Author: lshadair

About lshadair

I'm from Seattle, live in Chicago, and love hip hop music.

J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive (HHYW album review)

J Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive

“Ain’t no way around it no mo’/I am the greatest/Lot of ni***s sat on the throne/I am the latest” These are the first words J. Cole spit on the first verse of the song Fire Squad from his newest album. J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive is another demonstration of Cole’s sharp eye for production. Combine his ability to produce with his self-reflecting, awe-inspiring lyrics and it is easy to see why J Cole has risen to become one of the most prominent figures in mainstream hip hop music today. 2014 Forest Hills Drive dropped on December 9th, 2014, and it seems to me to be the years’ crowning achievement when it comes to hip hop music. The hip hop game continues to be watered down as the mainstream rappers representing the genre continue to lack more and more substance as major record labels put pressure on artists to go for quantity over quality. J Cole, however, is a break from the norm. He is the type of artist who strives for longevity, instead of just a few hit singles and one or two more years of fame. Read More »

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G Herbo aka Lil Herb – Pistol P Project (HHYW mixtape review)


The Pistol P Project is the latest tape from Lil Herb, following Welcome to Fazoland. The tape dropped out of the blue the day after Christmas and it has just ten songs. You could almost consider this project an interlude to his studio album. The musical ability displayed by Lil Herb is uncharacteristic of many of the other artists in his city. Lil Herb is from Chicago, but he isn’t the type to categorize himself as a “drill” artist. Although the heavy bass that is a characteristic of many of his songs is certainly reminiscent of Chicago’s drill music scene, Herb tries to diversify his music and go over more soulful-sounding beats and other styles. Lil Herb displays versatility when he rhymes, and a flow that is hard to top. Chicago’s hip hop scene is booming right now and G Herbo is leading the charge. Read More »

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Lil’ Bibby – Free Crack II (mixtape review)

Lil Bibby - Free Crack II cover

On August 29th, 2014, Chicago resident and XXL Freshman Lil Bibby dropped his highly anticipated second mixtape, Free Crack II, and proved once again that he is in this rap game for the long haul. At times there are contradictions, but that doesn’t take away from his overall impact or his lyrical ability. Bibby, a 20 year old from the east side of Chicago with the voice of a blunt smokin’ OG, provides a different type of sound than you would generally hear from the Chicago area. While it is an ever-growing subgenre, Bibby can’t be categorized simply as a drill artist. He created a style of his own, and he goes over many different types of beats created by a wide array of producers from Bangladesh to Black Metaphor. The variations in producers don’t take away from the project at all, as Bibby flows effortlessly throughout. Read More »

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