Charles Hamilton’s comeback to hip-hop was a slow and steady pilgrimage to the spotlight again.
In 2015, the Harlem rapper cemented his return when he signed a deal with Republic Records and readied a new single, “New York Raining,” which features Rita Ora. Hamilton gained momentum when it was featured in the season 1 finale of Empire, which led to a late-night performance with Ora on Late Night: Seth Meyers. His career looked like it was back on track when he was one of the must-see acts of SXSW 2015, and he later announced an EP called The Black Box to hold fans over until his major label project.
A full year later, Hamilton has stayed busy keeping his name relevant with a handful of mixtapes that led to the release of Hamilton, Charles. Produced by himself and The Invisible Men, the album is 11 tracks and includes “Correct” (which was teased last year) and the song “Ugly Supermodel” that he premiered at a special edition of Pigeons & Planes’ No Ceilings in Austin.
On one of the tracks, “Stay There,” Hamilton addresses his four-year old beef with J. Cole (How can anyone forget about “It’s My World” (J. Cole Diss)?) and that time the Harlem rapper got punched by his former girlfriend Briana Latrise. He raps:
“Briana had good pussy, why hit her back?/I got my hit back that night in the sack/Shut up management, I’m tryin’ to rap/Y’all act like I don’t know I die for this craft/I’m not apologizing to Cole, I’m sodomizing his soul/The bottom line is I was high off of coke/Ignore it, I kinda had to force it, it sucked/MTV asked and I didn’t give a fuck/I put the shit out and I didn’t get a buck/It wasn’t for attention cause shit I get enough.”
In a interview with MTV News in 2012, Hamilton explained his relationship with Cole and the whole reason why he dissed Cole in the first place, citing a “supernatural situation” and bizarre corporate connections. You can relive it below.
These days, Hamilton seems to be getting his act together and focusing on creating good music again. Among the rest of the albums that came out on Dec. 9, be sure to add this one into your rotation. You can stream it below via Spotify.
For more on Hamilton, you can watch a 50-minute documentary produced by Red Bull TV and directed by Fred Scott called Let It Play…Fault Lines that dives into his life and how he reignited his music career here.