Kanye West and Solange collaborator Sampha wows with his debut studio album, Process. The self-produced gem was written while his mother was ill and passed away. His grief is expressed through his haunting voice over sublime keys and drum pads that flawlessly accompany the brilliant project. Listen to the album below via Spotify.
Back at it again with my favorite Hip Hop & R&B albums list. Here are 15 projects that dropped in 2016 and remain in my current rotation.
Kendrick Lamar – untitled, unmastered
Unpolished and unapologetic, Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly scraps are auditory gems that continue to bring much-needed awareness to social injustice.
NxWorries – Yes Lawd
Anderson Paak and Knxwledge team up as NxWorries to deliver a highly enjoybale fusion of playboy persona with throwback Soul teeming with violins, horns and bass.
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Hate him or love him, Kanye proves unpredictable yet again by taking elements of Gospel, House and Soul to create a first-rate album that integrates elements of the old Ye.
A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from here….Thank You 4 Your Service
Hip Hop legends reunite with vocals from the late Phife Dawg to create a modernized 90s masterpiece that now boasts the largest gap between No. 1 albums in Hip Hop history.
YG – Still Brazy
YG continues to represent his West Coast roots to the fullest with another project that showcases his vivid autobiographical storytelling skills along with G-Funk-inspired beats.
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
An ode to acts like Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins, Childish ditches rap for a titillating 1970s psychedelic experience dripping with Soul and nostalgia.
Frank Ocean – Blond
After a four year hiatus, Frank returns with heartfelt lyrics that meld perfectly with otherworldly instrumentation comprised of guitars, organs and piano.
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine
Jazzy and enlightened, Mac Miller displays evident maturation celebrating love over sensual R&B instrumentation that sounds light years ahead of his previous work.
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
Filled with glory and praise, Chance‘s Coloring Book is dedicated to uplifting listeners in the style of church and Gospel that Kanye touched on with TLOP.
Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
Kid Cudi revisits his early intergalactic style rapping his innermost feelings during a tumultuous year and reminds peers who originated much of Hip Hop’s current melodic sound.
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
The dynamic and unmistakable Danny Brown fearlessly compiles a vast range of out of the box beats and unabashedly raps over them with animated ease.
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Solange steps out with a beautifully empowering and transparent outlook on femininity and black pride expressed through airy ballads and minimalist production.
Travis Scott – Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight
Travis returns with another nighttime soundtrack filled with trance-like chants that will be easily be embedded in the listener’s consciousness upon first listening.
Rihanna – Anti
With countless hits under her belt, Rihanna details love, causal relationships and break ups to makeups in a cool and sexy way only she knows how.
ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Ominous and honest, Q delves into his past life as a Hoover Crip with OG cameos like E-40 and The Dogg Pound while simultaneously continuing TDE‘s current reign.
ScHoolboy Q‘s latest album, Blank Face, has finally arrived. Featuring grade A singles “THat Part” with Kanye West and “Groovy Tony,” the rest of the album is ear candy featuring ditties like “Dope Dealer” with E-40 and “Big Body” with The Dogg Pound. Stream the entire album below via Spotify.
After Pusha T confirmed that the sequel to G.O.O.D Music‘s Cruel Summer would be indeed be happening, Kanye West appeared on L.A.’s Real 92.3 to premiere “Champions.” The first single off of Cruel Winter features a slew of guests including Big Sean, Gucci Mane, Desiigner, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz and Yo Gotti. According to Ye, 7 to 8 tracks have been recorded for the album and he hopes to do a 12-15 minute version of this song with every G.O.O.D. Music artist on it. Listen below.
As fans await ScHoolboy Q‘s fourth studio album due out July 8, Kanye West helps build the hype with the second single “THat Part.” The hypnotic recording is accompanied by visuals of Q with faceless cronies, thick women and Yeezy spazzing out in a Victorian LA house. Enjoy the colorful music video below.
Theophilus London has been out of the limelight since 2014’s Vibes dropped, but his behind-the-scenes work on Kanye West‘s “All Day” has helped rapidly spread his name among Hip Hop aficionados. His latest song, “Stay” is contagious and synth-laced with an upbeat tempo that juxtaposes his longing for isolation. Listen below on Soundcloud.
It’s no secret that Kanye West has become known for comparing himself to many innovators and musical geniuses over the years. Conductor Yuga Cohler not only agrees his Yeezus album shares similarities with Ludwig van Beethoven’s pieces, but conducted a 70-piece orchestra in Los Angeles to play a medley of his hits. The performance is striking and sure to delight Yeezy fans of all ages.
Listen on Soundcloud below and check out the time marks even further below for easy referencing.
Opening Song: Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont, op. 84,”
10:00 “New Slaves”
16:53 “Blood On The Leaves” Leads into “Symphony No. 5 First Movement in C-Minor, Op. 67”
30:28 “Hold My Liquor” Mashup with “Symphony No.7 in A major”
37:16 “I’m In It” Mashup with “Symphony No. 5 Second Movement in A Flat Major, Op. 67”
44:55 Guilt Trip Mashup with “Fifth Piano Concerto in E-flat major, Op. 73”
53:00 “On Sight” Mashup with “String Quartet No. 14.”
Composed and arranged by Yugi Cohler and Stephen Feigenbaum. ymf.org
After stealing the show from Kanye West on the Gospel-inspired “Ultralight Beam,” Chance the Rapper picks up right where he left off. Coloring Book is a glorious project filled with uplifting lyrics and downright positivity that is often overlooked in Hip Hop’s landscape. Featuring Ye, Justin Bieber, Kirk Franklin, Lil’ Wayne and Lil’ Yachty, the album has already being praised for being celebratory and colorful. Listen to the entire project via AudioMack below.
As Drake‘s Views from the 6 release date nears, the rapper decided to drop not one, but two new tracks today. “Pop Style,” which reunites Watch the Throne’s Jay Z and Kanye West is a slow and hypnotic track sure to become a massive hit. “One Dance. “a sensual song inspired by elements of Island rhythms featuring Wizkid and Kyla, will also undoubtedly be a crowd pleaser. Listen to “Pop Style“ here and “One Dance” right here.
Kanye West reworks his spiritually rich intro to The Life of Pablo, “Ultra Light Beam,” with another uplifting work. Like, the original, “Ultralight Prayer” is a hymn-like, Gospel track featuring powerful choir vocals along with words spoken by Kirk Franklin. Listen to the song below.