Tag Archives: REMember Music

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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