[Music] Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

Album: Scum Fuck Flower Boy Artist: Tyler, The Creator Released: 21st July, 2017 Rating: 8.0/10 When I heard that Tyler, The Creator’s new album was to be titled Scum Fuck Flower Boy, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It seemed that Tyler’s claims to maturity had been far overstated; the title alone reeked of the juvenile edginess and … Continue reading [Music] Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

[Music] 4:44 – Jay-Z

Album: 4:44 Artist: Jay-Z Released: 30th June, 2017 Rating: 8.0/10 For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, I missed the entire build up towards Jay-Z’s latest album, 4:44. Suddenly, sometime in July, I came across an article praising Jay-Z’s latest project and, with a mixture of guilt and anticipation, I played the track that had received particular … Continue reading [Music] 4:44 – Jay-Z

[Music] The Life of Pablo – Kanye West [2016]

Album: The Life of Pablo Artist: Kanye West Released: 14 February, 2016 Rating: 6.5/10 If music is truly a reflection of its maker’s mind, then perhaps it really shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Kanye West’s latest effort, The Life of Pablo, is more mess than masterpiece. In an era where excellence in the genre is found in … Continue reading [Music] The Life of Pablo – Kanye West [2016]

[Music] Summertime ’06 – Vince Staples

Album: Summertime '06 Artist: Vince Staples Released: 30th June, 2015 Rating: 6.5/10 Gangsta rap has been around, in some form or another, for the better part of the last 30 years and while the specific musical trends of the various hip-hop eras have come and gone in the intervening years, thematically, not a whole lot has changed. The artists … Continue reading [Music] Summertime ’06 – Vince Staples

[Music] Overgrown – James Blake (2013)

Album: Overgrown Artist: James Blake Released: April 13th,  2013 Rating: 7.3/10 A crackling fire, hot chocolate and warm blankets on a cold day in the middle of winter – those the images that British electronic musician James Blake evokes in his sophomore album, Overgrown. Like its predecessor, Blake’s self-titled James Blake, Overgrown is introspective and creative but what the … Continue reading [Music] Overgrown – James Blake (2013)

[Music] Dopium – U-God (2009)

Album: Dopium Artist: U-God Released: June 23, 2009 Rating: 5.8/10 Good but just never good enough seems like the perfect way of describing U-God, his music and his career. Even when the legendary Wu-Tang Clan was at the height of its fame, U-God was never its most prominent member. In a collective filled with some of the most talented … Continue reading [Music] Dopium – U-God (2009)

[Music] Since I Left You – The Avalanches

Album: Since I Left You Artist: The Avalanches Released: November 27, 2000 Rating: 8.6/10 The line between plagiarism and homage is an oddly blurred one in art. What constitutes theft and what inspiration? It is a distinction that The Avalanche debut and, to date, only album Since I Left You dismisses by taking the art of sampling to its … Continue reading [Music] Since I Left You – The Avalanches

[Music] Graduation – Kanye West (2007)

Album: Graduation Artist: Kanye West Released: August 20, 2007 Rating: 7.7/10 “Stadium status”, Kanye declares on his third studio album, Graduation, and it’s hard to disagree. Influenced by his year touring with U2, Graduation is West’s attempt at creating an anthemic sound that he felt hip-hop lacked. He has arguably had mixed success in that regard, but musically, West … Continue reading [Music] Graduation – Kanye West (2007)

[Music] Be – Common (2005)

Album: Be Artist: Common Released: May 25, 2005 Rating: 7.3/10 Common’s sixth studio album, Be, should serve as a reminder to hip-hop aficionados that the genre does not need to be dark or grimey in order to be insightful or inspiring. Working with his close friend and, at the time, rising superstar, Kanye West, Be is a return to … Continue reading [Music] Be – Common (2005)

[Music] 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J.Cole

Album: 2014 Forest Hills Drive Artist: J. Cole Released: December 9th, 2014 Rating: 7.8/10 Even after a bunch of mixtapes and three successful albums, J.Cole still seems a little like the new kid on the block. It isn’t talent that he lacks, certainly, and at this stage, it isn’t experience either. Critics have a variety of names for that … Continue reading [Music] 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J.Cole