Matthew Ramirez

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Review: Lil Yachty Just Wants to Be Liked on Teenage Emotions

Lil Yachty is weird. Not avant-garde, but unpredictable. After exploding onto the scene with an array of viral hits and an…
Matthew Ramirez / May 30, 2017

Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert: In 2016, the Kids Took Over Rap

The first time I heard Hawaiian Punch-braided teen rapper Lil Yachty was, fittingly, in a viral video. There’s no way in a million years…
Matthew Ramirez / December 15, 2016

Review: Vince Staples Remains More Reality Than Television on ‘Prima Donna’ EP

Vince Staples records feel like transmissions. On early mixtapes like Stolen Youth and his Shyne Coldchain series, they were the raw, unfiltered diary entries of…
Matthew Ramirez / August 23, 2016

Review: DJ Khaled Is the Biggest Hypeman of All Time on ‘Major Key’

DJ Khaled is a movie star. You won’t literally see him at the Megaplex, but an invite to the Oscars red carpet isn't completely out…
Matthew Ramirez / August 4, 2016

Review: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘untitled unmastered.’ Is a Bullet With ‘Butterfly’ Wings

Kendrick Lamar didn’t have to do this. Not even a year has passed since he released his grand statement, To Pimp a Butterfly, an intimidating epic…
Matthew Ramirez / March 9, 2016

Review: Future Sings the Computer Blues on ‘Purple Reign’

2015 could have ended Future’s career. After years of calling himself an astronaut, Fire Marshall Future, and even Future Hendrix, he embraced a villainy that…
Matthew Ramirez / January 25, 2016

Future Is 2015’s Rapper of the Year

Dirty Sprite 2 to me will always signal the first Friday I remember new music being released. There was a slow period in the summer…
Matthew Ramirez / December 18, 2015

Review: Drake and Future Define 2015 Rap for Better and Worse on ‘What a Time to Be Alive’

What a Time to Be Alive is not the best album of 2015, but it is the album that best defines 2015 so far. After…
Matthew Ramirez / September 22, 2015

Review: This Is Actually in Fact, Travis Scott’s First ‘Rodeo’

A rodeo is a series of endurance tests: bronco riding, barrel racing, calf roping, and, of course, bull-riding ("the longest eight seconds in sports"), and…
Matthew Ramirez / September 10, 2015

Review: Dr. Dre Returns After 16 Years to Deliver His Surprise Retirement Record ‘Compton’

Detox has arrived. Except it’s not Detox, it’s Compton. And fortunately, Compton is not hip-hop’s Chinese Democracy — a mythical, long-awaited record released to shrugs…
Matthew Ramirez / August 11, 2015