This is the 2nd EP from Ladera Heights MC, singer/songwriter, producer, actor, visual artist, designer & comedian Tyler, The Creator. Blowing up about 15 years ago as the de facto leader of Odd Future, he evolution both artistically & personally since the collective’s disbandment in 2015 has truly been amongst the most fascinating ones I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime going from the bratty edginess of Bastard & Goblin to the undeniable maturity & versatility shown on Flower Boy & IGOR. Even Tyler’s last album Call Me If You Get Lost happened to be his best lyrically & as he gears up for his next one this summer continuing the 2-year schedule that he started on, he’s giving fans a collection of outtakes from the CMIYLG outtakes in the form of The Estate Sale.
After the “EVERYTHING MUST GO” intro, the first song “STUNTMAN” with Vince Staples is an energetic trap banger to the EP as they pay homage to “Swagger International” by Pharrell essentially whereas “WHAT A DAY” has a more colorful tone to it thanks to Madlib as Tyler talks about being your biggest cheerleader. WANG$AP reunites for the synth-laced “WHARF TALK” discussing getting lost together with their significant others just before “DOGTOOTH” is a jazzy, dirty south/neo-soul hybrid expresses Tyler’s desire for a woman that he can satisfy. The song “HEAVEN TO ME” details what his version of the pearly gates is over a boom bap instrumental while the penultimate track “BOYFRIEND, GIRLFRIEND” with YG is a funky pop rap ode to love. “SORRY NOT SORRY” however ends the EP with a bare sample of “He Made You Mine” by Brighter Side of Darkness wavering between apologizing both sarcastically & genuinely.
Given the ending of the closer’s music video where the authentic Tyler kills off all his past eras, it’s clear that he’s getting ready to drop his 7th album this summer & I think The Estate Sale is an excitingly short offering that’ll keep everyone satisfied until then. Tyler’s production plays into the mix of styles that Call Me If You Get Lost revealed to have sonically & his still bringing his A-game with the pen. Here’s to the new chapter from hip hop’s most beloved unique personalities in just a few months.
Hodgy is a 31 year old MC, producer & music video director from Trenton, New Jersey who came up 1/2 of the duo MellowHype alongside Left Brain in the mid/late 2000s prior to helping I Smell Panties, Casey Veggies & The Jet Age of Tomorrow form the impactful albeit now defunct alternative hip hop collective Odd Future. He was also the first person in the Wolf Gang to put out a solo effort, dropping his debut mixtape The Dena Tape only 9 months after the crew put out their 1st tape as a unit The Odd Future Tape. Higashi Miyagi would go on to expand his solo discography with 2 more mixtapes & 3 EPs prior to his full-length debut Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide a day before my 20th birthday which to this day, I still think it’s possibly the most criminally overlooked offering that we’ve gotten since OF’s disbandment due to how much growth was shown on that album. But after taking 5 & a half years off to focus on his personal life, Hodgy is finally returning with his 4th EP.
“Everyday” sets off the EP with Hodgy over some crooning boom bap production from Jeff Wootton & Ging talking about always staying on the grind whereas “People Change” is MellowHype reunion taking a more minimal trap route addressing his growth as a person. The song “Into Someone” works in an acoustic guitar to get in his romance bag while the penultimate track “We Never Knew” finds MellowHype reuniting once more accompanied by a cloudy trap beat spitting some braggadocio. “Again” ends the EP with yet another acoustic ballad singing about a bitch who’s crazy.
This dude has been off the radar even longer than Kendrick & it’s not my favorite solo effort that he’s done, but it’s very much respectable. I respect that he’s trying to expand as an artist & not only do I find how he does it to be solid, but I also knew he’d have some shit to get off his chest lyrically about where he’s at now in life given that he’s been gone for a minute & he delivers.
Earl Sweatshirt is a 27 year old MC/producer from Los Angeles, California who began his career in 2008 under the name Sly Tendencies. He posted a handful of tracks for a mixtape called Kitchen Cutlery on MySpace, but the tape would never be released to this day. Then he formed a rap trio with 2 of his friends called The Backpackerz & planned to release a mixtape together by the name of World Playground, but they disbanded sometime in 2009. Shortly after, he joined Odd Future & appeared on their 2nd & final mixtape Radical that May. 10 months later, he put out his only mixtape to date Earl with OF’s de facto leader Tyler, The Creator producing a bulk of it. The tape received a lot of buzz, but Earl’s mother would send him to a therapeutic retreat school for at-risk boys in Samoa sometime after until February of 2012. He was then granted his own Columbia Records imprint Tan Cressida Records & released his full-length debut Doris in 2013 to critical acclaim for his clever rhyme schemes & the gritty production from those such as The Neptunes & even the RZA. He then formed the duo Hog Slaughta Boyz with OF affiliate Na’kel at the beginning of 2015 & released his sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside a couple months after. Many of which consider to be better than Doris for it’s darker aesthetic. Some Rap Songs not only wound up being my favorite album of 2018, but also the best work of Earl’s career as I look at it as the bastard child of one of my all-time favorites album: Madvillainy. But after dropping a small handful of average SRS leftovers in the form of Feet of Clay the year after through an ongoing Warner Records distribution deal, he’s returning from the shadows with his 4th full-length.
“Old Friend” kicks off the album with a bare orchestral loop from The Alchemist cryptically addressing someone he’s still cool with whereas “2010” has a cloudy trap vibe with the help of Black Noi$e talking about the days when he was hungry. The title track has a more fuzzier tone produced by Navy Blue saying he won’t let the devil in just before ZeelooperZ tags along for the extravagant “Vision”. Meanwhile on “Tabula Rasa”, we have Armand Hammer joining Earl in discussing the blank slate theory on top of some plinky piano chords & a vocal chop just before “Lyre” talks about making it straight over some horns.
“Lobby” gets on some grim trap shit detailing being a superhuman while the song “God Laughs” has a atmospheric yet drumless feel to it talking about searching for his lost halo. The penultimate track “Titanic” is an abstract trap banger showcasing some clever bars such as “Get ghost like I need a killer”, but then “Fire in the Hole” ends the album by working in a guitar talking about how he needed another go.
Given how mid Feet of Clay was, it didn’t really worry me going into Sick! because I knew he was gonna expand on the experimental sounds of Some Rap Songs & that just so happens to be the case here. Another thing that makes the album highly enjoyable for me is him telling the world how he’s been dealing with the pandemic.
Tyler, The Creator is a 30 year old rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, actor, visual artist, designer & comedian from Ladera Heights, California blowing up a decade ago as the de facto leader of Odd Future. His evolution both artistically & personally since the collective’s disbandment in 2015 has truly been amongst the most fascinating ones I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime, going from the bratty edginess of Bastard & Goblin to the undeniable maturity & versatility shown on Flower Boy & Igor. I have a lot of fond memories of Tyler’s early work back in middle school/early high school, but I do think his last 2 albums are his best ones yet musically. That being said, I’ve been waiting all year for this day to come & I’m thrilled that it has.
“Sir Baudliere” starts off by introducing us to the Tyler Baudliere character over a sample of “Michael Irvin” by Westside Gunn whereas “Corso” serves as an off-the-wall follow-up “talkin’ that fresh shit”. “Lemonhead” with 42 Dugg of all people has a grimy ass instrumental & the 2 are just flexing, but then “Wusyaname” with YoungBoy Never Broke Again samples “Back Seat (Wit No Sheets)” by H-Town & details falling in love with a woman they just met.
Meanwhile on “Lumberjack”, Tyler takes it back to the “Yonkers” days with it’s boom bap production sampling the Gravediggaz just before he & Lil Wayne jump on a flute heavy beat for “Hot Wind Blows” to talk about landing in Geneva as well as reminiscing on leaving LA for the first time on the spacey “Massa”. Following this is the triumphant spending anthem “Runitup” & after that, Domo Genesis reunites with T on “Manifesto” saying people are fake mad on top of samples of both Jimmy Smith & Nas.
“Sweet” starts off as a neo-soul cut telling this woman how much he loves her with the 2nd half “I Thought You Wanted to Dance” is a duet with Fana Hues that I almost wanna say goes into reggae territory. After the “Momma Talk” skit, DAISY comes in to picture to clap back at their non-believers on the glossy boom bap banger “Rise!” co-produced by Jamie xx leading into the “Blessed” interlude.
The song “Juggernaut” with Lil Uzi Vert & Pharrell is a bombastic homage to the iconic Gucci Mane joint “Lemonade” while the penultimate track “Wilshire” works in some dusty drums & mellow synths speaking on a failed relationship he had with his homie’s girl for damn near 9 minutes. Finally, the closer “Safari” triumphantly speaks on his influence & impact on music featuring co-production from Jay Versace.
Every album Tyler has ever put out sounds completely different than one another & Call Me If You Get Lost is a fine addition to his discography. He goes back into a more hip hop-based sound in comparison to the poppy vibes of IGOR, but it feels like a throwback to the Gangsta Grillz mixtape days with DJ Drama’s narrations & dude is at his best in terms of the bars on here.
Ace Hashimoto is a 31 year old rapper, producer, singer & songwriter from Chicago, Illinois coming up as a member of the now defunct Odd Future under his birth name brandUn DeShay in 2008. He would eventually depart the collective a couple years later as a result of a falling out with it’s de facto leader Tyler, The Creator but still saw success on his own by producing for the likes of Danny Brown & Chance the Rapper. It should also be noted that brandUn has dropped a small handful of mixtapes since his OF days, my personal favorite of the bunch being All Day DeShay: AM. But with a new moniker & a 5 year hiatus since his previous tape goldUn Child 2, the Chi-Town artist is re-emerging by dropping what he says “might be my first & last” full-length album.
“ZOMBIE: The Entrail-duction is a instrumental piece, but then the first actual song “GIRLS” is a summery duet with ph-1 as the 2 sing about enjoying sweet freedom. The track “O.M.W. (One Man Woman)” is an acoustic cut about being ready for his partner whereas Ace & Taichi Mukai come together to take what’s theirs on the synth-heavy “2NITE”.
Meanwhile on “TRAK STAR”, we get an instrumental that sounds like something The Neptunes would’ve produced in the late 90’s/early 2000’s along with lyrics about wanting his partner to stay the night whereas Sir Michael Rocks & Devin Morrison come together to talk about staying inside on the piano-heavy “Great Indoors”. Ta-Ra tags along for the funky “Bad Habits” helping Ace sing about not being a shitty person while he takes things in a more jazzier direction on the tender “Affection”.
The track “4Everything” has a more boom bap sound to it as he & Kero 1 tell their lovers they “ain’t no Casanova” before pondering why he returned to his ex when their love was no more on the glossy “Nice to Know You”. After the rock-influenced “Etika’s Interlude”, the final song “I Feel Fly” is a peppy duet with Mon’aerie that I wish was longer than 56 seconds & the closer “Ending Theme” is just a skit done in Japanese.
If you’re going into this expecting the hip hop sound Ace Hashimoto came up on, you might be disappointed because Play Make Believe is a full blown R&B album. The features are kinda hit or miss but Ace’s singing has improved, the songwriting is catchy & the production is super crisp. Whatever the future holds for him, I wish him nothing but the best.
This is the new surprise EP from Illinois born/California raised lyricist Earl Sweatshirt, known for being a member of the now defunct Odd Future collective. He made his debut in 2010 with his only mixtape to date Earl which was solid, but Earl’s mother would send him to a therapeutic retreat school for at-risk boys in Samoa sometime after until February of 2012. Earl was then granted his own Columbia Records imprint Tan Cressida Records & released his debut album Doris in 2013 to critical acclaim for improving on Earl. Then came the duo Hog Slaughta Boyz with OF affiliate Na’kel at the beginning of 2015 along with Earl’s sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside a couple months after. Many of which consider to be better than Doris for it’s darker aesthetic. Earl laid low until last November with his magnum opus Some Rap Songs & almost a year later, here we are with Feet of Clay.
The opener “74” is pretty much Earl shittalking over a grimy piano sample while the next song “EAST” touches down on alcoholism over an odd accordion sample. The track “M.T.O.B.” talks about the death of his father over a soulful instrumental while the song “OD” venting about loneliness over some horns & background vocals. The track “El Toro Combo Meal” with Mavi sees the 2 getting reflective over a smooth instrumental while the song “Tisktisk / Cookies” vents about depression over a dark instrumental. Then the closer “4N” with Mach-Hommy finds the 2 talking shit just like the opening cut & I really like the clever Michael Henderson sample on here.
This was a nice lil Halloween surprise. It feels more like a small collection of Some Rap Songs leftovers from the lo-fi production as well as the content & the brevity, but I’ll take it. Can’t wait to see where Earl takes things on the next album.
This is the 6th full-length album from California rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, music video director & designer: Tyler, The Creator. Who rose to international stardom at the beginning of the decade as the de facto leader of the now defunct collective Odd Future with the help of the music video of his breakout single “Yonkers”. Last time we heard Tyler in a long capacity was in 2017 with the release of Flower Boy. Easily his magnum opus & one of the greatest hip hop albums of this decade, where we saw his full artistic & personal evolution with personal lyrics & colorful production. Tyler even saw fit to drop an EP this past winter to coincide with The Grinch & while that was ok, it seems like he’s ready to deliver his long-awaited follow-up to Flower Boy.
The album kicks off with “IGOR’S THEME”, which is a repetitive yet entrancing piece with an instrumental that keeps making well-constructed turns left & right. The next song “EARFQUAKE” with Playboi Carti sees the 2 telling their significant others that they need them in their lives over a atmospheric beat while the track “I THINK” is a catchy love tune with a synth-funk instrumental. After the “EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING” skit, we go into the song “RUNNING OUT OF TIME”. Where Tyler calls out his ex’s true colors over a spacey beat. The track “NEW MAGIC WAND” sees Tyler begging his lover not to dump him over a noisy beat while the song “A BOY IS A GUN” is a soulful tune where Tyler is telling this person he’s here for them.
The track “PUPPET” with Kanye West talks about being controlled by a lover over a blissful instrumental while the song “WHAT’S GOOD” vents about depression over a beat that starts off eerie, but later switches into something more chaotic. The track “GONE, GONE / THANK YOU” starts off as a sunny R&B tune about how his love’s no longer here, but then it transitions into an interlude where Tyler is thanking this ex of his. The penultimate track “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE” is of course a breakup anthem with a punchy yet meditative beat & then the album ends with “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”, where Tyler & Pharrell team up to deliver a slow yet beautiful R&B cut with a fitting Al Green sample.
As I expected from the snippets, this a nice change of pace. Tyler’s going into a more neo-soul direction while fusing it with the sounds of his 2015 album Cherry Bomb. You could compare it to M.I.A.’s ΛΛ Λ Y Λ because Kala & Flower Boy were M.I.A. & Tyler’s most accessible albums & both of them turned around to deliver their most experimental efforts yet. Just another example of why T is the most creative recording artists of this decade. Here’s to whatever he has coming in 2021.
Earl Sweatshirt is a 24 year old MC & producer from Los Angeles, California who began his career in 2008 under the name Sly Tendencies. He posted a handful of tracks for a mixtape called Kitchen Cutlery on MySpace, but the tape would never be released to this day. Then he formed a rap trio with 2 of his friends called The Backpackerz & planned to release a mixtape together titled World Playground, but they disbanded sometime in 2009. Shortly after, he joined Odd Future & appeared on their 2nd & final mixtape Radical that May. 10 months later, he put out his only mixtape to date Earl with OF’s de facto leader Tyler, The Creator producing a bulk of it. The tape received a lot of buzz, but Earl’s mother would send him to a therapeutic retreat school for at-risk boys in Samoa sometime after until February of 2012. He was then granted his own Columbia Records imprint Tan Cressida Records & released his debut album Doris in 2013 to critical acclaim for his clever rhyme schemes & the gritty production from those such as The Neptunes & even the RZA. He then formed the duo Hog Slaughta Boyz with OF affiliate Na’kel at the beginning of 2015 & released his sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside a couple months after. Many of which consider to be better than Doris for it’s darker aesthetic. He’s been laying low since then but with the deaths of his father Keorapetse Kgositsile as well as his his uncle Hugh Masekela & his friend Mac Miller earlier this year, he’s putting out his highly anticipated 3rd album.
The album begins with “Shattered Dreams”, where Earl discusses his comeback over a soul sample. The next track “Red Water” serves as a short yet equally gratifying sequel to Solace while the song “Cold Summers” uses some clever gun imagery over a mellow instrumental. The track “Nowhere2Go” talks about depression over a glitchy abstract instrumental while the song “December 24” gets intellectually conscious over a Denmark Vessey instrumental with a prominently gloomy piano sample. The track “Ontheway!” talks about his mood swinging over a smooth guitar sample while “The Mint” with Navy Blue sees the 2 talking about fighting their demons over an amazing piano loop.
“The Bends” touches down on his success over a soul sample & some strings while the song “Loosie” seems to talk about a backstabber over a slow yet funky beat. The track “Azucar” talks about how he’s been coping with his depression over a blissful instrumental while the song “Eclipse” is about him missing his shine. The track “Veins” talks about keeping faith over an AMAZING Curtis Mayfield sample & after the heartwarming “Playing Possum” interlude from Earl’s parents, the penultimate track “Peanut” discusses the deaths of Keorapetse & Hugh over a settle yet dark beat. The album ends with “Riot!”, which is an instrumental cut heavily sampling the Hugh Masekela song with the same name.
This has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2018 & at the end, Earl has just given what I believe to be the best album I’ve heard all year. I’m a little disappointed that it’s only 25 minutes long, but the Madvillainy influenced production is super creative & Earl continues to prove himself as the 2nd best lyricist of the decade (#1 of course being Kendrick Lamar) by cleverly detailing the darkest year of his life.
Tyler, The Creator is a 27 year old rapper, producer & music video director from Ladera Heights, California who rose to prominence as the co-founder & de facto leader of the alternative hip hop collective Odd Future in 2011 with the viral success of the track “Yonkers” off his debut album Goblin. In 2015 though, OF broke off to focus on their solo careers in 2015 with Earl Sweatshirt’s sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside & The Internet’s 3rd album Ego Death being WAY better than Tyler’s disheveled 3rd album Cherry Bomb. However, he really showed maturity & artistic evolution with his last album Flower Boy that came out last July. He’s been on a 1-project every 2 years schedule since he dropped his only mixtape to date Bastard on Christmas 2009 but almost a decade later, he’s dropping his very 1st EP inspired by the new Grinch movie.
The opener “Whoville” is a luscious piano piece & then the first actual song “Lights On” sees T getting with Santigold & Ryan Beatty to tell 3 different situations on their way back home over some synths & explosive drums. The track “Hot Chocolate” is a smooth ode to the titular drink while the song “Big Bag” sums up the main plot points of the film over a somber beat. The track “When Gloves Come Off” is a predominantly blissful instrumental piece with some decent singing during it’s first leg & then the closer “Cindy Lou’s Wish” is pretty much a hypnotic instrumental.
As much as I love Tyler, this was just ok. The instrumentals feel like leftovers from FlowerBoy & even though I like them a lot, I’m not gonna be dying to come back to them since they’re mostly packaged with lyrics clearly commissioned for a holiday blockbuster.
About 8 months after the release of his last mixtape Red Corolla, Odd Future member Domo Genesis is coming back lowkey with his 6th mixtape & he has enlisted Evidence of Dilated Peoples to produce it in it’s entirety. The opener “Me vs. Me” vents about internal conflict over a jazzy yet gloomy instrumental. The next song “Shaq Carries Kobe” with [Phonte takes a jab at all the phony dudes out there over a mellow beat while the track “Free Kirk” talks about going from a hustler to a rapper & the instrumental is pretty much a thunderstorm with a sample in the middle of it. The song “BBB” gets confrontational over an eerie instrumental & then the track “Sing Me a Song” getting insightful yet ambitious over a smooth beat.
The song “Brake” may be only 2 minutes long, but he sounds menacing over a Latin guitar. The 1-minute “Fuck a Co-Sign” sees Evidence himself making the song for itself over a soulful beat. Although I wish Domo had a verse on here to make it a little longer, it was still great to hear Ev rapping on here. The closer “Hood Famous” touches down on living by your limits & the piano on here is absolutely beautiful. Despite being 20 minutes long, this was still a very dope tape. The production isn’t superior than No Idols, but it’s still pretty relaxing & it suits Domo’s flow