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Hip Hop

J. Cole - KOD Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

J. Cole – KOD Reaction

I'm a fan but I've been as critical of his music as any one out there, but Cole absolutely knocked it out of the park with KOD. Easily his most relatable project yet that has something for everyone. If you're still in the 'hate J. Cole' camp after this then you're just not listening enough or you haven't experienced life enough. Simple as that....
Hard To Kill - Hard To Kill Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Hard To Kill – Hard To Kill Reaction

Hard To Kill's sound is dark, lo-fi, moody, and very reminiscent of early A$AP. It's mood music and although it's nothing particularly new or different, it is extremely well done and I found myself grooving with the vibes for a large majority of the album....

Saba – CARE FOR ME Reaction

CARE FOR ME is an absolutely gorgeous project with lush soundscapes that allows Saba to lay down deep, emotional, introspective gem after deep, emotional, introspective gem. It's an exploration of grief, isolation, and trying to cope with the woes of life. But it's more cathartic than masochistic with glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel....
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy Reaction

Cardi B's debut isn't great by any stretch of the imagination but it's not that bad either. It's a more listenable project than I expected and has more than a few noteworthy moments. I guess what really makes it a decent project is that all of her best songs sound like a more than serviceable approximation of whatever artist she's feeling in that moment. They say the best artists steal, so in that sense she's more than on her way....
Rich The Kid - The World Is Yours | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Rich The Kid – The World Is Yours Reaction

If you would've told me that Rich The Kid's "The World Is Yours" would be a better project than "Culture II", I wouldn't have believed you, but that's exactly the case here, and while there's nothing revolutionary about the music he's putting out, it more than scratches that itch for good 'trap' music.  ...
The Cycle Of Sounds | Features | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

The Cycle Of Sounds

Throughout Western history, music has had a place in daily life - growing its foothold year after year. With the turn of each decade, music has turned as well. Perhaps in an effort to appeal to a developing society... Perhaps as an indicator of that same society's development......
Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It - Edgewood | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It – Edgewood Reaction

Mike WiLL Made-It was the real draw for this album and his production was pretty much the only thing that kept me pushing on through Edgewood. That's not to say that I think Trouble is a particularly bad rapper, it's just that I don't think much of anything about Trouble in general. There's a considerable lack of charisma or even energy with everything he does that left me feeling indifferent....
DJ Esco - Kolorblind | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

DJ Esco – Kolorblind Reaction

There's really not a whole lot to say about Kolorblind, there's a handful of knocking songs that warrant a few spins and seeing Nas on here was an unexpected surprise, although it was more than a bit underwhelming, but there's nothing as big as "Too Much Sauce" and there's nothing that would make Future's greatest hits. At this point you either love/like Future or you don't....
Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar Reaction

Like a lot of today's music, trying to put a label on or even describe their overall sound is damn near impossible. It's a little bit of pop, a little bit of punk, a little bit of electronic, a little bit of hip-hop, and a whole lot of countless other influences. It all sounds highly experimental, and a bit chaotic, but never so much that they lose their cool. Young Fathers have crafted something special here and I've found it difficult to pull myself away. This one is a must experience....
Tech N9ne - Planet | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Tech N9ne – Planet Reaction

Planet's sound is more in line with the 'popular' sounds out there but he still keeps that menacing undertone and breakneck double time flow, all while laying down some incredibly personal verses that make him even more relatable than ever. 20 albums in and he still finds ways to elevate his craft; I think it's more than time Tech N9ne gets the respect he deserves as one of hip-hop's greatest to ever do it - not only the hardest working....
xxxtentacion - ? | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

xxxtentacion – ? Reaction

XXXTENTACION said his goal was to show his versatility on this project and although a lot of the stuff here is watered down representations of said genres, his talent is undeniable and his renditions turned out better than I ever would have expected. Now most of it feels like teasers/unfinished versions with only two tracks going over 3 minutes, but sonically there's more than enough here to keep me coming back. ? is as enigmatic a project as XXXTENTACION is as an artist but there's an undeniable draw to it and to him that continues to surprise....
Logic - Bobby Tarantino II | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Logic – Bobby Tarantino II Reaction

Bobby Tarantino II feels like a 'I can do that too, but better' type of situation and while lyrically and rapping wise he may be better than a lot of the 'pop' rappers out there, the songs don't carry that same sort of swag or impact as theirs. These are more watered down versions of what's already out there and popular, and when you're whole premise of a tape is jacking styles, then this becomes a major problem....
PRhyme - PRhyme 2 | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

PRhyme – PRhyme 2 Reaction

If you're looking for some insane wordplay from one of the best lyricists out there and love Premier's classic scratches and essential hip-hop beat making then you're in for something special. If however, you're looking for that more contemporary style of rap that's full of breakdowns, beat switch ups, conceptual stories, and experimentation with other genres, then this is definitely not for you....
Black Milk - FEVER Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Black Milk – FEVER Reaction

I consider Black Milk to be one of the torchbearers of the pure essence of hip-hop and the way he melds in jazz and neo-soul influences is unlike anyone else out there. His use of live instrumentation really makes his sound stand out; there's just a soul and intimacy to his production that a machine could never replicate. He may just be a serviceable lyricist but he's earnest with it and when paired with his strong production, it makes it more than worth a listen or 2 or 3....
Cozz - Effected Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Cozz – Effected Reaction

Effected is a really solid introduction to the world at large for Cozz and shows massive potential and room for growth, but ultimately it runs into the same problems a lot of the more 'conscious' rappers run into. Much like his label owner's early days in his career, Cozz is still trying to find that fine balance between serious and entertaining but he's got all the tools at his disposal and I expect he'll learn a lot from this project....
Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap Reaction

Nipsey Hussle's raps are full of motivation and 'game' (a la early Jeezy) and he's very much the voice of the people; he represents that west coast lifestyle to the fullest. Victory Lap is about on par with his past albums, just good to great west coast hip-hop that doesn't look to shake things up too much - he knows his lane very well and sticks to it. If you're a fan of Nipsey then you'll love this one too, but if you never a fan before, I don't see much here to change your mind....
Tory Lanez - MEMORIES DON'T DIE Reaction | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Tory Lanez – MEMORIES DON’T DIE Reaction

MEMORIES DON'T DIE feels like it fell to the problem most artists face going into their sophomore albums. What do you talk about after you've put your entire life's experiences into your debut? It's a difficult problem and one that Tory Lanez was unable to solve, resulting in a largely unmemorable album, despite the immense amount of musical talent he possesses....
Black Panther The Album | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Black Panther The Album Reaction

Black Panther The Album's greatest strength is that it can both stand on it's own and work in the context of the movie it's connected to, and much like Black Panther will undoubtedly change the movie scene I expect this to do the same for soundtracks....
Skyzoo - In Celebration Of Us | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Skyzoo – In Celebration of Us Reaction

Skyzoo dropped off a fully realized project that's a complete celebration of blackness, fatherhood, and community; and while it's overall tale is a small, personal affair, the way he paints the picture makes it feel like a much grander journey and by the ending's heartfelt revelation I found myself fully invested. Add to that an ridiculous pen full of rewind worthy gems and phenomenal production makes this a top tier hip-hop album that must be heard....
The Birth of Trap | Features | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

The Birth of Trap

Southern U.S. of A., home of hospitality, birthed a rap sub-genre as inhospitable as they come...Is it the imminent danger in the sound? The dark illegality of the subject matter? The clothes, tats, and implicit violent tendencies of the performers? Actually, trap began as all of the above and more......
Migos - Culture II | Reactions | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Migos – Culture II Reaction

My general feeling after listening to the Migos' latest was that I heard this all before from them, and much better. Whereas Culture felt fresh and radical in it's trendsetting ways, Culture II feels regressive and safe. This time they're going to have a hard time distinguishing themselves from the many clones they've spawned over the years....

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