More Life and the making of a global icon

...ther,” 2 Chainz’s delivering us with an iconic verse on “Sacrifices,” and a surprisingly decent feature from Kanye West on the eighteenth track, “Glow.” Young Thug also shows up with not one, but two jaw-droppingly brilliant features on “Sacrifices” and “Ice Melts,” confirming Drake’s ability to bring out the best in every artist he collaborates with. The moody Drake we knew on Take Care is brought back from the dead on the fourteenth (and...

Danny Brown loses his mind on the infectious Atrocity Exhibition

...’, on which Danny is completely strung out but still making crack (‘ Hunched over the stove gotta water water whip it / Lost in the sauce but a nigga still stirring ’) we are lead into Atrocity Exhibition’s second act, which features back to back to back to back high-energy bangers about cocaine that themselves sound fueled by cocaine. The first of these, ‘Ain’t It Funny’, hits like a truck and comes dripping with hyped-up club vibes, featuring...

Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book is a musical blessing

...Friends”) to taking time off every once in awhile (“Smoke Break”). Half of the album is a gospel-inspired lullaby, while the other half shows off Chance’s lasting ability to create summer-defining anthems—“No Problem,” which features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, is a clear example of this. The album features a variety of guests, from big names like Kanye, Future, Justin Bieber, and T-Pain to lesser-known names, like Chance’s gospel favorite...

Drake’s Views pedestrian, uninteresting

...e — his. But the guy has put out 50-something songs in the last year, which averages out to a song a week about Drake’s life. Is there enough material there to be mined? Views would suggest a succinct ‘no.’ “Pop Style” features tough guy leader-of-the-crew Drake (seen most famously in 2013 on “Started From the Bottom”). “Fire & Desire” is I-just-wanna-get-married-and-be-happy Drake (“You just like my sidekick, I just wanna wife /...
Imperial album cover

Denzel Curry’s Imperial: Florida Man Spits Fire

...owever, is Curry’s counterpoint to his aggression: “This Life” and the hook for “Sick and Tired” reveal a surprisingly melodic side to an especially vicious artist. Additionally, the implementation of features by Twelve’elen on “If Tomorrow’s Not Here” and — yes — Rick Ross on “Knotty Head” leads to an emulsion of intermingling styles, with both artists playing sonic counterparts to...

Lower Dens: romance, dystopia, and 80s synth

...nd by all means, if you haven’t heard the song yet, LISTEN TO IT. Be sure to follow it up with the track “Stem” which “Brains” precedes, carrying over the exact drum line. The music video for Brains is downright haunting. It features Hunter staring at the watcher for five minutes, flickering in and out behind television interference that thumps along with the incessant percussion. Book-ended by a normal feed of her shot from a Fisheye lens the...

Remembering Chris Cornell

...e” and “Outshined” stand out, and helped Soundgarden gain a healthy amount of radio play. In 1992, the band released a recording of a live performance at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on VHS called Motorvision . The video features 8 songs, mostly from Badmotorfinger , and truly captures the essence of the era. In 1994, Superunknown launched the band and Cornell to another level of stardom. The lead single, “Black Hole Sun,” is undoubtedly the...

Tyler, The Creator’s new album is really weird

...ke “Garden Shed (feat. Estelle),” for example – it doesn’t get much softer than that, not to mention that sweet melodic piano that gently supports Frank Ocean’s godlike vocals on “Where This Flower Blooms.” Speaking of features, Tyler brings in some of the most talented, yet most underrated, voices to handle a lot of the singing on the album that was just out of Tyler’s insanely low vocal range. Kali Uchis’, the Columbian love ballad...
Painting With cover featuring portrait of member Panda Bear, one of three such covers depicting different members.

AnCo exhibits refined palette in Painting With

...still trying to stretch themselves into new directions even as their sound becomes more singular and refined. Three tracks in particular tower over the others and may hold up as all time great AnCo songs. Opener “Floridada” features the strongest harmonies between vocalists Avey Tare and Panda Bear ever and is the album’s shining example of where hocketing can go so right as the pair interweave colorful singlets embodying dadaism as applied to...

Surfer Blood on new record, guitar heroes and Thomas Fekete’s Burner

...John Paul Pitts as he and the band were en route to a show in Tallahassee about the past, present, and future of Surfer Blood. The name “Snowdonia” seems to be a 180-degree pivot (rhetorically), including the album art which features an iceberg from past albums with tropical connotations such as 1000 Palms and Astro Coast. Can you comment on the significance of this shift? For me, the name Snowdonia is something that actually came to me in a...

Top 10: Best and Worst Hip Hop Releases 2016

...s Trap Lord and 2014’s Ferg Forever. Here, “Psycho” and “Let It Bang” are also evidence of the statement, but everything else — from horrible attempts at hip-house to an awful assortment of commercial features — reeks of failed experimentation and lacking attempts at mainstream exposure. “We could fly to Puerto Rico and fight a mosquito” (“I Love You”) MIA – AIM I really wanted MIA to be the...

Burial’s Rival Dealer Pushes Uplifting New Sounds

.../I saw something come down to us.” River Dealer‘s midway song, “Hiders,” is perhaps the most different and uplifting sounding Burial track to date. It begins with a piano ballad atop melancholy bass hums. And again, it features another vaguely romantic sample. “You are the sunrise/I will always protect you/you don’t have to be alone.” Halfway through, the song is struck by an 80s-sounding rapid fire of a drum machine, high hats, and...

The current state of Chicago Hip Hop: the youth have risen

...However, at the time, they were merely teenagers, trying to make music that spoke to their voices. A quick listen to either tape will disclose the sincerity and individualism that each portrays. Both tapes included plenty of features from Chicago artists, notably BJ the Chicago kid and hometown legend Twista, who collaborated with Vic and Chance on “Cocoa Butter Kisses.” Vic has gone on to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and make hits with the...

Review: Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2

...evalent in his last few albums. Eminem also manages to use the sample in a creative and artful way. “BerzerK” uses Billy Squier’s “The Stroke,” with a delivery as energetic as the Beastie Boys’. The track, incidentally, also features the Beastie Boys’s “The New Style” and “Fight for Your Right.” He samples The Zombies’ classic 1968 tune “Time of the Season” too, in ”Rhyme or Reason,” to tasteful, yet comical results. And Rihanna reunites with...

Jack White bites with “Lazaretto”

...ird Man Records, 2014) to higher heights than 2012’s Blunderbuss. As does Jack White’s participation in the industry’s push to bring back traditional LP production: the “Ultra” LP version of Lazaretto features a whole assortment of technical treats, including holograms and hidden tracks. “Lazaretto” opens on a thick bass line dripping with distortion, mirroring the introduction and framing White’s vocals...