Isaiah Rashad’s Cilvia Demo has been on constant rotation the last few weeks. I really like the laid-back feel of the album and how hungry Isaiah sounds on each track. Many of the songs have Isaiah reflecting on life and discussing personal issues that have shaped his life.
“Webbie Flow” is one of the best tracks from the EP with Isaiah displaying just how great of a rapper he is. The lyrics are direct as the beat has to keep up with Isaiah’s flow.
Amine has been experiencing quite a popularity surge with his career. The young rapper’s breakout hit “Caroline” is very catchy and filled with playful lyrics. Amine has stated that his highly anticipated debut album will “soon come.”
He recently did a live performance of new track “Turf” that features the legendary Charlie Wilson. Check out the performance below.
Over the past few months, I have been working on a hip-hop playlist on Spotify. Not just any ole playlist, but a chill hip hop playlist. I have always wanted to create a playlist for just relaxing, walking home from work, or cruising in your car. “Hip Hop Chill: Take it Easy” playlist features some of the most mellow and lyrically versatile songs that I think are the best of the hip-hop genre. It features songs from Pete Rock and CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, The Pharcyde, Nas, The Roots, Common, and many other artists that have specialized in that chillaxing sound. I hope you all just sit back and take it easy to this chilled out playlist. Don’t forget to follow the playlist if you like it.
Vince Staples news is always good news. Last Thursday, Vince dropped a new single from his forthcoming album Big Fish Theory entitled “Big Fish.” The song follows in the footsteps of his Prima Donna EP with its electronic sound. Check it out.
I have been slow on putting up the progress of my Rolling Stone Greatest Albums list challenge. Going forward I will abbreviate the title to simply “RS and the number of the album,” in order to not cause confusion. I begin it with Outkast’s
I begin it with Outkast’s Aquemini album, #500 on the list, which I have listened to countless times over the years. Outkast’s very best albums to me are Aquemini and ATLiens due to how dark and introspective both albums are. Aquemini has many tracks that I could have picked for this blog as the standout, but “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” really leaped out at me. It’s smooth sound and horn section gels so well with both Big Boi’s and Andre 3000’s vocals.
For the past two weeks, I have been listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” album. I wanted to really delve into the record fully before reviewing it and I must say that I have dived deep. “DAMN.” is without a doubt one of the Kendrick’s best records as well as one of the best albums of the year.
The album is a stark contrast from the previous “To Pimp A Butterfly,” where jazz and funk provided the overall sound for the record. This time around, Kendrick goes for a minimal sound that works quite well, especially on tracks ‘Yah.’ and ‘Element.’ The former has been dubbed by some listeners as cloud rap and it does feature a more atmospheric sound than listeners are used to from Kendrick. ‘Element.’ has quiet keys playing during the chorus as Kendrick goes in over the beat. These two tracks are my favorites off the record with their laidback sound.
‘Loyalty.’ and ‘Love.’ are both pop-influenced songs that have Kendrick venturing into that new territory. The former features Rihana and is a song that was specifically made for the radio and you definitely can’t fault Kendrick for that. ‘Love.’ has a kind of quiet-storm sound to that is the most surprising and unique track from the album.
‘DNA.’ and ‘Humble.’ both feature a more trap sound and are the hardest cuts on the album as Kendrick completely shows his lyrical versatility. Both tracks are amped up and don’t leave room for respite. ‘XXX.’ features U2 and is a somber track as Kendrick talks about the state of America and Donald Trump’s ascendancy. It is a track that works so well with Bono’s easy vocals blending with the beat.
The record ends with ‘Duckworth.’ a track that has Kendrick providing a story on how his father and TDE’s Top Dawg first met and how it all came full circle with Kendrick now rapping for the record.
Overall, “DAMN.” is an absolute pleasure to listen to, as Kendrick delivers a record that reflects on the many facets of our lives, especially during these most turbulent of times. Kendrick shows why he is the best rapper in the game and why he truly does not have any competition. Each track is different in its own way and takes a deep focus to not miss any messages that Kendrick wishes to get across. Kendrick has made another record that will become a classic in the hip-hop canon.
Kendrick Lamar has returned with one of the best hip hop albums of the decade. ‘Damn.’ is a phenomenal record that further proves why Kendrick is considered by many to be the best rapper of his generation or even all time. I am going to be reviewing the album in the coming days, after listening to it every day for the last week. But before we get to that, I am going to share with you the dynamic music video for “DNA” which features cameos from Don Cheadle and Schoolboy Q.