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Album Review: Flower Boy
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Album Review: Flower Boy

Officially known as Scum F**k Flower Boy (hereafter SFFB), the latest album by Tyler, the Creator is making waves on charts everywhere. It was named “Best New Music” hours after its release on July 21, and the single “Who Dat Boy” ft. A$AP Rocky was the #1 streamed song on Spotify that day, as well.

I have to admit that after Tyler’s last album, Cherry Bomb, I had very low expectations for SFFB. Now don’t get me wrong… I didn’t hate Cherry Bomb. I really loved a few of the songs, such as the jazzy “FIND YOUR WINGS.” However, given how I normally respond to Tyler’s work, I was incredibly underwhelmed.

With every listen of SFFB, I like the album more. Some of my favourite tracks include:

  1. “Who Dat Boy”
  2. “Boredom”
  3. “I Ain’t Got Time”
  4. “See You Again”

There’s been talk about the lyrics of tracks like “Garden Shed” being an admission of Tyler’s homosexuality. If that’s the case, more power to him; love is love. Although as a long time listener, I get the feeling that the lyrics could literally just be in place to spark interest and conversation. In “I Ain’t Got Time,” he says that he’s “…been kissing white boys since 2004.” Who really knows besides Tyler?

If you haven’t already, Tyler fan or not, give this album a go. If you like mellower rap, this is the direction to go in. There are quite a few soft vocals and piano samples sprinkled throughout, which definitely adds to my list of reasons why I enjoy it so much.

Watch the video for “Who Dat Boy” here:

Good Kid Good Friday: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
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Good Kid Good Friday: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar

Technically, my time with Radio Laurier is over… but I couldn’t resist jumping at the opportunity to review DAMN. by the one and only Kendrick LamarAfter the release of his acclaimed concept album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 and accompanying piece Untitled Unmastered in 2016, I was convinced that Kendrick would be on a break.

Then, it happened. Out of nowhere, he dropped a track called, The Heart Part 4,” which indicated that a new album was coming. It cited April 7, but I had to patiently wait until Good Friday, April 14. It really was a good Friday. Little did I know that DAMN. would become my favourite of Kendrick’s albums to date.

Here are the five main reasons why I love it so much:

  1.  It isn’t just a rap album. Each track offers something in terms of genre.
  2.  Family matters come to the surface, which is reminiscent of 2012’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City.
  3.  The collaborations with Rihanna and U2 are somewhat unexpected, yet incredible.
  4.  Kenny is fearless in his critiques on the government and the media, especially Fox News.
  5. Two words: production value.

He is the greatest rapper alive (sorry… still stuck on “The Heart Part 4”).

Kendrick has been acclaimed for his music videos, especially those coupled with tracks from To Pimp a Butterfly. I lost my mind when the video for “HUMBLE.” dropped, which is where the image at the very top of this post is from. If you haven’t seen it yet, click below.

Just when I thought that my 2017 was made, the DAMN. tour was announced. Cornrow Kenny will be going on tour with Travis Scott and Big Baby D.R.A.M. Of course, my boyfriend and I got pre-sale tickets for his show in Toronto on July 25. I’m definitely going to be writing a concert review, so stay tuned for that.

My favourite tracks off of DAMN. are as follows:

  1. DNA.
  2. FEAR.
  3. HUMBLE.
  4. ELEMENT.
  5. YAH.

…but I love the whole thing.

3 ALBUMS FOR YOUR NEW PLAYLIST
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3 ALBUMS FOR YOUR NEW PLAYLIST

If you’re getting tired of your old, replayed songs and are a hip hop fanatic, 2017 is already ready to offer you new music for a brand new playlist.

 

FREE 6LACK

Upcoming artists 6lack, will soon be hitting the mainstream wave as his recent debut album “Free 6lack” has been hitting charts and made a great come up this year. If you need a chill vibe for your playlist then this album is perfect. 6lack ranges his songs in different emotions such as explaining why he left his previous label to explaining heartbreaks.

 

MORE LIFE

If you haven’t already heard, Drake released his playlist-like album a few weeks ago. Similarily to his other albums, he provides his fans with not only his infamous heartbreak songs but as well as some dancehall tunes. If you need some new songs for the summer, I personally recommend this fun album as it also has a taste of trap music.

 

I DECIDED

Big Sean’s debut album has been hitting hot on the charts recently. Featuring artists like Jhene Aiko, the album is able to provide his life story behind his come up in the hip hop industry. There are many heartfelt songs such as “Inspire Me” (dedicated to his mother) as well as hype tracks such as “Sacrifices”. If you need an album to stay in tune with the “humble-like” concept, take a look at the tracklist!

 

 

The Rap Up: Brantford Edition

Ep. 10

 

Recently played:

Owe Me – Big Sean

Gyal you a a party animal – Charly Black

Cash flow – tyus

Madiba Riddim – Drake

Passionfruit- Drake

Teenage Fever – Drake

Blue Jays Season – Tory Lanez

Exchange – Bryson Tiller

Open Interlude – Bryson Tiller

Deja Vu – J. Cole

Self control – Frank Ocean

Love drought – Beyonce

Solo – Frank Ocean

All night – Beyonce

Crew – Goldlink

The Zeitgeist of Hip-Hop: Migos’ Culture
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The Zeitgeist of Hip-Hop: Migos’ Culture

Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, set social media ablaze with all things Migos on January 8th when he shouted out the Atlanta hip-hop trio and their single “Bad and Boujee” during his first Golden Globes acceptance speech. The big ups to Migos increased Spotify streams of the single by a staggering 243 percent and it didn’t stop there—Glover confirmed an upcoming collaboration with the group and proclaimed Migos “the Beatles of this generation.” Currently, “Bad and Boujee” is the number one song on the Billboard 100.

Migos, no strangers to the charts, have ruled the past few years with singles such as “Versace” with a feature by Drake, “Look at my Dab,” and “Fight Night,” but would the string of successes continue for the trap trio upon the release of their latest musical effort?

With much hype and anticipation, Migos released their sophomore full-length album, Culture, on January 27th with features from heavy-hitters like Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert and 2 Chainz. Upon listening to the album through, I could not help but notice the vocal seamlessness of Qauvo, Offset, and Takeoff—a melodic and literal representation of their growth since their 2013 mixtape, Y.R.N. (Young Rich N****s). Migos’ growth spurt did not leave their signature catchy hooks and undeniable chemistry in the dust, but played on these strengths and set the bar for the future of hip-hop.

Most of the 13 songs on the album feature a heavy bass line without sounding indistinguishable from one another as unique songs. Being said, Migos has gone from mastering the art of the single to mastering the art of the album.

The Migos, without hesitation, have launched beyond notoriety into superstar status.

 

If you’re bad and boujee, you will (probably) like these tracks from Culture:

  • “Get Right Witcha”
  • “Slippery (feat. Gucci Mane)”
  • “Deadz (feat. 2 Chainz)”
  • “Out Yo Way”
New Album “WALLS” from Kings of Leon!
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New Album “WALLS” from Kings of Leon!

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The album was released a couple months ago but WALLS is still climbing the Billboard 200 at #107 and working it’s way up! Released on October 14th with RCA Records, this album topped the charts at No. 1 by November 5th. Surprisingly, WALLS is Kings of Leon‘s first No. 1 album. After 13 years of waiting, it’s about time! I’m sure certain celebrities *cough* Leonardo DiCaprio *cough* understand how it feels to have to wait for a grand achievement like this one. Speaking of achievements, Waste a Moment (one of my personal favorites) is the band’s 7th hit which reached the top 10 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart. Want to know more? Check out this Billboard 200 article for more detail!

Although Kings of Leon was not a band I commonly listened to, I had definitely heard of it and recognized the name when I was asked to review their newest album. I had always heard good things from others so I was excited to finally give the band a shot. I was not disappointed. WALLS has a good sound and I really enjoyed listening to the tracks on it. All of the songs seem to have deep meanings which is something I really like in a band. Plus, to elaborate on the general feel of the album, it’s definitely one you can listen to anytime, anywhere, no matter what mood you’re in. It’s good as background music while you study, which is perfect for a university student like me, but also great when you really listen to it and even better to sing along to.

At the same time I love how the songs on the album create a nice balance between upbeat and chill styles. It’s always good to have that mix of songs that make you want to dance but also make you feel something, you know? The song Waste a Moment compared to one like Conversation Piece, both songs I thoroughly enjoyed, really emphasizes this. I love the bittersweet, nostalgic feeling I get from this album. All of these factors make WALLS a great album and has encouraged me to listen to more of Kings of Leon‘s music. It’s never too late to start listening to a new band!

 

Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”
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Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

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It’s here. Childish Gambino has released his third studio album, Awaken, My Love! It is available on iTunes and Apple Music, Glassnote, Spotify, and through what he terms as a “virtual reality vinyl.” It is 11 tracks of nothing less than soul food. There is not a single ounce of rapping on the album. It is filled with smooth vibes, instrumentals, choir vocals, and overlaid spoken word. So far, besides the originally released singles of “Me and Your Mama” and “Redbone,” I am really into the songs “Baby Boy” and “Stand Tall,” as well as “California.”

Since it has only been released today, there is not yet any indication that Childish Gambino plans to tour this album, but because it is such easy listening, I wonder how it would do in a live setting. When I saw Gambino in back in 2014, he freestyle rapped and sang near the end of his performance, and it went from a hype hip-hop to a coffee house vibe in the blink of an eye. It was unexpected for a lot of people, given how fast-paced the rest of the show was. For me, this album is reminiscent of that specific moment, and therefore I think it could be carried forward in a tour.

In the spirit of subtle marketing, Gambino snuck his album artwork into the 9th episode of his show, Atlanta, called “Juneteenth.” The rapper (if we can even classify him anymore, being that he is so versatile), both writes and produces the show, as well as stars in it. As I said before, is there anything that he can’t do?

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There is only one song that I am huge not on, and it’s called “Riot.” It seems to disrupt the cohesion of the album a little bit, but this could change after a few more listens. Overall, I am going to give the album a rating of 9 out of 10. 

ICYMI, this is the audio of the first single from the album, titled “Me and Your Mama.”

Suggested article: The Great Gambino