Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 28, 2018 | BMG Rights Management GmbH

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Eight years have passed since the Californians of Cypress Hill’s last album yet the band are still all over the scene, both with solo projects and collaborations. Cypress Hill’s energy on stage is unparalleled, which guarantees them a place at most festivals around the world. The promise of this new album, “Elephants on Acid”, is primarily based on the return of DJ Muggs, their brilliant producer, who is picking up right where he left off, between sixties psychedelics, blazing breakbeats and smoky mysticism. Just like on the very detailed gothic album cover, Muggs unearths a monster buried deep underground and resurrects the legend of “Temple of Boom”, the band’s labyrinth album released in 1995. Between drugs and spirituality, B-Real, the main rapper, reinterprets Cypress Hill’s rather dark repertoire, halfway between Los Angeles Latino culture and hallucinating fantasy à la H.P. Lovecraft. With a few more recreational tracks like “Crazy” or “Oh Na Na”, which make the group sound like a mutant gypsy marching band, Cypress Hill are revitalised, though slightly removed from the saturated guitars of their earlier releases. Ending on “Stairway To Heaven” which is reminiscent of the ethereal soul of Portishead or Massive Attack, “Elephants on Acid” is a multi-layered journey around the mind, in which listeners can both lose and find themselves. © Aurélien Chapuis/Qobuz

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 27, 2018 | Concord Loma Vista

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
A former member of SpaceGhostPurrp's Raider Klan , Denzel Curry is one of the precursors of the new generation of electro coming out of Florida. Now joined by such wild men as Smokepurrp, Ski Mask Da Slump God or the late XXXTentacion, Denzel has created a complex mix, which has been much-covered by his peers. To sum it up, his music is a mixture of very technical rap in the tradition of Memphis and the Three 6 Mafia and a rather more elevated psychedelic tendency taken from Outkast and the Dungeon Family. A pure product of the SoundCloud generation, he made waves with Nostalgic 64 (2013) and then Imperial (2016). At the age of just 23, Denzel Curry shows a disarming maturity and an unflagging versatility on TA13oo, his most ambitious album to date. Taking all his concepts to the limit, TA13oo is an open-ended and multifaceted exploration. With J.I.D., Goldlink and JPEGMafia, the album is made up of three distinct parts that move from light to darkness. Taking energy from the power of black metal as much as from the electronic experiments of Arca or Aphex Twin, TA13oo is a panoramic work that defies classification. The result is sometimes noisy and impenetrable, and very often urgent and balanced. Denzel Curry's personality shines through as he links together all these apparently-opposing elements. With little social and political touches, always a witness to the sufferings to today's youth, his writing is made up of little underwater explosions which build into a tsunami. Grenades like Sumo, Vengeance and Clout Cobain brought Denzel Curry to the level of great epic set-pieces, a strong point of his. TA13oo marks a new stage in this artist's already-bustling career, and presents him as a clear leader in contemporary rap. © Aurélien Chapuis/Qobuz

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 14, 2017 | Aftermath

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
To Pimp a Butterfly's proper and oft-biblical follow-up arrived on Good Friday, 13 months after untitled unmastered., an intermediary release that eclipsed the best work of most contemporary artists. If Kendrick Lamar felt pressure to continue living up to his previous output, there's no evidence on DAMN. He's too occupied tracing the spectrum of his mental states, from "boxin' demons" to "flex on swole," questioning and reveling in his affluence, castigating and celebrating his bloodline, humble enough to relate his vulnerabilities, assured enough to proclaim "Ain't none of y'all fuckin' with the flow." Throughout, he intensely examines most of the seven deadly sins, aware all along that his existence is threatened by anyone who objects to the color of his skin or clothes -- or, in the case of the blind stranger who shoots him during the album's opener, nothing that is apparent. Compared to the maximum-capacity, genre-twisting vastness and winding narratives of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN. on the surface seems like a comparatively simple rap album that demands less from the listener. There's relative concision in the track titles and material, and a greater emphasis on commercial sounds -- such as Mike WiLL's lean and piano-laced trap beat for the strong-arming "HUMBLE.," Lamar's first Top Ten pop hit, and a couple productions that are merely functional backdrops lacking distinction. In a way, however, DAMN. is just as lavish and singular as the preceding albums, its quantity and weight of thoughts and connected concepts condensed into a considerably tighter space. It contains some of Lamar's best writing and performances, revealing his evolving complexity and versatility as a soul-baring lyricist and dynamic rapper. Although it's occasionally distorted, stretched, smeared, and reversed to compelling and imagination-fueling effect, his voice is at its most affecting in its many untreated forms. Take "FEAR.," in which he switches between echoing hot-blooded parental threats to enumerating, with a 40-acre stare, various death scenarios. His storytelling hits an astonishing new high on "Duckworth," the album's finale. Over ethereal funk sewn by 9th Wonder, Lamar details a potentially tragic encounter between his father and future Top Dawg CEO Anthony Tiffith -- and the conditions leading to it -- that occurred long before Kung Fu Kenny was known as K. Dot. ~ Andy Kellman

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 19, 2015 | Aftermath III JV

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Grammy Awards

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 17, 2012 | Wagram Music / Cinq 7 / Derriere Les Planches

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2011 | Capitol Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2010 | Def Jam Recordings

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The not-very-hip-hop Dirty Projectors, Monsters of Folk, Patty Crash, and Joanna Newsom contribute one way or another to How I Got Over. Rest assured, the ninth studio album from the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band is very much its own, and skeptics should be reminded that hip-hop history is filled with figures as unlikely as Billy Squier (who probably did not bump into Run-D.M.C. backstage at The Alan Thicke Show). Very much in line with recent albums like Game Theory and Rising Down, neither of which was tailored for a good time, How I Got Over is the most subdued of the three. The blood doesn’t really get pumping until the fifth track. Up to that point, however, the band creates some of its most downcast and alluring material, covering solitude, self-destruction, and just about every planetary ill. It’s all vividly conveyed through pensive arrangements, sobering rhymes, spooky choruses, and even spookier backing vocals. Truck North, P.O.R.N., Dice Raw, and Blu make gripping contributions, but no one cuts to the chase quite like Black Thought, who can condense modern reality into one deftly delivered and commanding line, like “Got immunized for both flus, I’m still sick.” From there, the spirit lifts a little, though the songs are still deeply planted in realism. The title track is modern soul-blues that cooks, assisted by some serious singing from Black Thought and an inspiring chorus from Dice Raw. On “Now or Never,” Phonte’s dejection (“My role was cast before I even auditioned for it”) is tempered with Dice Raw's glints of determination. For good measure, or perhaps for the sake of a little balance, the back half also features a hardcore boast session between Thought, Peedi Peedi, and Truck North that cannot be disregarded. This is yet another Roots album that lends itself to repeated, beginning-to-end listening. It is gracefully and cleverly sequenced, from the way the tracks melt into each other to the way “Doin’ It Again” utilizes John Legend's anguished “Again” prior to transitioning into the subtly anthemic “The Fire,” which features a fresh collaboration with…John Legend. ~ Andy Kellman