DallasShook – Editor in Chief
PaulBurke – Sports Editor
September has been one of the biggest months in recent memory for hip-hop. Two of the top rappers in the genre surprised their fans with a collaborative “mixtape” (although something that costs money should not be labeled as a mixtape by any means). One of the top young artists in the genre released his first official album, and a receding rapper saved his career with one of his best efforts yet. The future of rap may be heavily influenced by this eventful month. While this month produced mainly amazing music, there were certainly winners and losers of the month.
The Great: Mac Miller – “GO:OD AM”
Mac Miller went into album hibernation for over a year, and made his fans wait for what he had in store. “Worth the wait” is an understatement. “GO:OD AM,” his latest studio album, excelled in every aspect. His single “100 Grandkids,” released weeks before his album officially dropped, has one of the smoothest, most pleasantly surprising beat switch-ups in hip hop today. The complex beat, combined with his edgy, hard hitting rap style, was just a preview of what the album had in store. The album was laced with such a wide variety of hip hop genres from “ROS,” his hip hop ballad discussing love and compassion, to “Brand Name” attacking social issues such as the importance of brands in our society. Awakening from his struggles with addiction and withdrawals, Mac Miller’s “The Weekend” reminds us that with every day the sun comes up and we go on. “GO:OD AM” might not be a perfect album, but it is a nice breath of fresh air, and a work of art coming from the young and talented Mac Miller.
The Good: Travis Scott – “Rodeo”
“Rodeo” is perhaps the most important release to the future of the rap genre, as Travi$ Scott has the biggest potential out of any rapper that released a tape this month. The Kanye-mentored, Houston native had been making waves throughout music for the past two years, but this release was the first official album from the Grand Hustle/G.O.O.D. Music signee. “Days Before Rodeo,” the lead-up mixtape Scott dropped last year, is perhaps the greatest mixtape I have ever heard. The only downside to Scott’s debut album is that his other efforts had been so stunningly amazing, that the expectations were set too high for the 23-year-old. If it weren’t for expectations, and opinions were solely molded by the music itself, Scott easily would’ve claimed the top spot for the month, but sadly that is not how the music industry works. The album’s most popular single, “Antidote,” is the perfect example of the versatility Travis Scott can bring to any song. Singing an unbelievably catchy melody for the majority of the song, Scott switches up the last minute and attacks the beat with one of his hardest verses on the album. Other standouts are “Oh My Dis Side” – perhaps the best top-to-bottom song on the album, “Impossible” – a psychedelic, eerie singing-based song – and “Apple Pie” – an upbeat song Scott uses to address his mother and his rise to fame. While the album could’ve been much better given Scott’s limitless talent, it is a certain guarantee that Travis Scott is a name to watch for the years to come.
The Bad: Drake & Future – “What A Time to Be Alive”
Do not believe the hype. This “mixtape” from the two biggest rappers in the world took only six days to make – and it shows. Before I discuss the actual quality of the music, let’s start off by making it clear the entire point of a mixtape is that it’s free. This is one of the oldest traditions in hip-hop, and once again Drake stomps all over it in his all-too-familiar sell-out fashion. Now, as far as the actual music itself, the standouts are “Scholarships,” “Diamonds Dancing” and “Jumpman.” The tape disappoints mainly because these two artists are capable of so much more: the choruses come across as cheap and quickly made and the lyrics come across as shallow. Upon first listen, the collaboration seems legendary, but the album fades upon multiple listens. If the two artists had taken perhaps even one month longer, the tape could’ve been one of the best in recent memory. That being said, Drake will certainly redeem himself with his next album, “Views from the 6,” which was (very subtly) delayed from Sept 25 to a late 2015/early 2016 release.