When talking about Detroit hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse, it’s impossible to leave out the controversy with their 5th full-length album right here. They left Jive Records shortly after the release of their last album Riddle Box in 1995 so they could get the Disney-owned Hollywood Records to be the new distributors for their own label Psychopathic Records. As for this album, it was taken off shelves by Hollywood just hours after it’s original release on June 24, 1997 & the duo were dropped from the label shortly after in response to criticism from the Southern Baptist Church that the release didn’t reflect Disney’s family-friendly image, despite Disney themselves claiming the album was released due to an oversight by its review board. ICP then signed another new distribution deal with Island Records after they agreed to release the album the way it was originally intended & then it was back on the shelves again in August 12, 1997. The first 2 tracks are both 2-minute spoken word intros pretty much telling the listener what to expect, the first one being with Alice Cooper over an ambient-esque instrumental & then the other one with ICP over an eerie yet more traditional hip hop instrumental. The album’s first song “[Hokus Pokus]” is basically the duo introducing themselves (starting the first 2 verses with a decent back wordplay line) & as for the instrumental, I think the album version is a lot more fun than the [Jason Nevins] remix. The next song “Piggy Pie” gets murderous towards an incestive redneck as well as crooked cops & even the wealthy over an ominous rap rock instrumental with some DJ scratching from Mike E. Clark, who produced this entire album along with a bulk of ICP’s previous material. The track “How Many Times?” is a Violent J solo cut talking about a day in his life & while it’s not that intriguing, the haunting beat is nice. The song “Southwest Voodoo” sees J going back & forth with Shaggy 2 Dope about dark magic over a dreary guitar. The track “Halls of Illusions” talks about using a carnival attraction to murder a wife beater & a child abuser with a killer Slash riff during the hook & the song “Under the Moon” is Violent J talking about a man who was convicted of murdering someone who tried to rape his girlfriend over a gloomy instrumental. The track “What’s a Juggalo?” sees J & Shaggy going back & forth informing their new listeners about their fanbase & I really like the g-funk-esque bass on here. The song “House of Horrors” talks about 2 serial killers trapping people in the titular attraction over a fittingly haunting rap rock instrumental. The track “Boogie Woogie Wu” is Violent J rapping from the perspective of the boogie man over a creepy instrumental & the hook is somewhat catchy too. Especially the maniacal laughter at some parts of it. The song “The Neden Game” is basically a juggalo version of “The Dating Game” & it’s actually somewhat humorous, but the line about Sharon’s 13 year old sister near the end of the first verse does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. The track “Hellelujah” sees Violent J rapping from perspective of a late-night TV Evangelist who‘s begging for money because it’s “what God would want” over a Hellish guitar & then on “Down with the Clown”, he pretty much tells the juggalos not to forget him over an old school–esque instrumental. The nearly 90 second “Just Like That” sees J getting killed in a drive-by & then it leads us into the closer “Pass Me By, where he & Shaggy talk about immortality over a somber beat. While this is far from being a perfect album, it is ICP’s magnum opus. Primarily because it’s their most well-groomed effort it is (especially on the production tip)
A little over 7 months after the release of his debut SupaJefe & about 5 months after being included into the 2017 XXL Freshman Class, College Park rapper & i am OTHER signee Kap G is delivering a 3-track EP. The first song has a decent piano trap beat, but I feel like he bites Future a little too much vocally. The next track “Marvelous Day” with Lil Uzi Vert & Gunna has a moody beat & all 3 rappers compliment each other pretty well in each verse. The closer “Big Racks” has a decent hook & instrumental, but the lyrics just too cliché for me. While I do enjoy some of Kap G’s songs, this was a mediocre EP. If he’s gonna stick with the trap sound, he really needs to find his own lane. He also needs to work with Pharrell lot more as well
About a year & a half after the release of his mediocre sophomore album General Admission, Bad Boy Entertainment signee Machine Gun Kelly is now putting out his 3rd full-length album. The opener “The Gunner” is decent with it’s piano/explosive drum instrumental & it’s ambitious lyrics, but the album takes a massive nosedive right after that. The next track “Wake + Bake” is a weed anthem with a cheesy psychedelic-esque instrumental & while his rags-to-riches story on “Go for Broke” isn’t too bad, but the instrumental & the James Arthur hook turn it into a generic radio-hit. I can also see where he’s getting at by talking about being imperfect & not giving up on “At My Best”, but the way he does it is so painfully corny. The gaudy beat & the Hailee Steinfeld hook exactly don’t help at all, either. The song “Kiss the Sky” has a bland instrumental, a tedious hook & sappy lyrics about not needing stars to grant wishes because he’s famous. The track “Golden God” talks about going from working at Chipotle to being a successful artist, but the beat is pretty boring. I can definitely see the song “Trap Paris” being a club banger, but the trap instrumental from Sonny Digital as well as the catchy Ty$ hook & the Quavo verse are really the only things about the track that make it worth vibing out to. The track “Moonwalkers” is another dumb weed anthem with a decent trap beat while the song “Can’t Walk” generically talks about being on pills over an plain electro instrumental. The lovey dovey “Bad Things” with Camila Cabello is probably the worst track on the entire album. Not that I have an issue with rappers making love songs but this one in particular is so sugary, that you might get diabetes after listening to it for the first time. The song “Rehab” cornily compares his love for this woman to drugs over an acoustic instrumental while the penultimate track “Let You Go” talks about an ex over an awkward rap rock instrumental. The torture finally ends with the decent “27”, where he talks about the 27 Club since he turned 27 a few weeks prior over a twangy guitar & some pianos. As a whole, this is definitely one of the worst things I’ve heard all year. There are very few tolerable moments on here but for the most part, it sounds way more commercial than ever & Machine Gun Kelly’s lyrics are at it’s corniest
CyHi the Prynce is an MC from Atlanta, Georgia & this is long awaited full-length debut. The album opens with “Amen”, where CyHi’s talking about staying in your environment over a fittingly churchy instrumental. The next track is the title track, where he & fellow GOOD Music signee Pusha T talks about trappin’ another other day than the Lord’s day & the beat change from Lex Luger is phenomenal. The song “Get Yo Money” speaks on the drug game over an eerie instrumental & the track “Movin’ Around” with ScHoolboy Q isa weed anthem with a decent trap beat. The track “Trick Me” gets braggadocious over a mellow piano instrumental& the 2 Chainz verse isn’t all that bad. The song “Murda” talks about life in the streets over a decent reggae instrumental while the track “Don’t Know Why”gets conscious over a somewhat spacey instrumental. Also, the Jagged Edge feature on here is pretty great as well. The song“God Bless” is pretty much about being thankful & I️ absolutely love how it samples my favorite Roy Ayers song “Searching”. The track “Dat Side” with his mentor Kanye West sees the 2 attacking their haters over a dreary instrumental while the song “Looking for Love” is a self-explanatory love song with a decent trap beat & a mediocre auto-tune hook. The song “Nu Africa” gets pro-black over a nice boom bap beat & the track “Free” seems to be a diss towards Def Jam Recordings over a dreamy instrumental. The song “80’s Baby” speaks through the point of view of an unborn child over a jazzy instrumental & a beautiful BJ the Chicago Kid feature while the penultimate track “Closer” talks about maintaining a relationship with Jesus Christ over an instrumental with an uplifting atmosphere to it. I know both of these song topics sound corny, but CyHi’s actually able to pull both of them off. The album then closes with “I’m Fine”, which pretty much talks about livin’ life to the fullest & I really wish Travi$ Scott had a verse instead of just doing the hook. CyHi the Prynce has been long overdue with an album & I think this should give him the credit he finally deserves. Despite a few mediocre beats & hooks every here & there, it sounds focused, the features are on point & it’s just as smart as ever
WESTSIDEDOOM is a newly formed duo consisting of recent Shady Records signee Westside Gunn along with the renown MF DOOM. They announced a collaborative project together just a couple months ago & it’s finally here in the form of a 2-track EP. The first song “Gorilla Monsoon” has an grimy boom bap beat from Griselda Records in-house producer Daringer & while Westside Gunn’s verse is as mobster as always, DOOM definitely outshines him on here. Especially with lines like “Overstand the past to get a grasp of the present, I make it faster than you spends it. End it”. The other track “2STINGS” sees the 2 getting hardcore & the eerie instrumental from The Alchemist fits the tone like a glove. Like many others, I am disappointed that this is wasn’t a full-length album. However, I still enjoyed this EP. The production is grimy & both MCs compliment each other very well
As a way to create hype for his upcoming 3rd album Flockaveli 2, Atlantan trap rapper/Gucci Mane protégé Waka Flocka Flame is making his 17th mixtape a prelude to that long-awaited album & he has enlisted from 808 Mafia co-founder Southside to produce 10 of the 15 tracks. The tape starts off with “Shootin’”, where Flocka is angrily talking about murdering his haters over a murky beat. The song “Blue or Red” talks about his crew murdering yours whether your a blood or a crip over a dreary trap beat from Metro Boomin’ & the track “Money” brags about the things he has bought from selling drugs over a chaotic instrumental. The song “Rap Game Fucked Up” vents about all these studio gangsters over an ominous instrumental from B Wheezy & the track “Workin’” talks about the drug dealer life over an lively beat from Tarentino. The song “AM 2 PM” looks into a day in the life of Waka over some monstrous bass & the perfectly titled “Birthday” is a fun anthem for anyone looking to get lit on their birthday. The track “Feel ‘Bout Me” is Waka basically telling you he doesn’t care what others think of him over a menacing instrumental from both Southside & TM88 while the song “Lose My Mind” may have a crazy flow along with a nice piano-trap beat from Fuse, the hook is super annoying. The track “Trappin’ n Rappin’” talks about doing just that until his last day & the song “No Lie” flaunts about being real & you being a fraud over some thunderous Southside beats. The penultimate track “Hit a Lick” talks about the lavish life & while the Quavo feature is uncredited, it may be the best one on the entire tape. The mixtape then closes with “How It Feel”, where Waka is telling the listener they don’t know what he’s been through from the suicide of his brother Kayo Redd to asking Gucci why he let Todd Moscowitz in his ear over a spacey trap beat from Black Metaphor. Honestly, this is almost as great as his debut & a nice prequel to his next album. The production & energy are more animated than ever & I’m happy that Waka finally limited the number of features on here unlike his past efforts
Just a year & a half after the release of his breakout debut Flockaveli & earning his own imprint Brick Squad Monopoly just the year before, Atlantan trap rapper/Gucci Mane protégé Waka Flocka Flame is now delivering his sophomore full-length album. The album opens up with Waka talking about his friends & his haters over some beautiful keyboards & heavy bass from 808 Mafia co-founder Southside, who produces 9 of the album’s 19 tracks. The next song “Let Dem Guns Blam” with Meek Mill sees the 2 talking about fucking haters up over an eerie instrumental & while the track “Round of Applause” with Drake is the only one on the entire album to be produced by fellow 808 Mafia co-founder Lex Luger (who produced over half of the last album), it’s still a very fun stripper anthem. The song “I Don’t Really Care” with Trey Songz sees the 2 boasting about their wealth over a chaotic instrumental & the track “Rooster in My Rari” talks about groupies over an infectious DJ Spinz instrumental. The song “Get Low” with Nicki Minaj & Tyga is another stripper anthem with a decent EDM-influenced beat & the Flo Rida hook is just meh to me. The track “Fist Pump” with B.o.B is a drinking anthem & just like the previous track, we’re getting another decent EDM-influenced instrumental & this time from Southside, surprisingly. The song “Candy Paint & Gold Teeth” with Bun B & Ludacris sees the 3 talking about life in the south over a triumphant instrumental from Honorable C.N.O.T.E. while the track “Cash” with Wooh da Kid is basically the 2 brothers talking about selling drugs over a chaotic beat from Southside. The song “Lurkin’” is another angry anti-hater anthem with fitting beat from both Southside & TM88, but I wasn’t all that crazy for the Plies verse to be quite honest. The track “Clap” is another boastful wealth anthem while U Ain’t ‘Bout Dat Life with Slim Thug & Alley Boy Take shots at the studio gangsters over murky Southside beats. The motivational “Power of My Pen” is a nice change of pace for the album, kinda like how “For My Dawgs” was on Flockaveli. The song “Flex” with Travis Porter, the late Slim Dunkin’ & D-Bo gets self-explanatory over some rattling hi-hats while the outro then pays tribute to Slim over a somewhat mellow instrumental. While I wasn’t expecting this to be any better than the debut, this wasn’t a bad album at all. The production is on point for the most part as is Waka Flocka Flame’s energy, but we’re still getting an excessive amount of features despite them being better than last time
Waka Flocka Flame is an Atlantan trap rapper/Gucci Mane protégé & he is delivering out his full-length debut with the help of 808 Mafia co-founder Lex Luger, who produced 11 of the album’s 19 tracks. The opener “Bustin’ at ‘Em” sees Waka getting murderous over a chaotic trap rock instrumental from Lex & fellow 808 Mafia co-founder Southside. The next song “Hard in da Paint” has a braggadocious tone to it lyrically & Lex’s production is so sinister, yet super hard hitting. The track “No Hands” with Roscoe Dash & Wale is an infectious strip club anthem with a somewhat triumphant sounding instrumental from Drumma Boy & the song “Bricksquad” with Gudda Gudda sees the 2 paying homage to their respective labels: 1017 Brick Squad Records & Young Money Entertainment over a sinister instrumental from Lex Luger. The Southside produced “Fuck the Club Up” with Pastor Troy & Slim Dunkin’ alongside the Lex Luger produced “Grove St. Party with Kebo Gotti are both very fun club anthems, but I’d say the latter sets the mood a lot more by being more abrasive. The song “For My Dawgs” is a nice change of pace as it’s a self-explanatory ode to all of those close to Waka over a settle instrumental from Yayo. The standard edition closer “Fuck This Industry” was a great way to finish the album off, as it disses the music industry over a haunting instrumental from Lex Luger. The first of 2 bonus tracks “Rumors” addresses all of Waka’s haters over a decent rap rock beat from Joey French while the other one “Gun Sounds” talks about fucking up the streets over an ominous instrumental from Southside. While some may absolutely hate this album understandably, I really enjoyed this. Sure Waka isn’t a lyricist & there are more features than I’d like there to be, but his energy is off the wall insane & the production is super hard hitting
53 weeks have passed since Slaughterhouse member Joe Budden gave us a near perfect ending to his Love Lost trilogy but now, he’s teaming up with araabMUZIK to give us his 8th & most likely final album. The opener “3” tells the listener what to expect going into this thing & the choir vocals in the background are just beautiful. The track “Uncle Joe” pretty much addresses the current state of hip hop over some piano chords from a personal point of view & the song “Serious” is a gritty duet with fellow Slaughterhouse member Joell Ortiz about how you shouldn’t fuck with either MC. The track “By Law” talks about keeping it real over a militant instrumental & the Jazzy hook isn’t too bad either. The song “Flex” with Fabolous is a smooth sex tune & the Troy Lanez hook fits like a glove. The track “Forget” is only 91 seconds long, but I can totally get where he’s going when he confesses about meeting so many people that he forgets them over a beautiful soul sample. The song “I Gotta Ask” gets into battle rap mode & the Into the Woods soundtrack sample was surprising, yet interesting. The track “Time for Work” is another sexual jam, but the production here is more energetic than it was on “Flex”. The song “Wrong One” has a chaotic instrumental that fits perfectly with Joe’s hardcore bars & the track “I Wanna Know” gets reflective on his life over a beautiful Manhattans sample with an equally beautiful hook from Stacy Barthe. The closer “Idols” is Joe naming all of his influences over a mellow instrumental if this really is Joe’s final album, then this was a perfect close the book. The production is on par with his previous album All Love Lost & Joe lyrically is getting into an OG’s perspective on things.
Almost year after his debut Contact & just in time for Halloween, Queens horrorcore MC & Majik Ninja Entertainment signee Lex the Hex Master is now dropping his sophomore album. After an 80 second intro, the title track is the first song in the track listing & it has a super ominous instrumental that fits his angry about being face to face with his fate perfectly. The track “Beast” raps about shuttin’ shit down over an energetic, but the first half of the hook is too nasal for me. The song “Joke’s Ova” with G-Mo Skee & Grizzy Hendrix is basically the 3 venting about the wack shit of today & getting back to the hardcore days over a sinister instrumental. The track “Attributes” sees Lex telling us a bit about himself & the instrumental kinda sounds like something Eminem would rap over in 2002 or 2003, but in a cool way.
The song “Shadow Army” with his mentors Twiztid alongside Gorilla Voltage & Řezník is a nice, gritty horrorcore posse cut & the track “Gangstas” talks about a chick who wants to chill with the thugs over an instrumental with a fitting gangsta rap vibe to it & the song “Broken” vents about haters as well as traumatizing your ears over another Early 2000s Eminem-esque instrumental minus the wailing guitar. The track “Bully Foot” has an instrumental kinda reminds me of “Put ‘Em in Their Place” by Mobb Deep, but Lex’s confrontational bars actually sound just fine over it. The song “Samurai” with Young Wicked sees the 2 bragging about their skills over some pounding drums & the hook is super catchy. The penultimate track “Arrival” with Young Uno, Var Francis & Bubbah Barz sees all 4 MCs taking shots at all the frauds out there over some ominous keyboards & then the closer “It Begins” is Lex vividly telling the story of a man who eventually gets murdered over a perfectly somber instrumental.
Overall, I think Lex the Hex Master outdid himself on this one. The production is grittier, Lex is continuing to improve himself as an MC & it sounds even angrier than before.I think Lex is one of the most underrated right now & if anyone’s new to him, I think this is where you should stop sleeping