WEST COAST HIP-HOP
Dizzy Wright, State of Mind EP (Funk Volume)
Las Vegas’ very own Dizzy Wright is everything that the current crop of MCs embodies: He’s a fun-loving, marijuana-smoking twenty-something who isn’t all that concerned with society ills. After making a name for himself with the Golden Age mixtape, Dizzy serves up an hors d’oeuvre with the State of Mind EP that gives you a taste of what’s to come but isn’t too filling. In some cases, a taste is all you need. Rather than a delightful appetizer, State of Mind sounds more like a bunch of leftover tracks that weren’t up to snuff. It’s overwrought with cliché subject matter such as the song about turning up, “New Generation,” and the adequately titled “Nuttin Bout Me.” The latter is the problem with the EP: New listeners will judge this as just another average album from another average rapper, when we know Wright is better than that. ★★✩✩✩
Goldlink, The God Complex (Self-Released)
Goldlink isn’t the second coming of Rakim, but he holds his own on his debut project. He’s like Drake but with less money, and Kanye West minus the obnoxious ego. As he lyrically struggles to grasp his own mortality, he’s vulnerable in a way that doesn’t annoy. Feigning braggadocios when fitting, Goldlink boasts effectively on “Hip Hop.” “When I Die” offers a trippy reflection on life. The God Complex’s smoky aesthetic is a unique blend of house, hip-hop and electro. It’s a futuristic kind of cool that leaves you wondering what’s next for the DMV rapper. ★★★★✩
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic (Island)
Titling an album The New Classic is a bold statement. But for Iggy Azalea, the claim doesn’t sound as ridiculous, because you can’t really take her seriously as a rapper. The Aussie’s 16-track party-music debut values style over substance. Songs such as the T.I.-assisted “Change Your Life” are more Katy Perry than Kendrick Lamar. She attempts to blend in with the club scene on “Fancy” and “Black Widow.” Listeners never get to know the real Azalea because she doesn’t seem to know who she is herself. ★✩✩✩✩
Upcoming albums on Andreas’ radar …
May 27: New York MCs Torae and Skyzoo team up once again for Barrell Brothers and look to deliver that lyrics-first NY mentality.
June 3: 50 Cent still clings to relevancy, but can Animal Ambition remind us why he ruled the early 2000s, or will he sound washed-up?
June 10: Murs links up with band outfit Mayday, and merges sounds on the new venture Mursday.