Kali Uchis trades in her pastels for watercolor on Isolation – Review

Settling should be a deal breaker for debut albums. For Kali Uchis and Isolation, her go-getter mentality manifests itself in the realization on her second track, “Miami”: “Why would I be Kim? I can be Kanye”. Released on April 6, Uchis’ debut album cements her musical existence as the focal point, even when her focus gets interrupted by breezy dreams and pesky emotions. For her … Continue reading Kali Uchis trades in her pastels for watercolor on Isolation – Review

Weekend Spins 3/17/18

Weekend Spins is back with another quick rundown of Friday’s notables. From a birthday celebration to a salute to a city tested by flood waters, TripleOT has the hook up for your music needs. Chuck Strangers – Consumers Park Don’t let the eerily dark intro to Consumers Park paint your only picture of Chuck Strangers. Reminiscent of the pitched-down vocals from Bastard-era Tyler, the Creator … Continue reading Weekend Spins 3/17/18

August Greene Unearth the Roses from the Concrete – Review

If Kendrick Lamar is this generation’s refreshing kale-berry smoothie, then August Greene is its deep-roasted coffee. Augmented by a certain maturity that no artificial sweetener could replicate, the supergroup formed by Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper is continuing the story freshly laid by 2015s To Pimp A Butterfly. That’s not to say August Greene is late to the race called black expression – quite … Continue reading August Greene Unearth the Roses from the Concrete – Review

Weekend Spins 3/9/2018

Well overdue for another installment of Weekend Spins, let’s celebrate losing an hour of sleep this Sunday with a quick rundown of tapes you need to hear, and cuts you should avoid. Time is money! Polyester The Saint – American Muscle 5.0 As early as the second track of Polyester’s latest tape, he’s busy hunting for, “Where the party at?” Channeling the fervent spirit of … Continue reading Weekend Spins 3/9/2018

Maxo Kream Punken Album art

Maxo Kream re-inspires realness on debut album Punken – Review

Rap’s infatuation with realness is insurmountable. An indelible part of the culture, there’s a lengthy list of young prospects and veteran artists that fell victim to its elusive pursuit. That same authenticity, is often exaggerated for commercial success – look no further than 21 Savage, whose sinister persona fuels track after track of trapping out of ‘bandos and navigating deathly corridors in a similar fashion … Continue reading Maxo Kream re-inspires realness on debut album Punken – Review

EarthGang’s Royalty EP is rich in body and soul – Review

In contrast to the album art loaded with references to material wealth, EarthGang’s 2018 EP, Royalty, is filled with bars and sounds that tip-toe near the edges of personal spirituality. Released February 23, the Dreamville cohort’s tape is their third since 2017, standing in stark contrast to last year’s Rags. Where Rags began with Johnny Venus rapping “Looking for peace in America/ Looking for peace when … Continue reading EarthGang’s Royalty EP is rich in body and soul – Review

Snoop Dogg’s surprise 220 EP is a throwback to G-Funk and more

In place of the gospel album that never materialized at the Super Bowl, Snoop Dogg returns in 2018 with 220, a surprise EP released February 20, 2018. Over the eight-track spread, Snoop does his best impression of a chameleon, interspersing styles suited for his contemporaries in between throwback g-funk cuts. Channeling his inner Curren$y, Snoop, aka, “your favorite rapper’s rapper” cruises in on a bassy, … Continue reading Snoop Dogg’s surprise 220 EP is a throwback to G-Funk and more

Ravyn Lenae’s Crush EP is a beautiful, Steve Lacy produced duet – Review

When an artist chooses to work with a sole producer for a project, there are two possible outcomes. Either the project sounds phoned in, lacking the symbiosis that should accompany an exclusive two-person team. Or, it’s the perfect conversation, a back and forth between creators sharing the same vision. For Ravyn Lenae’s 2018 EP Crush, her union with Compton producer Steve Lacy is much the … Continue reading Ravyn Lenae’s Crush EP is a beautiful, Steve Lacy produced duet – Review

Noetic builds his style on debut tape, Split Decision

If you bottled up Smino’s energy, Mac Miller’s laid-back swagger and the smooth rhythms of Kaytranada, you’d only scratch the surface of what Noetic has to offer. Named for a word of the day from 2012, Noetic released his debut mixtape, Split Decision on December 15. Featuring up-and-comers like Schama Noel and Sierra Sellers, Noetic also pairs with Midwest talents Lili K, Jean Deaux and … Continue reading Noetic builds his style on debut tape, Split Decision

Da Flyy Hooligan pairs with producer Agor for S.C.U.M

Hip-hop was built on the shoulders of giants. The first rappers rhymed over the chopped-up beats from all manner of music, and a culture was born around this grassroots approach. As the years passed, there became a lineage among artists. Voices like Ice-T and Schoolly D bequeathed N.W.A, just as acts like UGK and Outkast inspired Big K.R.I.T., creating an indirectly traceable series of tracks … Continue reading Da Flyy Hooligan pairs with producer Agor for S.C.U.M