Ryan Buell | This Week in Hip-Hop
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 20:09
As the school year picks up again, it’s easy to lose touch with the music world. Keeping up with the newest albums and latest hits quickly loses priority against that eight-page research paper you were assigned in the first week, attending GIMs for every club imaginable, the two chapters of reading from a book that you haven’t even purchased and the unending procrastinate-cram-party cycle. With all that’s going on in the average college student’s life, how is there possibly time even to know about — let alone listen to — the newest album releases? But do not fear: I, Ryan Buell, am here to bring you the latest in hip-hop news and music, along with occasional theories, opinions and reactions to the happenings in hip-hop culture. To start off, I’ll be going through some of the most anticipated (at least my personally most anticipated) album releases for the rest of 2013.
I’d be remiss if I did not start off with Drake’s upcoming album, “Nothing Was the Same.” Slated for a Sept. 24 release, the buzz around Drizzy’s album is reaching astronomical levels. Riding off the success of the single “Started from the Bottom” and non-album cut “5 AM in Toronto,” “Nothing Was the Same” is sure to be one of the biggest releases of the year. The release of the controversially titled song “Wu-Tang Forever” on Sept. 12 only fueled the hype. My own sentiments towards Drake notwithstanding, I have relatively high expectations for this release. It seems like Drake is aiming to bring a slightly more aggressive vibe to this album, without losing touch with what made him a rap superstar. So mark the date, because you’re going to be hearing Drizzy Drake everywhere you go come Sept. 24.
One of the few rappers out there right now more famous than Drake is Eminem, who, lo and behold, is also preparing for a new album release, currently scheduled for Nov. 5. An Em’ album is always a major event given his prominence in the rap game and the relative rarity of his releases (only four solo albums in the last decade), but this upcoming project has a special feel about it. Named “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” the album is clearly a throwback to days gone by. Reviving the title of his classic 2000 album is a bold move for Eminem, and it says something about his intentions for the project. The lead single “Berzerk,” with its old-school feel and throwback music video, makes it apparent that Eminem is attempting to recapture the eardrum-assaulting rawness that thrust him into the spotlight back in the early ’00s. If “MMLP2” is anything like its predecessor, listeners can get ready for greatness.
Moving away from the biggest names in hip-hop, ScHoolboy Q’s upcoming album “Oxymoron” has me more excited than any other impending release. Considering the dominance displayed as of late by Q and his label mates at Top Dawg Entertainment (comprising Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock), I feel safe in predicting a hit album for ScHoolboy. Lead single “Collard Greens,” featuring Lamar, charted as high as 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, a big step for a relatively underground rapper. The album, which has no set release date as of yet, will reportedly feature guest spots from 50 Cent, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and Raekwon, among others. The rappers at TDE know how to take the time to craft an album with a strong narrative and meaning, without sacrificing dopeness. I expect nothing less from this latest album.
2013 is shaping up to be an incredible year for disproving those who claim “hip-hop is dead.” Keep it locked throughout the year for the latest news, music and events in hip-hop culture. I look forward to sharing my passion for music and culture with the Tufts student body.
Ryan Buell is a sophomore who has not yet declared a major. He can be reached at Ryan.Buell@tufts.edu.