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A Defensive Stance

More Life Playlist Review

Canadian superstar drake has been the one of the most polarizing figures in Hip-Hop in recent memory.  His last project “Views” was very mediocre and had people questioning if Drake was done for.  After a couple of tours and a few singles he announced a new “playlist”.  Like many others I was confused at this new label, Aubrey was using for his album, It seems as though Drake wanted to be extra with this record.  Like my guy just call it an album. But I digress.  Did Drake deliver or is Aubrey finally on a downfall?

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So right off the back Drake comes in with his bravado and tough guy raps, which I enjoyed.  But after this the album starts to go downhill.  No Long Talk had potential but felt like a B-Side on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and the verse from Giggs was trash as fuck.  The next 5 tracks are unbearable and I deleted them off of my ITunes.  The playlist picks back up with 4422 and from here on out the project is actually enjoyable.  Asides from Giggs making another appearance later in the playlist the second half is much more enjoyable than the first half.   The second half of the playlist, is where drake and guests shine.  Dropping off the more enjoyable tracks. The production on the whole project is good and flows great from track to track.

 

So I was kind of surprised by this project, while I did have a few issues with this “playlist” the final product was better than his last effort “Views”.  The beats were better and had more enjoyable tracks.  My gripes with this album begin with the terrible faux dance-hall tracks that take up a good amount of the first half of this album, it felt as though he didn’t even try with these tracks.  The effort on these tracks were laughable and came off as disingenuous.  While i did enjoy the track Glow, it felt as though this track was unfinished and more could have been added to make it more of a complete song.  At 22 tracks, this could have easily been cut down, to help this flow better.  I’m all for experimenting and branching off to collaborate and work with other artist, but the rapper Giggs ruins two songs on More Life and I want to know why Aubrey put this guy on any of these tracks.  He sounds like actor in a Stop Smoking Commercial, but get your money my guy do you.  More Life was a decent project, but it had so much potential and could have been better in certain areas.

 

Score: 3.5/5

 

Favorite Tracks: Free Smoke, Portland, Lose You, Glow, Teenage Fever, Do Not Disturb

 

What did you think about MORE LIFE? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Let me know what you guys think.  Be safe out here.

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Wins & Losses Review

Meek Mill is continuing his run of music he has been releasing lately.  After teasing this project for a couple of weeks on Instagram,  he has finally released his third album Wins & Losses.  After the success of DC4, I was eager to see what Meek would do with his next album. There is alot of hype surrounding this album and people want to know did Meek dissapoint with this record.  Did Meek live up to the hype or did he fall short?

WinsAndLosses

Wins & Losses starts off with a booming intro, and throughout the album Meek sounds hungry and determined.  I was a fan of the transparency on this album, and the way he addressed certain situations surrounding Meek.  As usual Meek has a crazy flow and dope lyrics.  One of the improvements that I have seen throughout his career is how Meek has grown over time. I was glad to see Meek experimenting with more unique flows and speaking on more subjects that aren’t his Rollie or his Audemar.   I enjoyed Meek experimenting with autotune on We Ball. The production on this project was great,  It Meek perfectly.   None of the collaborations on these record sounded forced or contrived, everyone meshed well. I want to hear another collaboration with Lihtz Kamraz.  While I enjoyed majority of the album, I wasn’t a fan of the songs Made It From Nothing or Price.

Meek delivers again with another amazing body of work.  The profession from his first album to now is impressive.  Meek has evolved as a songwriter and his songs aren’t one dimensional anymore.  Meek has evolved and it shows on this project, he is more mature and conscious. I am also happy to see that Meek is also using multiple flows and trying new styles in his music. The controversies surrounding Meek have helped him become the artist that he is today, and it turn helped him make this such a phenomenal project.  If you are a Meek Mill fan you should enjoy this project A lot.

Score: 4/5

Favorite Tracks: 1942 Flow, We Ball, Issues, Wins & Losses, Connect The Dots, Fall Thru, Never Lose

Perfect Timing Review

Budding Toronto producer turned rapper NAV, has finally released his highly anticipated project with St. Louis producer Metro Boomin.  After the success of his singles Myself, and On My Own catapulted him to stardom.  Many people including myself wondered how he would sound on a full project.  In February he released his self-titled mixtape to mixed reviews.  I praised the production, but the lyrics and songs themselves were mediocre.  When he announced that he was linking up with Metro I was excited because I was a fan of the song they did together titled UP. I didn’t know what to expect on this project but I went in with open ears.

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The project started off slow with Perfect Timing (Intro).  Nav subject matter hasn’t changed from his previous projects. This project is filled with the same mediocre raps about drugs and being lame and now being cool once he acquires fame and money from his last project.  While I’m not opposed to this kind of rap, Nav doesn’t do it particularly well.  Nav lacks the energy or charisma to make up for his lack of substance.  Nav Re-uses the same mid-tempo flow on every track and it gets boring and redundant after a while. Metro does deliver with amazing production on every track but I felt as though Nav could have utilized it better.  There are a few features on Perfect Timing and they all are great, but Nav doesn’t show up to match their energy.

Almost everything about this project is amazing, except for the main artist, Nav.  I felt as though if you took Nav off this whole project it would sound fine.  If you replaced Nav with another artist it would have the potential to be better than this project.  Even with all of my crisiticms I did enjoy a few of the tracks on Perfect Timing. I enjoyed all of the features.  I honestly felt like anyone of the features could have done a better job with a project full of Metro Boomin beats.  This would have been a perfect oppurtunity for Nav to showcase his growth, but overall I just felt like he wasted 15 amazing beats. There were less cringeworthy lines than his previous project but I felt like there is still a lot of room for improvement. But hopefully Nav grows to be a great artist, but the only thing I took away from this project was how amazing a producer Metro is. Perfect Timing had so much potential to be a great project, but it fell flat on it’s face.

Favorite Tracks: Rich, A$AP Ferg, Minute

Score: 1.5/5

What did you think of Perfect Timing? Let me know what you think.

4:44 Album Review

Jay-Z has finally released his long awaited 13th album, 4:44. There was a lot of controversies surrounding this album, including his relationship with Kanye West, and his marriage with Beyoncé. Many people were concerned with what Jay would have to say on this album, and many more wondered who would be featured on this album. Rumors circulated the internet but we finally have the album and it is interesting to say the least. Did Jay-z deliver or does he need to go back to the drawing board?

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The common perception is that Hip-Hop is “young-man’s game” and Jay-z has completely destroyed this mantra, to release one of the most important album releases in recent memory. 4:44 is brutally honest, and vulnerable, detailing Hov’s upbringing and him reflecting on the past and things that are happening today. Not only did Jay reflect on today’s climate, he offered game and advice to the younger generation to help them retain their wealth and trying to gain financial freedom. Hov is also reflecting on when he was selling drugs and how far he has come. It’s beautiful to see, especially since a lot of rappers don’t prepare or even care about their future and Jay-z displays how you have to grow as a man and an artist to truly be the best person you can be. There are so many sides to this album including admitting your faults and what you have to be to be your own boss and black prosperity in America.

I was taken about by the album, I went in with no expectations and I was blown away. This is much more personal and thoughtful album than Magna Carta Holy Grail and I didn’t know how personal Hov could be. Something that doesn’t happen a lot in Rap music that used to be prominent was the 1 producer and 1 Rapper album. I want to see that more people do that because it helps the album become more cohesive and concise. No I.D deserves just as much praise as Hov for this project. The production and the different samples on this album were phenomenal. This album is perfect. It is a candidate for album of the year and there is so much to take in with this album, I catch something new each time I hear the album and it is important for the culture and where Black people need to be in the future.

Score: 5/5

Favorite Tracks: The Story of O.J., Bam , Family Feud, Marcy Me

Let me know what you all think. I hope everyone is having a great and safe summer.

My favorite Kanye Tracks 

Today is Kanye Wests birthday and I just wanted to share 20 of my favorite Ye tracks.  Kanye is one of my favorite artist of all time. The massive influence Kanye has had over the culture of hiphop and popular culture in general is massive and no one can take away these accomplishments today.  The College Dropout is a masterpiece, that is beautifully crafted and is still an amazing project that has aged gracefully.  Here is some of my favorite Kanye West songs, in no particular order.

1.  Heard Em Say (Feat Adam Levine)


2.  Devil in a New Dress (Feat Rick Ross)


3.  Runaway (Feat Pusha T)


4.Big Brother


5.  Can’t tell me Nothing


6.  Homecoming (Feat. Chris Martin)


7.  Bring Me Down (Feat Brandy)


8.  Diamonds from Sierre Leone


9. I Wonder


10.  Spaceships 


11. Christian Dior Denim Flow (Feat. Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks & Ryan Leslie)


12.  Through The Wire


13.  Street Lights


14.  Never Let Me Down


15.  See Me Now (Feat. Beyoncé, Big Sean, Charlie Wilson)


16.  Drive Slow


17.  Barry Bonds (Feat. Lil Wayne)


18.  All of the Lights (Feat.  John Legend, The-Dream, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Drake, and Rihanna)


19.  Bound 2


20.  Dark Fantasy


The amount of songs I had to narrow down to get this list is massive and this one of the hardest lists I ever had to make.  All of these songs have impacted my life in some way, shape , or form.  Kanye is an artistic genius, the work he has put out has changed Hip-Hop culture forever.  What I’ve always liked about Kanye’s music is the emotion and passion he puts in his work, that has resignated with so many different types of people.  

What are your favorite Kanye Tracks ? Let me know 

NE

True to Self Album Review

After a hiatus of being farely quiet, Bryson Tiller has decided to drop his sophmore album True to Self.  Bryson blew up out of nowhere in late 2015, and quickly dropped his debut project T R A P S O U L, to critical acclaim.  After going ghost for a while I was excited to get new music from Bryson.  Did he suffer from the sophmore slump or did Bryson deliver another good project with True to Self?

 

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True to Self feels like an extention to T R A P S O U L.  Bryson vocals have never been amazing but they do get the job done on this album, coupled with spacey, soulful-esqe production.  I wasn’t disapointed with this project, but I did find myself thinking he could showcase more and give us something different.  This album is filled with more of the same subject matter from his previous album.  Bryson is in pocket this entire album and no pun intened stays true to self, building on what he established in T R A P S O U L.

I enjoyed this project, but I wish there was more variety in this album.  I am under the assumption Bryson felt that what isn’t broke don’t fix it.  Which is fine, but I wish he would have tried some different sounds, especially being that this album is 19 tracks long.  I have little to no problems with this album, while I did enjoy it I do wish it was shorter.  I also wish he could have switched up the sound a little bit. All of that aside I got everything that I expected and I was happy with that.  This is a good album and I can’t wait for what Bryson has in store next.

Score: 3/5

Favorite Tracks:

How did you like True to Self?  Did you love it ? Did you hate it? Let me know what you think.  Thank you and I hope everyone is being safe this summer.

 

NE

Teenage Emotions Review

Lil Yachty has quickly become one of the most polarizing figures in Hip-Hop today.  From Lil boats style of rapping to his appearance to how he blew up.  After I heard his debut mix-tape I found myself for the most part enjoying his music, but didn’t know how far he could go with this sound of his.  His second mixtape Summer Songs 2 continued the buzz he had going with Lil Boat.  I enjoyed both mix-tapes and when he announced his debut album Teenage Emotions, I was ecstatic to see what he would do and how he would progress as a artist.  Did Lil Yachty deliver with Teenage Emotions, or is his run coming to a end?

So let’s start with the positives of this project.  I did enjoy the production for the most part.  I could tell there was a lot of money put behind this project and the production.  I did enjoy Harley, one of the tracks he released prior to the release of this project.  Now that we have the few positives out of the way let’s get into it.  While the project sounds good decent, Yachty doesn’t fit whatsoever. This whole project is filled with cringe-worthy, off-beat rap lines.  Everything that Yacthy built with his first two projects, he completely threw away with this project.  I really wanted to like this project, but the more I listened the more I became mad at all the time I was wasting listening to this sorry excuse of an album.  I was expecting some of the features to save this album and sadly I was mistaken.  While Yachty has never been anyone’s lyricist, opting for more fun lighthearted rhymes,  I couldn’t get pass gems such as “I just fucked up bitch that was supposed to be my God Sis”, ” ‘Cause she get wet and she suck me like a insect She my step sister, so I guess that’s incest I could not stop lookin’ at those big breasts Make your next move, your best life’s a game of chess”, “My new bitch yellow, she blow on the dick like a cello”, just to name a few.  My Nigga What? Everything aside

 

I was taken back at the lack of quality of this album.  After being pleasantly surprised with his first two projects, I was taken back out how horrid this album is.  I would like to think Yachty would have taken his debut album a little bit more serious.  At first glance I was ecstatic about the featured guest, and even they couldn’t save this project for me.  This album would delegate the directory for Yachty’s career and I was let down severely. I previously stated Playboi Carti’s Mixtape was the worst project this year, but Teenage Emotions easily takes that title. But shout out to Yacthy though.

 

Score: .5/5

 

Favorite Tracks: Harley, Say My Name

 

What did you think of Teenage Emotions? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Let me know what you think, and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Thank you and God Bless.

 

NE

 

Playboi Carti Mixtape Review

Budding SoundCloud rapper has been bubbling out of Atlanta for a couple of years now.  After years of dope singles and guest verses, he has finally released his debut self-titled project.  After months of delays and speculation , it is finally here.  Did Carti deliver or did he drop some trash?

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The true star of this project is the production.  I truly wanted to like this project, I really did but this is the worst project of 2017.  Carti struggles to find a good flow on majority of these songs.  The bright spots are few and far in-between.  I find myself liking a few seconds or a verse and then the rest of the song is unbearable.  New Chopper is one of the best song on this song, Carti actually flows on this track and his adlibs are energizing, Along with the A$AP feature to top it all of for one of the few tracks I actually enjoyed on this project.  It sounds as though this album was rushed.  Why it sounds like this, I don’t know Carti had 3 years to make this tape.  There is no real direction with this project.  It feels very lifeless and generic.  Like damn nigga, you had three years to make a project and you release this bullshit.  Carti is on record saying “I didn’t come in the game to make a mixtape”, well what the fuck did you get in the game for, to drop mediocre trap music.  Because if thats the case you on the right track.  How you have all these talented niggas around and they let you drop this, this half-assed, cookie-cutter, generic bullshit.  You need new friends Carti.  Im a fan of your music but this is straight buns.  Carti is a young rapper, so hopefully his next project is better than this.

Aside from the productions and a few guest verses this project is uterly forgettable.  Nothing Carti does is new and what he does do isn’t even done well.  This project is full of redundant mumble raps, adlibs, and good production.  What he speaks on lyrically is the most basic generic run of the mill topics every trap rapper gravitates to.  The things I do like about this project have nothing to do with Carti himself.  His verses are forgettable and the fact that he repeats himself like he is really saying important is comical.  What really upsets me is the fact is, I was really looking forward to this project as a moment for Carti to prove himself as more than a mindless Soundcloud rapper.  Even though this project didn’t meet my expectations, I can only hope he grows as an artist and releases something good, which I think Carti can do with the right team behind him.

Score: 1/5

Favorite Tracks: wokeuplikethis, Magnolia, New Chopper

What did you think of Playboi Carti’s mixtape? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Let me know what you think.

Kendrick Lamar DAMN. Review

West Coast Emcee Kendrick Lamar has created a massive amount of hype for himself over these past couple of years.  Even leading people to call him the king of the west coast and the greatest rapper alive.  After a phenomenal debut with Good Kidd Madd City, He went to release To Pimp A Butterfly and Untitled Unmastered, which I wasn’t a fan of either project. Many people including myself were wondering what he was going to do next.  Did Kendrick deliver or was this a flop?

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Kendrick starts of the project going crazy on DNA.  It is the hardest I’ve heard Kendrick rap on a project.  The hard-hitting production from Mike-Will-Made-It went along perfectly with Kendrick on this track. I wasn’t a fan of the track YAH, it seemed out of place and I immediately deleted this out of my I-tunes library.  Things pick up again with ELEMENT.  I was surprised when I heard Kendrick singing, which he isn’t half bad at.  The rest of the album is smooth and precise.  Kendrick’s vocal performance on this album is amazing and second to none.

This record solidifies the fact that Kendrick is the best rapper out right now.  I was skeptical when this album was announced because I wasn’t a fan of To Pimp A Butterly and Untitled Unmastered. I was also afraid Kendrick would take the J. Cole of releasing two dope singles before an album, and the album be trash, but I was wrong.  The way Kendrick raps and flows and brings everything together was refreshing. I had no idea how a U2 and Kendrick Lamar collaboration would go, but to my surprise it was pleasant.   While I did enjoy this project, some of the tracks felt out of place, making the project seem scatter brained and all over the place.  Tracks like YAH. and PRIDE. were garbage. I didn’t see a true need for them on this project.  The DJ drops proclaiming “NEW KUNG FU KENNY” cheapened the project, making it sound like a mixtape a rapper on the street handed me, as I tried to avoid contact telling me to check this out.  Aside from those two songs, and those annoying drops this album is amazing and refreshing.  DAMN. is an amazing project, that everyone must check out.

Score: 4/5

Favorite Tracks: DNA, Loyalty, Love, Duckworth, GOD

What did you think of DAMN.? Did you love it ? Did you hate it? Let me know what you think?

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