It's Iggy Iggs! Does it sound familiar to you? Surely, a very popular phrase during 2014-2015, when we were all fans of Iggy Azalea. Listening to this slogan typical of the Australian rapper in a song was synonymous with top of the charts. Today, five years later, for many it is synonymous with… meh. The reason? Let's review what is for me one of the greatest musical injustices of this decade: Iggy appeared in our lives with a spectacular mixtape, Ignorant Art, in 2011. This project, headed by the amazing “My world”, full of powerful and fresh sounds discovered a vivacious, ambitious, badly spoken and aggressive rapper. It was clear that she was very clear about what she wanted and that her goal was to succeed. And she got it. Launched incredible themes like “Work”, un “Bounce” and “Change your life”, Iggy was introduced to the world, achieving success in her native Australia and UK. Azalea offered unusual sounds in the world of female rap: originals, which exploded in the chorus and penetrated the brain. I already lived totally in love with this rapper, but it was impossible not to bend down to her with every single that she released. Her accent was catchy, a mixture of the American South and the Australian desert, and within her rudeness I found some brilliance and great authenticity. The popularity of this blonde began to rise like foam, becoming a reference in the rrss. And “Fancy” arrived. Along with Charli XCX, Iggy presented a hybrid between pop and hip-hop, resurrecting the formula ‘’sung chorus/rapped stanza’’, and the world surrendered at her. The success was resounding. In a scenario dominated by Nicki Minaj, Azalea ran as her successor. And the Australian took care of even the smallest detail: video clips played a crucial role in her career. They often told stories, were worked and were inspired by films of yesteryear: From Clueless in “Fancy” to Kill Bill in “Black Widow”, her second success. The Azalea universe was at the top and with her debut The New Classic, Iggy showed her true value. Offering a whirlwind of sounds that intermingled like the colors of her fabulous cover, this project mixed rap and hip-hop with reggae, pop and trap. So, so good. But in the competitive world of rap not many people were happy that a white blonde could hold the title of queen. Her appearance didn’t fit in this world, and this was reason enough to accuse her of cultural appropriation. After her debut, the controversies won the ground to music. Our rapper was the victim of a kind of unfair voodoo that made her career downhill. After the bullying received by other “partners” who only managed to get attention through problems, Iggy fell into a spiral of misfortunes that made her lose the favor of the general public. Far from throwing in the towel, the rapper returned to the studio and released “Team” as a preview of her second album, Digital Distorsion. But the damage caused by third parties was enough for Iggy to lose popularity and this single and those that came later (“Switch”, a great song that was leaked and therefore suspended from promotion and “Mo Bounce”) didn’t get much impact. Digital Distorsion was canceled, and Iggy vomited all her rage in the EP Surviving the summer, where she became dark and aggressive because of the injustices experienced. Nor did “Savior”, with its radio-friendly environment, get the luck of “Fancy”. But far from giving up, Iggy has always shown herself as a powerful warrior who has a hard time keeping her mouth shut and under her own independent label has finally released her second album: In My Defense. Iggy Azalea, after all, has only that left: defend herself.
After never hearing about Joyner Lucas before, I decided to give his album, 508-507-2209, a listen. I am not sure what I expected, I didn’t expect anything but a rap album, but I was given an album that seems to follow him becoming famous and losing his friends. The album is weaved together with a voicemail at the end of nearly every track and while listening to the album I was confused by this; however, it seems to me that the voicemails use the album to portray how easy it is to get caught up in a new fast lifestyle and lose not only yourself but your friends and family. Despite not being a fan of his voice, I am a fan of the voicemail concept- that is if I am anywhere close to right...
J. Cole returns after a 2-year break since his 2014 Forest Hill Drive album with another and his second Solo, feature-less album. This time, he kept the track list to just 10 songs and touched topics ranging from racial discrimination, mass incarceration, love, fatherhood, depression, and Gang Violence that is common in the African American Community. A Dreamville source, according to genius confirmed that the storyline in the entire album was a true story and that James (not his real name), the name of the character in the album was a real person and that he changed in the name for the sake of privacy. J. Cole’s storytelling was also evident in this album and it was at its best in this album, as he told a story all the way from the situations surrounding the community and circumstances James was raised in, to selling crack, all the way to him falling in love to him becoming a father, then passing away. It turns out that the entire 4 Your Eyez Only was a memoir for his young daughter to remember him by. The drama before the release of the album was something else; J. Cole had earlier hinted at retirements on two occasions. The first being on DJ Khalid’s Major Key, released in July of 2016, he featured on a track titled “Jermaine’s Interlude”, he hinted at retirement with the lines “Niggas murkin' each other in murky water, Ias try and swim. How the fuck do I look when I brag to you 'bout some diamond? Said all that I could say now I play with thoughts of retirement”. The second time was at an October concert in 2016 where he announced that that particular performance would be his last for a while. That was discombobulating for a lot of fans as regards the status of his career, only for him release a pre-order on iTunes on December 9th, 2016. Like the 2014 Forest Hill Drive, the album didn’t enjoy any marketing; listening party, social media hype, interviews and the whole nine yards. The album had its first single, “Déjà vu”, released Thirty-one days after the release the album; yet, the album sold three hundred and sixty three thousand (363,000) copies on the first week, making it his fourth consecutive number-one album in the United States. As usual, J. Cole didn’t get a Grammy nomination, but got nominations from Billboard and BET. By January 2017, the album was certified Gold, and was certified Platinum by April. 4 Your Eyez Only remains the most controversial album of J. Cole so far and he didn’t bother to address any of the controversy and let people contemplate until it died out.
I don’t judge people on what they say or their opinions. I judge people based on the effect they have on others. When Eminem says anything, the world stops. He grew a beard and it made actual news – A lot of people say Eminem is the best rapper of alive. I don’t agree with those people, but they have a legitimate argument. Saying Eminem is the best rapper alive is understandable, but lazy. Rappers are weird because they don’t age like Athletes as much as they age like wrestlers. As long as the charisma is still there their character can still be believable. So with that said Eminem is like the Stone Cold Steve Austin of Rap, he was amazing at his peak but to call him the best wrestler today wouldn’t be fair to AJ Styles or Seth Rollins. If that analogy is too nerdy, Eminem is like The Simpsons of Rap, great at their peak, but calling it the best show on TV in 2019 is insane. This is why it’s so frustrating to have real conversations about Eminem because his legacy outshines his current state. Plus, I’m almost 80 percent sure Eminem fans aren’t rap fans because the things they love about him today aren’t what make rap good. “Oh he rhymes words really fast” “ok but what was the song about” “DID YOU SEE HOW MANY WORDS HE RHYMED” “but I don’t know what he’s talking abo-“ “HE CAN RHYME ANYTHING, HE RHYMED THE WORD ORANGE, HE’S KEEPING HIPHOP AL-” you get the picture. It’s tiring. So with that said let’s get into the surprise album Kamikaze
Continuing on in this saga of Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv is Rage series is the sequel to his 2016 mixtape Luv is Rage, Luv is Rage 2. Fans and critics alike anticipated this moment, in what felt like a century but really only a year of idling, and they were gifted with his debut studio album. During this sizzling period of Lil Uzi gaining followers like a social media savant, a hive of sorts formed for the Philly rapper. He made his rounds onto festival stages, every radio station, graced TV screens, and developed a lovable internet persona that ultimately paid off for his music’s likeability. The charismatic, spit-fire of a rapper played upon fans’ patience, having the album be delayed for months on end, when eventually he released an unofficial EP Luv is Rage 1.5 before the album was set to release later that year in 2017, including 4 tracks that teased fans more so than anything. Fast forward to summer’s end, Luv is Rage 2 was finally out. And we loved it.