Now Playing: Young Thug

When someone first prompted me to listen to a one, “Young Thug,” I laughed in his face. Literally. I thought it was a joke. I thought we were done with the “Young’s” or “lil’s” but clearly I was wrong. Even as I listen to him now, I’m still confused as to my true feelings towards his latest album.

First let’s look at the fact that his most recent mixtape was dropped as “Barter 6,” when just days before it was titled, “Carter 6.” If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, it’s because it does. Lil’ Wayne’s previous five albums are titled “The Carter” followed by the appropriate album number. It was all very weird. I’m still not over it.

Regardless, I promised myself that I would listen to each track at least 10x before making a decision (I wish this was an exaggeration). While it took a little longer than expected, I came to the conclusion that I enjoy about 60% of the album, give or take. I went through the many phases of “oh-my-god his voice is SO f*cking annoying,” “why does EVERY track sound the same?” and “what in God’s name is he even saying?” It was not easy giving this kid a chance (he’s only 22- a child), but it was semi-worth it in the end. Let me break it down:

One of my favorite songs is “Can’t Tell” and it definitely has to do with the fact that he collaborated with T.I. who I do not hate. The song has a good beat and the three rappers (also collaborated with Boosie) mesh well together. Granted, this track is probably the most mainstream on the album, an obvious people pleaser. Guess what? It did the job.

Another classic is “Constantly Hating” in which Young collaborated with Birdman (another Lil’ Wayne reference, continuing to make the whole situation weirder). This is just your classic haters-gon-hate track that is necessary for every artist to recreate. Young just wants to know if you’re going to do something about it, or “turn to a pussy” and let the haters do their thing. Personally, I would go T Swift on them and shake it off, but that’s just me. I’d be interested to hear a collab between the two…

His most popular track, “Halftime” has a following for a good reason. It has a sick beat and he has a smooth free-style flow throughout it, regardless of the fact that I had to actually google 40% of the lyrics because I had zero idea what he was saying. It sounds like 4 different beats thrown together, but in a strangely cohesive manner. It’s weird but it works.

It’s decent shit. I don’t hate his voice anymore and I do crank it up in my car from time to time. By all means, you could 100% go through the rest of your life without hearing “Thugger” (apparently that’s a thing) and be pretty content with everything. But it’s worth a listen, or ten…

 

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Now Playing: Kanye West

 

Kanye, Mr. West, Yeezy, The Louis Vuitton Don, Ye, Yeezus:

They are all one in the same: Kanye West. You may know him from his music, or from his famous relationship (and new baby North- I can’t even) with Kim Kardashian, or maybe from the 2009 VMA incident (it actually makes me cringe every time I watch). Clearly most people think Kanye is crazed, superficial and slightly narcissistic, and they are kind of right. Sure, he is a little out of whack, but hey, aren’t we all? Do we really need another boring artist who never stirs things up? I think he’s just keeping us all on our toes. But that’s not what this post is about; it’s about the music. Despite his crazy antics and slight anger problem, he’s actually extremely talented.

As you may know, I go through phases where I listen to one specific artist over and over…and over again. It’s an obsession and I will refuse to listen to anything else. My friends hate it. As of late, Kanye has been the subject of my OCD. When I heard him perform two songs from his latest album, “Yeezus” (yes, that is a combination of “Ye” and “Jesus”) on the finale of Saturday Night Live, I was taken aback by how intense and passionate he was about his music. Honestly, it was a little bit scary, but amazing at the same time (but more so scary).

After my revelation, I started re-listening to his whole discography: it was fabulous and well worth the hours I spent sitting in front of my computer. What struck me most were his lyrics. I love a good beat, but I’m a huge fan of understanding what the artist is trying to convey through his or her lyrics. Ye may talk a lot of shit, but I would too if my music was as good as it is. As someone who tends to shut himself away from the paparazzi (even when in a relationship with, tabloid Queen Kimmy K), he lets everything go in his songs. He speaks openly of the loss of his mother, growing up in Chicago, talking to Jesus (see below) and how killing’s some whack shit. Since the release of his first album, “The College Dropout” in 2004, he has grown into a stronger and significantly more talented artist (I really hope you see what I’m doing here). He’s turned into God, or “a” God (totally kidding, but like, I don’t think he is).

While his music career was getting crazy attention, he managed to make time to get involved in fashion and philanthropy (that makes his outbursts ok, right?). His love for fashion lead to the production of his own line, all while he teamed up with his late mother to create the “Kanye West Foundation” in order to battle dropout and illiteracy rates. He’s doing good for the community, people! Give this emotion-filled man a break! He’s clearly doing all he can with his time AND he is somehow handling the fact that he is going to be caring for a miniature version of Kim Kardashian. She got one of yo kids, got you for 18 years, Ye: guess you wished you listened to yourself back in 2005.

So he’s a little crazy and a little too much, but there is not doubt that he is going places. Baby on the hip and Kimmy on the arm; he’s got this shit.

That’s enough Mr. West, please no more today.

Now Playing: A$AP Rocky

asap-rocky-508b4403e62bb

A$AP Rocky

With his newest album “LongLiveASAP” just being dropped, A$AP is becoming more and more popular.  I am a new fan and I hate that I didn’t discover his sick flow earlier (would have given my friends a break from listening to The Weeknd in my car).

ASAP-rocky-long-live-asap

Goldie

The first song that introduced me to A$AP was Goldie, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  The beat is so raw and his flow is sick as hell.

And the red bottom loafers just to compliment the mink

So much swag.

Ridin’ (ft. Lana Del Rey)

As a general rule, anyone that collaborates with one of my favorite artists (here Lana Del Rey) is ok in my book.  While his lyrics aren’t nearly the equivalent to what he’s capable of, he still kills it next to my girl Lana.

1 Train (Ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T.)

Seven verses from seven badass artists.  I had to read the lyrics while listening along to this one to get the full affect and it hit me hard.  It’s like a mix of Immortal Technique, 2Pac and old school 90’s rap (IMO) and I love every second of it.  It’s so raw and feels like a true freestyle beat. Definitely one of my favorites from Long.Live.A$AP.

F*ckin’ Problems (Ft. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz)

A friend of mine recently gave me shit for not hearing of this song earlier- apparently I’ve been slacking when it comes to updating my iPod- my B.  Regardless, this beat is sick and the collaboration of rappers is beyond amazing.  Kendrick Lamar has been catching my eye as of late, and this track definitely left me craving more (post coming soon).  Drake is an obvious fav of mine, and I love when he busts out with his gangster side. Also, the girls are sexy as hell in the video.

You’ll notice that I disregard 2 Chainz because as another general rule, I hate anything his name is on, purely because I hate his name.  Obviously I’ve made some exceptions and this single was one of them.

asap

Now Playing: Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

I can’t even begin to discuss how sexual Ocean’s voice is in every possible form.  It’s actually insane.  He may be one of the sickest r&b artists right now.  His beats flow with his lyrics in perfect form.  Plus he’s sexy as hell.  All of these things combined make for one talented artist.  His music is perfect as a chill back beat when with friends or when taking a nighttime drive.  I’m actually zoning out while writing this because his rhythms put me in such a trance.  Is it still on repeat? Duh.

P.S. his Pandora station is great for everything.  The music ranges from Adele belting out her depression to Jay Z and Kanye getting HAM.  A must-listen for any time of the day (but even more perfect at night).

Thinking About You

My eyes don’t shed tears, but boy they pour when
I’m thinking ’bout you

I’m sorry, but I just can’t even.  This song actually makes me want to cry (if my tear ducts existed  in the arms of some man who loved me (also if he existed).  A lot of male r&b and rap artists just talk about “bitchez” and “hoez,” and never actually what it feels like to actually not just want to “fuck all night…z” (there’s always a “z”).  You can really feel Ocean’s pain in this piece and I’m sure if it’s about a real girl, she is for sure feeling like shit after hearing it.

Novacane

A Frank Ocean classic, and one of the first tracks of his that I heard and fell in love with.  Watching the video makes the song a little more intense with it’s vivid interpretation of how high he is.  Definitely had me in even more of a trance.  Like Ocean’s other pieces, this beat is glassy (the new “fetch?”) and has such a chill vibe that makes it perfect at night.

Super Rich Kids

Too many white lies, and white lines

This track, featuring Earl Sweatshirt (what a name), is so smooth and catchy with it’s slow beat.  I feel like it should be the theme song to just about every show on MTV in the early 2000’s (Laguna, The Hills, Super Sweet 16, etc.).  This is the perfect beat to sit back, close your eyes and just listen.  Sweatshirt’s rap is effortless and doesn’t disrupt the original flow, keeping the piece chill.  I definitely find myself hitting repeat on this track when in my evening tranq state.