B.O.M.B.S – back on my blog sh*t.
I didn’t really get to post a lot of new music last year, so it’s only right to catch up on my personal top releases from 2019. I split the whole thing into 4 parts to make it a bit more digestible. So let’s get right to it:
Top 5 US Rap Albums 2019
2019 was arguably the year of Griselda. After numerous solo releases throughout the year, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher came together for their first major group album titled “What Would Chinegun Do” (named after their deceased cousin/brother). Needless to say, they did not disappoint: Grimey sample-based beats provided by Beat Butcha and in-house producer Daringer + raw street raps without hooks is all it needed for the hip-hop world to claim „Griselda brought real New York rap back“, and even though they’re not from the City (but Buffalo), I couldn’t agree more. It definitely feels like a breath of fresh air in today’s hip-hop landscape.
And the RDTB award for Best Newcomer 2019 goes to: YBN Cordae. It almost feels surreal listening to this well-versed MC, knowing that he’s only 22 years old and hearing the broad range of topics he’s covering. The whole album is very personal, self-reflecting, yet uplifting and quite danceable. No to mention Cordae’s impeccable flow and ability to rap his ass off. Oh yeah, and he can sing a little bit, too.
Co-signs from Dr. Dre and the even more legendary Quincy Jones (!) and a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album should already tell you that you’re dealing with a legend in the making. You don’t wanna miss this!
In case you’re not familiar: Pomona’s Suga Free is an icon. He was the first real pimp rapper, meaning he was really doing both simultaneously. You don’t have to like it, but at least respect the authenticity. But that’s only one side. What makes Suga Free so special is his unique style and flow, and the undeniable impact he’s had on West Coast hip-hop (he’s been featured on a lot of classic albums, from DJ Quik [who also discovered him] to Snoop Dogg to Xzibit). And he’s quite possibly the king of one-liners, with quotables for days. For example:
„It was 22 perms ago I realized giving a fuck doesn’t really go with my outfit“
„Are you spreading rumors about me? At least you found a hobby, spreading something other than your legs“
„Premium game – to most it’s like talking astrophysics to a rhino“
„Does your ass get jealous of the amount of shit that comes out of your mouth?“
And that’s just off the first song’s first verse (except for the last one). His first album in 10 years is also one of his best yet (minus the horrible mixing and non-existent mastering – fortunately I was able to somehow fix the latter myself).
This might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but in my opinion Yelawolf delivered one of the best albums last year. The first “Trunk Muzik” project, released back in 2010, made me an instant fan. Yela’s style was so exceptionally fresh, like nothing I’d ever heard before. Now he’s come full circle, not only finishing the trilogy, but also fulfilling his contract with Eminem’s Shady Records. The first track even samples the original “Trunk Muzik” song, which also happens to be track number 1 on the original release. I appreciate little details like that a lot.
Yelawolf balances 808-driven Dirty South bangers, where he’s flexing his skills like crazy, with more introspective songs, showing off his songwriting abilities, perfectly; A+ for the sequencing. Not a single bad song on here either.
If you’ve been on this blog before, you’ve probably noticed my love for West Coast gangsta rap. The laid-back style, the swag, funky basslines, „gangsta flutes“, the whole shebang. I’ve also been a huge fan of Jay Worthy and Sean House, better known as rapper/producer duo LNDN DRGS, ever since I first heard their “Aktive” album about 4 years ago. Their new project almost feels like the sequel to said album, with the only exception that the new one is officially dubbed as a „compilation album“ with at least one guest on each song (hence the fly cover artwork). The sound is almost the West Coast equivalent to Griselda’s: Flipping/looping old funk samples, straight rapping, no extras. The perfect soundtrack to kick back and chill to.
- BENNY The Butcher – “The Plugs I Met” (EP)
- Boogie – “Everythings For Sale”
- Dreamville – “Revenge Of The Dreamers III”
- Dave East – “Survival”
- PacMan Da GunMan – “No Guts, No Glory” / “60th St”
- Jayo Felony – “James Savage”
- Black Moon – “Rise Of Da Moon”
- Curren$y & LNDN DRGS – “Umbrella Symphony” (EP)
- Bun B & Statik Selektah – “TrillStatik”
- IDK – “Is He Real?”