Not only an artist, Donald Glover is a writer with chops and rhyming capabilities, not to mention a standup comedian. Jack of all trades, and likely master of some too, Glover has tried every different avenue down the path towards stardom. Or, perhaps he has just been letting his creativity flourish among his range of crafts. Either way, it could be safe to say the one thing that was missing over the years was timing.
His debut album, Camp, in which he began using the pseudonym “Childish Gambino” and worked with a Swedish composer by the name of Ludwig Goransson, carried a different style and tone than the later release Awaken My Love. The latter displays Childish Gambino’s funk inspired, melodic vocal capabilities. The theme of Awaken was one of intense romance with singles like “Redbone”, vastly distinct from the angsty attempts at aggression in “Bonfire”.
The world may not have been ready for what Childish Gambino had been expressing in the beginning, a sentiment which predecessors like Drake and Young Thug have since reigned into mainstream rap culture. Today, the ideas of awkwardness involving melodic MCs are more widely accepted than way back in 2011. The climate of society has made sweeping changes in just over 5 years.
The evidence of mutual growth is apparent when examining Childish’s lyrics and dance moves in the video “Freaks and Geeks” versus the new viral explosion “This is America”. Childish Gambino teams up with some of the most renowned rap artists, including Young Thug, for this new single. The timing is now perfect for Glover, as his music release synced up with his SNL appearance and the premier of the highly anticipated new Star Wars movie where he plays Lando Calrissian.
Florida souncloud rappers XXXTENTACION and Ski Mask the Slump God reunited this weekend at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. During Ski Mask’s Sunday set, “X” walked onto the stage, unannounced. Ski Mask, in the middle of performing a song, exchanged words with his former collaborator. Fans could hear the rappers each say their love for one another. “I love you, bro,” X said and Ski Mask responded, “I love you too, fam.” As the crowd cheered, the two hugged each other.
You can see the reunion on Youtube, here.
Not long ago, the two were engaged in an ugly beef with each other, with X saying harsh things about Ski Mask. At one point XXXTENTACION that he would not release any more music until Ski Mask would agree to be his friend again. Over time, their beef began to disappear, with Ski Mask saying he still “had love” for X, but that he would keep his distance due to X’s “crazy” nature. Much of the origin of the beef has been kept out of the public eye, leaving fans confused and curious. In a recent interview, X gave more insight into how the artistic and personal relationship began to fall apart, saying, “It was a lack of appreciation on his end… he put a business perspective before a personal relationship”.
The two rappers are known for pioneering the incredibly popular Florida soundcloud sound of mumble rap and aggressive beats. Their similar lyrical flows and musical styles have led fans of each individual rapper to become fans of both artists. The reunion should be welcome news to the XXXTENACION and Ski Mask fanbases. Ski Mask the Slump God released a new mixtape this past week and X is touring after the success of his latest album, “?”.
Hip hop fans will never turn down a golden opportunity to see their favorite artists take the stage. Fortunately, fans will get a chance to see two of the hottest hip hop acts in the game today. Drake is scheduled to go on tour with Migos. This dazzling showcase begins July 26 in Salt Lake City.
It may sound strange, but Drake had a rocky relationship with Migos in the past. Their relationship started back in 2013 when Drake made a cameo appearance on Versace. His contribution to the project helped the Migos get off to a great start with their career. Rarely do you see an international hip hop icon take a chance on an upstart rap group. In this instance, it seems like Drake’s hospitality has helped Migos hit pay dirt.
Versace became a huge hit and it helped Migos become the new players on the scene. Things took a turn for the worst one of the members accused Drake of stealing their unique style of flowing on the microphone. Things settled down when both parties realized that it was a big misunderstanding. This is great news since hip hop does not need more negative publicity.
Drake and Migos have a big reputation for heating things up when they touch the microphone. This is the main reason why many hip hop critics and insiders are looking forward to the upcoming tour. Some feel that this tour is long overdue. Hip hop needs more talented artists to work together.
Tickets go on sale on May 15. The grand finale for the tour will take place in Atlanta on November 17. It’s vital for die-hard hip hop fans to get their tickets early. With two head-banging acts performing on one stage, it’s logical to assume that tickets are bound to go fast.
Humans are creatures of habit, except when it comes to repeat music. Often times, songs become overplayed, outdated, and simply irrelevant in a world subject to constant change. While the song, “Strip That Down,” by Liam Payne is a great tune for jamming out in the car, it did debut nearly a year ago, which means that it is certainly becoming less than desirable to Payne’s fans. Because of Liam’s seemingly stagnant music career, fans spoke and, well, the artist is ready to deliver by announcing the release of his debut album.
Despite his new album’s debut, it is important to note that Payne is not new to the music industry as he had a successful, long career as a singer in the boy band, One Direction. Of course, becoming a solo artist has its trials, but Payne’s youth, knowledge, and eagerness to claim his own identity will surely make his debut album one that will soon lead to tours and future projects.
Set to release September fourteenth, fans of Payne’s talent are attempting to keep busy this summer by listening to other fresh artists, some of which are expected to appear on Payne’s new album. Zedd, Quavo, Rita Ora, and Balvin are a few of the names Payne dropped when announcing his album debut. Payne noted the names and followed with a gracious compliment: “I’ve got a good mix of beautiful people on my album, which is amazing.” Surely with so much talk of a new direction, old fans posed the question of what is to come for his once thriving band, One Direction.
Though the singer did not say much pertaining to his teenage band, he did note that One Direction is not ending nor is their career over, which likely allowed fans to breathe a sigh of relief.
There are a lot of people in the industry that are wondering how they can improve their spins when it comes to their time on the radio. The rappers that are looking at the radio as the vehicle for their music are behind the times. This is not where any of the success lies these days. It is all about Spotify and other web streaming music sites like Pandora.
This is something that Drake realizes, and this is also something that is relevant for artists like Kendrick Lamar. J Cole is one of the few artists that is able to make an album where every song Hit the Billboard charts. This is rare, and it is highly unlikely that this would be the case for most rappers, but J Cole is not most rappers.
With the ”KOD” album J Cole was reaching deep to put together an album that was very much unlike anything else that he has been done. From this perspective people may compare him to a group like OutKast. Each time this duo released a new album it was showing an outstanding amount of growth. That is what people look at when they see J Cole. They know that he is going to release content that does not sound like anything else that is out there for the moment.
When it comes down to rappers that are ready to make their names known in the industry it is clear that people like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Migos and Drake are rappers that are standing in place as the leaders of the new generation. Jay-Z still created a platinum album in his retirement stage, but Shawn Carter will continue to make hits for millennials. He is older and rap music has always been a young rapper’s game.
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.
Tinashe is coming forth with a new album, and it appears to be another failed attempt to reach a mainstream audience. She has continued to be well known as an excellent dancer that puts together creative choreography routines, but her music tends to fall on deaf ears. There is a reason for this, and the reason is that she is trying to touch an audience that does not really exist anymore.
The music that Tinashe has created would be something that would have been popular when Aaliyah was alive. This type of dance move choreography was something that was big in the 90s, but it has taken a backseat to trap rap and the trap R&B type of style that has dominated the radio.
Tinashe has found herself to be somewhat confused about what really works, and it appears that she has done a little bit of everything because she has been unclear on what really works best.
In the early stages of her first hit record “2 On” Tinashe had a bit of a dance groove and it instantly became something of a mega hit. Three albums later tonight she would prove herself to be more of a one-hit wonder when it came to this song. There are tons of people that are now wondering where she is even though she has been releasing material on a regular basis.
She has the singing voice, but she has not connected with the right producers to give her the type of sound that she needs. This is why her new album has not been able to top the charts as well as it could. She has not surrounded herself with the hitmakers that are currently topping the charts on the radio. This poor choice of producers has caused her to be overlooked.
The DAMN album by Kendrick Lamar has become the first rap album to get a rapper the Pulitzer Prize. This seems like a cherry on top for Kendrick Lamar who has already won best rap album for the same album.
There has been so much talk about his growth as an artist, but no one would have expected that he would have been able to go in this direction after previous albums that did not sound anything like this one.
The only thing that people can really say to compare the albums in terms of similarities is the storytelling ability that Kendrick Lamar has brought to the table. He has always seemed to be an artist that was content with using his platform to tell stories. He paints pictures of his own life, but everything is complex for Kendrick.
He paints a vivid picture and he gets people to understand that he is doing things that are connecting old samples from songs to new music that he is unveiling. Every track from the DAMN album contains a sample of an older song. Kendrick has said that these were all songs that were played in his household as he was growing up.
Most rappers are influenced to sample old beats based on the music that they heard while they were growing up. Jay-Z has often talked about soulful music that inspired many of the older tracks that he sampled from artists like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Bobby Blue Bland. Now Kendrick is bringing his fans up to speed on the type of music that was being played in this household when he was young. He has found himself in a great situation where the mainstream and the underground crowd has both embraced what Kendrick Lamar possesses in terms of skills.