Monday, May 13, 2013

Discussion: Summer '13 Preview

While you're busy saying your goodbye's to Spring, waiting for the crowded beaches and the fireworks to shimmer us into Summer, I'm here to provide a glimpse as to what is to come for the Summer of 2013. We have rambunctious start-ups, classy veterans and everything in between to look forward too. So get ready to roll those windows down, turn up the bass & blast that system you've been waiting to show off for here is the list of 10 albums that will be doing that service.

10. J.Cole - Born Sinner - June 18th  

I've never been on the Cole train. Which is shocking to some considering one of his (un-called for in my opinion) constant comparisons, Kendrick Lamar, is my current favorite artist.  I've heard songs here and there but, just like many others, I feel he's too boring, unvaried. "Miss America" was a good start. "Power Trip" followed suit. But recently released tribute to the summer "Cole Summer" is what officially got me interested in Born Sinner. I do feel that J Cole's biggest problem is that he's rapping over beats that don't fit him. He's trying to be someone he's not, at least in relation to his voice and flow. Cole Summer featured a Lauryn Hill sample and sounded like something the late J Dilla could have made. This, I feel, fits Cole much more nicely and has me hoping for the album that much more.

9. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name - July 16

G.O.O.D. Music's lone drug-dealing, black t-shirt wearing gangsta is back with his first solo album. Pusha T, from Clipse fame, has been tearing verses to shreds over the past year with hits coming in the form of "Mercy" & "New God Flow." Throwing the corny album title aside, we're expecting more of Pusha's harshness in the forms of intimidating grunts and menacing flows. First single, "Numbers on the Board", accomplished this task but with one extremely noticeable flaw; the beat. It was something that could be made by a 12-year old and sadly ruins the entirety of the song. Pusha himself though, with his viscous lyrics, has me still excited for the album.

8. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories - May 17th

Yes it just leaked. No I have not listened yet. From what I've heard from around the interwebs, Daft Punk's 4th album in 11 years Random Access Memories, is getting mixed views. That's not to say this album isn't hyped though. The last we've heard from the French duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter was with the soundtrack to the 2010 reincarnation of Tron, which featured haunting production backed by the teams typical bombastic, electronic beats. The kings of dance pop are back now though, and if the lead single "Get Lucky" (feat. Pharrell Williams) is any indication, we're sure to get some good feelings for the summer, filled with everyone's favorite robotic duo.

7. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap - Out Now

Yes it's out. Anyone who has already listened (and checked out my review of it at ( to the tape can tell you that this album will be bumped till the end of summer. Lush production littered with pianos, guitars, synths and everything in between places this mixtape directly in the 'Summer Jams 2013' playlist of anyone's iTouch. To compliment this fact even further, Chance was well aware of this. The story of "Pusha Man" goes hand in hand with the changing of the seasons and sets the premise for the rest of the album, as a joyful recess right before the darkness of summer. In fact, Pusha Man's 2nd half is the only remotely introspectively depressing song on the album, but its luminosity echoes throughout the ecstasy of the rest of the album, knowing that the summer will eventually come. 

6. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest - June 11th

Yes, it's not really Hip-Hop but anyone who appreciates even the smallest amount of instrumental beats has to give Boards of Canada, notorious ambient beat-makers who someone, disobeying the laws of nature, creates nostalgia through music alone a listen. It's been 8 years since we've heard anything from the duo when they dropped Campfire Headphase to mixed reviews. Their 2 albums previous to that, Geogaddi & Music Has The Right To Children, are must listens for anyone who wants to experience a different look at music through experimental realms. Nothing is none about the album, other than the mystery, through videos and html code, that led to its unveiling. Tomorrow's Harvest is expected to be released on June 11th.

5. Schoolboy Q - Oxymoron - TBD

2012's Habits & Contradictions was one of my most listened to projects from last year. It never made my Top 10 albums list, but it did have replay value. It had lots of it, in fact. And that's what had me coming back. Songs like "Druggy With Hoes Again", "Blessed", & "Nightmare of Figg.St" were just a blast to listen too, especially when being blasted through the speakers of a good system. Which is why after hearing the first lead single "Yay Yay" & the second "Gangsta" had me worried. I didn't want to replay them. But then came the snippet off of Kendrick's "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" video & almost all my hype had been restored. "Man of the Year" sounds like a perfect Q song. Typical turn up'd chorus with a beat that's backed by an eerily orchestrated haunt that has me more than interested for what's in store.

4. El-P/Killer Mike - Run The Jewels - June

Last year Killer Mike released Rap Music, my 2nd favorite Hip-Hop record, produced entirely by legendary beat-maker El-P. The album featured a reinvigorated Killer Mike, spouting the truth about political short-comings in America today due to the Ronald Reagen Era in an entertaining way, something Talib Kweli & Dead Prez have trouble doing. One year later and many politically-savvy backpackers are salivating over the soon-to-be collab album from the duo, Run The Jewels. The first single "Get It" released last week and featured El-P & Killer going back and forth over a bass-heavy beat that changes just as much as them. It's their definitive single to their free (FREE!) album ready to be released this June.

3. Danny Brown - Old - August (???)

Danny sure does feel Old at this point. Clocking in at 32, it's amazing that he still boasts the craziest personality in the rap game today. The signature hair, teeth, and laugh all give way to Danny's maniacally spastic verses. 2011's XXX was his break through, in which he spent a solid 19 tracks boasting rather abrasively about stereotypical rap cliches. He was utterly descriptive when he should've be restrictive ("Stank pussy smelling like cool ranch doritos"), and vaguely quiet when he should of been forthcoming ("Perceived as a villain, no sentiment in my sentence"). One could ponder that with Old being the album title we'd be seeing a more revealing, introspective work. And while that still may be the case, from what Danny's been performing on-stage recently, we wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't changed. And hey, who's gonna complain?

2. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris - TBD

To say Earl's rise to stardom isn't interesting would be a supreme understatement. We all know the story by now, so I won't recap. But regardless is the case that without the explosion of the internet, Earl would be nothing more than a troubled kid recently returned home to a quiet suburban life from a cleansing retreat on a remote island. Instead he's thrown into the limelight, with everyone on the message boards thirsting to hear even just a verse from the big-lipped spitter. Soon though, we'll get an entire album filled with intricate, mulch-sylablic rhyme schemes and if its 2 lead singles (Chum, WOAH) are any indication, we're sure to be in for a treat.

1. Kanye West - TBD - June 18th (???)

All praise Yeezus! Its been 2 and a half years since we've heard any solo music from Kanye (sans "White Dress" off RZA's Man With The Iron Fists), and all it took was 2 snippets, filmed in low quality, from the front row of a Hudson Mohawke show to send fans (Including myself) through the roof. The first one, with almost guaranteed production from Daft Punk, featured Kanye being his ignorant self. It wasn't until the beat switch that was highlighted by a sing-song 'chorus' from children that led fans at the concert into a frenzy. The 2nd snippet, speculated to be called "Modern Slavery," was even better. It only but confirmed my theory that the album may focus on slavery and its comparisons today. All aboard the hype train, Yeezus is your conductor!

Honorable Mentions
Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off
Tech N9ne - Something Else
Goodie Mob - Age Against The Machine


  1. J.Cole - Born Sinner
    I'm a fan of Cole, not one his dickriders, I haven't even listened to ever one of his mixtapes but I think he definitely has the potential to do more than he has already. I read an article that compared him to Chris Webber saying that when Webber first came in the NBA he had the potential to do so much more but even though he showed flashes of brilliance he never really got to the heights he could. I have found myself being inspired and then underwhelmed by Cole in the space of 2 songs on his past projects, I think he should limit himself to producing 5-6 songs on his albums because he has the ability to produce some absolute gems (see HiiiPoWeR & Blow Up) but some can become monotonous. But yeah, excited for the album you can see in his music how the likes of Dilla have had a big impression on him.

    Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
    As you said Push has been killing verses lately, my only worry for this album is his beat choice (In the past he's had the legendary Neptunes have made sure that's not an issue), exhibit A being "Numbers on the Boards"... Also the first single released from the album "Pain" featuring Future supposedly produced by Kanye West was quite forgettable in my opinion. Although I would like to think an album executively produced by Kanye wouldn't have an issue with production. But anyway, I can only wait and see.

    ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron
    Very excited for Q's follow up to the dope ass Habits & Contradictions, it seems that the release of good kid, m.A.A.d city has inspired him to try and produce a classic, this is when competition in Hip-Hop is great.

    El-P/Killer Mike - Run The Jewels
    El-P's Cancer 4 Cure last year was in my top 10 of 2012 and Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music was in my top 5, the chemistry they produced last year was amazing it was like "why haven't they being doing this for years?" So when I heard they were going to be a duo I flipped my shit. Big expectations (fuck hopes) for this album.

    Danny Brown - Old
    I've read interviews with Danny about Old saying he studied Radiohead's Kid A saying "I thought that if XXX was my OK Computer, then I'd have to make my Kid A next." So we know he is taking this project seriously but he also said there will be a lot less dick jokes (Boooo!) lol. But either was (treating the album as a stand-up comedy routine or a slash-wrist fest) I'll be looking forward to it.

    Kanye West - TBD
    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was almost 3 years ago! Since then he's released Watch the Throne and has been behind Cruel Summer, 2 extremely underwhelming projects. Obviously people are gonna say "But this is a Kanye album, he won't allow it to be a sub-par album" but Kanye also his hardest and gave 110% in to WTT maybe Kanye's ran out of steam?? He was never a rapper's rapper but lately he' being killed by the likes of Big Sean (BIG FUCKING SEAN!) and he's not even producing he's own shit (well he does sometimes, WITH 18 OTHER PRODUCERS!)... Fuck Kanye Kardashian, he seems to be getting as talented as his other-half... BTW most of that was said in anger at him for being a shit as an artist he has become lately, at a level I never thought somebody like Kanye West could get to. I am fully aware he could turn around and make the project of his career.

    1. I would also like to mention...

      Eminem -TBD
      About 6 months ago we got word that a Eminem album would be dropping sometime around/after Memorial Day.

      I know, I know people are saying Eminem is way past it, NO! I won't give up! I know Eminem cares about his reputation and he knows what people have been saying about Recovery. It's the production on that album (for the most part) that was the main problem coming second to that was his constant shouting. Two things I would agree on but Eminem has never really sounded the same from each solo album to the next, so chances are the constant shouting will go away, I honestly wouldn't mind it on rare occasions it makes him sound hungry and "up-for-it", the best sound I've heard from Em since his comeback in '09 was him on the song "Psycho" with 50 Cent, it's a sort of toned down annoying voice of Relapse and he showed how to kill somebody on a track with skill, not just going HAM. Also we've heard that he's been in the studio with No I.D. & DJ Premier so that's a good sign. We've also heard from Dr. Dre about 2 months ago that they've been in the lab together whether that's been working on music we don't know but Dre said that Em inspired him to get back to work so maybe they've been working together since, also Mel-Man is back on Aftermath and when him & Dre made beats together it was dope as fuck (remember the beats for The Marshall Mathers LP & The Chronic 2001). So right now I'm full of hope for Eminem's next project.

    2. Thanks for the detailed replies man, I love it! I agree with you on most parts. I personally liked WTT though, it accomplished what it set out to do, I think. And I feel Cruel Summer was only underwhelming because 5 of the 12 songs (arguably the 5 best) were all released prior to the album. Going into that only knowing Mercy would have made it much better imo...I do feel Kanye will make a stellar album though!

      And I don't know why, but I do not like Eminem. Didn't even like him when he was in his prime, not including some songs here and there. I just can't relate with most of what he says and feel he's way overrated (especially now). I definitely will give the album a look though.