The ”Revival”album by Eminem was anything but a revival for his career. At one time Eminem was the hottest crossover rapper in the game. Today he is still someone that has the ability to spit more than a few bars of hotness, but people are less inclined to stream his attacks on Trump and add his angry songs to their playlists. He represents an era of rap where the artist is at odds with what his fans want to hear. It is the same type of musical obscurity that Prince succumbed to before he passed.
Eminem is the portrait of an angry rapper. He has put his time in to building a career where most of his songs have been controversial and funny. There have been some seriousness in the songs he has written, but Eminem has always been someone that brought humor to hip hop.
In his old age Eminem has become someone that has had a bizarre downward spiral as a rapper. The motivation that he had to come after adversaries is not quite there anymore. It stands to reason that his focus is not the same because elements in his life that drove him to success are not the same.
The ongoing battle study had with the custody of his daughter with his ex are no longer a major issue. His daughter is a college student now. The issues that he had with his mother appeared to have been resolved over the years as his aggression about his own life took a backseat.
It stands to reason that an artist like Eminem that put so much of his own life into his rhymes is now at a point where he has no more fuel to rhyme about anything. He has aged and his rhymes are dismal.
Eminem is an artist that has had a plethora of platinum out of the years. He has become someone that is well-known in the hip hop community because he defied the odds. He made sure that he moved away from what was considered the norm and did something that was far left from anything that people need.
As a rapper that started his career as a bit of a jokester it appears that he is coming to a serious point as he nears retirement stage. The “Revival” album was an album that was on more of a serious tone with a lot of heavy lyrics that have gotten away from what he was originally known for doing his early days with Dr. Dre.
At this point Eminem is a much older artist, and he has an entirely different perspective on his life. His life has changed a lot from a celebrity status. This has caused them to become someone that reacts differently to the way that he creates music. He does not have the same reaction in the same mentality to create the things that made him successful. This transition from being poor to becoming rich covers a wide spectrum. It almost puts Eminem in a place where he really has nothing left to say when it comes to issues that are going on in the world.
The fans have disconnected themselves from Eminem even though he is still praised is one of the best rappers of this generation. He appears to be someone that is flustered with attempt at making albums because he is up against a much younger generation. In this day and age people are listening to more of the music that comes from the south. This takes Eminem out of the equation with the new millennials.
Even when Drake is absence he still knows how to come back into the rap game and make a very strong impression. This is what people have noticed when they take a serious look at the career that he has had so far. Drake seems to be someone that does no wrong when it comes to his selection of singles that he releases. It is obvious that he holds the key to content in America when it comes to rap, but many of his American fans may wonder how he fares in Canada.
The reality is that Drake is just as popular in Canada as he is in America. There have been other Canadian rappers that have tried to emulate his style and do what he does, but there is not anyone else out of Canada that has had the mainstream success that Drake has had when it comes to rap. It appears that he is someone that knows a lot about the culture in America because his dad lived in the south.
His ability to live in Canada during part of the year and Tennessee during the summer allowed him to gain a lot of experience about what was going on in hip-hop. Today Drake seems to be someone that can put out one hit after another without the bat of an eye. His latest single “Nice for What” is climbing up the charts, but this would not be the first time that Drake has been able to get something that would make people dance for the summer. From songs like “Hotline Bling” to the infectious “One Dance” it has become obvious that Drake is someone that knows how to create a catchy anthems at the right time. He has the ability to bounce back and forth into the spotlight.
Jermaine Lamarr Cole is known as one of the most divisive rappers these days, and everything suggests that he has no desire to change his bizarre style. J. Cole’s new single, ATM is supported by a colorful and supremely strange video that goes straight to the heart of that he considers to be a generational problem: money.
ATM is a promotional single for J. Cole’s new album, KOD. The video for ATM is a cartoon-like extravaganza tale about a rapper who strikes the big time and quickly runs out of cash. Judging by this first single, J. Cole has every intention of calling out what he sees wrong with hip-hop. ATM cannot be defined as a rap classic; in fact, J. Cole has confessed that he only spent a couple of weeks producing and recording KOD, but the hilarious message delivered by ATM feels like it could be timeless.
It should be noted that J. Cole’s lyrical delivery on ATM is clear and spot-on; this is a indictment on the current wave of “mumble rappers” and trap MCs who deviate from the sharp rhymes delivered during the Golden Age of rap. All tracks in KOD have a common purpose to parody the current state of hip-hop, which J. Cole is not very happy with.
The release of KOD has been mostly kept secret, and this is purely intentional. Material and emotional greed are two heavy-handed themes that J. Cole explores in KOD, and he believes that secretly rolling out his new album will send a strong message to rappers such as Drake and Kanye West, both known to use social media as a teasing platform for shameless promotion.
To promote KOD, J. Cole published a single Twitter update inviting followers and journalists to a secret listening party. Since there is always a catch with J. Cole, guests were not allowed to bring smartphones, recording devices or even pen and paper.
Lauryn Hill is in a category of her own. Former member of Grammy-award winning hip hop trio The Fugees, Ms Hill had a notable hit record of her own with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Her one and only solo album celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. This album was so groundbreaking that it has stood the test of time over a fast-moving contemporary world.
Lauryn Hill is one of the top figures of the classic neo-soul musical movement of the 90s. Her smooth, sultry, jazz-infused hip hop style gave way to the Khelanis and Szas of today in a similar way that Nina Simone gave way to Lauryn Hill’s era. Movements are much more accelerated these days, yet despite no new music on record for the past 20 years, Lauryn Hill is still a pillar in the music industry.
Part of the reason Hill is able to continue to tour year after year is first and foremost her talent level – she has an amazing voice that her fanbase never tires of hearing. Secondly, she actually does perform different songs outside of her albums. Part of the reason The Fugees disbanded and Lauryn Hill stopped recording as a solo artist is because of the business aspect. Perhaps Hill has just never had the right people around her because she has had all kind of legal battles from taxes to publishing.
Her performance style is typically that of the Unplugged special, technically her only other solo album. Ms. Hill usually plays the acoustic guitar and sings with other instrument accompaniments. The nation will get a chance to experience Lauryn Hill’s velvet chops once again this summer with a two leg tour, opening in Virginia Beach the day after Independence Day and ending in St. Louis in October.
Many fans of music, art, and fashion consider Kanye West to be somewhat of a maniacal genius. Despite some outlandish media stunts, when it comes to his craft, Mr. West rarely disappoints. Those that know and appreciate him as an artist were excited when they heard that Kanye West was holed up somewhere in nowheresville Wyoming, because they knew this must mean an album was coming. Leading industry influencers have even made mentions of missing Ye’s antics.
Kanye West satisfied the ever-so observant public with an announcement of not one, but two albums being released in the summer of 2018, June 1st and 8th consecutively. Less cryptic than other recent new music announcements, (ahem, we’re looking at you Rihanna) Yeezy tweeted the announcement in the most clear, straightforward way possible, even stating “my album is 7 songs”.
Kid Cudi, another tortured artist, is said by West himself to be teaming up with him on the second album. “Me and Cudi album … it’s called Kids See Ghost. That’s the name of our group”. Are Kanye West and Kid Cudi about to be the next rockstar duo power couple? Only time will tell, however, we have no reason to doubt the collaboration between the two rap giants is real. Earlier this year, Kanye West was seen on social media looking quite stoic and awkward in a video with Dame Dash, who is known as the former mogul of notable dynasty Roc-A-Fella Records. If Damon Dash is backing Kanye West on his new projects and Kid Cudi is with him in the studio in a joined comeback effort, this could be shaping up to be quite the interesting summer for music.
Janelle Monae’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, carries a bold, some may even say brazen, message. The star appears to be calling for our attention with a strong statement of an independent, assertive, and empowered young woman.
Monae is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, rapper, with an amazing voice and even a flare for the guitar. She’s always been a hard worker in the industry, which is shown clearly in her performances. She’s even a reputable actress, appearing in award winning films.
The first single I heard from this album carries a provocative title in Django Jane, derived from the line in the song where she raps “Jane Bond, never Jane Doe and I Django, never Sambo”. This isolated phrase outlines the tone of the whole song. Monae expresses herself as what could be deemed a no nonsense woman and even echoes sentiments of the current “me too” movement as she mentions ‘starting a pussy riot’, ‘putting them on a pussy diet’, and even references the term “mansplaining”.
In the five years since her last release, Janelle Monae has had plenty of time to fine tune her brand. She goes a step further with the song “Pynk” which seems to be a strong allusion (and maybe even an ode) to the female genitalia. The new single “I Like That” (not to be confused with popular artist Cardi B’s new single “I Like It”) rounds out the narrative with a message of self-esteem.
Music, and any art form, has always been an outlet for expressing revolutionary or even just unorthodox ideas. Janelle Monae seems to be taking full advantage of her artistic expression in this moment. Based on the story these singles tell, the project is sure to bring a message of women’s empowerment.
Drake revealed to fans on Thursday that he plans to release a new single on April 6. The Canadian artist took to the stage at Toronto’s Rebel nightclub to announce the new song and confirm that he will be touring in the summer. His surprise appearance at the Majid Jordan concert caught fans off-guard, but they were pleased to hear that the rap entrepreneur is working on his next full-length album.
Drake is currently dominating the hip-hop and R&B charts with his latest single “God’s Plan”. Released in January the song has topped Billboard’s hot rap songs since it dropped. Drake is currently occupying the first two spots on Billboard’s hot rap songs chart with “God’s Plan” and “Look Alive”, a collaboration with Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB.
In February, Drake released a music video for “God’s Plan” showing him driving around Miami, giving groceries to local residents and donating money to local scholarship funds, the Miami Fire Department and a women’s shelter. The video, which includes scenes of the Toronto rapper handing stacks of cash to stunned fans, quickly became a viral hit, earning over 300 million views.
The name of Drake’s fifth studio album has not been released, although a track called “Pistols” leaked online in December. A co-production of Drake and record producer 40, “Pistols” was posted without permission on SoundCloud and is rumored to be a song from his upcoming album. Until Thursday, Drake has remained tight-lipped about his new album, only acknowledging that he has been working on new material in a cryptic Instagram post on April 2. With his announcement of new tour dates scheduled for this summer, there is speculation that the album will drop in the next few months.
On Thursday, Dillard University announced that Chance the Rapper will deliver the commencement address at their 2018 graduation ceremony on May 12. University president Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough revealed this year’s speaker to a classroom of excited students. The video of the big reveal was also posted on the university’s Instagram account.
The same day as the big announcement, Chance dropped a new song, a collaboration with Chicago rapper Saba. “Logout” was released on Saba’s new album “Care for Me” and is a reflection of the shallow nature of social media. It marks Saba’s first release since the death of his cousin, rapper John Walt.
A native of Chicago, Chance the Rapper shot to fame in 2016 with his self-released mixtape Coloring Book. The critically-acclaimed album won rave reviews from fans and hip hop writers alike. Coloring Book earned Chance multiple awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Album and the BET Hip Hop Award for Best Mixtape. Despite his success, Chance the Rapper has refused to sign with a major music label, preferring to release his music directly to fans online.
Since releasing his third mixtape, Chance the Rapper has become increasingly known for his activism. He has taken part in several city-wide campaigns to decrease gun violence in Chicago. He also donated $1 million to the Chicago public school system to help improve arts education in the city. In 2016, he even started a charity called SocialWorks Chicago that has raised over $2 million for Chicago schools.
Dillard University is a historically black college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The school was founded in 1930 as a merger of two older schools, New Orleans University and Straight College. Chance the Rapper is not the first celebrity to grace the school’s commencement ceremony. Past commencement speakers include Michelle Obama, Janelle Monáe, Denzel Washington and Hillary Clinton.
Fans of rap music are likely to know the names Young Thug and Future. For those unaware, these are two of the most popular current rappers currently on the scene. These two rappers released an acclaimed album called Super Slimey about six months ago. With that in mind, a new music video for the single “Group Home” from this album has just been released.
Young Thug first gained recognition through the release of several mixtapes. In 2014, Young Thug would see mainstream success after signing to record label 300 Entertainment. Future would see a similar path to success, being signed to a mainstream label after the release of several mixtapes.
This new music video is a blend of surreal and slightly scary imagery. MTV reports that music video director Videogod has once again partnered with Future and Young Thug to create this new music video. Be warned, there are many moments in this video that will have you wondering what you have just seen including a group of people wearing strainers on their heads. In addition, another highlight of this video is seeing a woman flying like a kite throughout the air.
To summarize, Young Thug and Future have released their first music video from their collaborative album Super Slimey. This companion video to the single “Group Home” features a stunning array of wild imagery. Fans of both Future and Young Thug have had to wait six months to see an official music video from this album be released. That being said, the music and visuals are sure to take viewers on a wild ride into the minds of two amazingly talented rappers.