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Sir Michael Rocks - Banco
Sir Michael Rocks shrouds some of his trademark oddity in stock cuts and sheer confidence, but "Banco" remains an entertaining album nonetheless.
Cormega - Mega Philosophy
With the help of Large Professor, "Mega Philosphy" showcases Cormega making an alternative yet solid case for grown up Rap.
Majid Jordan - A Place Like This
Majid Jordan's "A Place Like This" is both affectionate and semi-seductive but lags at times due to an inability to mask its straightforwardness.
Common - Nobody's Smiling
Common's latest is his best since "Be," and like the album itself does about Chicago, that says plenty.
B.o.B. - No Genre Pt. 2 (Mixtape)
On "No Genre Pt.2," B.o.B. makes clear dashes to Pop excellence while maintaining a nice balance of the variety and sincerity from his early mixtapes.
Onyx - #TURNDAFUCUP
A continuation of the artistry from "#Wakedafucup" is established on "#Turndafucup," but its attempts at current production trends lack as a whole.
MellowHype - INSA (Mixtape)
"INSA" is a step forward; MellowHype is shoring up their approach, but they still have yet to put all the pieces together to produce an ingenious matrix.
Cam'ron - 1st Of The Month Vol.1 (EP)
In addition to solid production, Cam'ron's "1st Of The Month Vol. 1" excels in the instances where it falls in love with its mythos.
Madlib - Rock Konducta Pt. 2
While Madlib's "Rock Konducta Pt. 2" breaks for in some aspects, it's still an enjoyable compilation of edgy instrumentals and dusty drum breaks.
Illa Ghee - Social Graffiti
While formulaic in spots, Illa Ghee's "Social Graffiti" wins with surprisingly varied production and consistent surface-level bombast and street similes.
Boogie - Thirst 48
"Thist 48" paints Boogie as a promising artist with lots of potential and a level of honesty rarely seen from his peers.
Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog (EP)
Despite the Nas comparisons, Your Old Droog distinguishes himself from the pack with his self titled EP by mixing personal commentary with clever punchlines.
Trey Songz - Trigga
With "Trigga," Trey Songz succeeds using a simplified, "turnt up" formula for Pop stardom that excels at being commonplace, but not "common."
Ab-Soul - These Days
Ab-Soul has let his high filter out some of the revelations, but "These Days..." is his accessible introduction to the world.
Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy
Packed with comedy, film, '90s television, and folklore references, Open Mike Eagle's "Dark Comedy" is an incredibly fulfilling listen.
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