808s & Podbreaks: Vince Staples, Pusha T, & DAMN, It’s Been Five Years

It’s feasting season! Many of the year’s biggest Hip Hop releases are landing within a few weeks of one another. First on the docket are two fantastic new releases from rappers who are at the height of their powers. Vince Staples’ Ramona Park Broke My Heart is a pure vibe album soaking in sunny Long Beach beats, yet with the kind of interiority Staples is making his name on, in this greatly satisfying sort-of-sequel to his self-titled titular album from last year. Meanwhile, Pusha T does what Pusha T does best: creates brilliant rap songs about cocaine! And nothing else! With terrific production and features, It’s Almost Dry is a finely crafted follow-up to 2018’s Daytona. 2018? Seriously? Now imagine Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (2017) is ringing in its fifth year of release. Damn is right. Ahead of Lamar’s hotly anticipated new album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, we evaluate one of the masterpieces of our time.

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