Chrisette Michele - Better | Album Review

Much has changed for Chrisette Michele in the three years since her last release; she has admitted to developing an addiction to unhealthy food and gaining 40 pounds in the process, leading her to delve deeper into her conflicted state of mind for lyrical content and forcing her to confront aspects of her life that may have been suppressed during previous records. The cathartic process of recording Better makes the title an apt description of Michele herself, and results in a record that is open and ultimately uplifting. Read more


Eric Lau - One Of Many | Album Review

Eric Lau: 'One Of Many' Album Cover

Known for his work with Lupe Fiasco, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Chris Dave and Oddisee, to name just a few, and his DJing in support of the likes of Erykah Badu and Questlove, British producer Eric Lau steps back into the limelight with his second album One Of Many, showcasing his skills as a songwriter as well as a producer. Read more


Thundercat - Apocalypse | Album Review

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Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, has become the go-to bassist for artists seeking a virtuosic but tasteful low-ender. Notably on Flying Lotus’ 2010 LP, Cosmogramma, his fidgety six-string runs meshed perfectly with FlyLo’s electronica, heralding a surprisingly coherent musical partnership that would blossom with Thundercat’s first solo offering, The Golden Age of Apocalypse.

Whilst on paper the idea of a fusion-versed bassist collaborating with an electronica producer might sound inaccessible, in practice the result is accessible almost to the point of pop. Thundercat’s sound is a near-perfect marriage of catchy soul imbued with a sense of Afrofuturism [vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Weather Report and Billy Cobham], creating an album that valiantly attempts to present technological and musical virtuosity in coexistence with funk and soul.

Enter Apocalypse. The album's grandiose title serves to signpost the ambitious content in store. Read more


Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off | Album Review

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Ask any artist their creative process and they will convey a special story. Whether it's stuffing the studio with yes-men, relocating to Hawaii or making sure they’re high on acid; every practitioner has a unique way of creating art. Mac Miller's story involves plenty of muted throwback '80s films and wildlife documentaries. Quite an interesting process, right? Let me explain.

In the past four years a lot has changed for Mac. Between his own MTV reality show, moving from Pittsburgh to LA and acquiring a bunch of new rap friends, he managed to produce the first independent number one album in 15 years. But if we're on the subject of change I suppose we better talk about the biggest change of all; Mac Miller's sophomore record Watching Movies With The Sound Off. Read more


Man Of Steel (Dir. Zack Snyder) | Film Review

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Another summer, another super hero movie? Well not quite. With its five trailers, 19 TV spots and a reported budget of 225 million dollars, Warner Brothers’ epic reinvention of Superman, titled Man of Steel has continually promised to deliver far more then just another big budget comic book on screen.

And, believe it or not, they’ve more or less pulled it off. Read more


Talib Kweli - Prisoner Of Conscious | Album Review

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Two years since his previous effort Gutter Rainbows hit stores, Brooklyn rhymer Talib Kweli drops off his fifth solo album Prisoner of Conscious. With an array of featured guests, a magnitude of rhythmically responsive instrumental backdrops and more subject matters than a book of short stories, the 15 track lyrical get down is a tempo frenzy of intellectual poetry. Read more


Omar - The Man | Album Review

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“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is definitely something that singer Omar Lye-Fook can relate to. As a longstanding member of the UK soul community, since the mid 80‘s he’s been part responsible for putting the UK on the map musically. Not changing his delivery, creative mindset or his target audience, whether it’s his happy-go-lucky attitude to life or his passionate application to making music, you just can’t help but love him. Respected by everybody, hated by none, having him back after seven years is some what of a relief. Read more


The-Dream - IV Play | Album Review

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3/5

A complex character of sorts, The-Dream is an incredibly talented individual who once in a while makes a questionable creative decision. With that said, when he’s on his game he’s really on his game. Returning with his fourth studio album [if you disregard the free-turned-salable Terius Nash: 1977], the aptly titled IV Play is commercially the most anticipated of his long plays; thanks to his high-profile Beyonce collaborations, Watch The Throne input and Grammy win for "No Church In The Wild." Read more


Soulection - Time In Between | Compilation Review

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It’s remarkable to think about what LA based label Soulection has achieved since starting up at the beginning of 2011. Having released over 25 projects from artists across the world, the label also boasts a weekly radio show that has seen a number of guests including the likes of DāM-FunK, Melo-X and Freddie Joachim.

Founded by radio host Joe Kay, visual director and artist Guillaume Bonte (aka 96) and motion designer/videographer Andre Power, the label’s first release came in the form of Soulection Compilation, a 25-track project showcasing just expansive and talented the Soulection family is. 26 releases and two years later, the label has just dropped Time In Between, the second compilation, which shows off the exponential growth the label has seen in such time, all the while keeping the project more cohesive than its predecessor. Read more


Star Trek Into Darkness | Film Review

star-trek-into-darkness-poster-largeSince the broadcast of the original TV series in 1966, Star Trek has had so many sequels, reboots, re-inventions and spin offs that it becomes quite laborious to calculate. But never has the franchise received the widespread appeal given by its JJ Abrams (Director) reenactment, which began with his aptly titled Star Trek (2009) and now continues with Star Trek Into Darkness.

Starting more or less where Star Trek left off, Into Darkness follows the exploits of Captain Kirk and his First Officer Spock as they "go where no man has gone before, explore new worlds and new civilisations" whilst perpetually debating the value of reason against intuition, blow things up, almost get killed, introduce pre-modern beings to advance technology by accident and basically unleash mayhem.

If I reveal too much more of the plot I’ll risk ruining the movie - but in brief it goes like this: a building gets blown up in London, lots of people die, Noel Clark (Doctor Who, Kidulthood) appears, the perpetrator is quickly revealed, numerous Starfleet officers plan to catch the bad guy and then, quite literally, all hell breaks loose. And that’s pretty much the sum of it. Read more


Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons To Die | Album Review

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Dark poetry is probably the best way to describe Ghostface Killah’s latest offering. If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino movies you’ll love it. Like a lyrical horr-opera, Ghostdini does what he does best by attacking every beat with his razor sharp tongue not letting up for even a second. While many are going to forever say that Ironman is the Wu-Tang [Clan] rhymer’s finest work – which it might well be – Twelve Reasons To Die is definitely of the same standard.

With solid narrative from start to finish, the return of a completely cohesive project is a beautiful thing to see and hear. Ghost’s lyrically descriptive music paints an insane picture of retaliation, revenge and get back; and putting pieces of the puzzle together becomes a satisfying game of did he/didn’t he [which once again gives your rewind button purpose]. Read more


Papoose - The Nacirema Dream | Album Review

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3/5

They say that time is a healer. However, for Brooklyn rhymer Papoose time hasn’t been the kindest of souls. His official arrival on the scene back in 2004 came at a time when records were selling and rap was the toast of the commercial market. With 50 Cent then the hottest thing out, Papoose’s buzz trumped that of the G-Unit General’s with ease. Appearing on every hot record at the time - notably the all star remix to Busta Rhymes’ “Touch It” - there was no stopping the kid. With a reported $1.5 million deal on the table too, all that was left to do was drop the album.

Having always been titled The Nacirema Dream (Nacirema being the word American backwards), problems arose for the young upstart when he and mentor DJ Kayslay decided to remake the album due to his unexpected commercial popularity. Instead of releasing the album as it was, which tailored more towards his mixtape roots - he won a Justo Mixtape Award for Best Underground Artist in 2005 - he succumbed to the requests of collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. Time went on, perfection began to take over, and then Papoose in 2007 packed his bags and left Jive Records citing A&R issues.

Today finally seeing the light of day, The Nacirema Dream is a surprisingly good body of work with momentary dents. Read more


Tyga - Hotel California | Album Review


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The arrogance associated with calling yourself the last King is enough to attract the haters, - Tyga’s second album was titled Careless World: Rise Of The Last King - and donning a fur coat and hat whilst commanding an actual life-sized pet tiger in the courtyard of an expensive seaside mansion on his latest album cover is sure to send the hating in to overdrive. But if you strip away the flashiness and the Young Money facade, what are you left with? Read more


GQ - Death Threats And Love Notes: The Prelude | Album Review

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The latest emcee to emerge from 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records roster, former NCAA baller GQ sounds as if he’s going to be setting off with some serious offence if the lyrical talents displayed on Death Threats and Love Notes: The Prequel are anything to go by. Preceding the final version of his Death Threats and Love Notes series [the second volume should drop later this year], everything from the project's title, lyrical content and cover artwork [depicting Eldridge Cleaver and his wife] has been carefully selected to give listeners a better understanding of the California rhymer's subject intricacies. Read more


Lil Wayne - I Am Not A Human Being II | Album Review

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Once regarded by fans and critics alike as one of the best to ever do it, they say that actions speak louder than words - and the Lil Wayne headlines of late have definitely been more about his actions and less about his words. From vocally chastising the Miami Heat basketball team to being rushed to hospital in a reported near-fatal condition, the self-proclaimed best rapper alive now gives fans the follow-up to his 2010 volume one release of the same name, I Am Not A Human Being II.

With less substance than his 2010 effort, the stories told on IANAHB2 concentrate more on being a spoilt brat with unlimited access to pussy, cars, clothes, drink, and drugs. However, the thing that sets Wayne apart from the rest of the competition, which is also something noticeable throughout the entire album, is his flawless ability to continuously muster up punchlines out of thin air. Now whether or not it has anything to do with his so-called extraterrestrial mindset, some of the bars featured are seriously out of this world. Read more


Jodeci crash & burn and booed off stage at London R&B Superstars Show | News

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On a night set to ignite a love for all things '90s R&B related, an extremely poor live performance last night (March 23rd) cemented the demise of one of R&B's once great all male groups. Read more