The last month in rap: May 2014

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By Ryan Asselin

For any hip-hop head, this past month has been incredible. In the past month, many rappers have released quality work, including, but not limited to, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, 2 Chainz and Slaughterhouse.

With his release of “Believe Me,” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne showed that his return, as sparked with March’s The Rise of an Empire release, is all but a fluke. Lil Wayne is no longer the washed-up image of what used to be rap music. As his comeback season is upon us, there is much anticipation, all of which is deserved, for his future release of Tha Carter V.

On the topic of much awaited future work, Wiz Khalifa may be the main topic of conversation. Wiz has a big release coming out soon, another full-length album. Blacc Hollywood, although almost entirely leaked online, still does not have a release date, but Wiz has said that the album will have a song featuring Miley Cyrus.

28 Grams, Wiz’s mixtape released earlier this week, includes, of course, 28 songs and is hosted by DJ Drama. No matter how much I hate DJ Drama, it is impossible to complain about Wiz’s newest addition to his list of musical accomplishments. On May 26, less than 24 hours after its release, 28 Grams became the most popular album of the month on datpiff.com, with Mac Miller’s Faces in second and 2 Chainz’s FreeBase in a close third.

Mac Miller released his newest mixtape, Faces, on Mother’s Day. With a sound similar to the style that made Mac famous, but which he has recently shied away from, and verses similar to those that earned him respect on Watching Movies With the Sound Off, Faces is a collection of incredibly well made songs.

Sadly, Faces is more of a collection, as opposed to Mac’s traditional, album-like mixtapes, like Mac Miller classics Macadelic and Best Day Ever.  As individual songs, each new song released on the mixtape is demonstrates that although he has gone through a lot, including a Codeine addiction, Mac Miller is still the same musician and is fully committed to making good music for his fans.

With his best work released to date, 2 Chainz exceeded expectations this month with his mixtape FreeBase. With above average verses on interesting, fast-paced beats, 2 Chainz demonstrates diversity and true growth after being in the music business for more than a decade.

“Crib in my Closet (feat. A$AP Rocky and Rick Ross)” competes with his 2012 release “In Town (feat. Mike Posner)” as 2 Chainz’s best song yet. 2 Chainz has been working on his next full-length album, which is to be based around the FreeBase theme; it will focus thematically on a life of drug dealing and sketchy situations.

Slaughterhouse, the angry rap supergroup consisting of Royce da 5’9”, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz, recently released a mixtape exclusive to datpiff.com entitled House Rules.

As one would expect from Slaughterhouse, one of the most consistent rap groups to date, the mixtape is full of angry, well worded lyrics spit over pretty much the duration of the entire album. “Offshore,” the almost 10-minute cypher, is the one song that really stands out amongst the 10 songs released.

 

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