Big Boi, Game and Masta Killa all release hip-hop albums this week.
Big Boi's second solo studio album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, follows up his debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. The southern rapper fused several different sounds to create the project. It's rare for someone to say they picked up a hip-hop album that featured collaborations with indie darlings like Phantogram, Wavves, and Little Dragon. Still, the project may be off-putting to those hoping for a straightforward urban album. Big Boi experiments in this album, and yet it never feels out of place. Listeners need to understand that Big Boi is aiming for an alternative sound. Check out "Thom Pettie," featuring Little Dragon and Killer Mike and "In the A," featuring fellow southern MCs T.I. and Ludacris.
Assuming fans can make it past the borderline blasphemous cover art, Game's fifth studio album, Jesus Piece, is surprisingly good. The project is filled with collaborations from some of rap's best, including Kanye West, Common, J.Cole, Fabolous, Pusha T, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar. And despite sometimes emulating his guests' styles on each song, the West Coast rapper remains consistent throughout. Jesus Piece isn't The Documentary, but it is arguably the best project he has put together since then. Check out the title track, "Jesus Piece"; "Church" featuring King Chip and Trey Songz; and "All That (Lady)," featuring Wayne, Big Sean, Fabolous and singer Jeremih.
Masta Killa, known for his work as a member of the New York rap collective Wu-Tang Clan, releases his third solo album, Selling My Soul, this week. His first solo effort in six years, the project serves as a follow-up to 2006's Made In Brooklyn. Fans are treated to old style New York rap with collaborations from producers 9th Wonder and Inspectah Deck. Be sure to check out the outstanding "R U Listening," a soulful track that demands a slow two-step groove. It represents the overall sound featured on the album. Listeners hoping to hear a project with a few more guest verses should hold out for the upcoming, Loyalty Is Royalty.
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