In 2015, hip-hop has garnered some of it’s most influential and creative musicals concepts. These efforts could lead to future Grammy nominations. It’s looking like it gonna be a good year for the genre, similar to 2013 with Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake, J. Cole, Childish Gambino and others all releasing their best work. This year is shaping up to be an incredible year for hip-hop. So far, Nicki Minaj, Lupe Fiasco, Joey Bada$$ and Drake all have released critically acclaimed projects, and the month of March did not disappoint with these three new albums.
Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful:
You’d be surprised what a former chef can cook up when you give him recording studio. Action Bronson is definitely one of the prolific newcomers in hip hop right now after releasing two critically acclaimed mixtapes (Rare Chandeliers, the Blue Chips series) he rose to prominence quickly. This album is essentially Bronson’s coming out party with his major debut release, and it didn’t disappoint. Mr. Wonderful is an experiment in itself bringing particular elements to a odd rap record; from old German (editor’s note: it’s Turkish) folk rock samples like in “Easy Rider” to a boom-bap hardcore bass-boosted beat like “The Rising”. As always, Bronson delivers with catchy imagery-driven lyrics carries this album. Mr. Wonderful isn’t without it’s hang-ups though, the instrumentals and concepts seem to get lost in translation with the last few tracks. Bronson throws us a curve ball but nonetheless this album is unique but still tasteful.
I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt
Earl Sweatshirt; hip-hop collective Odd Future’s most potent lyricist, released a follow up to 2013’s critically acclaimed “Doris” onto iTunes without any prior announcement. This album is very gritty and dark, it seems like Earl looked deep inside himself and put all his depression onto a short 30-minute LP. Sweatshirt displays his signature lyrical prowess over very grim beats and talks about his new lifestyle and his time away from limelight. Although this LP seems like a half an hour cliffhanger, it shines some light on Earl’s darkest perspectives.
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
What more can you say about the revolutionary Compton-raised MC, Kendrick Lamar? He delivers another stellar project which is a follow-up of the Grammy-nominated album good kid, M.A.A.D city. This album further explores Lamar’s story-telling ability in which he’s able to deliver yet another cohesive LP but the concept behind the whole project is the drive that centers around every track. Subject matters like racial equality, conviction, politics, religion and the current state of hip-hop. Lamar digs deeper within himself and his personal life and gives the listener a lot of things to learn. I highly recommend listening to this is you want to get educated or in retrospect To Pimp A Butterfly is a celebration of music.
– MK (@kittlessaidwhat)