Marcus Dowling

63 items
review

Chris Brown - X

Chris Brown's attempts at appealing to all corners of the urban pop spectrum at-present are commendable, but possibly a case of the vocalist doing too much.

review

Jhene Aiko - Souled Out

Jhene Aiko's sterling debut brings a level of honesty, depth of feeling and candor to the R&B space, but stagnates just enough to cheapen its dreamscape.

42  
editorial

High Powered: What Dr. Dre's Apple Deal Means For Hip Hop's Corporate Interests

Apple's acquisition of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine's Beats Electronics has seemingly opened the door for major corporations to get in bed with Hip Hop...for better or worse.

5  
review

Diplo - Random White Dude Be Everywhere

Despite the inclusion of several re-releases, Diplo's "Random White Dude Be Everywhere" creates the perfect middle ground between club-friendly Dance and Rap.

5  
review

Trey Songz - Trigga

With "Trigga," Trey Songz succeeds using a simplified, "turnt up" formula for Pop stardom that excels at being commonplace, but not "common."

49  
editorial

The Roots, Conceptual Death & The Freedom Of "F--k You" Money

"And Then You Shoot Your Cousin?" is what happens when you give The Roots "f--k you" money and the ability to escape the bubble of Rap while still remaining relevant in Hip Hop culture.

18  
review

Kelis - Food

Kelis' "Food" is an album that invites rest for the artist as much as it does the listener and is a welcomed, intriguing and appreciated listen.

28  
editorial

Billionaire Minds: The Race To Become Rap's First Billionaire

In the race to amassing this new statement of ultimate Rap prosperity, between Diddy, Kanye West, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Pitbull & Nicki Minaj, there will be only one winner.

75  
review

Iggy Azalea - The New Classic

Iggy Azalea's "The New Classic" offers inoffensive and turnt-up party jams but ultimately falls flat lacking depth or much variety in subject matter.

95  
editorial

The Genesis: Why "Illmatic" Still Matters 20 Years Later

In embodying everything missing from modern Rap, without sounding dated or anachronistic in doing so, "Illmatic" could easily be the best rap release of 2014

2  
editorial

5 Rappers Poised For Rap/EDM Crossover Success

From A$AP Rocky to Angel Haze, the recent success of EDM-infused Hip Hop has ushered in a crop of artists poised to capitalize on cross-genre crossover appeal.

23  
review

Major Lazer - Apocalypse Soon

Major Lazer's "Apocalypse Soon" is a modernized and very listenable journey to the heart of a several genres expertly merged together.

14  
review

J. Cole & Dreamville Records - Revenge Of The Dreamers (Mixtape)

With "Revenge of the Dreamer," The J. Cole-led Dreamville quartet complete a picture of a solid vision, but none are yet greater than the sum of their parts.

45  
review

Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo

Every story and hook on Isaiah Rashad's "Cilvia Demo" connects on a human level. What it lacks in depth is covered by excellent production and raw talent.

review

French Montana - Coke Boys 4 (Mixtape)

Don't expect hyper-intellectual motivation on French Montana's "Coke Boys 4." He delivers the usual mix of vapid, yet soulful lifestyle Rap songs.

43  
interview

Smif-N-Wessun Detail Exploring Their Reggae Roots On "Born and Raised"

Exclusive: Tek and Steele how even late nights partying can be parlayed into a musical message and how things have come full circle since "Bucktown."

7  
review

Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip - The Abstract & The Dragon (Mixtape Review)

While it's only comprised of a handful of original tracks, "The Abstract And The Dragon" is a cohesive mix of Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip's old and new material.

47  
editorial

Pushed Aside: How Kanye West Failed Pusha T As An Executive Producer

Pusha T is a better rapper, artist, personality and creative force than was shown on "My Name Is My Name." A "G.O.O.D." deal of the blame lies with the album's executive producer, Kanye West.

editorial

M.I.A. And The Challenge Of Marketable Diasporic Trap Music

M.I.A.'s new album, "Matangi" brilliantly unifies the struggles of digital and universal minorities across the globe through the lens of Rap. So why aren't more people purchasing it?

26  
editorial

Dance Or Die: How EDM Can Destroy Hip Hop

Rap must find a way to rediscover the intrinsic connection to dance that lies at Hip Hop culture's core principles to avoid being killed by Electronic Dance Music's influence.

90  
review

Lloyd Banks - F.N.O.: Failure's No Option (Mixtape Review)

Lloyd Banks doesn't tread new lyrical territory with "FNO," but he tweaks a winning formula with a collection of songs that range from solid to catchy.

95  
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