State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Eric Dowling

The U: “For the Love of It”

Penn State alum, The ‘U’ is back at it with a new music video, “For the Love of It”. The second single off of his debut album #NoDaysOff. The music video, directed by Randy Troy of Conviction Studios, is grand and fun music video that truly embraces the moniker of #NoDaysOff. The ‘U’ can be seen having a good time in a baseball stadium, shooting hoops in the park and at a party. With crisp visuals, this song and video will be a testament to those that work hard for what they have in life. Check out the video below.


For more details on The ‘U’ and his upcoming album go to his new website here. If you want your very own The ‘U’ T-Shirt and other merchandise, go to the website and cop yours before it is too late.

New Music Alert: Stuart Little

Article Written By: Sydney Sweeney


With countless artists releasing new material and making waves, this year has undoubtedly been impressive for the quickly growing State College music scene. However, not many can parallel the success of Stuart Little, the hip-hop trio that just released their third single, “Let’s See.”

The story begins last year in Stuart Hall, where then freshmen floormates Joe Woodson and Mike Druhot met. They quickly began to record music together under the name Didier & SMG. With influences from Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper,heir music began to attract attention  This past October they were invited to audition for the newly formed Happy Valley Music Label (HVML), the latest addition to an ever-growing roster of music-centered student organizations in Penn State’s DIY scene. Performing with only two microphones and prerecorded music on an iPhone, Stuart Little’s sound left a lasting impression on the HVML and the duo was signed to the label.

As the year progressed, the duo continued to evolve by changing their name and developing their sound. The most notable change came in the form of singer and fellow sophomore Leah Anderson, who was added to the mix this year. Her clean and powerful vocals provide balance and contrast to Woodson and Druhot and take their sound to a new level.

Despite it being their first official show with all three current members, Stuart Little was definitely a crowd pleaser at Movin’ On’s Battle of the Bands this year. As the audience surged forward to get as close as possible to the front of the stage, any doubts regarding their future in Penn State’s music scene were quickly resolved. Since then, the trio has appeared on PSNTV and played a multitude of shows, including an event for Penn State’s Homecoming Legacy Celebration.

“Let’s See” is a step in a different direction for Stuart Little as they continue to evolve as a group. The instrumental backing has become more minimalist than in their previous work, but “Let’s See” doesn’t feel empty as the trio’s vocals take center stage. While the track is closer in style to popular radio artists than their original influences, don’t assume that Stuart Little is “selling out” by any means. “Let’s See” is proof of their versatility as artists and their potential to continue growing. The rest is up to you, but one thing is certain: Stuart Little is quickly becoming one of State College’s most promising up-and-comers.

Album Review: Coming Up for Air

Irish Alternative rockers, Kodaline are back with their electrifying new album, Coming Up for Air, and it is one that may go under a lot of radars, especially with the girth of new music out there right now. But Coming Up for Air is, and not to be cute or cheeky, a breath of fresh air. It is a nice mix of upbeat happy, energetic songs, and slow, more mellow songs. It is a record that is truly a throwback, it definitely has two sides to it. Side A, is the happy, fast paced songs, whereas side B is the slower, more mellow deeper tracks. Kodaline is, for those who have never listened to them before, the band that Maroon 5 could have been right now, if they didn’t go for the pop route, and move forward with their sound. Kodaline, does not try to be anything special, and that is not something to shake your head at. Like they say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” and that is the manta that Kodaline lives by, basically, and it really helps them, they live off a sound that is good, people enjoy it, and they put their own spin to it.




Right off of the start of the record, you know that this is a tender, emotional album for the band. Their lyrics are vulnerable “We don’t communicate can you not say what’s on your mind? And I see it everyday you hide the truth behind your eyes.” Those are raw emotional lyrics of someone clearly in a troubled relationship, and the rest of the album continues in that fashion. Another stand out track, besides the opener “Honest” is the song “Lost” in the true fashion, in my personal experience, any song titled “Lost” is a sure fire good song, from Coldplay, to Frank Ocean to the Meatpuppets, there are just good songs with the title “Lost” and this is no exception, from the bouncy, but mellow beat that the band throws down to the emotive and vulnerable vocals Steven Garrigan the whole song comes together in a way that makes you immediately feel for the singer, and it even puts you in a place being in a similar situation.




Coming Up for Air is an album that despite its innovative approach, it is still worth checking out. It is fun, but at the same time, it is mellow and a good record to put on and just space out to. They are still, in my mind, considered an up and coming act, and they will be one to put on your radar. Keep an eye open, as their infectious sound is sure to fill the radio waves this summer.

Concert Review: Steve Aoki

Guest Article Written By: Rachel Reiss

The arrival of Grammy award winning DJ, Steve Aoki at the BJC was nothing short of chest pounding.   The excitement was evident starting long before the concert with many fans lining up at the doors hours before.  Only standing room tickets were available resulting in a densely packed crowd covering over half of the floor space.  As you approached the stage you could feel the beats reverberating through your body–as expected of a powerful EDM concert.

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The crowd about exploded as the opening DJs left the stage, the lights dimmed, and two giant video boards illuminated to introduce the feature act–a small Asian man with a defining moustache and long hairstyle.  After two hours of opening DJs, Aoki presented himself to a swarm of sweaty students chanting “Aoki”, eager to dance to his beats.  His opening number was a high energy, fast paced, song.  The flashing and strobing lights sent the fans into a frenzy and many girls in the crowd got thrown up into the air and onto shoulders to reach sight of the stage.  There was a DJ table where the artists mixed their beats and Aoki didn’t hold back from jumping up onto the table to rage with the audience.  He was very engaged with the crowd; not long into his set Aoki announced that he was Facetiming a friend: “say hi to my friend everyone” receiving a roar of a response from everyone.  His crowd interaction continued by tossing out some worn t-shirts, and sending two rafts out into the sea of dancers.  His signature of tossing a cake into the crowd was a lot of fun, many of the audience made posters to encourage Aoki to “cake them”.  The eventual receiver of a cake to the face was a girl with a huge sign saying “Cake me bitch” including a picture of Breaking Bad character Jesse Pinkman.  During “intermission” Aoki attempted to get a “crazy” photo with everyone, which ended up on his Instagram account, of course.

The music selection was strong, including songs off of his new album Neon Future I and other fan favorites. The killer playlist was preceded by Zombie Nation played by an opening DJ, what a surprise.  That brought the energy up on the floor because as we all know Penn State students can’t resist showing their school pride.  Aoki’s EDM set was booming with bass and the variety of remixes and original songs made for an entertaining time.  The two songs that got the loudest roar from the crowd were the Aoki originals Turbulence and Delirious.  Throughout the music, Aoki would direct the crowd on when to really dance to the beat, mostly through his own enthusiasm and expletives.

It seemed Steve Aoki could have kept the crowd going until the next morning, but his concert did have to come to an end.  He received insane shouts from everyone.  The satisfied audience exited the arena, ears ringing, and still sticky with sweat.  Despite a bit of sensory overload, it was an incredible show.

Think Tank: Who is Poised to Take the (Rap) Throne?



Which Rappers Can Compete for the Prized Seat?



A few weeks ago, approximately upon the release of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, I propose the question to a fellow writer about who is the best rapper right now, not counting Kanye and Jay Z? Like if those two were to stop rapping, who would we look to to say this is the best rapper around right now. Fellow staffer, Tariq Rashid, and I exchanged, long, lengthy Facebook conversations of our opinions on the matter. 13977_814585941905923_52292052812882662_nThis was all done to share our opinions on the matter, and really lay down a pros and cons of the best out there. What you will read is our opinions on the matter, so feel free to comment with your thoughts on the matter. For brevity’s sake, I will be denoted with ED, and Tariq will be represented with TR.




DJ Riq Sperry and DJ Dowling



ED: Where do we look to for influence in hip hop/ rap? Are you more of a Tupac or Biggie guy? Or do you prefer a Tribe Called Quest? Basically who do you look at as your grandfather of rap. This is an opinion based question so don’t feel the need to say Sugar Hill Gang.


TR: Ahh probably have to say Big. And earlier than that – I think Rakim’s important.


ED: For me bands like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul were so innovative. The entire Native Tongues movement is what I like in hip hop and rap. It’s more happy it’s not angry at the world. It’s aware. They are making music to make a statement they aren’t just saying “Fuck the police” because they don’t know any different. They are saying why “We need to be wary of cops.” But at the same time approaching it from a much lighter point of view. From 3 Feet High to Midnight Marauders both of the albums have a sense of levity to it that makes them just fun albums.


TR: I like Tribe. They were an amazing group who carried that organic bohemian vibe with them. Little Afrocentrism in their aesthetic. All very positive uplifting stuff. And they were fun as well. You can’t help but swing a little bit and smile listening to “Bonita Applebaum”. I like Rakim because of his lyrical dexterity. He was complex.. he bucked the simple rhyme pattern that a lot of his peers used during his run. Very skilled guy with amazing capacity.


ED: And I think Biggie defined what it means to be a New York rapper. He helped create a sound.


TR: Agreed on that. Style, bravado, subject matter, sonic-wise. The whole nine. -He was a part of the 90’s NY Wave


ED: Ok so let’s get into this; when you are listening to someone new, someone who has really just started making music in the last 7 years, what are you looking for? Are you looking for use of samples? Original beats. Or are lyrics more important to you? Do you want lyrics that make you laugh or make you think? If we look at someone like Mac Miller he started creating frat raps. And same with Gambino. Both were funny. But now they look deeper and look at something in different perspectives. So what are you looking for when you are thinking of someone snatching the throne?


TR: Ideally you have a combination of awesome lyrics and great beats. They’re in concert. But lyrics always catch my ear first. Say something with substance that pulls me in, challenges me to think, or even *and maybe most importantly.. enables me to relate to you. Funny rappers are cool.. and I’m all for festive songs about partying.. but guys who are able to go in about politics, relationships, family problems, or the “game”/competition are great in my book. That’s what grabs me.


ED: tumblr_mk37sxL1PV1qivoo8o1_500Ok cool I totally agree. For me I’m one of those people that don’t really hear lyrics until I listen to a song a few times. So for me the beat is a little bit more important. If I hear a fire beat I’m going to listen to a song more if I can just vibe to it. But that being said if I hear the lyrics and they don’t make sense I get angry cause it’s not complete. I kind of think of Riff Raff in this way. I like him to laugh at but I don’t take him seriously.


Ok so for you who was one of the first rappers you really got into? Like you discovered them. You have followed them. So like Jay and Kanye don’t count.


TR: Come for the beat, stay for the lyrics.

201412-wale-pres-photo-billboard-650x430I remember listening to Wale when I was in middle school. He was the first rapper I really stumbled upon and was able to follow. It’s always cool being able to “claim” a rapper who you later try to get your friends hip to. I loved 100 Miles & Running as well as The Mixtape About Nothing. They were fun projects that engendered thought but also just sounded good. For me – Wale was “different”. He was freestyling over original songs by Justice, Gorillaz, Amy Winehouse and Lilly Allen. Doing concept mixtapes; his creativity made me gravitate towards him. Oh! And I loved his wordplay. Just waaay too good. So talented. And great subject matter range.


ED: For me it was Das Racist. I really don’t even know how I heard about them. I think it was through Rolling Stone. But I just remember their music being free and that was the best thing ever. I listened to them and thought they were joke rappers. But after going back their references were so deep and I loved that so much. For my I always appreciate a good reference, which is why I love pop art. But I felt like I was in on an inside joke. I couldn’t get enough of them. 101112-das-racist-2To this day I am still learning what some of their references mean. And these guys are smart as hell. They basically went to Ivy League school and they are all some sort of a minority so they are talking about those issues “You couldn’t see me like a Cuban playing hockey” this was also where I heard true samples from Billy Joel to a Tribe Called Quest they were doing things I couldn’t get my head around. Whereas when you listen to Kanye you can barely tell he is sampling. It all sounds so organic to his songs. But Das Racist made it obvious they were sampling.


TR: Very nice. First project you heard of theirs? Or single song?


ED: Song. I’m pretty sure it was “Rainbow in the Dark” the beat of it was sick and I heard some things in it that made me stop and be like they didn’t just make that reference.

Enough beating around the bush. If Kanye and Jay Z were to call it quits today. Who would be the one to take their spot, as the best in the game? Only one rapper.


TR: Very tough! But everything considered I’d have to say Drake takes the title as best in the game right now. I think we judge from each rapper’s total discography, but increasingly I tend to shift to an artist’s latest project. If You’re Reading This, which was essentially a collection of leftovers, was epic. Who puts out album quality mixtapes? It was sonically challenging with the different samples his engineers used (Genuwine, Three Six Mafia). The club bangers and soft ballads, competitive, revealing at times, and overall very comprehensive. I felt like Drake was in control with each flow and switched at will. You know when you watch Steph Curry pull up from way downtown and sink a three pointer that should count for 4 points? I feel like that’s what Drake does. *insert lyric lol* There’s something effortless about Drake’s approach now. His blend of lyricism, bravado, and creative license all make for a skilled precise rapper. He knows he’s got it and acts as such. It’s hard because I know Kendrick has a project on the way. But if we’re going with what’s right now.. gotta give it to Drake


ED: Funny you mention Kendrick… For me. I would say Kendrick Lamar. Even though his catalogue isn’t as vast as Drake’s his albums and what he has released by himself (mostly looking at individual things limiting tracks where he is a feature) is just breathe taking. I don’t think Drake has had that moment where he has stopped me. I love how thoughtful [Kendrick] is and Drake learned something from Wayne. But Kendrick’s mentor was Dre. Dr. Freaking Dre! What better mentor than that? Lil Wayne never convinced me that what he was doing was important. And Wayne was a huge reason why I hated rap for a long time. But when I heard “Lose Yourself” something clicked inside me. And I think Dre brought that out with Kendrick, like he did for Eminem. Hearing “ADHD” for the first time, you hear the pain in his voice about being from one of the worst places to grow up in. And I think this is something most rappers get pigeonholed into but Kendrick Lamar had his moment where he looked at where he came from and made a modern classic with good Kid. With Kendrick Lamar he is talking about things in such a poetic way and even though Drake helped to change the topics rap songs are about it was Kendrick who made it personal. With Lamar you take what you hear and then break it down and that’s when things get real. With “i” he is doing something we don’t see in modern black rap. Loving yourself. Who cares what anyone things. “I love myself” and that is so powerful. Even now with “Blacker the Berry” he is challenging what is popular in black culture and taking blame for what happened with Michael Brown and Eric Gardner. It’s revolutionary. And I truly think that “Started from the Bottom” is a stupid song and so not Drake that that song is what he is known for. Kendrick isn’t making radio hits. He is trying to make history. Following what NWA did. He is making music for him. And if it is successful then that is just a plus.


TR: “i” sounded like a Kia commercial. Cool Isley brother’s sample and good message but it felt pop-y to me. Great breath of fresh air considered the sex and drugs we’re hit with in music across genres. Not to mention the violence in hip hop and a couple other genres whether it be gang or against women. So claps to Kendrick with that for sure. And good central message, respect and love yourself. It picked up a Grammy because of that but also because it was warm and kumbaya-ish. I don’t know if something as honest and abrasive as “Blacker the Berry” would have gotten a Grammy. If we switch the songs I don’t know if “Blacker” gets greeted like “i” does. And it’s not a testament to Kendrick Lamar… it’s more revealing of the people who sit on their high horse and do Grammy voting. Love love “Blacker”.. it’s a hard line sobering piece about systemic racism that examines police brutality, economic exploitation within urban areas, the relegation of black culture and harmful stereotypes. It also champions blackness and black culture. In the same token; Kendrick calls himself out and pivots by the song’s conclusion to ask about violence and destruction of the African American community by black hands. That’s honesty. He repeats that he’s a hypocrite at the beginning of each verse; that kind of self-criticism and transparency is valuable. I think its a hard comparison because Kendrick and Drake are rapping on two different levels.. two different platforms. I get socio-political speech with one and personal relationships/rap game fodder with another. It feels like comparing apples to oranges with subject matter.


ED: And I don’t disagree with who we are comparing. It’s hard with Kendrick because Drake is making things that are more commercially popular with listeners and Kendrick is making music. I know that’s hard to compare. But with Drake his music is so diverse and all over the place which is definitely something to take note of. But Kendrick is holding something back. Section 80 and good Kid are so different.


TR: I think they both make what they want to make. And are great in their lanes. But it’s definitely worth a comparison.. just not AS easy as other head to heads I guess. I will say at this point they both do what they want. You mentioned “Started from the Bottom” which got Drake a lot of flack but even that I liked. Yes it got played out but everyone is allowed to describe their narrative, everyone gets to explain their trajectory to stardom. From child actor to amazing rapper, that’s impressive. I think people automatically think socio-economic when they hear bottom but I felt like that song was more about career things and work ethic.


ED: I agree completely I would just like to know if Drake was completely serious about that path. Cause I would say that even Kanye didn’t start from nothing. But Jay did. Drake had a fairly nice childhood compared to people like Jay Z and Danny Brown.


TR: Ya figure he did have a solid middle class upbringing with some changing here and there cause he was the product of a single mom household basically, but child actor supporting *in part a mother who is sick and chasing your dreams (that sounds so corny lol) is a feat. I’m very interested to see what Kendrick comes with… I could see myself possibly saying.. “Well shit” in the next few months.


ED: Yeah me too cause really Kendrick only has one album and I love good Kid better than Take Care cause I think if we compare I think those are two good albums to compare. And Drake is just finally starting to break away from Lil Wayne and be himself cause his first album was too much in Young Money’s image of what they wanted and I think Nicki Minaj hasn’t found her voice yet and Drake found his with Take Care.


TR: I look at Drake and I really think his OVO imprint is a great reflection, NWTS is a great project. And all those loosies he puts on Soundcloud are great. Along with the artists he nurtures in some way shape or form on OVO.


ED: I cannot agree more. If he was still on Young Money I don’t think we would be having this conversation.


TR: Oh agreeeed. [Young Money is] a cesspool.

-Plus that short film – lol you’re the resident film major so I’m sure you have an opinion, but I liked it! Thought it was very cool. Also, wildcard.. ready to throw Big Sean in. Because Dark Sky Paradise could be great. This could be *his* album.


ED: Oh [the short film is] awesome. Drake is an artist and Kendrick is a poet. Drake is voice and vision. But Kendrick is just a voice, for now. But Drake is the whole package and Kendrick is a poet. But when Kendrick tries, he does cool things too. But Drake gets it.

Ok. But until [Big] Sean does things where I don’t pause cause of another artist’s verse (*cough cough “Control”) he doesn’t have my respect. But I think J Cole and Earl deserve honorable mention. And to a very lesser extent Tyler.


TR: Yeah, that’s why I said wildcard bc he got way outshined on “Control” and Hall of Fame was good but not cole-kendrick-drakegreat. Buuuut “Blessing”, “4th quarter”, and “Paradise” are all so good. I love how dark they are.. love that direction he’s going in. I think he’s definitely cooking up something different. I’d be willing to hedge my bet that Dark Sky will carve out a space for him. And definitely yes to Cole. I don’t listen to enough Earl but he’s got it. Umm.. if The Album About Nothing is flawless I’d say Wale made up for signing with MMG maybe maybe. Then we could put Wale back in jockeying position, at least back in the discussion. He came in with Drake, Cudi, Sean, etc. He’s another rapper who like Kendrick is socially conscious. Doesn’t hide that. Has great lyrical capability. Solid marriage of rhymes and beats. He’s just been stifled by lack of commercial success and the MMG umbrella putting a perceived squeeze on his artistry. Festivus was an awesome tape. Forest Hills was great. Good content wise.. from the cuts about his adolescence to the rap game ones and the dreamy songs too. Very solid piece of work. Loved his songs about inequality too that he kinda released as loosies

ED: And I am the same way with Sean, I like what I have heard “I Don’t Fuck With You”, is just FUN. 603224979And I agree about Wale, The Gifted, really put him back a few spots, it was just not really his voice. I love old Wale, but I think he has lost his voice. Like you said being with MMG, he is lost in the shuffle, Rozy is too much. If I hear “Maybach Music” one more time I might scream. It is almost a calling card for annoyance in my opinion, almost on the same level as “Mike Will Made It” but Cudi has lost it too. Indicud showed that he has something left in the tank, but for the most part he is a parody of himself. He is trying to be too weird and out there to actually focus on what made him good. But I like how Cole views being the best rapper around, that there is no throne, it is all about love, or something like that. But you almost have to look at it like a Mount Rushmore (Thank you LeBron) of best rappers and if right now you have Kanye, Jay Z, Outkast, and Wu-Tang (Basically looking at who is still alive and still kind of making music) It is hard to argue with a new Rushmore of Drake, Kendrick, Cole and Tyler the Creator.
TR: I wanna like Cudi’s experimental stuff. You always wanna support growth and exploration but WZRD was hard to listen to. I only liked two songs off of it. Indicud was okay. It had “Solo Dolo”, “Just What I Am”, “Girls”, “Red Eye”, “Beez”, “Brothers”, and “Afterwards.” But on the whole I didn’t feel the magic of a Man on The Moon album. No coincidence that his music has been mehh at best considering the trouble he’s had with drugs here and there and the little dust up and departure from G.O.O.D. Music.
ED: And I think we should really bring Tyler into this conversation, because he brings in a little bit from everyone. He has Drake’s artistry (Fashion, Directing, and Songs/ Producing and Managing a label) his albums tell a story, and a complex one at that. And that takes a level of planning, production that I really think that only Kanye and Pharrell have the genius to accomplish. But the criticism of the topics of his lyrics is valid, but I think Wolf is where he expanded his voice and made an album that was so experimental in his lyrical construction and so vulnerable for him. But I 100% know what you mean about supporting an artist as they try to grow, and I say this all the time. As an artist, its “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” If you try and change you get criticized for going away from the sound that made people love you, but if you stay where you are at, then you get flack for not growing as an artist. And it is so hard, the only ones that have survived this is, and to your point. Drake, Kanye and Jay Z. Stack up all of their albums, and they are snowflakes, each with its own personalities, and all have been met with love, except Magna Carta, but I think Jay Z is almost at a point where he needs to put the crown on the ground.
TR: Fitting analogy. Couldn’t explain it better. I liked Magna CartaAs long as Jay doesn’t have a Jordan Wizards moment we’re cool, lol but that’s besides the point.


ED: I know you did, and it was good, on a track by track basis, but as a whole album I still kind of forget about it.


TR: I’m sure MOTM3 will be solid. I like Tyler. Enjoyed Wolf. but sometimes he just feels like a sideshow.


ED: I hope so, Satellite Flight has me hoping for a lot, but here is another problem that artists have when they get popular.


TR: I can get with the weirdness. his criticism of the mainstream is very funny and accurate. he tweets what he feels, but then he’ll do certain things that are just too whacky for me


ED: Let’s look at Kendrick Lamar right now, how many people are talking about his album and how great its going to be? A lot, and the problem is that the hype will almost always never be met. This is a huge problem with Hollywood too. We have these movies that we follow literally every step of the production, and basically have the whole thing made in our mind, and when they don’t come out how we envisioned, we immediately say “That sucked” and don’t look at the artistry behind it. Yeezus and Beyoncé (s/t) are fantastic examples of having the album create the hype for you. Make no announcement, and people can only be surprised. To be honest, I am super skeptical of Surf, I love literally everything that Chance and SOX has put out, but when you take in consideration how much we are talking about it and how much we are looking forward to it, what happens when it isn’t as good as we hoped?


TR: I think it’s a cool strategy; the surprise drop. And I’d agree. Living up to the hype is so dangerous for artists. They set the bar high, or worse… and to your point their product isn’t what we “wanted” or envisioned. I think that Kendrick has done well so far with these surprise drops. And an appearance on the Colbert Show for a song he *reportedly* wrote the day before is very cool. I think Kendrick lives above the hype because it seems like he’s very guarded when he creates. Guarded in the sense that he’s not polling popular opinion. But agreed, the hype beast threat is dangerouuuuus. I like Chance’s trajectory. It would have been cool to see a major album drop that’s solo but the Social Experiment stuff has been cool so far. I can get behind that. Chance’s sound is rich and I think that relationship works. His last song “Lady Friend” was alright, not amazing, but I think he’s getting the kinks out maybe.


ED: Yes, and Frank Ocean might be the J.J. Abrams equivalent of the music world. We know that he is making music, but other than that, nothing.


TR: Working with a little of this, a little of that. I’d rather an artist have a misstep than give me formulaic.


ED: But back to the whole argument. I think it is really a battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar right now. But the thing that Drake has over Kendrick is that he has FOUR albums as opposed to one. Has Kendrick burned too bright? It is so hard to tell, without a second real album out. For arguments sake I am counting Section.80 as a mixtape and Drake’s stuff before Thank Me Later doesn’t count.


TR: Yes, clear cut Drake v Kendrick. Same discussion that loomed over everyone’s heads last year (if I have my years right). We compare basketball players with rings. It’s quantitative. I think the same tends to go for rappers. How many solid projects have you put out? Drake has Kendrick beat. Right now. As we speak. But I think that an incredible third offering from Kendrick livens the debate and definitely sets up a bunch of brain trust discussions. It’ll be great. And not to just throw people out because of numbers. Again, we’re highlighting quality projects that are impactful.


ED: It will be an incredible discussion. Because Drake has Thank Me Later, Take Care, Nothing Was the Same and If You Are Reading This… But here comes the million dollar question; how do we asses mixtapes? If we continue this sports analogy, are mixtapes the preseason? And the album the Season? Or is the mixtape the season and the album the playoffs? Cause does one hone your skills before the long ride, or does one determine the success of the other (preseason vs. Playoffs respectively).


TR: Honestly, on the whole, Mixtapes blow right now in rap. They’re either great or trash. Either album-ish quality or terrible. With Drake this mixtape which was album quality by many peoples’ standards is his regular season. Views from the 6 is that playoff stretch with which leads to a ring. In other cases though mixtapes are great pre-season approaches. A lot of other rappers use them as tuneups. i follow what you’re saying


With that very lengthy discussion, we have taken you on a rap journey. You have heard our opinions on Rap, the history of Rap, and even taken a look into our Rap Mt. Rushmore. But most importantly this is supposed to open your mind, for those who only follow one rapper, or only see the bad in a rapper or musician, this is a way to look inward and see the merits in everyone. This is a piece that shows how we all look at music in such a personal way, and that music really is apart of the building blocks of life. We want to know your thoughts on who is “Poised to Take the Throne”