2015 has been a year filled many top artists dropping albums. We’ve had Kendrick, Drake, and Tyler to name a few. One of the leaders of the new school, A$AP Rocky has been one of the most interesting figures in rap culture throughout this decade. Coming up around the time of the Beast Coast movement, Flacko has grown to have the largest fanbase of his fellow new school New York artists thanks to songs like ‘Peso’ and ‘Fucking Problem’. As an artist Rocky has come a long way from his first L.L.A mixtape, and this album is no exception. With just the right amount of fashion brags and wavy beats, At.Long.Last.A$AP proves to be a great album that will surely be in consideration for album of the year.
This year has begun with a bang and a handful of artists are prepping their album releases in these next few months. The “reigning rap supreme” Joey Bada$$ is looking to make an early mark on the year with his highly anticipated debut studio album, B4.DA.$$. Joey was one of the most influential figures in the Beast Coast NY movement that includes Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers, his mixtape 1999 was a critical success, but his follow up Summer Knights was met with lukewarm reception as his smooth flow changed to a much rougher and stagnant style. B4.DA.$$ is the debut album that Joey fans were hoping for, it blends classic boom-bap style of New York with the upper echelon lyrical skill that Joey has become known for. It is a smooth listen from to back, and it contains some of Joey’s best songs yet.
It is no secret that 2014 has been a tough year for music. Aside from Taylor Swift’s record breaking album, this year has been hit and miss on sales for the large part. Even with album sales aside, the quality has been lacking across many genres; one of the exceptions has been YG. On March 18th he dropped My Krazy Life which managed to unite critics and fans alike to not only say it was a high spot for 2014, but also an important album for gangster rap.
Looking to follow up on the success of My Krazy Life, YG put together a short film and a soundtrack to go along with it. It is a fairly bold move for any artist, let alone who only 9 months ago dropped his debut album. For the most part it works well and keeps the gangster vibe going. The soundtrack somehow manages to come off as even grittier and more gangster than My Krazy Life. When played in unison with the movie it begins to come together well. YG already gave the media what they (and his fans) wanted, this is strictly for the streets.
In today’s day and age phones continue to play an ever expanding role in our lives, some of the most influentia ways being through phone apps. One of the most popular isVine, this app allows users to create a short 6 second clip of whatever they please. In fact, Vine has become so popular that it has literally boosted artist’s careers. Prior to apps like vine most artists would make songs in hopes of getting onto the radio, now we are seeing a new batch of artists who go for incredibly quotable lines in hopes of becoming vine smash hits as this has increasingly translated into radio success.
“It’s the King b*tch” those are the word one typically expects to hear from OG southern rapper and self declared King Of The South, T.I. . He is one of those rappers who has managed to stay relevant and keep his game at an elevated level while also holding the thrown of King essentially unchallenged. T.I. has had some slips, most notably No Mercy, but it was the late entry Trouble Man: Heavy is the head in 2012 that showed TIP hadn’t left, he just took a short break. Looking to follow the success of his previous effort T.I. is dropping Paperwork in the 4th quarter of 2014 but also leaving a free one time stream up via Itunes Radio. However much like No Mercy, Paperwork is burdened by an over-saturation of guest verses and similarly to Trouble Man it is stretched thin trying to cover various styles in rap. With a blazing start, mediocre middle and solid closing tracks the saving grace of the album is T.I. himself so rarely lets down with weak verses.