I was first introduced to Jhené Aiko on Kendrick Lamar's "Growing Apart." Her voice is gentle and somewhat tinged with a sultriness that often encroaches on cutting aggression. Aiko understands where to emphasize her voice, wrapping it around the lyrics to achieve a hypnotic mix of hip hop and R&B. Souled Out, the debut from the singer is made up of mid-temp melodies that emerge as freestyles, rather than songs. This is not a bad thing because Aiko has stated that her process of recording music is one of letting it unfold rather than rushing.

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Originality is such a hard thing to come by these days that it’s no wonder you’ll see so many movies, TV shows and music that look and sound the same.
 When is the last time you heard a song or movie that you couldn’t compare to something else prior? Probably never. That doesn’t mean that originality or creativity has died, but just means that people have a brand new way of seeing things. One of the greatest movies of all times, Star Wars is often compared to Star Trek. They have forums of geeks and nerds sighting the familiarities between these two, I’ll save you the time and say that I’ve seen all the Star Wars series and none of the Star Trek franchise despite their many TV shows and spin-off movies but I'm aware of how they tend to overlap each other in some aspects.


Blacc Hollywood is the fifth studio album from Wiz Khalifa - the rapper known for creating chill songs about getting high and living the high life. Being more of a fan of his mixtapes because he seems to offer more impactful, heavy-hitting rhymes on those, listening to Blacc Hollywood solidified my opinion even further.


Being born in the 90’s certainly touched the new up and coming triple-threat artist Jo’zzy aka @dopebyaccident in a special way. She’s the protégé’ of super producer Timbaland and a talented singer/songwriter/rapper. Not only is the 90’s an inspiration and influence, but a way of life for this 24 year old; whose real name is Jocelyn Donald. She says of new single “Tryna Wife”, “It’s just nostalgic music and only the beginning. Some of today’s R&B and Hip-Hop can be so watered down and cookie-cutter, but my style of music makes you think of the 90’s.”


"They only get to see a certain part of your life and it’s not even fifty percent. It may be about fifteen percent of your life that these people are getting to watch so that’s never a good thing because you become this fifteen percent of what people get to see and there’s way more to most of us that are on that show..."  ~Bambi


“One thing I feel that happens a lot on the urban side of music, not as much on the mainstream pop side of music is that if artists don't come out for a few years, we forget that we loved them. This was not just some song I liked, but this was my favorite group in the world. I feel like the urban audience, we don't hold our stars up like the pop audience do. Their stars will put out an album tomorrow and it will still be double, triple, quadruple platinum…”  
~Brandon Casey of Jagged Edge 


 
 

 

 

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I didn't know what to expect when I popped in DMX's most recent offering, Undisputed, his first album in 6 years, but right from the beginning he let it be known that much hasn't changed. The barking is still there. 'WHAT?!' – that's still there too. If you're looking for a flashback from the past, a trip to the early 2000's when being an East coast Hip-Hop artist meant something, than DMX has the album for you.

 

If only the Ruff Ryders were present, I'd think this album was just previously unreleased material. It feels like it belongs in another decade and in this case that's a good thing. The album's lead single, "I Don't Dance," which features MGK is really the only indication that this is being released in 2012 and it actually almost feels out of place, though it is reminiscent to classic DMX material, "Party Up."

 

Many of the songs remind you of previous material though, "Sucka For Love" reminds me of "How's It Going Down?" and "Slippin' Again" must be a follow-up to his "Slippin', Fallin'" classic. Please believe he still has a "Prayer" in the middle of it all well.

 

The lyrical content hasn't changed much, but X wasn't never much for lyrical prowess. He tells stories of real life struggles with the streets, his demons, love and women and as a listener you appreciate his ability to keep it real.

 

He probably won't get many listens because the new generation doesn't understand his contributions to the Hip-Hop world, but for those of us who know him and appreciate his old music, there will be little disappointment since he comes right back to where he left off.

 

Undisputed receives a PARL

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

 


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Welcome To Our House - Slaughterhouse album review

About The Author
Kevin Benoit
Author: Kevin Benoit
Kevin Benoit, 27, is the founder and editor of Parlé Magazine. As a freshman in college, in May of 2004, Benoit created Parlé, an urban entertainment magazine that focuses on literacy through entertainment. The publication has since provided a stepping-stone for many individuals throughout the country, from teens to adults and continues to provide inspiration for inspiring entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and graphic designers. Benoit graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies.

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