In 2011, Mitt Romney announced to the United States that he was uniquely qualified to run for president because of his business background of turning things around. The country was several years removed from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and still facing many obstacles on the road to recovery. Romney saw himself as the right person for the right time to drive American forward. Unfortunately for him, the economy, by and large, operates independently from the executive branch of government, so as well-intentioned as he may have (or may not have) been, he was wrong, or at least misguided, and the economy continued as did the Obama presidency, making Mitt a mere footnote in American election history.
“I deserve an encore, y’all should welcome me back…”
Those are the first words that you hear on the opening track “Encore”. This serves to be a fitting title and the perfect introduction to the second installment of JP One’s Fire & Brimstone mixtape series.
JP One, aka Jackpot The Chosen One, hails from Detroit, MI and grew up in Benton Harbor. JP One had a rough childhood, but throughout all the trials and tribulations, one thing that has remained the same is JP One himself.
Hip-hop and weed go hand-in-hand, but ciej‘s “dbs heaven” proves rappers should pass on the blunt and chug a tallboy. The influence of alcohol on the EP reeks like a drunkard’s breath to a cop at 3AM on a Saturday. Pent up on the second floor of blank space and powered by the buzz of beer, ciej strings together pages of thoughts onto six tracks that borderline incoherent, but remain strikingly honest. Like a drunk conversation, “dbs heaven” has the brazen confidence of giving no fucks, the freedom to say whatever is on one’s mind without the filter of expectation or the fear of external perception. Though the themes of the EP are very ciejy — women, money, life — the glossy delivery and convoluted production create a unique context that mitigates any thematic cliche.
At its worst, “Black Sunday” is an average hip-hop album. Without the courage to explore uncharted territory in the genre, Arshad Good‘s comfortableness in what he likes had the possibility of sinking this project, but the groove and vibe is undeniable and ultimately makes this 9-track effort successful. What Arshad lacks in originality is easily compensated by a dedication to quality hip-hop. The formula may be tried and true, but damn it if it’s not addictive and head-bobbing.
Coultrain’s Fresh Selects debut album, Side Effex of Make-Believe; divided for love’s sake, continues the phenominual story of Seymour Liberty. Different than his effort on his last album Jungle Mumbo Jumbo, Coultrain digs deeper in his songwriting abilities to provide an album full of melancholy tunes of dark, misguided and estranged love. Side Effex still experiments with experimental jazz as it did on Jungle Mumbo Jumbo, but this album gives a better constructed vibe of experimental jazz and alternative R&B.
How I know an album is dope is by it not having guest features. 2014 Forest Hills Drive features J. Cole and J. Cole only and he shines through each and every single track.
St. Louis natives Souls of Liberty, Ryan Escobar and Tenelle Donta, are set to drop their next project 10,000 Hours, their third release after Carpe Diem (2010) and Brave New World (2012). The duo, much like their name implies, are souls of St. Louis—many of their raps on 10k Hours rep their hometown and love for the city. More than that, with this album, the Souls also encourage and inspire their listeners to continue achieving and moving forward, themes that rap often lacks.
It’s been 8 years since Pharrell Williams came out with his first studio album In My Mind. He is now back with the 10-track follow-up G I R L.
In our interview with Homeboy Sandman this past September, he briefly mentioned his soon-to-come EP White Sands. How he put it: ”White Sands has 8 joints on it. Definitely a filling serving.” How right he was, his new record coincidentally starting off with the track “Fat Belly”. What we’ve learnt from Sandman, time and time again, is that he can rap about anything, spinning the mundane into hip-hop gold. Case-in-point, the joint “In A Daze” off his previous EP All That I Hold Dear, where he raps about his nephew wanting a juicebox. A juicebox, really? Yeah.
Kid Cudi’s newest EP that morphed into a complete 10 track album dropped yesterday by the name of “Satellite Flight: The Journey to the Mother Moon”. With a name like that you knew it was going to be some trippy techno tracks on it, and that’s exactly what it was. By me not being too much of a fan of his previous album, “Indicud”, I was on my toes with this drop. It resembles the IndiCud flow to the max so I’m not stir crazy over this album, but he still had some good songs on it that made me remember why I loved Cudi so much.