Tag Archives: interscope

Tory Lanez Drops First Single as An Independent Artist

MTV Reportedly Offered Tory Lanez a Show Following Success of 'Quarantine Radio'

Tory Lanez did not wait long to drop new music after finishing his album obligations with Interscope Records. Just a month after finishing his deal, the Toronto born artist drops his new single “Temperature Rising.”

Tory’s relationship with Atlantic was rocky to say the least. The toxic business deal really came to light as the “Jerry Sprunger” performer prepared to drop The New Toronto 3, his latest album.

Lanez in different occasions publicly dissed his label who he creatively disagreed with and ultimately dealt with release date delays. Lanez finally dropped his 5th album in mid-April and was a free artist. Tory will now be dropping music independently through his label One Umbrella Records.

“I waited and calculated for 4 years to be my own boss,” Lanez wrote on Instagram. “I own all my own masters, publishing, royalties etc. This may not mean nothing to y’all but seeing my record label at the bottom unattached to a major label is what we have worked this hard for.”

This might be the best time for the rapper/singer to be independent based on where his career is at this point. Not only is his catalog strong, but Tory took over Instagram with his live-streams dubbed “Quarantine Radio” that often featured women twerking to his music and celebrity cameos from artists like Lizzo, Drake, French Montana and Chris Brown.

Quarantine Radio held the Instagram live record with 300k views until Tekashi 6ix9ine made his return to social media and crushed Tory’s record garnering 2 million views.

The post Tory Lanez Drops First Single as An Independent Artist appeared first on The Source.

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Tory Lanez Ready to Drop ‘The New Toronto 3’ and Become Independent Artist

Tory Lanez has had label issues for a while now and at one point even threatened to expose Interscope Records on Instagram live. But, with The New Toronto 3 dropping on Friday with almost no promotion from Tory, the “Chixtape” performer is ready to regain his independence.

“It’s crazy to think that I drop my last mixtape/project with Interscope on Friday,” Tory posted on Twitter. “Literally a free man!!!! Free to do and drop the music that I want.”

Tory Lanez signed a five album deal with Interscope and fulfilled his contract with I Told You, Memories Don’t Die, Love Me Now, Chixtape 5 and on Friday The New Toronto 3 will fulfill his contract.

“I apologize that midway thru this I had to dumb down my creativity and not give y’all the 100% quality in my music that y’all deserved to hear for so long,” Tory wrote on Instagram about the music he’s released through the label over the years.

According to Tory, The new project that was originally supposed to drop in March is his most creative to date but is only a taste of what’s to come once he becomes independent.

He also revealed the tracklist for TNT3 on social media.

The post Tory Lanez Ready to Drop ‘The New Toronto 3’ and Become Independent Artist appeared first on The Source.

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Boogie & J.I.D. Reject Industry Gimmicks In Favor Of Real Rap

Last Friday, Compton’s Boogie released his first album since signing with Eminem’s Shady Records. The record is one of the better offerings so far in a young year, following a versatile—often humorous MC who looks at a dynamic life coming out of Hub City. Besides Marshall Mathers, the most notable guest on Everything’s For Sale is Dreamville’s J.I.D. Like Boogie (who was signed for a while before venturing to Shady), J.I.D. is another MC who is part of the Interscope Records system. Both artists tell their stories without compromise or gimmicks, and each did so before Em or J. Cole took interest. This year’s “Soho” looks at how each man’s career has shifted, and how they are past the industry jibber-jabber. Boogie Shows Why Eminem Signed Him With An Off The Top Freestyle (Video)I’m still a ni**a with needs, I need to get me a lease / Pass on the key to the streets / I need the key to the door that’s been blocking out my inner-peace,” Boogie raps, after waving off futile SoHo House meetings, social media stunts, and extensive entourages. J.I.D. follows, “Like the usual, know I ain’t meeting at Nobu / Or going for Sushi at Roku / I motherf*cking told you, I’m sick of these ni**as / Who wanna be all in the videos, in the photos / I think I should sign to Death Row though,” he spits, referencing Suge Knight’s famed 1995 Source Awards tirade. Method Man, Joey Bada$$ & J.I.D. Go Nuts On One Of 2018’s Best Collabos After grinding for years with Spillage Village, J.I.D. knows all too well the clout-chasers and fickle attention that comes with fame. In the video, both artists are groomed for the camera. Boogie is tested with different looks, which include missing an eye, braids and gold glasses and teeth. This may be a nod to check-writers and the public looking for another Fetty Wap or Migos. For his appearance, J.I.D.’s face is covered with bandage tape. Returning to Boogie for the third verse, he appears as a “Charlie doll” puppet, and then as somebody with skin that molds to every impression. This is an artful treatment on how the industry wants to shape its next stars. These two MCs have made their introductions and built their catalogs on talent. It is what got them their major co-signs and platforms. Earlier this month, Boogie released a video for “Silent Ride.” Last year, he dropped a visual for “Self-Destruction.” New music from Boogie and J.I.D. is currently on Ambrosia For Heads‘ official playlist. Eminem’s 1st Verse Of The Year Shows He’s Still At War With His Critics #BonusBeat: Boogie made a short film for Everything’s For Sale:

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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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

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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 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

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 9): Black Thought vs. Jay Rock

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 Round 2 match-up from the Elite 8 shows just how stiff the competition is. Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Volume 2: Traxploitation competes against Jay Rock’s Redemption. 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”).


Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation

(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

 

Jay RockRedemption

(defeated Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap, 56% to 44%)

Kendrick Lamar is the superstar in the TDE camp, but Jay Rock is the label’s MVP of 2018. His third studio album, Redemption, contends as his best effort yet, delivering a well-rounded 45 minutes that appeases the core base and piques new interests. With a variety of flows and cadences, Jay Rock sounds perfectly in his element whether he’s delivering an underdog’s anthem in “WIN,” a thumping tour of the Watts courtesy of “ES Tales,” or grooving to a party track like “Tap Out.” He also works effortlessly with his guest features, going back to his humble beginnings on “Wow Freestyle” with Kendrick Lamar, and giving a great contrast in vocals on the J. Cole-assisted “OSOM.” Between verses of hood tales, underground success, and overcoming obstacles, the LP is filled with memorable hooks that make this Eastside Johnny’s most accessible album, while authentic to his mixtapes from a decade ago. After putting his career on hold to recover from a motorcycle accident, Jay Rock stunts on the mic with a release that shows he is a keystone in one of Rap’s most driving forces of all-time. – Sypher

Released: June 15, 2018
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope Records
Guests: Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, SZA, Future, Jeremih, James Blake, SiR (add’l vocals), Aron Levi (synth)
Producers: Mike WiLL Made It, Sounwave, Top Dawg, Hit-Boy, Boi-1da, Jake One, Terrace Martin, Cardo, Allen Ritter, Crooklin, CT, Cubeatz, D.K. The Punisher, Hykeem Carter, Pops, Rascal, Teddy Walton, Vinylz

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 Round 2 match-up from the Elite 8 shows just how stiff the competition is. Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought, Volume 2: Traxploitation competes against Jay Rock’s Redemption. 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”).


Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation

(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

 

Jay RockRedemption

(defeated Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap, 56% to 44%)

Kendrick Lamar is the superstar in the TDE camp, but Jay Rock is the label’s MVP of 2018. His third studio album, Redemption, contends as his best effort yet, delivering a well-rounded 45 minutes that appeases the core base and piques new interests. With a variety of flows and cadences, Jay Rock sounds perfectly in his element whether he’s delivering an underdog’s anthem in “WIN,” a thumping tour of the Watts courtesy of “ES Tales,” or grooving to a party track like “Tap Out.” He also works effortlessly with his guest features, going back to his humble beginnings on “Wow Freestyle” with Kendrick Lamar, and giving a great contrast in vocals on the J. Cole-assisted “OSOM.” Between verses of hood tales, underground success, and overcoming obstacles, the LP is filled with memorable hooks that make this Eastside Johnny’s most accessible album, while authentic to his mixtapes from a decade ago. After putting his career on hold to recover from a motorcycle accident, Jay Rock stunts on the mic with a release that shows he is a keystone in one of Rap’s most driving forces of all-time. – Sypher

Released: June 15, 2018
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope Records
Guests: Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, SZA, Future, Jeremih, James Blake, SiR (add’l vocals), Aron Levi (synth)
Producers: Mike WiLL Made It, Sounwave, Top Dawg, Hit-Boy, Boi-1da, Jake One, Terrace Martin, Cardo, Allen Ritter, Crooklin, CT, Cubeatz, D.K. The Punisher, Hykeem Carter, Pops, Rascal, Teddy Walton, Vinylz

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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Ella Mai Releases Self-Titled Debut Album, Executive Produced by Mustard

Ella Mai has officially arrived.

The 10 Summers prodigy has certainly taken advantage of the momentum she gained from her debut single, “Boo’d Up,” making a strong case for a Song of The Year Grammy nomination. The single recently broke the record for most weeks at No. 1 for any song by a woman on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart when it topped the chart for 16 weeks. She followed up “Boo’d Up with “Trip” and now a full-length project.

Ella Mai’s debut album is loaded with 16 songs and intentionally placed A-list features. In addition, the album is exclusively produced by her mentor and go to the producer, DJ Mustard. The Interscope artist links with R&B legends, John Legend and Chris Brown for two of the album’s three features. “Focus” artist, H.E.R. caps off the album’s list of guest appearances.

With the early success of her singles, one can say that Ella Mai’s has already shaken the curse of a one-hit wonder and her album will further continue that narrative. Be sure to listen to Ella Mai’s debut album on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal.

The post Ella Mai Releases Self-Titled Debut Album, Executive Produced by Mustard appeared first on The Source.

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