The Rotation (3 August 2022)

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Welcome to The Rotation! Every week we drop a few albums that our writers have been bumping the most so that we can share our thoughts on stuff we might not get to review otherwise – Whether it be fresh drops, throwbacks, or underground gems.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter (2004)

With a sudden summer craving for some Mannie Fresh production, Lil Wayne’s breakout solo album Tha Carter serves as a wonderful soundtrack and time capsule. At this point in his career, Wayne’s rapping was both hungry, but also more down to Earth than ever again. As much as he was spitting and talking his shit, there were also cuts like “Ain’t That a Bitch” or “Shine” that really speak to you. Even for all its acclaim and classic status, the first Carter remains a bit underrated in his discography.

Listen to Tha Carter on Spotify

Busdriver – Perfect Hair (2014)

Busdriver is certainly one of the most polarizing and unique artists in hiphop; As much as people might respect his vision and lyricism, it can be hard to get past the ridiculous flows and croons. Perfect Hair is not only his clear cut best project, but also his most accessible. With more forward thinking, synthy production than his earlier work (which was West Coast boombap largely), a lineup of phenomenal features, and catchy hooks, Driver can convert even the most close minded heads with this one. Lyrically, he’s notable for being deeply esoteric and making the most absurd allusions, but it pays off with themes of black empowerment and the indie rap lifestyle.

Listen to Perfect Hair on Spotify

Rob49 – Welcome to Vulture Island (2022)

Like Lil Wayne and even Youngboy before him, this Louisiana native is a Birdman protege is showing enormous star potential. Taking more influence from Kevin Gates, Rob49 is crafting street anthems like no other right now. His newest album Welcome to Vulture Island is a breakout in quality, packed with bangers like the title track which is destined for strip club play. Featuring Baby and Detroit trap stars alike, Rob’s aggressive delivery and bravado make it impossible to press skip.

Listen to Welcome to Vulture Island on Spotify

Kurupt – Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha (1999)

Both Kurupt and Daz Dillinger deserve more love for their work outside of Tha Dogg Pound (especially Daz’s production work). Tha Streetz Is a Mutha stands out as an LA classic as Kurupt not only kills it on the mic, but brings together an all star lineup of features. Everyone from Dre and Snoop to Xzibit and Crooked I show out and make for a varied, fun, and distinctly late 90’s West Coast listen. Tracks like “Never Gonna Give It Up” stand out for an essential Nate Dogg hook, while the outro “Calling Out Names” is a major statement.

Listen to Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha on Spotify

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