So what gives? Miller has deftly aged along with his fanbase, slowly transforming his music from squeaky and excitable kegger anthems to insular, stoned scribbles. Faces is his most blunted album yet, a track inventory of drugs, snacks, Will Ferrell quotes and punchlines absentmindedly mashed into his iPhone.
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People in suits are betting money on this kid, but he remains blissfully focused on the everyday banalities of life: And while some critics have diminished Oxymoron for its thematic chaos, this major-label debut tingles and palpitates with nonstop personality and moment-to-moment drama. An ex-drug-dealing daddy daughter Joy pops up here and there who still gets high on his own supply, Q pings in and out of skeevy debauchery and terse reflection with believably confused fervor.
In fact, "Break the Bank" produced by the Alchemist and "Collard Greens" produced by THC and Gwen Bunn and featuring Lamar reach levels of ferociously heady humanity and effusive musicality mostly unmatched by his peers. The Baton Rouge-based rapper Kevin Gates has moved in a steady incline over the past two years.
The definition of a street-rap auteur, Gates has yet to produce a major crossover single, but his fanbase is one of hip-hop's most passionate and invested. Like last year, hosted two Kevin Gates tapes. The early By Any Means included a few of his best records, but overall felt like an odds-and-ends compilation. But this month's Luca Brasi 2 , much like its prequel, is one of the year's most consistent releases.
9. "I Just Wanna" (Chief Keef feat. Mac Miller)
Chalk up Lord Steppington as another winner for the Alchemist, the beat chemist who has toured the world as Eminem's DJ and crafted street bangers for Queensbridge thug poets like Nas and Mobb Deep. His stepbrother-in-crime is Evidence of backpacker heroes Dilated Peoples, and the two recruit friends like Action Bronson, Styles P and Roc Marciano for an album that turns off-kilter samples into no-frills bangers.
Ev and Al just wanna make music to smoke to, whether it's the piano-laced blaps of "Mums in the Garage," the drum roll blasts of "Just Step," the bass strums of "See the Rich Men Play" or the synth licks of "Dr. Opening with a full minute of ear-piercing high-pitched feedback thanks for that , this L. The band's two producers bring varied pedigrees Jonathan Snipes composed the score to Room and he's in an experimental noise band with Clipping's other soundbomber William Hutson.
Rapper Daveed Diggs compliments with weedy wordpainting: The bit in the evocatively moody "Taking Off" about being broke and alone in a roach hotel apartment while your neighbor annoyingly bumps Black Flag resonates more than the stuff about girls and drugs and cops and politics, speaking in the realtalk of wan slacker suffering. He mixes an e. Some examples: A "rewind that! Chart-topping rapper Lecrae built his fanbase independently, releasing six albums on his own Reach Records, a label that spreads a Christian message.
He's set to be the first rapper from the devotional circuit to find a pop audience, and has caught the attention of mainstream rap like none other before. While several songs celebrate his love of Christ, Anomaly is a record about principles. On "Outsiders," he casts his religiousness in a secular society as pure freedom "to be what I'm supposed to be" and criticizes America as a place "where we'll do anything for the money. Rap music in is a place where artists float songs to the Internet with wishes of catching a wave — and then hoping its long enough to cobble together a coherent album.
It's a place where your single might be produced by the same guy who has 10 other beats on the radio and 10 more to come.
40 Best Rap Albums of – Rolling Stone
DJ Quik's ninth album, The Midnight Life , on the other hand, arrived fully formed, sounding like nothing else except the classically funky beats he's been crafting for more than two decades. It opens with the Compton legend rapping over a banjo and closes with an instrumental of laid-back guitar riffs and piano chords.
In between he laments the cancellation of Arsenio Hall's revived talk show and devotes an entire song to longtime session guitarist Robert "Fonksta" Bacon. During the five-year gestation of her debut album, the Harlem beefmaster alienated rivals, record executives and fans — seemingly for sport. But for all her burns and bumps, Broke with Expensive Taste is the sort of effortless triumph that deserves to outshine the Internet circus.
No one in rap shifts gears this fluidly. One second, Banks is spitting double-time heat over deep house, the next she's the bandleader for Afro-Caribbean funk grooves from Spanish Harlem. Then she's singing over broken London bass like Katy B. No one had such poison-pure creative vision, originality or versatility. Chicago rapper Lil Herb and his frequent collaborator Lil Bibby are teenagers with mannish voices in the drill tradition of Chief Keef — but they follow more traditional standards of lyricism than most of their Chiraq peers.
For example: On 10 Summers his blurping synth squirts get yoked to a whirring G-funk smoothness that recalls classic Dre see the Eazy-E homage amidst the vintage West Coast peacocking of "Ghetto Tales". In terms of unique lyrical tics — stoner drones, pulse-pounding flow and cadence shifts, dislocating WTF bleats, agitated interwoven glossolalia — these Atlanta artful dodgers are virtuosos.
Okay, Quavo, Takeoff and Offset's subject matter is mostly confined to sex, crime and turning up, but if that bugs you, see American pop culture. While a dozen pair of hands contribute to these 19 relentlessly lively tracks, the keyboard frippery of Gucci Mane go-to man Zaytoven producer behind Migos hit "Versace" best fits the trio's rococo absurdity yes, they "mooo" like a cow when advising style-biters "you better mooove ".
Faux-churchy closer "Struggle" gets far more reflective than expected. As an unapologetic chronicler of the gangster's life in an age of pop-rap astronauts, Indiana's Freddie Gibbs has often languished in the genre's second tier. On "Deeper," a standout track from what may be his best album, he bemoans sell-outs: But Gibbs is in good hands with Madlib, who lavishes him with dusty sure-shot loops, including the lush disco of "High," the haunted jazz-rock fusion of "Bomb" and the silky quiet storm of "Broken.
One of the most vital music-makers of the moment returns with his unique ear for garbled pop hooks and infectious sing-rap. On his second proper album, Future's honesty isn't about getting the facts straight or grounding his music in life story told through rap autobiography.
There's some of that, of course, but here the Atlanta artist's greatest accomplishment is how thoroughly he can embody each track, giving himself completely over to every beat, concept and syllable. Whether he's moving that dope over a Mike Will deep sea transmission, pledging his devotion through unhinged vocal melodies or undoing that promise in a song that repeats the question "How can I not?
Atlanta's Young Thug started on the fringes of rap, having accumulated a small following by reimagining Lil Wayne's career as never leaving the place where he felt like dying. This evolution from avant curio to reliable radio hitmaker can be traced in the distance between Black Portland and Tha Tour Part I , the two mixtapes that bookended his year. The first, with fellow ATLien Bloody Jay, oozes with mumbled hooks and verses so esoteric that it sometimes feels like the two are interpreting each other's hieroglyphics.
The second, with fellow radio staple Rich Homie Quan, features a half-dozen songs that could — should — be getting airplay right now.
Black Portland starts with a lullaby about fellatio; Tha Tour with a regal, clear-eyed ode to a luxury clothing brand. Black Portland peaks with a song about staying true to your homies; Tha Tour with a celebration of living life like Flavor Flav. Birdman, currently the most powerful mogul in rap, shows up on only one of them — it's the one that ends with a song called "Who's On Top. Nicki Minaj's third album arrives at a critical point in the rapper's career: One could practically put together a strong second album out of the songs "Yass Bish," "Boss Ass Bitch" that ended up on the cutting room floor.
Frontloaded confessional songs aim for the emotions, while the album's middle third moves in musically adventurous directions, jumping from the Bad Boy throwback "Four Door Aventador" to the Jeremih-assisted gem "Favorite" to the caribbean groove of "Trini Dem Girls. Released in March, YG's major label debut has been accepted as one of 's great rap albums for so long that it's easy to overlook how unlikely the whole thing is: It's easy to pin it all on DJ Mustard, executive producer and undisputed beatmaker of the year.
But, in reality, YG pulls off the album's concept — which traces a day in the life of a Compton gangster — by himself and with aplomb, each song building on the narrative but also standing out on its own. But the appeal is still in their giddy disses, labyrinthine boasts, alliteration, bravado, alpha male antics — basically the stuff that Killer Mike and El-P enjoyed about rap in The Best Rap Albums of Share on Facebook Share on Twitter.blacksmithsurgical.com/t3-assets/archetypes/gikyb-service-learning-history-theory.php
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Aligning himself with Rostrum Records, the rhymer got the look he was aiming for when his track, "Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza," became a hit on rap blogs and YouTube, racking up millions of hits and causing more than a few to take note of the fresh-faced youngster with suburban swag. Miller hit a home run out of the gate with his album, Blue Slide Park , which debuted atop the Billboard —the first independent album to do so since Dogg Pound's Dogg Food in The effort was deemed a vast improvement compared to his debut.
But his third studio album, GO: In a turn few people saw coming, Miller delved into the alternative scene when he dropped off his experimental album, The Divine Feminine , in the fall of He didn't stop there, though. Just under two years later, Miller, in what would be the final project he released while still alive, dropped off Swimming , an LP forged in melancholic reflection and the publicity surrounding his split from Ariana Grande.