The 12 Best Rap Albums Since 2012

The 12 Best Rap Albums Since 2012

To celebrate the release of the iconic Good Kid M.A.A.D. City
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It has been five years since the release of the iconic "Good Kid M.A.A.D. City," the debut album of Kendrick Lamar that has gone on to become a classic of the genre. To celebrate the phenomenal album, here are 12 of the best rap albums since 2012.

12. 4 Your Eyez Only, J Cole

Noted for not having any features, 4YEO was truly an underrated album. From religion, to love, to race, J Cole handled the topics with grace and eloquence, expressing his doubts and fears regarding life, among other sentiments. Underrated, especially considering the lack of features.

11. Acid Rap, Chance the Rapper

The mixtape that was integral to establishing Chance as a budding young rap star, this mixtape had a lot going for it, varying in what was discussed seemingly every song; love, the squalor and gun violence of Chicago, and, yes, acid. Fantastic production as well. An intriguing mixtape, to say the least.

10. Atrocity Exhibition, Danny Brown

Unusual. Erratic. Crazy. Just some of the words you could use to describe this album. Implied cries for help, downward spirals, and general discussions about the state the rapper was in. Combined with some interesting beats (some that stood in contrast to the song), it makes for an interesting listen. REALLY recommend “Really Doe.”

9. Old, Danny Brown

A bit more polished and watered down compared to his previous works, this album registers as a great album due to its portrayals of poverty, society, life in Detroit, and some other miscellaneous things, as well as some fantastic features and smooth production values. Great album.

8. We Got It from Here, Thank You 4 Your Service, A Tribe Called Quest

The timeless Tribe dropped a gem here, incorporating new talking points and issues into their high caliber lyricism and smooth, retro beats and instrumentals, echoing the times at which they were at their peak. Gentrification, racism, the next generation of rappers, the group reunites following the death of the legendary Phife Dawg to create a fantastic album, properly “passing the torch” to that next set of up and coming artists.

7. Cadillactica, Big K.R.I.T.

An unexpected hit, this 2014 album combines both southern/soul-influenced beats with consistently good lyrics. The album could be described as “conservative” relative to the rest of the genre as it is today but approaches contemporary rap with a bit of bravado and anger. K.R.I.T.’s capacity for telling stories manifests itself in tracks like Third Eye. All in all, a great album.

6. Still Brazy, YG

A modern rapper paying homage to one of the movements that help popularized rap, YG combines his own bravado and tales of life on Compton with beats reminiscent of the West Coast rappers of the '90s. Friendship, gangs, politics make appearances throughout. The antithesis of the great Good Kiid Maad City in many ways.

5. Pinata, Freddie Gibbs.

Wow. What an album. Even with the modern production of the legendary Madlib, Gibbs clearly maintains a connection with his hometown Gary, Indiana. The album is full of brutal realism and sincere, scary portrayals of life on the streets. Drugs. Crime. Bravado. Death. All he experienced or participated in as he embarked on his journey to attain success as a rapper. A really enthralling ride from start to finish.

4. DAMN, Kendrick Lamar

The most recent Kendrick Lamar release, it became arguably his most popular work. Pulsating, riveting beats combined with the brazen confidence that comes with being both the self-proclaimed and critically proclaimed king of the game, Kendrick does not disappoint. An album built on juxtapositions, Kendrick goes from love to lust, pride to humility, and so much more. Another gem by K-Dot.

3.Coloring Book, Chance The Rapper

The album that made the mainstream cognizant of the talents of the Chicagoan, this album treads a very, very thin line that stands between the secular and the religious, allowing them both to intermingle in ways unimaginable. The use of gospel choirs reinforces this, as he goes from immersing himself in nostalgia to praising the Lord with the slightest of ease.

2. To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

Essentially artistic prose that was turned into a rap album. This album was a piece of art. Racism, racial inequality, being black in America, wealth, fame. There was so much discussed. From start to finish, the album takes you on a trip as K Dot expresses his sentiments regarding Americana and the world around him. Combine it with the artwork provided by Thundercat, Pharrell Williams, and Sufjan Stevens on the production end, and it is a special, riveting avant-garde jazz-rap album.

1. Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar

What else? Legendary. Production values that are both reminiscent of the days of 'Pac and Dr. Dre while simultaneously embracing the modern day beats, a riveting album that tells a story of a night gone awry in the worst way. Peer pressure, life in Compton, gang violence, dreams of fame and success while hoping to make it out of the city. A landmark album. One of hip hop's best. What more is there to say about it?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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Is Astrology Real?

After my roommate read me my natal chart I'm starting to believe it's real.

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There are many misconceptions about whether or not astrology is real. For most people, religion comes into play which makes people believe astrology is a fluke and that God is the only one that can alter someone's life. Although I'm also a believer in this, my roommate decided to read my natal chart one night and now I'm starting to believe that astrology is anything but a fluke.

If any of you were wondering, a natal chart is a chart based on the time you were born and where you were born to show how each planet has and will affect your life.

One night, my roommate offered to read my natal chart after she told me that many of the readings she has done for other people have become true. Being curious, I told her my birth information and soon enough she had my chart pulled up and started to read everything that happened in my life and everything that would happen in the future. From my childhood 'til now, every single thing she described from my chart was true. Everything from family deaths, internal struggles and passions was spot on. I was a little hesitant to find out what my future holds, because I want to be able to find that out on my own.

To confirm my belief for astrology, two more of my best friends had their charts read and theirs were scary accurate as well. It's crazy to think that the time and place we were born can literally define who we are as a person. If you want to figure out what your chart looks like go to https://astro.cafeastrology.com/natal.php. I highly encourage you to find someone that knows how to read these charts so you can figure out how accurate your chart is as well.

I am very interested in astrology now and strongly believe that astrology is real.

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