When I was in my Senior Year of High School, Lupe Fiasco was one of my favorite rappers. He was really lyrical, vulnerable and nerdy as fuck. Everytime he rapped I sincerely felt like he was having a great time putting words together. I was a fan of all his mixtapes as he put himself out there through his words. I’ve been a fan of Lupe since mixtapes reigned supreme and Limewire was king. I remember downloading Fahrenheit 1/15 Part II: Revenge of the Nerds track by track right next to Bootytalk 17. He spoke to me with his nerdy references and intricate storylines that stretched over 20+ songs. I thought he was going to be the king of rap. I sincerely believed this. Unfortunately, popular music has strayed away from lyricism and for a short while Lupe was a man without a country. Lupe Fiasco is one of the most lyrical rappers in the game and 9 times out of 10 he is the smartest guy in the room. Unfortunately, that combination also makes you the most pretentious person in the room 9 times out of 10. I won’t lie, there’s been multiple times I’ve rolled my eyes reading something Lupe has said. You know a rapper annoys people when he was known for being annoying BEFORE social media. Seriously, Lupe was online HipHop forum annoying. He reminds me of me if I had a 4.0 GPA and didn’t take 5 years to graduate high school. He’s smart, he knows it, and god dammit he wants you to stop being an idiot. Only problem is, not a lot of people want to be preached to and told how Obama was a terrorist. Especially if you say this on Fox News like Lupe did. I think his saving grace is that he is and was really good at making music, plus he will straight up fight you and you always gotta respect that. However, watching Lupe taught me a very important life lesson no matter how smart you are, if people don’t want to hear you, things don’t work out the way you think they will. But luckily a truly talented person never stays down too long and now Lupe has given us a new album: Drogas Wave
I think that every public figure strives to have a legacy. We all want to be remembered and known for what we put into the world. This makes me think though, what defines a legacy? Is it the highs? Is it the lows? Is it the combination of the two? Or is it simply public perception? For me it’s hard to think about a Legacy because I’m so early in my pursuits. Also I don’t really have shit, if you ask me for credits before a comedy show I will give you a shrug and a “say whatever’s in your heart” every single time. But I digress, rappers don’t age well and a majority of them don’t get to have a legacy. Their whole careers get dwindled down to one song on the radio show and if they’re lucky, a soundbite in a commercial for a white product that features a hit song they had 10 years ago. The ones that are lucky enough to have a full career are often scrutinized heavily by skeptics (aka haters) like myself. Lil Wayne is one of those artists. At one point he was the greatest rapper alive. He was inescapable, he was inevitable. He was like Thanos with a lean addiction. Every beat belonged to him and he could give someone a hit by singing a hook...AND HE COULDN’T EVEN SING. His reign seemed to last forever until it became clear that a new King/Queen was to replace him. While those who followed were influenced by him, the community at large began to forget about Wayne’s prior greatness. Unfortunately, this wasn’t helped by a gun charge that landed him in jail and the label disputes that caused his album to be pushed back for years. Things weren’t looking good for Wayne, his music wasn’t popping, his dreads started falling apart, his light was dimming like one of the forgotten skeletons in Coco. Luckily for us, Tha Carter 5 has finally been released. Tha Carter 5 is a representation of Lil Wayne’s legacy. It took us years to finally get to this place. Birdman held onto it like it was money he owes to Mannie Fresh; I honestly thought we’d never hear it. But by some miracle it’s here. Let’s get to it.
So, I have a lot of feelings about J.Cole. J Cole is like that college friend you used to chase women and smoke with that grew up a little too much. You chill with him because of the friendship you had in the past but you don’t see him too often cuz he’s such a bummer. He’s the friend who gives out Condoms at the beginning of the night so everyone can practice safe sex. I wanna be mad at him but he’s just looking out for us. Yep, J Cole is very mature. His credit score is probably a solid 815 and while he can “respect a good sneaker game” he’d rather “invest that money into Nike. It’s conflicting to me because I try my hardest to avoid being adult but Jermaine reminds me time and time again that we’re always getting older. What’s very ironic about this is that J Cole is so grown but he spends more time focused on the youth. His fan base has consistently stayed college kids for the past 10 years. So, on one end he’s your most responsible friend, but on the other end he’s always hanging out on your old college campus. Now I could go on and on about how weird and slightly off putting this is, but I’m not writing a character analysis, I’m writing about music! So, let’s get into J Cole’s album KOD.
Hip-hop songs are also not really my thing but there is one exception that made me like some hip-hop. Canadian rapper Drake (or Aubrey Drake Graham) has proved to me that his songs are decent enough for me. Today, I will feature one of his albums that changed the hip-hop scene forever. This album has been one of Billboard’s best albums of 2017, nominated for favorite hip-hop album at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, and has over a billion plays on Spotify. The album I’m talking about is More Life. Another track will also be featured but from another album of his that also has over a billion plays on Spotify entitled Views. But is there More Life in hip-hop today thanks to him? We shall see.
I got to know about Post Malone via a friend whilst having an argument with a female friend that day about how good Hozier is and how much I rate him and then she told me there was another guy that was equally as good as Hozier. I disagreed with her and she got to send me two songs on WhatsApp. Although I didn't know the singer of both songs as at then but I fell in love with one of the songs the very first time I listened to it, while the other song didn't really do it for me, I remember I told her how poor her taste in music was if that other song was indeed one of her favourite. The song I fell in love with Post Malone’s "rockstar" featuring 21 Savage, Post Malone joined Hozier in becoming my two favourites. Fast-forward to almost a year later, I was watching the TV on a boring Saturday night when the video to "Better now" came up. Usually, I am not one to like that kind of song because the genre and style was not my thing but surprisingly. What really attracted me to his songs and made me like his sound was how he always managed to blend different genres into one and made it great. After a while, I reached out to my best friend, just to tell her about this new star that I had just discovered. I already hyped him so much about how he is equally as good as Jon and Hozier, I finally got to tell her that the guy's name is Post Malone and immediately she read it, she called me on phone and for almost 3 minutes, she was just laughing on the other end of the line. I was so shocked as to why she was laughing so hysterically but I kept mute until she was done laughing, then she finally said "Now, who has a poor taste in music?" At this point, I was still lost until she reminded me that the other song she sent to me alongside Jon Bellion's "Human" was a Post Malone song titled "White Inversion". After the call, I went ahead to download the song again and as I listened to it. If you don't give his song a thorough listen or if your mood is a little bit off, you might end up not liking them but in the right frame of mind, his songs would blow you away. beerbongs & bentleys is his second studio album which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, having a first week sales of 461,000 album equivalent units. beerbongs & bentleys was also certified Triple platinum by Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA). At the 61st edition of the Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Album of the year while songs off the album like "Rock star" was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance. "Better now" was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Beerbongs & Bentleys was ranked as the third most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200 in 2018 after it had total sales of over 3,046,000 album-equivalent units in the US.
THE HOT HIP HOP Albums CHART
THE HOT HIP HOP Singles CHART