A Whole Lot of TDE in 2014

top dawg

With the year TDE is expected to have, all members of the label should have plenty of time to golf and do other rich people activities.

The leader of TDE, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith has turned the hip-hop world on its ear with all of the high profile news he’s been releasing since the beginning of the year.  Plus, with Oxymoron (Schoolboy Q’s debut, projected to be number one on the charts by March 5th) officially out now, this is sure looking to be TDE’s year.

First, this news came to end 2013.  It’s a bold claim, sure, but completely reasonable especially because of new signees Isaiah Rashad and SZA.

To start 2014 off, Rashad dropped his Cilvia Demo project.  It’s a surprisingly thorough album, with a deep tale of his upbringing.  The brash young rapper plays between an aggressive style and a soulful one, without having his lyrics suffer.  Not to mention, his style is perfect for the “elegant” (just my own description) banger beats provided to him.

I like this guy’s swagger, and he’s got a knack for making catchy hooks that have a little bounce to them.  It’s kind of like when you know that something just feels right. Nothing but promise on the horizon.

Here’s where it gets really good…

Now, about Oxymoron. It was good.  Really good.  The type of TDE brilliance you would expect.  Through all of the different things that happened to have the album delayed, I can say now that it was well worth the wait.

“Man of the Year” and “Studio” are fantastic tracks ready to jam out with, while “Hoover Street” and “Perscription/Oxymoron” give introspective looks to the trials and tribulations of Groovy Q’s turbulent history.  Even tracks like “Break the Bank”, which admittedly I wasn’t too keen on before the album, fits nicely into the atmosphere as a whole.

Black Hippy is full of talented lyricists, each with their own flavor.  It has been dope to see the musical evolution of all of them, continuing to impress with each new release.

But wait…there’s gotta be something else….

Just when you thought that everything was going according to plan, as you sit there satisfied with that new Isaiah Rashad and Schoolboy Q, the fantastic news keeps coming.

Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and co-president of TDE Dave Free reveal in this latest Billboard interview that not only is a Kendrick album dropping in September, there’s also a Black Hippy album coming!

WHAT

Not to downplay Kendrick’s upcoming release, that’s great news in itself.  But this Black Hippy project news was not expected.  Not after Ab-Soul spent so much time denying that there would be one.

Not after it seemed solo releases were the main focus.

Not after there has been almost no mention of this until now.

After all this time, one of the “collaborations supposed to happen” albums is finally getting created.  “What better time than now?” has to be the thought at the TDE headquarters, as the crew is at the top of the Hip-Hop game.

Now if only some of these other supposed collaborations previously talked about would drop already (looking at you J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar).

Soooo, what can we expect then?

Expectations are high for this album, to say the least.  “Say Wassup” is still one of my favorite songs released in the past 5 years, and I have every reason to believe that the group debut album will be right along those lines.

It really comes down to how they approach it. Official Black Hippy tracks, with each member adding a verse, has been a dream for Hip-Hop heads for quite some time, so those will be in high demand.  Each artist has evolved a whole lot, and it will be interesting to see how their new styles match up.  It’s safe to say that the sound of this upcoming project will be quite different than the days of “Zip That, Chop That”.

This should be good.

I’m excited for it, and I hope you are too.  This is gonna be a good year in Hip-Hop, and TDE is leading the way.

-Ronzo

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UPDATE: HitsDailyDouble now has proof of Schoolboy Q’s number one album, as Oxymoron has sold 138,000 copies in its first week.  You guessed it, that’s a number one album on the Billboard 200 charts.  Congratulations Q!

Sunday G-Funk #7: Jay Rock – Follow Me Home

Jay Rock - Follow Me Home

 

While being lost in the middle of the wave of football that is the beginning of fall, here’s another way you can spend your Sunday; with some laid-back G-Funk sound (especially if you had a bad Fantasy Football week like I did).

This week, I bring to you one of the torchbearers of West Coast Hip-Hop, Jay Rock (of recent “Money Tree” feature verse fame).  While he may not be the biggest name in the Black Hippy crew, he does have a claim as being one of the first members of Top Dawg, as well as a major influence for Kendrick, Q, Soul, and himself to form their group.  His album Follow Me Home, released with the help of Strange Music, featured everything you could want from a classic West Coast album.  Big feature names are littered throughout, including Tech N9ne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, and more.  Plus, the production has a new-age traditional feel, with beats from top notch producers such as, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Tha Bizness.  

Black Hippy Involvement

The most impressive aspect of the album has to do with the unity of the Black Hippy crew.  In a time where the other members were still in a rising phase with no major releases, this project served as a stepping stone for the group’s advancement as a whole.

Not only do all the members step into the booth for the posse cut (and one of very few Black Hippy tracks), “Say Wassup”, each artist’s adlib vocals are scattered throughout the album.  Kendrick’s hook on “They Be On It”, Schoolboy Q providing one line on “Bout That”, Ab-Soul on “No Joke”, the list goes on and on.  The cohesiveness is highly apparent, and Follow Me Home is the closest thing to a Black Hippy album released as of yet.

(Similar methods are used on the more recent “The Heart Pt. 3”, by Kendrick Lamar, with features from Jay Rock and Ab-Soul)

The Singles

While Jay Rock himself declared that the album is “strictly for the ghetto”, it still has its share of catchy radio-worthy singles.  Songs like “No Joke” and “Westside ft. Chris Brown” have infectious hooks, while “Hood Gone Love It ft. Kendrick Lamar” hosts the most impressive feature verse of the whole album.

Follow Me Home serves as an incredible start for Jay Rock, and the buzz will only continue to grow as Black Hippy increases in popularity.  Here’s to the leaders of the new generation.

-Ronzo

Quick Update 8/20/13

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While the Hip-Hop world for the past week have been marveling at the lyricism of Kendrick Lamar, there are many great tracks dropping left and right, especially within the past couple days.

Kendrick isn’t the only one making noise in the Black Hippy crew; Schoolboy Q is building hype for his upcoming album Oxymoron.  He’s even considering this upcoming project to be some of the best music he’s made so far.

Wiz Khalifa is making music again after a brief but unusual hiatus from the rap game.  This partially because of his recent wedding with Amber Rose, who actually just posted quite an interesting video.  

Check out the latest from Wiz, with smoked out raps over a classic Sledgren beat in preparation for his Blacc Hollywood project.

A new Curren$y track with Harry Fraud just surfaced recently, “Audio Dope 4”.  The combination which is quickly becoming a match made in heaven, are back at it again.  The two have very similar laid-back styles, and certainly know how to bring the correct vibe to any smoker’s circle.

Check out audio here: Big Sean ft. Nas & Kid Cudi

And of course, the man who made the song that’s been on everyone’s mind, is back again with another song boasting impressive features.  Hall of Fame has really been up and down in it’s preview, but we’ll see what it has to offer soon enough.

-Ronzo