How To Fix Brockhampton

Brockhampton became a force to be reckoned with in 2017 with their Saturation trilogy. Each album had its highs and lows but overall were outstanding albums from the “boy band”. Each member of Brockhampton brought something new and refreshing to the table with each album release. Members such as Kevin Abstract, Ameer Vann, Matt Champion, Joba, Dom McLennon, Dom McLennon, and Bearface were on their way to rising to the top, however, 2018 would forever change Brockhampton and their sound, style, and meaning.

In May, several allegations were made against Ameer Vann citing that he was abusive and manipulative. These allegations would quickly lead to the removal of my favorite member of the group. Ameer Vann, however, was the face and icon of the Brockhampton brand. His face was the cover of the three Saturation albums and his unique style and delivery gave the band a distinct sound. The removal of arguably the best member of Brockhampton was crushing to me and other fans alike. Ameer Vann was the reason why I enjoyed the group as much as I did. Often in the music industry bands can survive and adapt to lineup changes, yet Brockhampton without Ameer Vann is hard to imagine. How can one of the most innovative and popular rap groups continue without one of their best members and the face of the band?

The best answer I can produce for this question would be Jaden Smith. In 2017 Jaden Smith put out my favorite album of the year with SYRE. The album quickly became one of my favorites of all time due to its impeccable production and Jaden Smith’s talent coming to fruition. Brockhampton conveniently has impeccable production and features immense figures of talent. Why not fill in the hole left by Ameer Vann with an equally talented and important figure? Jaden Smith is known to be a fan and possible collaborator with the group, why not introduce him on their next album titled PUPPY. Jaden Smith jokingly has mentioned that he was the newest member and has also apparently spent multiple weeks living and working with the group. When Brockhampton inked a deal with RCA for approximately 15 million, the group tapped star, Jaden Smith, to be a part of their announcement video. With an open spot and a promising musician showing interest, it would make the most sense to include him.

In order to do this, Brockhampton would need to reevaluate their formula and style. Ameer Vann was featured on almost every song the group put out, and they undoubtedly had him on the upcoming album. The removal of Ameer Van would require redoing the album anyway, why not just replace Ameer Vann’s sections with Jaden Smith? If Jaden Smith proved anything on SYRE, he proved that he is versatile and capable of adjusting to different styles and sounds. Jaden Smith is my obvious candidate to replace my favorite member, even considering both blew up last year with their debut albums. The chemistry between the current members is already perfected, throwing in Jaden Smith would be a challenge that the band would have to adapt to, however, the finished product would be something we’ve never seen nor heard before.

With Brockhampton set to appear on Jimmy Fallon this month, it would be the best time to announce this lineup change. Jaden Smith’s inclusion would not only bring attention to the group once more, it would also give the fans something to look forward to on PUPPY. While we only have a wait a few days to see what Brockhampton does on Jimmy Fallon, I can assure you that adding Jaden Smith would be a pleasant surprise to me. With or without Ameer Vann, the group is still contractually obligated to produce six more albums. I am a huge fan of Brockhampton already, that adding Jaden Smith would only give me yet another thing to be excited for in 2018.

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Favorite Song Friday #5

6/15/18

“Rollout (My Business)”  – Ludacris

Ludacris-Rollout

Ludacris was one of the first artists I remember enjoying as a child. In fact, Ludacris got me in trouble in Kindergarten for quoting his hit song “Move Bitch”. As I grew older, Word of Mouf has since become one of my favorite albums of all time. “Rollout” is essentially flexing at it’s finest (at least for 2001). Ludacris flaunts his extravagant and opulent life as a successful rapper and celebrity. In “Rollout”, Ludacris brags about the usual money, cars, drugs, and women while still standing out to other similar songs from this period. With an explosive and fun beat, Ludacris made one of the most infectious and entertaining songs of the 2000s. Combining the playful beat with an empowering chorus makes “Rollout” a timeless classic in my book. Even with the reference to a PlayStation 2, Ludacris proves once again that he deserves to be in the books.

I really enjoy this song because of its unique perspective on flexing in 2001. Ludacris seemingly plays the part of an observer who questions all of his purchases. This easily paints a clever and vivid picture of someone constantly bothering Ludacris about the way he spends his money and how irresponsible it is. While switching from questioning to flaunting, Ludacris makes the most of his almost four-minute runtime. Which surely this song is old, it still can be enjoyed and blasted in 2018 and beyond. I highly recommend Word of Mouf to any fan of this song or Ludacris himself, as I believe it’s his best album to date. Word of Mouf is filled with ingenious wordplay and perhaps one of the best features by the late Nate Dogg. Don’t be surprised to see Ludacris or Word of Mouf to pop up again in the near future. Until then, I will still be listening to “Rollout” on a daily basis like I have been for the past 10 years.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

 

My 50th Post

After turning my love for writing into a hobby a year ago, I never thought I would make it this far. I’ve found a positive and effective outlet to express myself and my thoughts to the world and my audience. WordPress has given me an opportunity to be myself while exploring my views on music and film. What has honestly shocked me the most about writing is the audience I’ve built. I never would have thought I’d have more than one follower. I currently have over 150 followers and to me that’s insane. Being able to write for you all has given me a way to simply be myself and not be ashamed or concerned. I’ve made friends along the way, I’ve learned new things, and most importantly I’ve had fun. I rarely find fun in my hobbies, however, writing has made the biggest impact on me mentally. I currently have many ongoing and successful series that I look forward to continuing each week. Especially the last week and a half, I’ve become set on making my Summer count and have been publishing an article a day. While this is stressful and quite difficult for me, I’ve found it rewarding to see the interaction it gets from readers and friends.

So far this Summer I’ve published 19 articles not counting this one. This has been an interesting challenge that I want to run with for as long as I can. I would like to thank everyone that follows me and/or reads my content as it means the world to me that people enjoy my work and thoughts. I would also especially like to thank the following people for their help and support since I’ve begun writing: Steve For The Deaf, MusiCommentator, Molasses, Under Dog Off The Bench, Dan Glennon, Ashley, Terrell, Alex M, Jayda, Keonte, Kamyria, Shane, Dallas, Joe S, Brandon A, Riley, Brandy, Matt G, Cody, Mike W, Lamont, Joseph A, Tyron, Casey, Nisker, Calvin, Diana, Hunter, Sarah, Jorge, Justin B, Deven, Sam, Trey, Taheim, Aria, Andrew, and most importantly my Dad.

Those who I didn’t mention, I still want to say thank you for the support and help too! 50 posts down, 50 more to go.

Artificial Selection

Dance Gavin Dance has had an interesting career so far. After 13 years and many line-up changes, the band continues to strive and prosper into 2018 with Artificial SelectionArtificial Selection was supported by four singles, three of which are some of my favorite songs by the band. “Midnight Crusade” is without a doubt with my favorite of the four and has become a song I’ve come to love. “Midnight Crusade” is perhaps my favorite song on the album too due to its impressive vocals from Tilian Pearson. After only being a Dance Gavin Dance fan for about a year, I must say they have become one of my favorite bands in such a short amount of time. Artificial Selection only further maintains my opinion on the group.

Artificial Selection works well not only as an album but also as a collection of songs itself. Songs like “Midnight Crusade” and “Care” are just a couple that can stand on their own as singles as well as album tracks. The 14 song album is a very pleasant surprise and exemplification of the bands long and prosperous career. Every track on this album deserves its place especially a song like “Count Bassy” which I could consider one of my favorite songs of this year. Dance Gavin Dance not only deliver a stellar album but a worthy addition to a career filled with hits and misses. If Artificial Selection is any indication, Dance Gavin Dance can continue to be one of the few 2000’s bands to make it past 2020 and still stay relevant.

Artificial Selection has made me jubilant to call myself a fan of Dance Gavin Dance. I truly have very minimal issues with this album and only find two songs I would actually consider skippable, however, my criticisms are minor as my main one would just be questioning some choices the band made lyrically. With Dance Gavin Dance becoming one of my favorite bands of all time, I cannot wait to see the reception of this album and how it affects any future releases. I have faith that they will continue this style and sound into the next album especially keeping Tilian Pearson around. Until then, I will surely be playing this album until that day comes.

 

Artist Spotlight #1 – Corey Gossett

Smaller artists need to be recognized for their unique talents and popularity in their community. After months of planning, I’ve finally decided to launch this series to help promote smaller artists in an attempt to get their name and talent out there to the wider public. Every artist I cover in this series has been hand-picked for their style, talent, and character. I ‘ve recommended every artist I write about and this is no exception. Without further explanation, here is my first pick: Corey Gossett.

Corey Gossett first started getting into music around 6th grade and was influenced heavily by the music that his friends and family listened to. The most common genre’s that were being played in his house were country, classical, and alternative rock. After learning songs such as “Smoke on the Water” and “Iron Man” on the guitar, Corey started branching out into more genres and sounds. One of his biggest influences in music was the pop-punk genre including bands like The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, and Knuckle Puck. Even though he is currently a rapper, Corey still holds these bands close to his heart as they helped to create the foundation for his music today. Lyrically, Corey owes it all to pop-punk.

After listening to Eminem for the first time, Corey fell in love with the songwriting and lyricism that hip-hop had to over. For Corey, hip-hop is the ultimate form of expression for him as it allows him to have a voice in a world where most are silent. From a lyrical point of view, Corey cites Tupac, Biggie, Nas, and Jay-Z as his biggest hip-hop inspirations. However, as for his favorite artist he chose Drake as his favorite. This choice is mostly due in part to his style and sound which is arguably very unique in this modern day. Other modern inspirations consist of Ty Dolla $ign, Ace Hood, Mac Miller, KYLE, Post Malone, Frank Ocean, and Bryson Tiller. Since Corey has been in 8th grade, he started a composition notebook that he would put all the final drafts of songs he had written into. As a senior in high school, he put the final page in that book and he still, to this day, can’t think of a more accomplished moment in his life than he did after filling that book with four years of life and meaning on every page. On the last day of school during senior year, that book got thrown away by the janitor, never to be found again.

“When I lost that book, I gave up on music. I didn’t touch my guitar or write another piece for the next two years. After those two years had passed I found myself in a position where I needed that outlet again.”

After finding himself back into the embrace of music, he found success in playing some local shows and really started to get the ball rolling with his music. After leaving his past experiences behind him, he decided that music was his real calling. After working with his close friend Alex Hankins, they began working on his first EP entitled New Slate; 50/50 which is set to come out on July 5th. Currently, they are working on a local music festival called Famour Fest. Famour is the brand he represents with my music created by Matt Deal, a fellow visionary. Famour was created in order to start a movement made of love and open-mindedness to try new things and be there for the ones who are there for you. Famour exists to move anyone who wants to join in a positive and productive direction of love and creativity. Be sure to check out his new EP on July 5th on Spotify and Apple Music. I must recommend “Go” by Corey Gossett as it is undoubtedly a song that has gotten me excited for his debut EP.

Here is a message from Corey Gossett:

I love all of my fans and everyone who has lent me a helping hand thus far especially Jordan Murphy, who is a sound engineer for Smart Boys Studios. I have already come so far and met so many new artists and people that I cannot be anything but grateful. If anybody has any questions, feel free to follow me and send me a message. My inboxes are always open and I’d love to talk to other new and aspiring artists.

@corey_gossett on Twitter, Coreygossettt on Instagram, and coreygossett on Snapchat.

“Go” is on Apple Music and Spotify now!

Favorite Song Friday #4

6/8/18

“Pyramids” – Frank Ocean

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Very rarely does a song come around that can make you feel nearly every emotion over the course of it’s run. “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean is from his debut album channel ORANGE which came out in 2012. This song can honestly only be explained to someone as an experience that must be explored. “Pyramids” feels like a movie after several listens as Frank Ocean gracefully details every aspect of his story about a pimp who falls in love with a client. However, this story is told through using metaphors and comparisons to Cleopatra and her time as a ruler. “Pyramids” is one of the few songs to come out this decade in the R&B genre that I can affirmatively say is worth listening to. With two albums and an astonishing track record, Frank Ocean is definitely on the way to officially becoming the 2010’s R&B icon in my opinion.

“Pyramids” works so well because of its ability to break away from the standard paradigm of R&B story-telling. This song will make you feel many emotions over the course of almost 10-minute runtime. Emotions such as love, hype, and sadness are just a few of the many that I can name that relates to the story of “Pyramids”. The active comparison of prostitution to Cleopatra is quite clever when further investigated, especially relating to the seemingly intriguing fact that Cleopatra has been a relevant topic amongst American media for quite some time now. “Pyramids” is undeniably the standout track on channel ORANGE due to its complexity and replayability factor, however, I must also recommend “Pink Matter” and “Bad Religion” if you’ve never heard the album before. Until Frank Ocean releases another great album you can rest assured that “Pyramids” is my favorite Frank Ocean song and perhaps one of my favorite songs of the decade.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

Expression Pt. 4 – Billie Eilish

Standing out and making a statement has always been essential when it comes to being a successful musician, however, expressing yourself through art is not an easy process. It is important to maintain a direct link to your roots and knowing what your real identity is. It is critical to act with the most humanistic intentions when attempting to create a new identity to introduce to the world. This ideology is exactly what Billie Eilish did two years ago at the age of 14. Billie Eilish is now 16 and currently expressing herself to her fullest extent with every song release that comes out. But what makes her so great? Billie Eilish allows her soul and mind to flourish and in the process creates otherworldly hit songs in the process

Billie Eilish released her debut EP titled Don’t Smile at Me in 2017 and since then her career has skyrocketed. Her unique and distinctive semi-revival of electropop can easily be linked to her success. Electropop has always been a venue for artists to express themselves, whether it be Madonna or LMFAO all have found success by taking this genre to a new level. The sound that Billie Eilish produces is perhaps the epitome of being individualistic in nature. She can be compared to Lana Del Rey’s unparalleled sound, yet there’s too much artistic freedom being articulated to actually draw a direct comparison between the two wonderful musicians. At the age of 16, Billie Eilish has accomplished what many dream of doing in a whole lifetime. This is purely due in part to her idea to capitalize on her talents and put herself out there for the world to judge. At the end of the day, Billie Eilish is a young woman who’s continuously breaking new ground and exploring all routes of her expressive capabilities, however, what makes her so special?

Being 16 isn’t the easiest stage of life as its commonly filled with drama and judgment, however, that’s exactly what Billie Eilish knows and exploits. The mind of a 16-year-old is intriguing, to say the least, and that’s what makes her music stand out from the other Electropop musicians of the past. By filling her music with honesty she is able to effectively capture what it’s like to be young in 3-4 minutes. Once you take her music and combine it with a rebellious personality you’ll find that Billie Eilish utterly can’t be fully compared to any other artist. Her personality is absolutely the most important factor of her music.

Billie Eilish is young and doesn’t have many responsibilities; once again this is something she seeks to actively take advantage of. Her careless and idiosyncratic character perfectly captures the idea of youth. This image that she’s perfected is possible because of trends and lack of experience when it comes to handling fame. Throwing money at all of the designer brands tends to be the trend these days for young successful acts, and Billie Eilish is no different. Her fashion statement alone is enough to draw you in without even needing to hear her music first. This rebellious nature that she exerts is precisely what allows her image to maintain credibility. Today’s youth typically spends irrational amounts of money on clothes and cosmetics even if they don’t have the funds to continuously keep doing so. Whether or not Billie Eilish has these funds is a question that can be answered when you look at her 51 million Spotify streams. Nonetheless, Billie Eilish is and will be an icon for this upcoming generation to look up to.

It doesn’t matter if she can retain her fame within the next few years; Billie Eilish has already imprinted her character onto the minds of many. I for one didn’t even know who she was until a week ago, now I can’t get enough of her. I hope to see her go far and stay in the spotlight for many more years to come because she’s one of the few young musicians who I believe deserves her fame. If you’re hesitant about listening to Billie Eilish after reading this, I must truly recommend the song “lovely”.”lovely” features Khalid to create a beautiful song that surely will make you think twice about this new generation and what they’re capable of.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part II

This is the second part of a multi-part release exclusively on this page. (link to the first part here)  My friend Dan Glennon (@ZiggyStarscream) on Twitter and Instagram has been working tirelessly for many weeks to write these entries for my readers. I hope you all enjoy, and I present to you Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part II. If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

Each of Kendrick Lamar’s albums adds to his overarching narrative of his life and how he lives in it. There is progress in each album as Kendrick grows into his role as the voice of hip-hop but also as an icon of a culture. To truly understand how his works’ impact and originality, the storyline must be placed in less subtle and symbolic way to be fully understood. Kendrick does not make this storyline explicit or easy to understand. Through wit and wordplay is his mastery of the craft, as well as an understanding of the context of the world, is he able to develop his world.

Section 80 introduced Kendrick Lamar to the hip-hop world and helped to place him on the radar of popular culture long before being in the center of it. His foresight into his trajectory in his storytelling, intentional or not, is astounding. This album is where Kendrick introduces himself and a taste of the world around him. Keisha is the first character outside of himself that Kendrick introduces into his world. A young girl who moves on to prostitution at a very young age. As her story progresses she finds herself involved with a variety of clients, run-ins with police as well as one client that would take her life. Keisha was murdered and left to die on the street. Kendrick wrote this song to tell her story to his little sister. Kendrick does not come from a good place in the world but he acknowledges that he is capable of improving it. The theming of the narrative is formed in its infancy; the Good Kid in the mAAd city that becomes something greater than himself and his struggles with understanding his place in the world. As a human being, the same as you and I, he could have been a victim or a savior of the place he came from and the people he stands for. He understands that he is a rarity to break from his early living environment. Kendrick knows that for some reason be it religious, coincidence or just dumb luck that he has been given this opportunity to speak but also with the fame and fortune that goes along with it. He could have developed into another “what happened?” in the allure of the dark side of fame and the wickedness of the world. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions after all. Or could his follies merely be moments of weakness that he can learn from and continue upward with more experience than before.

Now the full story can actually be told.



The Good Kid in the mAAd city: Setting the Stage

 

The second album’s full title is ‘Good Kid mAAd city: A short film by Kendrick Lamar.’ There are many people who would be great at reading into the deep intricacies of every plotline and seeing all the cryptic messages unfold. Often times the voyeur of these symbols and messages will heap unwarranted, over-blown, under-supported or even just seeing much more than is there. A good example of an artist playing with this idea is the famous painting by René Magritte, The Treachery of Images. Magritte pained what appears to be a pipe with the caption painted below, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”, French for “This is not a pipe.” The paradox of the image to the words painted below create a strange combative nature between the image and the words as they still share the same space on the canvas. The open-air interpretation of a vague contradiction could start in one part of discussion and end in an entirely separate place. This painting is a perfect example of an artist hiding a message and allowing for human curiosity and imagination to pull meaning from it themselves. Presenting a narrative in a piece of art is often done in a subtle, nuanced way.

MagrittePipe
Good Kid is not one of those times.

Kendrick states from the beginning that at the beginning that this album is to be listened to as if it was a film. The bars were to be seen as the script and you listen for the scenes. The brilliance of that is for this transformative technique of the media demands that his wordplay is at a high enough level to make a vivid picture of what was going on in each scene. Tied together by skits in between to lead to the next scene, the audience’s mind is placed into a different realm if reception; that of a film as opposed to that of a piece of music. To understand what the album is talking about in each song, the context must be established. This requires the audience to be an active listener and most importantly, listen to the context of the album itself. Essentially, sit back and listen to the movie. As his first major debut album, Kendrick established a precedent for his future works being conceptual and requiring an active listening experience. With a huge commercial success with this idea in mind of active listening and an album as a whole, Kendrick’s future works coming from the same conceptual, holistic approach would be readily accepted and the audience would be prepared to take in as more than just a few tracks tied out over wax. This is the very foundation of the cinematic nature of Kendrick Lamar; we are brought in through a movie and each continuation is seen as such.

The narrative of the album is that of a day in the life of Kendrick’s character inside of Kendrick’s world. Through the slice of life story that Kendrick shares, he shapes a vivid image of what it was like to grow up in Compton and how it shaped Kendrick’s view of the world and how it blended into Kendrick’s world that he was building and opening to us. It is important to understand that the ‘Kendrick Lamar’ in the album’s storyline is not actually Kendrick Lamar. The story takes place as an amalgam of Kendrick’s experiences growing up in Compton. Compton’s lifestyle is long chronicled in hip-hop. By taking a collection of life events he experienced growing up in that environment, he developed a chain of events that stemmed from Kendrick’s decisions navigating through the world. He created a plot.

The actual plot of the album is one that is actually not a ground-breaking concept. Movies like Boyz in the Hood and Straight Outta Compton have given us a window into the lifestyle. By giving us a window the mind now has images to associate with a storyline of similar ilk. The idea of “a day in the life” wasn’t even new to hip-hop; Ice Cube did that already. What differentiates Good Kid? Kendrick presents himself as the total antithesis someone buying into gangster aesthetics and appeal. Kendrick never wanted to be like them but he grew up around it and his authenticity shows. The album takes a new spin on several old concepts which simultaneously gives credence to those who came before Kendrick while in turn, the established artists welcome him.

As for the content of this piece, there are only small segments of this album that actually are continued and weave the real story that Kendrick tells through his future pieces. First, the album starts off with young men praying for forgiveness and promising to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps. The religious overtones are immediately established. The very first lines from his first major album release are his prayers to God, asking for forgiveness. Christianity and the story of Christ and these religious references are the glue that binds Kendrick’s narrative. While this album merely brushes the idea into the story of the good kid, the ideology is now established.

Ye – Kanye West Review

I started this weekend writing my 3×3 Monday article but I couldn’t help but realize 7/9 songs were from Kanye West’s latest album, Ye. So why not just review the whole album track for track right? So without further explanation, here is my review of Kanye West’s album, Ye. 

“I Thought About Killing You”

This is without a doubt one of my favorite intros to an album. “I Thought About Killing You” is a slow-burn that ends up setting the tone for the album while still getting you hyped for the songs. Ye is the story of a troubled man and his conquest to go from negativity to positivity during the seven songs. So why not start the album as cynical and depressed as possible? This slow monologue slowly turns it up a notch as the song turns into a banger and Kanye goes off about his life and his commonly found success throughout the years. The song abruptly ends as we enter the next song, “Yikes”.

“Yikes”

“Yikes” is full of hype and realism as Kanye starts out the song calling out himself on his addictions and how he has to deal with the paparazzi. The chorus itself makes the whole song work at getting you pumped for Kanye West’s verses on “Yikes”. While there aren’t too many hype songs on Ye, “Yikes” is more than enough to fill the gaps of the hype meter while still being a solid and memorable song. This song also references that he’s dealing with BiPolar Disorder, however, he treats it like a super-power and embraces it so he can continue to work output out amazing content. Kanye West is very admirable for being open about his problems and I myself am glad that he did so that he may further inspire those who have similar disorders.

“All Mine”

“All Mine” is a very simple and straight-forward song instrumental and pace wise which is quite unusual to hear from Kanye West. Regardless, he smoothly glides over the beat while delivering his usual clever rhymes covering everything from money, sex, and politics. “All Mine” also has a nice intro by Ty Dolla $ign that compliments this song very well. Being the second shortest song on Ye is quite unfortunate because this is the type of song I’d prefer to listen to a little bit longer due to the simple sound of the song.

“Wouldn’t Leave”

“Wouldn’t Leave” marks the beginning of the positive part of Ye. The album switches from talking about money and women to talking about the only woman that matters to Kanye West, his wife Kim Kardashian. This love ballad is enough to make anyone sit back and think about the people who matter the most to them in life. The beat is smooth and the lyrics are sincere as Kanye West praises his wife for staying with him through the good and bad moments of his life and career. He knows that she will care and support him no matter what happens and that is just a beautiful thought to have. One can tell that Kanye West really is thankful for having his wife on this song, which leads us to “No Mistakes”

“No Mistakes”

“No Mistakes” is more or less a follow-up song to “Wouldn’t Leave”. Kanye West spends the shortest song on the album talking about his past mistakes and how he won’t make them again now that he has the world. The mistakes that Kanye West has made over his career ultimately are what got him to where he is now. This song is short and sweet and not much else can really be said about it.

“Ghost Town”

“Ghost Town” is hands down the greatest song on Ye. This song is perhaps going to be my favorite song of the year too. This song is everything you’d want from a Kanye West song and then some. This song features Kid Cudi and 070 Shake on this monumental track which is arguably a celebration of life, freedom, and happiness. Everything on this song is perfect whether it’s the chilling refrain from Kid Cudi to the short but sweet verse from Kanye West to the immaculate outro from 070 Shake, it’s all perfectly executed. I honestly cannot find any problems or negative aspects of this song. I hope to see 070 Shake appear on more Kanye West-related projects as I’ve been a fan of her for about two years now, nonetheless, I hope you really do check out this track and I hope it has the same effect on you that it’s had on me.

“Violent Crimes”

The final song on Ye is surely a sad one. “Violent Crimes” is the realization that the negativity in Kanye West’s life may be gone but it’s not forgotten. Kanye West is now a father of three, however, two of them are his daughters. Coming from a player like himself, Kanye West knows the implications of being a father to two daughters. This song serves as a reminder that where problems end, more can and may arise down the road. Yet, Kanye West seems ready enough to handle these issues when the time comes and seeing that he has around 15 years to handle these issues, I’d say he’s got plenty of time. The song and album end with a call from Nicki Minaj who then suggests a verse for him to use for the song. Thus ending Ye on a positive and optimistic note, one that wouldn’t have been obvious at the start of the album. Cruel Summer is just starting for Kanye West as he has an album coming out this week with Kid Cudi which I for one cannot wait to hear. Until then, I’d say Kanye West is on his way to going full circle in his career mood wise as this is the same optimism we heard on his debut album, The College Dropout.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support!

OPINIONATED: 5 of the Most Essential Hip-Hop Songs

I’m making this list as a guide for people to follow. This first version of this list is my top five current favorite songs of all time. I hope you at least listen to one of these songs after reading! If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support!

5. Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre

Every once in awhile we need to be reminded who we are in life, however, we should never forget who the Doc is. “Still D.R.E.” is that exact reminder of who Dr. Dre is and the role he played and continues to play in music. This song from his 1999 album, 2001 is and will forever be a statement of why Dr. Dre deserves to have his name in the history books. With a smooth feature from Snoop Dogg, this track captures everything about G-Funk music and releases it with enough power and suave that is almost impossible to beat. This song is the ultimate testament to having street cred especially when it comes to California.

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4. Gangsta’s Paradise

“Gangsta’s Paradise” is an absolute essential when it comes to hip-hop music especially from the 90’s era. Coolio really gave his all when it comes to this song, which has been known for being a critically acclaimed and commercial success. Coolio’s depiction of a gangsta’s paradise has been implemented into the minds and hearts of many specifically myself. Over the years, this song has made more and more sense to me as I began to understand the lyrics and the realism that Coolio details on this track. Very few songs have me revisiting them with age, however, “Gangsta’s Paradise” is one of the few exceptions. I must recommend this song to everyone even if you aren’t a fan of rap music and it’s meaning. This song I believe is universal in nature and is able to be enjoyed by almost everyone.

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3. Stan – Eminem

“Stan” is one of the greatest rap songs of all-time. This story of a man who essentially is the biggest fan of Eminem is heartbreaking and realistic every time I hear it. The story is powerful and teaches us a good lesson that we should give people time because they are more than likely busier and still attempting to make an effort to talk to you. Another blatant lesson of “Stan” is to simply not be a “Stan” of an artist to the point of it resulting in killing yourself for his attention. With a sampling of Dido and an emotional tale to boot, “Stan” will always be my favorite song by Eminem, while also being one of the most essential songs of all time.

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2. All Of The Lights – Kanye West

“All Of The Lights” is a certified classic and forever will be in my book. This Kanye West anthem is without a doubt my favorite song from him for many reasons, mainly the beat. The beat is composed mainly of trumpets, drums, and piano to create a chilling theme to an already amazing album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “All Of The Lights” is the culmination of Kanye West’s hard work up to 2010. And yet, eight years later this song still holds up and surprisingly is still my favorite song by him even having released three albums since then. This Grammy-winning song deserves all of the praise it’s been given since it’s release and any further praise it will certainly garner in the future. With features from Rhianna, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Drake, The-Dream, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Elly Jackson, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, and Charlie Wilson there’s no wonder why this will always be a staple of hip-hop music.

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1.Mr. Rager – Kid Cudi

My all-time favorite song is without a doubt “Mr. Rager”. This tale of fighting your demons is timeless and always gets me out of a slump because it helps me in understanding people and the problems we all suffer from. I treat this song as if it was a religion, I put my faith, praise, and soul into “Mr. Rager” because it’s the one song above the rest to guide me in life. “Mr. Rager” has never failed to help me, therefore, I have to make it the number one slot on this list. However, this song should be treated as an experience instead of just a song. Listen to this song with an open mind and let the music paint the story in your mind. I feel like it will be impossible for me to ever find a song I would consider greater than this one, however, with Kid Cudi releasing new albums every few years anything is possible.

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