1. Drake-Nothing was the same
This has to be one of the most anticipated rap albums of the year. It’s no wonder so many parodies have come out of it. It even has people claiming it will have you thinking and crying over a relationship you were never in. Artistically, it is way different from the other rap albums dropped this year. He works with Canadian Noah ‘40’ who was also the main producer on Take care his previous album. There are some similarities to his previous work especially how he manages to show his honest emotions through these records. The standout song is ‘Hold on we are going home ‘where Drake displays his singing vocals. He features few artists like Big Sean and 2 chains (who is on everyone’s album) on the chart topping ‘All me’ track. The other notable guest appearance is Jay z on the ‘Pound cake/Paris Morton’record.
House heads will love the debut album from Swedish producer and deejay Avicii, though it is a break from his usual more EDM oriented sounds. He collaborates with Bluegrass and country music singers, who are rarely on house music songs. Though the album’s reception was lukewarm at the Ultra Music festival where he first premiered it, open minded people will embrace it for the masterpiece it is. He has no major artistes on it like seen on David Guetta or Afrojackalbums. He works with Salem Al Fakir on ‘You make me’ which has seen mainstream success nearly similar to ‘Wake me up’ which features Aloe Blacc. Hit the club and request ‘liar liar’ featuring Blondfire and ‘Dear boy’. Wait for the high intensity drop, bob your head and jump with your hands up high.
3. Jessie J-Alive
British pop star and songwriter Jessie J’s Sophomore effort leaves up to expectations. She has made a few changes such as moving from her black bangs trademark look to short blonde hair (it’s obvious from the album cover).The album is balanced with uplifting songs such as ‘it’s my party’ and also sentimental songs like ‘I miss her’. She includes artistes from her home country and also an American rapper in order to break into US market. Not to worry Jessie J with this review you have broken into the Kenyan market. Especially with girl anthems like ‘Sexy lady’ and ‘Wild’ they will have our girls screaming their heads off. This album is a must have in every confident and sexy ladies’ play list.
4. MMG-Self made3
Heavy weight rap group MMG with head honcho Rick Ross has released their third compilation album. It has more artistes than the previous two volumes; most notable is RnB singer Omarion and newbie rapper Rockie fresh, the latest addition to the MMG Empire. It has club bangers with rappers Meek Mill and French Montana on them like ‘Kilo’, ‘Bout that Life’ which features a very worked up Diddy on the outro. There are great social songs with Lupe Fiasco, Fabolous and Wale jumping on them especially ‘Poor decisions’ and ‘Great Americans’. It was a nice surprise to hear Trina on the chorus of the ‘Gallardo’ track. We haven’t heard from her in quite a while. There is overall lyrical improvement in this volume so it’s definitely a nice package for hardcore hip-hop fans.
5. Wangeci – Consume chakula ya soul
The mixtape culture has caught on in Kenya. It’s impressive how these artists especially emcees give away these tapes as gifts to their fans. The audio production quality is nothing short of stellar even though the mixtapes are free for download on sites such as waabeh.com. Many are familiar with this femcee especially from the Kaka sungura ‘LigiSoo’ remix. Her verse was amongst the best and to further cement that she had a mixtape out. The producer relies mostly on some samples such as the ‘Do for love’ song which is a Tupac classic, she turns it into a great song since she adds a twist of Swahili in it to speak on relationship issues from a girls’ point of view. Wangechi reps the capital city on ‘Nairobi’ track which speaks on the daily hustles of the city. As far as rap goes in the country she is a breath of fresh air and a welcome party to the rap scene.
Review by Shayne Kariuki