, Stoned Immaculate is his first “real” album. It has the essence of past Curren$y albums of mixtapes but the sound is bigger and better. He strays from his whimsical delivery and actually brings some content to the table with this album. Although you won’t be blown away by the end result, you can be assured that anything with Curren$y’s name on it is quality.
Final Grade: 3.5-5
The long awaited album is here-well almost. Stream from NPR.
Dom finally frees the first single from the highly anticipated Yellow Album. Now can we get a release date?
If you already have the mixtape, here’s some bonus tracks to add to it.
From Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
The artist formerly known as Mos Def releases a new freestyle over Lil Wayne’s “John”.