– Can you believe that it’s been a whole six years since Kendrick Lamar released his classic debut studio album, Section.80?
They say that time flies when you’re having fun and that’s absolutely true in this case. K-Dot has taken us on quite the ride since his “HiiiPoWeR”days. Nonetheless, Section.80 is still relevant, engaging, prophetic, and an all-around masterpiece. This should give you a sense of how far ahead of his time Kendrick has always been.
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Check out the full album below. If you’re in any way new to Section.80, you are in for a hell of a treat. I strongly suggest that you listen to the entire album in depth. However, if you can’t for any reason, be especially sure to check out “HiiiPoWeR”, “ADHD”, “Spiteful Chant”, “Blow My High”, and the infamous “Rigamortus”.
– SZA’s highly anticipated album, Ctrl, proves to have been worth the wait following her 2014 EP, Z
Released on June 9th, Ctrl opens with a voice recording of SZA’s mother telling a story about control. In the first of a few album framing interludes, she explains that she has always feared that a loss of control in her life would be damning, going so far as to call it fatal. The voice recording set the tone for the entire album, which finds SZArunning down all the mishaps, ain’t shit tactics, and bad decisions she’s made while grappling for control in her life. All of this is played out up against a musical backdrop of acoustic strings, haunting voice samples, and old school video game effects.
Ctrldelivers a lot of the angst, recklessness, and moody indecision that SZAfans have come to love and look for in her alternative R&B, but this album is overflowing with growth and truth. Unlike past works, it sees SZAconfronting her issues in a beautifully direct and honest way leaving a lot of the metaphors behind on her last EP. Ctrlfeatures collaborations from Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy, and SZA’s TDE label mates Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad. Ctrl also includes production credits ranging from Pharrell Williams to The Antydote. Sonically, Ctrl is in a league of it’s own, with each track melting into the next giving you no reason to skip around the album but I’ve picked out a few stand out tracks down below.
The Weekend(Produced by THANKGOD4CODY)
Arguably the sexiest track on the album, The Weekend is all about making time share love work. I’m thinking this will be the side shorty anthem of 2017.
You’re like 9 to 5, I’m the weekend
Make him lose his mind every weekend
You take Wednesday, Thursday
Then just send him my way
Think I got it covered for the weekend
Doves in the Wind ft. Kendrick Lamar (Produced by Cam O’bi)
An ode to the Pussy. SZA says it best: real niggas deserve so much more. Hearing her crooning “pusssyyyyy” between Kendrick’s bars is a vibe in and of itself.
Niggas’ll lose they mind for it
Wine for it, dine for it (pussy)
Spend time for it, see no colored line for it (pussy)
Double back handicap and go blind for it (pussy)
20 Something(Produced by Carter Lang and The Antydote)
Like I said, there’s no SZA work without angst. SZA uses the most vulnerable track about being a 20 something with none of her stuff together to close out an album named Ctrl, but it makes sense.
Stuck in them 20 somethings, stuck in them 20 somethings
Good luck on them 20 somethings, good luck on them 20 somethings
But God bless these 20 somethings
(God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh)
Hopin’ my 20 somethings won’t end
Hopin’ to keep the rest of my friends
Prayin’ the 20 somethings don’t kill me, don’t kill me
The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup is what you need to hold you over until you make it back to the aux cord after work. Chicago based production group, The Hood Internet, known for their pretty interesting song mashups posted to YouTube and Soundcloud, have taken on the task of smashing 40 years of hip hop into 4 minutes. It sounds damn near impossible but they did it, with each artist finishing the bars of the last. That’s the real feat here but they made it seem so effortless without missing a beat, resulting in a very solid hip hop mini history lesson.
There’s really something for every hip hop head in this mix. I’ve really never been so satisfied with tiny snippets of music but I was able to reminisce on Pimp C, get a Pac fix, and Harlem Shake to “All About The Benjamins” all in four minutes. The Hood Internet wasn’t playing games about going back in time either; The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup has Afrika Bambataa and Grandmaster Flash somehow cohesively sharing a slot with Ying Yang Twins and House of Pain. It was nice to see that The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup made sure not to leave out the female hip hop presence with appearances from Lauryn Hill, Missy, and Salt N Pepa.
Head over to The Hood Internet SoundCloud page for more and check out the list of all of the featured artists below.
2 Pac, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaataa, Audio Two, AZ, Beastie Boys, BG, Big Pun, Biz Markie, Black Rob, Black Sheep, Blackstreet, Bobby Shmurda, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Cali Swag District, Cam’ron, Chamillionaire, Chance The Rapper, Clipse, Common, Craig Mack, Cypress Hill, David Banner, De La Soul, Dead Prez, Digable Planets, Digital Underground, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, DJ Kool, DJ Quik & Kurupt, DMX, Doug E Fresh, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eazy-E, Eminem, Eric B. & Rakim, Funky 4+1, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, GZA, House of Pain, Ice Cube, J-Kwon, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, JJ Fad, Juvenile, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, KRS-One, Lauryn Hill, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Lil Kim, Lil Troy, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Madvillain, MC Shan, Meek Mill, MF DOOM, Missy Elliott, Mobb Deep, Montell Jordan, MOP, Nas, Naughty By Nature, Nelly, Nicki Minaj, Notorious B.I.G, N.W.A, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Outkast, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Petey Pablo, Pharoahe Monch, Public Enemy, Puff Daddy, Quad City DJs, Rich Boy, Rick Ross, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Run-DMC, Salt N Pepa, Scarface, Schoolly D, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Skee-Lo, Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy, Sugarhill Gang, T La Rock, T-Wayne, T.I., Terror Squad, The Fat Boys, The Fatback Band, The Fugees, The Game, The Pack, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Three 6 Mafia, Tone Loc, Tyga, UGK, Usher, UTFO, Warren G, Whodini, Wreckx-N-Effect, Wu-Tang Clan, Ying Yang Twins, Young Gunz