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
Originally recorded April 21, project curator Larry J. Sanders welcomes Melvin Washington to discuss the new J. Cole album (4:40), Cole as social media punchline (6:30), whether fame and authenticity can mesh (16:40), standom and its effect on art (20:45), the Starbucks controversy (25:55), and how to keep systemic issues in the national conversation in 2018 (30:00).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