Gifts For Hip Hop Heads: 2015 Edition

The end of the year is just around the corner, and that means some of y’all gotta finish your shopping. Sometimes it’s tough finding the right gifts to buy, but if you’re shopping for a rap fan I can help you out. This is the 2015 edition of the ultimate gifts for hip hop heads. Whether you got a fat budget or you’ve come upon lean times, I got something for you.

Big Pimpin’ Tier

These gifts are over $100 (at time of posting), and you might be interested in them if you’re shopping for someone really special or if you just make beaucoup bucks.

Amazon Echo

Amazon EchoIf money is not really an object, transform someone’s house with the Amazon Echo. Once you’ve given the person you’re shopping for the Amazon Echo, they’ll feel like they’re living in the future. By just calling out to Alexa, they’ll be able to play any of their dope music, whether they’re feeling some Kanye or feeling a little Kendrick. The Echo can also help you stay informed on the news and can catch you up with the latest game scores. If you give the hip hop head in your life the gift of Amazon Echo, they’ll think of you every time they yell at Alexa (from across the room) to put on that Black Star album again.

Amazon Echo

BioLite CampStove

BioLite CampStoveThis one’s a bit more out there, but if you know someone who lives for hip hop and camping, the BioLite CampStove is a home run. This is more than just a source of fire to boil some water while you’re roughing it — this stove will make sure you’re never caught in the woods without some dope rap. It generates power as it burns, so you can charge a USB device at the same time as you’re roasting marshmallows. This stove can make sure you don’t go hungry while camping, but more importantly it makes sure you’ll never be caught without enough battery to bump some hip hop.

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

We Major Tier

Gifts between $50 and $100 (at time of posting), these are still a bit more expensive and show that you major but won’t exactly break the bank.

 Fire HD 6

Fire HD 6In case the hip hop head in your life still doesn’t have some sort of tablet, snatch up a Fire HD 6 for them right now, while they’re only $80. With this tablet, rap fans can keep up with the latest news and reviews (like on Spit Talking, for example), make their own beats with some of the dope apps out there, and pretty much do anything you can do on the internet. Most tablets that come this cheap are pretty much garbage (whether they’re poorly built or just don’t run well at all), but you can trust Amazon Fire tablets as much as any tablets. With a price this cheap, you might as well go ahead and get yourself one, too. The hip hop head you’re getting this for will think you’re absolutely spoiling them, and you don’t even have to tell them you really didn’t spend that much dough.

Fire HD 6

Snowball USB Microphone

Snowball MicrophoneIf you got a hip hop head in your life who’s trynna start making their own name in the game, set them up with a nice mic. The Snowball USB Microphone is a great choice, because you can plug it right into your computer and start recording. Other Spit Talking readers just like you have gone with the Snowball Mic, so you know it’s a great gift for the hip hop heads in your life. It also comes with a desktop stand, so it’s a great way to help someone start building their own home studio. Think about it: you can be Anthony Anderson to your friend’s Terrence Howard and start getting your own Hustle & Flow going.

Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone

Everyday Struggle Tier

These gifts are under $50 (at time of posting), and they’re not exactly cheap but they probably won’t require layaway or anything.

To Pimp A Butterfly (or any dope album) Vinyl

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A ButterflyFinally, if you don’t have that much cash but you still want to show someone you’re thinking of them, how about getting them a nice physical copy of an album? If they have a record player, I would go with To Pimp A Butterfly (you know, the best hip hop album of the year) on vinyl. If they don’t have a record player, you can still hit them with the CD or something. If they already have To Pimp A Butterfly, why not hit them with a physical copy of any dope hip hop album? Maybe they only have a digital version of their favorite album, in which case I’m sure they’d love a physical copy.

To Pimp A Butterfly

The Hip Hop Box

Hip Hop BoxIf you’re honestly not sure what the hip hop head in your life’s favorite album/rapper is, hit them with The Hip Hop Box! This 4-CD set covers all the classics, from Rapper’s Delight to The Next Episode. Every single hip hop fan will be able to find something they’re happy about on this box set, whether they’re looking for Queen Latifah or N.O.R.E. Shit, if you’re trynna get someone into hip hop but they don’t know where to start, send them the Hip Hop Box! Whether your friend’s been listening to hip hop for 30 years or they just heard about Busta Rhymes for the first time yesterday, the Hip Hop Box will make their days a bit doper.

The Hip Hop Box

I hope you found some dope rap gifts for the hip hop heads in your life, no matter what your budget. I know some of these gifts might seem kind of funky, but they would make straight up great gifts for rap fans too. If you still need to keep looking for something for the hip hop fan in your life, check out Spit Talking’s other recommendations. Thanks for reading, and I hope I helped y’all find something!

King Los – War Single is Straight Fire

Y’all know I think King Los is the shit.

If you saw my post about him, you know that I think he can freestyle pretty much better than anyone else doing it right now. Well, a few days back he dropped a single, War (featuring Marsha Ambrosius), and you can pick it up on iTunes right now. If you like dope rap that speaks to some real shit while bringing some lyrical fire, you’re gonna want to cop this shit. Let me tell you why.

War (feat. Marsha Ambrosius) - Single - King Los

Chill start

King Los - WarThe track starts with some real nice-sounding piano and Los saying it’s a war going on. He slowly builds up into a nice flow packed with dope rhymes, as we’ve come to expect from King Los. Don’t get it twisted though, cause King Los clarifies “not the war with the bombs and the helicopters swarming, but the war for your soul, that’s what everyone’s ignoring.” 30 seconds in and it’s clear that Los ain’t playing around and he’s here to spit some real shit. Then the piano drops out and he starts spitting it a capella before the piano slowly comes back in for the best line of the track, “fuck the law… fuck a school, and the teacher too, they no teach the truth.”

This is a track packed with wordplay, social commentary, and just dope rhymes and flow in general. Everyone knows Los is the king of freestyling, but written rap is another thing. Dude has transitioned incredibly, and he’s not just showing off his speed but also flexing his intelligence. It’s a real track that doesn’t sugarcoat shit, but it’s also damn positive. This shit is basically an anthem, and Los is ready to be a preacher for the hood, cause he says bringing God in brings the good out.

Dope and nuanced

King Los


By the end, he’s spat a few different speeds, including going so hard that you gotta rewind a few times to really hear what he’s saying. The track ends with Marsha Ambrosius singing “let’s make love not war.” It’s clear that Los isn’t just making a documentary track about the hood, but he’s also trynna spit some positive shit to combat the negative and preaching without sounding preachy, which is definitely a skill. I can’t wait to hear King Los’s next album, and I promise that you’ll agree after hearing this track once (or a few more times than once.)

Support the king.

Los has been waiting in the wings for a while, and hip hop heads have been waiting for him to really put it together for a complete sound. War is the best shit I’ve heard from Los, and his next album is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases we got to look forward to. Until we get a release date, I’m gonna stay bumping this shit on replay.

War (feat. Marsha Ambrosius) - Single - King Los

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Kendrick and Drake Straight Run The Charts

Kendrick and Drake have both dropped projects recently.

To Pimp A Butterfly and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late have both set the pace for hip hop in 2015, selling a bunch of copies (with Drake selling more) and getting mad positive reviews (with Kendrick’s being more positive.) As of right now, on the iTunes hip hop/rap charts, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is at number 1 and To Pimp A Butterfly is number 3 (with Yelawolf’s Love Story in between.) Those aren’t the only albums of theirs that are doing alright though. Let’s scope how their domination is going.

1/8 of the top 56

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too LateSo Drake has 4 albums in the top 56 (with Take Care, Nothing Was The Same and Thank Me Later being the other ones) and Kendrick has 3 (with good kid, m.A.A.d. city and Section 80 being the others.) If 56 sounds like a random number, I just picked it because that’s where Section 80 is right now. Anyways, that makes 7 albums out of 56 by just two rappers, which comes to 1/8 of the first 56 albums on the charts. That shit’s crazy, especially considering that most of those albums came out a few years ago. It just really goes to show that they’re not just trendy but got staying power too.

It also says a lot about their fans. For one, it says that they’re really good about buying instead of pirating music, and they’re really good at recommending Drake and Kendrick shit to other people. Then, the new fans probably instantly buy all the old albums right away cause they like the sound, and it’s an endless cycle. As long as people keep buying the more recent shit, the older shit will indirectly stay on the charts because of that. Soon, 8% might seem small for Kendrick or Drake.

Don’t forget Kanye, who might just top Kendrick

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A ButterflyThen we can talk Kanye too. Kanye’s got College Dropout, Late Registration and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the top 56, meaning that there’s 10 albums between the 3 rappers in the top 56 of the iTunes charts. I just didn’t put Kanye in because his 2015 offering hasn’t hit us yet, so he doesn’t have anything in the top 5 or anything right now, but we can expect that shit soon. Will Kanye’s shit be better than To Pimp A Butterfly? We can only wait and see.

Just wanted to let y’all know.

I was just scoping the iTunes hip hop charts and noticed a lot of older Drake and Kendrick shit on there, so I decided to start counting. I thought that this was interesting because, especially when you include Kanye, these are pretty veteran rappers by this point. So the young guns are coming up and folks are gonna talk about them, but the current kings are still running shit, no question.

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Chance the Rapper is Dropping Surf Soon

Y’all ready for a free album soon?

Apparently Chance announced at a concert that Surf, his next album with The Social Experiment, is dropping within the week. Just like Acid Rap, it’s gonna be free, so you won’t have any possible excuse not to cop that shit. Regardless, you can count on our review being up quick in case you got a real busy life or some shit. Also, it seems like announcing new albums at concerts is what’s hot on the streets, considering what Nas just did. Anyways, let’s quickly get hype cause we don’t even got that much time.

Donnie Trumpet

Donnie Trumpet - Donnie TrumpetSo Chance is making it a point that he’s touring with The Social Experiment, not just himself, and that it’ll be a Social Experiment album, not just a Chance album. It’s also supposedly gonna highlight Donnie Trumpet (their trumpet player, if you couldn’t guess), who was also a big part of Kids These Days with Vic Mensa. Donnie Trumpet also has his own EP, Donnie Trumpet (listen to it free here), which has one Chance feature and a bunch of Vic features, so you really gotta go scope it if you haven’t yet, then be excited for what he’s gonna do on Surf.


Chance the Rapper - Acid RapChance is following what he did with Acid Rap, which is releasing a full album for free and then making cash on tours and merch (not to mention a track with Justin Bieber.) This is real dope, because then fans can get all his music for free and he can grow his fan base way quicker. He’s also got ways to make money though, which A) he deserves for putting out good shit and B) is necessary for him to keep making doper and doper music, so I cosign that shit. Way before If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, folks were dropping full albums as mixtapes (but actually keeping them free, as they should be), and launching their careers that way. It’s worked for Chance better than anyone else.

Chance knows what he’s doing.

In case anyone out there (somehow) slept on Acid Rap, Surf is gonna be another opportunity for Chance to get a few million more fans and keep making a name for himself. You also gotta love responding to all the piracy in music by just dropping the shit for free and trusting your shit to be good enough that people will want to pay to see you live. If we know anything about Chance, it’ll be ambitious but real musical, and above all way doper than a free project should be.

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Season of Nasir is Dropping This Summer

Nas’s new album is coming soon.

It’ll be his 11th album (11th!) and his first since 2012. We know it’s gonna be called Season of Nasir, and it’s not a surprise or anything but it’s nice to get something close to a date. Nas said it was dropping this summer at a concert, but we don’t have an actual date or anything. Regardless, it means we’re getting a new album from one of the dopest rappers in just a few months. It’s never too early to start getting hype.

Life is Good

Nas - Life is GoodSo this is gonna be Nas’s first album in 3 years, and like Life is Good, it’s gonna drop in the summer. That worked real well for Life is Good, from the bangers to the more laid back tracks, cause Nas just generally sounds like he’s rapping about the summer most of the time. Illmatic dropped in April 1994, but it was pretty close to the summer and it’s got that vibe. It Was Written dropped in the summer, but Stillmatic and God’s Son dropped in December, so maybe I’m just full of shit.

Anyways, Life is Good is one of Nas’s dopest albums, and he really goes as hard as ever on some of the tracks, like World’s An Addiction, Loco-Motive, Queen’s Story and Accident Murderers. If you’re not sure whether or not Nas has still got it, you obviously haven’t listened to Life is Good, cause if anything he’s gotten quicker, not to mention even smarter. This is a good sign for Season of Nasir, cause he’s not just dropping some trash to keep making cash but actually working on dope music.

Season of Nasir



Anyways, I don’t think Nas was just chilling 2 and a half years then one day decided to start making an album again. He might not have been working on this shit for 3 straight years or anything, but I bet he’s been thinking on these tracks for a while. Nas is one of the greatest, and he proved on his last album that he can not only still rap, but he can go even harder now than he did when he was 20. The second this shit becomes available on iTunes to preorder, I’ma drop the cash for it then come here to give y’all the heads up.

It’s gonna be dope.

Nas consistently puts out dope albums, and his last one, Life is Good, was even better than most of his shit. This gives us reason to think Season of Nasir is gonna be real dope, just cause Nas can definitely still bring it. I’ma be waiting on this shit hard until the summer, so good thing we’re close.

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Scope The Freddie Gibbs Pronto Video

Remember Pronto?

You know, Pronto, that short EP that Freddie Gibbs dropped as a surprise a few weeks ago. It was only 3 tracks, but it was a mad dope 12 minutes the whole way through, with Gangsta Gibbs keeping it chill but also reminding folks that he still runs this shit. Anyways, he dropped a video for Pronto, the first track from the EP which represents it pretty well. Let’s check it out.

Watch Freddie Gibbs – Pronto Video


Freddie Gibbs - ProntoLet me just talk about Pronto the EP real quick first, cause I don’t see enough about it out there. I think it was a great way for Gibbs to put himself back in people’s heads as one of the best without having to release a full album less than a year after his last one. Especially with how entertainment is being delivered in smaller and smaller doses, from social media to video clips, there’s nothing wrong with putting out a solid 3 track EP as a surprise to the fans. More rappers gotta do things like this. More than anything though, all the tracks are dope and Gibbs holds it down on all of them, so it’s not like he just put out some tracks but he put out some fire.

The video

Freddie Gibbs - Pronto VideoAs for the video, it matches the track (and the EP) real well. It’s black and white but real high quality, which makes sense considering Freddie Gibbs’s consistent but excellent flow. The theme of the video is a lot of snakes, either by themselves, wrapped around Gangsta Gibbs or crawling around him in a bathtub. It makes sense for the grimy, dark feel of the track, and they got some real good shots in there of the snakes. The choice to focus on the snakes leads to some questions, though.

Freddie Gibbs - Pronto VideoIs Gibbs saying he’s surrounded by snakes nowadays? Is he saying he’s the king of the snakes? Did he just think that they made sense for the feel of the track and the video? Regardless, it’s got people talking, and that’s the ultimate goal of dropping new music or videos, because it’s all about the hustle. For now, might as well just enjoy the dope shots they got for the video and Gangsta Gibbs’s mad dope flow.

Scope it, then scope Pronto.

If you haven’t yet, go watch Pronto right now. Once you’ve done that, you might as well go on and buy Pronto because it’s a cheap way to buff up your music library. Gibbs has done it again, and I really just can’t wait for his next album, whenever it comes.

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Target Versus Tyler, The Creator

Cherry Bomb dropped a bit ago.

Tyler, the Creator dropped his most recent album, Cherry Bomb, about 2 weeks ago and it’s been tearing up the charts since. The digital version came out first, and the CD release came after. Target isn’t too happy about that, so they’re not gonna sell Cherry Bomb at their stores. Tyler tweeted this out because he wasn’t happy, but ultimately said oh well. That’s about right.

It’s 2015

Tyler, The Creator - Cherry BombAs Tyler put it, this is ridiculous because it’s 2015. Especially when it comes to hip hop, the amount of albums that are sold digitally are a big percentage of the sales numbers. It’s also getting more and more common for the digital version to come out before the physical version, whether it’s a surprise early release or not. It’s obviously not just Tyler, cause they did this to Beyonce too with her last album. Considering they did it to fucking Beyonce, you know they’re out of their minds. But seriously, it’s not even like it’s taking away sales.

People either only buy digital, or they only buy physical, or they get both digital and physical copies of their favorite shit. They don’t really directly compete with each other. I mean, it’s not like someone who was going to buy the Cherry Bomb CD decided not to when it dropped early on iTunes. That type of person probably just bought the digital version (or just waited), and then went and bought the CD. I just really can’t see Target losing money because of it, so it makes me think it’s on some petty shit, where Target feels slighted that they weren’t in on the release from the beginning.

Deal with it

Target CD


If Target really wants to set themselves up as the spot to get new albums, they should stop bitching and just make it the smart choice to buy CDs from Target rather than anywehere else. Whether it’s through the release of exclusive tracks, album artwork, or extras (like posters or handwritten lyrics), there are plenty of ways to give a retailer an advantage that isn’t based on the time of release. In the future, instead of complaining about this shit, Target should make themselves the place to pick up dope new music.

Anyways, Tyler will be alright.

Cherry Bomb is tearing up the charts, and even though the opinions about it vary, people are praising Tyler for his boldness and creativity. These have always been his strong suits, and it’s dope to see how many real different-sounding albums he’s made considering he’s still so young. Whether or not Target sells his CDs, he’ll live.

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DJ Premier Joining VH1’s The Breaks

Lemme tell y’all about The Breaks.

VH1 is making a hip hop show called The Breaks, from the dude who made The Wire. It’s gonna be about the rise of the business side of hip hop in New York in the early ’90s. You know, the golden age of hip hop and shit. Anyways, DJ Premier (AKA the legend behind Illmatic, Ready to Die, Black on Both Sides and so, so many more) is gonna be the executive music producer for the show. I mean, considering that he personally made a lot of the music from that era, they really couldn’t have gotten anyone better. Let’s get hyped.

The Breaks



So the show’s gonna follow three friends trynna make it in the business. This is right when hip hop was going mainstream and blowing up all over the country (and the world), and the business was blowing up right along with it. It’s gonna come out late fall, and they’re saying that if it does well in the ratings VH1 will probably make another full-fledged hip hop series, so I guess that means it’ll be more of a mini-series, or just one season or something. I’ll take whatever I can get though, and with Premier it should do real well.

It’s apparently based on a book called The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas, so it’s looking like it’s gonna be a lot about the business side and maybe less about the music. Then again, it would be impossible to make a series about the business of hip hop without having any of the dope music in it, and that’s where Premier comes in. Let’s see why this was such a genius move to bring him in.

DJ Premier

DJ Premier


Again, dude actually made a lot of the classics in the ’90s, and worked with a lot of the old legends. He also has a little experience with the business side of hip hop himself (I mean, considering how big he got), so he can practically be a historical accuracy advisor for the show too. Most importantly though, Premier guarantees that at least some of the focus on The Breaks will be on the music itself, and since it’s Premier you know it’s gonna be the shit. You really gotta watch this shit once it comes out for the soundtrack if nothing else.

Get hyped.

We’ve got The Get Down and Russell Simmons’s musical coming soon, and now we’re getting The Breaks. It’s a hell of a time to be a hip hop head right now, not just for the music but for the shows too. Stay tuned here at Spit Talking for updates on The Breaks and any other dope shows/movies/musicals we might be getting.

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Blackalicious – Imani Vol. 1 on PledgeMusic

Blackalicious is coming out with a new album!

It’ll be their first in 10 years, and if you’re a Blackalicious fan you’ve been waiting about 9 of those years for the next album. It’s finally coming, and they’re turning to crowdfunding to help pay the costs of doing business. Check out their PledgeMusic page to see the dope rewards you can get and then drop some money to help make their dream (and my dream and their audience’s dreams) come true. Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel are some of the best in the game, and even though hip hop’s been real dope recently we could always use a new Blackalicious album.

Imani Vol. 1

Blackalicious - Imani Vol. 1The album will be called Imani Vol. 1, and it’ll be their 4th full album and their 1st since 2005’s The Craft. It’s already about 20% funded, even though there’s still almost a full 2 months left in the funding period. It’s good that it looks like it’ll be funded pretty quick, because it’s supposed to drop on August 14, 2015. The “Volume 1” also actually means something, because according to Gift of Gab this is the first album of a trilogy that will be released over the next 2 years. In other words, Blackalicious is coming back with a fucking bang, not just returning to making albums after 10 years but hitting it hard. Thank the lord, because 3 albums from the genius minds of Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel can make sure these other rappers don’t get lazy.


If the idea of a new Blackalicious album (somehow) isn’t enough to make you immediately pull out your wallet, well the rewards you can get will probably change your mind. For just $10, you can essentially pre-order the digital version of the album, and you get behind-the-scenes access to them making the project (You get these two things for donating anything over $10 too.) This right here is already a dope deal, because that’s how much the album will probably cost anyways, so you might as well chip in to the funding beforehand then just have your digital download waiting for you in August. For $25 you get a signed CD and for $40 a signed vinyl, and you can get dope signed posters and musical equipment, along with a day in the studio with Xcel. The rewards are getting snatched up pretty quick too, which is no surprise considering how dope Blackalicious is.

Supporting dope music

Blackalicious PledgeMusicFinally, if you don’t really care about any of the rewards and you aren’t that hype about the album, you should really support Blackalicious if you’re at all a fan of hip hop. These dudes are straight legends, and it’s a damn shame that labels don’t throw money at them to make whatever the fuck they want. They make real interesting hip hop while staying true to the genre, and a new album from them could really raise the level of competition we got going in hip hop right now. And as we all know (I mean, we saw what happened with Kendrick’s Control verse), competition is the best possible thing for hip hop. Throw in a few bucks, help out some hip hop legends along with their fans and help the general state of the game.

Chip in.

If you got a little bit of extra dough, throw it in to help out Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel. I know for some of y’all you gotta wait till payday tomorrow (like me), but the best thing to do with the first $10 of that direct deposit is pre-ordering what’s sure to be a dope album. Hit up PledgeMusic and fund some real dope hip hop.

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Latest Hip Hop News: From Vic to Drizzy

As always, shit’s been going down in hip hop.

From rappers signing with labels to CDs being released, some shit you might wanna know about has gone down in the last few days. This week we got news from Vic Mensa, who’s been up-and-coming for a few years now, and we also got some news from Drake, who’s about as established as you can be. Here at Spit Talking, we think it’s all important, regardless of album sales numbers. Anyways, let’s catch up with some of the latest hip hop news.

Vic Mensa signs to Roc Nation

Vic Mensa - U Mad (feat. Kanye West)So after a good few years as a pretty famous unsigned rapper, Vic is taking his talents to the next level and signing with Roc Nation. In case you didn’t know, Roc Nation is Jay-Z’s record label/management company, and they manage a few different artists and release a few albums here and there (including J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive), so this is a pretty big deal for Vic. Let’s hope this gives him the freedom/resources to keep making dope music and keep testing the boundaries of hip hop.

An immediate effect of Vic Mensa signing with Roc Nation is that U Mad, Vic’s single featuring Kanye West which hit youtube a few weeks ago is now on iTunes! So if you wanna support a rapper who’s been killing it for a while but still hasn’t completely blown up nationally, hit up U Mad on iTunes and send Vic a little love. I mean, it’s got Kanye on it so you know you’re gonna like that shit.

U Mad (feat. Kanye West) - Single - Vic Mensa

If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too LateDrake’s mixtape (but it’s really more of a full album), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late tore up the digital download charts right when it dropped, I think selling half a million copies in the first weekend or the first week or something. Well, Drake´s ready to add to that number, because now you can buy a physical copy of the album. Cop the CD if you wanna bump that shit in your car (especially Know Something) or if you just wanna keep the album laying around your house to freak people out with the artwork. Either reason works.

If You're Reading This It's Too Late [Explicit]

Good shit, Vic and Drake.

Vic Mensa is gearing up to take over the world and Drake is continuing to dominate the game in any way he can. We live in a golden age of hip hop, considering that so many different rappers can exist without directly competing with each other, yet they’re all still hungry to hit the top. If you’re a hip hop fan, it’s a good time to just sit back and watch (and listen.)

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