J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Even after stripping back the hooks and instrumentals, and giving himself center stage, there isn’t much outside of J. Cole’s baseline technical abilities that makes him a compelling rapper and lyricist.

Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica

Big K.R.I.T.’s second commercial project, much like his last, leaves much to be desired.

Sir Michael Rocks – Banco

The Cool Kids’ Sir Michael comes together with a pretty fun album on Banco.

Childish Gambino – STN MTN / Kauai

On his latest project, Childish Gambino dreams of running Atlanta and getting a Gangsta Grillz mixtape.

Kendrick Lamar – “I”

West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar graces us with a new single.

Common – Nobody’s Smiling

Legendary Chicago rapper Common drops a hit-or-miss album.

Future – Honest

Between the basic flows, uninteresting lyricism, and ridiculous “singing” that’s barely masked by the auto-tune it’s slathered in, I’m honestly not finding much of anything to like about the new Future record. The beats are decent sometimes…

Migos – No Label II

When it comes to loud, visceral trap rap, there are plenty of songs worth recommending on this new Migos mixtape. The problem is it’s so packed with filler that finding the cartoony, eccentric, and occasionally hilarious gems on this thing can be a bit of a chore.

Rick Ross – Mastermind

Ross, what’s ur Skype? I need some1 2 count money 4 me, bb. ;_____;

Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron

Schoolboy Q might not be an amazing lyricist, and his new album might have a handful of filler hooks, but Oxymoron also shows him riding a variety of beats with an impressive level of precision. Not only that, but a number of tracks here bring back the grit and vulgarity of 90s gangsta rap, and give it a progressive instrumental backdrop.