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During this pandemic, I’ve found my time alone to be particularly unstable. I often turn to podcasts to take me out of my day-to-day anxieties, but many of many favorite shows are focusing on the effects of a crisis that is currently affecting us all. Music has provided a much-needed escape from anxiety in a time of overwhelming trauma.

There are a few different types of music that I’ve found helpful, comforting or cathartic. Like any time of anxiety, the emotions we’re feeling are all over the place. In an hour, you can shift from crippling boredom to crippling hip…


Part Two: What To Be Excited About Now

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It’s easy to complain about the past, but if British rap is going to have any chance of breaking into mainstream recognition, it needs to be consistent. Luckily, over the past few months, it has been. Some of the biggest names in a new generation of British hip hop are on their second album cycle. Success at this stage is crucial, not just for the artists, but for the country’s respect in general.

British rap could easily become a fad of the late 2010’s, or something that lives on as a legitimate subgenre in what is rapidly becoming the most…


Part One: What You’ve Missed

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Sunday marked another year of the Grammy awards, and inevitably, controversy ensued. Tyler, the Creator was frustrated with his album IGOR being placed in the rap category. Lana Del Rey fans protested Billie Eilish’s sweep of all the major categories. 7 by Lil Nas X was nominated for album of the year (okay, this may have been a personal controversy).

Despite all that, this was a pretty good year for the Grammy’s, at least comparatively. Neither Bruno Mars nor Adele won Album of the Year. There was no Kendrick Lamar snub. …


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As 2019 winded down, releases (like my writing) slowed to a near halt. Many looked back at the year as somewhat of a disappointment. Were artists hesitant to drop so close to all decade lists? Are all of our favorite artists bad now? Did managers fear the true arrival of Y2K in 2020 and a wasted tour budget after an apocalypse?

These all seem very conceivable.

Well, the apocalypse didn’t happen, and there’s a whole new end of decade list for artists to try and get on. Below I have some things that I’m intrigued about for the year 2020.


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Despite my new love of the genre, Sturgill Simpson will not be boxed in as a country artist.

In my country music article at the start of the summer, I wrote about how Simpson’s music brought me over to the dark side. The dark side, of course, being the sounds of Ken Burns’ new favorite genre, country music. Those who have been “yee-hawing” for more than a few years have debated with me on the legitimacy of Simpson’s status as a country artist. However, his continued dominance in country music award categories kept my belief.

Three years after the release…


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Photo from Madison McGaw/BFA/REX Shutterstock

It’s unlikely that Pusha T will ever have another moment as viral as his 2018 Story of Adidon diss. That is very unfortunate, especially when you consider that Pusha has been putting out for over 15 years. He doesn’t seem to be losing steam any time soon, his Kanye-produced DAYTONA showed that.

One of my favorite parts of each year in rap is finding out who had the best year in rap as a feature artist. It may seem like a novel accomplishment, but it’s a great way to stay relevant without releasing a full-length project. …


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Pop music is going through a big shift right now, and some of the biggest releases of the month of August have showed three of its biggest competing subgenres. Brockhampton’s Ginger, Lana Del Rey’s Norman F*cking Rockwell and the behemoth, Taylor Swift’s Lover.

In my last article, I wrote about how we’ve had a relatively disappointing summer in terms of big-name music releases. The weeks since then have done their best to blow that article into irrelevance.

These, of course, aren’t the biggest sales weeks of the these three weeks. I’d be ignoring Young Thug’s new album and the new…


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It’s about halfway through the summer, the heat is settling in and BBQ playlists are just about set. At this point last year, we were still recovering from a huge release weekend (Astroworld, Swimming and Stay Dangerous) and had found stability after the barrage of takes surrounding Kanye’s five albums in five weeks campaign. Some people were still even playing songs on Scorpion.

This year doesn’t feel quite as momentous as that, at least so far. …


Chance and Drake’s new releases mark another chapter in the death of the mixtape. Where are those low-pressure releases going?

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This week, Drake dropped a collection of previously released songs onto major streaming services. The project, Care Package, is just the latest example of artists merging their past “mixtape” discography with their major studio releases. Chance the Rapper recently brought back his Acid Rap and 10 Day mixtapes to help promote his new album, Joey Bada$$ offered his 1999 project, and that’s only a fraction. Fans of these artists have been thrilled with the re-releases, making it even easier to access projects they already love. …


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“What kind of music do you listen to?”

“Pretty much everything except for country”

This was a refrain I heard many a time when I was in high school, mostly among my fellow city folk. We were all rap kids. “Good” music was boom bap NY-style rap. It took us a long while to even begin to accept someone as “outlandish” as Young Thug.

Times have changed. This week, Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road broke the record for most consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard top 100. Old Town Road is considered by many to be a “country…

Sam Walsh

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