Kendrick is placed under the microscope, using enthralling funk, jazz and soul compositions to fuel the uncomfortable, introspective ramblings that have been churning inside for half a decade.
The Detroit rapper crawls through a mountain of piano jazz production that leans toward melancholy, rapping with an introspective clarity that most artists take their entire career to achieve.
Staples creates a foil, musing with exhaustion about becoming disillusioned with his hometown over G-Funk-era production and DJ Mustard beats. Each bar arrives with clarity forged by years of observation, resulting in his most salient showing of introspection yet.
The CMG stars create enough moments that bring satisfaction, setting the standard for what one-off duos should aim for in the future, though it doesn't elevate either compared to their solo work.
Forever grants a mirror into Phife’s soul in the post-ATCQ breakup years. His musings on the importance of family and dedication to those around him, draped in a tight cloak of agile raps that could act as the standard for any era, exist as a timeless sendoff fitting for a legend.
The album is full of minute details that highlight Durk’s complexity as a character and a writer, wielding pain with a skill far beyond others who call themselves melodic rappers. However, too often the production formula runs stale as the piano-led instrumentals mush tracks together.
Both captivating and endearing, his reflective raps register as powerful and poignant at every turn, showcasing a storyteller at the peak of his abilities.
Trapping himself and the listener in Purgatory, he embarks upon a love letter to the 80s marked by the metallic sounds of Depeche Mode, The Human League and all-night disco parties.
Armed with an apathy for the industry he influenced, Keef breaks through the malaise of the streaming age, employing unpredictability by using a Russian Roulette of flows.
The singer undertakes an emotional excavation that spans themes such as love, sexual freedom, heartbreak and loss, while avoiding the pitfalls of unrelatability.
She displays an innate storytelling ability, marked with raw details about the intricacies of her emotions. Refusing to hold back, Walker covers the project in personal drama, navigating a balancing act between compelling and gratuitous.
Toliver embodies the same qualities that make his label-head so appealing to the masses: an uncanny ability to cook up flawless hooks and a vast set of melodies that make listeners forget he has almost nothing to say.
The album is a zany and authentic look into the mind of the most silly rapper alive.
The twenty year old breakout Tik Tok star lives up to every meme posted about her.
Simz forever breaks the divide between introvertism and extrovertism, refusing to fall under either classification .
The viral rapper sticks to the script for better and for worse.
Benny The Butcher back to doing what he does best.
Young Nudy proves he's the best rapper on Pi'erre Bourne beats, period.
Armed with a battalion of threats that reach to the darkest recesses of the dictionary, the Los Angeles rapper puts on a lyrical show stocked with consistent highs
The vulnerable R&B singer tries to take risks, despite mostly settling into a familiar vein with No I.D. production and Tyler, The Creator contributions.