So far this semester, I wrote articles about mostly rock bands with a few electronic acts here and there. I love those bands, but I want to talk more about rap here at The Daily Aztec since I consider rap a genre that I’m the most passionate about. So I figured, why not talk about rap here?
Here are five of my favorite rap songs released in 2014 so far.
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“Humphrey” by Cam’ron & A-Trak
Killa Cam teamed up with Fool’s Gold boss A-Trak for a joint project coming up called “Federal Reserves.” What I imagined would be Cam’ron rapping over zany synth tracks like Danny Brown’s “Smokin’ & Drinkin’” turned to be classic Cam circa “Come Home with Me.” A-Trak, and co-producer Party Supplies, gives Cam a jolly organ loop. Cam’ron lays his signature syllable-friendly tales without missing the beat.
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“R.I.P. Kevin Miller” by Isaiah Rashad
Joining the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q in the Top Dawg crew is Tennessee rapper Isaiah Rashad. His music fits well with his the West Coast soul of the Top Dawg sound. Rashad’s debut “Cilvia Demo” ranks high as debuts go, seeing eye-to-eye with his crew mates. For me, Rashad’s fluid and controlled raps are more of an accessible sell than the zonked-out Schoolboy Q or the ever-stoned Ab-Soul. Take a listen to highlight “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and see for yourself.
“Sanctified” by Rick Ross (ft. Big Sean & Kanye West)
Excuse my Yeezy bias, but damn, Kanye West’s verse on this is the absolute best of 2014 so far. He turns up with the energy of a thousand suns. While Kanye blows steam, Rozay talks about the sex he’d love to have on a beat that literally sounds like a million bucks. Big Sean’s on chorus duties while his brothers have a feast without him. So many quotes to pick apart here (“handkerchief”? “grilled cheese”?). You can find this show-stealing anthem in Rick Ross’s new album, “Mastermind,” out Mar. 4.
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“That’s My Word” by Skipper (ft. Iamsu! & Dave Steezy)
Bay Area’s HBK (Heartbreaker) Gang is one of my favorite rap crews out right now, and the up-and-coming member Skipper dropped a pretty good mixtape, “Wet 2,” in January. “That’s My Word” is a highlight featuring head leader Iamsu! and crew member Dave Steezy. The beat is totally Bay Area with the shiny xylophones playing a simple four-note melody while the rubbery bass moves sticky underneath. Good raps and a great beat to get things moving, what else do you need?
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“Parade” by Young Thug & Bloody Jay
Young Thug is currently the best rapper out. No one raps with such an unhinged energy and a twisted flow like him. Thug recently teamed up with Atlanta up-and-comer Bloody Jay for the impressive surrealist mixtape “Black Portland.” “Parade” is a song left off from the tape but still goes in regardless. Thug’s hyped enthusiasm for rapping comes out well over the cheery beat. Bloody Jay’s out here switching from sing-rap to revving up syllables. Grab “Black Portland” if you haven’t.
More rap from 2014: “Move That Dope” single by Future (ft. Rick Ross, Pharrell, Casino); “Basedworld Paradise” mixtape by Lil B; “Aerosol Can” single by Major Lazer (ft. Pharrell); “No Label 2” mixtape by Migos; “Lookin’ Ass” single by Nicki Minaj; “Oxymoron” album by Schoolboy Q; “Super Saiyan Vol. 1” mixtape by Sicko Mobb; “Lord Steppington” album by Step Brothers; “Winter’s Diary 2” mixtape by Tink