The Top 40 Albums of 2018

40. Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton The R&B veteran delivered a strong and succinct album in a year full of bloated, overdrawn releases. Her contralto voice and slinky timbre anchor the most explicit and honest soundscape of her career. From the cathartic climax of the title track to the spunky “Foh” and “Deadwood,” Toni maneuvers through…

6LACK Leaves Much to Be Desired on ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’ (Review)

Witnessing the rise of 6LACK (pronounced “black”) has been nothing short of fulfilling. From his double-platinum and Grammy-nominated breakthrough single, “Prblms,” to featured turns on Syd and Dreezy tracks and joint singles with Ty Dolla $ign and Khalid, 6LACK has solidified his sound. Murkily soulful soundscapes filled with tropes of trap production and drowned out…

New Artist Spotlight: Jai Musiq

“On the same streets that killed Dr. King/I put my life on these tracks, so there’s no way that you could kill my dreams,” Jai Musiq spits on “I Might Need Security,” a song that doubles as the closer to his most recent EP and a cover of the original Chance the Rapper track. Jai…

2018 VMAs: Who Will Win and Who Should Win (Part 1)

The most eccentric and fun award show of the year is right around the corner. The 2018 Video Music Awards (VMAs) will take place on August 20 and feature performances from Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj (read my review of Queen here), Shawn Mendes, and more. Every award that will be handed out during the telecast…

Top 15 Albums of 2018 (So Far…)

15. Swae Lee, Swaecation This “album” is actually one-third of Rae Sremmurd’s massive triple album, SR3MM. The album is composed of Rae Sremmurd’s third album and each member’s debut solo album. Sawecation is the strongest of the three albums. Somewhere in the haze of alternative R&B, pop, trap, and rap, Swae Lee crafted an album that is not…

Top 30 Songs of 2018 (So Far…)

30. Cardi B, “Get Up 10” (from Invasion of Privacy) If there was a female version of Meek Mill’s perennial “Dreams and Nightmares,” it would be this fiery and impassioned opener to Cardi B’s debut album. The track details Bardi’s astronomical rise to fame with lines like, “Look, they gave a bitch two options: strippin’ or…

Album Review: Miguel, ‘War & Leisure’

How does Miguel do it? How does he consistently top himself album after album? The R&B crooner’s latest album, War & Leisure, is his most intriguing and most excellent effort yet. Pulling influences from funk and soul, this album is a mixture of James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Miguel. War & Leisure is carnal, political,…

2018 GRAMMYs Prediction: The Rap Field

Now that the eligibility period for the 2018 Grammy Awards has officially ended, it’s time to discuss potential nominees. In this 8 part series we will discuss our predictions for the General field, the pop, rock, and rap categories, and one random group of categories. THE RAP FIELD Some of the most coveted awards in…