2017 has been a year to remember thus far for hip hop music, being highlighted by big name albums like DAMN., More Life, and Culture, while also marking the upstart for artists like Russ, XXXTentacion, and Amine (sorry dude I don’t know how to add the accent on the “e”).
This past week there has been a surge in BANGERS, A$AP Ferg, Kodak Black, and LilB the Based God all dropping albums that fans have been waiting for longer than the toilet line at a Taco Bell.
I’ll start with the culture, LilB. To be totally honest I didn’t know anything about LilB musically until this week. I knew that he was dropping Black Ken and that this mixtape was something that the Based God was working on for quite some time. I strictly knew LilB for his twitter presence and cursing superstars like KD (LilB made the “Fuck KD” song) and James Harden. LilB also put the chef dance move on the map. The fact that I knew all of these things about him without even listening to his music just shows that he was doing something right. Hip hop is just as much about the persona as it is about the music, and LilB’s persona is in another galaxy.
So not knowing what to expect coming into this album, I have to say that it blew my mind. It wasn’t rap, but it wasn’t not rap. It was hip hop but it was different. It was a type of genre that I couldn’t even put a name to. It’s kind of like when you see someone and can’t tell what ethnicity they are. Nothing wrong with it, you just know they’re a melting pot. And that’s what this album felt like to me… Can I say that? Or is that not politically correct? I think it was okay. If not I’d be happy to hear all of your concerns on my twitter @TheRealDonaldTrump. Anyways, LilB uses the term based to express positivity, and that’s exactly what this entire album is: positive. Rather than focusing on hoes, drugs, and lavish lifestyles (while he does touch on them), LilB really spits about life itself with bars like “I don’t wanna be alone when the world ends” while also staying real claiming that “all your favorite rappers paid their respect to LilB.” And people that haven’t paid their respects, well… beware of the BasedGod curse. I know a guy that caught the clap because he skipped one of his songs on aux… You’ve been warned.
“Call me Reeses, can’t catch me without the piece.” Kodak is true to his mantra of being harder than a freshman when he’s home alone. He grew up in the streets and it shows in his work. Project Baby 2 is the second album that Kodak’s released this year and the first album he’s dropped since getting out of jail. The first time he got locked up, everyone was like “Oh F*** 12, FREE KODAK!” but the second time around it was more just “Oh… come on Kodak. Again?” For a while I thought that he would end up being a lost talent because he couldn’t lose his old ways, but Kodak has showed a new side of him since being free this time. He now has a child, which he raps about on Versatility and Change My Ways right at the start of the album, and acknowledges the wrongs that he has made in the past. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still thug as shit and tweeted the other day that he was “messed up in da membrane. Extendo in my boxers let my dick hang.” The horse can only get so far away from the ranch sometimes, but at least it’s progress. Even so, he acknowledges that while he still thinks about his old ways, he is really growing up and has gone through some big changes this past year. It also seems that he raps about one specific significant other in a few different songs, which is new for Kodak. Usually he’s a free bird with the ladies, so good for him for wanting to settle down if he really is. Overall though, this is a nice change of pace from the Kodak that we have become acclimated to. I would say Painting Pictures was a better album, but this was raw.
A$AP Ferg’s album “Still Striving” proves just that: my man is STILL striving. Ferg made a big splash a few years ago since he destroyed my ears with Shabba and Work Remix off of his 2013 album “Trap Lord”. While Trap Lord had features, the album was a lot of Ferg himself as most of his features were not very well known names. This album is the exact opposite with DJ Khaled esque features, bringing everybody on the album. These names range from veterans like Snoop Dogg, Cam’ron and Busta Rhymes all the way to Carti, Madeintyo, Lil Boat, and Migos among MANY others. The best way to go about this album is to drive around with some friends, turn the speakers all the way up, and play the album all the way through. Not one song will kill the mood. Thank you Ferg, and this got me even more excited for A$AP Mob’s album coming out next week. Shoutout Hella Hoes.
I don’t know if these three albums will go down as being critically acclaimed at all and will definitely be overlooked at the end of the year by DAMN. and Flower Boy (maybe not Flower Boy but Tyler’s a sav), but these albums are just adding to the already electric year of hip hop.
Sniper gang. Hammer down.