Tag Archives: Streams Of Thought

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 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

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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Black Thought Is A Top Notch MC. His New Song Shows He’s A Great Singer Too (Audio)

In eight days, Black Thought is releasing his second project of 2018. November 26’s Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation will be produced by Salaam Remi (Nas, The Fugees, Amy Winehouse, etc.) as Thought confirmed in the middle of last week. It follows June’s effort with 9th Wonder and his Soul Council ensemble at the helm. While Streams Of Thought Vol. 1 has not yet yielded a video, the sophomore release in the series gets a visual before it releases. Today, Thought drops “Conception,” a song that demonstrates his versatility on the mic device. It is one of the nine tracks that Tariq Trotter and Salaam Remi made together during two different trips to the hit-making producer’s Miami, Florida studio. With an early 70s Soul feel in the chamber of fellow Philly native Billy Paul, or Donny Hathaway, the track opens with a bellowing that “all that money is good for nothing if it’s scared.” In the video (embedded below), it’s Black Thought delivering this song, while a couple’s silhouette is followed. The MC is known for singing, dating back to The Roots Come Alive, and especially on the Grammy-winning Wake Up! release with John Legend.

The dramatic strings give way to drums. Black Thought then raps, “Look, I am no fashion model, but I got fresh for photographers / The camel coat, had the collar up / ‘Cause my emotions was bottled up / And though the ocean did not erupt / Turned up til’ it’s loud enough / To just make something out of us / Past the shadow of a doubt in us / Godly geometry and calculus / That I can move any mountain with, you gotta be an alchemist / Trying to create another avenue of revenue / Or several, ’cause I’m in love with havin’ you / Security is just a whole ‘nother animal,” he spits, with singing vocals serving as a background instrument. It’s seemingly a love song, under great stress. “So if you capture the flame / And it’s painful, you just charge that to the game / It’s shameful, to just fall back and complain / That you fractured the laws of attraction again / Focus on the more passionate plane / No conception is immaculate, mane.” Thought’s message is one of perseverance through the hardest of times, in search of happiness, love, and peace, in an imperfect world. For an MC who waited more than 25 years to make a solo works (let alone two), the premise has potency and personality.

Black Thought Delivers His Most Powerful Verse Ever, In Tribute To Trayvon Martin (Video) After the chorus, Thought returns to rapping. “Once again to the well I went,” he begins. “Trying to decode the meaning of the spell I’m in / And I don’t even know what f*ckin’ hotel I’m in / I checked in as the monarch of melanin / The elephant, my body is the shell I’m in / Holdin’ myself together, teachin’ myself to never one loss divorce my development / Ego trippin’ like Nikki Giovanni / Wishin’ the system might deliver me a body.” At the close of the second verse, he returns to the bridge condemning self-pity and quitting. The song features additional singing from Reek Ruffin, who sings after Thought’s exceptional verse. There are several Black Thought videos, including interviews, available on AFH TV. Do Remember When Pete Rock & Black Thought Breathed New Life Into Black Star (Audio) #BonusBeat: The music video, directed by Morian Thomas:

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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