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31 January, 2014 6:56 pm

In our final look at 2013′s best soul / R&B releases, we have Mayer Hawthorne’s third LP, Where Does This Door Go?. Signed to Stones Throw right around the same time they picked up Aloe Blacc, it wouldn’t be long before he too was snatched up by the major label system, to spread his brand [cont.]

30 January, 2014 11:56 am

It’s hard to believe that despite their long history as friends together, Evidence and Alchemist have never cut an album together. On wax, the beginnings of their collaborations start as early as the first Dilated Peoples’ 12″, “Third Degree”, as Al produced both the title track and its b-side “Confidence”. But the story dates back [cont.]

22 January, 2014 8:16 am

Continuing our look at some of 2013′s most notable R&B/soul releases, next up is the new LP from Dungeon Family songstress, Janelle Monae, which sits among the best of the year. Like recent releases from The Foreign Exchange and John Legend beside it, Monae’s sophomore effort, Electric Lady, carves its own path, rather than subscribing [cont.]

17 January, 2014 6:22 pm

Louis Logic is a product of the early 2000′s indie hip-hop movement, which saw many underground artists that were fed up with the major label system, venture out on their own to release their music. This movement spawned many staples of the backpack rap movement – including this website – along with many other establishments [cont.]

16 January, 2014 7:51 pm

“R&B” is a term that most hip-hop heads view negatively, as our favorite 90′s rappers re-branded it as “Rap & Bullshit”. And with good reason, since that era, we’ve seen countless crooners take classic beats and polish them up for the knownots. Such as is the case of Trey Songz’s latest, “Na Na”, for example, [cont.]

13 January, 2014 3:30 pm

Talib Kweli’s long-delayed Prisoner Of Conscious LP was supposed to be his attempt at making a “commercial” album, for lack of a better term. However the end result after almost two years of recording sessions was instead one of his most solid projects to date, one that sacrificed little to the pop radio market, save [cont.]

10 January, 2014 6:20 pm

With his first two albums, G.O.O.D. Music’s resident soul singer, John Legend, completely nailed it. Get Lifted defined the on-stage persona of John Roger Stephens, while its follow-up, Once Again, mastered it. His third album, Evolver, was a mixed bag; one that found him venturing outside of his usual piano-driven, organic production for electronically driven, [cont.]

7 January, 2014 6:53 pm

One entry that did not make our Best Independent Albums of 2013 list, but should have, is Dice Raw’s Jimmy’s Back. Reason being, the album dropped in mid-December, and was in our review backlog, and we’re just getting to it now (Editor’s Note: expect a lot of leftover 2013 reviews this month). The legendary Roots [cont.]

5 January, 2014 1:03 pm

We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again. Something under-the-radar breaks through to the mainstream, and the rest of the industry back-peddles in attempt to see what they’ve been missing. When the so-called tastemakers of popular culture are late to the party on something, its usually followed by glowing reviews and affirmations of said product, [cont.]

3 January, 2014 3:32 pm

The underlying theme throughout most of Atlanta Grand Hu$tle rapper B.o.B.’s third album, Underground Luxury, seems to be frustration. Despite numerous hit records under his belt, B.o.B., still feels a level of disconnect with his audience, as he laments on tracks like “FlyMuthafucka” or “Back Me Up”, which find him fending off “haters” at every [cont.]

31 December, 2013 11:55 am

Much like his namesake’s explorations introduced the west to Asia, Marco Polo has introduced a lot of talented emcees to new listeners, while at the same time reintroduced legends of yesteryear to a new generation. When 2007 ended, Marco’s Port Authority stood as one of the finest albums of the year. 2009 was no different [cont.]

27 December, 2013 5:55 pm

With the state of New York rap in flux, Roc Marciano has carved out a nice little niche for himself, with a unique brand of what we like to call “post-boom bap”. The sound of Roc Marciano, as well as like-minded individual, Ka, is that of raw, minimalist, sampled-based production, which is heavy on loops [cont.]

21 December, 2013 11:51 am

With the release of Reincarnated, we saw Snoop Dogg transform into the rastafarian Snoop Lion, and now with his 7 Days Of Funk project, he takes a turn as “Snoopzilla”. Obviously influenced by the Parliament / Funkadelic records that shaped the sound of West Coast G-Funk in the 90′s, 7 Days Of Funk teams him [cont.]

19 December, 2013 2:41 am

Necro has been putting down for years in the underground hip-hop scene, with a loyal legion of fans that follow his every move, and violently populate the Psycho+Logical-Records message boards. He’s built up a strong catalog of releases for himself and other members of the Non-Phixion crew, and made a lot of noise during the [cont.]

18 December, 2013 8:34 am

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of “vanity projects” in rap music. For some reason, people seem to think hip-hop is “easy”, and many times we see actors and athletes attempt to extend their particular talents to a rap album. 90% of the time, these things fail, yet these celebrities are so rich and [cont.]

11 December, 2013 9:15 am

As we discussed in our review for World’s Fair Bastards Of The Party, the state of New York hip-hop has been in bad shape as of late, with the most popular artists in the region subscribing to Southern styles of rap. While we all dig the South as well, we expect more from the birthplace [cont.]

6 December, 2013 6:44 pm

Reincarnated is a documentary film from VICE films that chronicles Snoop Dogg’s transformation into Snoop Lion, and the recording of the album of the same name, alongside Major Lazer. The film offers insight into why Snoop chose to go this route, and had it been packaged with this album, may have given listeners a better [cont.]

6 December, 2013 5:55 pm

Houston’s Trae Tha Truth is an artist that receives respect from much of the industry as a whole, despite being blackballed from his local hip-hop radio station, after a tragic shooting at one of his Trae Day events in 2009. After a jock at the station said Trae was inadvertently responsible for the violence because [cont.]

5 December, 2013 5:56 am

The state of New York hip-hop has been in flux over the past decade or so. Major labels do not want to support the boom-bap foundations that this art was birthed upon, leading to the more polished sound of artists like Jay-Z, Ruff Ryders, or 50 Cent, who dominated the scene during the Bush era. [cont.]

26 November, 2013 8:43 pm

Detroit’s Black Milk has a long, storied history as a part Slum Village’s extended family, and even has collaborated with J. Dilla early in his career. Which is why it makes sense that despite Dilla’s passing, his sound looms heavy over that of Black Milk’s, who carries on his legacy years after his death. No [cont.]

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