Week 3/14- 3/21: Hip-Hop Releases
The last week of school coincided with a fairly active period of hip-hop releases including Mike Will Made-It’s awaited mixtape Ransom, Kirko Bangz follow-up to Progression IV, Progression V, and the mastered version of the Chief Keef and Kanye West collaboration Nobody. Each offering deserved a listen, albeit all for varying reasons:
Mike Will Made-It, Ransom
Ransom debuted December 15th, hoping to build off the tapes single, “Buy the World” featuring Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and Future. An incredibly popular producer who has dominated the mid-2010’s with collaborations spanning Miley Cyrus to Gucci Mane, Mike Will maintains a strong group of contributors with a plethora of Atlanta based artists including Rich Homie Quan, Rae Sremmurd, Migos, and iLoveMakonnen amongst other notables.
In its vast roster, the album is a lot of fun, with pretty much every popular rapper of the last 3 years making an appearance providing both variety and familiarity; there is a level of diversity in hearing a different individual per song, yet Mike Will’s productions are solid and formulaic.
Kirko Bangz, Progression V
After Progression IV consisting of only freestlyes, Kirko Bangz released all original music in his mixtape Progression V: Young Texas Player on December 16th. The tape largely fits the title, as the music is extremely Texas based in production, content, and guest-features; everything is codeine colored, chopped and screwed, and Houston legends Bun B, Pimp C, and Riff Raff join the mix.
Kirko legitimately shows a lot of promise, and appears to be the setting himself up as the next major artist coming out of Texas since Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Slim Thug enjoyed success throughout the 2000s. His music employs rap, singing, autotune, and a mixture of all three over classic southern instrumentals. Highlights include “Banging Screw” and “My Dawg.”
Chief Keef x Kanye West, “Nobody”
Chief Keef has released an absurd amount of music through his GloGang Worldwide’s Soundcloud. “Nobody” was a track previewed for the last couple of months, but it wasn’t until this week that a mastered, relatively official version was released.
The single itself is anything but similar to Keef’s Chicago drill-rap image, as it is a slow autotune balled with Kanye over a Chance the Rapper Acid Rap sample. Although Kanye doesn’t actually provide a verse, his influence is evident throughout the song, with “Nobody” playing like 808’s and Heartbreak meets the last three minutes of “Runaway” off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
This is probably Chief Keef’s first release with a flute accompaniment.