Jordan Sargent



  • Meyhem Lauren, 'Respect the Fly Shit' (self-released)

    Action Bronson's Juelz brings food raps, knockout punchlines for anyone worn out on Blue Chips.

  • King L, 'Showtime' (self-released)

    Chicago rapper has it all: charm, nastiness, jokes, insight....Classic will come with time.

  • The Bieb

    Justin Bieber, 'Believe' (Island/RBMG)

    Justin Bieber is a singer. His maniacal fanbase of (mostly) teenagers will never forget that, but the rest of us sometimes struggle to recall that the formerly mop-headed icon actually makes music. After all, his career is arguably more about the power of a new strand of social media and the reawakening of teen idolatry than anything artistic. He rose up as a YouTube and Twitter meme, and in some respects will always be one; many people could recall their favorite Belieber RT before they could sing any of his choruses. But in the grand scheme of his career, all this is rather insignificant: Kids know and love those songs, their parents will pay for them (and then pay again to see them performed in arenas), and everyone will make more than enough money.

  • Gucci Mane, 'I'm Up' (Self-Released)

    Pill-gobbling crumbling idol numbed by own existence, scraping songs from mumble-raps, teen humor, defensiveness.

  • GBE, 'For Greater Glory' (Self-Released)

    A comp of sinister one-hitters and street-pop anthems from Chief Keef and Chicago's bang-bangingest rappers.

  • Young L, 'Enigma Theory' (Self-Released)

    Baby Based God gobbles up Yeasayer, Wye Oak, Mr. Hudson, spits up Clams-core, needs swag back.

  • Action Bronson

    Action Bronson, 'Blue Chips' (Fool's Gold)

    Plenty of rappers have had to overcome comparisons to their elders, but very few have it as tough as Queens MC Action Bronson, who through little fault of his own, sounds more or less exactly like Ghostface Killah. So on the ninth track of Blue Chips, his new mixtape with producer Party Supplies, the beat drops and Bronson finally lets it out: "Don't ever say my fuckin' music sound like Ghost shit." It's a misreading of the criticism (it's his voice, not music, that bears the resemblance), but anyway, as mom always said, actions speak louder than words, and it's with Blue Chips, not bluster, that Bronson finally shakes the ghost of, well, you know. The chef (of the Thomas Keller, not Raekwon, variety) turned rapper broke through last year with Dr.

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