When I get asked by underground or local artists to review their mixtapes, I never quite know what to expect. There have been times that I have been blown away by no-name rappers, and there have been times where I was shocked they were disillusioned enough to even think their product was ready for someone else to hear. But hey, that's the beauty of it. The latest work placed before me comes in the form of LA Market from Pittsburgh artist, Sosa. On which end of the spectrum will his latest offering fall?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
"But at least let me tell you why I'm this way, hold on..." - Jay-Z, "December 4th," The Black Album
The word classic gets thrown around far too easily these days in hip hop. For me, defining a classic album is simple: It has to stand the test of time and have an impact of some sort. Albums come out that are really good, but after that year, how much replay do they get? A decade ago, Jay-Z released what he called a retirement album, although now we obviously know that wasn't what happened. Regardless, I consider The Black Album to be a classic album for me, personally, and I'll tell you why. It's the very reason I fell in love with hip hop.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
For over a year I've been saying that hip hop is entering a revival of sorts, with dozens of new artists emerging on a global and local scale to reinvigorate the music and refill it with message-laden rhymes that bring meaning and purpose back to the genre. Unfortunately, my theory had been on pause for a few months, at least on a grassroots level. Yes, we've seen the Kendrick Lamar's, J. Cole's and more recently, Dee-1 and Lecrae's, carry the torch for the mainstream, but other than Palermo Stone, JKJ and Scolla, not many unsigned artists have really stepped up to the plate consistently in this area of inspiration and introspection. With his latest offering, Loose Change, D.C. area Christian-rapper Shyne on Me hopes to share some of this burden and make a name for himself not only in gospel rap, but the conscious hip hop scene in general.