The hip-hop gods have blessed the rains down in Storrs when we needed it most. With midterms in full-swing and abysmal weather that only seems fitting, there appears a light at the end of this long, wet tunnel. Somehow, every soggy step you take around campus feels a little less terrible with the latest releases from Lil Wayne, Logic, Young Thug, Brockhampton and 6lack playing at cilia-tearing volume in your ears. Normally, I’m scouring for new music, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve barely had enough time to keep up. In case you missed anything, allow me to recap.
Wayne, Weezy, Lil Tunechi, Birdman Jr. self-proclaimed best rapper alive, call him what you will but the man, now in his mid-thirties mind you, broke the internet when he dropped “Tha Carter V” on his birthday late last week. Since teasing its release in 2014 and after finally settling a lengthy legal battle between Wayne and his protege/mentor/label-head Birdman over Cash Money Records’ publishing rights, he bestowed upon us a final parting gift saying, “I personally plan on this being my final solo album, yes, and it's definitely the final Carter album.” For a full, in-depth review, check out Daniel Cohn’s article.
If Lil Wayne is the father of modern rap, then Young Thug is his rebellious but ultimately loving son. Despite their past disputes, Thug cites Wayne, as well as Birdman, as having the biggest influence on his style and musical career. We all know Thug to be an enticing and prolific feature-oriented artist, but his latest EP “On the Rvn” showcases his talent as the main attraction. Its tight construction is in part thanks to frequent collaborator and close friend producer London on da Track. Not many artists could sample Elton John’s piano ballad “Rocket Man” and turn it into an anthemic, bombastic trap song, but Thug did just that on his wildly popular single “High.” 6lack adds his characteristic chilled and somewhat melancholic vibe on “Climax.” Controversial rap figure Jaden Smith also contributed a few solid verses in “Sin” to complement an otherwise underwhelming track. Overall, a short but stellar showing from Young Thug.
Logic’s old school fast-spitting hard-hitting alter ego Young Sinatra tears up the fourth and final installment of his YS series in “YSIV.” Chronicling the rags to riches tale of Logic’s career, plagued by adversity and voices of doubt, he channels hate as fuel for the flame. If getting the entire Wu Tang Clan together on a single track in “Wu Tang Forever” wasn’t impressive enough, Logic’s unrelenting energy and head-spinning bars land with undeniable precision. “100 Miles and Running” keeps fans coming back for what they love with a groovy, funk-inspired beat that flows in with unconventional beauty. Logic goes off for a tantalizing six minutes, ending with a breathless, Marshall Mathers-esque verse. Young Sinatra has retired on top of his game.
In a golden age of hip-hop, my only advice is to queue it all up and get listening.