Jay Rock Unveils Release Date and Album Cover for Upcoming Album “Redemption”

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The wait is finally over. We now have a release date for Jay Rock’s highly anticipated follow-up to 90059, as well as the the album title and cover art. Jay Rock and “TDE” shared all the details yesterday. The album is titled Redemption, and it will be released on June 15th. This follows the release of his triumphant track “Win.” You can listen to the track below:

Jay Rock Releases New Track “Win”

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The “Top Dawg” camp have had quite the year so far. The Kendrick Lamar curated soundtrack to “Black Panther” was an instant success, nearly every “Top Dawg” signee have embarked on a tour together dubbed “The Championship Tour,” and Jay Rock is set to release his highly anticipated follow-up to his 2015 album 90059. The album title and release date have yet to be revealed, but Jay Rock has dropped a brand new track from the upcoming album appropriately titled “Win.” You can listen to the track below:

Album Review: J. Cole – KOD

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Artist: J. Cole

Album: KOD

Genre: Hip Hop

Rating: 5/10

 Hip Hop is at a point now where the golden era of the 80’s and 90’s is often labeled “Dad Rap.” It’s been this way for awhile, but this recent crop of Trap rappers whom dominate the airwaves have made this even more apparent. The tattooed from head to toe rappers with colored dreads who put more emphasis on pounding bass and Trap high hats to make up for lack of technical skill have set the bar pretty low, but their success is at an all time high, but there are those rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, and Big K.R.I.T. who deliver thought provoking lyrical content all while pushing the genre forward by incorporating new and innovative elements, but there is a rapper who has all the qualities Hip Hop traditionalists love, but still manages to slip through the cracks when it comes to the “G.O.A.T.” talks, and that man is J. Cole. We’ve all heard the “platinum with no features,” “boring,” and “folding laundry” jokes, but all memes aside, the guy is a respectable MC. So what is it about his music that is so divisive? Well, everything he has released thus far has showcased his skills as an MC and a lyricist yes, but his songwriting abilities are very average, and his “old head” mentality is more of a curse than a gift. His decision to rap over dated “Boom Bap” production and his lack of interest in pushing the envelope deems much of his work inessential, and when you make Hip Hop in the 2010’s that’s indistinguishable from Hip Hop of the 90’s it raises the question “Why should we care about Cole?” His new album KOD suffers from the same issues, but the thing is, this album sounds like it was supposed to be his masterpiece. It feels as if Cole was shooting for a revolutionary album. This album is rich in thought provoking and quite intriguing subject matter, and it features recurring themes of mainstream Hip Hop’s glamorization of drugs and the influence it’s having on the youth, as well as humanity’s immersion in the evils of money, and the complex subject of love, which according to this album is “The strongest drug of them all.” Ugh, I don’t think I’ve eaten nachos as cheesy as that, and I don’t think that joke I just made is as cheesy as that line on the album. Anyway, yes these are topical and important subjects on paper, but the delivery is so lackluster that it unfortunately makes this album uninteresting, and I’m not talking about Cole’s rapping, I’m talking about how he focuses more on his flow and lyrical content and not enough on the production and anything else in the bigger picture that truly makes an album good. Yes lyrical content is a beautiful thing, and it is a very important part of music, but it’s not the only important element. If that were the case than books would be more popular than music. His lyrics and flow are not enough to save the album from the very plain and bland instrumentals, the generic “Trap” whether it’s done ironically or not, and the repetitive and uninspired hooks, and believe me, these hooks are terrible. Just listen to “The Cut Off” and you’ll know what I mean. Under the guise “kiLL edward,” Cole delivers a God awful annoying as Hell hook that anyone in their right mind would find grating, and unfortunately this uninteresting alter ego appears once again on the track “FRIENDS.” The tracks “ATM” and “KOD” are the strongest moments on the album, but they only sound a lot better than what they actually are because the rest of the album is so forgettable. Now I’m not trying to just rip this album to shreds. I actually have respect for J. Cole and I think he is a very talented MC, but he needs to realize that just because you talk about “real shit,” doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be placed amongst the greats. It doesn’t automatically make an album good. If he’s too stubborn to realize that then he will most likely continue to release inessential and divisive music.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Date: 04/23/18

Tyler, the Creator Shares New Track “OKRA”

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Tyler, the Creator has had much success as of late. He dropped an incredible album last year and he even received a few Grammy nominations. Now, he has dropped a new track titled “OKRA” which Tyler explained in a tweet that he made it “on some rap shit before tour just talking,” and that he decided to “just put it out for fun and move on with his life.” You can listen to the track below:

 

-Steven Sandoval-

Album Review: Logic – Bobby Tarantino II

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Artist: Logic

Album: Bobby Tarantino II

Genre: Hip Hop

Rating: 7/10

There’s no denying the fact that Logic can flow his ass off, but his unfortunate inconsistency has been frustrating for those who know the guy is capable of achieving so much more when it comes to making music that is essential. Despite his recent success (Grammy nominations, hit singles, etc.) his latest album Everybody was very divisive. This album that was overblown to the point where leading up to this album many of us believed that it was going to be Logic’s “masterpiece,” was a safe exercise in the positive mindset of unity and peace, and though this is a very good message to have, the outcome of this album was just a collection of forgettable tracks that featured Logic urging us to come together all while trying to make these tracks catchy enough for radio play. Logic is well aware of this reception, and with his new mixtape Bobby Tarantino II, a sequel to his surprise 2016 mixtape, he reminds us that he still is a rapper that deserves our attention. This is by far the most boastful and confident Logic we’ve heard. This is “mixtape Logic” as described by Rick from “Rick and Morty” on the intro track “Grandpa’s Space Ship.” The bulk of this mixtape features Logic serving up Hip Hop purists that classic Hip Hop flow and ego over “Trap” dominated production mainly handled by “6ix.” There are some solid guest verses from Wiz Khalifa on the vibey stoner track “Indica Badu” that clocks in at exactly 4:20, and 2 Chainz who has been quite impressive with his features lately on the track “State Of Emergency.” Though Logic has yet to come into his own stylistically without the obvious borrowing from some of his contemporaries, and though the production on this mixtape gets a bit redundant and stale after awhile, this is a solid set of tracks and definitely worth a listen. Just skip that God awful track with “Marshmello.”

Written By: Steven Sandoval