My favorite R&B historically has been the stories of groveling, emotionally vulnerable men, and most if not all of East Atlanta Love Letter is 6LACK confessing that he’s not one of these cliché rappers who carry the gimmick into their everyday living; think Future if Nayvadius were actually in on the joke. I mean, 6LACK starts off “Loaded Gun,” the album’s second song, advising his current lady to make love to him like he’s going to leave her, and specifically for their neighbor, before quickly acknowledging that’s not what he really wants to do. But the point remains: he’s famous, successful, and really really rich, and those three factors have this weird tendency to muddy one’s perspective on self-control. Is their love strong enough to withstand the bullshit that inevitably comes their way? Er, sounds like an R&B album to me.Read More
With vivid detail, enthusiastic candor, and — frankly — better philosophical fluidity than most of today’s elected officials, their bars provide a genuinely sound logic for everybody: for teenagers seeking their purpose, students struggling with academia, politicians trying to make the world a better place, and parents simply hoping to connect with their children. The broad approach of their art makes the similarities clear, but make no mistake: J. Cole and Big KRIT will teach you vastly different things about yourself.Read More
By Thursday ... actually, the fact I made it to Thursday with no telephone or internet service is a feat. I'm clapping for myself in-between keystrokes right now. I mean, I had e-mails to check, pictures to post on Instagram, Twitters to lurk! I decided to skip lunch and hoard all the Internet while I could.
I felt like I'd missed so much. Trump kept Trumping, Steph kept Stephing, and three (four?) of my favorite rap artists dropped albums ON THE SAME DAY.
But oddly enough, I wasn't very pressed to hear Kendrick Lamar's project, and I didn't have very high expectations for Collegrove, either.
Nope. The only one I absolutely needed to hear is the one you've probably never heard about.Read More
I’ve been making year-end playlists for a few years now. It’s a really fun exercise. Every now and again, you’ll see a song that you downloaded in January and can’t believe that song came out in the same calendar year as a song that came out 2 weeks ago. My only general qualification for this project is that the song be on an album that came out in 2015. I picked 100 songs to start, cut that down to 40, and finished with 17 — 7 honorable mentions, and a top-10 I painstakingly ranked. Really, painstakingly. It hurt me to cut some of the songs. But, tough decisions had to be made and whatnot. So, without further ado, the honorable mentions, in no particular order:Read More
Anyways, like the masochist I am, I sought out reviews for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly the day it released. I forget what I was doing that Monday, but my day was fairly empty, so giving TPAB an initial listen straight-through was pretty easy. I caught its major themes pretty quickly, so it shocked me when everybody — literally, everybody — ran away from reviewing it. It’s too early to review because there’s so much going on, seemed to be the consensus, but it is really amazing sonically. I personally was perplexed that everyone was so perplexed. I texted my best friend, a fellow music snob, to see if she picked up where Kendrick was going, and she agreed the project was really easy to comprehend. Why were the folks who get paid to critique it so afraid to try?Read More