Review: Drake-‘Views’

The wait for Views was really, really painful. Tardiness aside, let’s start with the skyrocketed hope for an album that instead plummeted with a false alarm: the passable-but-might-be-pile-of-throwaways otherwise known as If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. A cruel travesty at the least. Yes, “Know Yourself” might have singlehandedly sparked the Summer ’15 W.O.E. movement and repeated…

‘ANOTHA ONE’…(of Drake’s Tracks Sprung a Leak)

The fourth track in a slew of accidentally-released predecessors, [Drizzy’s hand at a Jackson Browne voiceover (“These Days“) and a tropical, Popcaan masterpiece collab (“Controlla“) to name a few] this week’s two, pre-Views leaks are sponsored by OVO labelmate and fellow gloom’n’b-er PARTYNEXTDOOR (“Tell Me”), as well as a posthumous Pimp C donation (“Faithful”). “Tell Me”…

New Track: “Love Again” x Ta-Ku, JMSN, & Sango

Still coasting on his ‘JMSN’ EP wave from back in November, the indie-R&B crooner drops a new track with collaborators Ta-Ku and Sango. The singer-songwriter donates a smoldering gospel delivery on “Love Again”, per Australian producer Ta-Ku and his soulful arrangement. The track’s recipe: thick, Sunday-service piano licks and a chilling overlay of his and…

Review: Kendrick Lamar-‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

Kendrick Lamar is more ‘mad scientist’ than ever. And it’s never felt more comfortable. The eccentric K-Dot hybrid of snarling prophet and placid beholder, this time revealed full-force in a wild, unrestrained slew of jazz experimentalism-meets-West Coast grit, makes for the fine line between disciple and maniac. And even if he were a bit kookier, it’s…

‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’: A Track-By-Track Review

In the early moments of Drake’s impromptu album/might-be mixtape drop on Friday evening, high-emotion Internet chaos ensued. Twitter almost broke with OVO enthusiasm, the mixtape black-market commenced the trade of leak links, self-proclaimed ride-or-dies scurried to iTunes for legal purchase, and there was a universal barrage of Gen-Y praises for ‘the boy’–mostly for ending the…

K-Dot Breaks Silence With “The Blacker The Berry”

Fresh off of two Grammy winnings last night, Compton new-classic Kendrick Lamar let slip a new single, “The Blacker The Berry”, a track rumored to be [according to his girlfriend] one of many gems from his highly mysterious, yet-to-released EP. Throbbing with gritty, distorted production from Boi-1da (one of Drake’s faves) and Terrace Martin, the…

Aesop Rock Releases Mini-EP, ‘Cat Food’

In a mini, four-track compilation, Aesop Rock just released two new singles (“Cat Food”, “Bug Zapper”) and their corresponding instrumentals via iTunes. The NY-rooted emcee’s last release in 2012, Skelethon, harbored a kind of dark hyperactivity; Rock’s keen wordplay trudged through mucky, industrial-sounding beats (“Cycles to Gehenna”, “ZZZ Top”), melting tongue-twisted cyphers with brain-quaking distortion, zapping…

Review: ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’-J. Cole

“Do you wanna, do you wanna be…happy?”, asks a withdrawn J. Cole over the piano-glistened intro of 2014 Forest Hills Drive. It seems an immaterial question; at this juncture–one signposted with a self-founded record label, three studio albums, five other trophy mixtapes, and the hosting of in-home, Fayetteville listening sessions for fans, it’s hard to…

Wu-Tang Clan Previews New Reunion EP with “A Better Tomorrow”

Far from retirement, the classic, NYC-born, hip-hop 9-piece just released a new single, “A Better Tomorrow”–the title track single from their upcoming EP on December 2nd. Talk of the disintegrated group’s reunion has been circling on Twitter and other social media since their David Letterman appearance just two nights ago, a set they spent on…

TDE’s SZA Releases “Sobriety” via Soundcloud

The initial impression 24-year-old SZA makes is not just that of a graceful old-soul…but even more, a wise-beyond-her-years, contented loner–and one that could never be publicly pigeonholed to a single musical genre, R&B or otherwise. Which says a lot for a TDE-branded female with a rainbow of melodic influence. Since it’s safe to say the…