Jesse Fairfax

Freelance Music Journalist

Location icon United States

Eminem 'Kamikaze' Review

As a white guy in hip-hop-a once-marginalized demographic that is now bordering on omnipresent- Eminem has always been focused on earning respect from his peers and from an audience looking for reasons to shun his very existence. Sixteen years ago, he declared that "a plaque and platinum status is wack if I'm not the baddest."

Bandcamp Daily
A Guide To Chuuwee's Eclectic Hip-Hop Catalog on Bandcamp

Initially seen as a potential savior for boom bap hip-hop, Sacramento's Chuuwee has remained flexible to the genre's changes without ever compromising his lyrical gift. Steadily releasing music for almost a decade, his messages are occasionally subject to listener interpretation but his arsenal contains elements required of a well-rounded rapper: flow, cadence, multisyllabic couplets, and a variety of topic material amongst other key facets.

Review: Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." Pads His Generational GOAT Status

If one were to pinpoint the mission statement of Kendrick Lamar's impassioned manifestos throughout his career, an accurate place to land would be Section.80's "Ab-Soul's Outro" where he quips, "I'm not the next pop star, I'm not the next socially aware rapper, I am a human muthafucking being over dope ass instrumentation."

Crack Magazine
Mac Miller - Mixed by Jesse Fairfax

Last Friday (7 September), the hip-hop community was shocked to hear about the sad passing of Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller; he was just 26 years old. Critics, fans and collaborators mourned an artist who constantly seemed to be developing and growing.

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book Review

On the cusp of becoming a household name, Chance The Rapper has glided towards stardom almost exclusively from an online buzz that's just begun gaining real world traction.

Review: J. Cole Illustrates Thug Paradise With "4 Your Eyez Only"

Initially a bright-eyed kid with dreams of being celebrated amongst Hip Hop's elite, J. Cole claimed a double platinum certification for his last release 2014 Forest Hills Drive, thanks to the RIAA's updated streaming metrics (and fans' heavily vested interest).

Review: Tyler, The Creator Finally Makes An Album You Don't Have To Defend With "Flower Boy"

Routinely using the internet to make his presence felt, nearly a year ago Tyler, The Creator sent shockwaves through Twitter as he laid his infamous "@fucktyler" handle to rest. He claimed the move was for professional purposes, but it was the culmination of a gradual maturity and development to take place as he's become a multimedia staple over the course of seven years.

Jay Rock 'Redemption' Review

For three decades and counting, Los Angeles has been home to historic hip-hop dynasties that have changed pop culture. Without question, Compton has had the greatest seismic impact given its storied past (examples include NWA, Death Row and DJ Quik) that made way for Game to break down floodgates with his mid-2000s ascent.

Tee Grizzley 'Activated' Review

Benefitting from the implications of inexorable street credibility and its often swift means of building buzz, Detroit's Tee Grizzley has no qualms about using his backstory-he was arrested for robbery in multiple states-to his advantage.

Vinyl Me Please
A Miami Rap Primer

The Best Rap Albums From The 305 A hotbed for partying, beautiful people and debaucherous decadence, Miami has produced numerous hip-hop stars over the past three decades. Spearheaded by the 305's unofficial mayor Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke) and the 2 Live Crew, Campbell ushered in the career of Trick Daddy whose label Slip-N-Slide Records was the catalyst for the city's present lynchpin figure Rick Ross.

Bandcamp Daily
A Guide To The Wrecking Crew's Progressive Throwback Sound

Zilla Rocca's career is a juggling act. A rapper, producer, author, and the uncredited creator of the term "noir rap," the South Philadelphia native has parlayed his love of dramatic black-and-white film into a rich catalog of raw boom-bap that he creates with a group of collaborators known as the Wrecking Crew.

Vinyl Me Please
The 10 Best Stones Throw Albums To Own On Vinyl

Initially starting out as an outlet for the West Coast's hip-hop underground scene with an emphasis on Madlib's output, Stones Throw Records has grown to become one of the premier labels for quality alternative art across multiple genres for two decades now.

Bandcamp Daily
Lifetime Achievement: A Journey Into Diggs Duke's Lofty Eclectic Soul Catalog

In our Lifetime Achievement series, Bandcamp Daily takes a deep dive into the work of artists with a staggering number of releases to their name. Diggs Duke is an enigmatic figure, whose sporadic output and limited social media presence adds another layer of intrigue to his already-mysterious persona.

Bandcamp Daily
(Liv).e is a Promising Experimental R&B Nomad

Though she's barely out of high school, Dallas vocalist Olivia Williams has an old soul, making music that lands somewhere between the garbled funk of 1971 Sly Stone and the free-spirited R&B of another Dallas stalwart, Erykah Badu.

Review: Rapsody Makes Her Elders Proud With "Laila's Wisdom"

Rapsody, the polar opposite of low-frequency acts mimicking trends and selling empty fantasy, shifts the paradigm by centering Laila's Wisdom around self-love without a shred of arrogance. With so much new music being released, many artists don't stand a chance at wide embrace without a number of stars aligning.

Bandcamp Daily
Album of the Day: Open Mike Eagle, "Brick Body Kids Still Daydream"

Open Mike Eagle's new album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, is a love letter to Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, an infamous public housing project completely demolished in 2007, that's told with the rapper's trademark blend of witty quips and bleak social commentary.

Bandcamp Daily
Album of the Day: Terrace Martin Presents The Pollyseeds, "Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1"

Over the course of his career, multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin has crafted rap beats for West Coast stalwarts Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, while also earning respect as a leader in L.A.'s jazz scene. Martin's craft defies simple boundaries: he looks to icons like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker with the same regard he has for hometown hero DJ Quik and new jack swing pioneer Teddy Riley.

Review: With "Big Fish Theory," Vince Staples Swims Laps Ahead Of Convention

Annoying, confounding, inspiring or entertaining depending on your perspective, Vince Staples' equally swift wit and intellect have made him Hip Hop's most charming anomaly. Craftily (let him tell it, unintentionally) he's self-branded himself as a coolly removed outsider from rap's shenanigans while exuding the charisma required of a class clown.

Bandcamp Daily
How Tanya Morgan Became A Rap Group and Sustained Itself Over The Years

The first time you hear the name "Tanya Morgan," you may think someone is talking about an obscure '80s R&B singer. In fact, Tanya Morgan is a rap group, comprised of lyricists Von Pea and Donwill, who met through Okayplayer's message boards, and who then invited Don's old rhyming partner Ilyas to join the fold.

Bandcamp Daily
Moniquea's New Album Blurs The Line Between Funk and New Wave

Growing up in the era of '80s funk had a profound effect on the California singer Moniquea. Being surrounded by the music of Prince and The S.O.S. Band-as well as the musicians in her own family-not only shaped her personality, it made her want to become a performer herself.

Review: Rick Ross Proves His Blueprint Is Teflon With "Rather You Than Me"

Nothing if not consistent, with Rather You Than Me Rick Ross shows little artistic growth while making a convincing argument for why he's come to be ranked within today's elite. While most of Hip Hop's leading figures have fused fantasy and reality for the past two decades, few have outperformed expectations and escaped falling off like one Rick Ross.

Review: Brother Ali's Good Fight Continues With "All The Beauty In This Whole Life"

Using struggle to build character personally and professionally, Minnesota's Brother Ali has defied the odds stacked against him to become a long-running underground success story. Not only is he a Hip Hop outlier due to albinism, xenophobia within America's society automatically renders him a menace because of a teenage conversion to Islam.

Bandcamp Daily
Ill Camille on Her New Album and Why the Term 'Woman MC' is a Diss

Ill Camille comes from a long line of blue-collar workers and jazz musicians, all of whom make up her essence as an MC. A product of Los Angeles' historic View Park/Leimert Park-black communities with varied income brackets-she spent her teenage years in the much quieter Inland Empire, where she met friends who influenced her rapping.

Review: GoldLink Honors D.C.'s Good, Bad & Ugly With "At What Cost"

As it stands, modern day casual Hip Hop listeners have become increasingly slow to embrace newer acts that aren't loose extensions (if not blatant carbon copies) of already viral sensations. This explains why Washington, D.C. native GoldLink has remained relatively undiscovered by the masses despite having a stellar 2015 where he built a devoted grassroots following.

Review: Ill Camille Turns Pressure Into Diamonds With "Heirloom"

In an uninspiring time where commercial marketability is placed at a higher premium than talent, Ill Camille sidesteps such perplexity to make art focused on honest introspection. Well aware that she's an anomaly to a rap world intimidated by uncontrollable femininity and record labels interested in selling one-dimensional fantasy, Camille has found it necessary to portray her every facet and mood with transparency.

Bandcamp Daily
A New York Blizzard Inspired Jansport J's Aggressive New Album

As a child growing up in Covina, California (a diverse suburb of Los Angeles), Justin Williams fell in love with the sound of Timbaland's productions. His use of thumping drums and unusual instrumentation sparked Williams' imagination.

Bandcamp Daily
Album of the Day: CohenBeats, "Daily Affirmations"

Over the course of several years and multiple releases, producer CohenBeats has made a name for himself by sculpting multifaceted beats with a Middle Eastern focus. A native of Tel Aviv, Cohen rose to prominence as one-third of local trio [email protected] When he moved to Los Angeles in 2011, he connected with scene stalwarts like Gaslamp Killer and Samiyam.

Review: The Game's "1992" Strengthens One Of The GOAT Rap Discographies

HipHopDX wants all of you readers to know we take all of our reviews very seriously, down to every last decimal point in the rating. To let all of you in on how the traditional review process goes, we decided to publish conversation that led up to The Game's Meek Mill-slandering, eighth studio album, 1992, earning its 4.1 rating.

Bandcamp Daily
Skyzoo and Apollo Brown's "The Easy Truth" is a Labor of Love

Having released more than 20 LPs between them since 2010, it's safe to say rapper Skyzoo and producer Apollo Brown are proficient musicians. The former, a complex wordsmith, has developed into one of hip-hop's leading MCs; the latter, an underground favorite, mixes hard drums and scratchy soul samples, becoming a go-to producer in indie hip-hop.

Abandoned Theme Park
Tanya Morgan - Abandoned Theme Park Interview

Moonlighting has been a hell of a rollercoaster ride, so it's fitting that their latest EP is titled Abandoned Theme Park. Having survived touring nightmares, label woes, and lineup changes amongst other hurdles, core members Donwill and Von Pea personally journeyed from Brooklyn to Cincinnati (with their combined forces creating the fictionalized city Brooklynati), Maryland, and overseas to land at the present moment: a fresh new release recently recorded in real time without being...

Bandcamp Daily
I, Ced's Soulful Rebellion

In early 2001, Cedric Norah left home in St. Louis, Missouri, to pursue his musical dreams in Los Angeles. Eventually, Norah's grind paid off-thanks to a combination of business acumen, an established network of industry connections, and his raw musical skill. Recording as I, Ced, Norah bridles against easy categorizations.

Can't Knock The Hustle: Why Jay Z Hates The War On Drugs

To call America's racial issues problematic would be putting it mildly (for goodness sakes, we have a presidential platform practically being run on intolerance with constituents openly in support.) Hip Hop is one of the forces uniting youth of every ethnicity*, and in a society obsessed with all things "cool"** it plays a sizeable role in everything from daily fashion to slang and even one's gait.

Bandcamp Daily
Album of the Day: Tall Black Guy, "Let's Take A Trip"

Over the course of two albums-one under the alias "Yusef Rumperfield"-Detroit producer Tall Black Guy has forged his own distinct path through hip-hop, even if his mix of hard drums and obscure samples aren't breaking new ground. On Let's Take A Trip , TBG stays the course, offering up a soundtrack for escape.

Review: Duckwrth Waxes Imperfections On "I'm Uugly"

With his sights set on riding the Los Angeles wave to stardom, relative newcomer Duckwrth faces the challenge of distinguishing himself from a metropolis full of homogeneous undiscovered youngsters and their rap dreams. Fashion forward to the eclectic present, the South Central native counts Pharrell Williams and Andre 3000 amongst his major influences much like any kid found hanging in his city's Fairfax district.

Review: Blu & Fa†e Take A Strange Journey On "Open Your Optics To Optimism"

Fusing the religious and secular worlds before Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper rose to prominence, Blu has spent much of his career embodying somewhat of a self-ordained prophet. From the nickname Godlee Barnes to the grand opus Below the Heavens and mixtape titled Jesus, it's clear he's been more preoccupied with self-completion than living up to anyone's lofty industry expectations.

Vince Staples - Prima Donna Review

Intentionally avoiding limelight and excess notoriety, Vince Staples has surpassed early expectations matching his charming personality with a continuous stream of progressive releases. Known by many to be a jokester online, his biting sense of humor could be taken as either a defense mechanism against the nihilism of losing friends to tragedies not limited to violence and drug abuse; or perhaps his wit intends to disarm the hesitations of those who could otherwise overlook his sophisticated...

Michael Christmas & Prefuse 73 a.k.a. Fudge - Lady Parts Review

Refusing to become a victim of one-dimensional branding, Boston's Michael Christmas is relatable to subscribers from numerous walks of life. True to himself at all times, he speaks for doubt riddled adolescents stumbling their way into adulthood, meanwhile, adults with a fetish for pure emceeing embrace him despite his being raised in the internet's post-Soulja Boy era.

Who Is Max B And Why Is He Important To Hip Hop?

With Max B's freedom on the horizon, many younger Hip Hop fans have been publicly asking why do people care so much about the caged wave god. Besides the obviousness of him being locked up, Jesse Fairfax gives a convoluted overview of the life of Charly Wingate from a New Yorker's lens.

Thug Holiday: HipHopDX Remembers Tupac's Legacy In Full

For just five years in the music and film industries, Tupac Shakur made an unparalleled impact on American pop culture unlike any other rap artist that preceded his cometh. Yet he has been revered for the past twenty years since as Hip Hop culture's most storied martyr, and a Black American revolutionary.

Bandcamp Daily
Denmark Vessey's Unconventional Wisdom

Denmark Vessey. Photo by Elyssa Goodman for Bandcamp "I don't want anybody to try pinpointing me. I want to be able to do what I want at any given point."-Denmark Vessey In his 2012 video for "Cult Classic," rapper Denmark Vessey walks through the subway dressed as a fictional cult leader named Dr. Yessev.

Nipsey Hussle - Slauson Boy 2 Review

Inspiring respect on the grounds of self-sufficiency and brutal determination, Nipsey Hussle is far from the average West Coast role model. Hailing from a background devoid of glamour, it makes sense that his drive easily transitioned to the independent route after failing to find a label willing to fully back his visions.

Bandcamp Daily
Album Premiere: Vritra, "Yellowing"

Hal Williams consistently pushes against the grain. Under his current moniker, Vritra, he crafts woozy, complex hip-hop that rattles and shakes. "I want to bring in people [who] don't really listen to rap," Williams says. "I want people to respect lyricism, and how creative rappers are with flow and experimenting with tempo."

Snoop Dogg - Coolaid Review

Maintaining relevance by remaining open to new ideas is a key to longevity and respect, a concept Snoop Dogg has a keen knack for at this point. Last year's snoozed over LP BUSH was the overdue culmination of collaborations with long-time benefactor Pharrell Williams but the world's most recognizable rapper returns to form having outlasted practically all of his peers with , his fourteenth solo album.

Mass Appeal - The Land Soundtrack Review

Maintaining staying power that most Hip Hop acts can only wish for, public interest in Nas' comings and goings never seems to dwindle for long. Despite four years passing since his last album, Life is Good, fervor is once again reaching a feverish pitch with a recent return on DJ Khaled's recent star-studded Major Key.

15 Incoherent Rap Classics You Love Regardless

Though commercially successful Hip Hop songs aren't easily made, the concept is simple: make something that optimally sticks in a listener's head forever. From Rob Base's "It Takes Two" to hearing Fatman Scoop's chants on "Be Faithful" ad nauseam every time we're in a party setting, applying the caveman's cheat code has been the quickest way to capturing the masses.

Bishop Nehru - Magic 19 Review

Bishop Nehru has the basic mechanics of rapping together, but the confusion of early adulthood has him failing to make strides in the rat race. Youth culture centers around at least two concepts: constantly evolving energy (commonly known as the "cool factor") that threatens to render embittered old heads out of touch, and a staunch refusal to embrace the mere thought of adult responsibility.

Open Mike Eagle & Paul White - Hella Personal Film Festival

Since dedicating himself to trudging through the murky swampland where art and commerce tend to be at odds, (with the help of semi-prestigious boutique Mello Music Group) Open Mike Eagle's profile has expanded exponentially. At it for years now, the success of 2014's Dark Comedy catapulted the Project Blowed alum turned (now defunct) Hellfyre Club offshoot towards becoming somewhat of a counterculture staple.

Terrace Martin - Velvet Portraits

Hip Hop's swagger and bravado have piqued global interest as this generation's idea of cool, but before becoming commercially viable (no different from most forms of black music) its beginnings were spawned from pain.

J-Zone - Fish-N-Grits

The digital age is a free for all where some acts fall through the cracks because marketing and timing trump the importance of talent, thus J-Zone's back catalog consists of barely cherished artifacts. Not that his work is from an era that's far behind us, but it's remained largely undiscovered with popular tastemakers including Questlove just catching on in more recent history.

Oddisee Explores Winning Independently On His Own Terms - WatchLOUD

By Jesse Fairfax With the exception of Wale and DJ Kool, the District of Columbia hasn't often been widely represented within Hip-Hop. Mostly known for Go-go legends including Chuck Brown and Rare Essence, rap has taken a backseat as DC is a midpoint between New York and Southern metropolis Atlanta.

Your Old Droog - Kinison

Proof of the adage "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," timing was amongst the key factors assuring Your Old Droog's 2014 viral success. In a day where every armchair A&R, aspiring gatekeeper and quasi-tastemaker subsists off of spotlighting the next hopeful sensation, Droog gained traction from what was in retrospect a hokey conspiracy theory.

Red Pill - Look What This World Did To Us

Where music often deals with the universal theme of standing strong despite suffering losses, Detroit's Red Pill has practically made this his mission statement. Though he certainly takes pride in his ability to rap, his artistic craft takes on the greater aim of helping his fans get from one day to the next.

Wale - Festivus (Mixtape)

"Festivus" is a confluence of arts and styles, culminating in a satisfying listen. In Wale's interview for his Complex cover story with Seinfeld, there's a telling scene in which the two platonic lovebirds disagree. Wale seems to suggest that he's some sort of Rap nihilist, such that his art leans drastically toward the stylistic.

Bobby Shmurda - Shmurda She Wrote

Bobby Shmurda quickly sets out to prove he is more than a one-hit wonder. The rules of Hip Hop are always subject to change, and heading into 2015 lyrical skill continues to take somewhat of a back seat.


Placed on the map just about halfway into Hip Hop's four decade run, Atlanta's popular sound has drastically evolved since its infancy. In modern times, extended affiliate Iggy Azalea has taken over the world with her much maligned pop-rap tightrope walking, while Young Thug is the source of much debate: you're either open to tagging along for his bizarre journey or resentful of his existence.

Riff Raff

Riff Raff's "Neon Icon" is neither entertaining as sheer parody, nor a passable attempt at making a sincere Hip Hop album when judged by its merits. Proving the Digital Age's ability to make a spectacle out of the unorthodox, Riff Raff has been a leading benefactor of this phenomenon.

Overdoz Enlist Pharrell, Clams Casino & Others For Their Album, "2008"

Exclusive: Overdoz details the role they've played in L.A.'s resurgence and how their hijinks don't reflect their greater musical mission. With ties to all of the major players involved in Los Angeles' present reign, Overdoz has put forth the necessary hard work to soon be recognized within their own right.

The Black Opera - The Great Year

On "The Great Year," The Black Opera use their distinct sound to take a stance, but there are moments when that stance could use some nuance. One branch on the Mello Music Group's underrated and expansive tree has been The Black Opera, a covert duo choosing to keep their identities shrouded in mystery while having underground roots.

Faces (Mixtape)

With "Faces," Mac Miller continues to show he's in on the joke walking the thin line between performance art and insanity. Counted amongst today's most polarizing Hip Hop figures, Mac Miller remains subject to skepticism due to no fault of his own.

Big K.R.I.T - See Me On Top Vol. 4 (Mixtape)

Big K.R.I.T.'s "See Me On Top Vol. 4" a true mixtape in its form, but it doesn't serve as an entry point for new K.R.I.T. fans or preview "Cadillactica." Big K.R.I.T. has a hard-earned grassroots following, but he struggles to move up Southern Rap's totem pole as others offering comparably less substance shoot to the top.

DMC Blames Hot 97 & Chuck D Rift On Information Gap; Says Pete Rock Saved Run DMC

Exclusive: DMC confirms a friendly rivalry with KRS-One, spiritually healing himself via Sarah Mclachlan and paying homage to the Blues with Sugar Blue and Sonix the Mad Scientist. Where others have engaged in a stale battle for New Yorks throne, Run-DMC's regality could never be called into question.

Phony Ppl - Yesterday's Tomorrow

Halfway through the second decade of this millennium, the line between Hip Hop and its harmony based derivatives are more blurred than ever. Thanks to benchmark moments including Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak , the rise of Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi along with the success of Drake's innumerable hooks, innovation has come to pass in ways previously unimagined.

Gunplay - Living Legend

At a time when unorthodox methods of attaining buzz are embraced more than ever, Gunplay's shenanigans have nearly overshadowed his music. While he's still a niche artist on Def Jam, few modern stories compare to his controversial highlight reel.

Green Label
The Hardcore History of: Tech N9ne and Strange Music | Green Label

With Missouri's Kansas City not exactly being a hotbed for rap culture, Tech N9ne (born Aaron Yates) had to figure out his own way, going on to forge a successful rap career and eventually founding Strange Music, one of the most profitable independent labels in the world.

Chuck Inglish - Everybody's Big Brother

Since building his name nearly a decade ago as half of The Cool Kids, Chuck Inglish set the digital blueprint followed by everyone from Odd Future to A$AP Mob. Amongst the earliest benefactors of Internet promotion, their MySpace buzz led to releases with renowned indie imprints Fool's Gold and Chocolate Industries, along with performances on stages including CMJ and Pitchfork's music festival.

Sir Michael Rocks

Sir Michael Rocks shrouds some of his trademark oddity in stock cuts and sheer confidence, but "Banco" remains an entertaining album nonetheless. Often the case with innovation, pioneers go less remembered with later adapters reaping greater financial rewards and acclaim once successful business models are set in place.

My Krazy Life

While not the most technically sound rapper, YG's introspective moments, catchy singles and A-list cameos make "My Krazy Life" a solid major label debut. Though TDE leads the pack carrying Los Angeles on their shoulders globally, the city takes equal pride in its youthful culture fueled by the sub-genre known as "ratchet" music.

Green Label
Rappers Who Skate, Skaters Who Rap | Green Label

Most skaters were skeptical when skateboarding became fashionable in rap; those who stuck with it may finally be gaining some acceptance. Though they don't all wear it on their sleeves, you would be surprised to find out which rap figures like to #exploreonfour. "Skateboard P" went so far as to create his own Ice Cream skate team.

10 Things We Want To See From Kendrick Lamar's Sophomore LP

Catapulting himself towards the front of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar has become the most discussed new artist since Drake's grand arrival in 2009. The subject of critical praise and deafening coverage, his presence became flat out unavoidable after stealing the show with his appearance on Big Sean's "Control" last year.

Gangrene - You Disgust Me

Hip Hop's creativity is now drawn from a global wellspring, and vanguards are regularly born far outside of traditional hotbeds. California's own Alchemist and Oh No (the latter a blood brother to producer extraordinaire Madlib) have respectively made their mark from Beverly Hills and Oxnard, working with legends not limited to Mobb Deep, Nas, DOOM, Curren$y, and Planet Asia.

Mega Philosophy

With the help of Large Professor, "Mega Philosphy" showcases Cormega making an alternative yet solid case for grown up Rap. Gathering respect and official acclaim on record two decades ago with Illmatic's famed "One Love" shout, mere mention of Cormega's name still holds weight within Hip Hop.

Brian Coleman Examines Classic Hip-Hop With "Check The Technique Vol. 2" - WatchLOUD

By Jesse Fairfax With Hip-Hop enthusiasts constantly obsessing over not only what constitutes a classic album, but the details that go into making their favorite work, author Brian Coleman has just the cure-all. "Check The Technique Vol. 2" makes his third release delving deep into the background of the culture's legends and some of their most seminal releases.

Danny Brown

On "Old," the most exhausting aspects of Danny Brown's routine manage to convey an occasionally exciting tale of instability. Defying all sense of normalcy while glamorizing dysfunction, Danny Brown strives to maintain balance between style (his trademark ad-lib) and substance.

Slum Village - Yes!

Despite a rotating cast and heated debate surrounding the authenticity of their name, Slum Village's run has far outlasted the expectancy of observant skeptics. Originally the brainchild of J. Dilla, T3 and Baatin, the trio only produced one official release in the immaculate Fantastic Vol.

Lil Dicky - Professional Rapper

Despite increasing propensity, Caucasian manhood is a double-edged sword for aspiring emcees. On one hand, there's a built-in audience driven to see themselves represented within the world's coolest culture. On the flip, white rappers bare the brunt of skepticism and scorn mostly on the grounds of genetic makeup, a reverse discrimination of sorts from any number of judges.

Life Is Good

Nas wears the multiple hats of ladies man, urban griot and voice of the people, fine tuning these roles to near perfection on "Life Is Good." Nearing two decades in the game, Nas is embraced with high esteem, as his mere presence demands attention given his innate knack for leadership coupled with unrelenting lyricism.

Body Bag Vol. 2

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 12 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 8 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Properly positioned to win over the masses, Ace's fight to reach the top may remain an uphill battle so long as his creativity is at a standstill.

Finally Rich

"Finally Rich" is Chief Keef's long awaited debut aiming to capitalize on hoopla that spectators find puzzling, disturbing and compelling. Perhaps 2012's greatest viral success story, Chief Keef's rambunctious antics captured through video and social media have made him a troublemaker and an unassuming branding expert simultaneously.

Earl Sweatshirt

"Doris" contains little calculation or false pretense; Earl Sweatshirt excels in every technical aspect, but the album's primary weakness is a lack of cohesion. With an excess of the Digital Age's youth using their Rap aspirations to pollute bandwidth, in 2010, a then 16-year-old Earl Sweatshirt took Hip Hop's corner of the Internet by storm with advanced lyrical skill and cunning charm.

Folarin (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 25 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 13 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "Folarin" seeks to bring Wale's name back to the forefront after what has been a quiet year for the lead pride of DMV Rap.

The Black Bar Mitzvah (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 44 people have voted. 1 is the most popular ranking. 4 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "The Black Bar Mitzvah" celebrates Rick Ross and his twisted religion, as he uses the work of his peers to outshine them.

Curren$y - Canal Street Confidential

Perhaps Hip Hop's most affable stoner next to Snoop Dogg, (with respect owed to a soured deal with one-time Rap mogul Dame Dash) Curren$y has risen from a mildly interesting Cash Money Records prospect to a self-made name. A highly unpredictable case of independent success, he's become a surefire inspiration to a world of aspiring onlookers.

10 Ways "The College Dropout" & Kanye West Have Changed The Game

HipHopDX lists 10 ways Kanye West has impacted Hip Hop. Presented By Spotify Shaping, shifting and reimagining Hip Hop and modern culture as he sees fit, Kanye West's impact can't be emphasized enough. Though his presence was felt years prior as an in-house producer with the Roc-a-Fella dynasty, Kanye's formal introduction came by way of The College Dropout.

Gnarly Davidson vs. The Marlboro Men

Speak is fully inspired to relay relatable tales of tragedy and triumph on "Gnarly Davidson vs. The Marlboro Men." Shaping and shifting cultural norms at his will, Speak represents a number of ideas and images that make it next to impossible to categorize his brand.

Lords Never Worry (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 31 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 10 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Picking up where Dipset's swagger has stumbled, A$AP Mob is today's reckless force to be reckoned with.

The Greatest Hip-Hop Comebacks Ever

The world loves to witness a good underdog story in hip-hop where an artist returns to former glory either from an extended hiatus or a poorly received album. With a big part of one's overall respect extending to musical legacy over time, true legends of the game have faltered and bounced back accordingly.

Little Simz - A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons

Faced with the dual handicaps of gender bias and a foreign accent, Little Simz has fought an uphill battle for stateside recognition. Without much to rely on in the way of big name cosigns, the 21-year-old UK upstart has been forced to think on her feet in order to stand out.

Shyne Coldchain II

Primed for the spotlight, Vince Staples benefits from strong connections, raw talent and poignant social commentary with the edgy "Shyne Coldchain 2." Routinely battling odds, Vince Staples has sought escape from the trappings of endangered youth in Long Beach while coming into his own from under the shadow of his friendly competitor Earl Sweatshirt.

Domo Genesis and The Alchemist

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 19 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 9 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "No Idols" is a short but sweet roller coaster ride celebrating Domo Genesis and his ongoing pursuit of stardom.

Rapper Big Pooh - Words Paint Pictures

Where many of his peers fell off to the wayside (including most of the Justus League crew he started with), Rapper Big Pooh has maintained a hungry work ethic over time. A pioneer of Hip Hop's online age as 1/3 of the now defunct Little Brother, his support to Phonte & 9th Wonder is overlooked yet crucial to the trio's legacy together.

Joe Budden - All Love Lost

Self-branding well enough to become a cultural mainstay, Joe Budden has been many things to observers both rooting for him and disdainful of his presence. A once promising Def Jam rookie, he's become a quarter of the Slaughterhouse squad, a reality television star multiple times over, and a beloved Twitter celebrity, battle rap combatant, podcaster and the envy of men for the arm candy he's collected like trading cards.

Dizzy Wright - The Growing Process

While other indie imprints like Strange Music have set the precedent of attaining both critical acclaim and commercial strides, Funk Volume's steady rise marches on. Though commonly associated with the label's eccentric flagship troublemaker Hopsin, Dizzy Wright has forged his own worthy path.

Talib Kweli

Wearing the hats of businessman and creator, "Gravitas" has Talib Kweli reaping the benefits of hard work and dedication. Originating from the late '90s era largely remembered for Hip Hop's former civil war, Talib Kweli's disposition has always stood to bring about change and balance in the mainstream without being overly angry or confrontational.

Disrupted Ads

Often a rhyming beast in his own regard, Oh No uses "Disrupted Ads" to showcase the skills of his inner circle. Creating a niche outside the shadow of his older brother Madlib, Oh No has been just as innovative while a bit less avant-garde wearing the hats of emcee and producer.

Selling My Soul

Further interweaving street dialect and Five Percenter lessons, "Selling My Soul" is Masta Killa's return to bat after an extended hiatus. Without question the most diverse collective in Rap's approaching four decades, the Wu-Tang Clan's legacy thrives due to undying fan loyalty appreciative of each member's variety.

It's Tha World (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 13 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 8 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "It's Tha World" is yet another showcase for Young Jeezy's boasts and fantasies of being a major part of today's cocaine trade.

601 & Snort (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 11 people have voted. 1 is the most popular ranking. 2 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Despite Gunplay spewing what could be considered obnoxious to impatient listeners, there remains an engaging quality to his craft.

Strong Arm Steady & Statik Selektah

"StereoType" finds both Statik and Strong Arm Steady breaking new ground that is free of expectations and limitations. Calling California's Strong Arm Steady hard working and dedicated to their art would be an understatement given their tireless track record of releases since 2003.

REVIEW: Wu-Tang Clan's A Better Tomorrow Lacks Hope And Promise - WatchLOUD

Words by Jesse Fairfax Defining Hip-Hop's divine purpose for over two decades now, the Wu-Tang Clan has united people from all walks of life regardless of age, race, and gender. Likened to The Beatles or Rolling Stones by enthusiasts, the Wu's cultish following remains devoted to their platform centered around kung-fu and lessons from the Five Percent Nation as well as the school of hard knocks.

Lil Fame & Termanology

"Fizzology" is a tag team effort of a different breed, showcasing Lil Fame's creative talents combined with close Boston comrade Termanology this go round. New York juggernauts for nearly two decades, M.O.P. have cemented a loyal global following on the strength of maniacal hood Rap, a product of Brooklyn's notoriously rough Brownsville section.

Love & Danger

Rumored to coincide with Kool Keith's formal retirement from music, "Love & Danger" is yet another trip into the mind of Rap's most beloved prolific madman. As the epicenter from which Hip Hop's primary gatekeepers scrutinize the culture that has expanded far from humble beginnings, New York's self-importance is equally questioned and justified.

Colin Munroe

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 5 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 2 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Colin Munroe has prepared a soundtrack to outliving trauma with "Unsung Hero," simultaneously breaking free of the style used to build his name originally.

Smoke DZA & R.F.C. - The Outsiders

Smoke DZA's charisma carries "The Outsiders," though its untimely collaborations end up ruling the day. Earning a place in the good graces of tastemakers including Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg, Smoke DZA continues to brand himself as an independent success story.

Boaz - Intuition

With "Intuition", Boaz arrives at his big moment prepared yet his execution somewhat lacks consistency. Generally considered a major little city, Pittsburgh is a world apart from Philadelphia (Pennsylvania's other major metropolis) and any sort of Hip Hop epicenter altogether.

Well$ - MTSYD: The Revenge Of The African Booty Scratcher (Album Review)

Thanks to technology's advances, any aspiring emcee can begin to build their brand online and see the fruits of their labor nearly overnight. Bombarded with the good, bad and in between, tastemakers and commentators find it increasingly difficult to keep up with each new sensation to spring up weekly, if not daily.

9th Wonder and Buckshot

"The Solution" once again combines Buckshot and 9th Wonder's accomplished and refined skill sets as pioneers of the '90s and the past decade respectively. From spearheading the Golden Era's Black Moon within the greater Boot Camp Clik to present day, Buckshot has maintained a vested interest towards the underground's preservation as both artist and co-founder of Duck Down's enterprise.

Jansport J Bio

In an age where fans clamor for Hip Hop with soul and feeling, Jansport J's production is a modern continuation of legends such as Pete Rock and J Dilla. Much like his hometown of Covina (a smaller city just outside of Los Angeles), his career has remained under the radar until recently.

Tyler, the Creator

"Wolf" finds Tyler, the Creator successfully and artfully juggling his following's expectations with his personal growth. One of today's most polarizing stars, Tyler, the Creator has maximized the Internet's potential and taken his Odd Future brand from hanging out in Los Angeles' Fairfax District to what has become a global sensation.

Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color

"Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color's" inspiring and heartfelt stance is another triumph for Brother Ali. When viewed alongside underground emcees content with whining about Hip Hop's supposed morbid state, Brother Ali has made a distinct mark with a much greater mission over the past decade.

Rare Chandeliers (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 44 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 31 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "Rare Chandeliers" achieves its greatest success, as Action Bronson and Alchemist seamlessly cater to young and past generations alike.

Wiz Khalifa

Though slightly brash, Wiz Khalifa's story seeks to inspire where it could be mistaken for empty stunting. An unexpected leader figure to the younger generation, Wiz Khalifa's perseverance has paid off with his Taylor Gang brand becoming grand in scale after years of industry setbacks.

Troy Ave - Major Without A Deal

Few concepts are more bandied and belabored than the uphill battle to restore New York's place as the arbiter of Hip Hop quality. The challenges of breaking out and standing apart from the internet's talent abyss isn't enough, the five borough's rising stars are also met with the pressure to fill the shoes of legends.


Ab-Soul has been TDE's secret weapon, presently riding the wave of their new found glory with "#controlsystem," his fourth release in as many years. As today's Hip Hop climate is predicated by gatekeepers overlooking lesser known talent, coveted cosigns from iconic figures do wonders in the way of up and coming emcees receiving an otherwise hard earned shine.

Dave East - Hate Me Now

As respect for New York's edgy and innovative Rap legacy increasingly dwindles within its five boroughs (let alone the rest of the country), Dave East stands as a remnant of Harlem's pre-gentrified grit.

Green Label
Q&A With Professor Maco Faniel, the OG of Houston Hip-Hop History | Green Label

Maco Faniel has probably done more than any other living person to illuminate Houston hip-hop. A doctoral student, historian, and native Houstonian, his book Hip Hop in Houston: The Origin and the Legacy (which the Huffington Post called "a must-read") looks at the Houston scene which birthed chopped and screwed, Bun B, Paul Wall, and many others.

Baby Face Killa (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 49 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 40 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Freddie Gibbs is steadily mastering the art of mindless entertainment, promoting a hardened sound that is fearless and free of a filter.

Green Label
27 Of The Best Hip-Hop Art Illustrators Online | Green Label

The first fan art coincided with the rise of television, and was dedicated to the nerdy sci-fi shows which dominated pop culture at the time. This being the age of hip-hop, fan art that features rappers has proliferated across Instagram, to the point where Green Label considers it is own genre.

Movies On Demand 4 (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 7 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 4 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " With a platform now greater than ever, Consequence aims to capitalize on his moment with "Movies On Demand 4."

Dust Ruffle

"Dust Ruffle" functions as a time capsule and a retrospective of Jean Grae's topsy-turvy tenure in the music business. The phoenix known as Jean Grae has blazed her path from obscurity to larger visibility over the past decade; a traditional throwback to when female emcees provided competition on the merits of talent rather than intentionally blatant eye candy.

Born Sinner

Improved production, cadences and subject matter add up to an improved J. Cole. But his semi-autobiographical one man show still isn't particularly dynamic. Similar to critique aimed at his contemporary competitor Drake, J. Cole has been subject to accusations of coasting and falling short of high quality in an age of lowered standards and expectations.

HNIC 3 (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 15 people have voted. 1 is the most popular ranking. 6 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Prodigy's shortcomings aside, "H.N.I.C. 3" has its moments that are to be lauded.

Half Naked and Almost Famous EP

"Half Naked & Almost Famous" is at once a refresher course summarizing his most recent output and a preview of his forthcoming full length LP "Lace Up." Compared and contrasted with other popular genres of music, one of Hip Hop's most polarizing characteristics is its endless array of life perspectives and narratives delivered through rap.

Unconscious State

"Unconscious State" is a change of pace from Jon Connor, reflecting both growth and regression. At times he sacrifices artistry in the chase for recognition. Extending the formerly prevalent legacy of priding oneself in lyrical efforts first and foremost (a trait rarely found amongst newer emcees searching for a quick cash grab), Jon Connor's ascent has been steady, albeit slow.

Tanya Morgan & 6th Sense Describe Developing Chemistry On "Rubber Souls"

Exclusive: Tanya Morgan & 6th Sense speak on the group's return from a four-year absence, getting DMC's blessing and being an unrecognized contemporary of Drake's. Perhaps the digital superhighway's most radical means of transforming Hip Hop, over the past decade collaborations became possible without emcees being in the same recording space.

The Hunger Game (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 11 people have voted. 4 is the most popular ranking. 4 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "The Hunger Game" is the latest of an extensive string of releases from Tito Lopez, aiming to elevate his status steps closer to that of a household name.

April Showers

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 12 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 7 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Over the course of 33 exhausting tracks, "April Showers" is Wyclef at his most self-important with an unfiltered ambition left to roam free.

Warren G Details Nearly Avoiding Young Jeezy's "Leave You Alone"

Exclusive: Warren G speaks on his new venture into the wine business, credits Above The Law as G-Funk co-creators and explains how he almost missed an opportunity with Young Jeezy & Ne-Yo. Where time is unkind towards honoring Hip Hop's pioneers, Warren G's position is that of a certain yet often unspoken fixture.

Vinyl Ritchie

Amongst South Carolina's latest hopefuls aiming for respect on the dual fronts of emceeing and producing is Amiri, with his latest release "Vinyl Ritchie." In an age where Hip Hop's myriad of problems dominate discussion without comparable recognition given to those striving for a positive change, it is the truly bold coming up with creative solutions resultant in major impact.

Phonte Says He's "Done Remaking Songs;" Won't Rap "To Stay Relevant"

Exclusive: The Foreign Exchange reflect on their long working history, a new album of remixes and why Phonte is in no rush to put out a sophomore, solo Rap LP. Phonte Coleman has come far through endless determination and musical ingenuity in the 10 years since his former group Little Brother dropped their pivotal debut, The Listening .

Madchild (Swollen Members)

Madchild takes pride in making narrow-minded and polarizing art considered "real" to Hip Hop's culture. Literally and figuratively far removed from Drake's endearing finesse rooted in Toronto, Vancouver's Swollen Members have ruled Western Canada's underground Hip Hop scene for over a decade.

Consignment (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 23 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 11 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "Consignment" is Jadakiss' latest free release aiming for the continuation of his welcome amongst today's thriving emcees.

Ugly Heroes

"Ugly Heroes" is cohesive, moving and likely aims to help listeners overcome hurdles. But, at times, it's tough to digest and may alienate more than influence. In today's world where Rap is stereotyped as fun centered around partying and lavish fantasy, cherished gems about troubled life such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's "The Message" wouldn't stand a chance.

Wild Style (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 10 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 5 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " With a goal that many could cast away as futile, Chuuwee conceptually reignites the torch for the old school with "Wild Style."

Mr. MFN eXquire

"Power & Passion" is Mr. MFN eXquire's premier chance at making an impression greater than prior releases have called for. Since the nearly instant breakout success of last year's "Huzzah," Mr. MFN eXquire's name has been found on the tongues of New York City Rap purists seeking to enlist saviors to restore the city's quasi-crippled reputation outside of the obvious Kings of New York.

MellowHype (Hodgy Beats and Left Brain)

MellowHype combines turned up "trap" Rap with sharp lyricism, a sound both exclusive and in line with Odd Future's rebellious regime. Generally the case with nepotism, Tyler, The Creator's success has enabled the rest of Odd Future to shine within their own right.

Vince Staples & Larry Fisherman

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 20 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 15 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Loosely based on his harsh upbringing, Vince Staples inches his way to greater prominence with the masterful Stolen Youth.

Cyber Thugs: How Twitter Became Hip Hop's New Source Awards

From Mobb Deep to Lil Wayne and The Clipse, as well as Pete Rock and Lupe Fiasco, Twitter may be the world's hippest online promotional networking resource, but it's where rappers now come to beef. One of the consistently relevant aspects to Hip Hop (even predating it becoming a cash cow) is the art of competition extending to serious conflict.

The Stoned Immaculate

Having overcome numerous industry woes, Curren$y's tireless determination, resilience and strong work ethic have led to his first official major label release. With the internet's rise as a marketing resource practically replacing street teams and aggressive advertising campaigns, the altruistic strategy of giving away free music (popularized by 50 Cent and Lil Wayne before their mainstream success) has become the standard means of attaining promotional buzz for touring and retail purposes.

WZRD (Kid Cudi x Dot Da Genius)

"WZRD" is Cudi's third release, a creative offering fusing his standard sensitivity and introspection with the Rock production stylings of Dot Da Genius. Where PM Dawn's soft spoken routine was shunned to no end in the early '90s, recent times have given rise to a subculture allowing today's generation to comfortably identify with artists straying from rap's hyper-masculinity and chauvinism.

The Grimy Awards

Ill Bill provides a rather jarring listen, as "The Grimy Awards" sticks steadfast to an abrasive script. Formerly a member of early 2000's staple Non Phixion, Ill Bill has built worldwide acclaim as an edgy proponent of remaining true to Hip Hop's roots.

Until the Quiet Comes

Most endeared by ambitious beatmakers, Flying Lotus' experimental streak nearly becomes a flaw on "Until The Quiet Comes." Comparable to the larger profiles of Danger Mouse, DJ Shadow and Madlib, Flying Lotus is a musician and producer rooted within Hip Hop yet steadily toiling outside of its exclusive confines.

Nametag & Nameless

Nametag and Nameless join forces to issue a wake up call that is hard, soulful and thought-provoking with the help of an assorted cast from their town's scene. Still relatively undiscovered, Detroit emcee and producer Nametag and Nameless are respectively amongst the city's best kept secrets upholding its reputation for a no nonsense approach to Hip Hop.

The Top Projects We Missed In 2013

Bearing in mind we're unable to review every album as it's buzzing, HipHopDX catches up on reviews for Quadron's "Avalanche," Thundercat's "Apocalypse" and Castle's "Gasface." Whether you're in favor of its present state or not, no one can debate that in 2013 music became increasingly interesting along with accompanying spirited discussions.

Chris Brown

"Fortune" is Chris Brown's fifth studio release, as 2012 has found his professional career and personal life continuous sources of fodder for the media. Sharing space with only a few towards the forefront of today's popular R&B culture, Chris Brown's iconic status and celebrity have reached a fever pitch that has yet to cool down despite the sporadic controversies surrounding him.

The Bumpy Johnson Album

Prodigy has created a parallel between his infamous nature and old school gangsterdom with "The Bumpy Johnson Album." Acclaimed since the mid-'90s as one of Rap's greats for a fearless disposition far superior to his smaller stature, Prodigy's career has been nothing short of turbulent and eventful to date.

Indigoism (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 38 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 32 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " The Underachievers cohesively merge today's turned up sound with that which came from their formerly dominant homeland of Brooklyn.

Alexander Spit

With "Dillinger," Alexander Spit's forward thinking becomes a gift and curse that requires investments of time and patience. Influenced by a wide array of experiences and socioeconomic conditions, Alexander Spit has distinguished himself as a producer/emcee in a manner that appears nearly effortless.

G.D.O.D. (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 20 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 13 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " T.I. wields a strong command over Hip Hop with "G.D.O.D.," shouldering the burden for a team who would otherwise be left to their own devices.

Gotham Down: Cycle 1: Love In Infinity (Lo-Fi)

Originating from the underground business model preceding the modern Digital Age, Jean Grae has actively shifted paradigms, dispelled limitations and broadened the perception of women's participation in Hip Hop. In a time where the fairer sex uses carnal appeal as the foremost means of garnering attention, her honed poetic ability and quirky sense of humor have her widely considered one of this era's most crafty lyricists irrespective of gender.

Dag Savage

Dag Savage's "E&J" finds Exile and Johaz creating honest and traditional Hip Hop that is in touch with today's times. A large part of Los Angeles producer Exile's impressive repertoire to date furthers the groundwork laid by duos including Gang Starr Pete Rock & CL Smooth, having built his name as a one man beat factory responsible for complete albums for artists in his Dirty Science camp.

Ghost At The Finish Line

With "Ghost At The Finish Line," Quelle Chris aims to grow past the layman comforts of playing the people's champion. With a style and sound that defies neat categories or definition, Quelle Chris has risen from relative obscurity to become Detroit's latest hometown hero.

Vince Staples Acknowledges Friendly Competition With Earl Sweatshirt & Mac Miller

Exclusive: Vince Staples explains how gang culture influences Long Beach's perception of Hip Hop and why he thinks rappers have become corny. Able to count Mac Miller and Earl Sweatshirt amongst his closest friends, Vince Staples thrives as an enigma whose low-key demeanor stands apart from Hip Hop's current borderline obsession with image consciousness.

Life Changes (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 12 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 8 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Casey Veggies has a cool, calm and collected demeanor that is prideful without becoming obnoxious.

The Soul Tape 3 (Mixtape)

On "The Soul Tape 3," Fabolous displays what it takes to fill a sizable void and resurrect The Big Apple. Given poetic talent has taken a backseat in hit records, today's Rap superstars are mostly marketed for superficial reasons, resulting in the mainstream's more serious lyricists adapting to the rat race or fading into obscurity.

Roc Marciano

"Reloaded" finds Roc Marciano painting a gloomy picture as a cold and unfeeling ruler of New York's concrete jungle. Deeply rooted in the former era where rhyme skills took precedence over catchy jingles, fads, marketing schemes and other modern means of garnering attention, Roc Marciano is a heroic figurehead symbolizing Hip Hop's fight for purity.


Domo Genesis, Left Brain and Hodgy Beats provide little in the way of anything interesting for the sober-minded on "MellowHigh." Three years since their rise towards prominence, evidence suggests Odd Future is yet another camp whose shine risks being dimmed by nepotism that rewards underachievers on the merits of mere affiliation.

Prodigy & Alchemist

Sharing his first name with the famed genius, Prodigy breaks his advanced expertise down to a science on "Albert Einstein." Whether through sheer determination or the innate knack for crafting music, Prodigy has once again become a mainstay since his 2011 release from a three-year prison stint.

Cabin Fever 2 (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 14 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 5 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " "Cabin Fever 2" further establishes Wiz Khalifa as a serviceable rapper aware enough to blend in with what's popular for the sake of maintaining a presence.

The Most Important Rookies Of 2012

As new rappers spring alive shooting for fast superstardom almost daily, Tito Lopez, Rittz, Joey Bada$$, SpaceGhostPurrp and Flatbush Zombies spun Hip Hop on its axis over the past year. With 2012's Hip Hop climate similar to a Wild West atmosphere, fresh faces are able to forge ahead faster than ever given the right combinations of talent, luck, word of mouth, catchiness, and marketing.

Lyrics To Go: Hip Hop's Struggle With Corporate Endorsements

Rick Ross, Tyler the Creator & Lil Wayne serve as three high profile acts who have already lost promotional revenue this year with the sudden upswing in Rap being publicly vilified. Since Hip Hop managed to capture the globe, business has been the unstated yet quite welcome sixth element-after emceeing, deejaying, B-boying, graffiti art, and knowledge/overstanding of the culture.

Boss Yo Life Up Gang (Mixtape Review)

HipHopDX Editor's Rating: Average User Rating: 9 people have voted. 5 is the most popular ranking. 4 people gave it a perfect five. Cast your vote " Young Jeezy releases mostly unpolished music from the newest members of CTE's consistently rotating cast on "Boss Yo Life Up Gang."