You laid on the tanning chair, gazing up at the star filled night sky. The full moon shining down on you as you take a hit from the blunt that lays between your fingers. Stretching your arm out, you pass the blunt to G, who laid on the chair next to you.
Neither of you had said a word since lighting the blunt. Both of you taking in the night sky, the autumn breeze, and the crickets chirping in the background. It wasn’t often that Gerald got down time, and when he did he was usually out partying.
This was a whole new scene, a change. A good change.
“I know all your dreams, goals, accomplishments you have in life,” you began keeping your gaze on the stars, “but what’s your biggest nightmare?”
G stayed silent for a second, thinking about the question. You two weren’t per say a couple, but he had feelings for you, your feelings were mutual. You both lived the fast life, with your modeling career, and his rapping career there was never time for a relationship.
“Losing everything. My job, my fans, music, you. My biggest nightmare is losing you.”
You looked over at the tall, lanky man, your heart beat speeding up within a second.
“All the years that I’ve been in this music career I felt alone. Every night after tour, I felt as if no one understood me, got who I was, what I wanted. It was not until I met you that I didn’t feel alone anymore, I felt as if I could share and talk about it all without being judged. Because you understand, you get me. You get me and I’m afraid that no one else in the world will ever get me like you do, Y/N.”
“Gerald,” you didn’t know what to say.
“I just- somewhere along the way, I got attached, I grew feelings, G fucking Eazy became a damn softie, for you. So yes, I think I’m in love, and yes my biggest fear is losing you.”
5.6 The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
5.61 Logic pervades the world: the limits of the world are also its limits.
5.632 The subject does not belong to the world: rather, it is a limit of the world.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
If the limit discovered by rebellion transfigures everything, if every thought, every action that goes beyond a certain point negates itself, there is, in fact, a measure by which to judge events and men.
Albert Camus (’Moderation and Excess’ in The Rebel)
And there go my dreams of them making the older women at least somewhat respectable and responsible adults… well, in this game, adults are trash that need their hearts stolen from them to become better human beings so…
I said "you all" exactly because my message was more directed at your followers than you. your blog is very popular, so.
That may be, but ultimately:
1. Using me as a medium through which you can address a group you disagree with is a flawed concept
2. What you’re upset about is semantics
3. People’s enjoyment of, and/or attachment to, a fictional character is not negotiable
4. Nor are the reasons/logic behind it/them
5. They also very rarely affect anyone outside of that person and their Tumblr followers.
6. WB and JKR’s wallets are not concerned with the reasons why someone cares about their character.
7. Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of my followers are literal children under the age of 15, so their logic isn’t A+. But also since they’re kids, I’d much rather they just have a space to be mad about silly things like fictional wizards with little-to-no consequence than any of the other alternatives.
8. We’re all just talking about a movie. It doesn’t go that deep, really.
9. MANY MANY MANY people are attached to Graves BECAUSE we didn’t see him, rather than in spite of this.
10. Donald Trump is president so I really don’t give a fuck if my or someone else’s enjoyment of something harmless is not entirely based in already fictional logic
//an alternate theory might be that elizabeth died?? (because she’s not appearing in the movie) not that i want this, but he can’t visit her if she’s dead
yeah that’s the popular theory out there and I’m salty aF about it existing lmfao, but with the rumours that keira is coming back for a post-credits scene ( I wasn’t gonna take the rumours seriously until kevin mcnally started being cryptic on twitter about it ) I just have a hunch that the writers won’t go there, even if she doesn’t appear.
2016 was a big year in Hip-Hop, with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J Cole all dropping projects throughout 2016, and with last year finally behind us I thought it was time for me to make a post about my favourite Hip-Hop albums/ projects of what was a great year in the music industry. I’d like to begin with a few honourable mentions that didn’t quite make it onto the top 5:
2015 can only be defined as the year of Kendrick Lamar, with his generation-defining album climbing to the top of the charts all over the world, resulting in Kendrick’s status translating from one of reasonable credibility to that of one of the greatest recording artists of our generation. So in March 2016 when Kendrick released his follow-up EP ‘Untitled Unmastered’ the world had their eyes firmly set on Compton to see what the California rapper would bring us next. And whilst ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ contained many moral messages and socio-political themes, Kendrick took a different approach with ‘Untitled Unmastered’ and promoted his more experimental style by producing a product based around the 70’s funk influences that he’s become synonymous with over the years. Yet whilst ‘Untitled Unmastered’ is a more ‘fun’ listen it doesn’t quite pack the impact that ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ packed upon it’s release. Undeniably, it’s impossible to expect Kendrick to grace us with music that’s worthy of that of a social prophet every time he writes, but I was expecting something similar in nature from ‘Untitled Unmastered’ in order to follow ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, and although this EP is an incredible project, as it was always going to be with Kendrick Lamar, it didn’t quite pack enough pedigree to make it onto my top 5. Nonetheless, if you enjoy Kendrick, or any Hip-Hop for that matter, then ‘Untitled Unmastered’ is definitely worth a listen, and still remains one of the hottest projects of last year.
. ‘Colouring Book’ – Chance the Rapper (12.05.16)
Over the past few years Chance the Rapper has gained a reputation in the music industry for being a guaranteed money-maker for any artist who can persuade him to jump on their track as a featured artist and give them a verse. However, 2016 marked the arrival of Chance the Rapper’s first commercially-successful project titled ‘Colouring Book’, that climbed all the way to number 8 in the US album charts and boasted some of the hottest lyrics/ verses of the year. However, with only three songs (out of fourteen) that didn’t include a featured artist, I feel that ‘Colouring Book’ was far too heavily-reliant on featured artists, and therefore I cannot include it in my top 5. However, Chance the Rapper is undeniably one of the hottest artists in the Hip-Hop game right now, so keep looking out for his work because I believe that the best is yet to come from the young Chicago MC.
. ‘Views’ – Drake (29.04.16)
I understand that it’s a controversial decision to neglect to include this album, as Drake was undeniably the defining artist of 2016 in not just the Hip-Hop community but within the entire music industry, and his LP ‘Views’ was the Toronto rapper’s biggest project to date. However, despite hit singles including ‘Hotline Bling’ and the undisputed most iconic song of the year ‘One Dance’, I feel that the vast majority of the songs on ‘Views’, including the two I previously mentioned, cannot constitute as ‘Hip-Hop’ songs, as they’re all R&B numbers, and for this reason I feel it’s unfair to include Drake’s ‘Views’ in a list of top 5 Hip-Hop albums over a number of traditional Hip-Hop albums that received less acclaim. However, Drake’s album isn’t the only album by a Hip-Hop artist in 2016 that falls into the category of R&B, with Ty Dolla $ign’s ‘Campaign’ and most notably Childish Gambino’s ‘Awaken My Love’ also holding the status of ‘R&B albums’ as oppose to Hip-Hop albums.
Nevertheless, Drake is undeniably one of the defining artists of our generation, and with many young MC’s today looking up to Drake as an influence and a role model it’s important for Hip-Hop fans to continue to support Drake and the new direction he’s heading in by continuing to bump his incredibly catchy and soulful music, because his music will keep the genre prominent and relevant within mainstream music, and will continue to inspire other young artists to pursue a career in Hip-Hop and the music industry.
And now I’ve revealed that neither Drake or Kendrick Lamar have made the top 5, lets get on with the real list!! :-D :-P
5) ‘Prima Donna’ – Vince Staples (26.08.16)
Hottest Tracks: Smile
Chart Performance (Albums):
. Australia – #34
In 2015 Vince Staples released his debut album ‘Summertime 06’, which, although only made it to number 39 in the top 40 US album charts, went down as one of the best albums of the year, and put Vince Staples’ name on the map as one of the most exciting young prospects in the Hip-Hop industry right now. So it seemed that Hip-Hop fans around the world would be excited by the prospect of whatever Vince Staples’ next project might be. This was the case when Staples’ announced the release of his follow-up EP ‘Prima Donna’, and everyone within the Hip-Hop community had their eyes on the Long Beach rapper. But the young MC didn’t crack under the pressure, and not only gave us more of the Staples’ style we grew to know and love from ‘Summertime 06’, but also produced arguably the most intelligent project of the year, boasting some of the most thought-provoking lyrics that the genre has seen for a while. Staples’ applied the same aggressiveness that he maintained throughout ‘Summertime 06’, but this time we delve deeper into Vince’s mind, and he really reveals the darkness and complexity behind his thoughts though the medium of his songs. But what’s most haunting of all is the cassette-tape recordings at the end of each track in which Vince sings children’s lullabies, as these maintain the dark tone of the EP. ‘Prima Donna’ didn’t chart in the US album charts, however it did manage to chart in Australia, reaching number 34, and was praised highly by other rappers, critics and Hip-Hop fans from all around the world. And it’s one of my favourite projects of the year too, breaking into this top 5 because of the dark creativity and technical excellence displayed by Vince Staples on this EP, and the only complaint I have with ‘Prima Donna’ is that I wish it was longer and there was more of it!! Had there been more content to listen to on this EP then Vince Staples’ ‘Prima Donna’ may well have topped this list.
Hottest Tracks: Black Beatles (ft. Gucci Mane); Came A Long Way
Chart Performance (Albums):
. USA – #4
Back in 2014 Rae Sremmurd burst onto the Hip-Hop scene with their party-starting debut single ‘No Flex Zone’ that got the Hip-Hop community and beyond excited for their debut album ‘SremmLife’. This project by the Atlanta duo of Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy came along in 2015, and just like ‘No Flex Zone’ many of the album’s songs got audiences singing along, bopping their heads, dancing around and even going crazy in the clubs and at their shows. However, whilst the album was energetic and full of life, and showed the world the great potential that these two great young artists possess, I couldn’t help but feel that it lacked soul, substance and maturity in many ways. Nonetheless, Rae Sremmurd had showed me enough of their range of talents with their first LP to get me excited about their follow-up release – ‘SremmLife 2’. And in August 2016 that’s exactly what the Atlanta duo gave us, and it didn’t disappoint. However, when I clicked the play button on the first track titled ‘ Start a Party’ I was hoping for a more serious track in order to promote an older, wiser, more mature Rae Sremmurd, but instead this song still felt like the content from their previous album with it’s youthful themes and fun undertone. Yet the second song titled ‘Really Chill’ takes the album in another direction and gives the album a sense of maturity and swagger. With hope in my heart that ‘SremmLife 2’ could still be an intelligent, sophisticated Hip-Hop album, I reached a song titled ‘By Chance’ that carried on the mature swagger that I found in ‘Really Chill’, which as a result made me breathe a sigh of relief as I realised that the charismatic duo had indeed taken a more insightful approach when creating this album. ‘By Chance’ adopts a more composed delivery, which remarkably takes Rae Sremmurd away from being the party-hard teens that brought us ‘No Flex Zone’ and allowed them to become two of the coolest rappers in the game right now, to both youngsters like themselves and even the most hardened Hip-Hop fans alike. The duo continue with this style with ‘Look Alive’ and their hit single ‘Black Beatles’ in that they continue to boast a cool, composed, psychedelic style that their audiences find so cool and authentic. And whilst Sremmurd dabble back in their signature party style with ‘Set the Roof’, they follow it up hard with ‘Came a Long Way’, which is by far the most soulful and insightful song on the whole album and gives the LP the substance that their first album lacked. From this point on, the rest of the album alternates between soulful, R&B inspired tracks and Sremmurd’s trademark party anthems, which makes for an incredibly diverse album. Ultimately though, what ‘SremmLife 2’ is can only be defined as the fruition of what Rae Sremmurd fans have been dreaming of for over a year, in that Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy combine the lyrical prowess they displayed in their first album in the way that that they rode their instrumentals, as well as the youthful exuberance they presented to us in their songs, with the maturity, sophistication and insight that their audience knew they were capable of, and as a result produced an album that represents their transition from young rappers with potential into complete artists. The album went all the way to number 4 in the US album charts, and it’s no surprise, as ‘SremmLife 2’ got everyone talking about two of the hottest young artists in the rap game right now, and this album made me incredibly excited to see what Rae Sremmurd have to offer the Hip-Hop community in the future.
Logic’s 2015 album ‘The Incredible True Story’ put the Maryland rapper’s name on the map, and obtained a reputation as one of the hottest albums of the decade so far. So when Logic announced the release of his mixtape titled ‘Bobby Tarantino’ we were expecting a project that was competitive enough to follow ‘The Incredible True Story’, yet it was hard for the Hip-Hop community to envisage ‘Bobby Tarantino’ reaching the heights of his previous album. Yet Logic’s mixtape emerged as one of the pleasant surprises of 2016, and I personally think that it surpasses ‘The Incredible True Story’ as his best project to date. Yet these two projects released by Logic are both very different, in that ‘The Incredible True Story’ follows a linear storyline and takes the listener on a journey, but it’s hard to define ‘Bobby Tarantino’ as a journey, as it doesn’t follow the conceptual format of his previous project and instead Logic took the more relaxed approach of comprising a collection of soulful songs with superb verses laced over them. As a result, ‘Bobby Tarantino’ takes the form of a still painting with lots of colour and content, as oppose to a continuous book or a film, and although the format of this project isn’t as complex as that of ‘The Incredible True Story’ it still remains engrossing and beautiful to the listener in a more simplistic way. Yet the mixtape isn’t without colour, and one track that really stands out from the first half of the mixtape is Logic’s unconventional track titled ‘Super Mario World’, that really gives the mixtape an up-tempo flavour. However, whilst ‘Bobby Tarantino’ is a mixtape that doesn’t feature a bad song, it’s the final three tracks on this mixtape that bring the whole experience to life, and turns a good mixtape into a great mixtape. The first of these three tracks, ‘44 Bars’, features some of the hottest bars of the decade, and allowed Logic to strut his technical excellence for all his listeners. Logic follows this with ‘Slave’, which I found so inspiring with it’s deep, intense flavour coupled with a subtle undertone, that discusses Logic’s struggle and allows the rapper to speak his message of liberation. Yet in spite of these merits it’s the final song on this mixtape that I found the most awe-inspiring. Logic’s ‘Deeper Than Money’ makes the listener question what the album is all about and what Logic’s motivation for this project might be. Furthermore, it’s lyrics are so intelligent and inspiring that it feels as if you’re looking at a brain with lots of different cogs moving in unison as if it’s a clock when you’re listening to it. Whilst the album didn’t perform quite as well in the charts as ‘The Incredible True Story Did’, as it only reached number 12 in the US album charts, I feel that it’s his best work to date, with it’s effortlessly insightful lyrics and polished lyrical acrobats making it surpass ‘The Incredible True Story’ in my eyes, and I believe that ‘Bobby Tarantino is just a small taste of what’s yet to come from this incredibly talented young artist.
Hottest Tracks: I Told You/ Another One; To D.R.E.A.M.; Question is; Loners Blvd; LUV
Chart Performance (Albums):
. USA – #4 . UK – #18 . Australia – #37
2016 brought us some great Hip-Hop albums, with artists such as Vince Staples, Rae Sremmurd and Logic contributing towards a terrific Hip-Hop library, but you couldn’t call any of these artists new-comers. So when the community began to get excited about Tory Lanez’ debut album ‘I Told You’ it was refreshing to once again contemplate the potential abilities of a new-comer as oppose to an established artist. Yet in spite of the positive-yet-underwhelming attention that ‘I Told You’ received, upon the album’s release we were blown away far more than we’d anticipated by Tory’s insightfulness, soulfulness, technical prowess, aggression and overall quality of his project, which turned out to be one of the best albums released in this decade. Unlike with many albums released by brilliant newcomers we didn’t slowly ease into Tory’s genius throughout the album, but instead we were immediately star-struck by Tory’s immense talent, as the intro makes you feel as if something special is about to happen, with his argument with his grandmother setting the scene for the story that was about to unfold, and the building tension that this created putting us on the edge of our seats and sending a shiver down our spine until finally the opening track crashes into your ear drums like a wave against the shore and hitting us like a train. Coupled with a down-tempo instrumental straight from the streets of Toronto, the opening track is one of the most technically astute tracks on the whole album, demonstrating Tory’s technically excellent flow and unparalleled story telling ability. However his second track ‘Guns and Roses’ takes us by surprise, as it’s an R&B track, and it sets the format for the rest of the album in that Tory alternates between traditional Hip-Hop tracks with hard flows and heavy beats such as ‘Question is’ and ‘Loners Blvd’, and more soulful songs such as his hit single ‘LUV’. What made Tory Lanez a benchmark for other rappers following the release of ‘I Told You’ however was Tory’s ability to keep his Hip-Hop influences and his R&B influences separate throughout the whole of this album, to the extent that whilst you’re listening to his album it feels as if you’re listening to two different artists, and I feel it’s this that takes ‘I Told You’ in a direction that Hip-Hop artists haven’t followed before. It’s similar to much of Childish Gambino’s work, except more consistent and more complete, and the separation that he demonstrates on ‘I Told You’ allows him to satisfy traditional Hip-Hop fans as well as R&B listeners, which I feel helps him drift away from the likes of Drake who’s R&B influences blend in with his Hip-Hop influences to the point where his genre becomes slightly undefinable. This originality demonstrated by Tory Lanez is what made me appreciate the album, but what made me fall in love with ‘I Told You’ is Tory’s immaculate story telling ability. Firstly, it’s worth nothing that there are over ten skits on this album, which many of you may say is too much, and at first glance I wouldn’t disagree, but all of Tory’s skits contribute to the overall story of the album, and we keep learning new things about the Toronto rapper and his story through these skits as the album progresses, as if they’re sequences shown just before the start of an episode of a TV show that help you catch up on anything you might have missed from a previous episode. However the beauty of Tory’s incredible story telling shines through in his lyrics, as we learn that he lost his mother when he was young, we learn about his conflict between love and his music, about his sacrifice for success, about his regret that he didn’t see his grandma was right that his friends and hustling were holding him back, and about his insecurities about fear of failure, all through the medium of Tory’s rhymes that he so neatly links together as if he were to perfectly put together a jigsaw puzzle depicting his entire life story. Tory Lanez used ‘I Told You’ as a platform to use his story to create a single work of art, and in doing so produced arguably the most compelling Hip-Hop album of all time, with Tory’s beautiful yet tragic tale touching the deepest fibres of our souls. Indeed, Drake may have invented the brand of Hip-Hop that fuses Hip-Hop with R&B, yet his fellow Canadian Tory Lanez appears to have mastered it, and when the Hip-Hop community were first left in awe of ‘I Told You’ upon it’s release I feel that Drake may have raised his hat to this young man in admiration of his successor. Finally, at the beginning of the album, Tory Lanez said to us in the intro that he was going to become the biggest recording artist in the world, and if he continues to make more music like that of ‘I Told You’ then I don’t believe I, or anyone else who gave this magnificent album a listen, would be surprised. For now Tory Lanez takes the silver medal spot in my top 5, but ‘I Told You’ put him amongst some of the greatest rappers in the world today, and arguably he has already surpassed them, but either way we’ll be hearing more from this exciting young MC very soon.
Hottest Tracks: Immortal; Change; 4 Your Eyes Only
Chart Performance (Albums):
. USA – #1 . UK – #21 . Australia – #6 . New Zealand – #10
There’s no denying that Kendrick Lamar was Hip’ Hop’s biggest talking point in 2015, with his generation-defining album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ that put the music industry and the Hip-Hop community in awe of the 79 minutes of genius produced by one of the best musicians in the world today. And for everyone within the Hip-Hop community it was impossible not to admire what Kendrick achieved with ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, yet in spite of this it left a bitter taste in the mouths of some Hip-Hop fans who stand by J Cole and still say that he’s the best rapper in the world, because Kendrick’s album put him well and truly on top of the Hip-Hop mountain. So when J Cole released his fourth studio album, a follow-up to his critically-acclaimed ‘2014 Forest Hills drive’, J Cole loyalists breathed a sigh of relief as they knew their favourite rapper had what it takes to knock Kendrick off his Hip-Hop thrown. But for the rest of the community our hands were shaking and a cold bead of sweat trickled down our foreheads as we clicked ‘play’ on the first track of J Cole’s ‘4 Your Eyes Only’, because we could only hope that this project would live up to it’s expectations. Yet when we reached the end I don’t believe anyone in the Hip-Hop community was disappointed by J Cole’s effort, as ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ lived up to our every expectation and more, and in my opinion this instalment to the J Cole saga was the best album of last year. Throughout the album J Cole slowly captivates us with the same calm, composed, silky-smooth flow of his that we’ve grown to know and love, but unlike his previous work ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ is far more conceptual, and instead of a collection of individual tracks this album feels more like you’re reading Anne Frank’s diary or Nelson Mandela’s memoirs, in that J Cole not only has a story to tell but also packs purpose behind his words to get his message to be heard loud and clear. J Cole keeps us enthralled with his insightful and intelligent brilliance all the way through this project, and he tops ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ off with an incredible final track of the same name, which seems to bring the whole album together and illuminates J Cole’s true purpose behind this project – the whole thing is a dedication to his daughter, and his life story that he’s portraying to his listeners through the medium of ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ is literally for his daughter’s eyes only, as all he wishes to achieve is for his daughter to look past his persona as a rapper or a figure of authority and instead know him for the person who he truly is. It’s hard to say whether ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ was better than ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, but one thing’s for sure, and that’s that if ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ was the ‘Me Against the World’ of this generation then ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ is the ‘Illmatic’ of our generation, in the sense that ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ and ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ are the two defining albums of the two defining rappers of our generation. Not only is ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ the best Hip-Hop album of 2016, but it’s up there along side the greatest albums of all time, and the Hip-Hop community will look back upon ‘4 Your Eyes Only’ as the album that blossomed the truly great potential of the lyrical genius that is J Cole.
Well that was it for 2016, and it was J Cole that took last year by storm and cemented his place as one of the biggest rappers our generation has seen! Tory Lanez burst onto the scene too, and Logic showed us just how talented he really is. But it’s an exciting time for this genre, and hopefully 2017 will be even better, with ‘CULTURE’ by Migos out now, and projects from Logic, Big Sean, Fetty Wap and a great number of other rappers coming soon, so make sure to keep up with the Hip-Hop Journal for reviews on all of these projects and much much more throughout this year. I’ll attach links to my Spotify playlist and the home of the Hip-Hop Journal where you can find all of the music I’ve discussed today and much more. But for now I hope you enjoyed reading this post, feel free to ask me any questions about this post or suggest any changes I could make to improve it, don’t forget to like and reblog this post, as well as follow the Hip-Hop Journal, and I’ll look forward to greeting you again for my next post. But for now, peace!!