There once was a day when you had to go to a record store to purchase music. Someone’s actual job was to hang out in record store all day, read album credits, stock music, listen to music and talk about music with customers and co-workers. Another cool part of that job is he had the chance to hear every album first before it came out.
When a customer walked in the store with 20 dollars in his pocket and could not decide between the new OutKast record and the Bone Thugs and Harmony he would ask that cool cat at the desk.
Well I’m attempting to remain that guy. We may not be in the record store anymore and no one reads the booklet that comes with the album anymore, but I’m still here to make sure you know what the scene is looking like out there.
Here are the notable albums released between 3/11/14 and 3/18/14
Young Money – Rise of an Empire 3/11/14
Young Money/Cash Money family is back to make a statement. Led by Lil’ Wayne I was impressed by a majority of the project. I’ve been disappointed by recent releases by Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj and worried that their better years were behind them. This project is packed with gems from Drake, Lil Twist, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Tyga, Jae Millz, Birdman, Euro and the whole family. Oh how hard it is to put together a good computation album that features so many different artists from different backgrounds. Sounds like Lil’ Wayne had the recipe. A great sampler of the team and preview of what we can expect. A good album from start to finish.
Score – 8 of 10
YG – My Krazy Life 3/18/14
Now don’t judge this guy off his hit singles. It’s his debut full length album so I understand all you have to go off is his radio singles like “Toot and Boot It” and current single “My Hittas”. Forget you’ve heard those songs and believe me when I say his album is a complete display of talent and an ode to the west coast gangsta rap. Album includes a rendition of Dogg Pound’s “Lets Play House” visual story telling songs and production that becomes progressively better as the album moves forward. Guest vocals from TY Dollar $, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Young Jezzy, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, ScHoolboy Q and more.
Score – 9 of 10
Aloe Blacc – Lift Your Sprit 3/11/14
The most commercially successful album of his career. He has already scored two top 10 singles and a great first day of sales and downloads. Aloe Blacc is not a new face uncase you’ve been sleeping. This old soul has been releasing album after album and feels good to see him achieving this kind of notoriety at this point in his career. The album exceeds expectation. His soulful Blues/r&b/ folky sound has been teleported from the 60s and remixed to fit our modern times. My only beef with this album is that the album starts off with the pop attempts. The better portion of the album is in the middle. Over all it’s a winner and I do recommend this album.
Score – 9 of 10
Clyde Carson – Playboy – 3/4/14
It’s off to the bay area to engage in some classic north west coast production and lyrical content that doesn’t stray to far away pimping lifestyle. Clyde has a laid back lazy flow over old 70s soul samples and 90s west coast mob music drums and synths. It’s a classic 90s bay area sound that fans of that era will enjoy rattling the trunk of the Cadillac. It’s an easy listen but nothing stands out as unique or great but it rides like his core fan base expects.
Score – 6.5 of 10
Ghetts – Rebel With A Cause 3/9/14
One Of UKs most anticipated rappers, releases his debut studio album after several mixtapes. Yes he has a strong English accent but please don’t let that discourage you from this great album. The production can be described but nothing ridiculous. His delivery is aggressive and violent and his lyrical content is angry and passionate. The album is complete and satisfying.
Score – 8.5 of 10
Ledisi – The Truth 3/11/14
Fun Fact: her name means “to bring forth” in Yoruba, a language spoken in West Africa. With her third LP the jazzy r&b singer gives fans her consistent brand of music. In my opinion she’s an incredibly average artist that sings over dated 90’s production and nothing pop out. The album has its positive moments but it’s not on my list of recommends. Her fan base has kept her alive this long so I know there is an audience out there that has anticipated this album but I can’t lie about my feelings of boredom when it comes to this album.
Score – 5 of 10
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata 3/18/14
Freddie Gibbs has continued to stay consistent with his features and guest appearances throughout the world of hip-hop; his ESGN album released last summer and constant touring. His gritty, deep strong delivery is a match for Madlib’s sample heavy beats and all I can do is solute. It’s the perfect balance of gritty, jazzy production and flawless execution. Guest appearances include Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future, Scarface, Danny Brown, Raekwon, Mac Miller and more.
Score – 7 of 10
Marsha Ambrosius – Fvck & Love EP 3/8/14
Another English artist and former lead vocalist of the group Floetry. Her voice is unmatched, her range is inhuman and it’s a shame UK hides this much soul in their back yard. I have no idea why she isn’t a bigger star in the USA. This is only a 6 song EP released for free download but words cannot express how much of an R&B/Soul masterpiece this is. This EP is an experience and I encourage all R&B fans to download this free EP if you are not already hip.
Score – 9 of 10
Black Milk – Glitches in The Break (EP)
A real hip hopper that Detroit based independent MC is! His latest project features 9 sample heavy tracks that focus on lyrics instead of hooks and a classic hip-hop sound that he has wallowed in well in his career. There is not much I can find to say other than it’s a stand out project and the beautiful thing about being independent is you don’t have to impress the radio or the club. He just does whatever he wants to the mic. His 2013 album was a good album, this one is mostly space filler and experimental sounds.
Score – 6 of 10
To be continued…Google+