Solange‘s latest, A Seat at the Table, is already drawing whispers as a potential top 10 album contender. With its quality R&B production and intention to provoke joy and healing while taking the listener on a “journey of self-empowerment,” the project is not one to be missed. Lil’ Wayne, Sampha, The Dream, BJ The Chicago Kid, Q-Tip and Kelly Rowland also offer incentive to listen below via Spotify.
Dr. Dre is known for breaking praised artists like Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. Now Anderson Paak -heard last year on Compton – is finally shining in his own spotlight. The well-executed, Funk-filled second studio album, Malibu, by the R&B singer features ScHoolboy Q, The Game, BJ the Chicago Kid, Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, 9th Wonder, and DJ Khalil. Listen below.
Watch Joey Bada$$ address police brutality in his new video “Like Me” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid.
Stream Joey Bada$$‘ long-awaited debut studio album B4.DA.$$ now available for purchase on his 20th birthday. Features include Raury, BJ the Chicago Kid and Action Bronson with production from DJ Premier, Hit-Boy and Kirk Knight.
Check out the remix of ScHoolBoy Q‘s “Studio” featuring Nas and BJ the Chicago Kid originally off of Q’s Oxymoron album.
Listen to the soulful new song from TDE label president Punch called “A Project Mind” featuring Jay Rock and BJ the Chicago Kid.
Ever since the world got a taste of King Kendrick Lamar’s fiery flow, fans were left hungry counting down the days Schoolboy Q would offer a second helping from Top Dawg Entertainment via Interscope. Once the home of his major influence, 50 Cent, and Death Row Records, his first major label release not only revives Gangsta Rap, but also carries on the collective’s torch solidifying them as one of the hottest rap dynasties in the game.
Like Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the 27-year-old LA rapper indulges in traditional egotism, hustling and drug use while also raising awareness about the social injustice taking place in impoverished neighborhoods. He raps about his grandmother exposing him to his first gun and his uncle selling his stereo to appease a drug habit, but the key difference is his motivation for doing dirt. He explains the album’s title was inspired by the fact that he had to engage in criminal activity to provide for his daughter. The former Hoover Crip, who once told RESPECT Magazine he hated rapping because it took away time from her, warms the heart by showing love for his four-year-old, Joy, who has appeared in multiple videos, on the album and its cover.
Keeping themes alive from his prior work, Q continues to glorify violence with shoot-em-up statements like, “Liable to drive-by on a summer day/July 4th will be in June,” and partakes in gangbangin’ with Jay Rock on Pharrell’s “Los Awesome.” He paints vivid scenes of the poverty and crime he observed growing up on “Hoover Street” and gets contemplative on the exceptional “Blind Threats” with Raekwon. “Why the ones who commit the worst sins live the best?” he asks on a mellow beat composed of a xylophone and somber strings produced by LordQuest.
On the slowed down “His and Her Friend,” Q addresses his battle with drugs by cleverly personifying Oxy and gets even more personal on “Prescription” where he recounts his dependency on pills. As Joy tries to wake him out of his stupor, he confesses, “Prescription drugs, I fell in love/My little secret, she gon’ kill a thug/My body numb, she like to give me hugs.”
Adding West Coast flavor and paying homage to Gangsta Rap’s origins, he collaborates with Pomona O.G. Suga Free to describe the sordid lifestyle of pimpin’ on “Grooveline Pt. 2.” He gets help from LA legend Kurupt and Tyler, the Creator on standout “The Purge,” but the track is more sonically suitable for an Odd Future mixtape.
Joints dedicated to getting faded like “Hell of a Night,” and the surprisingly suave “Studio” for the ladies with BJ the Chicago Kid balance out the work, but more importantly, give it considerable mass appeal.
Already peaking at the number one spot twice on iTunes, Schoolboy spares no feelings by warning fellow TDE member that he’s ready to steal his crown. On “Break the Bank” he spits, “Tell Kendrick move from the throne, I came for it,” over Alchemist’s production brimming with piano loops that sound like the score to a nightmare sequence.
Described by Q as “not for da insecure” and “darker as a whole,” Oxymoron’s stark tales from the hood linger on production less upbeat than his last album, Habits and Contradictions, and it does not quite match the stature of Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. While Oxymoron definitely gratifies with its insightful lyrics and A-List guests, it is difficult to top the impact of listening to Kendrick’s original and captivating narrative for the first time. Fans expecting Q to broaden his standard range may be left hoping for fresh subject matter, but the overwhelming premature praise from both fans and critics alike may just make him a contender for man of the year.
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s new collaborative project Piñata will be available March 18. The album will feature Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, and BJ the Chicago Kid.