By Aaron Calvin Columnist
“My Name is My Name” – Pusha T: B+
Pusha T’s album is good and it’d be weird if it weren’t. Released on Kanye West’s GOOD Music, My Name Is My Name brims over with some of the more interesting beats you’ll hear this year and rapping that seethes with bitter ambition. But like Pusha says, “It’s only one king that can stand on this mound” and, with a year full of envelope-pushing albums to contend with, he’s not quite the “King Push” he claims to be. Put this in rotation with Yeezus and NWTS and you’ll be in good shape. There’s certainly more to come.
If You Like: Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West
“Made Man EP” – Hot Sugar: A-
Hot sugar is a creative producer and knows a lot of talented people. That’s why this EP works. There’s not a boring beat to be found in all of the ten tracks. People like Heems and Kool A.D. (formerly of the hyper-literate Das Racist) along with up and coming NYC area rappers Antwon and Big Baby Ghandi appear on tracks. The always enjoyable Chippy Nonstop and Kitty are also featured. It’s that rare convergence of talented artists coming together and having fun without sacrificing any of the entertainment value.
If You Like: Danny Brown, Das Racist
“Days Are Gone” – Haim: C-
Haim burst onto the scene in a way that has highly paid PR agency written all over it. It’s difficult to avoid the Spotify ads, the SPIN cover/ feature profile and the cacophonous buzz that has only reached a fever pitch this week with their album release. But here’s the thing: Haim is so, so boring. Inoffensive, to such a calculated degree, that it becomes offensive. I couldn’t tell where one track ended and another began. There is no point of redemption, no vertical rise on the heart monitor, leaving the listener with the frustrating feeling of being promised something in the form of mass hype and being left with little for their trouble.
If You Like: The Vines, Smoking just enough weed that you’re tired but not stoned and just generally uncomfortable.