Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade review

Isaiah Rashid had his sights set on becoming a preacher before his stepbrother’s copy of OutKast’s ATLiens led him into the wild and wicked world of hip hop. A member of the Black Hippy collective, and stable mates with fellow Top Dawg signees, Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar, Rashid’s sublime EP, Cilvia Demo, set the wheels in motion for this a much-anticipated full-length debut.

Considering the personal and professional struggles the rapper has since admitted he was facing during its creation, it’s a wonder that he finished The Sun’s Tirade at all – let alone to such a compelling level of quality. Continue reading

Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered review

Kendrick Lamar was the man of the moment in 2015. To Pimp a Butterfly was a masterclass of conscious rap addressing the extreme racial discrimination that continues to play out in the US, and beyond. Untitled Unmastered isn’t a follow-up: it’s a collection of polished demos and experiments that are powerful and additive in their own right. Continue reading

Drake – Views review

When he’s not sizing up Nicki Minaj’s behind, getting snogged by Madonna, or getting dangerously close to Rihanna, Canadian rapper Drake has people around the globe whining their hips his to baby-making music. Views is his fourth album – not counting his critical and commercially successful 2015 mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – and it’s his more palatable collection of music so far. Continue reading

Rihanna – Anti review

Superstar divas Rihanna and Beyoncé were playing a very public game of who could be the most provocative temptress, and still get their songs played on the radio, for the a good few years. That’s the way it seemed at least, what with all the flesh on display in their music videos and other controversial moments, all of which prompted tea-sipping elitists and defends-of-taste to decrying them both.

By now, most us are familiar with the Barbadian queen and her rumpy-pumpy reggae and steamy pop. She’s gone from an innocent island girl (‘SOS’) to a whip-loving dominatrix (‘S&M’). Anti is her eighth album, and sees the pop star crossover to the trap and alternative R&B sounds of the moment. Continue reading

Charlotte Day Wilson – CDW EP review

Charlotte Day Wilson, 2016, by Devon Little (569x320)Charlotte Day Wilson is an analogue girl living in a digital world. You may have come across her name if you’re familiar with ‘In Your Eyes’ by BadBadNotGood. This unsigned, 23-year-old Toronto singer projects a classical kind of wisdom with her voice, and yet has a deft talent for producing contemporary soul and R&B. Such an alignment is rare nowadays, and her debut EP, CDW, solidifies her as one of 2016’s most arresting new talents. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Erykah Badu – Hotline Bling But U Can’t Use My Phone

Erykah Badu - HBBUCUMP single (593x334)Dial that number back, and rewind the track. Over the summer, Drake set corners of the web ablaze with a vicarious, trap equivalent of white phosphorus, called ‘Hotline Bling’. Now, the high queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu, has put her own spin on the track, and it’s even more intoxicating than Drake’s. Continue reading