The Weeknd Kiss Land (Universal)
The rise of The Weeknd has been unique because the identity of the man behind the music was shrouded in mystery. Now that Abel Tesfaye has revealed himself and signed a major deal, it’s time to see if he’s really worth the fuss with his debut album, Kiss Land. His insatiable appetite for drugs and sex powered by atmospheric production is still prevalent on the throbbing “Professional,” but a few songs in, it becomes evident that Tesfaye’s steps aren’t forward, but more lateral. Too often the album becomes submerged in mediocrity, as his falsetto can grate rather than be sonically pleasing (“Odd Look”). Kiss Land is a solid debut, but fans may opt for his mixtapes instead. ★★★☆☆
2 Chainz B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time (Def Jam)
2 Chainz makes a swift return with his sophomore album, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, in an attempt to keep the momentum going from his debut project, Based on a True Story. Unfortunately, his lack of depth leaves this album drowning in a shallow puddle of punchlines and middling production. For a rapper whose humor had helped his surge to stardom, it appears that his well of witty one-liners has run dry. Songs such as “Livin” and “Extra” lack the catchiness that his previous album had with “No Lie” and “Spend It.” He may cash in with this album, but he has proved to be a one-trick pony. ★☆☆☆☆
J-Zone Peter Pan Syndrome (Old Maid Entertainment)
Back in the late ’90s and early 2000s—before the Internet changed how music was consumed—J-Zone developed a cult following with his quirky production and side-splitting humor. After a six-year hiatus, Zone returns with Peter Pan Syndrome. The humor and production are still intact and sharper than ever as Zone trash-talks his way through “Black Weirdo,” dismisses women who text too much on “Gadget Ho” and weaves a hilarious tale of thievery on “An Honest Day’s Robbery.” J-Zone is an acquired taste, but if you’re in the mood for hip-hop that doesn’t take itself too seriously, he’s your man. ★★★★☆
Upcoming on Andreas’ radar…
OCT. 15: Detroit MC and producer Black Milk prepares to drop another bomb with No Poison No Paradise. OCT. 22: It’s been a long time since Cage has dropped an album, but with Mighty Mi handling the production on Kill the Architect, it will likely be a return to form for the MC. NOV. 5: Is there anything that really needs to be said about Eminem releasing The Marshall Mathers LP 2? It’s easily one of the most anticipated albums of 2013.