The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
T.I. gets back in “Trouble,” the Artifacts resurrect a classic rap sound and AZ sustains his “Illmatic” heritage – read on for the Rap-Up list.
T.I. Prepares For Release Of “Trouble Man” Album
T.I. has been one of the few rappers to be able to consistently tread the razor-thin line between remaining respected in the streets and making songs that cater to women. His new single “Love This Life,” dropped this week, is likely to continue that trend. “Love This Life,” the first single from his forthcoming album, “Trouble Man,” features the Atlanta rapper detailing how he will spoil his lady. Unlike his smash “Whatever You Like,” though, the music on “Love This Life” is heavy, with a robust bass line, crisp drums and melancholy strings (courtesy of Mars of 1500 or Nothin’).
Artifacts Reemerges With “Easter”
The Artifacts, the 1990s hip-hop group known for paying homage to graffiti writing in their lyrics and videos, are back after a 15-year hiatus. El Da Sensei and Tame One (and DJ Kaos) have put their respective solo careers on hold to reunite for the single “Easter.” Produced by Khrysis, the new single shows that the extensive time apart hasn’t affected the chemistry of the Newark, New Jersey, rappers. Now with a strong single under their belt, hopefully El Da Sensei and Tame One will return with another Artifacts album soon.
AZ Gets Ready To Re-Up
As the only guest rapper on Nas’s landmark album “Illmatic,” released in 1994, AZ instantly rose up to rarified air. But since then, the smooth-flowing East New York rapper has only flirted with stardom, most notably through his hit single “Sugar Hill” in 1995 and his subsequent stint in the hip-hop supergroup The Firm, which was formed in 1996 and lasted two years. At long last, AZ is prepping the follow-up to his debut album, 1995’s lyrically potent “Doe Or Die.” “Doe Or Die II” is coming soon and features the Buckwild-produced single “My Niggas." Over a slow, pimped-out beat accented by horn blasts and sparkling keys, AZ shouts out practically everyone from the late Big L to The RZA. Given AZ’s extensive and impressive song catalog, “Doe Or Die II” should feature another round of supreme lyricism.