Check out the review on Hip Hop releases that are getting a lot of buzz.

 

WALE. Again Wale has released an EP. This year there has been three EPs from the D.C. rapper. His latest is entitled Free Lunch. The track list consists of five songs and I must say that I was not disappointed with the 20 minutes I spent listening. Free Lunch is reminiscent of his earlier projects such as Attention Deficit and More About Nothing. 

 

EMINEM. The 45-year-old rapper dropped his Kamikaze album on August 31 and it was a full display of Em’s lyrical skills. Beyond his clear ability to still put it down in the booth it was not lost on anyone that the ‘rap God’ was rapping from a hurt place. With his last album not being the best in his discography, he rhymes about the lackluster reaction from fans and amongst all else he took shots at many of the new school rappers and some veterans. Em’s approach caused a stir for a lot of people who saw this as a bitter old man trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven. The album though is still worth the listen.

 

LIL WAYNE. After five years the long awaited Wayne album was finally released. Tha Carter V came a day after the Louisiana native’s birthday (September 28). Personally I held my breath with this one. No one really knew what to expect from the album that had been held up due to a lengthy legal battle Wayne faced with the label head of Cash Money records and his father figure / mentor, Birdman. This was a good album. If you’ve been listening to Wayne for as long as I have (since the late 90s) you’d hear that this is Wayne in his most vulnerable and authentic state. I enjoyed this album from start to finish.

 

T.I. On October 5th T.I released his tenth studio album Dime Trap.  Despite what most may take away from the title, T.I. used this album as a way to express what trap music means to him and how it has been used as a method to reach people in the black community. The album as a whole is a good project. There are a few songs I personally did not like but everything is not for everybody. I was not disappointed with this release. After ten albums T.I. is still able to give the people good music.

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Nicki Minaj returns to the music scene four years after her last album with the August 10 release of Queen. Frankly, this album was better than I expected. Nicki had gone on a media run that made her out to be a whiny brat who was pointing fingers at everyone but herself as to why she’d been somewhat forgotten. I was for sure that she wouldn’t deliver a decent album, especially since the release of her singles “Rich Sex” feat. Lil Wayne, “Chun-Li” and “Bed” received mixed reviews.

Now, I could be nitpicking, but, there’s no solid theme for this Nicki album. On the cover for Queen, Nicki looks like an African princess. Songs, like Chun-Li, in which she performed at many award shows had a Chinese vibe.

The album itself can be played from front to back. I don’t agree with the placement of the first song “Ganja Burns” because it just doesn’t feel like a track that would introduce an album. But everything else flows well. She has songs that will make you dance, songs you want to just sing along to and of course a couple tracks you can play if you’re going through relationship issues.

Her song “Barbie Dreams”, where she raps over a Biggie sample, was pumped up as a diss track, but it was definitely overhyped. I was entertained. I chuckled. But it was the furtherest thing from a diss track. My favs are “Run & Hide” and “Good Form”. And if you couldn’t get enough of the original release, on Tuesday (Aug. 14), Nicki added the track featuring Tekashi69 called “FEFE”. I’ve only heard it a few times but I think it’s safe to say it was an unnecessary addition.

Nicki Minaj and Future will be doing their NICKIHNDRXX tour starting late September. Stream her album to kick off the show at home or wherever you like to listen to music.