1) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
2) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
3) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
4) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
5) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)
Since its release last week, Drake's latest full-length offering, Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money Records, has rocketed to the number one position on the latest Amoeba Hip-Hop Chart at the Hollywood store, where it even edges out recent month chart staples from the likes of Kanye West (Yeezus) and Jay-Z (Magna Carta Holy Grail) - the latter of whom makes a cameo on this latest from Drake. The Amoeba.com review gives this new Drake release (the artist's third studio album in as many years) a two thumbs up rating, calling it "some of his best material yet" and claims that the album "features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet." Of the Canadian-born artist's current status (one that draws a lot of criticism over such issues as his background as former child television star. Over the past week, Kendrick Lamar labelled him a "sensitive rapper."), "Drake’s got little left to prove. If the haters provide fuel for his fire, haters keep hatin’ cause Nothing Was the Same is a beautiful smackdown." Indeed when it comes to competition Drake is a clear all around winner in terms of popularity with music buyers. As well as topping the latest Amoeba chart, he also went to number one with a bullet on the Billboard album chart, selling a reported 658,000 units in its first week.
Drake has gone from sensitive Canadian kid actor to the most popular MC in hip-hop. The worst you can say about him is that he’s not the best pure rapper out there and lacks street cred; that’s still true. But as songwriters go, they don’t get much better. Drake is a new kind of hip-hop star, one less concerned with a hard image than he is with making interesting music. Barring the debatable “Wu-Tang Forever,” this is some of his best material yet. “Started From the Bottom” take a cue from his bud The Weeknd with a relentlessly bleak backdrop and a weary tale of success, like he’s reached the top of the mountain barely breathing—it’s a hell of a way to start a blockbuster album. “Hold On We’re Going Home” has been all over radio, with good reason, like a hip-hop version of Daft Punk’s latest album, all throwback funk and good time vibes, with Drake’s typically lovelorn lyrics. Despite the flak Drake gets for his rapping, Nothing Was the Same features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet, only including a handful of guest spots (2 Chainz and Big Sean add some welcome outside voices on “All Me”) and instead delving deep into Aubrey Drake Graham’s psyche and insecurities. “I hate that mom’s cooped up in her apartment, tellin’ herself that she’s too sick to get dressed up and go do shit” he says on the wrenching “Too Much.” Drake breathlessly delivers “The Language” in triplet cadence and lightens the mood (“She just wanna smoke ‘n’ f*ck, I said, ‘girl that’s all that we do’”). By the time he delivers the line “just give it time, we’ll see who’s still around a decade from now” on epic closer “Tuscan Leather,” Drake’s got little left to prove. If the haters provide fuel for his fire, haters keep hatin’ cause Nothing Was the Same is a beautiful smackdown.
Out Sept. 10
Canadian indie R&B artist The Weeknd returns with a new album following his three mixtapes and their eventual compilation (Trilogy). Expect Kiss Land to live up to its name, judging by the sexy, Portishead-sampling “Belong to the World” heard below.
Out Sept. 17
The first album in 14 years from Sebadoh, the great indie rock band featuring Lou Barlow (also of Dinosaur Jr.), should be a hoot! Even if you’re new to the band, Barlow’s gritted-teeth delivery and brittle guitarwork are a thing to behold.
1) Drake Take Care (Cash Money/Universal)
2) Kanye West & Jay Z Watch The Throne (Def Jam)
3) Gangrene Vodka & Ayahuasca (Decon)
4) Busdriver Beaus $ Eros (Fake Four Inc.)
5) Blu & Exile Below The Heavens (Fat Beats)
This week's hip-hop chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store reflects the state of the current hip-hop market - one in which many titles have a long shelf life including the most recent releases from both Drake (Take Care on Cash Money/Universal) and Kanye West & Jay Z (Watch The Throne on Def Jam) - two major label releases that were originally released in early November and August respectively but have been steadily selling/charting ever since. Meantime another steady seller is Blu & Exile's Below The Heavens on Fat Beats which is technically a five year old album but, due to public demand, was reissued recently. The other two album entrants on the new hip-hop chart are the 2012 releases from both LA alt hip-hop talent Busdriver (Beaus $ Eros on Fake Four Inc. featuring the Loden produced track below "Kiss Me Back To Life") and Gangrene's Vodka & Ayahuasca on Decon. Featuring Oh No and Alchemist Gangrene are pretty darn good and this is one recommended album; one of those records that you hear something new in every time you play it.