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A Defensive Stance

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July 2017

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

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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.

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