One year has passed by since I first started this. The benefits of running this newsletter has been many. First and foremost my interest for hip hop and rap has increased even further (which I didn't believe was possible). It has also been an inspirational experience to start and run a newsletter: keeping it updated, refreshing the design, trying to improve each week: week in, week out. The cost has been pretty high as well to be honest: it's time-consuming. I'm running it alone and writing all this (above 11,000 words now), maintaining the website, a hope to maintaining an instagram (failing) has taken a lot of my free time - which I of course signed up for, so I neither can't nor won't complain.

Anyhow... I've been enjoying it so far, and will continue to write, listen, digest, respond, design, filter and of course, always search for new hip hop. If you'd like to reach out with feedback or thoughts, I'm always reachable by email.

Thanks for this year. On to the next one. 

Cheers,
Willie

Pusha T

 

The carousel has been spinning intensely lately. The Pusha T - Drake beef has been spinning out of control with multiple shots taken just about at everything. Then Pusha T made the earth tumbling track The Story of Adidon. It was brutal.

What's best of all of this, is not the beef, but the Pusha T album DAYTONA that he released prior to the diss track. Pusha is known for rapping about his crack/cocaine "career". Counting the reference of crack/cocaine, this album has the highest amount of references to date. 

Listen to the album, which has been produced by Kanye West and Mike Dean. The opening track is great, but the second track might be even better. 

Listen to The Games We Play.

A$ap Rocky (feat. Skepta)

 

Rocky's latest album has received pretty average reviews. Agreed, it's not his best work to date, but it has a couple of high notes that stuck with me. The collaboration with Skepta is insanely well executed and have been on repeat since the release.

Listen to Praise The Lord (Da Shine).

A$AP Rocky and Skepta perform the "Praise The Lord (Da Shine)" track on the street.

Mac Miller

 

Mac Miller has refined his style the past couple of years. He is closing in on perfection to his talents. He has really created his sound that is now fitting his voice and style perfectly. He recently released an EP which was somewhat dark, perhaps because his breakup from Ariana Grande...

So he hasn't been the happiest recently, but tough times don't last, tough people do - and Mac Miller has used this time to his benefit by releasing great music.

Listen to Programs.

Kanye West

 

This newsletter has some pretty big names, but there has been some great releases this past month, and Kanye West releasing a 7 track album is no exception.

He apparently invited a lot of the most popular and talented rappers in the industry to his house in Wyoming to record an album. He worked on it for supposedly 1,5 year, and then scrapped it all to release this quickly put together album instead. And as for many Kanye's albums, it will probably grow for each listen, but I already like it a lot. The quirky intro by Jeremih on this track is amazing. 

Listen to All Mine.

Kid Cudi and Kanye West

 

Kid Cudi and Kanye West used to work together frequently. They were best friends. Then they had a falling out and wasn't friends for a while. Cudi left Kanye's record label G.O.O.D Music. But now they're friends again. And they've made an album (that you probably haven't missed).

And it has some true gems on it. The last track, Cudi Montage is an exceptional track where both artists makes the most of the song. Cudi somehow is his best when he unleashes his deamons, and Kanye puts on full focus on his lyrics and flow on this track. It's perfect. 

The instrumental itself is produced by Kid Cudi himself along with Dot Da Genius (frequent Kid Cudi collaborator) and the legendary Mike Dean. It's a sample of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain demo that was released post-mortem. He's been credited.

This might be the best track Franklins has featured since the beginning.

Listen to Cudi Montage.

Ace Hood

 

Ace released Bugatti a couple of years ago and hasn't peaked as high since then. But Ace is the type that just keeps on grinding, and he keeps on releasing massive projects where he rhymes and rhymes forever. His mixtape Starvation V is filled with great tracks, so check it out when you have time.

This track is from his latest project, Trust The Process II: Undefeated. It's a classic Ace Hood project where it's all about glory. 

Don't miss out his probably best track Trials and Tribulations where he raps about the loss of his daughter. Massive onion-cutting potential.

Listen to Fwea.

Terrell Morris and Free n Losh

 

Let's bring it down a notch with this super smooth track from Terrell and Free n Losh. You don't have to stress hip hop — this is the perfect mix of laid back and slowly glowing over the beat.

Listen to Free Problems.

Pillow T.

 

I know nothing of this guy. He has released two tracks on Spotify. It's a bit of a mashup of the cloud rap that was popular a couple of years back and some kind of Weeknd to it. I wonder how his neck is feeling with that weird posture on the album cover though? Anyhow, let's see where he goes!

Listen to Ride.

ZieZie

 

Hip hop has been massively inspired by Dancehall these past years, so I thought it was time to go straight to the source and include a dancehall track to the playlist. Won't reach out much more than this but had to make an exception at some point to highlight the influence dancehall has has on hip hop.

This is by ZieZie and was released recently. ZieZie is from Croydon, not far from where I used to live in London.

Listen to Fine Girl.

Thanks for reading

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