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.

There’s plenty of new music being released but lets take a look back at some that may have been overlooked.

(Eric Bellinger Eazy Call album cover, released April 2018)

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Eric Bellinger is in my top 10 of favorite song writers. His release of Eazy Call had the single of “Goat 2.0” featuring Wale. The project in its totality is a good listen. It was released on April 6, 2018. The first song “Legs” is not a favorite of mine but I enjoyed everything else. The songs “Role Play”, “Silent Treatment” and “Ain’t Ya Ex” are for sure jams. If you haven’t heard this album I’d say give it a try.

(Ro James album cover for Smoke, released March 2018)

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Ro James released the EP Smoke on March 23, 2018. (I’m sure someone would disagree here but…) I can’t exactly say I was disappointed because over time I realized the R&B, Soul artist is mostly good for releasing one or two dope tracks as opposed to coming through with a solid album / project. There was not anything on Smoke that sparked my interest like “Devil’s Kiss” from his Coke EP (2017) or “Permission”, “A.D.I.D.A.S” and the title song “Eldorado” from his Eldorado album (2016). Smoke may be hit or miss depending on who’s listening. It was a miss for me.

 

(Wale album cover Its Complicated, released March 2018)

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At times, as someone who probably watches one too many interviews, it is hard to separate my feelings from the interview and the body of work that an artist may release. But here goes! Wale dropped his EP It’s Complicated on March 13, 2018. For a while it seemed the D.C. rapper was moving backwards with albums coming and going without a peep from his label or his fans. This EP is not his greatest work but it’s certainly redeeming him. Although, the opening song dragged (for me, anyway!) the remaining three tracks were smooth. It’s 13 minutes in duration and overall I think it’s worth the listen. This EP may be better enjoyed if you hit shuffle. Seriously.