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Yeezus Speaks and J. Cole Rises

Who's ready for a sacrilegious new tune Tuesday? 
(And the congregation said "Amen")

Yeezus - Kanye West

With appearances by +chief keef+Bon Iver , Jesus, and Kanye's demons Yeezus sounds like the soundtrack to a nightmare. If you thought 808's and Heartbreak was dark, you're gonna need a nightlight for Yeezus.

The premise of each song - and the album as a whole - is more provocative than the Kanye we're used to. There's no more poppin' bottles for the sake of doing so. It's all 'Stop crucifying me and hatin' on the way I live'. Because life as Kanye West is rough, ya'll. Thankfully he does see fit give us a few quotable quips: "And I know she like chocolate men/ she got more niggas off than Cochran" hits you in the opening track 'On Sight' and "Eatin Asian pussy/all I need is sweet and sour sauce" precedes a hook featuring +Bon Iver on 'I'm In It.' 

Other than the lewd-level increase, nothing stood out as overly innovative (for Kanye) on this album. We know he's a genius at splicing interesting sounds with avant garde beats. We know he's not afraid of provocative lyrics. We know he's an activist of almost Black Panther severity. And, for what it's worth, this album has some shocking lines and some 'how the hell did he come up with a sound like that?' moments.  But this is not a 'Good Life' summer jam album. Yeezy is responding to his perceived (true or not) persecutions and all that angers him about love, life and music. And as the deep bass continues to buzz, we feel his pain. 

Fave Tracks:
Black Skinhead - the beat is addictive. It was a little scary performed on SNL, but just listening to it won't give me nightmares, right? 
New Slaves - Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the levels in the first Ninja Turtles game on original Nintendo when you go underground in the sewers? Okay. I might be alone there. Apart from that, I feel this is where Kanye digs deep to the root of what bothers him. Think back to 'All Falls Down' from College Dropout as foreshadowing for this track.
Bound 2 - Light at the end of the tunnel? This song is a reprieve after the darkness and struggle. It's the twinkling of sunrise over the valley of the shadow of death.
Oh yeah, I went there. 

Born Sinner - J. Cole

If you pinned me down and told me I had to pick a favorite rapper today or I could never have ice cream again, it would be +J Cole.

His flow: gorgeous. His aesthetic: soulful. His lyrics: honest. His looks: babyface (swoon).

With artists like his mentor and big boss +Jay-Z and the fellow Rock Nation fam +Kanye West getting lazy because, well, they can, and other 'new school' rappers like Drake and +Wiz Khalifa soaking up money on soft lyrics and flashy collabos, it's so nice to listen to someone still working so hard to make his place in musical history. People, there is still real hip-hop! There are even repurposed samples from a few classic hip-hop jams. Plus visits from Miguel , TLC and +Kendrick Lamar?  Let the choir sing 'Hallelujah!!'

J. Cole knows what he's up against. He also knows he has mad skills and deserves recognition: 'How many records do a nigga gotta sell/Just to get the cover of the XXL?' I'm a drop the album same day is Kanye/Just to show the boys a man now like Wanya.' Boom. With this magic sophomore album it might just be your time, kid.
Born Sinner is a well rounded album. There are songs you can groove to, songs you can roll to, songs you can smoke to, songs you can fuck to, and songs you can dance to. There are lines you can relate to, like 'You a woman I don't know how you deal/with all that pressure to look impressive you go out in heels, I feel for you/killing yourself to find a man that'll kill for you.' There are lines that make you think like, 'Ain't there more to you? /Don't it ever get boring to you?/ I realize deep down you a coward/ getting high off of power/ fuck it, more to you.' With the first day of summer coming up this weekend, this is the ultimate kick off album. I have a feeling we will be listening to this all summer and for summers to come.

Fave Tracks:
I. Can. Not. Pick.
I'm serious guys, I've been trying for hours. Just listen to it. The whole thing. Put it on, let it play.
Absorb. Appreciate.



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