• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
Some Rap Songs Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 286 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The third full-length studio release for the Los Angeles-based rapper features guest appearances by Navy Blue and Standing On The Corner as well as vocal samples of his parents: Cheryl Harris and (the late) Keorapetse Kgositsile.
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Dec 7, 2018
    100
    One of the best rap albums of the year, a smoky iceberg of great emotional depth.
  2. Dec 20, 2018
    90
    For all its signs of progression, the record is never heavy-handed with its ambition. Its unforced attempt at making sense of the fraught present, at finding shelter without resorting to convenient escape, is a rare and, dare I say, sincere feat.
  3. Nov 30, 2018
    88
    The project is distinctly rough around the edges, to great effect; there’s the sound of dust popping off vinyl and cassette hiss throughout. ... His uncle and father are gone, but Earl is still here, carrying on their artistic legacy--and, with the help of his collaborators, building his own.
  4. Dec 4, 2018
    80
    Some Rap Songs is the rare album by an immensely talented lyricist who deigns not to pull out any fireworks, opting to sink into the cushion’s of a therapist’s couch in the search for an honest work of art. It’s a delicate statement of restraint, and in this case the process shows more of the artist than ever before.
  5. Dec 5, 2018
    80
    The album reasserts his status as a uniquely fascinating rapper. On Some Rap Songs, he’s making the most adventurous and exciting music of his career so far.
  6. Dec 6, 2018
    75
    Though Some Rap Songs may come across as a collection of underdeveloped vignettes of previously covered subject matter, further and deeper listening showcases an economical poet at his most striking self.
  7. Dec 7, 2018
    60
    The problem is that Earl’s stream of consciousness style does not lend itself to easy listening. Off-kilter drum loops and piano chords bury the lyrics on Red Water and Peanut, creating an unfriendly sonic experience reminiscent of listening to a song with cheap earphones in a noisy room. Listeners will only be able to appreciate Earl’s poetry once they devote every ounce of their focus to hearing it.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 4 out of 40
  1. Dec 3, 2018
    10
    Can't get over the feeling like this is an extension of J Dilla's Donuts....I play the whole thing through on repeat like Donuts too and findCan't get over the feeling like this is an extension of J Dilla's Donuts....I play the whole thing through on repeat like Donuts too and find something new to love about it each time. Expand
  2. Mar 20, 2019
    10
    I love this record. I didn't understand it on the first listen, but I listened to it again and stumbled on something. If you've listened toI love this record. I didn't understand it on the first listen, but I listened to it again and stumbled on something. If you've listened to this album, you are probably aware that the first two words of "Shattered Dreams" (first track of the album) are: "Imprecise words". Why is that?

    The album is unlike any I've heard. Not just the best album of a year or decade or genre, but one of the strongest pieces of music using the language of its time. Why is that?

    I'll prove my case by explaining one of the many musical jokes in the album.

    In the track "December 24th", after Earl is done rapping, you hear a common trope in hip hop music. When the artist stops rapping and the beat cuts only to come back harder than ever, sometimes, instead of complete silence, you get a headphone solo or evidence of a leaky channel being muted on a master console. In this case, you hear the instrumental Earl was rapping over. If you carefully listen, you'll notice the beat is the same as the one featured in the majority of the track, only pitch shifted up somewhere in the area of a major third. This is not an accident. This record is full of jokes like this; some obvious, others buried.

    Whether this is intentional or not is up to Earl to reveal. But make no mistake that, like the fake ending in "Shattered Dreams" where the introductory vocal sample (is it a sample or treated to sound like one?) repeats as soon as he says the word chosen.
    Expand
  3. Dec 1, 2018
    10
    This album is a masterpiece. Everything from the beautiful production to the overall MADVILLAINY inspired sound really blew me away. Earl hasThis album is a masterpiece. Everything from the beautiful production to the overall MADVILLAINY inspired sound really blew me away. Earl has managed to put together an experimental album that packs and punch and gives listeners an insight into Earl's psyche. Expand
  4. Dec 9, 2018
    9
    I could see how you don't like this album, but it is a beautiful 25 minutes and something I wasn't expecting from Earl.
  5. Dec 1, 2018
    9
    Took me few listens to really enjoy this album, but if you give it a chance you will probably enjoy it. Earl tried something new with thisTook me few listens to really enjoy this album, but if you give it a chance you will probably enjoy it. Earl tried something new with this album and I think that it's captivating. The beats are the way they are so you focus more on the lyricism over the beats. If you focus on the lyrics you will eventually be all over the album. It's been on repeat since it dropped for me. Expand
  6. Dec 4, 2018
    8
    Lyrics are the best Earl's ever had and though it would sound better cleanly produced, the shaky production fits with the sinking and confusedLyrics are the best Earl's ever had and though it would sound better cleanly produced, the shaky production fits with the sinking and confused feeling of the album. Themes of family and death make the album emotionally stronger. Expand
  7. Dec 5, 2018
    0
    Unfortunately does nothing for me. A competent rap devoid of any genuine courage to push boundaries in his subject matter. Awful

See all 40 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The Best Albums of 2018

    The Best Albums of 2018 Image
    Published: December 22, 2018
    We reveal the 40 highest-scoring album releases of the year, as well as some of 2018's bests and worsts in other music categories.