Ca$his – “The County Hound” review

Ca$his is a Chicago born/Irving, California raised rapper who first gained prominence as a member of The Renegadez. They sent a demo tape to Shady Records & Interscope in Early 2006 in hopes of getting signed. However, the labels ended up signing Ca$his as a solo act. He would then be introduced to wider audiences by appearing on 6 tracks off of Shady’s Re-Up compilation & now he’s releasing an 8 track EP to promote his full-length debut. After the opening 55 second skit where Ca$his is talking to a drug dealer, we are then treated to the EP’s first song “That Nigga a Gangsta”. Here, Ca$his is getting braggadocious over a menacing instrumental from his longtime collaborator/high school friend Rikinatti. The next track “Gun Rule” talks about being strapped & the production from Ca$his’ mentor Eminem is just EXPLOSIVE! The song “Ms. Jenkins” is a vividly told story of Ca$his murdering someone over a somber Eminem instrumental & the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sample he uses is perfect. The track “Just Like Me” is a sincere dedication to his kids & the Rikinatti beat enhances the overall emotion of it very well. The song “Pistol Poppin’” is yet another menacing gun tune but this time, we also get the EP’s sole feature from Eminem & his verse doesn’t disappoint. The track “Thoughts of Suicide” is similar to the classic Biggie track “Suicidal Thoughts” or even “Kurt Kobain” by D12 member Proof, who was unfortunately murdered the year before the release of this EP. As Ca$his is venting about his suicidal thoughts over a gloomy instrumental from Ron Browz. The bonus track “Lac Motion” is the last in the track listing & given the title, it’s about cruisin’ down the street in a Cadillac over a smooth instrumental from Eminem. Despite this being Ca$his’ only release with Shady/Interscope, I think it would also be his best. I understand how some would find the gangsta content to be derivative, but he sounds authentic about it & also hungry as Hell. And on top of that, the gritty production suits these rhymes fantastically

Score: 4/5


Yelawolf – “Psycho White” review


Almost a year after the release of his major label debut Radioctive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks, Alabama rapper & Shady Records signee Yelawolf is now releasing his 3rd EP & he has enlisted legendary blink-182 drummer Travis Barker to produce it in it’s entirety. The EP opens with “Push ‘Em”, where Catfish Billy is energetically rapping about getting crazy over some super fast drums to give you that feeling. The next track “6 Feet Underground” talks about brawling, but the instrumental has a weird reggae feeling to it that doesn’t match the gritty descriptions & the Tim Armstrong hook doesn’t add much to the equation other than the shouts. The song “Funky Shit” picks back up as Yelawolf’s rapid delivery is fantastic, but the electronic-tinged instrumental was just ok. The penultimate track “Whistle Dixie” has some crazy rhyme schemes over some drums that’re going off like machine guns & the whistling during the hook fits in perfectly as do the eerie bells. The closer “Director’s Cut (Michael Myers & Superman)” kinda reminds me of the song “Kim” by Yelawolf’s mentor Eminem, as it vividly describes Catfish Billy murdering his girlfriend & the man she’s cheating on him with over a haunting rap rock instrumental. However, it works very well. While that Slumdon Bridge EP that Yelawolf did with Ed Sheeran several months prior was just ok, this was much better. Primarily because I see an actual chemistry between Yelawolf’s rapping & Travis Barker’s production aside from a couple duds. Hopefully we’ll get a follow-up at some point in the future

Score: 3.5/5

Yelawolf – “Black Fall” review


Almost 8 months after releasing his 6th mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns, Alabama rapper & Shady Records signee Yelawolf is now releasing his 4th EP & he has enlisted DJ Paul of 3 6 Mafia fame to produce it in it’s entirety. The EP opens with “Get Straight”, which has an hard hitting trap beat & not only are Catfish Billy’s rhyme schemes just batshit insane, but the yelled hook makes you wanna sock someone in the face. The track “Mastermind” talks about being just that & the Pink Floyd sample that Paul uses gives it a super creepy atmosphere. The song “Bowties” with former Slumerican now Strange Music signee Rittz talking about Chevys over another dark yet abrasive instrumental complete with a sample of the classic Metallica song “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. The penultimate track “Party Prophet” if you couldn’t tell is a club banger & this is actually the only song on the entire EP where Paul spits a verse. Needless to say, it was a great fit. The EP closes out with Light Switch, which describes Alabaman life from his perspective over a rap rock/trap fused instrumental. Honestly, I think this is one of Yelawolf’s best releases. His delivery is super energetic on every single song & DJ Paul’s dark abrasive instrumentals compliments these energetic performances fantastically

Score: 4/5

Yelawolf – “Love Story” review

With the release of his major label debut Radioctive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks being 4 years prior & releasing a couple EPs & mixtapes afterwards, Alabama rapper Yelawolf is finally delivering his 3rd full-length album. This is also his first commercial release under his own label Slumerican Records, yet his 2nd with Shady Records & Interscope. The album kicks off with “Outer Space” which has this fun rap rock vibe to it thanks to WLPWR & Catfish Billy himself sounds hyped to finally be back. The next song “Change” tells the listener about him finally finding himself, but Malay’s guitar-tinged production was just ok to me here. The track “American You” sees Yelawolf singing about an average American man & sonically, it is a full-blown country rock song. The song “Whiskey in a Bottle” raps about coming of age & I was surprised to hear that they used the same sample that Madvillain used for “Supervillain Theme” off their must-have 2004 album Madvillainy. The track “Ball & Chain” sees Yelawolf singing about going from a prisoner to a well known rapper over an acoustic guitar, but it really shouldn’t have been an interlude. The song “‘Til It’s Gone” sings then raps about not being taken advantage of & I absolutely love the country vibes of it. It was also perfect that it appeared in one of the final Sons of Anarchy episodes. Similar to “American You” being a full blown rock song, the track “Devil in My Veins” is a full blown country song from the instrumental to Yelawolf’s vocals & it’s just ok. The song “Best Friend” is another full-blown rock song with Yelawolf singing about his religious beliefs & the album’s sole feature from mentor Eminem is just angry as Hell. The track “Empty Bottles” has a few corny shot-glass lines near the end of the first 2 verses, but I do like the guitar & the passionate delivery as he discusses his alcoholism. The song “Heartbreak” is a rapped message to his ex-wife Sonora Rosario & while it’s the only song on the entire album to be produced by Eminem, it doesn’t disappoint. Especially since he surprisingly got back with Dr. Dre production underwings Mark Batson & Mike Elizondo to play keys & guitar on it to give the beat that late 90s/early 2000s Dre vibe. The track “Tennessee Love” is a passionately sung ode to his now ex-fiancé Fefe Dobson over some gloomy keys & as for “Box Chevy V”, it’s yet another great tune of his to cruise to & the record scratches weren’t too bad either. The title track raps about not wanting to be forgotten & the beat has an ambitious tone to it. The song “Johnny Cash” sees Yela using one of his idols to talk about stage fright & the sample used in the beat gives it a gloomy atmosphere to it that’s actually pretty nice. The track “Have a Great Flight” is another fully sung yet beautiful tribute to great-grandmother over a some lovely guitar & string sections. The song “Sky’s the Limit” raps about the American dream over some somber piano chords with some guitars later thrown in & the way he vents about his step-father abusing him on the acoustic penultimate track “Disappear” was very personal. The rapped closer “Fiddle Me This” tells the audiences a few more things he wants to get off his chest before the album ends & while I didn’t expect the fiddle solos & DJ scratches near the end of it, it definitely fits in given the title. I’m not surprised that this was more country/rock influenced AT ALL, but it does work. I really didn’t have to be 18 tracks/75 minutes long & his prominent singing was ok, but he sounds a lot more comfortable & passionate than he did on Radioactive
Score: 3.5/5

Yelawolf – “Radioactive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks” review


After signing to Shady Records alongside Slaughterhouse earlier this year, Alabama rapper Yelawolf is not hesitating with putting out his major label debut yet his 1st studio album since 2005’s Creekwater. The intro has this decent beat from WLPWR, but Yelawolf’s is going IN both lyrically & delivery-wise. The next song “Get Away” talks about getting drunk over a sample of The Brothers Johnson’s cover of “Strawberry Letter 23” & despite Catfish Billy recycling his verse from the 2011 XXL Freestyle, it still sounds great. Also, the Shawty Fatt verse was decent & Mystikal shows us that he still has it after being locked up for 7 years. The track “Let’s Roll” & the crunk-infused “Hard White (Up in the Club)” definitely sound like party anthems meant for the clubs & radio, but I find them to be pretty fun. The hooks from Kid Rock & Lil Jon respectively fit right in, too. The track “Growin’ Up in the Gutter” with Rittz sees the 2 talking about their rough upbringings & the instrumental sounds chaotic as Hell. The song “Throw It Up” has some nice piano keys & while I did like the guest verse from former 3 6 Mafia member Gangsta Boo in the middle of the track, it’s really the insanely fast verse from Eminem that takes the spotlight. The track “Good Girl” sees Yela telling this girl how good he’ll treat her & the instrumental kinda reminds me of Crush from Warren G’s last album The G Files. The song “Made in the U.S.A.” gets conscious over some pianos & some string sections & the Priscilla Renea hook is pretty nice as well. The song “Animal” gets celebratory over an instrumental from Diplo that sounds like an 80s/90s video game, but the hook from his then-girlfriend Fefe Dobson was actually kinda disappointing. “The Hardest Love Song in the World” is basically Yela talking to a woman who comes from a similar background & while I do like the guitar-instrumental, it doesn’t really make it live up to it’s title. The song “Write Your Name” tells the story of an elderly man & a 16 year old mother before sending endearing message to the people of his homestate over a radio-friendly instrumental from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League & I thought it was really cool that he got a fan to do the hook after she missed out on one of his shows. The track “Everything I Love the Most” has a depressing tone lyrically over a decent rap rock instrumental & the acoustic “Radio” gratefully expresses Yelawolf’s happiness of finally making it as a successful rapper along with being taking a jab at mainstream hip hop of today. The song “Slumerican Shitizen” lashes back at all the people who’ve called Yela white trash & the Killer Mike verse at the tail-end of it enhances the grit & aggression of the track. “The Last Song” is literally just that standard edition-wise & Yela makes good use of it by passionately reflecting on what it was like being raised by a single mother over a set some somber piano chords. The first bonus track “Whip It” talks about him & a chick who likes to party wilding out & the beat will make you wanna do just that. The song “I See You” tells 3 different scenarios in which Yelawolf finds the real you over some pianos & the final bonus track “In This World” is about how there’s no other like him over a decent rap rock instrumental. It’s definitely not better than than Trunk Muzik, but this was still a solid album. I can appreciate that many styles were used on here & Yelawolf is just as much of an entertaining rapper as he was before he got signed. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a classic like The Source did, but it is a fun album & it’s definitely a solid way to introduce Yelawolf to wider audiences

Score: 3.5/5

Yelawolf – “H.O.T.E.L. (House Of The Endless Life)” review


Just about a year & a half after the release of his latest album Love Story, Alabama rapper/singer Yelawolf is now delivering his 5th EP in promotion of launching the new website for his own label Slumerican Records. The EP opens with “Supersonic Alley Cat”, which is mostly a country instrumental up until a hook during the last 30 seconds. The next track “You Should’ve Known” is possibly about his ex-fiancé Fefe Dobson over a spacey piano instrumental & while the first verse is decently sung, the rapid-fire delivered rap verse that follows is just the Catfish Billy that I know & love. The song “Renegades” is pretty much Yela singing about living life like a rebel along with addressing his haters over some guitars & the Royal Blood sample is just ok. The track “Someday” samples the Bob Seger song with the same name & you can truly hear the real frustration in Yela’s voice while he’s rapping the verses on here. The song “In Love Tonight” could very well be the weakest track on here, mainly because I find it to sound unfinished as it just has a hook with a guitar in the background. The penultimate track “Be Yourself” with Slumerican’s latest signee Bubba Sparxxx sees the 2 rapping about not being fake & the instrumental is probably the hardest hitting on the entire EP. The EP then closes out with “Good Love”, which about being in love with this chick he invites to his hotel room over some guitars. Once again, the sung verse is decent but the rapped verse is really where it’s at. While I didn’t see this coming, I found this EP to be a solid prelude to his upcoming 4th album Trial by Fire. It’s very similar to Love Story, but this is way more shorter in contrast to it’s predecessor being nearly 75 minutes

Score: 3.5/5

Slaughterhouse – “welcome to: OUR HOUSE”’ review

After signing to Shady Records & Interscope just a year prior, Slaughterhouse is finally releasing their long-awaited sophomore album/major label debut. The album officially starts off with a 76 second skit where they tell you that there’s no fake MCs aloud, but then things don’t officially start popping until the first song “Our House”. Here, the supergroup teams up with Shady founder Eminem to talk about their desires of being the greatest to ever do it over an ominous instrumental, but my only complaint about this song is that the Skylar Grey hook is absolutely God awful. The next track “Coffin” aggressively spits about murdering wack MCs over a chaotic instrumental from Hit-Boy & the Busta Rhymes hook is so energetic, that it actually makes me sad that he doesn’t have a verse on here. The song “Throw That” is conceptually about flirting with strippers, but the Eminem hook is meh & the beat is just average at best. The track “Hammer Dance” contains more murderous bars & the araabMUZIK instrumental has this unexpected KoЯn sample in it, but it was simultaneously really cool. The song “Get Up” has an motivational tone to it lyrically & the rap rock production from No I.D. is pretty catchy as well. The track “My Life” sees the 4 MCs bragging about fame over an radio friendly instrumental & the Cee-Lo Green hook was average at best. The song “Flip a Bird” talks about selling drugs, but the vocal sample that you’ll hear during each verse & the hook kinda gets annoying after a while. The track “Throw It Away” is a decent club anthem with a hard hitting beat from D12 member mR. pOrTeR & to be quite honest, the Swizz Beatz hook on here actually doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The song “Rescue Me” vents about each member trying to get it together & the beat on here is ok, but the Skylar Grey hook on here is as equally terrible as the one on “Our House”. The track “Frat House” is another club banger, except this one is pretty bad. However, the way Joe Budden & Joell Ortiz go back & forth during the final verse wasn’t too bad except for the lyrics. The song “Goodbye” sees everyone minus Royce da 5’9” rapping about Joe’s girl having a miscarriage along with the deaths of Crooked I’s grandfather & Joell’s grandmother over a sugary instrumental from Boi-1da. While it is sincerely delivered, the hook is painfully corny. The track “Park It Sideways” is a comedic jab at all of the wack MCs out there, but the beat really sounds like it could’ve been on a Lil Wayne album. The song “Die” rapidly goes in about popping a cap in your ass & the beat from mR. pOrTeR on here is a lot more hard hitting than the other song he did. The standard edition closer “Our Way” talks about making it which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the instrumental on here is very bland. The first bonus track “Asylum” has a serial killer vibe to it lyrically & as for Eminem’s production, there’s not a whole lot to it during the drums throughout & the guitar that comes in solely during the hook. The next bonus track “Walk of Shame” talks about 4 separate 1-night stands between each member, but the beat is super nondescript & the auto-tuned hook from Royce is super cringey. “The Other Side” is basically everyone minus Crooked insightfully talking about being human despite fame along with a gold digger & not being perfect over uplifting instrumental from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League & the final bonus track “Place to Be” sees the supergroup hooks up with B.o.B to talk about being somewhere far away from the bullshit over an awkward club instrumental, but the way everyone got together for the last verse was very creative. There are a few highlights on here & as much as I love Slaughterhouse, this was disappointing. The lyrics are decent, but it sounded way more commercial than it should’ve from the production to the hooks. I get trying to make a commercial album, but the whole pop rap sound doesn’t fit Slaughterhouse’s style at all. Just take a couple joints & stick with the prelude mixtape On the House

Score: 2/5