Chasing Down a Dream (feat. Devvon Terrell) – Futuristic

I just came across this video this morning, and it was so good that I ended up listening to a bunch of Futuristic’s music. Chasing Down a Dream is off Futuristic’s recent album of the same name (you can purchase the album on iTunes here). Devvon Terrell’s hook fits perfectly with the upbeat instrumental produced by AKT Aktion. In a way it’s too bad the song is so catchy, because that will prevent some listeners from realizing that Futuristic spit some awesome verses. Devvon and Futuristic directed and produced the video themselves, which I think is really cool. After hearing this and listening to more of Futuristic, I will definitely be on the lookout for more great music from him in the future (get it?).

My Thoughts on Yeezus

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As this is a hip-hop blog, I feel like I need to address Yeezus, since it is obviously a huge deal to the rap game. However, I will not write a usual post about Yeezus, because my usual posts deal with music that I like. I do not like Yeezus. I found the album absolutely horrible. First of all, it only has ten tracks, which is weak considering Kanye has not released a solo album since 2010. Secondly, and more importantly, it simply does not have the usual lyricism and meaning that Kanye has been able to deliver in the past. Yes, New Slaves is meaningful. But outside of that one song, it sounds like an album any mainstream rapper could make. The beats sound like dubstep, and I think that might be why supporters are trying to say the album is “new age” hip-hop. In my opinion, people who call the album futuristic just don’t want to admit that Kanye dropped a bad album. Maybe from another artist an album of this quality would be acceptable, but from someone as traditionally great as Kanye, it was ten tracks of pure disappointment. Sorry for the rant.

Born Sinner (Album) – J. Cole

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I’m a few days late on this one but it seemed like the perfect post to make my comeback to the blog. Born Sinner is nothing short of a masterpiece. Unlike on his debut album, Cole was not under pressure from his label to make commercial tracks. Able to make the deep music that he does best, Cole delivered the album of the year to this point. Born Sinner sees Cole contemplate the state of rap, the problems facing our nation, and above all his own feelings since releasing Cole World: The Sideline Story. He went through a very dark period after dropping his last album, saying he feels as if he essentially sold his soul to the devil in the hopes of making money and radio music. The dark tone of the album matches his feelings, and it is one of the most emotional and meaningful projects I have ever heard. I know I said this above, but I don’t know how to describe the album other than “masterpiece.” It should go down as a classic, and Cole says that Born Sinner marks the beginning of his prime. If this is the beginning, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Buy Born Sinner on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/born-sinner-deluxe-version/id651105499

Niggaz Know – J. Cole

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J. Cole dropped off this new song late last night. It’s unclear whether this will appear on Born Sinner or if it is just a gift to fans, but this definitely made me even more excited to hear the album. Cole rhymes on a solid beat, brining some of the realest lyrics in the game as usual. I like that he seems to have a chip on his shoulder about Cole World: The Sideline Story underselling. If Born Sinner is anything like this, it should sell tons of copies. Check out the track below and the album on June 18.

Listen on HotNewHipHop: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/j-cole-niggaz-know-song.1403017.html

Truckers (feat. Jeff Replay) [Music Video] – Cam Meekins

To celebrate the release of his album, Lamp City, today, Cam also gave us this music video for Truckers. The song appears on Lamp City and features Jeff Replay of Boston collective Pilot Nation. Truckers was definitely one of the standouts from Cam’s album. The hook is unlike anything I’ve ever heard, the verses are sick as usual, and Cam produced the beat himself. The beat has Cam’s traditional feel, but it also seems a little different, almost as if it’s more in your face. The music video is cool, too. I find it awesome that a lot of Cam’s music videos are just him hanging out and having fun with his friends; it makes him that much more real, relatable, and humble. Everyone be sure to pick up a copy (or 5) of Lamp City.

Lamp City (Album) – Cam Meekins

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Last night at midnight, Cam finally dropped his debut album, Lamp City. I have not heard the whole project yet, but what I have heard so far is exactly what I was hoping for: extremely real and relatable raps and Cam’s nice flow over solid production. Only three songs on the album have features, which come from Stizzy, Jeff Replay (twice), and Skizzy Mars. It’s really impressive that Cam could put out a 14-track effort with only three features, and I love that we get to hear more from Cam himself as a result. He also handled a lot of the production on his own, which again deserves major respect in my opinion. This is an incredible debut from a truly great artist, and I encourage everyone to give it a listen and download Lamp City on iTunes here.

J. Cole Reveals Born Sinner Cover Art and New Release Date

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Today we finally get the album cover(s) for J. Cole’s upcoming album, Born Sinner. The black art on the top is the standard cover, while the image on the bottom is for the deluxe edition. Cole also announced that the album will no longer be released on June 25 as was previously intended; the release date has been pushed up to June 18. Reportedly, Cole wants to compete with Kanye West’s Yeezus, which also is set to drop on June 18. I don’t know if that’s a great business move, but I love the ambition and competitive spirit that it shows on Cole’s part. It’s clear that he wants to be the best, and based on the work he’s done so far, that definitely seems like a possibility.