2015 just keeps on deliverin’ and this month is no different. Another foray of hip-hop albums dropped and neither have been a disappointment. Action Bronson released his major label debut LP “Mr. Wonderful”. This album has something for everyone. It’s got songs that sound like grimy New York boom-bap (“The Rising”), it’s got bluesy jazz (“City Boy Blues”) and straight up psychedelic rock (“Only In America”) and (“The Passage”). It’s definitely all over the place musicality wise, but it’s still very Action Bronson and if you’ve heard his previous work, then you know to expect the unexpected.
Kendrick Lamar dropped his highly anticipated album, the eloquently titled “To Pimp a Butterfly”. This is probably one of the best hip-hop albums I’ve heard in a while. It’s jazzy, it’s funky, it’s outrageous, it’s chaotic, it’s boisterous…it’s pretty much any adjective you could think of. But more importantly, it’s pure musical genius. Songs like “King Kunta”, “i” and “Mortal Man” are some of the best he’s ever written. And not to be forgotten, are new albums from Earl Sweatshirt (“I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”), Wale (“The Album About Nothing”), Ludacris(“Ludaversal”) and Tyler, The Creator (“Cherry Bomb”). All solid projects, each with its own unique style of hip-hop that sound absolutely nothing alike.
Some info from a few of the standout tracks from this month’s playlist….
Its only been a few months since Big K.R.I.T. blessed us with his critically acclaimed album entitled “Cadillactica” and he’s already dropping more classic sounding tunes. Fresh off his appearance at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, he unleashes this smooth KC & JoJo sampled tune entitled “K.R.I.T. 4eva (Chapter One)”.
Allan Kingdom, who is pretty new to the music scene and is featured on Kanye West’s latest hit “All Day”, drops a fresh new tune called “Keep It Easy”. Allan is a Winnipeg, Manitoba born rapper who now resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. If you would like to hear more of his unique voice and production, download his free EP called “Future Memoirs”
Hit-Boy released his first track in a while as well. This one is called “Automatically”. It borrows its sound from the heavily sampled track “Long Red” by Mountain. Many hip-hop artists have sampled it in the past, including Kanye West, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Nas, just to name a few. Hit-Boy is a rapper and producer extraordinaire and there is a reason why he calls himself “Hit-Boy”. He is responsible for some of the biggest songs of this decade, such as “N*ggas in Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West; “Backseat Freestyle” by Kendrick Lamar; and “XO” by Beyoncé.
Someone who has quietly put himself back on the rap scene as of late, Fabolous. Fresh off releasing his latest album “The Young OG Project”, the Brooklyn emcee returns and spits a few hot bars over classic hip-hop beats, like “Shook Ones Pt. II” and “Quiet Storm” by Mobb Deep. Sounds like the Fa-bo-lo-us wants to be taken seriously again. We hear you Fab….we hear you.
Finally, as a bonus, I included the mock interview between Kendrick Lamar and 2Pac, which is the last song on “To Pimp A Butterfly”. This is a real interview that 2Pac recorded back in 1994 on a Swedish radio station, however, Kendrick conducts his own version of that same audio and asks different questions to give it a different perspective. Gives me the chills every time I listen to it. Enjoy.