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.
Jeremih – Late Nights With Jeremih (2012)
Despite having some big hits, Jeremih really isn’t brought up enough as one of the best R&B acts of his time. Late Nights With Jeremih, his classic mixtape, was recently added to streaming services and it showcases not just a great singer, but a great artist. Most of these songs stand up not just as hits or bedroom music, but there’s actually a vision with the songwriting and it all holds up well even ten years later. Dope features from hiphop artists like Fabolous, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, and Mike-WiLL Made It show versatility and make everything Jeremih does exude superstardom. If nothing else, this tape is sexy and smooth all the way through and acted as a great prelude to the phenomenal Late Nights: The Album.
Plies – 100% Real N—- (2005)
There was a time when Plies was one of the absolute biggest names in rap. While his hits of the time are definitely a bit dated, he still shows out with great energy and bleeds the Florida sound. Every song on here is raw, and deep south gangster, yet somehow so catchy in Plies’ drawl. Its very endearing and you believe every word he says – most of which is just about how real he is. This album didn’t quite have the pop push that The Real Testament did, but the rough, natural sound is unique and adds to his whole act. Hopefully Plies isn’t too lost to time as trends change and embrace a cleaner sound.
Roc Marciano – The Pimpire Strikes Back (2013)
With Conway the Machine seeming to have established himself in the New York history books, it was a chance to consider the other legend of that east coast revival scene: Roc Marciano. His influence, skill, and consistency are undeniable, placing him among the greats. A surprisingly underrated project of his is The Pimpire Strikes Back. With some catchy hooks and samples, features from the likes of Action Bronson and Cormega, and an amazing Madlib beat, its among his more high profile albums. Tracks like “Doesn’t Last” and “German V’s” are infectious, and Roc brings his technical, over the top pimp rhymes as always.
Black Milk – Tronic (2008)
Black Milk is a mainstay in Detroit boombap, and Tronic is arguably where he really solidified himself. Popular Demand had some dope beats, but this is when he broke out of the Dilla mode and upped his pen game a bit. He developed a more signature, highly intentional flow and got more experimental on the production side. His beats were still soulful and loyal to the heart of the city, but there were some techno and really off kilter tendencies that made Tronic stand out more. Plus it’s got the song “Losing Out” with Royce, which remains some of the best work from either artist. With Black Milk producing the forthcoming Cypress Hill album, we hope to hear him back on the boards for more artists again!
Wacotron – Smokin Texas (2021)
The past couple years have marked a bit of a trap renaissance in the south; Artists like Big30 (check our AOTY review on King of Killbranch), Nardo Wick, and Pooh Shiesty have come up with unique flows, forward thinking beats, and unrivaled energy. Wacotron is another of this mold, but with such an overt Texas flavor. Smokin Texas is short and sweet, packed with bars you can’t believe you haven’t heard before and production that blurs the lines between trap and an old west soundtrack. With more push, Wacotron has some huge potential to put out some of the best Texas trap in a minute.