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Category Archive for 'Rap/Hip Hop'

Qwel & Maker: Beautiful Raw

“Qwel has become a surprisingly mature, thoughtful storyteller with a deep understanding of song structure….For now, he’ll have to just enjoy his status as Your Favorite Underground Rapper’s Favorite Rapper. If nothing else, someday, I think, there will be a movie about this guy – call it The Greatest Emcee No One Listened To.” –Ze [...]

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“The year is 1999, and hip-hop is alive and well. The Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck, along with fabled Bostonians 7L & Esoteric, stumbled upon a time machine, and instead of busting a cap in Hitler, hooking up with Marilyn Monroe, or, investing stock in Apple, they chose to return to the 1-9-9-9. And their warped, [...]

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Danny Brown: Old

“[W]hile Old often seems like a hip-hop kaleidoscope exploding across the speakers, it’s also crafted and paced, split down the middle like a great LP with a sure start and a freeing finish. If XXX was the come-up and the ‘Grown Up’ single was the breakthrough, this is the masterpiece.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Pusha T: My Name Is My Name

“With Pusha’s pen at full force and his performance a proper combination of cold and tense, the album is as if Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury were atom-smashed into something more artful and unstable. My Name Is My Name is a remarkable and vital solo debut.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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DJ Khaled: Suffering From Success

“Those who would accuse DJ Khaled of using an overly audacious album title for this seventh studio effort are quickly schooled….Suffering from Success is… glorious… as Khaled continues to win, win, win no matter what, filling hooky highlights… with high power guest stars….Khaled does his usual cheerleading and gets some production credits himself, but the [...]

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“Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol. 48 arrives… with highlights arriving via Katy Perry (‘Roar’), Daft Punk (‘Get Lucky’), Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell (‘Blurred Lines’), Justin Timberlake (‘Take Back the Night’), Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran (‘Everything Has Changed’), and Lana Del Rey (‘Summertime Sadness [Cedric Gervais remix edit]‘). The compilation also [...]

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“[I]t’s easy to tell that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a more lavish affair than its predecessor just by looking at its soundtrack, which features some of pop and rock’s biggest names….The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a solidly entertaining soundtrack.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Buying into Luhrmann’s vision is always the issue, but here, the music is crafted enough, inspired enough, and deep enough that it’s worth diving into without reservations. Luckily, you can wring all that disappointment and despair out of your fine, stylish suit after surfacing.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Eve: Lip Lock

“Go ahead and call it a comeback, since Eve’s previous effort was promised, and then shelved, back in 2007, but this quite worthwhile 2013 album is certainly no throwback or return to form. Instead, Lip Lock is thoroughly modern Eve…. She’s sweeter than before and musically more adventurous.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being 2

“Compared to the albums he’s released under the name Tha Carter, Lil Wayne’s I Am Not a Human Being series is noticeably looser. The quality control is certainly above mixtape or street-release level, but stray tracks and Carter leftovers are given their homes here, while the overall album flow is allowed to be reckless…. [A]nyone [...]

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Roc Marciano: Reloaded

“Laced with dialogue from Michael Mann, Woody Allen, Blaxploitation, and slasher flicks, as well as a few other sources, the productions maintain a steady low-key mood suited for bleary 3 a.m. listening… Grim and exultant at once, this is low-profile hustling on wax at its finest.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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A$AP Rocky: Long.Live.A$AP

“A$AP Rocky comes off as rap’s Jim Morrison, offering an accessible, attractive, and brutish journey into darkness while remaining true to his spirit.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music

“Steeped in tradition but always looking for a better tomorrow, rapper Killer Mike already had an incredibly strong discography before R.A.P. Music landed, but here he hits harder than any of his fans could have hoped… Revolutionary stuff and absolutely no fluff, R.A.P. Music is outstanding.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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El-P: Cancer4Cure

“Cancer4Cure is about hip-hop like Glengarry Glen Ross was about sales, but these great works transcend their industries, offering solace and inspiration to anyone who would prefer a satisfied mind over a Cadillac Eldorado, or in current terms, an Escalade.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Death Grips: The Money Store

“The Money Store is an important record that’s also compelling, loaded with kinetic blows against the empire and fully stuffed with that attractive maverick spirit.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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The Alchemist: Russian Roulette

“[A] very ’70s and very psychedelic album — Russian Roulette is the Alchemist going solo and thematic, constructing tracks by sampling old Russian records — jazzy, psychedelic, soulful, and otherwise — and grabbing some dialog from ’80s movies that were cold war-themed. His final touch is the jaw-droppingly excellent guest list that contributes to these [...]

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Eminem: Encore

“Here, Eminem is plain-spoken and literal, intent on refuting every critic from Benzino at The Source to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog… While the album is a little long, it’s worth a listen to hear the moments that work really well, whether it’s full songs or flights of phrase.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“It’s an amazing, cool, and filling mix, and with Homeboy himself being that right mix of persuasive and challenging, First of a Living Breed is an easy recommendation for any lyric-loving hip-hop head.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Meek Mill: Dreams and Nightmares

“Having torn it up on the first two volumes of Maybach Music’s Self Made compilations, Philadelphia rapper and former Grand Hustle artist Meek Mill finally busts out on his own on Dreams and Nightmares… As far as graduations from mixtapes to major-label releases go, this one is still satisfying and a step forward, plus slicked [...]

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“Offered the opportunity to direct a karate flick — and with all the freedom, funding, and flash that an executive producer like Quentin Tarantino would allow — Wu-Tang leader and kung-fu fanatic RZA must have been like a kid in a candy store. Still, the soundtrack to his directorial debut is classic, restrained RZA, as [...]

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