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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.
Future – I Never Liked You (Fresh)
At this point, Future has nothing else to prove and is arguably the GOAT of trap, so anything else we get from him is just good for picking out a few highlights. I Never Liked You leans heavily into the whole “toxic” persona he’s built up and brings a nice variety of melodic, softer cuts and some bangers. Others like “Holy Ghost” and “Keep it Burnin” are really cinematic and standout. A wide range of dope features are welcome here as well (particularly EST Gee, Kodak, and even Kanye). If nothing else, he brings much more energy that on some recent projects and the production is far less generic than High Off Life.
Listen to I Never Liked You on Spotify
Fat Joe – Don Cartagena (1998)
Fat Joe was so popular and core to New York hiphop in the late nineties, yet is really not brought up enough in some circles. Don Cartagena is arguably his best work, having come into his own from the more raw, retro sounding Jealous Ones Envy. The Terror Squad attitude is palpable throughout, with lots of features from Big Pun, among other legends such as Nas and Big L. Joe can really rhyme and had hits, so anybody who’s still sleeping needs to spin this classic.
Listen to Don Cartagena on Spotify
Mozzy – Bladadah (2015)
Another artist who’s put in crazy work to not enough acclaim is Mozzy; The LA rapper is so prolific and brings a really unique perspective to the game. Bladadah, still his best album to many, has some variety on the production side while Mozzy just talks his shit on every song. He sounds so gangster with his flow (great for fans of Jay Rock, or even legends like Xzibit), but he also always drops some wisdom on the streets and industry like Nipsey would. With plenty of assists from his crew and classic samples, you can tell Mozzy really loves this rap shit.
Devin the Dude – Waitin to Inhale (2007)
Just a really lighthearted listen, Waitin to Inhale tells you everything you need to know about Devin the Dude. The Houston MC, one of the greatest weed rappers ever, always gives you something to just chill with. The storytelling on here is often hilarious; We get the story of him falling for a high school crush who got fat, or on the reality of life as a famous rapper.
Devin is also pretty great with melodies, finding a balance between that pure 80’s hiphop spirit and something more laidback. There are even features from legends like Snoop Dogg, 3 Stacks, Lil Wayne, and Bun B. Additionally, fans of Curren$y, are sure to love one of his biggest influences here.
Listen to Waitin to Inhale on Spotify
Baby Smoove – Hardwood Classic (2020)
So exemplary of the Detroit trap scene, Baby Smoove is someone you can just throw on shuffle and always enjoy, but Hardwood Classic definitely has some of his biggest highlights. Over those rapid fire, funky beats, he brings a notably lazy flow that somehow always keeps up. He brings some of the most creative and hard flexes in trap today, always finding a fun spin on the typical subject matter. Really, he’s one of the best lyricists in the whole scene in that sense.
Listen to Hardwood Classic on Spotify