By Jhawn Nelson
I am a believer of the concept of momentum and the effect it can have. For instance, when a basketball player makes a big dunk in the middle of a game it usually sparks a run for the team. Or when a football team is down by a large margin, then scores a few touchdowns in a row, they gain momentum and the game seems to be in their control.
Drake stated on the song “Thank Me Now” from his first studio album, that music and sports are synonymous. I can see a correlation happening right now. The rap game is running forward in a positive direction with a great amount of energy.
One thing about momentum is that once an object contains an abundance of it, it is hard to stop it, and that is great news for music listeners everywhere. I believe the catalyst of this energy was 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
The year 2014, in my opinion, was very dull for good hip hop music. There were a few pretty decent releases throughout the year, but many of them did not raise any eyebrows. The category for Best Rap Album of the year at the Grammys was incredibly sup-par.
As a matter of fact is was so weak that I would not have minded if award was given to Iggy Azalea for The New Classic (Which ironically was far from a new classic). Right before 2014 came to a closure, J Cole dropped a much needed album which was hands down the best rap project of the year.
It sold 340,000 copies in the first week, without any radio singles, which was a career high for Cole (Billboard). The positive energy from 2014 FHD has rolled over into this new year of music.
So far this year, for full projects, mixtapes have been released by Future, Drake, and Lil Wayne. In addition, Joey Badass has released a nice lyrical album. Other artists, such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Rich Homie Quan, Big Sean, and Meek Mill have released a few hot singles.
Rap Moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West will be on Waka Flocka’s new album which is releasing soon. This let me know that literally ANYTHING can happen in the music field this year. Big Sean recruited Drake and Kanye to make the hottest banger of 2015, “Blessings”.
This and the hit track “IDFWU” has fans everywhere extremely anticipating his upcoming album Dark Sky Paradise. Last week, we received new music from Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Kanye West. This was the most musically loaded week I have ever experienced in my life.
Kendrick Lamar dropped a song titled “The Blacker the Berry” in which he deeply discusses his outrage on the violence that takes place on the young African-American community then states how he is a hypocrite of this belief.
This song earned an unlimited amount of fire emojis, while reminding every listener that Kendrick is a forced to be reckoned with. Mr. West, in the midst of releasing a fashion line and new sneakers, gave us “Wolves”, the introduction track to his new album, which will be coming to us sometime in 2015.
Then, on the six year anniversary of his classic debut mixtape “So Far Gone”, Drake surprised the world with a new album which was reportedly supposed to complete his deal with Cash Money Records (McKinney, Vox.)
Although it was supposedly composed of 17 “Throw away” tracks, it sounded like a masterpiece to me. It makes you wonder, “Man, how great will Drake really be when it’s all said and done?”
With all this said, 2015 is the year we are being rewarded with magnificent music to make up for the struggle most artist put us through last year. It is really mind-boggling when I realize that we are only about six weeks into the year, and we still have ten months to go.
The line-up for the rest of the year already has a lot of expectation to live up to, and I believe that this competitive spirit in the air will bring the best work out of all artists. This is a win-win situation for all music listeners around the world, and I am happily eager to hear what us 2015 brings us.