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ShooterGang Kony

“This year, the best story in rap — and the best story in music, and maybe the best story in popular culture in general — is the three-way dance that Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West have been dancing.” I wrote that in this space in March 2015, more than six years ago. At the time, Drake was right in between If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive. Kendrick Lamar had just released To Pimp A Butterfly. Kanye West was about a year away from The Life Of Pablo. It was an exciting time for all three of them, and for the idea that all three of them were locked in a cold war for supremacy over a chaotic corner of the pop-music universe. Six years later, all three figures are dancing that same dance, but it’s a whole lot less exciting now.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Adele had an album called 25 a few years ago. You might remember it. For Adele, that album title had a pretty clear meaning. She was 25 when she recorded it, and it’s a sort of quarter-life crisis album, a theatrical look at heartbreak and resilience. The Chicago rapper G Herbo called his new album 25 for some of the same reasons. Like Adele, Herbo was 25 when he made his album. Like Adele, Herbo has been through some things. But for Herbo, that number is a different kind of milestone. That number means he’s survived.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

The Newark rapper Mach-Hommy switches between languages a lot — not just verbally, but musically, too. Consider the case of “Au Revoir,” a song that appears near the end of Mach’s new album Pray For Haiti. The production comes from DJ Green Lantern, a mixtape legend, but “Au Revoir” doesn’t sound like mixtape music. Instead, it’s hazy and drumless. A psychedelic guitar twinkles expansively. A synth drones away. A wordless half-chanted backing vocal returns again and again. A wispy flute occasionally bubbles up. The Brooklyn singer and flutist Melanie Charles sings with great longing in Haitian Creole, and Mach, half-singing himself, repeats the same phrase again and again, like a koan: “Au revoir, pussy n***as, goodbye.” It’s gooey and hypnotic, and it doesn’t sound much like rap music.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

TM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The pop-music world is an unpredictable place, but in the past few years, a pattern has begun to emerge on the pop charts. Early in the year, a relatively unknown newcomer will come along and score a massive out-of-nowhere viral smash. This song will top the Billboard Hot 100 for months before something finally comes along to unseat it. Until that song’s reign ends, the best our old-guard pop stars can hope for is a #2 single. Two years ago, the conquering insurgent song was Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” and it had the common decency to wait until spring before launching its 19-week takeover. Last year, though, we were barely halfway through January before Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” began its 11-week campaign of dominance, boxing out Justin Bieber’s whole album rollout in the process.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

There’s no Griselda Records starter pack, no canonical classic to lure you in. That’s not how the Buffalo rap crew does business. Instead, there’s a steady stream of content — whole new albums showing up every week or two, offering more ancestrally brutalist head-nod street-rap, more granular talk about drug sales and bullet fragments, more…

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)