Hip Hop

Everythings For Sale (CD)

Boogie’s 2019 release Everythings For Sale is the Compton, California artist’s official debut album (via Eminem’s Shady Records) following a series of strong mixtape releases by the unique rapper/singer. As the album’s cover art of a coffin at a funeral might indicate, Everything’s overall mood is somber. But that’s not a bad thing! The antithesis of braggadocious party rap, Boogie’s soul-bearing, bold and brutally honest self-examination of his life experiences to date (from death to bad relationships and self-doubts) is refreshingly real.

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Let Love (CD)

While taking a partial break from the acting portion of his multi-faceted career, Common found the time not only to write a new memoir (Let Love Have The Last Word) but also create a companion album of new music, Let Love. The politics of his prior release are put aside to simply let love be the focus of this collection of songs, in all of its familial, platonic and romantic incarnations, and tell how much the healing power of love can change you over time. The vibe of these tracks is at times seductively lush ("Show Me That You Love" featuring Jill Scott), as well as groove to make you move ("Hercules" featuring Swizz Beatz).

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Crash Talk (CD)

On the edge of withdrawal for abrasive Hip Hop, ScHoolboy Q manifests another title which pushes the context of blazing, and the nostalgia of Ice Cube. Listen to “Floating,” “Drunk,” and “Water.”

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IGOR (CD)

Simply put, Tyler, the Creator’s IGOR is brilliant. His work has always been raw but on this outsider soul album, it’s raw in an entirely different way—it’s intensely emotional and vulnerable, a collection of songs that show The Creator spreading his wings into a whole new realm of lyrical and stylistic possibilities. He sings more than raps, giving voice to heartache, loss, and growth in a way that hits you in the gut when you least expect it. Tyler, the Creator produced, wrote and arranged all the tracks on this must-hear album; it’s a major evolution for the artist and should end up on loads of year-end “best of” lists.

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Zuu (CD)

Denzel Curry can do no wrong on ZUU. The album is a tribute to his hometown of Miami, with appearances from Kiddo Marv and Rick Ross. The bass is heavy, the beats solid, and the rhymes smart as hell. What more could you want? Nearly every song is a banger; Denzel Curry should be dominating the clubs this year with these tightly-constructed tracks. This one’ll stay in rotation for months to come.

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