Domo Genesis – “Aren’t U Glad You’re U?” review

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About 8 months after the release of his last mixtape Red Corolla, Odd Future member Domo Genesis is coming back lowkey with his 6th mixtape & he has enlisted Evidence of Dilated Peoples to produce it in it’s entirety. The opener “Me vs. Me” vents about internal conflict over a jazzy yet gloomy instrumental. The next song “Shaq Carries Kobe” with [Phonte takes a jab at all the phony dudes out there over a mellow beat while the track “Free Kirk” talks about going from a hustler to a rapper & the instrumental is pretty much a thunderstorm with a sample in the middle of it. The song “BBB” gets confrontational over an eerie instrumental & then the track “Sing Me a Song” getting insightful yet ambitious over a smooth beat.

The song “Brake” may be only 2 minutes long, but he sounds menacing over a Latin guitar. The 1-minute “Fuck a Co-Sign” sees Evidence himself making the song for itself over a soulful beat. Although I wish Domo had a verse on here to make it a little longer, it was still great to hear Ev rapping on here. The closer “Hood Famous” touches down on living by your limits & the piano on here is absolutely beautiful. Despite being 20 minutes long, this was still a very dope tape. The production isn’t superior than No Idols, but it’s still pretty relaxing & it suits Domo’s flow

Score: 4/5

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Drake – “Scary Hours” review

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Just 10 months after his More Life playlist, Canadian recording artist Drake is kicking off his 2018 by dropping his 2nd EP out of the blue late last night. Keep in mind: this thing is only 2 tracks long so therefore, this is gonna be a very short review. The first song on “God’s Plan” vents about his haters & what he feels like the man above has in store for him over a spacey yet bouncy trap beat from Boi-1da, Cardo, Yung Exclusive & 40. The other track “Diplomatic Immunity” vents about the stresses of fame & I absolutely love the string sample on here. While I didn’t care all that much for More Life or even his last album VIEWS, I gotta say that this is some of the best material I’ve heard from Drake in a while. It sounds like he’s ditching the dancehall shit that he started & is going back to his rapping roots

Score: 3.5/5

SiR – “November” review

SiR is an R&B singer from Inglewood, California who’s been getting quite some attention lately. He signed with Top Dawg Entertainment last year & released his 2nd EP Her 2 just a couple weeks after. And now a year later, TDE announced out of the blue last week that SiR will be releasing his 2nd full-length album & major label debut to start their 2018.

After a 45 second spoken word intro, we then get into the first song “That’s Alright”. Here, he talks about his down to ride chick over a bass guitar & some drums. The next song “Something Foreign” with ScHoolboy Q sees the 2 talking about the lavish life over some jazzy piano chords while the track “D’Evils” talks about smoking weed over a mellow beat. The song “Something New” with Etta Bond is a duet about 2 lovers expressing their profound love for each other over a kickback instrumental & while the track “I Know” talks about a stripper, the way it’s executed is annoying.

The song “Never Home” raps about not answering his woman while he’s on the road over a super smooth beat & then the track “War” sings about him trying to win this woman over with a semi-jazzy beat. The song “Better” reflects on an ex over a spacey trap beat while the penultimate track “Dreaming of Me” vents about missing his woman over a frisky instrumental. The album then closes with “Summer in November”, which is pretty much is a sex tune with a super funky instrumental.

Overall, this might be SiR’s best work to date. His vocals have improved as did his songwriting & the production is absolutely beautiful. If you’re looking to get into the newest face of one of the hottest labels out right now, give this a listen

Score: 4/5

Maxo Kream – “Punken” review

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Maxo Kream is a 27 year old rapper from Houston, Texas & after releasing 4 mixtapes within the past 6 years, he’s now delivering his full-length debut. The opener “Work” starts off with a short spoken word piece & after that, he reflects on his drug dealing days over a gritty trap beat. It then switches into something more ambitious near the end. The next song “Grannies” vividly tells us what it was like for him growing up over a smooth bass-heavy beat while the track “Capeesh” with Trippie Redd sees the 2 talking about the trap philosophy over a druggy beat. The song “Bussdown” talks about the trap life over a banging instrumental whole the track “Hobbies” talks about the gangsta shit that he likes to do over a retro game-esque instrumental. The song “Go” talks about his “young niggas” over an eerie instrumental, but I didn’t care all that much for the D. Flowers verse.

The track “Beyoncé” talking about guns over an ominous instrumental from Sonny Digital & then the song “Astrodome, Pt. 2” is a catchy sex tune with a laidback instrumental. The track “Love Drugs” is basically about Maxo choosing drugs over his woman over an atmospheric instrumental & then the song “Pop Another” if you couldn’t tell by the title is about taking pills over a beautiful vocal sample in the background. The track “Janky” vents about people those who’ve turned his back on him over an bleak instrumental while the song “ATW” continues the same lyrical concept with a more mellow instrumental. The penultimate track “Roaches” reminiscing about his younger days over some gloomy keys & some heavy bass while the closer “5200” brags about his work ethic over a spacey trap beat.

I think we should watch out for what Maxo’s gonna do next, because this will make him into the next big name in trap music. The production is banging, his stories are compelling & they’re delivered so charismatically

Camila Cabello – “Camila” review

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Camila Cabello is 20 year old singer/songwriter from Eastern Havana, Cuba who has been receiving quite a bit of attention in the pop scene for the past couple years now. She broke off from 5th Harmony in late 2016 & I first caught wind of her when she did a duet with MGK on his latest album bloom calmed “Bad Things”. But I personally found it to be diabetically lovey dovey & given that, I at first wasn’t really looking forward to hearing her solo debut right here. That was until I heard the singles off this thing & saw that Frank Dukes produced almost every track.

The album starts off with “Never Be the Same”, where Camila singing about being addicted to this man like a drug addict & the druggy yet tension building instrumental isn’t too bad either. The next track “All These Years” reflects on a breakup over a pretty acoustic instrumental while the song “She Loves Control” talks about a woman who wants things her way over a tropical instrumental. The track “Havana” is a dedication to her hometown with some piano chords & thumping drums. Also, the Young Thug verse on here is a nice touch as well. The song “Inside Out” has a seductive tone to it lyrically, but it is catchy. Also, the sunny production from Cashmere Cat enhances this catchy vibe.

 

The track “Consequences” talks about the results of breaking up with someone while the song “Real Friends” expresses Camila’s desire to find just that over a pretty piano passage. The song “Something’s Gotta Give” is another breakup song & while the instrumental does have a nice build up as it progresses, but I don’t find it as intriguing as “Consequences”. The penultimate track “In the Dark” recalls an encounter she had with a famous John Doe & then the closer “Into It”, she sings about sex. Both of which contain wavy electro-esque instrumentals.

As a whole, I’m floored. I didn’t like her duets with Shawn Mendes or MGK at all, but this was a great listen. More than I expected it to be. Camila Cabello’s vocals have stepped up majorly, it sounds focused & actually very well-put together from the colorful, vibrant production to the solid songwriting. I was wrong about you, Camila. This is just the beginning of a very successful solo career & I can’t wait to see what you’re gonna do next

Score: 4/5 

Jeff Rosenstock – “POST-“ review

To kick off 2018, former Bomb the Music Industry! frontman Jeff Rosenstock is delivering his 3rd full-length album without any warning whatsoever. After a 5 second spoken word piece, we then go into the first song USA. I can appreciate Jeff talking to the audience about his disgust with the current state of our country, but it didn’t need to be 7 & a half minutes long. The track “Yr Throat” angrily asks “what’s the point of having a voice when it gets stuck inside your throat?” over some killer guitar riffs & drumming. The song “All This Useless Energy” touches down on internal conflict over some heavy instrumentation while the track “Powerlessness” introspectively talks about just that over some more pop punky instrumentation. The song “TV Stars” is an attempt at a conscious ballad & while I can appreciate Jeff for starting off the second half of the album like this, it’s just whatever.

The track “Melba” sounds semi-visceral, but the lyrics about running away & starting over in Melbourne is too cliché for me. The song “Beating My Head Against a Wall” doesn’t sound too bad instrumentally, but it sounds very underwritten. The penultimate track “9/10” talks about self-control along with being tired of feeling negativity over some more relaxing instrumentation. The 11 minute closer “Let Them Win” gets rebellious & while it starts off punchy, it then switches into an acoustic guitar & then a synthesizer during the second half. Both of which I found to be sonically pretty.

While we didn’t expect 2018 to begin like this, Jeff is on a threepeat. It’s a lot more melodic, it’s more passionate & way more political than his last album WORRY. was due to the election of Donald Trump just a month after that album originally came out in 2016.

Score: 4/5

Gucci Mane – “El Gato: The Human Glacier” review

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With Christmas approaching 3 days from now, iconic trap rapper Gucci Mane is giving fans his 12th full-length album & he has enlisted 808 Mafia co-founder Southside. The album starts off with “Rich Ass Junkie”, where Gucci is talking about serving rich drug addicts over an gloomy trap beat. The next track ”Peepin’ Out the Blinds” talks about firing his gun at people over a sinister yet abrasive instrumental while the song “Dickriders” takes a jab at just those & the bass on here is thumping! The song “Mall” talks about people who wanna “buy his style” over an ominous beat & then the track “Side EFX” talks about people who turn evil over some organs along with some rattling hi-hats.

The song “T.Y.T. (Thick, Young, Tender)” talks about this how hot this woman, but the beat is a bit synthetic. The track “Sea Sick” is a fun party tune the whistling on here was a nice change of pace while the song “Smiling in the Drought” gets confrontational over a menacing beat. The song “El Gato’s Revenge” flaunts on the lifestyle of a drug dealer over an eerie instrumental while the penultimate track “Step Throat” gets braggadocious over an explosive instrumental. The album then closes with “Southside & Gucci” and while it’s only 1 minute long, the short verse Gucci delivers over this thunderous trap beat with a nice guitar sample. This is honestly just as great as Gucci’s 58th mixtape Droptopwop, which he did with Metro Boomin’ in Late May of this year. It’s been long overdue that we got Southside producing an album for GuWop, but their strong chemistry on here makes it worth it

Score: 3.5/5

Huncho Jack – “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho” review

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Huncho Jack is a duo consisting of Migos’ standout member Quavo & the KiD CuDi of trap music, Travi$ Scott. Both members have shown quite a bit of chemistry with songs like “Oh My Dis Side”, “pick up the phone” & “Portland”. And alas, here we are with their full-length debut.

The album starts off with “Modern Slavery”, where they’re going back & forth about the lavish life & the Otis Redding sample is surprising yet cool. The next track “Black & Chinese” talks about their favorite types of women over an abrasive Southside beat & the track “Eye 2 Eye” gets with Takeoff gets celebratory over a druggy instrumental from Murda Beatz. The song “Motorcycle Patches” talks about acid & while it would turn me off, it is fun. The track “Huncho Jack” is a prime example of their chemistry over this semi-spacey beat while the song “Saint” flaunts about their success & the bass on here is explosive!

The track “Go” talks about the life of a hustler & the flute sample on here is killer! The song “Dubai Shit” talks about partying in Dubai (obviously) over a druggy beat & I love how Offset is incorporated as he goes back & forth with Quavo during the final verse. The track “St. Laurent Mask” gets into them as dealers & I absolutely love the keys on here. The song “Moon Rock” is an ode to the titular strain of weed & the beat from Vinylz is sinister, yet bass heavy. The track “How U Feel” talks about getting fucked up on lean & the sample on here is absolutely beautiful. The penultimate track “Where U From?” vents about living life in the fast lane & it fantastically samples my favorite Mac DeMarco song: “Chamber of Reflection”. Then album then closes with “Best Man”, where they both get appreciative of their success over another spacey beat.

Personally, this was WELL worth the wait. The production slaps & the chemistry between Quavo & Travi$ is stronger than before

Score: 3.5/5

Conway – “G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All-Time)” review

Conway is an MC from Buffalo, New York who has been making a name with himself alongside his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records. They even signed to Eminem’s Interscope imprint Shady Records back in March of this year & after a long wait, he’s releasing his full-length debut (which is an abbreviation for Grimiest Of All-Time) & he has enlisted Griselda’s in-house producer Daringer to produce all but 1 track. The album starts off with the title track, where he’s bragging about his rapping prowess over a killer guitar. The next song “Trump” gets murderous & the production from The Alchemist fits the vibe perfectly. The track “TH3RD F” gets mafioso over a prominent soul sample & the Raekwon verse fits like a glove. The song “Die on X-Mas” with Benny sees the 2 getting confrontational over a super eerie instrumental & the track “Rodney Little” with Prodigy sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a haunting boom bap beat.

The song “XXXTRAS” vividly reflects on his days as a hustler over some horns & militant drums while the track “Bishop Shot Steel” takes a shot at the snakes over a gloomy beat. The track “Mandatory” with Royce da 5’9” sees the 2 taking a jab at their haters over a somber yet menacing beat while the penultimate track “Arabian Sam’s” with Styles P gets murderous over a grimy boom bap beat. The album then closes with “Bullet Klub”, where Conway gets with Benny & Lloyd Banks to tell the studio gangsters what life’s really like in the streets over an ominous instrumental.

Personally, this is Conway’s magnum opus. His lyricism is grittier than ever as is the production & the features are all on point. Griselda is one of my favorite labels right now & this is yet another example of why that is

Score: 4.5/5

N*E*R*D – “NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES” review

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A little over 7 years after their last album Nothing, Virginia funk-rock band N*E*R*D are returning with their 5th full-length album. The opener “Lemon” talks about hate while making a bunch of political references over an hyphy beat & Pharrell’s performance is super catchy, but Rihanna blatantly rips off Cardi B in her rap verse that it’s painfully underwhelming. The next song “Deep Down Body Thrust” tells all the choke artists that they won’t get away over a funk rock instrumental kin to the band’s 2004 sophomore album Fly or Die. The track “Voila” with Wale sees the 2 getting motivational over a funky guitar, but then it transitions into something more tropical during Wale’s verse. However, I’m a little disappointed Gucci Mane only does the hook.

The song “1,000” may have a decent Future verse in the middle of it, Pharrell & Shay Haley make up for it with their energetically delivered braggadocio lyrics. Also, the beat is thumping! Especially the drop a little bit after the 2 minute mark. The track “Don’t Do It” speaks on police brutality over a mellow instrumental & the Kendrick Lamar verse fits in perfectly. The song “ESP” touches down on the 3rd eye over a video-gamey beat & while the track “Lightning Fire Magic Prayer” continues the spirituality theme from the last song over an instrumental that fits the vibe. Especially during the switch up during the second half.

The song “Rollinem 7’s” with André 3000 vents about being black men in the entertainment industry/modern American society over a trippy beat while “Kites” with Kendrick & M.I.A. talks about unity over a bouncy dance beat. The penultimate track “Secret Life of Tigers” gets rebellious over another infectious dance beat & then the album closes with “Lifting You”, which is a positive celebratory weed anthem over a fitting reggae beat.

Honestly, this could very well be my Album of the Year. It’s well produced, the vocals are on point & it’s their most well-written since Fly or Die

Score: 4.5/5