Tag Archives: 2018

Evidence’s Weather Or Not Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2018

Last night (December 30), the tournament to decide 2018’s Best Rap Album came to a close. Evidence’s Weather Or Not bested Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan, 63% to 37%. Thus, the veteran Los Angeles, California MC/producer takes home the top honors in the second annual month-long voter-decided competition.

Notably, Ev’s third solo LP is the earliest release of 2018 that made the tourney’, which included Ambrosia For Heads‘ Top 15 albums of 2018 in addition to a Wild Card with write-in options (the winner of that was Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa).

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

While Evidence has already cemented an incredible 20-year-career across his role in Dilated Peoples, Stepbrothers, and an impressive solo catalog, W.O.N. reached a new plateau. In early 2017, the artist born Michael Perretta released the Alchemist-produced “Throw It All Away.” The somber video single saw Ev’ contemplating his life, discussing his relationship with money, and evaluating his career. That reflective mood would ultimately set the table for what built over the next nine months.

In the closing days of ’17, Ev’ dropped the Nottz-produced “Jim Dean” video single. A month later, the Rhymesayers Entertainment full-length release followed. The album addresses the cancer battle that Evidence’s partner Wendy was facing, who is also the mother to his son, Enzo. The highly-personal “By My Side Too” saw Ev’ pledging to be a great father, honoring his companion, and revealing why he may have seemed preoccupied to those not in the know. Sadly, Ev confirmed the passing of his partner several months after the album. Fans familiar with 2007’s The Weatherman can recall an all-too-similar heartfelt dedication to his late mother, “I Still Love You.”

Evidence’s New Video Is An Introspective Look Into One Of The Year’s Best Albums

However, at a full listen, Weather Or Not shows that Evidence refuses to be defined by loss or challenge. Instead, he celebrates the triumphs as an artist capable of claiming to be a fixture in the ’90s Underground Hip-Hop movement who still advances the culture without compromise. Moreover, Ev—who has worked with Kanye West, Everlast, B-Real, and plenty of others, asserts that he has been able to make a good living in Hip-Hop. Although the Rhymesayer may not get proper recognition for his arts, he embraces his place in the game, and raps, produces, and creates on the highest level of competition.

Twenty years after Dilated’s first 12″ singles, Evidence challenges his peers to do better. “Same vinyl crates, but I’m comin’ up with new flips / On my classics, like Karate Kid and Blue Chips / I don’t want to see my friends be broke or be bitter / I don’t want to see my heroes slangin’ verses on they Twitter / Everyone’s an imitation / Spitters copy G Rap, the rest are on some Drake sh*t,” he declares on the DJ Premier-produced “10,000 Hours.” The Rap survivor is unafraid to say what so many folks may be thinking. He shows his mind-state in Rap on “Love Is A Funny Thing.” “They say love is a funny thing / But what’s funny is the company that money brings / Every year my circle’s getting smaller / Not Ben Baller but never had a thin wallet / I got dollars in different forms of currency / I got problems, but ain’t nothing that worry me / And I ain’t saying that I’m worry-free, I’m just saying nothing’s fucking with me currently / Sh*t, I’m my own worst enemy / I make bread just to spend it like it’s 10 of me / It’s Evidence and people call me by my government / Call me for weed, but don’t call me for that other sh*t.

Evidence’s Latest Video Is A Trippy Journey Through His Brilliant Mind

Evidence involves a cast of guests, without losing the cohesive feel of a personal solo album. Longtime affiliates like Defari and Dilated band-mates DJ Babu and Rakaa are present. While 20 years ago, a Styles P and Evidence collaboration may have seemed like a far-reaching idea, the two lyricists sound great together, especially with Rapsody also in the mix. Ev’ also trades deft bars with Jonwayne, and lights the biggest stage to date for low-profile hardcore Hip-Hop sensation Mach-Hommy. Musically, the LP contains some of the most evocative Alchemist production in a truly incredible year for the other Stepbrother. Preemo and Nottz make their moments count, as Hip-Hop Heads can forever trust. Al’s homie Budgie as well as Twiz The Beatpro shine as well. Fresh off of producing a whole project for Defari in ’17, Evidence shows his versatility with three tracks of his own. Much of the album has come to video, including some incredible treatments by Jason Goldwatch and Ev’s own direction.

A show-piece within Weather Or Not is the Slug collaboration, “Powder Cocaine.” The song may be the intersection of the introspective and the more kick-back moments. “I be fine like powder cocaine / And that’s a hell of a drug, and that’s a hell of a saying / They need elephant trunks to get it off of the plate / I wanna better myself, they wanna dwell in the pain / I wanna better my health, no umbrella for rain / And that’s a hell of a bug, I wanna live in my dreams / Got an ocean in mind, they wanna settle for streams / I wanna settle for more / I wanna get knocked down so I could settle the score / Better than before as if that was possible / To shake the demons of my mother in the hospital,” raps Ev over one of Alchemist’s greatest beats of all time. The excerpt tackles the state of the art, self-improvement, and some of the most personal things the artist can reveal. Slug matches the energy with lines like: “I want knowledge of self and also everything else / But the gravity helps, yeah, reality’s real / When I finally fell, I told my family ‘Well, when a battery dies it goes to battery hell’ / Bent, intent, inflict a dent in the cement / Magnificent, brag like Sisyphus / Boast like the host with the most up-votes / I bought a spot in coach but got the bump-up hopes.” The song is catharsis from two peers who have helped shoulder a Hip-Hop movement, and still fight to pressing this incredible music to vinyl and CD.

Evidence & Krondon Show That L.A.’s Underground Vets Now Do It Big (Video)

Weather Or Not forecast a cloudy year in music, politics, society, and the personal lives of so many. However, the director of photography artfully put things in focus. This album played all year long with honesty, vulnerability, and the unwavering foundation of dope beats and rhymes.

Last night (December 30), the tournament to decide 2018’s Best Rap Album came to a close. Evidence’s Weather Or Not bested Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan, 63% to 37%. Thus, the veteran Los Angeles, California MC/producer takes home the top honors in the second annual month-long voter-decided competition.

Notably, Ev’s third solo LP is the earliest release of 2018 that made the tourney’, which included Ambrosia For Heads‘ Top 15 albums of 2018 in addition to a Wild Card with write-in options (the winner of that was Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa).

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

While Evidence has already cemented an incredible 20-year-career across his role in Dilated Peoples, Stepbrothers, and an impressive solo catalog, W.O.N. reached a new plateau. In early 2017, the artist born Michael Perretta released the Alchemist-produced “Throw It All Away.” The somber video single saw Ev’ contemplating his life, discussing his relationship with money, and evaluating his career. That reflective mood would ultimately set the table for what built over the next nine months.

In the closing days of ’17, Ev’ dropped the Nottz-produced “Jim Dean” video single. A month later, the Rhymesayers Entertainment full-length release followed. The album addresses the cancer battle that Evidence’s partner Wendy was facing, who is also the mother to his son, Enzo. The highly-personal “By My Side Too” saw Ev’ pledging to be a great father, honoring his companion, and revealing why he may have seemed preoccupied to those not in the know. Sadly, Ev confirmed the passing of his partner several months after the album. Fans familiar with 2007’s The Weatherman can recall an all-too-similar heartfelt dedication to his late mother, “I Still Love You.”

Evidence’s New Video Is An Introspective Look Into One Of The Year’s Best Albums

However, at a full listen, Weather Or Not shows that Evidence refuses to be defined by loss or challenge. Instead, he celebrates the triumphs as an artist capable of claiming to be a fixture in the ’90s Underground Hip-Hop movement who still advances the culture without compromise. Moreover, Ev—who has worked with Kanye West, Everlast, B-Real, and plenty of others, asserts that he has been able to make a good living in Hip-Hop. Although the Rhymesayer may not get proper recognition for his arts, he embraces his place in the game, and raps, produces, and creates on the highest level of competition.

Twenty years after Dilated’s first 12″ singles, Evidence challenges his peers to do better. “Same vinyl crates, but I’m comin’ up with new flips / On my classics, like Karate Kid and Blue Chips / I don’t want to see my friends be broke or be bitter / I don’t want to see my heroes slangin’ verses on they Twitter / Everyone’s an imitation / Spitters copy G Rap, the rest are on some Drake sh*t,” he declares on the DJ Premier-produced “10,000 Hours.” The Rap survivor is unafraid to say what so many folks may be thinking. He shows his mind-state in Rap on “Love Is A Funny Thing.” “They say love is a funny thing / But what’s funny is the company that money brings / Every year my circle’s getting smaller / Not Ben Baller but never had a thin wallet / I got dollars in different forms of currency / I got problems, but ain’t nothing that worry me / And I ain’t saying that I’m worry-free, I’m just saying nothing’s fucking with me currently / Sh*t, I’m my own worst enemy / I make bread just to spend it like it’s 10 of me / It’s Evidence and people call me by my government / Call me for weed, but don’t call me for that other sh*t.

Evidence’s Latest Video Is A Trippy Journey Through His Brilliant Mind

Evidence involves a cast of guests, without losing the cohesive feel of a personal solo album. Longtime affiliates like Defari and Dilated band-mates DJ Babu and Rakaa are present. While 20 years ago, a Styles P and Evidence collaboration may have seemed like a far-reaching idea, the two lyricists sound great together, especially with Rapsody also in the mix. Ev’ also trades deft bars with Jonwayne, and lights the biggest stage to date for low-profile hardcore Hip-Hop sensation Mach-Hommy. Musically, the LP contains some of the most evocative Alchemist production in a truly incredible year for the other Stepbrother. Preemo and Nottz make their moments count, as Hip-Hop Heads can forever trust. Al’s homie Budgie as well as Twiz The Beatpro shine as well. Fresh off of producing a whole project for Defari in ’17, Evidence shows his versatility with three tracks of his own. Much of the album has come to video, including some incredible treatments by Jason Goldwatch and Ev’s own direction.

A show-piece within Weather Or Not is the Slug collaboration, “Powder Cocaine.” The song may be the intersection of the introspective and the more kick-back moments. “I be fine like powder cocaine / And that’s a hell of a drug, and that’s a hell of a saying / They need elephant trunks to get it off of the plate / I wanna better myself, they wanna dwell in the pain / I wanna better my health, no umbrella for rain / And that’s a hell of a bug, I wanna live in my dreams / Got an ocean in mind, they wanna settle for streams / I wanna settle for more / I wanna get knocked down so I could settle the score / Better than before as if that was possible / To shake the demons of my mother in the hospital,” raps Ev over one of Alchemist’s greatest beats of all time. The excerpt tackles the state of the art, self-improvement, and some of the most personal things the artist can reveal. Slug matches the energy with lines like: “I want knowledge of self and also everything else / But the gravity helps, yeah, reality’s real / When I finally fell, I told my family ‘Well, when a battery dies it goes to battery hell’ / Bent, intent, inflict a dent in the cement / Magnificent, brag like Sisyphus / Boast like the host with the most up-votes / I bought a spot in coach but got the bump-up hopes.” The song is catharsis from two peers who have helped shoulder a Hip-Hop movement, and still fight to pressing this incredible music to vinyl and CD.

Evidence & Krondon Show That L.A.’s Underground Vets Now Do It Big (Video)

Weather Or Not forecast a cloudy year in music, politics, society, and the personal lives of so many. However, the director of photography artfully put things in focus. This album played all year long with honesty, vulnerability, and the unwavering foundation of dope beats and rhymes.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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It’s A Rap. Skillz Calls It Like It Was In 2018 (Audio)

If the debate for the King of R&B is up for grabs, followers of the late great James Brown can rest easy, as his position among the greatest to ever do it, is secure as a Master padlock. Known indelibly as the “Godfather of Soul Music,” Brown’s career covered successive generations that stretched from chitlin circuit pit-stops in the ’60s, through his own Funk era and ultimately, the birth of Hip-Hop. In the Netflix original documentary, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown, the life and times of the oft referred “hardest working man in show business,” is examined fully. Questlove, Chuck D, Nelson George, Greg Tate, and others appear in the doc’.

It is common knowledge that Brown’s influence on Hip-Hop has been acknowledged and celebrated through countless samples – “Funky Drummer” being the most popular – but who knew Brown dipped into the sampling pool himself?

50 Years Ago Today, James Brown Healed Hearts With Soul Power (Video)

As it turns out, Brown’s saxophonist and bandleader, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, was called into James’ dressing room one night after a thunderous performance in the summer of 1967. Never formally trained to read music, Brown explained to Ellis that he had something in his head he needed to be transformed into song.

“I started putting notations to his grunts,” Ellis remembers with a hearty laugh at the 57:00-mark of the film, “which came out to be the bass line of ‘Cold Sweat.’

How James Brown Made The Blueprint For Hip-Hop AND Today’s Music Business

Ellis goes on to explain that he had been listening to Miles Davis’ “So What,” which “popped up” while he was developing the track that would eventually become “Cold Sweat.”

“So I took that [dee dumph] part and repeated it over and over,” Ellis explains. “Then we added a very important guitar part, contrasting all of that – which is funky all by itself.”

Now You Can Spot Samples By Diggin’…With An App On Your Phone

An unquestionable masterpiece, “Cold Sweat” has been cited, by some (including in George’s The Death Of Rhythm & Blues) as the first true Funk song for all its moving parts. Aside from Brown’s grunts that laid the groundwork for the beat, the finished track borrowed from his previously-released “I Don’t Care” in 1962. Moreover, it incorporated Brown’s signature screams and solos from Maceo Parker on sax, and Clyde Stubblefield on drums.

“I didn’t write it to be so monumental,” Ellis confesses, “but my Jazz influence was creeping into his R&B, so the combination of the two is where the Funk came from.”

Producers Rejoice: Legal Sampling Is Now As Easy As Online Shopping (Video)

During the late 70s, when Brown was said to be losing a step, his Funk music was hot as ever in the Hip-Hop community and among DJs. Albums like Get On The Good Foot and Sex Machine were in heavy rotation, while “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” provided breaks that proved to be something of a goldmine. But it was the unlikely “Funky Drummer” that catapulted “Mr. Please Please” to un-chartered territory.

For the record, the actual Funky Drummer was not very fond of the tune. “I hate that song,” the late Clyde Stubblefield affirms in the doc. “We all was so tired and didn’t even want to record. So I started playing just the drum pattern. Brown liked it. We recorded it, and it came out ‘Funky Drummer.’”

Q-Tip To Portray Miles Davis In A Play Written By Nelson George

Be that as it may, “Funky Drummer” has since served as the backbone to a long list of hits made popular by Public Enemy (“Bring The Noise,” “Fight The Power”), Dr. Dre (“Let Me Ride”), Run-D.M.C., JAY-Z, and Nas, among a plethora of others.

#BonusBeat: The trailer for Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown:

If the debate for the King of R&B is up for grabs, followers of the late great James Brown can rest easy, as his position among the greatest to ever do it, is secure as a Master padlock. Known indelibly as the “Godfather of Soul Music,” Brown’s career covered successive generations that stretched from chitlin circuit pit-stops in the ’60s, through his own Funk era and ultimately, the birth of Hip-Hop. In the Netflix original documentary, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown, the life and times of the oft referred “hardest working man in show business,” is examined fully. Questlove, Chuck D, Nelson George, Greg Tate, and others appear in the doc’.

It is common knowledge that Brown’s influence on Hip-Hop has been acknowledged and celebrated through countless samples – “Funky Drummer” being the most popular – but who knew Brown dipped into the sampling pool himself?

50 Years Ago Today, James Brown Healed Hearts With Soul Power (Video)

As it turns out, Brown’s saxophonist and bandleader, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, was called into James’ dressing room one night after a thunderous performance in the summer of 1967. Never formally trained to read music, Brown explained to Ellis that he had something in his head he needed to be transformed into song.

“I started putting notations to his grunts,” Ellis remembers with a hearty laugh at the 57:00-mark of the film, “which came out to be the bass line of ‘Cold Sweat.’

How James Brown Made The Blueprint For Hip-Hop AND Today’s Music Business

Ellis goes on to explain that he had been listening to Miles Davis’ “So What,” which “popped up” while he was developing the track that would eventually become “Cold Sweat.”

“So I took that [dee dumph] part and repeated it over and over,” Ellis explains. “Then we added a very important guitar part, contrasting all of that – which is funky all by itself.”

Now You Can Spot Samples By Diggin’…With An App On Your Phone

An unquestionable masterpiece, “Cold Sweat” has been cited, by some (including in George’s The Death Of Rhythm & Blues) as the first true Funk song for all its moving parts. Aside from Brown’s grunts that laid the groundwork for the beat, the finished track borrowed from his previously-released “I Don’t Care” in 1962. Moreover, it incorporated Brown’s signature screams and solos from Maceo Parker on sax, and Clyde Stubblefield on drums.

“I didn’t write it to be so monumental,” Ellis confesses, “but my Jazz influence was creeping into his R&B, so the combination of the two is where the Funk came from.”

Producers Rejoice: Legal Sampling Is Now As Easy As Online Shopping (Video)

During the late 70s, when Brown was said to be losing a step, his Funk music was hot as ever in the Hip-Hop community and among DJs. Albums like Get On The Good Foot and Sex Machine were in heavy rotation, while “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” provided breaks that proved to be something of a goldmine. But it was the unlikely “Funky Drummer” that catapulted “Mr. Please Please” to un-chartered territory.

For the record, the actual Funky Drummer was not very fond of the tune. “I hate that song,” the late Clyde Stubblefield affirms in the doc. “We all was so tired and didn’t even want to record. So I started playing just the drum pattern. Brown liked it. We recorded it, and it came out ‘Funky Drummer.’”

Q-Tip To Portray Miles Davis In A Play Written By Nelson George

Be that as it may, “Funky Drummer” has since served as the backbone to a long list of hits made popular by Public Enemy (“Bring The Noise,” “Fight The Power”), Dr. Dre (“Let Me Ride”), Run-D.M.C., JAY-Z, and Nas, among a plethora of others.

#BonusBeat: The trailer for Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown:

Honoring a tradition that is nearly 20 years old, Skillz sums up the year that was with a rap. Long before any ball drops commemorating the arrival of 2019, the Virginia veteran MC (and DJ) makes sense of a complicated year in Hip-Hop and the world at large.

The song features Lil Duval and pays quick homage to, “Smile (Living My Best Life),” with Snoop Dogg and Ball Greezy, the instrumental for the affair. Black Panther, Will Smith’s captivating social media moments, and the people who died after knowingly ingesting Tide Pods are part of the opening sequence. He weaves in Nas’ letter responding to and denying allegations of abuse by ex-wife Kelis as well as Fabolous’ charges over physically assaulting Emily B. These bars come right alongside a Philadelphia Starbucks denying a restroom to Black customers and calling the police. However, as anybody familiar with the series and Skillz would expect, he gets to Kanye West’s 2018, hitting on a few points.

Skillz Is Back And He’s Bringing Mad FUNK (Video)

And that Wal-Mart kid? I hate his voice / F*ck you mean ‘slavery was a choice’? / ‘Ye been in the way, and it feels like forever / Your music got worse, your trolling got better,” spits the MC, a few bars before mentioning the rapper’s “MAGA” hat endorsement. Later this year, West tearfully apologized for the controversial remarks he made during an impromptu visit to TMZ Live.

Skillz stays in the pocket with, “Dubs beat the Cavs, J.R. was late / Then Pusha spilled all of the tea on Drake / All we heard was ‘you’re hiding a child’ / I’m like, ‘Bruh, the Rap game gettin’ wild’ / Eminem fired back at MGK / We got a surprise album from Bey’ and Jay / Lebron got gone, left for L.A. / And I still wanna know who bit Beyoncé.” He references Tiffany Haddish’s revelation and subsequent speculation that actresses including Lena Dunham, Sanaa Lathan, or Sara Foster bit Bey’ while at a party. Moments later, Skillz deduces “The whole year was ugly / Remember, ‘Kiki, do you love me?’

Skillz Releases His 2017 Rap Up & It’s An Epic End To A Crazy Year (Audio)

From Bill Cosby’s incarceration to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B’s fashion show fight, it is all there. “Kylie and Travis made all the bread / And 6ix9ine trolled his ass right into the feds,” he raps, before giving Lil Duval props for making the song of the year in the form of the same Mr. Hanky-produced instrumental he raps over.

While Skillz is known for humor, he also asks serious questions. “Demi OD’d, Mac Miller died / And there’s still kids out here trying to get high? / Yeah, we had issues, but most were torn / If it wasn’t mental health, it was prison reform / They gave Suge 28, that ain’t no joke / 50 was petty all year, he wanted all the smoke.” He also references the families separated at the border, Donald Trump’s litany of apparent mishaps, and the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Skillz Becomes Artist In Residence At University Of Richmond

He gets in a few stingers too. “Just live ya’ best life, and smile for the camera / Unless you’re Juelz Santana and “Draymond and KD was war and peace / And then came ‘who’s the King of R&B?’ / Jacquees, stop runnin’ ya mouth / Your R&B stands for ‘run your ass back in the house’ / I’ma say it, y’all might feel a way / But the King of R&B? That’s Beyoncé.

Notably, Skillz does not reference the conflict with Uncle Murda surrounding these very year-ends that opened 2018. Perhaps that issue is put to rest as Skillz blesses fans with another time-honored Rap tradition.

Skillz’s 2016 Rap Up Reminds Us Of The Year’s Highs, Lows & Reasons To Stay Woke (Audio)

Happy 2019 to you and yours from the Ambrosia For Heads staff.

#BonusBeat: This year Skillz, who put the “Mad” back in his name, released I’m The DJ… And The Rapper. The multi-threat referenced the 30-year-old title and artwork by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Honoring a tradition that is nearly 20 years old, Skillz sums up the year that was with a rap. Long before any ball drops commemorating the arrival of 2019, the Virginia veteran MC (and DJ) makes sense of a complicated year in Hip-Hop and the world at large.

The song features Lil Duval and pays quick homage to, “Smile (Living My Best Life),” with Snoop Dogg and Ball Greezy, the instrumental for the affair. Black Panther, Will Smith’s captivating social media moments, and the people who died after knowingly ingesting Tide Pods are part of the opening sequence. He weaves in Nas’ letter responding to and denying allegations of abuse by ex-wife Kelis as well as Fabolous’ charges over physically assaulting Emily B. These bars come right alongside a Philadelphia Starbucks denying a restroom to Black customers and calling the police. However, as anybody familiar with the series and Skillz would expect, he gets to Kanye West’s 2018, hitting on a few points.

Skillz Is Back And He’s Bringing Mad FUNK (Video)

And that Wal-Mart kid? I hate his voice / F*ck you mean ‘slavery was a choice’? / ‘Ye been in the way, and it feels like forever / Your music got worse, your trolling got better,” spits the MC, a few bars before mentioning the rapper’s “MAGA” hat endorsement. Later this year, West tearfully apologized for the controversial remarks he made during an impromptu visit to TMZ Live.

Skillz stays in the pocket with, “Dubs beat the Cavs, J.R. was late / Then Pusha spilled all of the tea on Drake / All we heard was ‘you’re hiding a child’ / I’m like, ‘Bruh, the Rap game gettin’ wild’ / Eminem fired back at MGK / We got a surprise album from Bey’ and Jay / Lebron got gone, left for L.A. / And I still wanna know who bit Beyoncé.” He references Tiffany Haddish’s revelation and subsequent speculation that actresses including Lena Dunham, Sanaa Lathan, or Sara Foster bit Bey’ while at a party. Moments later, Skillz deduces “The whole year was ugly / Remember, ‘Kiki, do you love me?’

Skillz Releases His 2017 Rap Up & It’s An Epic End To A Crazy Year (Audio)

From Bill Cosby’s incarceration to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B’s fashion show fight, it is all there. “Kylie and Travis made all the bread / And 6ix9ine trolled his ass right into the feds,” he raps, before giving Lil Duval props for making the song of the year in the form of the same Mr. Hanky-produced instrumental he raps over.

While Skillz is known for humor, he also asks serious questions. “Demi OD’d, Mac Miller died / And there’s still kids out here trying to get high? / Yeah, we had issues, but most were torn / If it wasn’t mental health, it was prison reform / They gave Suge 28, that ain’t no joke / 50 was petty all year, he wanted all the smoke.” He also references the families separated at the border, Donald Trump’s litany of apparent mishaps, and the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Skillz Becomes Artist In Residence At University Of Richmond

He gets in a few stingers too. “Just live ya’ best life, and smile for the camera / Unless you’re Juelz Santana and “Draymond and KD was war and peace / And then came ‘who’s the King of R&B?’ / Jacquees, stop runnin’ ya mouth / Your R&B stands for ‘run your ass back in the house’ / I’ma say it, y’all might feel a way / But the King of R&B? That’s Beyoncé.

Notably, Skillz does not reference the conflict with Uncle Murda surrounding these very year-ends that opened 2018. Perhaps that issue is put to rest as Skillz blesses fans with another time-honored Rap tradition.

Skillz’s 2016 Rap Up Reminds Us Of The Year’s Highs, Lows & Reasons To Stay Woke (Audio)

Happy 2019 to you and yours from the Ambrosia For Heads staff.

#BonusBeat: This year Skillz, who put the “Mad” back in his name, released I’m The DJ… And The Rapper. The multi-threat referenced the 30-year-old title and artwork by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (The Championship Battle): Royce 5’9 vs. Evidence

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. After 14 battles, the championship round is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Evidence’s Weather Or Not. Now you must determine the Best Album Of 2018. Voting ends at 11:59 pm EST Sunday, December 30. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation, 58% to 42%)
(defeated Saba’s CARE FOR ME, 82% to 18%)
(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated J. Cole’s KOD, 74% to 26%)
(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. After 14 battles, the championship round is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Evidence’s Weather Or Not. Now you must determine the Best Album Of 2018. Voting ends at 11:59 pm EST Sunday, December 30. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation, 58% to 42%)
(defeated Saba’s CARE FOR ME, 82% to 18%)
(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated J. Cole’s KOD, 74% to 26%)
(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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2 Rap Albums Remain In The Competition To Name 2018’s Best

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The championship round contestants have been determined. The two remaining 2018 albums in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP bested Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2 in the Final 4, after defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME and knocking off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz. Evidence rallied his fans as part of a successful effort to knock off J. Cole’s KOD. This is after he topped Pusha-T’s DAYTONA in addition to a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever.

The competition picks back up on Monday, December 31 giving Hip-Hop Heads the final chance to determine the best Rap Album of 2018.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The championship round contestants have been determined. The two remaining 2018 albums in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP bested Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2 in the Final 4, after defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME and knocking off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz. Evidence rallied his fans as part of a successful effort to knock off J. Cole’s KOD. This is after he topped Pusha-T’s DAYTONA in addition to a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever.

The competition picks back up on Monday, December 31 giving Hip-Hop Heads the final chance to determine the best Rap Album of 2018.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 14): J. Cole vs. Evidence

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second and last Final 4 matchup is between Evidence’s Weather Or Not and J. Cole’s KOD. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Mac Miller’s Swimming, 55.5% to 45.5%)
(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second and last Final 4 matchup is between Evidence’s Weather Or Not and J. Cole’s KOD. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Mac Miller’s Swimming, 55.5% to 45.5%)
(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Hip-Hop Undisputedly Dominated All of 2018

Remember they said hip-hop was dead years ago…

Let’s not front like hip-hop isn’t the new pop today. Everywhere you go, whether it’s Starbucks, the corner social or a bar mitzvah; you’re going to find hip-hop painting in the background or the forefront. And in 2018, hip-hop’s mostly lived in the latter. Five out of the 10 biggest songs according to Billboard’s End Of Year Chart consist of Cardi B, Drake and Post Malone. Drizzy and Posty each have two songs in the Top 10 with Drake’s #1 overall record of 2018 “God’s Plan” and #9 with “In My Feelings.” Post is sitting fat at #5 and #6 with “Rockstar” and “Psycho” and Cardi B sits at the #7 spot of 2018 with “I Like It.”

Drake dominated Spotify in 2018 with over 2 Billion streams! Just so you’re aware that’s like 6 million real dollars and that’s just from Spotify. Cardi B became the first female rapper to have two number 1’s on the Hot 100 and she went certified Gold within just a couple hours of her debut studio album release Invasion Of Privacy.  According to RIAA, It had the most successful debut of the year by a female artist until the release of Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty in September. I know Nicki’s probably not too pleased about that but sh*t but game recognize game and we’re all on the same team aren’t we? Oh, wait… it’s east coast hip-hop where the love is slim to none, I forgot.

Maybe one day, we could just support each other’s wins within our community as they do in other genres… or at least hope the east, north and the midwest take some notes of those folks in Atlanta and how they build. There’s a reason Migos tied with The Beatles this year for the most simultaneous entries on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart among groups, with 14. Among that feat, they also shared the top spot for top hip-hop albums of the year with Culture II; sharing that spot with Cardi B’s Invasion Of Privacy and Post Malone’s Beer Bongs and Bentley’s. All of which went 2x-platinum and are nominated for the upcoming Grammy Awards in 2019.

It’s worth mentioning that Travis Scott is still having a crazy run with Astroworld.  As “SICKOMODE’” is undeniably one of the biggest records of 2018 and it only came out at the end of August. Other’s such as Meek Mill, Kendrick, Weezy, Sheck Wes, Lil Baby, JID, Jay Rock, Donald Glover, and Anderson Paak are all having huge years.  It should come as no surprise that hip-hop is dominating the Grammy space as well with multiple nominations in nearly every category. Hip-Hop is alive and well my friend, so don’t hate the game, adjust to it.

Tweet us your thoughts @TheSource

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 13): Royce 5’9 vs. Black Thought

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The first Final 4 matchup is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Volume 2: Traxploitation. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

 

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Saba’s CARE FOR ME, 82% to 18%)
(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 


Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation

(defeated Jay Rock’s Redemption, 63% to 37%)
(defeated Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, 52% to 48%)

Fans have been waiting more than 20 years to hear what a Black Thought solo release might sound like. This is the year that the Philly MC more than delivered. In early June, Thought teamed with 9th Wonder and The Soul Council to release the five-song Streams Of Thought, Vol. 1 to a tremendous response. He then followed last month with Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation. This time, Tariq Trotter partnered with Amy Winehouse and Nas producer Salaam Remi. Thought delivers nine songs clocking in at just under 25 minutes recorded during two trips to Remi’s Miami studio. True to the album’s title, Salaam laces Black with consistent music throughout the project, using warm Funk, Soul, and Jazz sounds that he concocts to deliver a vibe reminiscent of 1970s cinema. It is the perfect time machine for the MC with tailored suits, nostalgic imagery, and a retro sensibility. For his part, Black Thought brings the bars and then some. With the majority of the songs under three minutes, much of the project is Thought spitting equal parts social commentary (“Soundtrack To Confusion”), biography and braggadocio (“Long Liveth”). The last couple of tracks include some soulful hooks by Tish Hyman as well as Thought’s 1970’s/Temptations-inspired alter-ego, Reek Ruffin on “Conception.” S.O.T.2 is a concise, action-packed project that shows Tariq Trotter rocking with a different type of sound, and Salaam Remi rockin’ with one of the best to ever do it. – Sypher

Released: November 26, 2018
Label: Passyunk Productions/Human Re Sources
Guests: Tish Hyman, Reek Ruffin
Producers: Salaam Remi

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The first Final 4 matchup is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Volume 2: Traxploitation. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

 

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Saba’s CARE FOR ME, 82% to 18%)
(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 


Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation

(defeated Jay Rock’s Redemption, 63% to 37%)
(defeated Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, 52% to 48%)

Fans have been waiting more than 20 years to hear what a Black Thought solo release might sound like. This is the year that the Philly MC more than delivered. In early June, Thought teamed with 9th Wonder and The Soul Council to release the five-song Streams Of Thought, Vol. 1 to a tremendous response. He then followed last month with Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation. This time, Tariq Trotter partnered with Amy Winehouse and Nas producer Salaam Remi. Thought delivers nine songs clocking in at just under 25 minutes recorded during two trips to Remi’s Miami studio. True to the album’s title, Salaam laces Black with consistent music throughout the project, using warm Funk, Soul, and Jazz sounds that he concocts to deliver a vibe reminiscent of 1970s cinema. It is the perfect time machine for the MC with tailored suits, nostalgic imagery, and a retro sensibility. For his part, Black Thought brings the bars and then some. With the majority of the songs under three minutes, much of the project is Thought spitting equal parts social commentary (“Soundtrack To Confusion”), biography and braggadocio (“Long Liveth”). The last couple of tracks include some soulful hooks by Tish Hyman as well as Thought’s 1970’s/Temptations-inspired alter-ego, Reek Ruffin on “Conception.” S.O.T.2 is a concise, action-packed project that shows Tariq Trotter rocking with a different type of sound, and Salaam Remi rockin’ with one of the best to ever do it. – Sypher

Released: November 26, 2018
Label: Passyunk Productions/Human Re Sources
Guests: Tish Hyman, Reek Ruffin
Producers: Salaam Remi

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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You Have Decided The Final 4 Best Albums Of 2018. Here They Are.

As 2018 comes to a close, Donald Glover may not only be one of the most brilliant people in entertainment, he is among the most influential. In an era where quantity rules and quality rises, Glover is prolific in a way that rivals few. In three songs, two music videos, another incredible season of Atlanta, one revealing interview, and some captivating moments in between, the 35-year-old creative force is setting a new bar on how to take Hip-Hop culture to the highest of places, rarely without some provocative constructive commentary on itself and the world watching it closely.

At the top of this year, Donald Glover was still collecting interest from his earlier work. 2016’s “Awaken My Love!” yielded five Grammy nominations including “Album Of The Year,” “Record Of The Year,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” “Best R&B Song,” and “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” That LP, which featured Glover singing, marked a pivot for him, as his previous releases focused more on his also acclaimed rapping. Donald’s first platinum release was a nod to the darker side of Parliament-Funkadelic while finding contemporary and relevant terrain. Standout single “Redbone” gives credit to two 1976 compositions, Bootsy’s Rubber Band’s “I’d Rather Be With You” along with Jaco Pastorius’ “Portrait Of Tracy.” However, the song is not merely a cool callback, but a sleeves-rolled-up approach at modern Groove. The single nearly broke the Top 10 with lyrics that are sexual and cerebral at the same time. It sounded great in Get Out, and chased that feeling for the next year. The composition is as dynamic and frantic as the times that spawned it.

Donald Glover Reveals How He’s Hacked The Real Life Matrix

On January 28, “Redbone” took home the Grammy for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for the single. While there, Glover performed a soulful rendition of one of the album’s standout tracks named “Terrified.” Towards the end of his display, he brought out JD McCray from Disney’s live-action The Lion King remake, due in 2019. Both actors will play “Simba,” with McCray taking the role of the younger version.

Just days before his win, Donald Glover cemented a centerpiece role at a major label. He inked a partnership between his mcDJ imprint and RCA Records. As a label positioning itself on the cutting-edge of new and authentic Urban Music (H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Buddy, etc.), Glover promised to be a decorated figurehead of the unconventional new sound permeating the mainstream.

Donald Glover Explains How To Stay Woke At Work About Sexual Harassment (Video)

Roughly a month after the Grammy’s, Donald premiered the second season of his hit FX series Atlanta. Days before the preview, Glover gave a rare and revealing interview to The New Yorker. While speaking about his success, he was not shy about how hard he had to fight and strategize to get his ideas in play. “The hardest part is surprising FX every time. They need that to feel that you’re an authentic Black person. I surprised them up front by telling them I wanted to make them money,” he said, at a time when the series was the most-watched comedy in the network’s history. A month later, Glover responded to reports that “his commitments” prevented him from properly taking on an FXX Deadpool series. He did not do so with a broad statement or a damning rant. He released script pages. The work balked at any speculation from the public or exec-gossip hearsay. Glover showed what he was up against, and why his creativity and execution was not to blame.

The interview explained that Glover is not a do-everything multi-talent as much as he is a student on a path of learning and mastery. Speaking about accepting a smaller than expected role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Glover explained why it was about opportunity more than ego. Meanwhile, “opportunity” in Glover’s case is not just a polite replacement word for money. “I learn so much. I learn how Marvel movies work, how to handle guest stars, how to make execs happy when they come on set. I gain some of your power. Only now I’m running out of places to learn, at least in America.” That process is part of a lineage that leads him to a leading Lion King part.

Donald Glover Becomes The First Black Director To Win An Emmy For Directing Comedy Series (Video)

Season 2 of Atlanta raised stakes. Robbin’ Season displayed to the world that there is much more at play in a home invasion or mugging. Exploitation and life mirroring art were themes. Directed by longtime collaborator Hiro Murai, the “Teddy Perkins” episode (#6) is the longest in the show’s history. It captured its greatness and uniqueness too. Glover gave a captivating portrayal of a troubled fictional former child star “Teddy Perkins.” As “Darius” is taken hostage at gunpoint, the episode locks in on Theodore “Teddy” Perkins’ psychological pressures and traumas from early fame. It is an E! True Hollywood Story brought to screen cleverly, playing to the damaged child star archetype. Glover transformed entirely into character underneath makeup and prosthetics. Through his eyes and carefully crafted voice, “Teddy” becomes a simmering mass of repressed anger, pain, and violence. Something funny on paper becomes serious and raw.

Critics and peers felt what Glover’s series has done. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and took home three. The work was so good that some fans felt that the “Most Outstanding Comedy Series” slighted the show from the win it deserved. The “Teddy Perkins” episode was responsible for two of the awards.

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Between the Emmy nominations and September awards this year, Donald Glover may have made his boldest statement. The night he hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live, he published something that eclipsed that mainstream look. The “This is America” music video showed the country the trouble that it is in. With the first 40 seconds feeling like a saccharine celebration of partying and capitalism, the video gets really real, really fast. The musician and actor merges his talents with an artful video that highlights the issues all around, and the distractions that take precedence. Gun control, police brutality, racism, religion, and more are allusions behind a catchy song disguised as another evanescent wave. Like J. Cole’s KOD, “This Is America” takes no prisoners in its take on the times. The symbolism has been linked to Jim Crow, Michael Jackson, and “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.” With over 445,000,000 views to date, “This is America” has been cited as one of the best music videos in 2018.

In the midst of playing “Lando Calrissian” in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover stayed on task with music and great videos. He released the EP Summer Pack that included the songs “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.” The songs were a step beyond his Rap days and his Funk display, veering into a hybrid of Power Pop and R&B, but on Glover’s subversive terms.

Donald Glover’s SNL Skit Shows What A Horror Show Kanye West Has Become (Video)

While pleasing to listen to, the visual “Feels Like Summer” video may be even more soothing. It further reveals one of the most provocative artists of our time. Directed by Glover, Ivan Dixon, and Greg Sharp (with character design by Justin Richburg), the video turned the page from the jarring effect of “This Is America” to a pleasant utopia. Glover’s illustrated form takes a walk home, only to encounter a who’s who plethora of rappers, celebrities, and a beloved First Lady. Aside from some pranks, all are in harmony, doing things like chasing ice cream trucks, braiding hair, and skating. He addresses the issues of the day, young artists trolling, Kid Cudi’s depression, and Kanye West’s political malaise.

At a time when animated videos to songs can feel like cheap excuses for budget constrictions and cramped schedules, Donald blended an homage to Saturday morning cartoons with commentary on the Rap world as he sees it. In a year when a current Rap star was murdered, another overdosed on drugs, and another went behind bars, this video and melody can feel like a yearning for innocence. Just underneath the surface of this feel-good energy, the visual reaches darkness as Donald’s lyrics reference global warming, water scarcity, overpopulation, and species extinction. Musically and visually, it is not preaching or beating one over the head with its depth, but it is there for the taking if you want to look a little closer.

Donald Glover’s Deadpool Script Takes Down Racism, Police Violence, Gossip & More

As 2018 closes, Donald Glover reached a new plateau with provocative art on several stages. There is plenty to come on all fronts. In August, Glover was spotted on set with Rihanna in Cuba filming Guava Island, which is directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. The details surrounding Guava Island will remain a mystery until its official release. Gambino is currently on tour, where he released two previously recorded tracks exclusively to his fans that have attended his show. He also has an “Easter egg” cameo in the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

As for 2019, the sky is far from the limit for Donald Glover. He is currently up for four nominations at the 2019 Grammy Awards including: “Record Of The Year,” “Song Of The Year,” “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and “Best Music Video” for “This is America.” As well as earning a nomination for “Best R&B Song” for “Feels Like Summer.” He is also slated to headline Coachella with Kanye West, and he stars alongside James Earl Jones and Beyonce as Simba in the 2019 Disney live action film The Lion King on July 19, 2019.

Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis Ross & Meryl Streep Used Awards For Acting To Get Real (Videos)

Three songs, one incredible season of television, a Star Wars role, and a video that dominated cultural and political discourse are just part of the profound impact Donald Glover had on Hip-Hop and America in 2018.

Past Ambrosia For Heads‘ “Person Of The Year” awards have gone to Killer Mike, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance The Rapper.

As 2018 comes to a close, Donald Glover may not only be one of the most brilliant people in entertainment, he is among the most influential. In an era where quantity rules and quality rises, Glover is prolific in a way that rivals few. In three songs, two music videos, another incredible season of Atlanta, one revealing interview, and some captivating moments in between, the 35-year-old creative force is setting a new bar on how to take Hip-Hop culture to the highest of places, rarely without some provocative constructive commentary on itself and the world watching it closely.

At the top of this year, Donald Glover was still collecting interest from his earlier work. 2016’s “Awaken My Love!” yielded five Grammy nominations including “Album Of The Year,” “Record Of The Year,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” “Best R&B Song,” and “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” That LP, which featured Glover singing, marked a pivot for him, as his previous releases focused more on his also acclaimed rapping. Donald’s first platinum release was a nod to the darker side of Parliament-Funkadelic while finding contemporary and relevant terrain. Standout single “Redbone” gives credit to two 1976 compositions, Bootsy’s Rubber Band’s “I’d Rather Be With You” along with Jaco Pastorius’ “Portrait Of Tracy.” However, the song is not merely a cool callback, but a sleeves-rolled-up approach at modern Groove. The single nearly broke the Top 10 with lyrics that are sexual and cerebral at the same time. It sounded great in Get Out, and chased that feeling for the next year. The composition is as dynamic and frantic as the times that spawned it.

Donald Glover Reveals How He’s Hacked The Real Life Matrix

On January 28, “Redbone” took home the Grammy for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for the single. While there, Glover performed a soulful rendition of one of the album’s standout tracks named “Terrified.” Towards the end of his display, he brought out JD McCray from Disney’s live-action The Lion King remake, due in 2019. Both actors will play “Simba,” with McCray taking the role of the younger version.

Just days before his win, Donald Glover cemented a centerpiece role at a major label. He inked a partnership between his mcDJ imprint and RCA Records. As a label positioning itself on the cutting-edge of new and authentic Urban Music (H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Buddy, etc.), Glover promised to be a decorated figurehead of the unconventional new sound permeating the mainstream.

Donald Glover Explains How To Stay Woke At Work About Sexual Harassment (Video)

Roughly a month after the Grammy’s, Donald premiered the second season of his hit FX series Atlanta. Days before the preview, Glover gave a rare and revealing interview to The New Yorker. While speaking about his success, he was not shy about how hard he had to fight and strategize to get his ideas in play. “The hardest part is surprising FX every time. They need that to feel that you’re an authentic Black person. I surprised them up front by telling them I wanted to make them money,” he said, at a time when the series was the most-watched comedy in the network’s history. A month later, Glover responded to reports that “his commitments” prevented him from properly taking on an FXX Deadpool series. He did not do so with a broad statement or a damning rant. He released script pages. The work balked at any speculation from the public or exec-gossip hearsay. Glover showed what he was up against, and why his creativity and execution was not to blame.

The interview explained that Glover is not a do-everything multi-talent as much as he is a student on a path of learning and mastery. Speaking about accepting a smaller than expected role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Glover explained why it was about opportunity more than ego. Meanwhile, “opportunity” in Glover’s case is not just a polite replacement word for money. “I learn so much. I learn how Marvel movies work, how to handle guest stars, how to make execs happy when they come on set. I gain some of your power. Only now I’m running out of places to learn, at least in America.” That process is part of a lineage that leads him to a leading Lion King part.

Donald Glover Becomes The First Black Director To Win An Emmy For Directing Comedy Series (Video)

Season 2 of Atlanta raised stakes. Robbin’ Season displayed to the world that there is much more at play in a home invasion or mugging. Exploitation and life mirroring art were themes. Directed by longtime collaborator Hiro Murai, the “Teddy Perkins” episode (#6) is the longest in the show’s history. It captured its greatness and uniqueness too. Glover gave a captivating portrayal of a troubled fictional former child star “Teddy Perkins.” As “Darius” is taken hostage at gunpoint, the episode locks in on Theodore “Teddy” Perkins’ psychological pressures and traumas from early fame. It is an E! True Hollywood Story brought to screen cleverly, playing to the damaged child star archetype. Glover transformed entirely into character underneath makeup and prosthetics. Through his eyes and carefully crafted voice, “Teddy” becomes a simmering mass of repressed anger, pain, and violence. Something funny on paper becomes serious and raw.

Critics and peers felt what Glover’s series has done. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and took home three. The work was so good that some fans felt that the “Most Outstanding Comedy Series” slighted the show from the win it deserved. The “Teddy Perkins” episode was responsible for two of the awards.

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Between the Emmy nominations and September awards this year, Donald Glover may have made his boldest statement. The night he hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live, he published something that eclipsed that mainstream look. The “This is America” music video showed the country the trouble that it is in. With the first 40 seconds feeling like a saccharine celebration of partying and capitalism, the video gets really real, really fast. The musician and actor merges his talents with an artful video that highlights the issues all around, and the distractions that take precedence. Gun control, police brutality, racism, religion, and more are allusions behind a catchy song disguised as another evanescent wave. Like J. Cole’s KOD, “This Is America” takes no prisoners in its take on the times. The symbolism has been linked to Jim Crow, Michael Jackson, and “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.” With over 445,000,000 views to date, “This is America” has been cited as one of the best music videos in 2018.

In the midst of playing “Lando Calrissian” in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover stayed on task with music and great videos. He released the EP Summer Pack that included the songs “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.” The songs were a step beyond his Rap days and his Funk display, veering into a hybrid of Power Pop and R&B, but on Glover’s subversive terms.

Donald Glover’s SNL Skit Shows What A Horror Show Kanye West Has Become (Video)

While pleasing to listen to, the visual “Feels Like Summer” video may be even more soothing. It further reveals one of the most provocative artists of our time. Directed by Glover, Ivan Dixon, and Greg Sharp (with character design by Justin Richburg), the video turned the page from the jarring effect of “This Is America” to a pleasant utopia. Glover’s illustrated form takes a walk home, only to encounter a who’s who plethora of rappers, celebrities, and a beloved First Lady. Aside from some pranks, all are in harmony, doing things like chasing ice cream trucks, braiding hair, and skating. He addresses the issues of the day, young artists trolling, Kid Cudi’s depression, and Kanye West’s political malaise.

At a time when animated videos to songs can feel like cheap excuses for budget constrictions and cramped schedules, Donald blended an homage to Saturday morning cartoons with commentary on the Rap world as he sees it. In a year when a current Rap star was murdered, another overdosed on drugs, and another went behind bars, this video and melody can feel like a yearning for innocence. Just underneath the surface of this feel-good energy, the visual reaches darkness as Donald’s lyrics reference global warming, water scarcity, overpopulation, and species extinction. Musically and visually, it is not preaching or beating one over the head with its depth, but it is there for the taking if you want to look a little closer.

Donald Glover’s Deadpool Script Takes Down Racism, Police Violence, Gossip & More

As 2018 closes, Donald Glover reached a new plateau with provocative art on several stages. There is plenty to come on all fronts. In August, Glover was spotted on set with Rihanna in Cuba filming Guava Island, which is directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. The details surrounding Guava Island will remain a mystery until its official release. Gambino is currently on tour, where he released two previously recorded tracks exclusively to his fans that have attended his show. He also has an “Easter egg” cameo in the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

As for 2019, the sky is far from the limit for Donald Glover. He is currently up for four nominations at the 2019 Grammy Awards including: “Record Of The Year,” “Song Of The Year,” “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and “Best Music Video” for “This is America.” As well as earning a nomination for “Best R&B Song” for “Feels Like Summer.” He is also slated to headline Coachella with Kanye West, and he stars alongside James Earl Jones and Beyonce as Simba in the 2019 Disney live action film The Lion King on July 19, 2019.

Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis Ross & Meryl Streep Used Awards For Acting To Get Real (Videos)

Three songs, one incredible season of television, a Star Wars role, and a video that dominated cultural and political discourse are just part of the profound impact Donald Glover had on Hip-Hop and America in 2018.

Past Ambrosia For Heads‘ “Person Of The Year” awards have gone to Killer Mike, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance The Rapper.

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The Final 4 is determined. The four 2018 albums currently in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
KOD by J. Cole
Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation by Black Thought
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Notably, Cole appears on Royce’s album. Black Thought’s second project of ’18 is the only one of the four that has a single producer. In that case, it was Salaam Remi. Cole’s Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope effort also marks the only major label effort to reach the Final 4.

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP knocked off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, before defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Cole’s KOD narrowly bested Phonte’s No News Is Good News ahead of topping Mac Miller’s Swimming. Thought’s S.O.T.2. took out Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, before bumping Jay Rock’s Redemption. Evidence scored a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever ahead of a profile upset of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA.

The competition picks back up on Wednesday, December 26, giving Hip-Hop Heads who vote plenty of time to make sure they check out all four.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The Final 4 is determined. The four 2018 albums currently in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
KOD by J. Cole
Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation by Black Thought
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Notably, Cole appears on Royce’s album. Black Thought’s second project of ’18 is the only one of the four that has a single producer. In that case, it was Salaam Remi. Cole’s Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope effort also marks the only major label effort to reach the Final 4.

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP knocked off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, before defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Cole’s KOD narrowly bested Phonte’s No News Is Good News ahead of topping Mac Miller’s Swimming. Thought’s S.O.T.2. took out Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, before bumping Jay Rock’s Redemption. Evidence scored a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever ahead of a profile upset of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA.

The competition picks back up on Wednesday, December 26, giving Hip-Hop Heads who vote plenty of time to make sure they check out all four.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 10): Royce 5’9 vs. Saba

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second Round 2 match-up from the Elite 8 is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Only one can reach the Final 4. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 


Saba – CARE FOR ME

Grief, fear, loneliness, and depression can all separately stand as incapacitating barriers for an individual. When present in unison, it would be easy to just not be. For much of the last two years since releasing the eager and hopeful Bucket List Project, Saba was suffocated by a combination of the above obstructions. With music and the studio acting as the Westside of Chicago rapper’s lifelines though, CARE FOR ME ultimately formed as the light that cut swiftly through the darkness. That’s not to say that Saba’s third full-length album isn’t bleak, because it’s certainly veiled in agony. However, if there were ever a modern day LP that deserved the oxymoronic label of being beautifully tragic, CARE FOR ME is the one. Heartache stemming from the fatal stabbing of his older cousin John Walt is found throughout the entirety of the album, but Saba also visits anxiety and racial profiling (“BUSY/SIRENS”), tainted love (“BROKEN GIRLS”), his family’s life-long anguish (“LIFE”), gang violence in Chicago (“CALLIGRAPHY”), the unhealthy dependence on social media (“LOGOUT”), and the cruel nature of the music business (“GREY”). In an industry where the line between show and reality is increasingly blurred, Saba’s ability to paint a real-life picture with his words throughout CARE FOR ME has firmly situated him as one of the most promising storytellers in all of Hip-Hop. – Michael Blair

Released: April 5, 2018
Label: Saba Pivot, LLC
Guests: Chance The Rapper, TheMIND, Kaina
Producers: self, daedaePIVOT, Daoud

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second Round 2 match-up from the Elite 8 is between Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan and Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Only one can reach the Final 4. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

(defeated Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz’ Mona Lisa, 65% to 35%)

In a career filled with a variety of impactful releases, Royce 5’9’s most personal and complex offering arrived this year. Book Of Ryan has Royce reflecting on chapters of his childhood as he takes audit on his life as a proudly sober family-man. It’s easily his most intimate, introspective album to date, as he goes page by page through his past, exploring his father’s struggles with addiction on “Cocaine,” the physical abuse his family endured on “Power,” and even life’s loss of innocence on “Boblo Boat.” One of 2018’s longer albums at the top, it maintains a cohesive narrative that’s tied together with perfectly executed skits. Nickel Nine can paint vivid pictures with his words to put the listeners directly in the shoes of both his younger and present-day self. For Heads who are more used to Royce demolishing a beat first and asking questions later, he has a few competitive joints sprinkled between his story, reuniting Bad Meets Evil on the Eminem-assisted “Caterpillar” and recruiting Pusha-T, Jadakiss, and Fabolous for the hyped “Summer On Lock.” Book Of Ryan proves to be Royce’s best look into the mirror, and has him evolving beyond the killer MC he’s known as, and into a true artist that can resonate with his story. – Sypher

Released: May 4, 2018
Label: Heaven Studios/eOne Music
Guests: Eminem, J. Cole, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Logic, Boogie, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, T-Pain, King Green, Ashley Sorrell, Agent Sasco, Melanie Rutherford, Chavis Chandler
Producers: Mr. Porter, S1, AntMan Wonder, Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, 808-Ray, Epikh Pro, Frank Dukes, Fuse, !llmind, Key Wane, The Maven Boys, StreetRunner, Tarik Azzouz

 


Saba – CARE FOR ME

Grief, fear, loneliness, and depression can all separately stand as incapacitating barriers for an individual. When present in unison, it would be easy to just not be. For much of the last two years since releasing the eager and hopeful Bucket List Project, Saba was suffocated by a combination of the above obstructions. With music and the studio acting as the Westside of Chicago rapper’s lifelines though, CARE FOR ME ultimately formed as the light that cut swiftly through the darkness. That’s not to say that Saba’s third full-length album isn’t bleak, because it’s certainly veiled in agony. However, if there were ever a modern day LP that deserved the oxymoronic label of being beautifully tragic, CARE FOR ME is the one. Heartache stemming from the fatal stabbing of his older cousin John Walt is found throughout the entirety of the album, but Saba also visits anxiety and racial profiling (“BUSY/SIRENS”), tainted love (“BROKEN GIRLS”), his family’s life-long anguish (“LIFE”), gang violence in Chicago (“CALLIGRAPHY”), the unhealthy dependence on social media (“LOGOUT”), and the cruel nature of the music business (“GREY”). In an industry where the line between show and reality is increasingly blurred, Saba’s ability to paint a real-life picture with his words throughout CARE FOR ME has firmly situated him as one of the most promising storytellers in all of Hip-Hop. – Michael Blair

Released: April 5, 2018
Label: Saba Pivot, LLC
Guests: Chance The Rapper, TheMIND, Kaina
Producers: self, daedaePIVOT, Daoud

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 11): J. Cole vs. Mac Miller

Thirteen years ago this week, Nipsey Hussle released his debut mixtape, Slauson Boy. Shortly thereafter, the MC’s buzz started permeating the West Coast, and then the global Rap industry. The artist from the Crenshaw section of Los Angeles, California rapped with a sense of angst, awareness, and authority that stood apart from his peers. From Snoop Dogg to Chamillionaire to Rick Ross, a cross-section of Rap artists took interest in Nip’, giving him features and putting the artist on his songs.

While Nipsey eventually landed at a restructuring and rebranding Epic Records, the 2000s ended without an album. Instead, the rapper fed the streets with a steady stream of unadulterated mixtape product. Bullets Ain’t Got No Name and Marathon became sought-out series, very much tied to themes that surrounded Nipsey’s environment and a different industry blueprint. 2013’s Crenshaw, a mixtape sold at $100 a clip, combated the notion that free music lacked value. Pressed on CD, packaged with artwork, Nipsey Hussle set up shop beyond the industry in a way that was just as impressive as his art. JAY-Z was a noteworthy supporter, copping 100 copies of the celebrated work.

Nipsey Hussle Rages Against The Machine With A Motivational Music Video

Until this year, Hussle delivered mixtape singles to the charts, kept a high-profile beyond the label machine, and continuously made top-shelf music during a renaissance of West Coast Gangsta Rap. Finalizing a partnership beyond the traditional deals, Nip’s Victory Lap with Atlantic Records this year pushed the quality even further. While the streets and the charts warmly received the February album, few could have predicted the Grammy Awards recognition as “Best Rap Album” nominee. In the coming weeks, Heads will see if the low-key artist from Crenshaw can achieve something that Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and The Game have not.

Closing out his banner year, Hussle releases “Perfect Timing.” Like so many other songs in his catalog, the record focuses on the hear-and-now of his career. “I know perfect timing feels like I’m too late / And I know I’m still great in spite of my mistakes / You know it’s authentic, every rhyme I say / My only regret is I made ni**as wait / See, ain’t too many like us, we life in this, baby / An’ I don’t f&ck with busters, y’all can’t integrate / Grew up with these killers in my living space / Lotta ni**as folded through them village days,” he opens.

Hussle & Kendrick Lamar Form A Westside Connection To Uplift Their People (Audio)

Victory Lap is included in Ambrosia For Heads‘ Best 15 Albums Of 2018 list.

Thirteen years ago this week, Nipsey Hussle released his debut mixtape, Slauson Boy. Shortly thereafter, the MC’s buzz started permeating the West Coast, and then the global Rap industry. The artist from the Crenshaw section of Los Angeles, California rapped with a sense of angst, awareness, and authority that stood apart from his peers. From Snoop Dogg to Chamillionaire to Rick Ross, a cross-section of Rap artists took interest in Nip’, giving him features and putting the artist on his songs.

While Nipsey eventually landed at a restructuring and rebranding Epic Records, the 2000s ended without an album. Instead, the rapper fed the streets with a steady stream of unadulterated mixtape product. Bullets Ain’t Got No Name and Marathon became sought-out series, very much tied to themes that surrounded Nipsey’s environment and a different industry blueprint. 2013’s Crenshaw, a mixtape sold at $100 a clip, combated the notion that free music lacked value. Pressed on CD, packaged with artwork, Nipsey Hussle set up shop beyond the industry in a way that was just as impressive as his art. JAY-Z was a noteworthy supporter, copping 100 copies of the celebrated work.

Nipsey Hussle Rages Against The Machine With A Motivational Music Video

Until this year, Hussle delivered mixtape singles to the charts, kept a high-profile beyond the label machine, and continuously made top-shelf music during a renaissance of West Coast Gangsta Rap. Finalizing a partnership beyond the traditional deals, Nip’s Victory Lap with Atlantic Records this year pushed the quality even further. While the streets and the charts warmly received the February album, few could have predicted the Grammy Awards recognition as “Best Rap Album” nominee. In the coming weeks, Heads will see if the low-key artist from Crenshaw can achieve something that Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and The Game have not.

Closing out his banner year, Hussle releases “Perfect Timing.” Like so many other songs in his catalog, the record focuses on the hear-and-now of his career. “I know perfect timing feels like I’m too late / And I know I’m still great in spite of my mistakes / You know it’s authentic, every rhyme I say / My only regret is I made ni**as wait / See, ain’t too many like us, we life in this, baby / An’ I don’t f&ck with busters, y’all can’t integrate / Grew up with these killers in my living space / Lotta ni**as folded through them village days,” he opens.

Hussle & Kendrick Lamar Form A Westside Connection To Uplift Their People (Audio)

Victory Lap is included in Ambrosia For Heads‘ Best 15 Albums Of 2018 list.

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The third Round 2 match-up is between J. Cole’s KOD and Mac Miller’s Swimming. Only one of these great LPs can reach the Final 4. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 


Mac Miller – Swimming

(defeated Buddy’s Harlan & Alondra, 76% to 24%)

The mending of a broken heart takes patience and time, or if you’re Mac Miller, an impeccably constructed musical effort to pair. On the heels of a highly-publicized two-year relationship, and eventual crushing breakup with Pop superstar Ariana Grande, the 26-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MC/producer found his therapy and voice in the formation of Swimming, his fifth album. Rather than attributing fault to any outside circumstances, Mac examined self and assembled Swimming as an audible novel brimming with those self-reflective chronicles. Whether it be addressing the actual split with Grande (“Self Care” and ”Dunno”), his battles with substance abuse (“Jet Fuel”) and depression (“Perfecto”), or the forward-looking hopefulness (“Wings”) and need to turn the pages on regressive habits (“2009”), Mac covers a lifetime worth of emotion in the nearly hour-long album. Swimming finds Mac sincerely accountable for cycles of self-destruction while seemingly more clear-minded than ever before. Sonically, the album reaches a new plateau with a cohesive sequence throughout, displaying Mac’s grand transformation from rapper to musical composer. With the massive void that will be left by Mac Miller’s passing shortly after the release of the album, the music faithful can find solace in the notion that Mac’s maturation and potential greatness as a musician were achieved so wonderfully in his magnum opus that is Swimming. – Michael Blair

Released: August 3, 2018
Label: REMember Music/Warner Bros. Records
Guests: Pharrell Williams (add’l vocals), John Mayer (add’l vocals), Thundercat (add’l vocals), Snoop Dogg (add’l vocals), Syd (add’l vocals), Dam-Funk (add’l vocals)
Producers: Mac Miller, Jon Brion, J Cole, Dev Hynes, Steve Lacy, Flying Lotus, , Alexander Spit, Cardo, Carter Lang, Dam-Funk, DJ Dahi, Eric G, Gitty, ID Labs, Nice Rec, Nostxglic, Parson Brown, Pomo, Tae Beast, Tee-WaTT, Yung Exclusive

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The third Round 2 match-up is between J. Cole’s KOD and Mac Miller’s Swimming. Only one of these great LPs can reach the Final 4. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 


Mac Miller – Swimming

(defeated Buddy’s Harlan & Alondra, 76% to 24%)

The mending of a broken heart takes patience and time, or if you’re Mac Miller, an impeccably constructed musical effort to pair. On the heels of a highly-publicized two-year relationship, and eventual crushing breakup with Pop superstar Ariana Grande, the 26-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MC/producer found his therapy and voice in the formation of Swimming, his fifth album. Rather than attributing fault to any outside circumstances, Mac examined self and assembled Swimming as an audible novel brimming with those self-reflective chronicles. Whether it be addressing the actual split with Grande (“Self Care” and ”Dunno”), his battles with substance abuse (“Jet Fuel”) and depression (“Perfecto”), or the forward-looking hopefulness (“Wings”) and need to turn the pages on regressive habits (“2009”), Mac covers a lifetime worth of emotion in the nearly hour-long album. Swimming finds Mac sincerely accountable for cycles of self-destruction while seemingly more clear-minded than ever before. Sonically, the album reaches a new plateau with a cohesive sequence throughout, displaying Mac’s grand transformation from rapper to musical composer. With the massive void that will be left by Mac Miller’s passing shortly after the release of the album, the music faithful can find solace in the notion that Mac’s maturation and potential greatness as a musician were achieved so wonderfully in his magnum opus that is Swimming. – Michael Blair

Released: August 3, 2018
Label: REMember Music/Warner Bros. Records
Guests: Pharrell Williams (add’l vocals), John Mayer (add’l vocals), Thundercat (add’l vocals), Snoop Dogg (add’l vocals), Syd (add’l vocals), Dam-Funk (add’l vocals)
Producers: Mac Miller, Jon Brion, J Cole, Dev Hynes, Steve Lacy, Flying Lotus, , Alexander Spit, Cardo, Carter Lang, Dam-Funk, DJ Dahi, Eric G, Gitty, ID Labs, Nice Rec, Nostxglic, Parson Brown, Pomo, Tae Beast, Tee-WaTT, Yung Exclusive

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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