Editorial, Main

J.D’s Top 5 Albums Of 2015

2015 was a strong year for artists, both on the charts and under the radar. I found something exciting to…

2015 was a strong year for artists, both on the charts and under the radar. I found something exciting to check out nearly every week. But who has the time to read a list of 25 or 50 dope records? I don’t have the minutes in a day to create one, and if we’re keeping to 100%, you don’t have the patience to get through it. Year-end lists are meant to create some dialog, some Twitter beef, some hate mail. So let’s get it. Here are my top 5 most influential records of 2015. Tweet, tweet, tweet.

Vince Staples- Summertime ’06

Staples created a haunting, sparse, cinematic soundscape of an emerging and progressive young West Coast with Summertime ’06, the most fascinating double offering of 2015. It’s packed with twenty bangers that should keep King Kendrick pushing his pen with real purpose to keep his crown. Staples provides a chilling glimpse of his world, which isn’t too different from urban youth across our country, yet his take is blatantly anxious and brimming with an urgency to get up, get out, and get something.

Yelawolf- Love Story

Yelawolf’s entire career has been plagued with a certain identity crisis. The Shady Records resident oddball isn’t quite a b-boy and is too street to be entirely country. So his decision to create a sprawling sophomore record to marry those styles while simultaneously clearing his head was a perfectly executed move. Love Story is a standout project from a man who is artistically capable of balancing a palate of sounds that runs the gamut from Outkast to Johnny Cash.

Pusha T- Darkest Before Dawn

I’m not putting numbers on the board, but if this list was ranked I’d be hailing King Push. Darkest Before Dawn is an apparent prelude to his upcoming 2016 efforts, and it still shits on the entire game. Push is a master chameleon. He’s able to adapt to the trends of hip-hop traffic without compromising for a second. Don’t search the project for a weak spot. Shots fired at all the rappers who’d rather be more famous than rich. Amen.

Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly

A stylized masterpiece of modern hip hop? A vanity project from the game’s most celebrated star? A clever play on the title of Harper Lee’s classic novel rooted in the historically racist south? Who knows. Chop it up how you want, but To Pimp a Butterfly is Kendrick’s coming out party. We knew he was more soul than a soldier, but this record is a flat out mind-bender of jazz, rap, funk, and straight up West Coast flavor. He continues to raise the bar with each release, creating a ceiling that’s going to be awfully hard to transcend.

Earl Sweatshirt- I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside

Earl is the perfect villain. The anti-rapper who’s a perplexing character with more natural feel on the mic than plenty of 20-year vets. I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside is a record Earl had to get out of his system. Stress, massive expectations, and Odd Future super-stans were all factors in a final product that shapes up as a dense, hyper-personal collection of thoughts and sounds. Play “Faucet” in a pair of headphones to peep where this kid’s head was at while writing the record. When it’s done, play it again. The youth of America.


 

Runners-Up

Mac Miller- GO:OD AM

Mac has yet to find a foothold for a persona that will stick. He tried the stoner thing. He turned to trippy, drug-laced raps for a mixtape or two. But on GO:OD AM he returned to what turned our heads in the first place; clever wordplay and careful songwriting. His classic is still a project or two away, but it’s coming.


A$AP Rocky- At. Long. Last. A$AP

Rocky has always managed to captivate me with each release. He’s an NYC kid, a fashion killer, and a ladies man with a never ending blunt in hand. With At. Long. Last. A$AP he took his namesake (Rakim) to heart, unleashing his most rappity-rap shit to date. The record is packed with memorable moments but is ultimately weighed down by its pursuit of greatness.

My name is J.D, the music fanatic, writer, blogger, and educator. I've been in love with hip hop since Bishop got too close to the ledge. If it moves me, I'll cover it. I've written an unpublished novel, created Shiny Glass Houses, and had my work featured on the Bloglin for Mishka NYC. I'm lurking in the shadows on twitter @ThexGlassxHouse. Read. Comment. Get money.
Related Articles
Editorial, Featured, Features

Heavy Hitters’ DJ Flee is About to Takeover

28-year-old DJ Flee, also known as Bodega Flee, is one of the hottest new tastemakers in Hip Hop. The Uptown…

28-year-old DJ Flee, also known as Bodega Flee, is one of the hottest new tastemakers in Hip Hop. The Uptown New York Dominican is a lustrious member of the legendary Hip Hop faction, The Heavy Hitters (DJ Enuff, Tony Tone). The former Basketball player made a name for himself in the city with his signature Uptown sound and irreparable tricks on the turntables.

Discovered by the same legends responsible for presenting the world to today’s legends from across the U.S. like DJ Felli Fel, Bootleg Kev, and Peter Parker. Flee has quickly become one of the most notable faces of the brand with his fast-growing fanbase and credible ear for breaking the undeniable next superstars to the East Coast.

Through his journey in radio, Flee has had the opportunity to discover plenty of new genres of Hip Hop that would help transform his style. Experimenting with trendy genres like Dirty South and Gangsta bouncing West Coast with a blend of his Dominican roots.

In Boston, Miami, Orlando, and New York, Flee is the most sought-after radio DJ in the ever-changing broadcast market. Keeling the prestigious pride and name of the Heavy Hitters brightly lit outside of the East Coast. Artists like Zoey Dollaz can credible a large amount of their popularity to DJ Flee’s exposure.

Hard work, dedication, experience has earned DJ Flee the tastemaking position he firmly sits in within today’s Hip Hop. Ready to transition himself into superstar status, the promising DJ continues to develop a signature style that infusion the old school traditions and new school evolution to the East Coast. Heatseeking, DJ Flee is easily becoming one of the biggest DJs in Hip Hop today, honestly, it’s only a matter of time before he is the biggest DJ in today’s Hip Hop. So stay tuned.

DJ Flee’s journey continues on, follow the Heavy Hitter sound today via Instagram and Twitter.

Continue Reading
Main

@KorleonKOJ – “Motion”

Today RichBoy Ent. CEO and founder Korleon aka “The King of Jackson (K.O.J).” releases his new song, “Motion,” debuting the new track with a music video on YouTube.  Released just…

Today RichBoy Ent. CEO and founder Korleon aka “The King of Jackson (K.O.J).” releases his new song, “Motion,” debuting the new track with a music video on YouTube.  Released just in time for Memorial Day, the highly anticipated music video for “Motion” precludes a host of releases by the ATL veteran by way of Jackson, Mississippi. Hoping to continue the momentum, Korleon will drop his mixtape The Four in the coming weeks, which will be followed up by Strictly 4 My Sippers this Summer.

Basically I’m just tappin in with the ladies. They rock with me and I rock with them equally so I felt I needed to satisfy my female fan base and cater to them. I wanted to create something that they could vibe to and something where I remained true to myself,” Korleon K.O.J. explained. “I feel like it’s a way better look for me to be with 7 different women in all shades and colors around the city, rather than me rolling around with 20 of my ni**as.”

Within the last two years Korleon launched a new studio in Atlanta called Walker St. 2.0 where his RichBoy Ent. team has been building a movement. To date Korleon and his team have recorded a host of artists including multi-platinum artist Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd, Mase, Jose Guapo, Big Bank Black and of course D4L’s Fabo.

“We opened back up the studio in March of 2017, we’ve had a lot of indies, superstars and its just been a blessing, I’m just glad that we have been able to make it happen. Its been a whole host of people to record there over the past few years,” Korleon said of his studio. “Of course me and Fabo been working on music together and I got The Four project that will preclude the Strictly 4 My Sippers project. I got the visual coming for Colorado soon and I got some stuff coming up with DJ Twin in the immediate future sometime in July.”

K.O.J. is often seen touring alongside and has frequently collaborated with on tracks with Fabo, who he says is his brother and day 1.

“Fabo my brother, Giksquad! Those my brothers. We been down since day one and we gonna be down forever, that’s my brother. He stays booked out and if you go through the archives, I’m at most shows, so it’s really just mores what’s continuing to go on. We were at Rolling Loud and everything, he stays booked.”

Continue Reading
Main

#IndieSpotlight: Major D-Star Drops Off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way” Visual

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to…

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to the records you were feeling the most. That’s the case for AAHH mainstay Major D-Star; after releasing his long-awaited Trap Star  mixtape back in February, he is dropping off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way,” a song I personally described as an illustration of his immense focus on his “current hustle of choice, music.”

RECENT: Major D-Star Drops “Trap Star” Mixtape

The video, like his others, delivers on quality. Directed by Wally Woo, with a multitude of scenery interspersed around a loose storyline of himself working as a mechanic — which he playfully describes as his way of “stacking and staying out the way” in the into — it gives ample life to one of his project’s most infectious earworms. If you have yet to bump his full mixtape, go ahead and click here; either way, press play on this catchy little banger, below.

Continue Reading
#IndieSpotlight, Main

#IndieSpotlight: Silas Luster’s “W.A.V.” Is A Slice Of Subversive Goodness

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my…

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my thoughts on, but to be honest, it was a dense listen. Not in an unapproachable way, mind you. Instead, it’s like an onion made of many, discussion worthy layers, painted atop lush soundscapes that are (at points) reminiscent of OG EL-P production from the early Def Juxx days.

RELEVANT: Getting To Know Provincetown Artist Silas Luster

 
The EP kicks off with “Sion,” which starts with his wordy flow over a head-nodding instrumental that switches up halfway through, into this bongo drum pattern over which he drops the strongest verse easily on the project; I’d love to see it live. “Diewittit” is another song that I found myself revisiting over and over. His cadence and rhyme schemes at times have this loose appeal that reminds me of the Freestyle Fellowship-esque aura that dominated college radio in the 90s.

 
He speaks a lot about his journey, and also a lot of spiritual topics — from the universe to putting meditation over medicine. It’s a lot to unpack, in a good way. You can hear the spoken word elements that seem to be the backbone of his bars — check the acapella interlude “What’s Love?” as a great example of what I mean.

The almost haunting chorus on “O.S.H.N” wasn’t necessarily jarring but did set the song apart as a black sheep of the EP. Not that it’s a bad song — it’s one of the strongest tracks — but, it’s just a different vibe that stuck out to me.

Overall, I dig this EP a lot. If you find yourself a little inundated with the sea of Lil rappers, and the endless sea of meh that often dominates the mainstream consciousness, Silas offers up a slice of subversive Hip Hop. It’s music crafted to both cathartically get things off of his chest and also get your thinking — depending on your aptitude on some of his topics, maybe even get you googling and reading shit.

He is currently touring throughout New England and the Tri-State. Check the schedule.

Continue Reading
More in Editorial, Main
(Video) Ride Along With Koncept & J57 In “The Excitement”

Fuck it, we're biased! There, I said it. When we like an artist here at AAHIPHOP, we hold them down...

Close