NGHTMRE & Tory Lanez Go Full Hip-Hop on ‘WRIST’
February 28, 2020
February 28, 2020
In 2017, hip-hop became one of the most popular music genres. The music released last year matched that energy. So many dope albums came out. So now the question is how will 2018 follow-up? We’re three months in and I got to say, 2018 has sounded pretty nice so far. Let’s talk about some of the best rap and hip-hop albums in 2018 so far.
Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
Hussle and Motivate – Nipsey Hussle (Official Video)
It is absolutely wild to think that Victory Lap is Nipsey’s first album. Dude’s been dropping fire mixtapes since 2005 when he released Slauson Boy. As far back as 2010, he was named to XXL Magazine’s Freshmen List. Nipsey hasn’t been without fans. And fans haven’t been without new music from Nipsey Hussle as he’s released a handful of mixtapes since Slauson Boy. But what we waited six years for was Victory Lap and it certainly was worth the wait. There are standout tracks “Last Time that I Checc’d,” “Hussle & Motivate” (featuring a slow downed sample of Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life”) and “Dedication” featuring Kenrick Lamar, which potentially could be big hits for Nipsey. On the latter, Nipsey lets us know, that despite Victory Lap being the major label album he’s getting paid the big bucks for, he’s made his before all this. He raps, “Couple mil, tour the world, now my life crackin’/cook the books, bring it back so it’s no taxes/royalties, publishing, plus I own masters.” Well then.
Tory Lanez – Memories Don’t Die
Tory Lanez – Real Thing ft Future
Just released this week, Torey Lanez Memories Don’t Die is set to be Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart according to industry forecasters. This follows Tory’s last album, I Told You, which got as high as No. 4 on the list. The commercial success is great because Memories Don’t Die presents Tory Lanez in his most honest and vulnerable state. Literally, Lanez presents various glimpses into his personal life including on the track “Hate to Say” where he touches upon his beef with Travis Scott and how the two eventually squashed it. Memories Don’t Die is more feature heavy than his last album. Here he has Future, Nav, Wiz Khalifa, Fabolous, and 50 Cent. The 50 Cent feature on a track called “Pieces” is especially good. The G-Unit rapper is spitting like the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ days while Lanez kicks a story that is sure to rattle a few people. Overall any commercial success Lanez has a result of this album is well-deserved.
Phonte – No News is Good News
Where has the Little Brother and Foreign Exchange rapper been this whole time? Who knows? And after this album, who cares? Say it with me….it is good Phonte is back! The ten song album features Freddie Gibbs and singer Eric Robinson but it is the moments Phonte’s own his own, grown-man shit, where the album is spectacular. He raps about wanting to be healthier on “Expensive Genes” comparing the rap content of latter years with things hip-hop artists and fans living the culture should worry about now (“our biggest fears was shots and armed robberies/now the biggest fear is a clot in our oncology/got a sleep app to tell you got sleep ap-/nea, he all in ya’ sheets with the C-Pap”). He touches on health quite a bit on this album and there are some interesting moments regarding his family. On “Cry No More,” Phonte raps, “Put my pops in the ground, then hit the repass and ate the same shit that killed him/ya’ll habits don’t deviate, just thought you would appreciate/my moms used to say I was whore just like you/so ma, I ran through even more just to spite you/and pop, my health is doing pretty good despite you/I try so I don’t die at 54 just like you.” It is these genuine moments over soulful, boom bap beats, which makes this one of the best albums of 2018 thus far.
Cupcakke – Ephorize
Cupcakke is a female rapper from Chicago, who started out doing church poetry at 14. Literally, her bio states this fact in the first two sentences. Trust me when I say her rap is probably not being spit in church pews anymore. She’s been called vulgar and raunchy, but critics understand Cupcakke is bold. She is interesting because of her confidence and lack of fear. How many female rappers would release songs called “Deepthroat,” “Vagina,” and “Juicy Coochie?” While these older tracks may have been attention-grabbing song titles and not as much substantively, on the new album, Ephorize, Cupcakke has put out her best work yet. On Ephorize, she raps about self-esteem issues, interest in finding romance, and LGBTQ issues. Don’t worry – the tracks also bounce. “Fullest” and “Duck Duck Goose” are two tracks guaranteed to get your party moving. The latter has elements of New Orleans bounce while she’s rapping in her gruff, confident voice. Critically, she is receiving great reviews and it’s no surprise given that she is making some of the most fun, yet knife sharp rap music you can find from any female in 2018.