Gunna – “W.U.N.N.A. (Wealthy Unapologetic N***a Naturally Authentic)” review

Gunna is a 26 year old rapper from College Park, Georgia that got his start in 2013 with his debut mixtape Hard Body. He would eventually catch the attention of local phenomenon Young Thug in 2016, who take Gunna under his wing & sign him to his 300 Entertainment imprint YSL Records that same year. However it wasn’t until the release of Drip or Drown & Drip Season 3 in late 2017 & early 2018 respectively where Gunna’s profile increased significantly. Last we heard from him was a little over a year ago with the disappointingly mediocre full-length debut Drip or Drown 2 but after doing a shitload of features since, he’s ready to deliver a sophomore effort.

The album kicks off with “Argentina”, where Gunna tells the story of 2 women following him to the studio over an acoustic-trap instrumental from Wheezy. The next song “Gimmick” speaks on being loyal over a slow yet intoxicating beat while the track “M.O.T.W. (Money On The Way)” talks about his new lifestyle over a piano & some snares. The song “Feigning” talks about partying over a Tay Keith instrumental with some orchestral loops while the track “Dollaz on My Head” with Young Thug sees the 2 getting materialistic over a cloudy beat from Mike WiLL Made-It.

The song “Addys” with Nechie is a tedious tribute to the drug adderall with a decent instrumental from Turbo & while I wasn’t too crazy on the vaportrap-flavored lead single “Skybox” at first, it has slightly grown on me in the context of the album. The titular song is a boring sequel to “Speed It Up” off of Drip or Drown 2 while the track “Blind Fold” with Lil Baby sees the duo flexing over a nightly instrumental.

The song “Rockstar Bikers & Chains” talks about what it’s like for him being on top over an incredible trap rock instrumental while the track “Met Gala” talks about having the finest clothing & I absolutely love how kaleidoscopic the beat is. The song “Nasty Girl / On Camera” is a raunchy 2 parter that works into one another fantastically while the track “Cooler Than a Bitch” with Roddy Ricch sees the 2 talking about how awesome they are over a Tre Pounds beat with a nice guitar loop.

The song “I’m On Some” opens up about people trying to leach him for his wealth over a spacious beat while the track “Top Floor” with Travis Scott is an infectious party starter with an instrumental kin to “Hot” off of Young Thug’s So Much Fun. The song “Don’t Play Around” talks about how he doesn’t have time for B.S. over an electronic-tinged beat while the penultimate track “Do Better” is a emotionally profound motivational anthem with a beat with a trippy atmosphere to it. The album finishes with “Far”, where Gunna & Thugger discuss how they didn’t think they’d get to the point where they are now over a woozy beat.

This is A LOT better than Drip or Drown 2 was & I’ll even say it’s the best thing that Gunna‘s put out since Drip Season 3. Couple of weak features, but most of them come together nicely. However, what I really enjoy the most about this album is how it sounds much more focused & consistent than it’s predecessor from the catchy songwriting & performances to the vigorous production.

Score: 3.5/5

Gorilla Twins – Self-Titled review

The Gorilla Twins are a Brooklyn hip hop duo consisting of Ill Bill & NEMS. Both of whom have cemented themselves as underground titans with releases like The Hour of Reprisal, Prezident’s Day, The Grimy Awards & Gorilla Monsoon. The 2 have collaborated with each other a few times in the past but after 5 years in the making, they’ve decided now is the time to team up with this new album over here.

After the titular intro, we get into the first song “Married to the Game”. Where the duo pretty much talk about their grind over a wrathful instrumental. The track “Wolves” with Vinnie Paz sees the 3 telling their opponents that they don’t want the smoke over a boom bap beat with a mournful piano-loop while the song “Highs & Lows” talks about the trials & tribulations of their lives over a perilous beat from Stu Bangas. The track “Bong!” finds the duo going back & forth with each other nonchalantly over some strings & a despondent vocal sample looped by Shortfyuz while the song “Supply & Demand” compares themselves to the bad guys in movies over a boom bap beat with an angelic choir hanging in the background.

After the “Twinning” interlude, the track “Nah” talks about running the spot over an unsettling instrumental from Scram Jones while the song “Shootout at the Cyclone” with Lord Goat sees the 3 getting on the mafioso tip over a Middle Eastern-influenced instrumental from Ill Bill himself. The track “Gunners” talks about those who lie in their raps over an apocalyptic boom bap beat & although I like how the song “Pay Homage” tells the listeners to put respect on both of their names along with the Stu Bangas instrumental that they both trade bars, I wish it was a little bit longer. The album finishes off with “Adios”, where the Gorilla Twins link up with Immortal Technique to talk about inevitable death over a funereal boom bap beat.

This was well worth the 5 year wait if you ask me. During the album’s 35 minute runtime, Ill Bill & NEMS manage to show that they have an impeccably natural chemistry together & the production is grimy as it’s always been. The lack of features are a really nice touch as well. If you’re a fan of either one of the Canarsie & Coney Island veterans or both for that atter, then this is definitely a must listen!

Score: 4/5

Future – “High Off Life” review

This is the 8th full-length album from Atlanta rapper, singer & songwriter Future. Lot a people don’t know that he got his start being brought into the Dungeon Family thanks to his cousin Rico Wade of Organized Noize but he did become one of the leading figures in the trap subgenre with releases like Honest, Monster, Beast Mode, 56 Nights & my personal favorite: D.S. 2 (Dirty Sprite 2). It’s been a little over a year since Future’s last album The WIZRD, but he’s now coming out of the shadows with High Off Life.

Things kick off with “Trapped in the Sun”, where Future talks about giving game to his sons over a tense instrumental. The next song “HiTek Tek” of course gets materialistic over a bland instrumental while the track “Touch the Sky” talks about how no one can finesse him over a cavernous Southside beat. The song “Solitaries” with Travis Scott sees the 2 getting boastful over a lively beat from Wheezy & Mike Dean while the track “Ridin’ Strikers” talks about sending shooters & the way that the So Icey Boyz’ instrumental on here transitions during the last minute or so is just jaw-dropping.

The song “One of My” gets annoyingly repetitive over a dime a dozen trap beat while the track “Posted with Demons” talks about pimpin’ over a DJ Spinz beat with some luscious string sections. The song “Hard to Choose One” talks about having too many bitches over a keyboard heavy instrumental while the track “Trillionaire” with YoungBoy Never Broke Again sees the 2 vapidly talking about becoming richer than they already are over a comatose instrumental.

The track “Harlem Shake” with Young Thug sees the 2 talking about being trap stars over an Italian-flavored beat while the song “Up the River” pretty much addresses that he’s the one a lot of trap rappers got their styles from over an euphoric beat. The track “Pray for a Key” gets reflective over a cloudy TM88 beat with some occasional vinyl crackling if you listen very closely while the song “Too Comfortable” is a message to all the hoes that wanna fuck with him over an acoustic trap beat.

The track “All Bad” with Lil Uzi Vert sees the 2 talking about how fine the women around them are over a colorful instrumental while the song “Outer Space Bih” talks about over a DY beat with a piano-loop that’s sweet to the ear. The track “Accepting My Flaws” is a beautiful thank you to Lori Harvey backed by a heavenly instrumental while the song “Life is Good” with Drake is pretty much 2 mediocre solo songs from each artist combined into 1.

The track “Last Name” with Lil Durk sees the 2 talking about paranoia over a dismal beat while the song “Tycoon” talks about being a magnate over a sedating instrumental. The penultimate track “100 Shooters” with Doe Boy & Meek Mill sees the 3 talking about how street their are over a woodwind-infused Tay Keith beat & then the album finishes off with a pointless sequel to “Life is Good” except it’s Future on the first half then DaBaby & Lil Baby on the other.

You know I wasn’t really looking forward to this album given how hit or miss Future’s discography has been since 2017, but this is definitely one of his better releases within the past 3 years. Some tracks during the 70 minutes runtime definitely could’ve been left on the cutting room floor, but the production is a lot more interesting for the most part & the songwriting is a lot catchier too.

Score: 3.5/5

Conway the Machine – “No One Mourns the Wicked” review

This is the 7th EP from Buffalo emcee Conway the Machine. In case you don’t know, he‘s been running the underground for the past 5 years as 1/3 of the trio Griselda with Westside Gunn & Benny the Butcher by consistently been putting out 1 modern East Coast classic after another. Earlier this year we saw The Alchemist entirely produce La Maquina’s previous EP LULU & now just a couple months later, Big Ghost Ltd. is getting tapped on for No One Mourns the Wicked.

After the “Family Secrets” intro, we go right into the first song “Dead Flowers”. Where Conway talks about rapping what you live over a menacing guitar lead. The next track “Icon” talks his already established legacy over a demented boom bap beat while the song “Fake Love” with Elcamino sees the 2 talking about deceivers over an instrumental with these ghostly vocals hanging in the background. The track “Shark Guts” looks back at all the accomplishments of his career up to this point over a soul sample & even though Conway’s vocals slowed down for whatever reason, it works.

The song “Bricks to Mural” talks about how he’s eating now over a dusty boom bap beat & after the braggadocious “Rich” interlude, the penultimate track “S.D.L.N. (Streets Don’t Love Nobody)” vividly paints how it’s cold the hood can be over some bleak piano chords. The EP finishes off with “Sicarios”, where Conway & Flee Lord get together to talk about being hitmen over a boom bap/rock fusion.

If you loved the Griselda Ghost EP that Hall ‘N Nash dropped about 5 years ago, then I really don’t see why you wouldn’t like this as well. It literally sounds just as gruesome from Conway’s lyrics all the way down to Big Ghost’s production & both parties show why they’re currently the top dogs of the underground.

Score: 4.5/5

Eto – “The Beauty of It” review

This is the 4th full-length album from Rochester emcee Eto. I first caught wind of him in 2018 with his feature on Westside Gunn’s Hitler Wears Hermes VI mixtape, but his DJ Muggs-produced debut Hell’s Roof that dropped a few months later would catch my full attention. This was followed up with Long Story Short & Front Row later that same year but for The Beauty of It, he’s decided to switch it up by bringing a handful of well-known producers into the fold.

The album begins with the title track, where Eto delivers a short yet raw verse over a haunting instrumental. The next song “No” with Grafh sees the 2 getting ferocious over a boom bap beat from a piano loop while the track “Nothin’ Like You” a luscious instrumental. “The Pot” gets on the mob boss tip over a dark Alchemist instrumental & after the short yet vicious “Guilty” interlude produced by Daringer, the song “Rusty Stainless” with Rome Streetz sees the 2 showing off their sharp lyricism over an chilling Statik Selektah beat.

The track “Growing Pains” talks about feeling like shit over a gloomy boom bap beat while the song “Beloved” displays his storytelling abilities over a spooky Marco Polo instrumental. The track “Metal Lords” with the Heavy Metal Kings finds the 3 talking about how they’re taking over the game over a cinematic beat & after the flute-heavy “Innocence” interlude, the song “Lawless” with $ha Hef sees the 2 talking about how people are just that over a hypnotic vocal sample.

The track “Anybody” talks about death over a forlorn piano-loop whereas “No Reply” seems awkwardly out of place & I say that because Jai Black is taking up a good bulk of the song with very little Eto presence whatsoever. The track “Pissin’ in Bottles” talks about partying over a slow instrumental from DJ Green Lantern & then after the short yet emotional “Purpose” interlude, “Back to the BBQ” is an odd way of closing out the album especially since Eto is once again barely on it. However, Large Professor does show that he can still cook up some grimy beats in 2020.

I personally think Hell’s Roof is his magnum opus but if you wanna get into the guy, The Beauty of It really isn’t a bad place to start either. Some of the features were weak but outside of that, the production choices are mostly top notch & Eto’s manages to come through with some of his most personal material yet.

Score: 3.5/5

$crim – “A Man Rose from the Dead” review

$crim is a 31 year old rapper & producer New Orleans, Louisiana known for being 1/2 of the $uicideboy$. The duo has been impeccably consistent since their formation in 2013, but it seems like we’re finally getting solo efforts from them with the youngest of the 2 being the first at bat.

The album begins with “Delusions of Grandeur”, where $crim vents about how he can’t tell what’s real & fake over a cloudy trap beat. The next song “Scars” gets on the more melodic side of things opening up about his depression while the track “Jesus Wept” is a bombastic moshpit starter. The song “Naloxone” depressingly speaks on his drug use with some heavy auto-tune in his voice while the track “Feel It Too (It’s Too Much)” talks about how this woman left him hurt & I really love how hard the drums hit on here.

The song “Tell Me When I’m Good Enough” stays on the theme of being heartbroken over a weary beat while the track “He Got Game” finds $crim bragging over a psychedelic instrumental. The song “Portola (Blood Clot!)” robotically talks about feeling delirious over a solemn instrumental while the track “El Paseo” sings about getting rowdy over a surprisingly tropical instrumental.

The song “Nightmares from the Northside” is of course a nod to the iconic Juicy J cut “Soldiers from the Northside” down to the dynamic production while the track “Euphoria Euphoria” gets back on the drug use tip over a nightly instrumental. The song “Violent Secrets” is a lifeless love tune while the track “Side Effects” discusses how it’s lonely at the top over a bland instrumental. The song “Carcosa” talks about self-destructing over a dull instrumental while the track “Fight Club (Psychosis)” gets murderous over a bass-heavy beat.

The song “Percocets & Papers” talks about being high over a skeletal instrumental while the track “PTSD” talks about living lies over a trap beat with some decent guitar passages. The song “El Guerro” is another riot starter while the penultimate track “The Devil I Know” gets back on the lifeless heartbreak bullshit. The album finishes with “Lost Child”, where $crim talks about how he just wants to smile over a dreary beat.

Coming from someone who’s been following $uicideboy$ for quite a while now, what a disappointment. I don’t mind the overall sound, but $crim’s singing on a good bulk of this album is pretty bad & the auto-tune doesn’t help at all. Also I appreciate the fact that he wanted to it to be all him & all him only, but the lack of features really make it monotonously boring.

Score: 2/5

Fatt Father – “King Father” review

Fatt Father is an emcee from Detroit, Michigan who came up as a member of the world famous Fat Killahz. He eventually started building a solo discography in the mid/late 2000s with projects like Tales of the Childless Father, his eponymous full-length debut, You Are the Father!, Fatherly Advice (The Legend Of James Evans Sr.) & Fatherhood. Last we heard from him was in 2016 with Veteran’s Day but with his Middle Finger Music debut Soccer Dad on the way, he’s preluding it with his 4th full-length album.

After the “Defined” intro, we dive straight into the first song “King Talk”. Where Fatts reclaims the throne over a rowdy boom bap beat from Blizzard. The next track “We Go Hard” with DJ Oreeyo is a father/son cut about how no one can do it like them over an infectiously rhythmic instrumental while the song “Look At Me Now” talks about the person he has become over a wavy beat from Marv Won. The track “Growth” speaks on his evolution over a sorrowful instrumental while the song “When It Goes Down” with Sugarae & A-Minus sees the 3 talking about throwing hands over a rugged instrumental.

The track “Bundle Up” talks about being prepared for whatever over a melancholic instrumental while the song “Burn Sumthin'” comes through with some menacing battle bars over a settle yet bleak instrumental. The track “Ok Wit That” brushes off his haters over a moody instrumental while the song “Old Future” with Isaac Castor sees the 2 talking venting about their stresses over a despairing boom bap beat from Foul Mouth. The penultimate track “Dreamin'” with Finale & Quelle Chris finds the 3 getting on the conscious tip over a preachy instrumental that enhances the mood fantastically & then there’s the closer “Keep Living”, which talks about looking forward to better days over a calming instrumental.

Fathero made a pretty solid comeback on here if you ask me. Could’ve been a little bit longer as it only runs at about 34 minutes but it’s mature, he sounds refreshed & really does manage to remind us all of his rightful place in the Detroit hip hop scene as one of the city’s most skilled MCs. Can’t wait to see where he & Foul Mouth take it next on Soccer Dad.

Score: 3.5/5

Ouija Macc – “Resistance II: Hell’s Holotape” review

This is the 4th mixtape from Las Vegas rapper Ouija Macc. Originally coming up as member of the duo Swag Toof, they had put out a few projects together before unfortunately disbanding in 2017 due to a falling out with one another. However shortly after, the Insane Clown Posse took Ouija under their wing & signed him to their label Psychopathic Records. His full-length debut Gutterwater that came out the following year saw him putting his own spin on the SoundCloud aesthetics & has consistently been grinding since with videos as well as mixtapes like Waterdamage & Resistance: The Walk to Wasteland. But with his sophomore album Wasteland on the way, Ouija is preluding it with a sequel to Resistance & is enlisting longtime collaborator Devereaux to produce it in it’s entirety once again.

The tape kicks off with “Wake Up!”, where Ouija Macc talks his shit over some creepy yet vibrant production. The next song “Fall Thru da Floor” is a bombastic crowd mover while the track “Skin” pretty much gets suicidal over a cavernous trap beat. The song “Platinum Skeletons” talks about having a lot over a ghostly beat while the track “All Blue” of course shows off his racks over an unsettling instrumental.

The song “Poison” gets back on the suicide tip over a misanthropic instrumental while the track “Open Wide” finds Ouija bragging so charmingly on top of a perilous beat. The song “Do the Math” once again talks about his wealth over a nocturnal beat while the track “Princess Ouija” talks about being a demon as well as “the biggest piece of shit of them all” over a gruesome instrumental.

The song “Therapist” is a psychotic trap metal fusion that actually works a lot better than “Dead Diary” off the first Resistance did while “Da Plague” gets apocalyptic over a lethargic beat. The song “Stain” is an absolutely flawless moshpit starter while the track “Sorted” talks about how he had suffered in the past & that he had to figure it out paranormal-sounding instrumental.

The song “Put It Down” talks about how he can’t stop now over an instrumental with a hypnotically dismal atmosphere to it while the track “Discuss Me (Disgust Me)” is him saying he wouldn’t be here today if he cared what others say about him over a trap beat with a prominently somber piano loop. The penultimate track “Die Alone” talks about how he doesn’t want leave Earth with no one by his side over a demented yet roomy beat & then the tape ends with “Where I Belong”, where Ouija talks about being happy with the place he’s at currently over a mystical trap beat.

To me, Resistance II is just as great as it’s predecessor. Ouija Macc’s songwriting has gotten more catchier with each new project he puts out & the sound palates that Devereaux brings to the table continue to fit his lyrics like a glove. Really looking forward to see what both of these guys do next on Wasteland.

Score: 4/5

Drake – “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” review

Drake is a 33 year old rapper, singer, songwriter, actor & entrepreneur who blew up in 2009 with his breakout mixtape So Far Gone. The success of this groundbreaking project resulted in a contract with both Young Money Entertainment & Cash Money Records, who put out the man’s full-length debut Thank Me Later the following year. His sophomore effort Take Care the year after would be even better & I enjoyed Nothing Was the Same too but after If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late & then What a Time to Be Alive with Future (both of which came out in 2015), that’s when the quality in Drake’s music really began to take a nosedive. VIEWS was a terrible foray into dancehall, More Life was mediocre despite being stylistically eclectic & then his Young Money/Cash Money swan song Scorpion was a disappointingly failed attempt at making a double disc album showcasing the hip hop & R&B sides of his music respectively. He managed to put out a decent collection of loosies last summer called Care Package & with his 6th full-length album coming this summer, we’re getting a prelude mixtape outta nowhere.

Things start off with “Deep Pockets”, where Drake talks about how his crew is rollin’ now over a trippy instrumental from 40 & Plain Pat. The next song “When to Say When” charismatically brags over a Bobby Glenn sample while the “Chicago Freestyle” asks a woman to meet him by The Bean over an ethereal beat. The track “Not You Too” with Chris Brown talks about being backstabbed over a cavernous instrumental that later switches into something more synth-heavy about halfway through while the song “Toosie Slide” is a trite & annoying TikTok anthem. The track “Desires” with Future sees the 2 talking about women over a generically cloudy beat & even though the lyrics on “Time Flies” don’t sit well with me personally, the instrumental is just impeccably alluring.

The track “Landed” finds Drizzy flexing as Cardo backs him up with what could possibly be my favorite instrumental on the entire project while the song “D4L” with Future & Young Thug is pretty much a dedication to all 3 of the artists’ respectively self-owned record labels OVO Sound, Freebandz Entertainment & YSL Records backed with an aggressive Southside beat. The track “Pain 1993” with Playboi Carti sees the 2 getting materialistic over some signature Pi’erre Bourne production while the song “Losses” talks about losing this woman to the game over a more smooth instrumental. The track “From Florida with Love” asks this chick if she really has love for him over an intoxicating beat while the song “Demons” gets with Fivio Foreign & Sosa Geek for some surface level shit-talking, but I love the angelic vocals in the background. The closer “War” then goes full-on UK Drill & it’s just unbelievably awful.

Pretty boring overall & that really shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point. Granted it’s a lot shorter than More Life & Scorpion as it only runs at 50 minutes but the instrumentals are mediocre, the songwriting is & the guest are either hit or miss. The album can’t be worse though.

Score: 2/5

100GrandRoyce – “Prodigal Sun” review

100GrandRoyce is an MC from Harlem, New York that came up as a member of The Stackboys. He’s dropped quite a few projects over the past few years, the previous of which being Nice Guys Finish Last this past Black Friday. But to start off the new decade, he’s enlisting 183rd to produce his 5th EP in it’s entirety.

Things kick off with the title track, where 100GrandRoyce talks about how no one can fuck with him over a meditative instrumental with a saxophone hanging in the back. The next song “No Pressure” continues to flex his rapping prowess over a mystical-sounding instrumental while the track “Prime” talks about how he feels like he’s at his best right now over a trap beat with a harmonious vocal sample. The song “Above All” is a sensual love tune while the penultimate track “Angel” talks about being watched from above over a soothing instrumental. The EP finishes off with “Pain 2 Pleasure”, where 100GrandRoyce talks about overcoming his hardships & I love the way “Living Inside Your Love” by Earl Klugh gets flipped on here.

To me, this is 100GrandRoyce’s best work to date & it’s a really great entry point for new fans. Could’ve used a feature or 2, but his lyrical evolution compared to his previous efforts is insane & 183rd’s production is absolutely gorgeous.

Score: 4/5