Trae Tha Truth is a well-regarded veteran of the Houston rap underground. He used to be half of the duo ABN — Assholes By Nature, great name — with his cousin Z-Ro. These days, he persistently cranks out muttery fast-rap jams and occasionally takes advantage of his considerable rap-world connections. Every so often, Trae rounds … More »
2018 has been a year of forward-thinking hard work from Don Diablo. Since the release of his sophomore album, Future, there’s been a lot to acknowledge regarding the Dutch producer, including remixes for Martin Garrix, Kygo, Diplo, and more, alongside various original works. Now, he’s decided to pay homage to the late Nate Dogg with his latest single “I Got Love.”
Dogg — who died tragically at the age of 41 — is considered one of the pioneers of West Coast hip-hop, coming up with rap legends such as cousin Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent. It may seem that Diablo is taking things in a unique direction here, but his previous single, “Survive” featured contemporary rapper Gucci Mane — proving his innovative moves to break into hip-hop’s rising popularity.
The track samples Dogg’s vocals from his 2001 release of the same name, which are layered over upbeat piano chords and subtle drum hits to create blissful future house vibes.
Once a year, Jimmy Kimmel Live dedicates one big all-star holiday show to raising money (RED), Bono’s charity that works to increase AIDS awareness. Lots of famous people always show up, and one of those famous people is always Bono. This year, the famous people involved included Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Chris Rock, … More »
Breaks With Tradition is a new Stereogum column that examines a certain song that’s been frequently sampled and how that song has been used through the years. Last Friday was the 25th anniversary of a release date that hip-hop enthusiasts have staged arguments around for years. On November 9, 1993, both A Tribe … More »
Snoop Dogg has made his position on experimenting with music quite prominent in recent years, branching out from his well-known rap career into ventures like his reggae ego Snoop Lion, and even into DJing that came alongside a highly talked-about Boiler Room set. He dives even deeper into the electronic space — this time, on the commercial side of the spectrum — with Julian Banks, Bassjackers, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike for an infectious, “Bounce.”
The single errs more toward Snoop’s roots, featuring silky verses from the rapper that lead into a festival trap-laden drop that feels a far cry from what one thinks they’d hear from his collaborators, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. While the piece might be a bit too rough for radio play, it hits hard on the main stage and will more than likely make its rounds as an anthem throughout the coming months.
Tha Carter V is here. Production credits are with Mannie Fresh, Swizz Beatz, Metro Boomin, Ben Billions and more. Lil Wayne starts the album off with a heartfelt, touching message from his mom, just so listeners know who the project is for. The next song features the late Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy or his more widely known stage name, XXXTENTATION.
After odes to his mother and the late rapper, “Dedicate” jumps into Tunechi’s recognizable flow with rhyme schemes that bounce like drums. He credits himself as the guy who started the face tattoo trend, reminding those who might have forgot about Wayne, after seven years since the album’s predecessor. The song ends with Barack Obama praising the rap icon next to the likes of LeBron James.
Wayne takes the high energy down a notch on “Let It Fly,” the first feature track. It’s with Travis Scott and touts the ASTROWORLD creators’ melodic, ambient soundscape while giving Weezy room to roll towards the end.
“Dark Side of the Moon” has Wayne’s singing, R&B side, featuring his attributed discovery and the lyrical hall-of-fame bound, Nicki Minaj. The track shows a softer side to Minaj as well.
“Mona Lisa” follows, featuring another lyrical trendsetter, Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s verse is a Mona Lisa of verses, practically guaranteeing the song’s success right from the starting gate. “What About Me” features Wiz Khalifa‘s Taylor Gang signee, Sosamann and flaunts a laid-back, auto-tuned atmosphere with no rush. It’s a bit of a break from Lamar’s last tirade.
“Open Letter” is a declamation to anyone listening. Discussing about the rappers’ internal struggles with lines such as, “What’s the life expectancy if you don’t expect it.” The track is riddled with lines like this as an open letter to life. He gives a shout-out to the readers, which in this metaphor are the listeners.
“Famous” features Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter on the hook. It’s about being famous, something Birdman Jr. has become accustomed to since the young age of 14.
Snoop Dogg lends recognizable melodies to his collaboration on Tha Carter V. This one again has the makings of a hit as well, as Wayne fluidly bounces along Broadus Jr.’s guitar.
Lil Wayne uses his mother’s vocals as a transition in “Took His Time,” which has a similar timbre to an artist Wayne was the first to sign to his Young Money Entertainment label, Drake. The next track, “Open Safe,” has that clap-clap-clap-clap atmosphere.
“Start This Shit Off Right” features Ashanti and Young Money Entertainment signee, Mack Maine. Ashanti brings those 2000 vocals back into the frame, proving Lil Wayne and R&B should hang out more.
Wayne gets soulful on “Demon,” showcasing his lyrical prowess with a contrast into soul. “Mess” is another blissfully melodic and vocally deliberate track.”Dope New Gospel” features Nivea, who was nominated for a Grammy for her collaboration with YoungbloodZ & Lil’ Jon‘s “Okay.”
“Used 2,” toward the end of the Carter V album, is an late Easter egg for those fending more poetry in modern rap. Another transition featuring his mother leads into Wayne’s final song, which starts off with sparking what one could presume to be a blunt.
Tha Carter V was meant to be enjoyed, according to Lil Wayne’s announcement of the drop earlier this week. After seven years of material, targeted features, and a nostalgic flow; it’s hard not to enjoy and feel some type of way.
“With this album… I’m giving you more than me,” the rapper said in his announcement earlier this week. “You gotta always remember that. This is four, five, six years of work that you’ll be listening to, and I hope you enjoy it. You don’t have to love it, you don’t even have to like it. Just hope you enjoy every time you put it on.”
Happy birthday, Dwayne.
Back in May, Donald Glover premiered a striking Childish Gambino music video for his new song, “This Is America.” It was an exciting teaser for a pair of lukewarm tracks that he shared in July, “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.” My colleague Chris DeVille titled his The Week In Pop … More »
Snoop Dogg is back — this time, to pay tribute to his love of cuisine and culinary talents.
The West Coast legend took to his Instagram and 26.4 million followers to announce the new cookbook will be called From Cook To Cook, with the caption, “platinum recipes from the boss doggs kitchen the first ever snoop cook book comin soon to @ChronicleBooks.”
As for the type of food to expect, fans can look forward to 50 of Snoop’s favorite recipes — including baked mac & cheese, fried bologna sandwiches, soft flour tacos, and easy orange chicken, filet mignon, and even lobster thermidor. While these entrees are marijuana-free, Uncle Snoop includes his favorite go-to munchies and his own Gin And Juice concoction.
In a press release, Snoop states, “You know it’s blazin’ up in my kitchen. I’m takin’ the cookbook game higher with a dipped and whipped collection of my favorite recipes, ya dig?” The book is slated to be released on October 23rd, and is available for pre-order here.
Photo credit: Leon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images
Back in 2007, around the time she joined Lil Wayne on Young Money Records, Nicki Minaj released the mixtape track “Dreams (2007).” The concept was pretty simple. She was freestyling over the beat from the Notorious BIG’s “Dreams,” the one where he graphically fantasized about having sex with different R&B singers. Over that same beat, … More »