Tracks worth tracking: hip hop album reviews

The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis elevated the two into hip hop stardom when it released in October of 2012.
The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis elevated the two into hip hop stardom when it released in October of 2012.

by Justin Martinez | Staff Writer

1. Biggest Surprise: “The Heist” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

The Heist released in October of 2012. Despite this, the album is still #11 on iTunes and #2 in the hip hop genre. The two got their first big break with their hit song “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz and followed it up with another big hit “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. These hits highlighted the album and were a main reason why Macklemore has become a star in the music industry.

Honorable Mention: “My Own Lane” by Kid Ink


2. Biggest Disappointment: “I Am Not A Human Being II” by Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne released “I Am Not A Human Being II” in late March of 2013. The album has sunk all the way down to #91 on the hip hop charts and left much to be desired when comparing it to previous albums such as “The Carter 1-4” and “I Am Not A Human Being.” Lil Wayne has yet to top the charts since 2010 and for an artist that claims to be a living legend, the album fell significantly short of expectations.

Honorable Mention: “Wolf” by Tyler, The Creator


3. Potential Breakout artist: “Because the Internet” by Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino displayed the majority of his music on Youtube for quite some time, however, he broke into the hip hop spotlight when he released his latest album “Because the Internet.” The album currently holds the #9 spot in the hip hop charts and his single “V. 3005” is #48. Childish Gambino presents a fresh outlook on the usual hip hop flow and is worth keeping your eye on because big things are still to come.

Honorable Mentions: “Oxymoron” by Schoolboy Q


4. Overrated Albums: “Yeezus” by Kanye West

The “Yeezus” album debuted in June of 2013 and currently holds the #21 spot in the hip hop charts. The album fell far short of expectations seeing as it followed up Kanye’s arguably best album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” in 2010. The Yeezus tour was highlighted by prolonged rants, unnecessary tantrums, and it even failed to sell out in certain stops. All in all, the “Yeezus” album and tour were not a part of Kanye West’s career that will help his case when he argues that he is a God.

Honorable Mention: “B.O.A.T.S II #METIME” by 2 Chainz


5. Underrated Albums: “Long.Live.A.$.A.P” by A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky rocked the hip hop world when he debuted his hit song “Wild For the Night” featuring Skrillex. This unique combo brought attention to his new album and even got him a spot on an Adidas Crazy Quick commercial that featured his song “Goldie”. Despite all of this, the album received no awards and was overshadowed by other albums such that released around the same time. Regardless, the album has multiple hits and deserves great recognition.

Honorable Mention: “Born Sinner” by J Cole


6. Most Anticipated: “The Marshall Mathers LP2” by Eminem

All the Slim Shadys stood up for this one. The Marshall Mathers LP2 was the first album released by Eminem since “Recovery” was released in 2010. This new album was without a doubt the most anticipated album of the year as fans everywhere awaited the return of the real Slim Shady. The album stood tall against the hype and still holds the #1 single in hip hop called “The Monster” featuring Rihanna. It also has the #9 spot in the singles hip hop charts with “Rap God”. Overall, the album was well worth the wait and Eminem’s reputation for quality hip hop is as strong as ever.

Honorable Mention: “Magna Carta Holy Grail” by Jay Z


7. Best Album: “Nothing Was The Same” by Drake

When Drake released his new album in September of 2013, he showed that he still wears the hip hop crown. The album received praise everywhere and it was without a doubt an improvement from his previous album “Take Care” that was somewhat of a drop off from his usual production. Not only is the “Nothing Was The Same” album full of hits, but what impresses critics the most is that he strayed away from relying on other rappers’ help and recorded most of the album on his own. This showed the talent and unique style of hip hop that only we’ve learned only Drake can provide to the hip hop world.

Honorable Mention: “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” by Kendrick Lamar

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