Travis Scott – Sicko Mode (Skrillex Remix) Review


Skrillex just guaranteed that “Sicko Mode” will be played at every club, festival and party.

Not too long ago, he remixed Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and transformed it into heavy rotation-track.  The remix feels more like 4 edits on the drums with a remixed middle part that has more of the Skrillex-sound we know. It feels very minimal and that works in this track’s favour because it will guarantee more plays in the clubs for its lack of experimentation. The best part has to be the Jersey Club section that comes in at 4:25.

The Jersey Club section has me wondering if we’re going to hear some Jersey Club collaborations with Skrillex. It would be a smart move and hopefully, he has something in the works with DJ Sliink or even some other producers from the Club community. Skrillex is definitely smart and obviously will benefit from riding this wave, but it feels much more like one of those shout-outs to the culture of Club sound.

The placement of the Club section of Sicko Mode is placed at the end; ensuring that it got the last attention of the listener. Overall, this track was already good and we all have been playing this song multiple times. Thankfully, you can now add to your party playlist an even more uptempo remix. This song will do well with those people who like to dabble in EDM (there’s a difference) and those who like the Heavy Bass, Jungle Terror, Jersey Club and Dubstep elements.

If you haven’t heard the “Humble” remix yet, well you need to. Skrillex has much success with his Rap remixes, and we saw how successful “Wild for the Night” with A$AP Rocky was, So we can only expect even more of this style to come out.

///Victor M.

Lil Wayne adds to his legacy with Tha Carter V


 One of the greatest rappers of our generation, Dwayne Carter, has given us plenty of classic songs, albums and mixtapes. His new album “The Carter V” adds to his legacy. 

The Grammy Award rapper who has been called, “The Greatest Rapper Alive”, now has another number one album on the charts. This isn’t anything new for the legendary spitter who gave us hit like “No Ceilings”, “Carter II”, “Carter III” and “Da Drought 3” to name a few, but some thought the rapper wasn’t capable of delivering good music anymore. 

As a long time Lil Wayne fan, I thought that his good music was behind him. In my opinion, it has been a bad year for older rappers like Nas, Eminem, Kanye and Jay-Z who all gave us mediocre albums.

Carter V isn’t a classic album in my eyes but it is still pretty good and the best rap album of the year in my opinion. I think this album was just as good as J. Cole’s KOD, Nipsey Hustle’s Victory Lap and better than Drake’s Scorpion. 

Lil Wayne doesn’t even write his music, he is basically memorizing his freestyles which is even more impressive when you listen to this album.  This album was packed with 23 songs and features from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg to name a few. 

I think the best song on the album is “Mona Lisa” and features the great Kendrick Lamar. The two Hip-Hop icons do notdisappoint on that track. Kendrick might have stole the show with his verse on that song but Wayne was impressive as well. 

There are plenty of other good songs on this album like “Uproar”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, ‘Let it Fly”, “Hittas” and “Let it all Work Out.” There are gems throughout the album, so if you haven’t listened to it yet, I suggest you do. 

Reason Impresses on Debut Album “There You Have It”


On a September 29, Top Dawg Entertainment’s Reason dropped his debut album “There You Have It” and it did not disappoint.

The Del Amo native showed impressive lyrics on and displayed that he has what it takes to be the next big thing in hip hop. Reason tweeted in regards to the album saying, “This is not a TDE production project, this is a project that Top discovered me off of that he felt was so good, he did not want to rob you guys of this experience of hearing it. Remixed and Remastered, There You Have It.”

Top Dawg Entertainment is the biggest label on the West Coast with Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and SZA to name a few. In my opinion, adding Reason just makes the roster a bit deeper. 

The album is unique because it gives you a West Coast vibe that you can hear it in the beats and his flow. A lot of rap albums (especially mumble rap) nowadays are starting to sound the same and have little substance. This album talks about all kinds of different topics like relationships, encounters with gang bangers, murder and much more.

This isn’t pop rap or mumble, this is music that will last and that you can connect to. The best songs on “There You Have It” in my opinion are “Kurupt”, “Drive Slow/Taste Like Heaven”, “Situations” and “Summer Up”. 

If you have yet to listen to this lyricist, you need to give him a listen because this is classic rap music flowing over cool beats, storytelling and spitting bars. Jump on the bandwagon now before he blows up. 

The Weeknd: My Dear Melancholy,


The Weeknd just dropped his latest musical project titled My Dear Melancholy, which comes out just in time for his headlining performance at Coachella weekend. The EP’s title shows a possible message towards Tesfaye’s former lover Selena Gomez, with whom Tesfaye had a tumultuous relationship. There are many points being made that the title of songs, the lyrics, and the timing of the release refer to Selena Gomez.

This latest release shows a change from the more pop-centric sounds that we are known to hear from The Weeknd, yet keeps the style seen on Starboy. The sound, in general, keeps a darker R & B sound while keeping a similar style to the Daft Punk produced tracks.

The opening song Call Out My Name sets the tone with lyrics such as “I helped you out of a broken place,” which is possibly a reference to former girlfriend Gomez dealing with a breakup and dealing with Lupus. Then goes on to say “Falling for you was my mistake” which reflects the hurt that The Weeknd felt. The song is currently number 4 on the Billboards top 100.

Tracks like Hurt You have a similar sound to Starboys’ I Feel It Coming and it makes sense. Gessalfelstein and Daft Punk are often collaborators in music, we noticed this in the production credits for YEEZUS album. The sound seems like a transition from The latest album and Tesfaye’s first mixtape.

Every track from the EP is charting on the Billboard top 100 and there is no doubt as to why. Every song delivers a hit with a range of emotions such as regret, anger, sadness, and acceptance.  The production speaks as much as Tesfaye’s words and the credits on this EP include Mike Will Made it, Skrillex, Guy Manuel (Daft Punk), Nicolas Jaar, Frank Dukes, and Gesalfellstein.

 

///BIGTAPATIO

Majid Jordan : The Space Between [Album Review]


Majid_jordan_the_space_between

Majid Jordan is one of the rising acts from Octobers Very Own music label. The label is headed by Drake, Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib. The roster includes such names as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Roy Woods. The roster is full of heavy hitters who specialized mostly in Hip-Hop and RnB. Majid Jordan is compromised of Majid Al-Maskati and Jordan Ullman. The duo was known for their atmospheric and darker tones of RnB. The basslines and smooth vocals usually float really well and have given Majid Jordan a unique sound.

Their sophomore album The Space Between features a more pop and spatial sound than their previous releases. The album features mostly productions by Jordan Ullman with a track featuring in-house producer nineteen85 but also features PARTYNEXTDOOR and DVSN. The sound is very spacious with deep percussions and smooth basslines.

Tracks like “Gave your love away” was featured on OVO’s radio station previous to the release and it was a much-needed hype to the album release. The smooth melodic vocals, deep rhythms, and smooth sounds make this a standout on the album. Then you have songs like “Body Talk” that features a Dembow percussive rhythm heard in reggeaton or dancehall. The song itself creates a slow and intimate vibe that increases pace as the song progresses. The perfect song for a slow dance with a lover. There is no doubt that “One I Want” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR is the single that will be a commercial success. The song features a slow bounce synth and soft bass kicks; then you have PARTYNEXTDOOR singing the chorus and opening verse. Majid eventually compliments the first verse with his and amplifies the song with his ability to hit high notes. A clear love song that has everything for a pop RnB song.

Support from label mate DVSN on “My Imagination” give a simplified and yet complex song of spatial synths and bouncy percussions that compliment the singers’ smooth vocals throughout the song. Overall the album is an evolution of Majid Jordans’ sound and shows some growth. The lack of features from labelmates suggests that Majid Jordan is ready to make their own way out of the shadows of Drake and Noah Shebib. They create their own unique sound that complimentary reflects OVO’s sad boy RnB sound.  There is much growth in their latest project, but could their sound maintain this continuous evolution that reflects spatial sound and lyrics that reflect introverted thoughts? The album is not a party anthem album; it’s not even really a single loaded album. It’s an album with a theme that correlates to each continuous track that could stand alone on its own accord, but you wouldn’t want to do that. You want to start from beginning to end and go through this journey of emotions, thoughts, and reflections that are present throughout the album.

 

 

///Victor

Young Thug: Young Martha [EP Review]


carnage-young-thug-1-800x600Young thug and EDM DJ Carnage deliver not just another banger collaborative track, but a whole EP titled Young Martha. The EP has some really standout tracks. The EP is titled after Martha Stewart, who is respected amongst many rappers and those in the Hip-Hop community because Martha Stewart made millions and even did jail time. The first track features Meek Mills and delivers a nice flow and an original sound to Rap music. You even get alternate vocal tone shifts by Young Thug himself. Songs like Liger has more of a traditional party track sound by Thugger, but what makes it an interesting song is the mention of buying a Liger, a much rarer animal than even Tigers. This is a reference to his style and rap skills being unique and one of a kind. Then you close up with a club-friendly, EDM track titled Don’t Call Me and it has a bass house vibe. The EP is well constructed with party anthems for the House Party and even the club. It’s a must download/stream
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The direction Carnage has taken as a producer has gone more of a Hip Hop-friendly EDM sound which has helped to close the gap between contemporary pop rap and EDM. This sound is heavily prevalent in the percussion and synths with this EP. We can expect to hear more of Carnage collaborating with many rap artists because it has become clear its a winning formula. This formula is often most popularized by major EDM producers like Diplo and Brodinski. The former having worked with everyone from M.I.A. to Travis Scott, while Brodinski brought that Atlanta Trap and Techno EDM fusion with such rappers as 21 savage and has pushed the barrier of the sound.

Young Thug is pushed lyrically and presents a picture of growth and reflection with mentions of growing up due to his parental responsibilities as a teen. Mentions of surrounding himself with “Homies” who have his back in not just physical confrontations, but with regards to snitchin’, financially, and supportively.

This whole collaboration between Carnage and Young Thug came forth because of a year old track called Don’t Call Me featured on Carnage’s Soundcloud account and culminated with this EP. This EP is stylized after a similar project of Young Thugs to create a trilogy of releases that culminate with an album. So we can anticipate much more from the two pushing the pop rap and EDM scenes into a head-on collision; Which shall push the boundaries of the two respective music cultures. Young Martha barely scratches the surface of what we can expect to hear from both collaborators.

The first single released for the EP is Homie which showcases a visual illusion that rolls through an infinite series of ceiling and floor with no real distinguished ceiling. The video is ultimately weird but reflects the eeriness of the music itself by the two collaborators.

Tremaine Album Review


For this heavily anticipated new album Trey Songz comes back with a pretty solid album named Tremaine. Tremaine is an album Trey Songz wanted to show the listeners that he is still one of the best if not the best R&B artist in the game today. Trey Songz expressed in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he named his first track on his album named Playboy because of his current situation with women. He explained that being at the stature that he is in he feels that he can not trust a woman with his heart because, there is always more calling and does not fill the urge to be committed in one relationship.  The interview with the Breakfast Club he discussed his issues with Nicki Minaj and simply put he felt that it was weak on Nicki’s part to get at him for no reason over the allegations claimed in the Shether song. Once the interview was over the anticipation of this album has gone up. There are 15 total songs on this album. I will review the once that are highly recommended to check out and listen to on rotation.

#2 song- Come Over: This song is one of the best songs on this album that brings fans right in to show exactly why Trey Songz is one of the best in his group. A must download with great vibes, hooks, and chorus throughout the whole track.

#5 song- Playboy: A song with context and understanding where Trey Songz is coming from I feel that this song is a great song to listen to in certain moods. I enjoyed the sound the message of the song and Trey Songz delivered well on this track.

#6 song The Sheets…..Still: To me this best song on the album, with how great he switched up his flow and how smooth his voice changed talking about the experience with the woman in the song definitely makes this a favorite song on the album to me.

#10 song 1×1: This song instantly is a summer vibe song that could be a great radio song to play. Nice vibes and high upbeat rhythm to this track makes you want to vibe. Highly recommended song for those looking for a summer jam.

#12 song: What Are We Here For?: One of my favorite songs on the album that is an instant radio play. With the beat and rhythm this is a quality track that will be played a lot more in the summer.

Review Score: 7/10 Very solid album that will be played from time to time.

-DjLeodawnus

Joey Bada$$- All Amerikkkan Review


The heavily touted single Land of the Free from Brooklyn’s own Joey Bada$$ made the anticipation of his All Amerikkan album sky rocket in expectations. Coming to towards this album I knew that Joey Bada$$ is on of the most lyricist rappers in the game today. My expectations for this album before listening to it, was that it was going to have a political standpoint of how Joey sees the world within his eyes. Once listening to it couple times that is something was accomplished. With features of TDE’s own ScHoolboyQ, Styles P, J. Cole, Flatbush Zombie’s own Meechy Darko, Nyck Caution, Kirk Night, and Chronixx. I had an idea of what type of sound that Joey Bada$$ kinda like old school melodic deep lyrical type music. The songs that i really enjoyed and recommend on this album.

Land of the Free: A song that has a Biggie sample that I felt he used very well in what he feels the status of being a black person with a voice in society.

Rockabye Baby: My favorite song on the album that has a great sound rhythms and lyrics. ScHoolboy Q came in hard and had a great feature on this album that makes this song come together to be one of the best songs on the album.

Y U Don’t Love Me?: Most interesting and very insightful track from Joey. He puts this song as a message of being in a relationship with the country he lives in. Very good insightful track.

Legendary: With having J. Cole on this song he fits very will with the sound and hook. Both J. Cole and Joey Bada$$ fit very well together and just feel good music that has a very good message in it.

Devastated: To me has the best rhythm sound that has a very good radio value. Joey made on of the best beat on this song that is instantly catchy and has a lot of replay value.

Temptations: A song with a heavy message that comes with a very good up tempo beat. Having insight of the media is hurting the cause and it was a plot to have all this outrage to push certain agendas.

Rating: 8/10 Very good album has a lot of replay value.

-DJLeodawnus

Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2016


2016…what a year for music, what a year for Hip Hop. Last year writing this blog, I had trouble finiding 10 albums that I really enjoyed. This year I found myself having trouble narrowing it down to just 13 albums (13 albums because they are three ties). If you are a Hip Hop junkie like myself, you were smiling from ear to ear with your headphones in most of the year. This year brought listeners so much variety in Hip Hop. We saw veteran artists eveolve and change up their styles to create music we have never previously heard from them. We saw up and coming artists drop albums that put them on the industry’s map. We saw music touch on the social issues, feministic views and even the presidential election. From Kendrick Lamar to YG to Mac Miller to Isaiah Rashard and more, here are my rankings for the 10 best hip hop albums of 2016, and some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list.

Honorable Mentions:

 

“Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino

Image result for awaken my love childish gambino In a year that seemed like everyone was trying a new style, Gambino continued the trend and brought a Disco type style to his latest album. It’s worth checking out.

 

 

 

Kairi Chanel by Dave East

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Dave East really burst onto the underground scene this year. Coming out of Harlem, East has an east coast style similar to A$AP Rocky and Jim Jones but with his own twist. Keep an eye out for his name to blow up in the up and coming years.

 

 

 

Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown

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Danny Brown is sort of an acquired taste. It’s like a hybrid of trap music and early old school hip hop. I enjoyed the album nonetheless. Check out the song “Really Doe” that features Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, & Earl Sweatshirt.

 

 

 

Prima Donna by Vince Staples

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Vince Staples followed last year’s freshmen album with an EP this summer. I liked a handful of songs including “Smile” and “Loco” just to name a few. Solid project.

 

 

 

 

The Letter O by Dame D.O.L.L.A.

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Dame D.O.L.L.A., also known as Damian Lillard when he is working his other job, dropped an album this October before the NBA season began. For a professional athlete, it’s a good first album. Looks like Lillard is a man of many talents.

 

 

 

Cozy Tapes, Vol 1: Friends by A$AP Mob

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A solid album that features all the members of the A$AP Mob. A$AP Yams, who passed away during the creation of the album, was the one who had the idea for the album. There’s a couple songs on the album that really slap, so be sure to turn the bass down so you don’t blow out your stock speakers.

 

 

 

1992 by The Game

Image result for 1992 the gameThe Game has been a busy man dropping 4 projects and a documentary on A&E in the past year. The Game samples plenty of old school rap beats while telling his life story during the year 1992, hence the title.

 

 

 

 

Now onto the Albums that made the cut…

10. Life of Pablo by Kanye West

Image result for the life of pabloKanye West dropped one of the bigger albums of the beginning of the year on Valentine’s Day in February. For me, I will always be a bigger fan of early Kanye albums such as College Dropout and Late Registration but I was pretty pleased with this album. I liked it a lot better than his previous album, Yeezus. Kanye had plenty of great features on the album as well such as Chicago native Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Frank Ocean and more. The ‘Pablo’ Kanye is referring to in his album’s title is a combination of Pablo Picasso and Pablo Escobar, a mix of artistic masterpiece and the movement of product (his album) Kanye says. Recommended Tracks: “Real Friends”, “Famous”, “No More Parties in LA”, and “Ultralight Beam.”

9. Untitled Unmastered by Kendrick Lamar/ Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight by Travis Scott

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Our first tie. It was hard to choose between the two but I wanted both of these on the final list. Kendrick Lamar surprised fans by dropping Untitled Unmastered roughly a year after the release of To Pimp a Butterfly. Just like TPAB, Kendrick continues his jazzy, funk influenced hip hop style as he stated most of the songs on this album were unfinished demos that did not make the cut for TPAB. Recommended Tracks: “Untitled 08”, “Untitled 03”, and “Untitled 06.” I have never been a huge fan of Travis Scott and his previous projects but his most recent album changed my opinon on him. I could not even finish listening to his previous album, Rodeo, all the way through. But Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was a really good album. This album was on constant repeat in my headphones during the month of September. Travis had a lot of good features on the album too like Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, The Weekend, Kid Cudi and more. I highly recommend you take a listen. Recommended Tracks: “goosebumps”, “wonderful”, “sweet sweet”, and “through the late night.”

8. Thirst 48, Pt. II by Boogie/ The Divine Feminine by Mac Miller

Image result for thirst 48 pt 2Image result for the divine feminine mac miller                                      Another tie as you must tell by now im not the most decisive blogger. But if you have not heard of Boogie yet, your are missing out. Another Compton rapper, whose young and has the potential to blow up in his own way, similar to YG, The Game, Problem and others from the city. In his mixtape, Boogie touches on plenty of current social issues that are prevelant in conversations around the country today. Keep an eye out for the up an coming rapper to blow up in the next couple of years. Recommended Tracks: “N**a Needs”, “Won’t be the Same”, “Two Days”, and “Slide on U.” Just like Travis Scott, I have never been the biggest fan of Mac Miller and his previous albums, but Mac incorporated a whole new style with this album. Slow jazzy beats with a gospel-rap type style similar to Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book but with more romantic lyrics, hence the title. I have to give credit to KSSU for bringing this album to me as I was the DJ at the station in charge of writing a review for the album. I probably would not have thought to listen to this album on my own because of my previous disinterest with Mac Miller’s earlier music. Good production, clever style, and strong features such as Kendrick Lamar, Arianna Grande , Anderson Paak and CeeLo Green. Definitely an album worth buying. Recommended Tracks: “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty”, “My Favorite Part”, “Dang” and “Stay.”

7. Bobby Tarantino by Logic

Image result for bobby tarantino album cover After dropping The Incredible True Story last fall, Logic dropped a mixtape during the summer of 2016, a surprise meant for his true fans he said on social media. With his freshmen and sophmore albums, Logic has climbed up the ranks as one of the best lyricists in the hip hop industry. Logic has announced he is already working on his next album and this mixtape was just a “filler” for his fans to pass the time while the wait. Despite this being only a mixtape, it was still one of the better projects of 2016. I enjoyed the “A Word from our Sponsor” skit, a continuation of the ongoing skits with Marty Randolph. This mixtape was a solid listen for Logic fans like myself as we await Logic’s junior album. Recommended Tracks: “Deeper Than Money”, “Super Mario World”, and “Flexicution.”

6. Still Brazy by YG

Image result for still brazyThe third Compton rapper to make this year’s list is YG with his album Still Brazy. This was one of the bigger albums of the year as far as the media coverage it got in part to the subject of YG’s songs on the album and the relevance it had in society, the presidential election and more. “FDT”, a song bashing candidate Donald Trump, seemed to be the anthem of the summer for most Hip Hop fans. The rest of YG’s album is beautifully constructed with a combination of beats that range from  modern to old school gangsta rap. For an artist who is typically considered underground and does not receive much radio play, this album was a breakthrough for YG to the mainstream airwaves. If you are fan of gangsta rap, I highly recommend this album. Recommended Tracks: “FDT”, “She Wish She Was”, “Don’t Come to LA”, and “Still Brazy.”

5. The Sun’s Tirade by Isaiah Rashad

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As I mentioned earlier in the blog, there was a couple artists this year that really burst on to the scene. Isaiah Rashad was one of them. As a member of TDE, Isaiah sort of gets overshadowed by the other artists who are signed the the label. But with this album, Isaiah makes a strong case that his name belongs amongst the other TDE heavyweights. Coming from Tennessee, Isaiah Rashad bring his own southern, jazzy rap style in this album. He has a few members of TDE featured on the album such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and non TDE artists like SiR and Zacari. A strong freshmen album by Isaiah and I expect nothing less from him in the upcoming future. I luckliy have the chance to see him perform live when he comes to Sacramento on his tour in March, so I will be counting down the days to that. Recommended Track: “T**y and Dolla”, “Wat’s Wrong”, “Free Lunch”, and “Stuck in the Mud.”

4. 4 Your Eyez Only by J Cole

Image result for 4 your eyez only album coverVery late into the year, J Cole decides to bless us with another album, the first since 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Cole was clever too and dropped it on the same date, December 9th, as the day he dropped 2014 FHD. This album and another actually delayed my process in finishing this blog as I had to listen to this a couple times through before I could properly critique it. A lot of fans on social media are quick to say they did not like the album and some even go as far to say that they hated it. I completely disagree. Sure, it might not be as strong of an album as 2014 FHD, but this is still a top 5 album of the year nonetheless. The storytelling J Cole displays in this album is truly amazing. Listen to the lyrics, especially the final track on the song “4 Your Eyez Only” and you will be blown away. I’m a little dissapointed that his single “False Prophets” did not make the final tracklist but it still is a great album that did not quite crack the top 3 on my list. Recommended Tracks: “4 Your Eyez Only”, “Deja Vu”, “Ville Mentality”,  and “Neighbors.”

3. Blank Face LP by ScHoolboy Q/ We Got it from here…Thank You for your Service by A Tribe Called Quest

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Image result for we got it from here thank you for your service album cover

 

Another tie but its the last one I promise. Lets first start with ScHoolboy’s album, Blank Face LP. Want to know what its like growing up in South Central LA 21st century? Look no further than this album. His first studio album since Oxymoron, which dropped in the spring of 2014, ScHoolboy had fans waiting a long time for this one. Q wanted to show he’s capable of doing it on his own amongst the TDE heavyweights and did so successfully as he did not have a single Black Hippy member featured on the album. He still had a handful of big features including E-40, Vince Staples, Kanye West, Tha Dogg Pound, and Jadakiss to name a few. ScHoolboy Q also had a three part short film he released weeks before his album that were beautifully produced and acted as teasers to some of his album’s songs. Overall, one of my favorite albums of all time. Recommended Tracks: “Dope Dealer”, “Big Body”, “By Any Means”, and “John Muir.” Next album, I have to start off by saying RIP Phife Dawg who passed away earlier this year in March during the production of ATCQ’s album. You can’t find a better farewell album this year, and arguably one of the best of all time from a music group. Listening to this album will take you back to the 90’s and to one of the prime eras for Hip Hop music. They even had features like Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, and Talib Kweli, guys who started their careers during that era. But they also included young rappers of the new school era with guys like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Anderson Paak to give the album a solid mix of both. The albm was too good to not put in my top 3, thus the explanation for the tie. Recommended Tracks: “Conrad Tokyo”, “The Space Program”, “The Donald”, and “Black Spasmodic.”

2. Do What Thou Wilt by Ab-Soul

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In my opinion and the opinion’s of a couple others in my circle of friends, Ab-Soul won December 9th over J Cole. Still have not heard word if Ab-Soul released his album on the same day to make a statement, but in the heavyweight battle Soul being the underdog, I have to give Soul the belt. Ab-Soul is one of the most clever when it comes to play on words in his rhymes but this album took a little different twist that Ab-Soul’s past albums. Feminism was the main topic of a lot of his songs, which isn’t necesarily the case when it comes to the current Hip Hop industry. Ab-Soul said in an interview the weekend after his album dropped that “we have to respect the ladies more” which is something I can definitely stand behind. Dark but enlightening, is the best way to describe Soul’s style and he continues that with this album. Recommended Tracks: “Threatening Nature, “Beat the Case”, “The Law”, & “Huey Knew THEN”.

1. Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper

Image result for coloring book chance the rapperDrum roll please….and the best Hip Hop album of 2016 goes to Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper. I could go on and on about how great this album was but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. As I mentioned earlier, in  year where artists came with different styles, no style changed up more than Chance the Rapper’s. Chance has grown and evolved into one of the top tier rappers in the industry and this album solidified his spot even higher on the list. The album can be similar to gospel rap as Chance talks about how he found god in his life and evolved as a person from it. Listen to Acid Rap, one of his early mixtapes, and then listen to this album. You will be surprised to know that is the same Chance the Rapper on both albums. The proudction, that artwork, the lyrics, the meanings of his song, everything about this album was great. I was fortunate enough to see Chance in concert on his tour this fall when he performed at UC Davis. My favorite album of the year and will be one of my favorite of all time. Recommended Tracks: “No Problem”, “Angels”, “All We Got” and “Smoke Break.”

Weekly Staff Picks #1


kssu staff pick

Welcome to KSSU’s inaugural weekly staff picks! This is where our DJs pick their current favorite song and artist from recently released music. We will feature 5-6 songs that are currently on our radar. Stay tuned every week to see what we pick, maybe your favorite track will be selected.

 

Staff Pick 1: Lucy Morales

Boss Selection – Wouldn’t it be wild, Volume 1

Boss Selection is the moniker for the seasoned world wide producer Sunny Levine. With Quincy Jones as his grandfather, he certainly is no stranger to living up to large expectations. Under Boss Selection, he has produced a mixtape inspired album with 12 different artists successfully using crowdfunding for all the costs. My personal favorite from the album is “wouldn’t it be wild” featuring Orelia. It’s an unboastful chillwave like track that becomes infectious without even being conscious about it. It’s the best kind of song to pop into your car to relax after a long day.

 

Staff Pick 2: Jerel Labson

Kanye West – Ultralight Beam, The Life of Pablo

Of course this has to be somewhere on the first KSSU’s Picks Of the Week! Hearing this first track play at the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show really set the bar and got me ready to hear the rest of TLOP. The instrumental is beautiful. The occasional drums also really get me going. Having The Dream, Kelly Price, and the choir literally taking us to church was amazing to hear. Chance the Rapper’s verse was possibly the BEST verse on the album as well. Donnie Trumpet backing the second half His flow and biblical references (“Got my ex looking back like a pillar of salt”), just DOPE. I could go on, but I have no more words. Just listen to it. One more note… Can I consider this as a Christian song??

 

Staff Pick 3: Cole Nelson

Stone Sour – Love Gun, Meanwhile in Burbank

My song of the week comes from the album Meanwhile in Burbank… by Stone Sour. Released in April of 2015, this album features hard rock covers of classic rock and metal artists. My favorite out of the album is their rendition of KISS’ classic song, “Love Gun.” Stone Sour’s version features heavy use of a grunge sounding guitar along with a strong drum line while still retaining that classic rock/disco vibe that KISS is known for. “Love Gun” is one of the better covers of a song I’ve heard recently and recommend it to those who like the original tune with a bit of a kick to it.

 

Staff Pick 4: Angelina Rios

Bomba Esteré – Soy Yo, Amacer

Bomba Esteréo is a Colombian band that formed in 2005. With the recent release of their new album Amacer, the track Soy Yo is nothing short of excellent. With a catchy beat, its traditional Colombian instruments have a contagious effect and it’s hard to resist dancing in your chair. This track represents respecting and accepting one another for who they are. While the band does not wish to conform to one genre of music, they can best be described as having an electro base with Cumbia and dance elements as well.

 

Staff Pick 5: Anne Thorp

Daughter – New Ways, Not To Disappear

Daughter is the name of a three-person, London-based indie rock group, together since 2010. Their EP ‘Not To Disappear’ came out in 2014, and this March they start an already mostly sold-out North American tour in major cities across the U.S. and Canada. New Ways is the first track of the EP, and soundly embodies all that is good about the entire album. It’s moody, the vocals ethereal, with an edge of grit in the guitars and drums that speaks of the kind of disjointed, worn cynicism modern life frequently brings. It reminds us, as singer Elena recites, that sometimes we all feel we need new ways.  

 

Staff Pick 6: Claudia Rivas

Charlie Hilton – 100 Million, Palana

Charlie Hilton, lead singer for Blouse,  released her debut solo album Palana on January 22 via Captured Tracks. The album was produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait. The album includes “100 Million”, which I’ve been playing on repeat for much of this week. The track was produced by, the band Woods’, Jarvis Taveniere. The song features vocals and music by Mac DeMarco. The track sounds folk-like, similar songs by Beach House and She & Him. Hilton’s vocals are much like Zooey Deschanel in this song, light and dreamy. Lots of simple guitar chords and settle drum background occur as well. Reminds me of a tune that would play at a modern Woodstock, hippie festival. It’s a song that will keep most fans of this type of music in a good mood.