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SR3MM/Swaecation/Jxmtro Review

Rae Sremmurd’s long awaited album SR3MM is finally here.  But not only is it the collective’s third project, Swae and Jxmm decided to bless the people with two solo projects.  Who doesn’t love a package deal?  The duo has become a mainstay in Hip-Hop culture and while most acts fizzle out after a year or two, Sremmurd has been able to elevate and grow into stars as a group and as individuals.  I had high expectations for the album as I was a fan of their two previous projects.  What I received from SR3MM was another interesting project.

From the beginning of SR3MM I noticed that Mike Will hasn’t missed a step on the production tip.  The duo floated over each beat, and the features meshed well.  I am a fan of shorter albums; it cuts out the extra and gets right down to the point.  At nine tracks it was a perfect length project.  This format is great for Rae Sremmurd as earlier projects contained some filler and added unnecessary weight to the project.  SR3MM may be their best project in my opinion, everything flows together and it’s a really fun listen.  The growth in Swae and Jxm is apparent and great to see.

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After SR3MM we have Swae Lee’s debut solo project Swaecation.  Many people have been fiending for a Swae Lee solo project for some time now.  I have been a fan of Swae Lee’s but I was necessarily anticipating a solo project.  I feel as though Swae biggest attributes are his affinity’s for hooks, I didn’t know how well he would do on full songs.  After a few listens my assumptions proved to be true.  I wasn’t really a huge fan of Swaecation. The sole feature from Young Thug was good.  I feel as though they were great concepts but the execution wasn’t all the way there. Swae Lee’s voice isn’t terrible, he has proven he can hold a note. But the songs themselves didn’t wow me like I thought they would.  Swae Lee is still a star and some of the songs were alright. Swaecation just didn’t do it for me.

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After a few years of people telling Swae Lee to go solo, I was anticipating a solo project from Jxmmi.  After a few solo songs here and there I was sold that Jxm isn’t dead weight but he is also a star.  With Jxmtro he showcases his ability to rap and song-writing abilities.  While Swae Lee is more of a singer and harmonizer, Jxmmi is more of a turn up type of rapper.  The whole project was filled with fun, bass-booming tracks.  I had a lot of fun listening to this project.  Jxm rapping abilities has grown immensely from the first two projects, he wasn’t a bad rapper but he was very hit or miss for me.  Also who knew Zoe Kravitz had bars? What a time.

All in all, SR3MM is possibly Rae Sremmurd’s best project.  It is straight to the point with no filler or unnecessary content.  The album embodies everything that made people fall in love with Rae Sremmurd.  Swaecation had some good moments but ultimately fell short.  Jxmtro is an amazing solo project and raises my expectations for Slim Jxmmi.  The two have more than a hand full of hits that will carry on well past the summer.  Rae Sremmurd continue to grow and evolve with this project, which every artist should strive for.

Scores: SR3MM: 5/5

Swaecation: 3/5

Jxmtro: 5/5

Favorite tracks:

SR3MM: Up in My Cocina, CLOSE, Bed Time Stories

SwaeCation: Off Shore, Guatemala

Jxtro: Benz Truck, Anti- Social Smokers Club

What did you think about SR3MM ?  Did you like it as much as I did, or did you hate it?  Be sure to let me know what you think.

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Art vs The Artist?

One lifelong debate that many people have always argued is separating the art from the artist.  Some people argue that liking a person’s art is the same as supporting that person, while some say that you can enjoy art while not knowing a person.  I’ve always been conflicted on matters like this because I can honestly see both sides.  I’ve always felt that I can enjoy Art and also condemn person’s personal actions.  Everyone has a certain level of bullshit they will allow from a artist.  As a child my parents always told me that you don’t really know these people and they are humans just like us at the end of the day.  It would be foolish to hold them up on this pedestal.  Peoples need to constantly identify with and feel some sort of personal connection with someone they have never met has always been troubling to me.  Not to say that everyone does this, but it’s just weird to me.  In this current state of music today I feel like people are quick to label and judge people just off of the music they listen too.  Most of the time when people decide to ‘Cancel’ someone, which rarely works ya’ll need jobs; it just seems like a lot of noise that leads to nowhere.  At what point does our taste implicate us?

 

 

 

If you were too avoid all of the work made by shitty people, you would just not be consuming any sort of media ever.  I know people love to make assumptions on people, but ask yourself what do you really know about this person.  Are they good people or have they just not let you down yet?  Or are they shitty people but whatever they did you can overlook for whatever reason.  Maybe it’s just my general lack of confidence in the human race but once you put faith into another human you open yourself up to disappointment.  Most recently Kanye West has become the latest person to break people’s heart for his political views.  While I am disappointed, I can’t say I’m surprised.  His views on a variety of topics and his outspokenness made us a fan, until now. Are we mad at Kanye for becoming the person he said he would never be, Or should we be mad at ourselves that we believed this facade of a person that we wanted to like?  It upsets me when people want people to be real and always talk about what’s “real”.  We don’t know these people.  We don’t know anything aside from what they show us.  This is just a reminder that people want everything to be real until it doesn’t fit their facade they pictured for you. Something that disturbs me is the necessity to constantly identify with people you have never met or know about.

 

 

 

“Dark Knight Feeling, die and be a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”

 

 

 

Until next time.

 

NE

J-Cole -KOD Review

J. Cole needs no introduction. The Carolina native is one of the most polarizing figures in rap today.  Like his last two releases J.Cole has released his album with little to no detail.  Which is interesting, I wish more artist did this, just drop the music and let it speak for itself.  While most artist strive to be more famous and active, Cole leans more towards secreacy and lets the art speak for itself.  While I don’t like everything Cole releases, but I do appreciate the way he goes about things and what he trys to do with his platform.  His latest release, KOD is a observation of the current climate of Rap music today, did Jermaine let us down or did he deliver?

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The intro is in regular cole fashion, very mellow and but instead of Cole singing it is a woman speaking about children and things of that nature.  I reminded of Outkast for some reason. It was interesting and it definitely drew me in.  It transitions into the title track ‘KOD’ , Coles flow on this track is immicaluate.  Coles spiting on this track coupled with hard-hitting production KOD is cole in rare form.  Photograph, the next track is well put together.  I understand what he was going for with this track but I wasn’t a fan. It was just all over the place.  I did like how he pitched his vocals and the concept but it didnt come together for me.  The Cut Off is one of the more intriguing tracks on the project.  The soulfullness of the track is visceral, the emotion in his raps are thought-provoking.  ATM comes on and its a complete 180 from The Cut Off.  Cole is spazzing on ATM. The next track Motiv8 beat has bounce to it and I love it.  Motiv8 is another dope track.  Kevin’s Heart is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Coles harmonizing is refreshing, the subject matter is also nice.  Throughout the album I’m seeing cole use different flows and cadences.  The rest of the album is great.  I enjoyed Cole’s transparency when he speaks on topics such as taxes, the music industry, depression, relationships, addiction and the current state of rap.

When I got done with 4 Your Eyez, I wasn’t impressed.  I found myself terribly bored and…. just that bored.  I enjoyed KOD much more.   The production and rapping were just overall more interesting.  It didnt feel monotonous like 4YEO, KOD is a great project but there are still a few gripes I had with the project.  Some of the bridges and chorus’s were really bad.  I also wasn’t a fan of some of the vocal pitching throughout the album. Aside from the hooks and chorus’s KOD is a contender for album of the year.

 

Favorite Tracks: 1985, ATM, Kevins Hart, Windows Pain (Outro), Friends

Score 4/5

What did you think of KOD?  Take a listen and be sure to let me know.  I’ll see you all when I see you all, until next time, Enjoy.

Grammy Confusion

Recently the Grammy committee has released the nominations for their upcoming award show. While that’s cool and I’m happy for all the artist nominated, I’m confused with how people were just boycotting the Grammy’s last year.  Then come this year, people are all in for everyone nominate, and people debating and complaining about snubs.  I don’t understand why people care about Grammy’s after years of not representing black music inaccurately. From Kendrick Lamar losing to Macklemore, to J. Cole losing to Iggy Azalea I could list examples for hours. So after years of legends and people we hold in high regard being omitted, a few nominations and everyone is just back on board?  This is a clear example of black people wanting a seat at the table, instead of bigging up and promoting our own platforms. Why not put more stock into award shows like the BET awards, Source Awards, Soul Train Awards etc.  If you hold the Grammy’s in high regard and always have then that’s fine.  I’m concerned with people in the Hip-Hop community that have been saying fuck the Grammys but just all of a sudden swoon, when their favorite artist is nominated.  All I want from you all is consistency.  That is in every aspect of life, but for the sake of this article I’m going to stick to the Grammy’s.  Why don’t we invest in our own awards, after countless snubs and blatant disrespect, it always bethuddles me at people putting stock in the Grammys.  I just want you all to keep the same energy, and if you don’t be honest about it.  Honesty is always the best policy, but let’s support our own financially and emotionally and start and promote our own platforms. If you constantly put your energy into people who tolerate you, you will always be let down and just that tolerated, not appreciated.

What are you doing to make situation better?  Instead of complaining, how about getting involved in the Grammy Committee to see the change you want to see.   Are you doing anything to change what you are upset with?  If not shut your bitch ass up. Do something besides post a tweet, or Instagram post actually take action in some way to get what you want.  But if you get nothing else from this article, I just want everyone to do better. Nothing more nothing else just do better.

NE

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?

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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.

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

 

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