Rapaversary: Take Care by Drake

Picture this; it’s November 2011, another chilly fall day and you just got out of class.  Plugged in your earbuds into your iPod Touch and press play on Drake’s new album Take Care. You haven’t listened to much of his music. You thought you’d give this new album a chance because everyone has been talking about it and want to see why.

On your first listen through the album you are surprised at how good it is, and the songs that you’ve been hearing everywhere but haven’t really cared for (“Headlines”, “Take Care”, “Make Me Proud”) are suddenly the ones that you keep going back to and can’t get enough of. You realize that Drake isn’t just the guy from Degrassi anymore, he’s becoming a hip hop superstar.

When I first listened to Take Care, this was exactly how I felt. I didn’t take Drake seriously at first until I listened to this project. I didn’t care much for Thank Me Later because I thought it was pretty one dimensional with only a few standout songs. But Take Care opened my eyes to the relatively new-at-the-time blend of hip hop and R&B that Drake would help put on the map and become known for.

Artistic direction

One of the things that makes Take Care so special is that Drake has said that he was unsatisfied with the cohesion and musical content on Thank Me Later. He became determined to make his next project something that he could be forever proud of. Some of the differences between Take Care and Thank Me Later are the inclusion of some full R&B tracks, more fleshed out subject matter, and a general sense of direction.

Influence and career furthering

In addition to Drake’s vocals being spectacular on every track (especially his singing), the featured artists on the album added so much to it as a complete project. Despite him releasing a few songs and projects in 2010 and 2011, Take Care was mainstream listeners first real introduction to The Weeknd. He played a huge part in the creation of Take Care, contributing to five tracks as a writer and featured artist.

This helps showcase some of the influence that Take Care had in both Drake and The Weeknd’s careers. Because without working on this project together, it is possible that neither would have become as huge and well-known as they are now.

Another artist that benefited greatly from his work on Take Care is Kendrick Lamar. Before working with Drake on this project K Dot had industry connections, but his inclusion on Take Care allowed him to reach new audiences that he hadn’t before. Lamar was featured on “Buried Alive Interlude” on which he details his rise to fame and meeting Drake and 40 for the first time in Toronto. “Buried Alive Interlude” is a hidden track at the end of “Marvin’s Room”, which only makes it that much more powerful.   

      

Lasting impact

Looking back on this album seven years after its release, Take Care really helped pave the way for rappers to include R&B-esque tracks on their albums without catching a huge amount of flack for it. At this point in time, it is almost frowned upon if rappers don’t at least attempt to create  a few slower tracks such as those included on Take Care.

The project also helped Drake further his career as a multi-talented artist and show that he can rap and create beautiful R&B tracks that touch all sorts of emotions. The creation of the album helped develop a new sound for a region that would become huge in hip hop. The careers of future stars went skyrocketing towards mainstream and the influence and lasting effects exist to this day.

Conclusion

If Drake had never went in the direction he did for Take Care, I believe that a lot of the modern Toronto sound would not be what it is right now. Take Care is Drake’s best album at this point in his career and one of the best of 2011 if not the 2010s decade as a whole. The album’s influence still exists in the present. Take Care is sure going to be listened to for more years to come.  

K-UTE Radio or the University of Utah does not own the pictures.     

New music wrap up: week of 10/29-11/2

This week has been crazy with all the releases that we’ve received. Some weeks are fuller than others, and this is definitely a full week. I’ve listened to quite a few of this new music already, so check below to see what I recommend you listen to from this week’s new drops!

Albums/Mixtapes/EPs

Chief Keef – Back From The Dead 3

Chief Keef is one of the more consistent artists in the rap game in terms of the amount of projects he releases. He’s back again with the newest installment in the fan-favorite Back From The Dead series. This project has 13 tracks with features from Tray Savage and Soulja Boy. Check this one out for your fix of that Chicago drill sound.  

TakeoffThe Last Rocket

After the release of Culture II earlier this year, Migos said that each of the three members would be releasing their own solo album. Takeoff’s project is the second of these to come out following Quavo’s Quavo Huncho last month. Takeoff is probably the least well-known member of the group, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Give this project a listen if you’re curious about his rapping abilities.

Vince Staples – FM!

Long Beach’s own Vince Staples returns with his latest project FM!, after releasing Big Fish Theory in 2017. This new project is heavy on the conceptual side of things, with radio skits running rampant throughout. It clocks in at 22 minutes in length over its 11 songs. Features on this project include Jay Rock, E-40, Kamaiyah, and others. This is a west coast project in the truest sense, so check it out if you love west coast rap.   

Metro Boomin – Not All Heroes Wear Capes

A few years ago, Metro Boomin was everywhere. He released numerous tracks with artists including Drake, Future, Young Thug, Kanye West, and many more. He took a bit of a break in 2018, but is back with his new project that features Travis Scott, Swae Lee, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and more. If you enjoy tracks with darker vibes, check this project out because it is full of them.  

 

Singles/Loose tracks

Nav – “Know Me”

Canadian rapper/producer Nav is back after a short break following the release of his debut album “Reckless” earlier this year. This is your typical Nav track on which he talks about his money, jewelry, and success. Check it out if you’re a fan of Nav and his unique voice and ear for beats.    

Tyga – “Dip” ft. Nicki Minaj

It’s 2018 and surprisingly, Tyga is relevant for something other than dating someone famous. He has had a strong 2018 thus far, with the super popular single “Taste” racking up over 400 million views on YouTube. This new track features his former Young Money labelmate Nicki Minaj.

Trey Songz – “Shootin’ Shots” ft. Ty Dolla Sign & Tory Lanez

Trey Songz is back with a brand new track after taking a short break following the release of his 2017 project Tremaine The Album. Take a listen to this track if you enjoy smooth crooning, because there’s plenty of it right here.

More new music

This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything that was released today simply because there is so much new music. If you want one check this link. Happy listening and check back for more of these posts in the future!

Album review: Sincerely, Tokyo by Madeintyo

I first discovered Madeintyo a few years ago. You may be familiar with his track “Uber Everywhere”, which was released in 2016. The track got an official remix with Travis Scott. Even though that is currently his most popular song, Madeintyo brings much more to the table than just his slick-but-lazy sounding flow.

He’s released several projects so far during his short career, including Thank You, Mr. Tokyo and True’s World. These projects show off his tremendous flow, but I’m looking for more than that on this project. Seeing that it’s his debut album and he’s been working on it for more than two years, expectations are understandably high.

Enough talk, it’s time to get into Madeintyo’s debut album Sincerely, Tokyo.

First impressions

During my first couple listens through this project, the songs are all quality. There are 14 tracks, but they don’t drag on as the majority are between 2-3 minutes. The beats are fresh and experimental, which is always a plus.

Something that immediately sticks out about this project is the lack of different flows. This is something I really hoped Tokyo would experiment with on this project. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it makes the album a bit repetitive after a few listens.

Lyrics/Flow

Madeintyo is known more for his slick flow than his lyrics. He once again proves that on most of these tracks. He brings dope vibes to each project and all of the songs are ones that would be perfect for party playlists.  

While I’ll admit that his flow is dope on this album, it just gets a bit grating with the amount of times we hear the same thing. Tokyo has so much potential to make different sounding tracks due to the beats that he chooses, but he brings the same flow in most of these songs. That’s a no from me dawg.

  • Score: 6/10

Beats

If there is anything that is a clear-cute standout to me, it’s the beats contained on this album. Each song has a very distinct beat. It keeps the album fresh in that aspect, which I really enjoy for replayability reasons. Some of the producers on this album include Dwn2Earth, Ronny J, K Swisha, Hit-Boy, Wheezy, TM88, and many more. 

The only negative that I can say about this album’s beats is that they are too short on a lot of tracks. For example, the beat on “Moshi Moshi” is absolutely amazing but it only lasts about 1:15. The same problem is present throughout the project. While I respect shorter songs, I wish some of them were a bit longer.

  • Score: 8.3/10

Replayability

Not all albums are easily replayable, but this one definitely is. Sincerely, Tokyo clocks in at only 39 minutes. It is a quick listen that you can knock out and hopefully enjoy. I for one will be listening to this one for quite a while because most of the songs are enjoyable.

Even though the album is short and the beats are outstanding, Tokyo’s flows do get a bit repetitive. Not all of the tracks sound exactly the same, but a lot of the tracks near the beginning of the project sound kind of similar. But don’t let that turn you off the album as a whole, because you can shuffle through it and find something you like instead of listening in order.   

  • Score: 7.5/10

Standouts

Final thoughts

I expected a lot from Madeintyo on Sincerely, Tokyo. The album isn’t perfect, but he mostly met my expectations. Yes, he has proved that he isn’t only the guy who made “Uber Everywhere”, but did he prove anything else on this release?

Let’s be clear, the best things about this album are the beats. They are absolutely amazing and carry the project for me. Tokyo flows over them all so effortlessly, but that’s about it. His lyrical content is nothing to be amazed at.

Honestly, Sincerely, Tokyo is an album to listen to if you enjoy an artist that brings solely vibes to their music. I urge Tokyo to explore new flows and subject matter on his next project, simply because it’ll get people interested again. Madeintyo has released a fine project here, but not one that will go down as a classic by any means. The beats will remain fresh and the vibes dope, but otherwise most hip hop fans won’t remember this project.

Final Score: 7.3/10

Artwork owned by Madeintyo/The Private Club  

The month in hip hop: October part 2

Oh you thought those were all the projects coming out this month? Not even close. The amount of new music that we’re getting this month is absolutely crazy. Check out the new projects that are arriving on October 19th and 26th!

Click here for part 1 of this post.

October 19th  

  • Future & Juice WRLD – WRLD on Drugs
    • Now this is the definition of a surprise album. After releasing the single “Fine China” earlier in the week, Future and Juice WRLD really went hard and dropped a whole 16 track album on us. The project is available now on streaming services and has features from artists including Young ThugLil WayneNicki Minaj, and Gunna among others.
  • Lil Yachty – Nuthin’ 2 Prove
    • Earlier in 2018, Lil Yachty released Lil Boat 2 which is a follow-up to a previous project called Lil Boat. Other than that, his musical output hasn’t been as prolific as it has been in the past. But a couple weeks ago he announced that he has another album titled Nuthin’ 2 Prove on the way. We didn’t have too much information about this project earlier in the week until Yachty tweeted out the tracklist. The project is available now on streaming services. Take a listen and let us know what you think in the comment section!  
  • Brent Faiyaz – LOST.
    • Many people have heard the song “Crew” by Goldlink. This song was released in late 2016 and became quite popular in large part due to the amazing hook that was sung by Brent Faiyaz. After listening to this song, I’d suggest checking out Faiyaz’s debut album Sonder Son. It is some high quality R&B music due to his beautiful voice and way with melodies. Even though he has had a quiet 2018 thus far, Faiyaz has finally announced his new project called LOST. The project will contain six tracks, and it’s looking to be a good one.    

October 26th

  • Madeintyo Sincerely, Tokyo
    • Even if you aren’t familiar with Madeintyo by name, you’ve probably heard some of his bigger tracks called “Uber Everywhere”, “I Want”, and “Skateboard P”. He has released projects every year since 2015, with True’s World in 2017 being the latest. This new project is titled Sincerely, Tokyo and will feature artists such as Roy Woods, Gunna, ASAP Ferg, and 24hrs. I’m very excited to see what Madeintyo can bring with this project. If you haven’t listened to him before, I’d suggest checking his music out before you listen to this album.    
  • Tory Lanez Love Me Now?
    • Toronto rapper/singer Tory Lanez is gearing up to release his second album of 2018, titled Love Me Now?. The project is supposed to have features from many artists such as Chris Brown, Gunna, 2 Chainz, and Lil Baby. It’ll be interesting to see how this project shapes up after we received Memories Don’t Die from Lanez earlier in the year. He’s already released “Talk To Me” featuring Rich The Kid and “Keep In Touch” featuring Bryson Tiller from the project.
  • Ty Dolla Sign & Jeremih MihTy
    • The duo of Ty Dolla Sign and Jeremih have collaborated on numerous tracks in the past, so their joint album should be something to look forward to for fans of R&B. Details about MihTy are scarce, but two singles have been released so far; “The Light” and “Goin Thru Some Thangz”. These are both quality tracks and should raise the level of hype for the project!
  • Mick Jenkins Pieces Of A Man
    • This project has been a long time coming. It seems like forever since Mick has released a project, but it’s only been about two years since he dropped his debut album called The Healing Component. We don’t know many details about this project yet, but Jenkins did release the first track from the album called “Understood”. Keep on the lookout for this project, it should be a good one.  

Stacked month

That’s about it for the hip hop world in the month of October. If I’ve missed any albums, please feel free to leave a comment on the bottom of this post and let me know!

Artwork owned by artists and their labels

The month in hip hop: October

This may be obvious to many hip hop fans, but 2018 has been a year for the books. We’ve received so many projects from a huge number of artists, ranging from the superstars to those that are still working their way up to that position. But even with the crazy amount of albums, mixtapes, and EPs that have released this year, we still have two and a half months left. And naturally, those last few months will be chock-full of even more music.

We’re about halfway through October and there are plenty of projects coming soon from a variety of artists. I’ve compiled the hip hop and R&B projects that have been released this month that I believe are noteworthy and that you should check out.

October 5th

  • Sheck Wes – Mudboy
    • Cactus Jack Records signee Sheck Wes finally released his highly anticipated debut album after the great success that was “Mo Bamba”. This is a project with a lot of different sounds, great production, and interesting lyrics. Check this one out if you’re a fan of the more aggressive side of hip hop, because this will undoubtedly fill your appetite.
  • Gunna & Lil Baby – Drip Harder
    • A few weeks ago, Atlanta trapstars Lil Baby and Gunna unleashed their collab album after months of teasing it. The project contains 14 tracks, with features from the likes of Lil Durk, Nav, Young Thug, and Drake. If you’re a fan of trap, check out this project. It is one of the best collab tapes of the year.
  • Mozzy – Gangland Landlord
    • West Coast mainstay Mozzy has released his new studio album titled Gangland Landlord after first teasing it in 2017. The project contains features from YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Dej Loaf, and many more. It has so many dope vibes that’ll instantly make you feel like you’re in the middle of Sacramento, California. If you’ve never checked Mozzy’s music out before, this is a great project to start on.  
  • T.I. – Dime Trap
    • Atlanta legend T.I. has finally dropped his latest album Dime Trap after originally announcing it in 2014. It is a sequel to his previous album Paperwork. T.I. is a certified legend and one of the creators of the current trap sound, and it is always a good thing to receive new music from him. Since the project got a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork, I’d suggest checking it out if you’re a fan of that original trap sound.

October 12th

  • Quavo (of Migos) – Quavo Huncho
    • Recently, the three Migos members announced that they would all be releasing solo albums while still remaining a group. The first of these solo projects to drop is Quavo’s Quavo Huncho. The project is preceded in release by three singles; “Workin Me”, “Lamb Talk”, and “Bubble Gum”. Featured artists on the album include the likes of Travis Scott, Drake, Kid Cudi, and Normani. With 19 tracks in total, this is certainly one that’ll keep you busy for a while.   
  • Belly IMMIGRANT
    • If you don’t know who Belly is, it’s time to become aware. He’s been around for more than 10 years, steadily releasing projects since 2005. In 2015, he signed with The Weeknd’s label XO as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. He then went on to feature on numerous tracks with The Weeknd and many other artists. His new project IMMIGRANT shines a light on his status as an immigrant and why he wants to support his fellow immigrants. The project is stacked with features from well-known artists including Meek Mill, The Weeknd, Yo Gotti, French Montana, and more.   
  • Usher A
    • It seems like quite a long time since we have got a new project from Usher, even though it’s only been a couple years. He’s back with his ninth studio album titled A, which is a collaboration with talented producer Zaytoven. The project’s title is inspired by both Usher and Zaytoven’s hometown of Atlanta. The project features 11 tracks with guest appearances from Future and Gunna. This is a return to form for Usher and definitely deserves a listen. 

That’s not all of the projects that are releasing in October, so keep an eye out for part 2 of this post!

Artworks owned by artists and their labels

Salt Lake Hip Hop: Agustist King

On September 13th, Hip Hop Drip DJs StavoSteelo and KyleInPlay had the pleasure of interviewing the up-and-coming SLC rapper Agustist King. King is a Salt Lake City native, hailing from the Central City neighborhood. He reps his own label called Independent Money Gang.

King has been seriously rapping for the last two years. He has recorded over 200 songs and released more than 50 of those. He works on numerous projects and releases them on all streaming services. Some of his projects include West Coke, Valentine’s Day Massacre, and Nirvana.

The Interview

Agustist King had much to say about his life, music, and reasons why he raps. However, those are only a few of the topics discussed in this 30 minute interview. It’s chock full of interesting content from a rapper that’s as real as he says he is.

Click the link below to listen to our interview with Agustist King. Be sure to follow him on his social media accounts @agustistking (instagram) and @agustistk (twitter). If you like what you hear, check out his website agustistking.com and Soundcloud. His Spotify and Apple Music profiles can be found searching his name, Agustist King.

Listen to the Hip Hop Drip radio show every weekday from 4-7pm to get your daily fix of quality hip hop from local Utah artists and the biggest stars in the game right now.

Songs from interview:

“Park Place Carter (Fiyah)” – Agustist King

“Off The Scale” – Agustist King

“Down” – Agustist King

EP Review – On The Rvn

If you know anything about Young Thug, you’re probably aware that the rollouts leading up to his projects are not exactly regarded as good. He sometimes has bold tactics for the press, including things such as sending live snakes before the release of Slime Language. But in general, his label isn’t the best at promoting his upcoming projects. This is evident by the fact that we didn’t see any promotion for On The Rvn besides a couple social media posts prior to the release.

Young Thug released On The Rvn on Monday at midnight. This is a bit odd considering that most projects are released on Fridays to maximize streaming numbers. This is his third project of 2018, following the 3 track Hear No Evil EP and full-length album Slime Language. The project was supposed to drop on the 11th, but didn’t end up getting released until the 24th. Because this is only an EP, it’ll only give us a small taste, nevertheless, let’s dig in.

First Impression

On my first listen through this EP, I’m impressed with what Thug has for us. He goes back to his roots a bit on this project and I absolutely love it. We finally got some more glorious London On Da Track beats on a Thug project. The only negative I see so far is that we saw nothing new on this project. He went back to his old flow, which isn’t exactly the worst thing for a shorter project like this.

Lyrics/Flow

After taking a slight break from his usual flow on Slime Language, Thug is back on what made him stand out in the first place. The lyrics are typical subjects that he has rapped about before, so nothing really special in that regard. One thing that really stands out thus far are the beautiful melodies on some tracks. I’m glad that he’s started to incorporate them in his music during recent years.   

Score: 7.2/10

Beats 

As I mentioned above, we finally got some new Young Thug and London On Da Track. This combination is responsible for some of his best music, simply because of the production quality that London brings. We also get contributions from other frequent Thug producers Wheezy and Supah Mario. A downside of having these producers back is that they don’t bring many new sounds, even though Thug has made a name off of being experimental. Overall, the beats are good but nothing we haven’t heard Young Thug over in the past. The one beat that is completely different is for the song “High”, which samples the legendary Elton John

Score: 8/10

Replayability/Standouts

The best thing about EPs is their length. This project comes in at 6 tracks that span 21 minutes. There are different sounds, flows, and stellar features, making this project one that you can listen through multiple times. While I wish that we got more Young Thug, it is honestly a perfect length EP.  

I truly like every single track on this EP, but the songs you definitely need to hear are “On The Run”, “Sin”, and “High”.

Score: 8.4/10

Final thoughts

Young Thug’s music output in 2018 hasn’t impressed me much up to this point. I say that as someone who thinks that Beautiful Thugger Girls is one of the best albums of 2017. I liked Hear No Evil and Slime Language was alright, but neither of them did what I was hoping Thug would do: build on the new sound he brought out on BTG.

On The Rvn does exactly that. We get street Thug, melodic Thug, and even a bit of singing all in a short-but-sweet package. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I think this is the direction that Young Thug should continue to explore. It results in some amazing music that will be replayed countless times by his fans.

I’d recommend taking a listen to On The Rvn if you’re already a Young Thug fan or if you’re trying to get into his music. It’s only 21 minutes and it allows you to hear some of the things he does best. This is a solid EP and it deserves to be heard by the hip hop community.  

Final Score: 7.8/10

Image property of 300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records  

J. Cole – Concert Review

On September 8th, Salt Lake City was blessed by the presence of one of the biggest hip hop artists out right now. Yes, the great J. Cole performed here for the first time in three years on his KOD Tour, and it was quite the show to behold.

Opening acts

The show started at about 8pm, with EarthGang coming out to perform first. They kicked the show off with a mix of  popular songs including “Missed Calls” and “Can’t Call It”. They brought good vibes to the crowd and it’s safe to say that they’ve earned some new fans.

After EarthGang finished up their set, it was Jaden Smith’s time to shine. Smith’s set was when the crowd really started to get into the concert mood and turn up. He performed songs such as “Batman”, “Icon”, and “George Jeff”, to the delight of many of those in attendance. To finish off his set, Smith performed “Icon” once again as he raced through the entire lower bowl. The crowd loved this and it got them into the performance even more. Jaden Smith put on a great show and he was a quality opener, as evident by the amount of hype he generated for the main act.

Young Thug was supposed to perform after Jaden Smith, but he didn’t show up for an unknown reason. With no third opening act, the crowd was left with a DJ playing music from J. Cole’s Dreamville label while they waited for Cole to come out. The anticipation was at an all-time high and the crowd could hardly contain it. More and more people started filing in from the concourse. And as the clock struck 9:15pm, the show kicked off.

Cole World

This is the moment that everyone had been waiting the whole night for. The openers were cool, but it was finally time for J. Cole to come out.

Suddenly the whole arena went black. The huge video monitor on the stage lit up and showed images of an infant right after it was born, with “KOD Intro” playing in the background. Once the intro ended, J. Cole appeared and we faintly heard the beginning of “Window Pain (Outro)”. Cole perfectly captured the emotions in this song with his performance, and it was a very harrowing moment. The crowd was in awe seeing one of the greatest artists of their generation performing it.

Next, Cole threw it back to 2014 Forest Hills Drive and played crowd favorites “A Tale of 2 Citiez” and “Fire Squad”. After these tracks, he brought it back to KOD and played the majority of the album.   

Cole didn’t just stick to these two albums however. To the delight of many fans, he played a few tracks from his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, as well as a couple from 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only.

After throwing it back a bit to his previous work, Cole took a moment to address the crowd about very serious issues that are currently facing our society. With emotion in his voice, he talked about the mental health crisis that he addresses quite frequently on KOD. This was the most emotional and heartfelt that I’ve ever heard J. Cole, and it was my personal favorite moment of the entire show. He urged the crowd to love their life and seek help when they need it, and then he played two of his more personal tracks, “Love Yourz” and “Apparently”.

Following the sentimental moment, Cole played more tracks from 2014 Forest Hills Drive and then finished the show with the last two tracks from KOD. The album’s title track, “KOD”, was another highlight of the show, purely because you could tell that the entire crowd was waiting for it the whole night.

Cole then thanked the crowd for showing up to the show and then walked off the stage. They chanted “one more song” until he finally came back out and performed perhaps his most recognizable track, “No Role Modelz”. He definitely closed out the show with a bang.

Final Thoughts

This was absolutely a night to remember. J. Cole put on an amazing show that was well worth the money that those in attendance spent. He performed songs from every era of his music and truly encompassed his entire artistic direction. It was especially cool hearing him perform his older tracks and being able to compare them to his latest. It really shows the growth that he has had and makes me  appreciate him that much more.

If you missed this show, I urge you to go see J. Cole when he comes to Salt Lake City again. Even if you aren’t his biggest fan, you will get your money’s worth.