Thursday, December 25, 2014

Truth We Are (Music)


The Truth, residing in Texas is an up and coming rapper who is very skilled with lyrics and subject matter. Unfortunately, I kind of know writing this review, I have to give him a bit of tough love so I dont seem biased. Let it begin!!!

1. The Way I Fell In

A typical intro to an album. Truth is talking about what brought him into rap in the first place; how he got where he is today. What people inspired him and the steps it took him to get him as skilled as he is now. He doesnt shy away from showing his extended vocabulary and lyricism either. Although it isn't a new way to start an album, it isn't bad either...especially when you do it the way he did.

2. What They Deserve

This is his dedication to everyone who supports him from the beginning. A nice way to follow up the intro, as it kind of connects with it well.

3. Dont

This is the hardest part of the review I will have to write. No, it isn't because of what I feel about the song, as is.. it is the fact that I know EXACTLY up and down, left and right, inside and out, what/who this song is about and the fact that I went through every single part of this song as well. The confusion, the anger, the sadness. This is the hardest song to listen to as well as the one I go to listen to every time I turn We Are (Music) on. It is my favorite and least favorite song on the album. It's a song Im so appreciative that Tanner wrote and recorded, but a song I wish never had to be made. Im sure he feels the same.

4. Ease My Mind

This song seems to cover a bunch of different topics. What I got out of it was that his mind seems to be going through a ouroboros-like cycle and they start racing. You know how it seems that nothing seems to go your way and nothing seems to give. You want to change but it doesn't gets to the point where he feels like it's going to destroy him and that's why he's getting this message out. I could be wrong....but I feel that's what inspires this song was a night where he was feeling a bit of frustration with something in his life and he was over-thinking things; like one of those nights where you're just alone or lying in bed wide awake and have nothing else to do but let your mind race.

5. Dear Bailey

I dig the dedication to his girl, I'm sure she does too. I even dig how he sort of played it from her perspective as well. However, I am not so much a fan of the crooning he did to show it. It is a nice song to show us how he came to meet and become something great with one of the most important people in his life.

6. Raw

Not a huge fan of all that's going on in the beat. Not that it's bad but I do dig his lyricism he uses in the song.

7. Steez ft./ Myneiss

Bars....bruh....OHHH NOOOOOOO!!!! A simpler hook that allows you to focus more on the MUCH better beat and the impressive bars on Truth's verse that flow perfectly. The feature did okay, I guess. I liked the first half of his first verse but then it got a little off in the final half...he picked back up on the nice flow he had in the beginning of the third verse to the song, so all is well.

8. Dedication

Dedication is that type of music that has so much meaning and inspiration for the listener. This is where I feel he separates himself from other rappers in his area and my own. This isn't the type of talent or subject matter you expect to hear from a someone at his current level.

9. Lifted ft./ Myneiss

My first impressions were something from early Big Sean. Even his flow sounded like early B-I-G as well. Once again though, the way he raps and covers certain topics, while also making an easy song to bob your head back and forth to, isn't something you see a lot these days. That feature verse was ASS though bruh....come on, son. I felt like he read an inspirational children's doctor suess book.

10. No Words ft./ Livesosa

This shit was hot. This is that anthem for heading to the party or club or somewhere; that living the good life type shit. Dude on the hook was definitely trying to show off for sure too.

11. Ghost

The message is simple really; Truth is on another level. He's perfectly fine with it being him against everyone else, he'll still like his chances.

12. Rillos Interlude

Getting back into that weird beat selection and crooning in certain parts again but I like the lyrics once again.

13. Fear

I mean...anyone who knows me, knows I can't be mad at this beat. 

Too many niggas....not enough hoesssssssssss......Im going big...suck my dick

That was a long cough, my bad.

Now see I dont mind when someone uses someone else's creation. Of course, I only truly appreciate it when someone shows their own creativity and makes their own song(in this example) out of it. I believe he did just that with this song.

14. Swag Cookin ft./ Bobby Fisha and Mugz

Son got them one fish two fish, red fish blue fish ass niggas on the track again, but the track goes hard.

15. Shadows ft./ Daviglio

A message to his brother and a song about him dealing with all the natural responsibilities of being the older sibling. There's also a hint of tragedy in this song as well.

16. Fall

Even though I made fun of it a bit back in 'Dear Bailey' I do enjoy hearing the person use someone else's perspective to tell a first-person story. This is one of my favorite songs on the album actually. It tells the stories and then doesnt stay past its welcome.

17. Outro

To finish off the album, he wanted to leave a message for everyone to let them know he himself isn't finished. I feel like it is a combination of What They Deserve and Dedication mixed together. However, it has just enough to set itself apart from the  other two.

Truth did a good job of trying to make sure the album covers a lot of good topics and each song not sounding completely the same as the other. I didn't make fun of it much either so that's a good thing. For it to be at this level and so early in Truth's career, I'm highly-anticipating his future work, so that I can witness how much he grows and see how far he goes. 

9 out of 10

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Logic Under Pressure Album Review

The Best Debut Album Since "good kid, m.A.A.d. City"

Out of my past three reviews, this is the one I couldn't wait to do. After his Young Sinatra mixtapes, Under Pressure has climbed up a lot of rap fans most anticipated albums. He employs great lyricism and the ability to tell great stories with every song and every bar. He has shown the ability to make great music. I would do my typical DBZ narrator "will this continue? Find out blah blah blah" stuff but I'm pretty sure that the heading gave the answer away. This is my fifth time listening to the album as I'm writing this review and I'll listen to it a few more times while writing

To be honest, Under Pressure just plays so smoothly and you can just let it play through and go about your daily activities; of course you're better off listening to every word closely, to truly appreciate its meaning and the part it has in his story. It's taken me this long to write this album because of the fact I get caught up in just listening to it; seeing if I notice something I haven't the previous listen.

I haven't heard someone mix everything so well since the best rappers to ever do it. Yet, without further ado let's finally get into it...

1. Intro

A tale of what inspired the name of the album, how Logic got to where he is now, how he felt beforehand and his thoughts on life as a whole. This also starts the sequence of skits, starring an automated voice, Thalia to give the album the feel of a tour into his life. Great start. 

2. Soul Food

In Dreams and Nightmares, Meek Mill starts off slow and smooth; halfway through the beat changes and Meek Mill goes harder, becoming very loved by many fans. Logic does something similar with Soul Food but instead of speaking louder(almost hollering), Logic just comes with harder bars and increased lyricism. There are many topics covered in both verses. Sort of a rehash of the first song, Logic covers growing up in Maryland and his family, loss, so on and so forth. The second verse is covering how he got here now and will not slow down. Also, leaving messages to everyone, fans, haters and fellow rappers. Loved it. 

3. Im Gone

Logic talks about how he is above others because he has graduated to a higher standard in rapping. Everyone is still rapping about the same stuff and he's already surpassed the simple rapping part of his life, which is a common topic in the album. After mentioning how he has surpassed those types of rappers, he raps about those types of things "females, marijuana, etc." effortlessly and shows how easy it is to him, while making a better song than his competition could. 

4. Gang Related

Usually you expect a song called "Gang Related" to be about the singer/rapper partaking in gang related actions. However, this song is more so a story about Logic witnessing them every day of his life. Actually a breath of fresh air, Logic actually talks about how it affected him instead of saying he was just as hard as everyone else. He didn't condone the actions, he questioned them. 

5. Buried Alive

This song tells everyone they should continue to persevere even when you feel like you've reached your limit. Not only is he telling the listener this, but telling himself as well. Making it through his own self-doubt allows him inspire you to get through yours. At first, I think it's the constant keyboard playing over the whole beat bothered me, but after awhile I warmed up to it.

6. Bounce

There are a lot of references to many other songs in this and mentioning "Nikki" for the first time...Logic starts to talk about how he's meant to take on the game. I don't necessarily believe these references were challenges but more so just shouting out who the rappers he considers himself amongst. "God Goddamn" sounds like an adlib in K. Dot's Good kid m.a.a.d. city song. "Take a trip, little trip" flows and sounds like "crush a bit little bit" in Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi. He also references Project Pat and many more throughout the song.

7. Growing Pains III

The third installment of the series of songs, Logic talks about how his growth has stressed him out at times which has caused him to need his precious Nikki once again. The tour continues.

8.Never Enough

Sounding very soulful at first, this is a quick song about taking over and not needing any help. It's a shorter version of bounce in a way. Probably the first song I didn't quite LOVE but I still didnt hate it or anything like that either. Tight beat, still pretty damn great lyrics. I think it served as a way to progress to the rest of the album though, possibly.

9. Metropolis

Perhaps Im looking too much into this...but obviously Superman lives in Metropolis, Logic referring to himself as Superman, is talking about the city he grew up in(Smallville for Clark Kent) and also references his love "Nikki" again, which might also be his own kryptonite. Also talking about going through the issues through his life to get to Superman's level and leaving Smallville(normal life) to get to Metropolis(fame).

10. Nikki

One of these is the love of his life...which one?

What's the difference between love and addiction? Is there a difference? You need both of the things in your life, right? Both make you feel better when you have them; even if they're not good for you or worse, killing you. Nikki is actually Logic's nickname for nicotine and throughout all these songs, the girl he's been talking about being in love with is actually just that, nicotine. As mentioned in my Game album review this is my favorite symbolism in music. Logic talks about the only thing in life that has gone through it with him from the start, the thing that keeps him alive, the thing that kills him at the same time. He can't live with or without it.

11. Under Pressure

Being nine minutes long, you dont even realize it's that long if you're just doing normal daily activities. The song progresses and Logic switches his flows and certain aspects of the beat accordingly to keep your interest throughout. In a way, I also think he's trying go against what a lot of rappers talk about when it comes to money, a lot of rappers only want to talk about money. Logic has it, but when it becomes the main topic, he gives everyone the dial tone. To be honest this song has so much in it....its actually kind of the whole album's topics in one song. It's hard to cover all the topics but his life, his friends life, their problems, his haters, his dad who wasnt there for him, so on and so forth. You can really just dive into this nine minutes and not get bored.

12. Till The End

The end to the regular album, he ends his story, for now, talking about the improvements he's made because of everything mentioned in the rest of the album. That is why everything is all connected and laced with the tour guide like narrator. You're supposed to experience the same epiphany and realization that Logic came to from reaching fame and while making this album.

13. Driving Ms. Daisy ft./ Childish Gambino

Surely it cant be over though right? Can we keep going, please?

Mr. Glover approves
The fact that two of my favorite rappers are on the same track together made this amazing for me. This is about appreciating the good things that life gives you and being yourself. A lot of references and word plays connecting to driving are heard throughout the song. 

14. Now

Second bonus track..
This is about his doubters and how they've switched up over the time he went from nothing to something. He's mocking them; now showing off in front of them. Probably the hardest beat on the album as well.

15. Alright ft./ Big Sean

I kind of feel like Big Sean was just put on here to...I guess attract some fans, I dont know. Dont get me wrong, I like Big Sean, but he just doesnt seem to even fit in the track at all. An otherwise well put together song, he seems to ruin the mood and chill feel that the beat along with Logic's lyrics establish early on. Probably should've made this a song to come on earlier instead of the finish to a great deluxe edition.

Final Thoughts...

This is possibly my favorite album of the year. Honestly, straight off the top of my head, its the hip-hop album of the year. A lot of people talk about how it feels so 90s...I disagree. I just feel that the album perfectly utilizes what true hip-hop is, similar to how it was IN THE 90's. This is exactly what music needs right now. A few small issues cant keep this from being a...

10 out of 10

Now rewind...

and replay..

Saturday, November 1, 2014

T.I. Paperwork Album Review

Im a huge T.I. fan. There was a time where he was in my top 5 favorites. I still believe he is very under-appreciated, but sure enough the top 5 talk has subsided. T.I. although rough in a lot of his music, he still shows how intelligent he is from his vocabulary. T.I. has done a lot; he was even floating fitted hats over his head, way before Bobby Shmurda ever did.

1. King

This is your typical, Im the best and I will do this and I will do that and I will do it as I please...even though he got caught doing stuff with Miss Piggy in jail multiple times and had to be punished accordingly. But hey...we're not going to hold that against Cliff....we all have our moments where we need a little something something. In a way it feels he's just trying to remind you of the good ol' days T.I.P. other than actually showing it with this song. There is a lot of "I will/would" instead of "I have/am". If you get what I'm saying. Some cool references and connections to the mafia and all that but it isnt like anyone has ever done that before..

2. G' Shit ft./ Jeezy and WatchTheDuck

This beat SCREAMS Pharrell and sure enough it is produced by the man himself. The trio of T.I., Jeezy and Watch The Duck(tf?) made a great feeling, coming of age in the hood, as a hustler story together. I have to say Jeezy and T.I. together is reaching AT LEAST Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky levels. I mean they aren't at Jada and The Ghost, Jigga and Yeezy or Run DMC levels yet...but they are a great team and they feed off each other well. 

3. About the Money ft./ Young Thug

Bustin' out the bando
A nigga jewelry real metal like a can opener
I went from rags to riches to a feature with Tip
I went from Smart Car to a bitch with some smart lips
And the F&N make my hip limp
I'm goin' fishin' with these little bitty shrimp dimps
And my bank roll got a big dip
She gon' bring it on a big ship
Quite trill, no Quik Trip
I got drugs in the alley, know Tip there
She just wanna have a good day
Smoke way more weed than a guy in L.A

I want them birds 'til next May
Never let em fly away

What!? Aye buddy, aye buddy 

That's the lyrics and a link to RapGenius to understand what the hell it is this...I dont even saying...because I know none of you could because I can't either. 

The funny thing is I actually feel the song as a whole. I mean maybe not being able to understand him is what makes Young Thug tolerable to his fans...does he have fans or just people in a trance? I dont know...but Im actually not going to take any points off. 

4. New National Anthem ft./ Skylar Grey

I like this song...and I love Skylar Grey on the chorus. This is a song about what America has become and how we are nothing like what this country originated from anymore. This is supposed to send that message to everyone and maybe make a change. It's supposed to stand against police brutality. It's supposed to stand for making a change. But I kind of feel an outside source forced the whole "guns are bad" talk. Other than that I approve of a deep song with meaning and attempting to get people thinking. Placing this song right after the Young Thug feature might actually be quite strategic as well.

5. Oh Yeah ft./ Pharrell

So after attracting some young people with a fun song about money, followed by something with a bit of meaning and to switch their way of thinking on something that ACTUALLY matters.....maybe they're starting to see things a bit differently and with this song T.I. is reestablishing himself as the man in charge and the best to follow. Or maybe Im totally just over-thinking here, which I probably am. I have to say I prefer this approach to showing he'll take any challenge or that he is the strongest over what he did with King earlier.

6. Private Show ft./ Chris Brown

It's hard to take over the world without any if you want to be with the King youre going to have to take it off for see although Clifford is quite the busy man challenging God for runner of the universe and all that, he still needs to spend all that money he makes off of hustling. So here he is with Chris Brown trying to show some coolness in the strip clubs. There's nothing like taking advantage of females with low enough self esteem to dance near nude for men, right? It's kind of cool though.

7. No Mediocre ft./ Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea knows what life is like in the hood. Everything in Australia is poisonous. On the toilets in America, we only worry about the STD Australia there are ACTUAL crabs on the toilet seats. I mean shit is real out here.

Bruh....look at the ferocity in dude's eyes at the end...
The song is just corney and too simple for my interests. Plain and simple

8. Jet Fuel ft./ Boosie Badazz

Tip and the walking spelling bee BLESSED this track, man. I mean sure, it's only about smoking the best weed but I'd prefer that over any other drug. The song is catchy. The flows utilized by Boosie and T.I. were perfect. 

9. Paperwork ft./ Pharrell

This song is filled with SOUL. Pharrell is PERFECT at making some old school, magical sounding music.

Sometimes too perfect.

And once again the team of T.I. and Pharrell make a great sounding song. The song is best described in the quote "money makes the world go around" and pretty much you need it to get the perfect life. 

10. Stay ft./ Victoria Monet

The songs are getting a lot better...but at this point Im a little burnt out on the low quality from previous tracks. This one is basically about him wanting to do anything he could to get her to "stay"...its a good song. I enjoyed it.

11. About My Issue ft./ Victoria Monet and Nipsey Hussle

About time Nipsey Hussle is on something! He saved the song IMO which the song is about taking every issue head on and even dying if they have to.

12. At Ya Own Risk ft./ Usher

See usually I despise this type of song here...but here I like it. See, he's pretty much telling this chick that even though she has a man it's okay to still come along with him...but SHE is the one that has to accept she's a whore, if she does so; I can live with that. Usher did his thing as well.

13. On Doe On Phil ft./ Trae The Truth

It was was really just bars to me; no set meaning to the song. Trae was the weak part of the song. He had to finish every bar with n*gga and it was pretty annoying. 

14. Light Em Up ft./ Pharrell and WatchTheDuck

Dedicated to his buddy Doe B...this is a song mourning for him and anyone who has lost someone who should still be here can relate. It was a story of memories with him and how they came to point of him passing away. Suffering can also truly be felt from the way each artist expresses themselves in each song.

15. Let Your Heart Go ft./ The Dream

The yup in the background wasn't needed. This song is connected to the last one in a way that even though he still grieves he's going to let life go on but never forget. I can never complain about two very deep songs in a row.

16. Sugar Cane

Nope not those kind of canes

I like the feel of the song but there isnt much I can say about it. What sounds like a TLC-esque bridge towards the ending, an uncredited singer sounded really good and made the song click.

17. I Dont Know

Actually kind of creative. The instant you hear this song you're expecting it to be just another song about how T.I. doesnt take shit from anyone. This is true...but it's even more true when it comes to his children. T.I. will defend/protect them at all costs, no matter what they think about it afterwards. I'm sure any parent can connect with this song.

18. You Can Tell How I Walk ft./ Rick Ross

Ricky's weight loss has him comfortable rapping about all sorts of different things now....including exercise and how he does it. However, he didn't take the time to shout out all the peach out there who helped him get where he is now. This is a good song and T.I. closes out somewhat like he opened...showing he's in charge and making the rules. Rick Ross put out some ignorance as usual. 

This was better than I thought it would be..the worst thing about it was that I got kind of tired of listening to it after a while.

5.5 out of 10

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Game Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf Album Review

Im going to get right into it. I'm sure you dont need an intro for The Game. Before I do, Im just going to say every beat on this album was AWESOME. Let's go.

1. Bigger Than Me 

This is actually one of my favorite Game songs ever. It's easily the hardest I've heard all year, even though it came out last year. I'm one of those guys that has gotten annoyed by Game's name dropping in the past, but here it fits. The way he comes for people's heads in this is similar to Kendrick's verse in Control but harder.

2. F.U.N.

A lovely inspirational song about robbing and killing n*ggas; you gotta love it. No not really, you dont. Honestly, it's hard, but I'm tired hearing the N word on this shit already. I wont let that ruin the song though. That sound clip of the wolf howl at the end has been in pretty much every werewolf thing ever and is lazy/cheesy/cringeworthy though.

3. Really ft./ Yo Gotti, T.I., 2 Chainz and Soulja Boy

N*gga said he gon' kill him, boo boo. *snap snap*

Did I really just read that name? Haven't we gotten to the point we dont even have to acknowledge this fucking hefty bag exists? Damn you Jayceon. Like what the hell were you thinking? Did he beg you for a spot on your CD to be relevant again? I can't picture you having this song recorded minus the hook and as you're listening, you decide "man.....Deandre Way would be the gayest thing I could fill this emptiness with...Totes going to put Deandre Way on the hook here!"
In what way do you find it a wise idea to follow up Bigger Than Me with a Soulja Boy feature, bruh? Im just saying, if Game said "Yeah DeAndre go 'head and fuck these fuck n*ggas" instead of Frank Ocean, the line wouldve still made perfect sense, man. FOHWTBS Game. 

4. Fuck Yo Feelings ft./ Lil Wayne and Chris Brown

If you forget the name of the song by any chance they repeat that shit more times than the N word has been said in the past three songs put together. To make matters worse, not only do you hear Lil Wayne and Chris Brown's voices autotuned....but sure enough Game joins in on the fun too. I was cool until I heard this deep-voiced, smoke 30 packs of backward newports a minute sounding asshole trying to make himself Johnny 5 or something, I had to turn it off.

5. On One ft./ TyDollaSign & King Marie

I don't want to keep on complaining so much and bring back the same song over and over....but wasn't this one of the dudes on the rookie XXL cover Game ripped in Bigger Than Me's music video? Jayceon has to be the biggest pathological, hypocritical, contradicting rapper of all time, next to Drake. Like if Jayceon was Jane...she would be one of those girls that's always posting on facebook about how she can't find a good guy; even though all she dates are guys that treat her like shit because that's the only attention she gets. Honestly this has been the first song I've enjoyed since F.U.N. though so at least we're going somewhere.

6. Married to the Game ft./ French Montana, Sam Hook and Dub.B

This is about if Game was cloned and made into a female and he/she were to fall in love with herself and see French Montana was the priest and Dubb was the jealous best man because he wanted to marry him/her but they end up together anyway because they love each other because theyre the same person and at the end of the day you have to love yourself no matter what anyone else says. This shit is so beautiful bruh...

At least that's what I got out of it.

Nah....all jokes aside I really enjoyed this track...and i always enjoy when someone makes "the game" the love of their life. They officially replaced the n word with "mother fucker" as the overly used word in the album though.

7. The Purge ft./ Stacy Barth

So, I dont get what the love is with the most mediocre thriller movie of all time coming out and now everyone wants to use it in their stuff but regardless of that....this is probably the best way I've witnessed. The song had a great dedication to two people in his life. There are a lot  of deep situations being discussed in this song, past and present. Some of the things I dont quite agree with but I understand where his frustration is coming from. Stacy Barth did very well as a feature.

8. Trouble On My Mind ft./ Dub.B, Jake and Pappa

Now Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf was meant to show off the talents of Game's crew....and here it is the most evident. I have to say Dubb is probably my favorite so far; his voice and emotion kind of reminds me of Em in a way...dont get me wrong, he's nowhere near him but the way he expresses himself is surely close.

9. Cellphone ft./ Dub.B

This is a really good song and continuing with the praise of Dub.B, I enjoyed him once again, this time he sounded more like a ScHoolboy Q. But the skits have officially gotten on my nerves....I dont want to hear that dumb shit. They couldve connected it to the song in a much more tasteful way, no argument needed; the song DESERVED something better than that.

10. Best Head Over ft./ Tyga and Eric Bellinger

 Am I supposed to want some head from this chick after she was a big enough hoe to suck a canine off? Nah...FOH....take Tyga and Meek Mill on helium with you.

11. Or Nah ft./ Too Short, Problem, AV and Eric Bellinger 

I dont want to like this song...but I cant help it....something about it makes me enjoy it. I have nothing to say otherwise....but it kind of sounds like something you'd hear during the 80's.

12. Take That ft./ Tyga again? and Pharoah Prophet

Tyga isnt as irrelevant as Soulja Boy but why is this dude on two songs? I'd expect to hear this shit from a XXL Cover member but not The Game...shit was boring.

13. Food For My Stomache ft./ Dub.B and Skeme 

If this album achieved anything, it actually did make me want to check out Dub.B and Skeme. I wish more of the songs sounded like this...probably my favorite song on the album thus far. This time Dub kind of uses a Kendrick Lamar flow...but he goes in. I mean the first bar of the song was a little suspect "i sink my teeth because these niggas is sweet"

Other than that it was hard to complain. 

14. Hit Em Hard ft./ Bobby Shmurda, Skeme and Freddy Gibbs

Just put this on and...

let me...

Once again I fuck with this as a song to go to the gym and get pumped to....or just get hype to in general for anything.

15. Black On Black ft./ Jeezy and Kevin Gates

Yo....Jayceon got Jeezy???? Oh actual tight rapper that I believe when they speak? Bruh....two of them? Oh shit!!!! This is tight! Thank you Game for finishing this album better than it was in the middle.

16. Bloody Moon

Like I said, a great way to end the album. This was about how he's alone and as the outro it didnt stay past its welcome. You know??? He didnt over-saturate you with man tears like Jermaine Eeyore Cole or Drippy Drake would. 

I didnt have the bonus tracks for my I obviously cant throw my opinion out there. Anyway, this is just the first to three reviews I have coming in the next few days. As far as this goes, my final thoughts are that it isn't that bad but no more than average. I really hope that Documentary 2 is amazing. It needs to be if it's going to be the successor to one of the best debut rap albums of all time.

I give it a 5 out of 10

Top 10 Mixtapes of the Past 5 Years

A couple weeks ago, Childish Gambino put out a GREAT mixtape called STN/MTN. It was a great mixtape that showed how much growth the actor/rapper has gone through since his debut mixtape Culdesac. Afterwards, I started to think about how hip-hop has been doing some growing of its own. Sure it isnt on the level of the late 80's to early 90's...but that doesnt mean we haven't had some great music recently. 

Around 2006, hip-hop started to go down hill. Ringtone downloads and yuuuuuuing became more important than actually making something with a story, something with substance, something that actually made sense. However, since 2010, some great new rappers have come out and hip-hop has gotten back on track because of it. Sure the worm escaping from the Men In Black headquarters has been pretty bad for our ears.

Im a stoner.
Yet can we really say the Chief Keefs, Trinidad James and Young Thugs ruin it for the K Dots, J. Coles and even Drakes? No. I dont think so. So here is why I decided to write this list; the top 10 mixtapes to come out in the past five years!

I want to start by saying this was a VERY hard list to write. There are so many mixtapes that aren't on this list that I wish could've been. This goes to show you(and prove my point) how far hip-hop music really has come in the past half a decade. 

Before we begin I wanted to give some honorable mentions. As I said before, there were a lot of mixtapes I couldn't put on here that I wanted to. So, just to let you know that I was still thinking about them, they will be mentioned as followed.


1. Joey BadA$$ - 1999 

This and Summer Knights were absolutely amazing. Pro Era Aprocalypse also gets a mention here. However, out of all of them, 1999 was my favorite. Joey makes many references of the golden age of hip-hop. It's to the point you're thinking about where you were at the time you first heard the same ones he's referencing. A great trip down memory lane from a guy who technically wasnt even alive during the times the memories were occurring.

Favorite song: Waves

2. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra

Before he was screeching on awards shows and Saturday Night Live. Frank Ocean came out with this work of art. Nostalgia, Ultra is actually Frank Ocean's first album but it is what a mixtape should be. Frank Ocean actually released this on his own due to Def Jam acting like he doesn't exist. He showed that was a horrible decision with N,U. As a gamer, Frank Ocean using video games to name his skits after was the easiest way to win me over. Lonny Breaux Collection also gets a big salute from me!

Favorite Song: Novacane

3. XV - Popular Culture

Another nostalgia trip on my list.. Popular Culture reminded me of everything I enjoyed growing up. It's also a story about him growing up and how pop culture had an effect on him as he grew up and became who he is today. I connect with it so much because it reminds me of myself and it is the mixtape I wanted to include the most.

Favorite Song: Ahhh! Real Monsters 

Time to move on to the top 10. I hope you enjoy!

10. Nipsey Hussle - Crenshaw 

This isn't the best mixtape of the past 5 years but it was probably the most anticipated, next to another entry on the list. When people will line up at multiple locations to spend $100 on your mixtape, you have to be doing something right. The best part of Nipsey Hussle and Crenshaw to me is he really makes music that can be anthems for any part of life you're in at the moment. No matter what you like to do, there is a song on Crenshaw for you. I'm also a sucker for music that is perfect for just turning the headphones up and chilling, bobbing your head back and forth to; that's what Crenshaw does for me. 

Favorite Songs: To be honest, I like them all at the same level. You can really just play this mixtape through without skipping once. To stay consistent with the article though I'll say

U See Us, Check Me Out, 4 In The Morning and Crenshaw and Slauson

9. Problem and Iamsu - Million Dollar Afro

To be honest, this really isnt my style but it has SO MUCH quality inside. MDA is just put together so well and has a good mixture of styles. Every song bumps and will have you bumping your head. It reminds me of music from the early 2000's right before it took the horrible turn it did. The best part of MDA is that it is a very fun mixtape that doesn't make you shake your head at the lyrics. 

Favorite songs: That N*gga, Gas, Hunnits

8. Meek Mill - DreamChasers 2

It was May 7th 2012 and I couldnt wait to get home from work. Swiftly I loaded up my computer and couldnt wait to download DreamChasers 2 and I couldn't. That's right. DC2 was so highly anticipated it shut down a couple of websites. Then a few hours later I could...and the wait was absolutely worth it! I've begun to stop enjoying Meek Mill, I couldn't even get into DreamChasers 3 because all he does is yell now . Yet this and its predecessor were really awesome. It includes one of my favorite Meek Mill songs ever, which samples one of my favorite rap songs ever. Easily his best work since he's been in the game. Best part of the mixtape is the feature list: Rick Ross, Big Sean, Fabolous, Kendrick Lamar, etc. 

Favorite Songs: Once again this is a song you can play through with no skips. However, I'd have to say Ready or Not and Flexing.

7. Logic - Young Sinatra: Undeniable/Welcome To Forever

Okay, I cheated. These two are so equally great that I had to include them as one. These two belong on the top 10 list because they solidified Logic as one of the best rappers to come out this decade. He probably is the best rapper to come out this decade lyrically and the Young Sinatra mixtapes will attest to that. I cannot wait to get Under Pressure and I will probably own it by the time you read this. The best part of the Young Sinatra mixtapes are the lyrics and probably the inspiration it gives you. Not anyone can put such a timeless individual as Frank Sinatra on something and get away with it. Luckily, Logic did.

Favorite songs: Choosing that is a sin and I refuse to do so and since I already cheated once I thought I would do it again. Dont give me that look. No it's not because he's white. Alright! Inception and Roll Call.....there happy?

6. Fabolous - The S.O.U.L. Tape 2

If Nipsey Hussle is one of the most underrated rappers of the west side, Fabolous is the most underrated rapper, period. No one has stood the tests of time like he has. Name someone. Jay Z, Eminem, Nas? Okay. You're right. But notice that everyone you mention is already acknowledged as one of the best rappers of all time. Fabolous belongs there too. The Soul Tape 2 is what Fabolous has put out consistently for years; witty punch lines flowing perfectly off of some of the hottest beats you will ever hear.

Favorite songs: B.I.T.E and Want You Back

5. A$AP Rocky - Live.Love.A$AP 

I'm used to being the only person(or one of the only people) to know about something or someone, especially when it comes to music. However, I remember walking into a class one day early 2012 and hearing a classmate blasting Brand New Guy through their headphones and then another student turning around in their seat asking(already knowing the answer)"AWW SHIT IS THAT ASAP ROCKY!?!??!" And I realized how popular this dude already was. ASAP Rocky introduced himself as a man of many different skills and styles. He's a jack of all trades, a master of none, but with all of those things he mixes together helped form the best mixtape of 2011. He raps effortlessly and that's actually what makes him so good, he has a great melody to his flow as well....almost like 50 Cent but not as great. 

Favorite songs: Bass, Peso, Demons and Wassup

4. J. Cole - Friday Night Lights

 It took me a little time to get into J. Cole. Maybe it's because I judge some rappers before I give them a chance. Yet, after coming to my senses and listening to this in 2012(two years after it came out), I realized the error of my ways and instantly realized how great Jermaine is. Sure...he does have some sad Eeyore moments in his music and I love making fun of him almost as much as I love making fun of Aubrey Graham... but the way he raps is absolutely amazing. The best part to Friday Night Lights is its stories and J. Cole's lyrical prowess. Something I love is when a rapper samples another rapper's beat(or any musician) and then makes that beat their OWN song, nothing like the original version. Friday Night Lights has a great example of this in Villematic.

Favorite songs: Before Im Gone and In the Morning

3.  Wiz Khalifa - Kush & OJ 

Before Wiz turned into the Carella Deville or whatever the hell he is now....he came out with one of the best mixtapes of all time in Kush & OJ. You dont have to smoke to be into this, just be anything other than a miserable bum. The best part of Kush & Orange Juice is that it is just a great feeling mixtape that will put you in a great upbeat mood. It's also EXTREMELY smooth throughout, which is what Wiz Khalifa is still a pro at creating, smooth music. When you also take the time to find a song in a game like Chrono Trigger makes me take more notice. I've loved Wiz Khalifa since the Say Yeah days, back in like 2007 or so, this mixtape made him one of my favorite rappers. 

Favorite Songs: Never Been, Still Blazin' and Good Dank

2. Wale - More About Nothing

Man....this mixtape right here is just...I dont know...perfection? Close to it. Wale gets a lot of hate...Im pretty sure a lot of people hate on this too. I guess that's because it's different from its predecessor and maybe people wanted a second part to a different mixtape he made? Who knows. Maybe I dont know because Wale is another rapper that took me a bit to get into and Im not a "veteran fan" who knows like the day one know how those people are right? Anyway, once again Wale used probably the best sitcom of all time as a theme to make a great mixtape. Wale showed off his ability to speak on any topic throughout using his amazing vocabulary and his confidence shows throughout the whole piece.

Favorite songs: The Soup(i mean...duh) and The Flight

1. Kendrick Lamar - O(verly) D(edicated)

Im calling it now(be sure to answer the phone). Someone is going to say this is all due to bias. Here's the thing...if it is bias, it's because this mixtape is what made K. Dot my favorite rapper. It was the best thing I've heard in a long time and he hasn't slowed down since. Every song on O.D. is magical and an example of Kendrick Lamar's unique style and skill. Every lyric has a message, a meaning. Every song is connected to something else in some way. I havent heard someone connect multiple meanings in single bars since Jay Z and his fellow Black Hippy member Ab-Soul. OD starts great but somehow finishes even better. 

Favorite songs: Opposites Attract, Ignorance is Bliss, H.O.C., Cut You Off

I wanted to reestablish that this was an EXTREMELY hard list to write. The problem with it was there was SO MANY great mixtapes to come out recently; to pick ten took weeks. To top that off in those weeks, more great mixtapes came out. I also wanted to stick to JUST mixtapes and away from EPs and free albums(which is why you dont see a lot of things on here that should be). Not everyone is going to agree with this list and I invite that. My goal with this article was to get people to talk about their favorites and spread knowledge of their favorites. I wanted for people to hear some of these if they haven't yet. I did it because music is important in our daily lives and there are too many people saying it's getting worse. The best thing this article could do is create debate. If it does, it proves my thoughts correct. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this! Keep listening!