Posts tagged Schoolboy Q
The Most Anticipated Projects of 2019
(Prince Williams/WireImage)

(Prince Williams/WireImage)

A new year brings a clean slate, and with that comes fresh new music. 2018 brought a doozy of releases; so much it was being debated that there was TOO MUCH new music on the streets. Still, fans are anticipating a bevy of new releases in 2019. Here’s the artists we’re anticipating to drop new projects to end the decade.

Schoolboy Q

It never surprises me that Top Dawg sets the tone each year, and this time around it’s Groovy Q’s turn to drop. Last we heard from him was back in 2016 with his sophomore album Blankface LP. He’s killed some features here and there, and Q was reported to be close to finishing his third major studio album before he pushed it back due to the sudden, unexpected death of his good friend Mac Miller.

Signs on Q’s Instagram point to him being ready to release some new heat, so we’re excited to hear what he has in store for us this time around.

Isaiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad has been real quiet since the release of his sophomore album The Sun’s Tirade. Last August Top Dawg hinted at a few more albums on the way, leading to speculation a new project from Rashad was on the horizon. While we already know how Kendrick, Jay Rock, & SZA can roll, I’m real interested to see which direction is Zay is headed.

Dreamville - Revenge of the Dreamers 3

Following the Revenge of the Dreamers 3 sessions so far has been one of my favorite moments in the early stages of the year Watching the sessions from the outside-in via social media feels like an exclusive invite-only club with other artists, musicians and media members. Seeing the sessions unfold has been organically amazing to witness.

J. Cole - The Fall Off 

Cole teased The Fall Off during his KOD run. We haven’t heard much about its status lately, but Cole has appeared to be re-inspired, working in the studio more often and exploring different producers. It’s cool to see Cole expand in that way, and I’m anxious to see if it will play a part in creating his next album.

Future presents: The WZRD

2018 felt like a light year musically for Fewtch. He dropped four projects, including the curated soundtrack to Superfly, but his presence wasn’t necessarily felt last year. That all changes this weekend with the release of The WZRD.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana 

One of the more underrated rappers in the game, Freddie Gibbs dropped two projects in 2018: the Curren$y-collaborated Fetti and his project with Kenny Beatz, Freddie. For the last few months he’s been teasing his follow-up to 2014’s Piñata with Madlib - Bandana. Expect more of the same heat from Freddie in the new year.

21 Savage & Young Nudy

Both 21 Savage & Young Nudy were making their rounds in 2018 with their respective solo projects, Nudy’s Slime Ball 3 and I Was  > I Am from 21. Both projects helped solidify both of their positions in the Atlanta rap scene. The two announced a collaborative project at the end of last year and have dropped a single for the project, Since When.

Chance The Rapper

Aside from the features and some loosies given to us, we haven’t received a full blown project from Chicago’s friendly neighborhood rapper since 2016’s Coloring Book. Chance has a few expected projects in the works, including his own solo album and two collaborative albums: one with Childish Gambino and the other with Kanye West. He’s been very tight-lipped about his next project, so stay tuned.

Pusha T

I don’t have many details yet, but i’ve heard through the grapevines that Pusha T would be releasing an album this year. There’s not a lot of information regarding this but at this point, anything is possible with the president of GOOD Music. 

Album review: Anderson .Paak lets you into his eclectic world with "Oxnard"

Oxnard is the 19th most populated city in the entire state of California. Approximately two hours northwest of: El Segundo, where the transcendent Kamaal The Abstract left his wallet in a legendary tale; Compton, where the cerebral Andre Young recorded a seminal masterpiece titled The Chronic, and; Long Beach, where Calvin Broadus linked up with Young to create a definitive West Coast classic nearly 25 years ago to the day. It's also home to a multi-hyphenate musician by the name of Brandon Paak Anderson - a man working on a lasting legacy of his own.

His laid-back mannerisms embody the spirit of the Greater Los Angeles area that has the essence of summertime year-round. The artist formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy makes his performances on stage and in the studio seem effortless, but a tremendous amount of work was required on this difficult path to reach the crest of his profession. Even after all he's accomplished, he's not even close to his full potential; alike to the next evolution of music consumption after streaming, the listeners won't know what to expect next, but it could potentially shift the way we view this art form.

Seven years ago, he was homeless with a wife and child after unexpectedly being fired as a weed farmer. Today, the GRAMMY-nominated 32-year-old Anderson .Paak dropped an instant album of the year contender: Oxnard, the third (solo) studio album under his current moniker. The previous two are vastly different from each other but are important to the development of a style that can't be replicated. Venice (2014) was an ambitious electro-R&B project, mixed with guitar licks and trap sounds, had a few moments but as a whole, felt unfocused. However, 2016 yielded more fruitful results. At the top of the year, the arsenal of his creative genius was on full display with Malibu, featuring his close friends The Free Nationals. The band's steady yet lively instrumentation and unforced chemistry with Andy helped to congeal any loose pockets that plagued the clunky Venice. This allowed .Paak to settle into his signature groove by exploring and destroying conventional aspects of music by combining neo-soul, funk, rap, and jazz without sounding disheveled.

The results were a critically acclaimed album in a class of its own, unbothered with fitting a singular trend; rather, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals were inspired by various genres and smartly crafted their own vibe on Malibu. Bookended between soulful, show-stealing guest spots, a highly regarded, more "traditional" rhythm & blues performance as one-half of Nxworries further cemented .Paak as a bona fide star.

While decades of trial & error and a strong background in the church were integral to the process, the free spirit of Yes Lawd! was refined thanks in part to Dr. Dre. “You need that, because you’ll go crazy when you’re making these albums if you don’t have nobody to be your co-pilot,” said .Paak of Dre and his meticulous focus in the studio. The iconic producer-turned-mogul played the role of mentor as he's done for the past 30 years. A well documented, near-peerless industry track record like Dre’s gave .Paak a major co-sign. 16 years after the flawless 2001, Dre triumphantly returned in 2015 with Compton: a soundtrack to the summer box office hit Straight Outta Compton that was meant to showcase the rising talent from the West Coast. Nobody shined brighter on Compton than Anderson .Paak.

Three years later, fully formed as a dangerous versatile threat, he returns to the lab with The Doc to put the finishing touches on Oxnard.

“'We went in for a few more weeks and that’s when the bulk of the album actually got done,' .Paak says of the more than 10 new tracks that form the core of the record. 'And these were songs that I never thought I’d write.'"

The mission was to let the entertainment world know that he and his hometown weren't solely "LA-adjacent"; they are distinct entities worthy of more than being generalized with the rest of the mold. The cinematic feel of Oxnard reflects the rockstar life he's experienced since 2014. There's a larger-than-life boldness to this record, similar to blaxploitation era films from the '70s. The album opener The Chase featuring Kadhja Bonet, sounds like a crisp remake of a funky jam found on the Dolemite soundtrack. As he does throughout the hour-long project, .Paak vacillates here between a slick rap flow and a cool, easy, yet powerful croon. The meticulous nature of Dr. Dre's handprint is obvious in more ways than one. Relative to his previous releases, it wouldn't be out of line to say that Oxnard is Anderson .Paak's *rap* album; in that, he rhymes in a lyricist's prose for a large portion of his verses like the 9th Wonder-produced Saviers Road. The shit talking and confidence with the way he spits in on par, if not better, than a lot of rappers currently in the game.

However, it would be unfair to just categorize it as his *rap* album. It's a multi-dimensional walk down a vibrant landscape that only an engineer on the level of Dr. Dre could so expertly arrange. Oxnard, like .Paak, is genre-less. Smile/Petty featuring Sonya Elise and SiR balances smooth vocals and nasally raps over a mellow RnB tune before ending with strong, spiteful singing over heavy g-funk production. Tints is a fun groove of lead single with a Kendrick Lamar - who co-habits the space on his best behavior - as they deal with increased stardom ("Paparazzi wanna shoot ya, shoot ya, niggas dying for less here"..."I can't be flying down that 110 with a bad bitch in my whip, I need tints"). The first half of 6 Summers doesn't mesh with the stellar second half, but it's meant to be a satirical "holding a mirror to the goofy commander-in-cheeto" in the Oval Office. Cheeky Andy doesn't seek to be overtly political, but when necessary, he can make a statement on behalf of his people.

On Animals, a standout off Compton, he sings:

The police don't come around these parts
They tell me that we all a bunch of animals
The only time they wanna turn the cameras on
Is when we're fuckin' shit up, come on

The refrain for the second half of 6 Summers goes on to say:

This shit gon' bang for at least six summers
But ain't shit gon' change for at least three summers
They tryna kill a nigga faith, we need a little truth, brother
Pop-pop-pop goes the shooter
Reform, reform shoulda came sooner

Contributing to social commentary as an artist, whether heavy-handed or subtle, can never be understated with a growing platform such as his. "Ain't shit gon' change" right away, but with a concerted effort, change is possible; stating so on a project that's "gon' bang for at least six summers" is a good way to spread the message. Aside from .Paak's multi-faceted performance and expertly mixed production, the strength of Oxnard lie in the guest appearances from a star-studded lineup. The mean 808, guitar infused banger Brother's Keeper, featuring the legal malice of Pusha-T (Am I my brother's keeper, they still asking 'bout the duo // Applaud his finding salvation, But I'm still rhyming 'bout the you know); Trippy with J. Cole - a calm soothing ballad dedicated to the love of their lives; Sweet Chick featuring the great, colorful, and soulful harmonics of BJ the Chicago Kid. On Anywhere, 25 years after the creation of Doggystyle, Dre & Snoop, still, in rare form as a pairing, reconnect to help give .Paak a fresh, relaxed melodic West Coast sound. On Cheers, the rapper who lost his wallet in El Segundo 18 years prior, talks about a different loss. Q-Tip (RIP Phife) and Anderson (RIP Mac Miller) share sentiments of losing close friends and collaborators, but choose to treat it as a reflective celebration of life. The result is a vibrant Dre & Tip production brought to life with upbeat percussion and synthesizers.

Venice to Compton to Malibu to Oxnard is a modern journey unlike anyone else's in popular music today. Each project has a distinct standalone presence, using previous experiences to carefully build towards this exact moment in 2018. An artist on the precipice of becoming a mega-star is learning to become more of himself. It can't be a coincidence how the path of the location first trended towards the actual city of Los Angeles then rerouted back to the place of his birth. Oxnard is an ode to and a return presentation to his hometown to share life experiences after traveling the globe in the limelight. It's evident that he grew as a lyricist, songwriter, composer, and musician as a whole...but we're nowhere close to the peak of his abilities. Oxnard, if only a glimpse, is a step in the direction of his full potential. It's a project that'll appreciate with time.

From CRWN, a sit-down conversation with Tidal:

Elliot Wilson: you have a wide musical pallet...with your classification of music, sometimes people don't necessarily know if they should put you in the idea of what RnB is...do you hate those classifications and feel like it's just music?

"I think that people need to just first listen to the music. Like stop tryna put it and compare it and immediately say it's like this or it's like this. A lot of people aren't even listening to the music, on God. Like they not really digesting the music; they're just like one time through and they're eager to compare it...just listen! I just leave it up to the people...my job is just to make it and make sure it's honest."

He doesn't fit a particular genre because he's his own genre. He’s Anderson .Paak.

Keep Swimming. How "Easy Mac with the cheesy raps" evolved into more than just another frat rapper

This is not meant to be a direct comparison...it's just a parallel. I never really understood why my mom cried for days after Michael Jackson died. I knew the seriousness of the event and the gravity of it; Mike was arguably THE greatest and brightest star in history. If it wasn't Motown, Prince, gospel music or church hymns, Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad were permanent fixtures in my family. MJ has been in my life since before I gained consciousness (I'm sure my mother played "Wanna Be Starting Somethin'" hundreds of times while she carried me.) He was magnanimous and ubiquitous; a mere mortal in actuality, but a deity to millions of people globally.

Twitter: @Thundercat

Twitter: @Thundercat

Because of that, in my head at the time he was still present, yet he seemed like a lifetime away. It was a complete shock to the world to learn about Michael's death, and I was hit with a sadness that felt like losing a distant uncle who I admired greatly. But why was my mom inconsolable? It never registered in my jaded and selfish 16-year-old brain that the connection was much deeper than the music itself. I never considered the place in her mind that instantly teleports back to the dancehalls in Ghana as a youth, awkwardly groovin' to "Rock with You" among friends.

The powerful sensation of nostalgia must have thrown her emotions an unexpected curveball. Also, the reminder of her own mortality reared its ugly head. My 17th birthday was that September; needless to say, my invincibility complex was through the fucking roof. I had no real perspective on life itself. To my mother, she was more than twice my age and had experienced and lost much more than I could even comprehend at that time. She was 44. Michael was 50. This was 2009.

"You was Easy Mac with the cheesy raps...who the fuck is Mac Miller?"

A confrontational statement from the battle rap legend Loaded Lux at the end of "Red Dot Music echoed the sentiments of many Black hip-hop fans about this goofy white kid from Pittsburgh named Mac Miller, including my own. I didn't need another frat rapper like Sammy Adams and Chris Webby anywhere near my rotation, a feeling that was slightly unfair but not completely off base. The upbeat Knock Knock and thudding 808s of Donald Trump rang off at every dorm room and every party during my first couple years of college. "His music belongs in that space," I thought. "My iPod only has 8gbs, anyway."

The acronym K.I.D.S. - Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit - made me cringe. I ignored the Taylor Gang co-sign, the notable features on Best Day Ever, and let both mixtapes remain on DatPiff unplayed. Although he accomplished a tremendous feat for independent artists, the 1.0 rating for Blue Slide Park was the official third strike. Macadelic didn't stand a chance (a foolish foresight on my part).

From 2011-2013, there was just too much good music coming out to pay him any mind. My attention was consumed by acts like TDE, A$AP Mob, Pro Era, Odd Future, etc. Drill music became popular. Watch the Throne dropped. Just exactly "who the fuck is Mac Miller?" Someone who grew to become a respected and universally loved figure in the music community, and another light that went out far too soon...

Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick died of an apparent overdose last week at the young age of 26. Exactly one week before my 26th birthday. One of my favorite musicians from the past five years, who's worked with damn near all my favorite artists from this decade, was unexpectedly gone, just like that.

Permanence. That ugly reminder of mortality. It struck a chord on many untuned levels. I'm not ashamed to admit that I teared up several times this weekend after hearing the tragic news. It's tough to even write this now. Unlike Mike, he was metaphorically within arm's reach to his audience because of how honest and inviting he was into his complex and troubled world, using lyrics as a conduit. On the surface, however, he seemed like a regular, approachable person with an unrelenting smile. A personal friend.

From the excellent profile by Craig Jenkins, published on September 6th, 2018:

A steady trickle of excited rap fans stop him to say hello. The few that linger to talk longer all seem to want something; one wanted a feature for his mixtape, and another asked the rapper to check out his SoundCloud page, graciously sparing us the spectacle of a street cipher. Mac is cordial and patient with people even when he appears to smell a pitch coming. The most striking fan interaction happened when two deaf girls asked for autographs outside the hotel. Mac was quietly floored by this.

I've lost close friends - figuratively and literally - to drug addiction and accidental overdoses. Spectators that apathetically say addiction is not a disease or "they didn't try their best to get sober" don't truly understand the nature of this beast. He was trying to get better.

From Rembert Brown's Grantland feature of Mac in 2015:

In the summer of 2014, Mac hit a low point, which also became a personal breakthrough. “So I’m fucked up in Europe one day, and I drunk-dialed Rick Rubin,” Mac says while scarfing down Mexican food at a restaurant blocks from his new home. “I was like, ‘Rick, dude, I’m fucked up, will you help me?’ So I went and kicked it with him for the summer in Malibu. And got clean.”

Mac Miller was extremely transparent about his trials and tribulations since the start of his Second Act, which unofficially commenced with Macadelic. After Blue Slide Park was critically panned, he became deeply hurt and dove into the turbulent and murky waters of depression, using substances as a buoy. The music reflected a darker time in his life, a strong contrast from his "frat rap" days, but it exhibited a growing development of Mac as an artist. The tides started to turn in 2013 when Watching Movies with the Sound Off dropped on the same day as Yeezus and Born Sinner.

Odd Future and TDE features? A guest verse from the fabled Jay Electronica?? Production from Pharrell, The Alchemist, and Flying Lotus??? In 1 hour, my stance on Mac had done a complete 180. I no longer saw him as "Easy Mac with the cheesy raps." For the first time, I saw him as Mac Miller: the troubled, yet enthusiastic and optimistic kid whose appreciation for the genre was deep-rooted and authentic. I was hooked; reeled in by the quality and left reeling from the content.

This ebb trended upwards with the set of releases over the next couple years; the creation of the SoundCloud-prolific Larry Fisherman, his producer alter-ego; the darkly-manic Faces, which many consider to be his best rap project; and, GO:OD AM, a title that could be interpreted differently depending on what track you listened to. Each loosie and full project displayed his maturity not only as a rapper but as an artist and more importantly, a person.

Evident with his fanbase growing during this time, Mac's self-awareness and open honesty about his struggles connected with many people experiencing similar such as addiction and depression. Balancing light and dark, always with a hopeful attitude. That's important to remember. Going forward, it will also be incredibly difficult to revisit because of the written content.

A large chunk of listeners started to really dive into his music during the Third Act with The Divine Feminine, and Swimming, the most technically well-rounded albums in Mac's catalog. The sound was intimate, warm, and a different type of personal. Both were jazzy, groovy, concise, and orchestral. For The Divine Feminine, love was the primary topic. For Swimming, Self Care ruled the subject matter; he acknowledged his problems but displayed them in a grown and controlled manner. The Third Act signified the growth of an angsty teen into a functional adult who is still trying to figure everything out, just like everyone in their mid-20s. According to the same Jenkins feature above, there were misconceptions about the complete inspiration for both projects as some of the initial ideas pre-dated the final product. These thoughts of evolving and improving himself have been around for a while. Unfortunately, tragically, the waters were muddied before he reached his goal.

I’ve seen a lot of different takes on what the music is. And that’s what I like. I like different responses. You know?

Swimming, in my opinion, represented more than just staying afloat in a current of bullshit we all have to deal with; it meant actively moving away from the bullshit towards something greater. Attaining our goals by actively looking forward instead of looking back at past mistakes while you're in it...whatever "it" may be. It's sad that we can't see the continuation of his progression because he was poised to become something really special. Mac already was one of a kind, but if his NPR TinyDesk was any indication, his next contributions were going to be very special. What he left behind in terms of actual content and influence will be heard and felt for many generations to come.

Mac Miller, Larry Fisherman, Malcolm - whatever you wanna call him - had an appreciation for hip-hop and its culture that was genuine and authentic. Instead of swooping in and gentrifying the neighborhood (I'm looking at the rappers that think multisyllabicbarswithouttakingabreath equates to "being dope"), he studied the game, gradually moved in, and only sought to co-exist.

A product of the historic blog era, Mac will sorely be missed in the hip-hop community and the music world at large. I have been scrolling social media for the few days and have yet to see an ill word said about him. Instead, I've read incredible stories about his generosity and kindness that a famous recording artist didn't need to exhibit. Let's remember him his funny moments like the ones he shared with Q and let's focus on the positives. He'll live forever through his music. In a short amount of time, inside the booth and out, he became a legend. And he "did it all without a Drake feature."

The most anticipated Hip-Hop albums of Summer 2018

One of my favorite summer pastimes have come around yet again, as GOOD Music, TDE and Drake have opened up the summer with more quality bangers. Here's four hip hop albums I'm most looking forward to this summer.

Jay Rock - Redemption

Jay Rock’s newest single Win off his new album Redemption has become a mantra for life. Hearing the chorus go “Win Win Win Win/ Fuck everything else/ Win Win Win Win” always gets my spirit going. There was a lot of mixed reviews regarding Rock’s last album 90059. However the anticipation for his follow-up was built up off the strength of the Black Panther-soundtrack hit, King’s Dead.

TDE is already having a blockbuster year and now it’s time for the label mates to shine.

Schoolboy Q - TBD

Another TDE superstar is gearing up for his third major studio release. Schoolboy Q says his album is done and will drop sometime in 2018. He's also said the production on the album will be more mainstream.

His recent verses on Addicted to Ballin, Code of Honor, X, & Movin Around shows me how much Q has improved as a rapper. Right now he’s on the Championship Tour with the rest of the Top Dawg family celebrating their wins. We'll see what he's got in store for us next go-around.

YG- Stay Dangerous

It wouldn't be summer without an album of ratchet YG anthems!

YG announced Stay Dangerous, the follow-up to 2016's Still Brazy, back in February, and unlike its predecessor, he's linked back up with DJ Mustard, whose presence was missing on the last album. Mustard's production sounds polished on the single Suu Woop, making me anxious for some heat to hold us over this summer.

YG's other single Big Bank is out as well.

Drake -Scorpion

Yeah Push gave Aubrey the biggest ass-whooping in hip-hop history... but I'm still hype for Scorpion. When you have the superstar power Drake has, your career can stand to take a few hits.

So far he’s dropped God’s Plan, Nice for What, and I'm Upset to build up anticipation for the June 29 release. Everybody knows that regardless of what happened, Drake is still going to do his numbers and drop his hits (we won’t forget the beatdown though). I'm looking forward to seeing what energy he brings and whether or not he’s going to address a lot of the allegations Push mentioned.

Why TDE should make Untitled Unmastered a series
TDE

TDE

I remembered back in March of 2016 when we received news via twitter from the good guys of Top Dawg Entertainment informing us that a surprise project was going to be released soon. At the time, I really didn’t know what to expect regarding whose album was going to drop. At that time, the roster was still building up their superstardom while Kendrick and Schoolboy Q were holding down the fort. So I was thinking about who was going to be the one releasing the album.

I knew Schoolboy Q was still working on his but I didn’t think that he would have that kind of star power to drop a surprise album. The only person that came to mind who could pull that stunt was Kendrick. However, To Pimp a Butterfly was already released the year before and knowing how he moves with releasing new music, there were high doubts he would just drop another project. But sure enough, Untitled Unmastered was released upon us in March 2016.

The story behind Untitled Unmastered was that Kendrick had more recordings he enjoyed creating during the making of To Pimp a Butterfly but was unable to add records to the final cut of the tracklist whether it was due to sample clearance issues  or the songs didn’t entirely fit into the the context of the album’s overall theme. Prior to release, Kendrick had performed two of the untitled records; the first one back in December 2014 before TPAB dropped & the second one in January 2016 after TPAB dropped.

What makes Untitled Unmastered  such an incredible body of work is because of how raw the album was, from the eight feature tracks being left untitled to the whole project not being mastered and left in raw form. It really gave us Kendrick in his rawest form while he was experimenting with hip-hop, trap,  jazz, soul, & funk-infused sounds all throughout. It gives the listeners a glimpse of his mindset with what they’re feeling and expressing while creating. It’s so dope how a throwaway album can end up being better than other rappers projects.

Coming off the two-year anniversary of Untitled Unmastered,  I was just thinking to myself about how cool it would be if Top Dawg were to take it upon themselves to turn what Untitled Unmastered was into a full series where artists on the roster can showcase their talent and creative process while completing an album. They can as well pick the tracks that didn’t make the final cut of their albums.Maybe it’s just me but there’s so much that can possibly come out of creating an Untitled Unmastered album series with TDE. Here are good reasons why an Untitled Unmastered series should happen and let’s all hope this comes to fruition.

Giving listeners a taste of TDE’s creative process

Could you imagine an Untitled Unmastered album with SZA showcasing her throwaway records created during the CTRL sessions? Or how about Schoolboy Q dropping his own Untitled Unmastered with records for the Blankface sessions?

Starting up a project series like this helps the listeners catch real life glimpse of the creative process towards how albums/projects are made. One of the things I appreciate about the behind the scenes stories on creating albums are the stories that come behind how some records on the albums came to be.

Twitter

Twitter

For example, Jermaine Dupri explaining how Usher's U Got it Bad came about on Rap Radar Podcast. JD explained how he and  Rodney Jerkins had fun competition with creating different records. JD was working with Usher while Rodney was working with Michael Jackson. One night while JD and Rodney were on the phone, JD puts it on speaker and it just so happens that Michael Jackson was there and he happened to diss Usher on the phone. That upset JD, who let Rodney know they did a song that same night that was going to blow everything out of the water. That song just so happened to be U Got It Bad. When I hear those stories, it makes me appreciate the work so much more and it adds more value too.

Helps cut album tracklists down

I don’t have anything against albums being re--dropped as deluxe albums. But sometimes i think re-releasing an album just to add some more tracks to it can be a waste sometimes. If you're adding 6-8 tracks on an album, you might as well make that into an EP. That’s where the idea of Untitled Unmastered can fully come into play with showcasing the new music.

Appreciating the talent of TDE roster more

Getty Images

Getty Images

With creating an Untitled Unmastered series, it can also shed light to the other members of the TDE roster who we may feel sometimes are getting looked over. Some artist like Ab Soul, Jay Rock, and Isaiah Rashad don’t get enough acknowledgement sometimes with their music. SZA released one of the top albums of 2017, CTRL. It’s been discussed on numerous occasions how it took her some time to really come up with and create a great body of work. I’m almost certain that some fans wouldn't mind hearing some of those records that didn’t make the final cut of the album. That crew is an all star cast full of artist who stand out in many unique ways. We need to start appreciating these artist more because they don’t come around as often as you would think.

TDE flexing their skills

The Hype Magazine

The Hype Magazine

I know that Top Dawg loves to show and prove with their artist by dropping their music and I love how they let their work speak for itself.

But sometimes when you’ve been putting in the work, sometimes it’s dope to see artist flex their musical muscles every now and then especially when it’s well deserving.

 

More unreleased Kendrick records

As a fan of Kendrick’s music, the Untitled Unmastered also could us hearing more of the demos that were created during each of his album sessions. There’s already been mention of an O.G. version of Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City existing in TDE hard drives. And Kendrick has mentioned that there was other multiple tracks created during To Pimp a Butterfly that didn’t even make the album nor did it make the original Untitled Unmastered. I love how exclusive Kendrick is when it comes to the music he’s created that hasn’t seen the light of day.

However at the same time, I always want to hear his throwaways that haven't seen the light of day just so i can judge for myself how fire the throwaways are. Because I'm almost certain that im going to comes across a couple of tracks and i’ll be asking, “Damn these records are slamming. Why didnt Top Dawg release these?”

Most anticipated albums of 2018

There’s a couple of things that come to mind when I think about New Years; it’s new beginnings, new energy, new people, new opportunities, and most importantly, new music. Every year when it feels there’s no way the music atmosphere can get that better, I’m  hit me with that “Iight BET” text message from the new year.  New music releases in 2018  means new sounds, waves, flows, tunes, artists, etc. When it’s not the usual artists dominating, there’s always some new faces that make big noise for themselves.  Despite push back old heads give us, music is in a great spot. With all of these diverse  categories of hip-hop specifically tailored to different crowds, you would think complaining about the state of music would experience some cutback.  But people are never satisfied. Either way it goes,  I’m excited to hear  what’s in stored for our 2018 Life soundtrack. I’ve come up with the list of rappers whom in which I’m excited for releasing new music this year.

Migos - Culture 2

Coming off an astounding year, Migos are already prepping for their upcoming album Culture 2, which drops on January 26th. This release falls a day before the one year anniversary of Culture. With two single already in rotation (Motor Sport and Stir Fry), I’m interested in what direction the group is taking the sound & vibe this next go round. I don't know if it’s because of the Quality Control compilation release, but the buzz doesn't feel entirely the same as it did last year. However, I have faith in Migos to drop that flame. I'm looking forward to hearing my guy Offset (aka the BEST MIGO out the group) to do work on the album. . 

Rae Sremmurd - Sremmlife 3

SremmLife 3 has been teased on several occasions by Mike Will Made It and the group through social media and interviews. Back in August while with speaking with Tim Westwood , Swae Lee confirmed that SremmLife 3 was just about complete. Prior to that, Slim Jxmmi initially said initially that the third album was going to be a departure from the Sremmlife series, but later, Swae changed the plans up. We haven’t got an actual release date yet, but we were told it’s supposed to drop sometime in January. I’m not sure if it will since release dates always change, but I’m certain Sremmlife 3 will drop for us sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

On a side note, I really wish they would start dropping their albums in the spring time so their records could blow up and get in the summer rotation.

YG- Just Re’d Up 3

When we last heard YG on his Red Friday EP, he said on Public Service Announcement intro "Just Re’d Up 3 coming soon.” YG has been quietly working in the lab, whether with Mustard for the album or assisting with features with other rappers. He’s dropped some loosie singles post-Still Brazy in Fuck it up, YNS & Pop it Shake It. It’s about to be about two years since Still Brazy dropped (which i think is top album of 2016 despite some push back since the album missed Mustards’ presence) and I think it’s about time for a new YG album in order to prep us for the summer.

Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap

It's about DAMN time our playa’ potna Nipsey Hussle is finally dropping Victory Lap on February 16th. I’ve been a fan of his music since Hussle in the House dropped and he’s grabbed me with his mixtapes series Bullets Aint Got No Name and The Marathon. After Crenshaw dropped in 2013, Nipsey started teasing us with Victory Lap, but it was starting to reach Detox status. But it seems like Victory Lap is finally about to happen. If my boy Cyhi could delay his album process and drop heat like No Dope on Sundays, then I have all the faith in Nipsey.

Travis Scott- Astroworld

Travis Scott is for the people and he proves it every single time with each new project release. Birds in The Trap Sing McKnight is still holding it down as we’re we wait for Astroworld. Huncho Jack with Quavo was cool and all, but we all are waiting for what’s coming with their own projects. Last year, Trav dropped three throwaway records; Green and Purple with Playboi Carti, The Butterfly Effect, and A Man. I’m anxious to hear what new sounds he's got cooking in the works with Mike Dean. He had a great all star cast on his last album and i’m interested in who's making contributions this next go round. Will he outdo Birds and Rodeo? Stay tuned.

Schoolboy Q- TBD

Blank Face was the album of 2016, point blank period. Schoolboy Q came through with the heat and it still sticks today. If you follow Q on Snapchat or his IG stories, then you would know he’s putting the finishing touches on his next album. He’s already warned us that he’s taking the mainstream route with the production. We don’t know much about the new album yet but I can guarantee you that Q’s is about to lace us with some heat the TDE way.

Jay Rock - TBD

Jay Rock has been silently working on his next album for awhile now. TDE has already made their power move by dropping King’s Dead with Kendrick and Future, which not only will serve as a single for The Black Panther but also the first single off his upcoming Album. We don’t have a lot of information regarding the album, but judging off the snippets, I'm looking forward to the album. I can’t wait until the second single comes out.

Future - TBD

We’ve been long overdue for a new solo Future album. Last year, he pulled a double whammy on us dropping FUTURE & HNDRXX, both albums which could possibly be argued as the best albums of 2017.  The only thing missing is a Grammy nomination but only time will tell.

Between the rumors of Beast Mode 2 with him & Zaytoven and finding he will be curating the soundtrack for the Superfly remake, there’s no telling exactly what direction Future is going to go with his music. All we can tell you is that expect some new heat soon. To keep it a buck, I really hope somehow we can add No Wallet into the mix.

Drake - TBD

At the end of “Do Not Disturb,” Drake said,  “Takin summer off, cause they tell me I need recovery/ Maybe gettin’ back to my regular life will humble me/ I’ll be back in 2018 to give you the summary.”  We really don’t know what Drizzy has in stored for us this year, but based on the snippets that’s dropped on social media, he’s been working. Even though I would much rather prefer him to take the year off and really put his foot into the next album, he’s going to do what he want to do. All I can hope for is more flame to come on the way.

Kanye West - TBD

As an OG Kanye stan,  these days I feel bittersweet about him as a whole from his recent music to how he is as a person.  Even though I’m not as fond of him as I was before, there’s still some love for Uncle Ye deep down. Not only do we want the best for him, but we also want the mild sauce flowing back in his veins.

He was very quiet for the most of 2017 minus a verse on Cyhi’s Dat Side. We’ve heard from numerous members of G.O.O.D. Music that Kanye is back on his “five beats a day for three summers” flow. I’m not believing anything until I actually hear it. But the good thing about Ye’s music is that you’ll never know what to expect from him. So for that, I’m interested to see where he will take it since he’s been so quiet.