Brad Beatson turns down only for freedom.  In the summer, I’m looking to push play on a playlist and let it ride. It’s too beautiful out. And I know it’s inevitable that some drunken fingertips will hijack the music at some point to play what they want to. So this is my grand attempt at […]
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Max Bell went to Catholic school.  Cilvia Demo is the best TDE release of 2014 thus far (review here). Oxymoron has its merits, but Rashad deals in introspection more poignantly. His wit and wordplay are sharper. His precocious wisdom is tempered by bursts of willful waywardness. In other words, he loves smoking trees and hates advice. So […]
Doc Zeus is from parts unknown.  For an independent rap label approaching total rap game domination, you might not have noticed that Top Dawg Entertainment spent the majority of 2013 scarcely releasing music. After a run of multiple great releases in the two years leading up to Kendrick Lamar’s platinum-selling, Grammy-snubbed masterpiece, good kid, m.A.A.d […]
The latest episode of Shots Fired features the honorable Isaiah Rashad, whose young career has already found him eclipsing Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings and Isaiah Thomas, the Detroit PG-turned-Executive Fiasco. That’s not a bad track record. As you probably know, he is the newest member of Top Dawg Entertainment and has gone four […]
Ain’t shit changed, but the lack of coast that Tosten Burks adopted. As Schoolboy readies Oxymoron, as Yeezy teaches K.Dot about leather jogging pants, as Ab-Soul keeps giving guest verses to every blog rapper and his mother’s extended family, as Jay Rock clings to people’s memory, TDE’s next generation extends further introduction. So far, they’re […]
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Alex Koenig wrote this down by the river. When Isaiah Rashad released “Gusto” alongside Brian Cameron in early January, it came off as a celebratory cocktail of creativity and kief– fun, but not suggestive of what the 21-year-old MC was capable of. “Shot U Down” is Rashad’s first capital-M Moment, and its video suggests that […]
Max Bell back. The reason CB4 (really, I’m partial to Fear of a Black Hat) worked well was because everyone involved knew what they were doing and what they were trying to say. They were exposing the facade perpetrated by every rapper that was fronting in the ’90s by claiming to be a gangster, thug, […]