Recently I have been starting to consider what albums will make it onto my Albums of the Year, EPs of the Year, and best Rap Albums and Mixtapes of the Year and while evaluating 2016 releases I decided to revisit multiple albums. Lil Yachty’s 2016 mixtape,”Lil Boat”, was one of the releases that I have revisited recently. Being one of the first two projects released by the young rapper himself,”Lil Boat” has had a significant impact on the modern trap scene with its use of unique, reverb filled beats and a mix between rap and auto-tune singing vocals.
So far, my favorite track is the remix of the song “Minnesota”, which you can hear below. This is the best place to start for trap or rap music fans who have yet to check out Lil Yachty. Even though I still have a lot of rap releases to re-listen to before making a final list of the best Rap Albums and Mixtapes of the Year, I can guarantee that “Lil Boat” will absolutely be a contender for this exclusive list.
Listen the “Minnesota” by Lil Yachty below and let us know what you think and what of the track and what rap albums and mixtapes should be nominated as the best of 2016!
Exactly 21 years ago today, The Smashing Pumpkins released their third and legendary studio album, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”. “Mellon Collie”, which features instant classics like “1979”, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, and “Tonight, Tonight”, became one of the best selling The Smashing Pumpkins albums ever, selling over 5,000,000 copies in the United States (certified Diamond by RIAA) alone since 1995, and causing the group to top multiple charts like US Billboard 200 and Australian ARIA Albums Chart. Along with seeing outstanding record sales, the album itself would also go on to be one of the most influential releases of the 90s, helping establish The Smashing Pumpkins’ place in rock history while also shaping the sound of 90s music all together. This album and its predecessor, “Siamese Dream”, are usually the first two things you think of when you hear the name, The Smashing Pumpkins, and are widely acclaimed as the group’s two masterpieces.
Personally, The Smashing Pumpkins will always be a band that I look up to and think highly of, and “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” is one of the reasons for this admiration. I encourage everyone reading this to listen to at least one track off “Mellon Collie” and appreciate the significance the album has had on both rock music and individual music fans alike. I know for a fact that “Tonight, Tonight” will be on repeat in my music library for the rest of the day!
For those who don’t know, Damian Lillard, the starting point guard for the Portland Trailblazers and one of the best active players in the NBA, is also a rap artist. Pursuing this musical career during his free time off the court, Lillard has made a name for himself as Dame D.O.L.L.A. and has seen a growth in fan base through his debut single, that was released last July, and his use of social media promotion for his hip hop career. Now, on October 21st, Lillard released his debut album titled, “The Letter O”. This project, released through Front Page Music, is the beginning of Dame D.O.L.L.A.’s musical career, and it is actually a surprisingly solid start.
I personally wasn’t too thrilled on the first single, “Soldier in the Game”, which was released last July, but after one quick listen of “The Letter O”, Dame D.O.L.L.A. definitely has my attention and I’m eager to give this a few more listens and a 500 World album review as well! The 26 year old is continuing to show us that he’s not just one of the greatest basketball players alive, but also an up and coming rap artist that will change the game; trailblazing this professional athlete and artist career choice.
A 500 World album review for “The Letter O” will be released in the next few days, but in the meantime, listen to the full album stream below and get excited for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season, which starts tomorrow!
Earlier this morning, Killer Mike and El-P of the supergroup, Run the Jewels, released their latest single “Talk To Me”. The group, who has released two self-titled albums since their formation in 2013, will be releasing their third full length album, also self-titled called, “Run the Jewels 3”. “Talk To Me” is the first track to be heard off this album and it’s also the first song to be released by the duo in all of 2016. The single was released through the Adult Swim Singles platform and has already seen positive feedback despite only being released a few hours ago.
The track is very similar to past Run the Jewels projects where aggressive, fast tempo flow is accompanied by a hard hitting, yet odd beat. The lyrics have a ferocity that is unique to Run the Jewels and is nearly impossible to be mistaken for anyone else. Overall, this is a great track that leaves me dying to hear more off this late 2016 project. Despite not being a massive fan of the supergroup, I will be looking forward to the release of “RTJ 3” for sure!
The new track is streaming below on Soundcloud for those who want to give it a listen. Check it out and let us know what you think of this new song from New York City and Atlanta’s own, Run the Jewels!
Late last week, one of my favorite rap artists of all time, A$AP Ferg, released a remix to his track “New Level”, which was originally off his sophomore release, “Always Strive and Prosper”. The original version of “New Level” featured rap artist Future, and soon after its release, it became one of the most successful and highly praised songs off the project. Now, 10 months after the single was first released, the remix to this fan favorite is available on all prominent music streaming services and features verses from A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, along with another verse from Future himself.
Personally I like this remix even better than the original version. Not to say that the album version of “New Level” is bad, but the added verses from A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, along with the new, rewritten verses from both A$AP Ferg and Future collectively make this the greater of the two tracks. Honestly, I would be glad to see yet another remix to this track, especially since artists like Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry, and even Danny Brown could fit well on this more aggressive, powerful sounding beat. Regardless, this new single and “Always Strive and Prosper” are some of the best rap releases of 2016 and “Always Strive and Prosper” could possibly be one of the greatest albums to be released this year as well.
Give this new remix a listen and if you haven’t heard anything by A$AP Ferg before, then listen to anything off his two phenomenal studio albums: “Trap Lord” and “Always Strive and Prosper”! Be sure to check in to Erik’s Album Reviews often as we get closer to deciding what are the best rap albums and mixtapes of 2016!
We’re getting closer and closer to the release of the next Animals As Leaders record and the anticipation could not be any higher. The upcoming fourth studio album by the instrumental, prog-metal innovators is titled, “The Madness of Many”, and so far we have heard two singles off the soon to be released record. The latest of these two singles is a track called “Arithmophobia”, and it is the complete polar opposite of the first single, “The Brain Dance”.
“Arithmophobia” is a mix between smooth-flowing riffing in peculiar time signatures and impressively heavy sections that make any listener subconsciously head bang. From melodic, sitar leads to polyrhythmic, heavy breakdowns, “Arithmophobia” adds to the already extremely high anticipation for this sure to be stellar Animals As Leaders album. I’m assuming AAL released these two singles to show the extreme ends of the spectrum “The Madness of Many” will feature.
With what I’ve heard so far off this upcoming release, I would not be surprised if “The Madness of Many” finds its way onto the Albums of the Year list for 2016! Check out this latest single below and be sure to check in for more updates and reviews leading up to the release of “The Madness of Many”!
For those who didn’t hear, Buddy Nielson of Senses Fail and the majority of the members of Finch recently joined together to make a post-hardcore band that, in their words, “sounds like 2002”. All members of this new supergroup come from bands that were groundbreaking groups in the early 2000’s emo and post-hardcore genres. Because of this, they have decided to unite to help recreate that sound while also adding more modern post-hardcore as well.
The group officially came together earlier this year when, according to Buddy, a tour between Finch and Senses Fail fell through. Because of this, Finch members reached out to Buddy, and asked if he would want to form a side project group called “Speak The Truth…Even If Your Voice Shakes”. Neilson himself had never been in a serious, established band besides his own Senses Fail, so due to the interest of actually doing a side project, “Speak The Truth…” was born.
The band have released their first single ever called, “Crash My Car”. The song is very catchy, but to me lacks the ability to be an instant classic, unlike older Senses Fail and Finch material. I do believe, however that this band will eventually release material to that caliber, but for now this is a great musical debut. You can pre-order their first vinyl release, a 7″ featuring “Crash My Car” and another single to be released later, below at the Bad Timing Records pre-order page, however the rarest variant has already sold out. Also check out their first music video below and get stoked for all that “Speak The Truth…” has to offer in the near future!
“Crash My Car” Music Video: