The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Lil Wayne regains his spot on top, T.I. heads back to prison and the Los Angeles underground has another promising rap crew -- read on for the weekly Rap-Up.
Lil Wayne Returns To The Top
A recent stint behind bars put a slight crimp in Lil Wayne’s virtually unchallenged reign on top as rap’s most prolific, most universally embraced artist. But with “Tha Carter IV,” the No. 1 selling album in the country this week, the YMCMB gets back to business as usual -- or unusual, given his tremendous output and his evolution into a part-time crooner.
Wayne’s single “How To Love,” for instance, features him singing and the powerful video trails the tumultuous events of a potential abortion, relationship strife and a HIV diagnosis before ending with the celebration for a pregnancy.
Of course, “6 Foot 7 Foot” delivers high-powered rap, “John” is a wicked lyrical exercise with Rick Ross and the album’s “Interlude” with Tech N9ne and “Outro” with Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes have generated as much heat online as other artists’ actual songs. Lil Wayne’s back, even though it feels like he never really left.
T.I. Released To Halfway House, Lands Back In Prison
T.I. hasn’t had much luck with the law lately. Last week the Atlanta rapper was released from prison after serving 10 months on a drug conviction. He reported to his halfway house in a luxury tour bus, which apparently didn’t sit well with the authorities.
Evidently, he failed to disclose the type of vehicle that would be transporting him from the prison in Arkansas where he was held to the Atlanta halfway house where he was supposed to finish serving his time. Thanks to that seemingly innocuous misstep, T.I. has been shipped back to Arkansas and now the rapper formerly known as Tip is reportedly back behind bars until September 29.
It’s a bizarre turn of events for the rapper, who was hoping to go to the halfway house to conclude his latest sentence in peace. So much for that.
Who’s The Mackk? Andy.
Even with noteworthy material from the Pharcyde, Tha Alkaholiks, Dilated Peoples and others, Los Angeles rap has been basically -- at least by the mainstream -- considered gangster or bust. That tide has started to turn with OFWGKTA.
Another promising Los Angeles rap collective with a decidedly distinctive vibe boasts rapper Andy Mackk. As Mackk preps his forthcoming “Dum Down Era” album, his impressive Brandon B-produced singles “Suicide Drills” and “Children of the Light” showcase his impressive skills.
On the former, Mackk cleverly weaves pop culture references into his confident flow, while on the latter the City of Angels rapper pays homage to his religious beliefs. With potent beats backing him and sharp lyrics, Andy Mackk has tremendous potential.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.