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Emile Haynie: We Fall

Underground-turned-super producer Emile Haynie (KiD CuDi, Lana Del Ray, Eminem) stunt-casts his debut like crazy (Randy Newman?!) and against the odds crafts a very firm pop record out of the attention deficit.

Music

Brodinski: Brava

Modern French house pioneer and Yeezus co-producer drops his first solo album after years of remixes and singles. Sadly, the result is far too middling.

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Bromance

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Kid Ink: Full Speed

Kid Ink is a major label rapper, and Full Speed is his collection of major label rap song facsimiles.

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Tha Alumni

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Future & Zaytoven: Beast Mode

By teaming up with one of Atlanta hip-hop's biggest cult heroes and trimming all the fat, Future has not only put out his definitive album, but perhaps one of 2015's as well.

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Freebandz Entertainment

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Rick Ross: Hood Billionaire

Rick Ross' second album of 2014 might've better served his fans as a mixtape but if you wanted more of exactly what you'd expect from him, here it is.

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Thee Oh Sees: Drop

Thee Oh Sees made a studio album. It's different in the right way.

Music

Young Money: Rise of an Empire

Lil' Wayne hits the reset button on his Cash Money imprint, but with only minor roster changes is it worth the effort?

Music

ScHoolboy Q: Oxymoron

ScHoolboy Q takes everything he's learned in the Top Dawg stable and unleashes it in a very finely tuned burst.

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Top Dawg / Interscope

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R. Kelly: Black Panties

R. Kelly returns to the obtuse comedy trappings of Double Up and Untitled, but after two albums of retro soul are we really eager to hear a 47-year-old do his best Ty Dolla $ign anymore?

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Dom Kennedy: Get Home Safely

Only Kennedy's second retail release, it's also perhaps his first that feels more like a rap album than a fashion statement.

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Other People's Money

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Beyoncé: Beyoncé

It's her most honest album. It's a surprise. It's dirty as hell. It's the fantastic pop album we waited for all year. Happy New Year.

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Parkwood / Columbia

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Parkwood

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The Best Mixtapes of 2013

In the four years since mixtapes became anything but a mix on tape, rap listeners have grown accustomed to the idea that not only should they feel like a brand new album, but also that they should probably be better than the product you pay for.

Music

Braids: Flourish // Perish

Braids drop the guitars, get a little house-y and cut another great compilation of indie rock trends.

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Andre Nickatina: Andre Nickatina

Two decades long, Andre Nickatina's career appears to be little more than a victory lap gone too long at this point.

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Fillmoe Coleman

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2 Chainz: B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME

Arriving sooner than anyone expected, #METIME improves on the 2 Chainz experience in almost every way while delivering exactly what fans have come to expect.

Music

Drake: Nothing Was the Same (Take 2)

Drake and studiomate Noah Shebib's Nothing Was the Same is, much like Take Care before it, a gorgeous record. But is it as good?


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