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

8SPIN Rating: 8 of 10Release Date: August 26, 2016Label: BLACKSMITH/ARTium/DEF JAMVince Staples records feel like transmissions. On early mixtapes like Stolen Youth and his Shyne…
Matthew Ramirez / August 23, 2016

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

6SPIN Rating: 6 of 10Release Date: July 29, 2016Label: EpicDJ Khaled is a movie star. You won’t literally see him at the Megaplex, but…
Matthew Ramirez / August 4, 2016

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

8SPIN Rating: 8 of 10Release Date: March 04, 2016Label: Top Dawg EntertainmentKendrick Lamar didn’t have to do this. Not even a year has passed since…
Matthew Ramirez / March 9, 2016

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

7SPIN Rating: 7 of 10Release Date: January 16, 2016Label: Self-released2015 could have ended Future’s career. After years of calling himself an astronaut, Fire Marshall Future,…
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’

7SPIN Rating: 7 of 10Release Date: September 20, 2015Label: What a Time to Be Alive is not the best album of 2015, but it is…
Matthew Ramirez / September 22, 2015

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

5SPIN Rating: 5 of 10Release Date: September 04, 2015Label: Grand Hustle/EpicA rodeo is a series of endurance tests: bronco riding, barrel racing, calf roping, and,…
Matthew Ramirez / September 10, 2015

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

7SPIN Rating: 7 of 10Release Date: August 07, 2015Label: Aftermath / InterscopeDetox has arrived. Except it’s not Detox, it’s Compton. And fortunately, Compton is not…
Matthew Ramirez / August 11, 2015