After just five months of releases, 2017 proving to be big year for rap

So far 2017 has picked up where 2016 left off on the rap scene. The first months of the year have seen releases from hip hop hierarchy Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Big Sean, and new players have risen to the scene like Playboi Carti and Migos. From the emotional self portrait of pain exposed in Logic’s album “Everybody,” to the call to end racism amongst Americans on “ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$,” the first five months of year have been weighed down heavily with the enticing sounds so far released. If you’re looking for some new music or just want to see someone else’s opinion on the progression of rap, stay tuned for several short and enticing reviews of the top projects released thus far. 

5. “Everybody” — If there’s one thing I’ve learned from hip hop, there’s a difference between selling and telling. Selling is making a sound that releases heavy quantities of dopamine amongst the amygdala, but telling is a glorious rush of goose bumps throughout the body.

Logic’s new album is just that. From songs about depression anxiety and the troubles of looking white but identifying as black, he has created something that provokes the mind into a flurry of opinions and questions. “Take it back” is an emotional monologue growing up in a broken and drug infused household, and the problems that come along with being mixed. “Take it Back” also has one of the best ending lines maybe in existence. At the end, after his big long speech, Logic talks about peace love and positivity. “Just stop killing each other,” has an echoing effect. With the silence that follows, it really churns your mind about making life peaceful and everlasting. “Everybody” is monologue calling for peace and love, making it one of the most uplifting albums released this year.

4.“ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$” — Continuing on the theme of race and discrimination, Joey Bada$$ offers his take with the background being a seventies and eighties decades track. The call of race is something that echoes throughout every stanza on the album, and it provokes thought on discrimination throughout our country. It is an anthem that details the socio-political problems facing African Americans throughout the country.

“FOR MY PEOPLE” is a call for a hero like MLK and Malcolm X to help progress the way they are treated. Like Logic, Joey Bada$$ grew up in the ghetto; unlike Logic, the album is less of a monologue and more of a pledge of allegiance to the betterment of the inner city ghettos and treatments of the African American population. The exploitation of the LAPD and other agencies alike is a subconscious theme that is explored throughout the lyrics and chorus. The call for action is progressive vehicle that makes Joey’s emotional sophomore album a need-to-listen-to in the early part of 2017.

3. “Culture” — “Culture” is the Migos breakout album. The Atlanta-based group trap sound and based lyrics makes the album a jocular experience that offers experimental beats. The tracks on the album are more intense than they are provocative, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t capture the essence and movement of the 2017 rap trend.

The beat first mentality is what makes it one of the best sellers on the market. You may not be able to understand the lyrics or understand what they mean, but that doesn’t mean you won’t bob your head along with the beat. If you do want to know what the lyrics mean, most of them are stories about the Atlanta nightlife, clubs, etc. They beat-first mentality is what makes culture one of the most different albums out so far, and it pays off.

2. “I Decided” — Big Sean comes back from his previous success in “Dark Sky Paradise” and delivers with this well-versed tale about his relationship with significant others and his career. “I decided” includes instant classics like “Bounce Back” and “Jump out the Window,” and unlike “Culture,” it includes lyrics that make sense and matter. While “I Decided” isn’t as emotional as “Everybody,” it still includes a deep look into the mind of Big Sean.

The Detroit rapper was even able to get a feature from fellow D-town MC Eminem. Sean’s variety of tracks on the album is something that adds to the albums pros. There are emotional and ethical tracks, and hardcore songs that have more of an instant wow factor.

1. “DAMN.” — Kendrick Lamar’s revival from his Grammy winning album “To Pimp a Butterfly” is top notch and cements Lamar’s spot as the undisputed G.O.A.T. Tracks like “DNA,” “HUMBLE” and “FEAR” are heroic tracks that get your blood pumping and your skin prickling, while tracks like “LOVE,” “LUST” and “GOD” are provoking, and are everything more than generic love songs.

Lamar’s “DAMN” is less of a third person like JOEY BADA$$ and more of a monologue like Logic. However, K-dot strays away from his popular opinions on race and faces more about love and it’s impact on the mind. ‘DAMN’ is one of the best albums to ever be released mainly because it balances between telling and selling. The tracks have great and overwhelming beats, but they maintain a special bond of words that Lamar sews together perfectly. His latest is amongst the greatest so far in the decade, and, of course, the year.

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