This has been a pretty crazy last 24 or so hours in the hip hop world, amidst a ton of singles coming out (SZA album singles, Young Thug remix to Pull Up Wit a Stick, Action Bronson comeback track, Big Boi single featuring Pimp C and Gucci) there have also been a slew of projects. I don’t have time to review everything I want to right now but I wanted to put some initial thoughts on a few of the projects I liked.
Vic Mensa – The Manuscript
I’ve been following Vic since Kids These Days, a Chicago music collective where he began rapping over instrumentation by fellow band members. Over time he has matured his sound, I liked 2013’s Innanetape and a number of the singles he put out after such as Down on My Luck and Feel That. I did like most of 2016’s There’s a Lot Going On, though I loved the title track. Vic signed to Roc nation and I feel that in recent years he has ‘sold out’ more and more and tried to be something he isn’t. The manuscript is a 4 song EP, which is disappointing because I was under the impression his album was around the corner. Maybe this is a play to drum up a little more hype before he releases the album but I don’t see it. The highlight from the EP is the second song, OMG, featuring Pusha T rapping about what he raps about best: Cocaine.
Chief Keef – Thot Breaker
Some people hate on Chief Keef for his lack of lyricism but I love Chief Keef. I have been following him since 3Hunna came out in 2012. Thot Breaker has been hinted at and talked about for years at this point and it finally came out, and I’m surprised by how… sober it all sounds. It is much more coherent than his last release, Two Zero One Seven. The second song, Can You Be My Friend, sounds like Chief Keef doing his rendition of Drake’s Carribbean/Dancehall sound like on Controlla or similar songs. There are definitely some peaks and valleys but overall pretty happy that decent content is still coming from Chief Keef in 2017. Not sure how much of this project he produced himself, however there are a number of “Sosa on the beat” producer tags throughout the mixtape and I know he has been working on his production for a few years now.
Brockhampton – Saturation
I downloaded Brockhampton’s debut mixtape, All American Trash, in 2016 on a whim after stumbling across it. I thought it was solid but it wasn’t something I was playing a ton, in the past few weeks/months they have released a number of singles from Saturation and I have been loving what has been coming out. My understanding of Brockhampton is that they are a hip hop collective, similar to an Odd Future or A$AP, with a number of rappers, producers and other creative individuals that met through an online hip hop forum (I believe it was KTT). I only had a chance to listen to this once but I thought it was really good and plan to listen through a few more times to get a fully formed opinion. Expect a more formal review of this project coming soon. Definitely keep these guys on your radar going forward, particularly Kevin Abstract.
Other highlights of the last 24 hours include a surprise mixtape from Fetty Wap and Pilot Talk 3 from Curren$y.
Also XXX got knocked out by Rob $tone