L.A.R.S. – L.A.R.S. (Last American Rock Stars) review


After signing to Majik Ninja Entertainment in August of 2016 & dropping a free prelude mixtape called Foul World on Devils Night of that same year, Detroit horrorcore duo L.A.R.S is now dropping their full-length debut. After a 1 minute intro, we then get into the first song “Stomp”. Here, King Gordy & Bizarre both talk about fucking people up over an eerie beat. The track “Just Got Out the County” with Fury talks about them getting arrested for doing wild shit over a menacing beat, but the hook is kinda annoying. The song “Cocaine in Miami” talks about partying in Miami over a smooth beat with some synths & the “LARS Spangled Banner” interlude sees Gordy doing his own rendition of the United States National Anthem, but it’s just so mediocre.

The track “Lit” is a club banger with a trippy trap beat & the song “California” talks about going to Cali to ease their minds over a rap rock beat. The track “Rock n Roll” with Majik Ninja founders Twiztid talks about how wild they are over a grimy beat from L.A.R.S.’ DJ & honorary 3rd member Foul Mouth. The song “Suicide” has an eerie soul sample all over it & Gordy has some funny ass lines during his verse near the end, but the first verse from Bizarre didn’t really do much.The “Moshitup” interpolation during the hook wasn’t too surprising, but I liked it generally. The track “Ganja Man” is a reggae inflicted weed song, but it’s just ok. The song “No Lights” talks about their early life in the ghetto over some smooth bass & some keys. While endearing, the reference to The Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By” during the hook is just ok. The penultimate track “Start a War” with G-Mo Skee, Trizz & Twista gets confrontational over an explosive trap beat & the closer “I Believe I Can Fly” gets motivational over a beautiful piano instrumental from mR. pOrTeR.

As a whole, this is one of the best releases in both King Gordy & Bizarre’s catalogues. Sure there are some weak moments, but it’s more refined than the prelude tape from the production to the duo’s performances & their ever so natural chemistry. I’ll say it here like I did in my Foul World review, but here’s to hopefully some solo albums from both members because they fit with Majik Ninja very very well

Score: 4/5


Tyga – “Kyoto” review

After dropping a sequel to his #BitchImTheShit mixtape last summer, Compton rapper Tyga is now going contemporary R&B on his 6th full-length album right here. The opener “Temperature” sings presumably about his ex-girlfriend Kylie Jenner over a tropical beat & the auto-tune on Tyga’s voice makes it even worse. The next song “Leather in the Rain” with Kyndall is a shitty sex duet with a generic club beat & the track “Come & Ball Wit Me” is basically Tyga whining about Kylie over a spacey trap beat. The song “Boss Up” sings about how he loves that his current chick is calling the shots over a moody beat & the track “U Cry” is another Kylie breakup pity party over a somber beat.

The song “King of the Jungle” sees T-Raw admitting that he was unfaithful to Kylie over an atmospheric instrumental while “Hard2Look” is an honest to God diss track towards her new boyfriend Travi$ Scott that comes off REALLY corny. The song “I Need a Girl 3” is an unnecessary follow-up to the 2 Puff Daddy songs that came out in 2002 while the track “Train 4 This” has some corny boxing & Mike Tyson references over a trap beat with a decent “Dilemma” sample buried in the mix. The song “Hot Soup” sings about how his chick will make him feel better over a bland beat while the track “Sip a Lil” is of course about drinking & rambling about missing Kylie over a mediocre trap beat. Unfortunately, the Gucci Mane verse on here couldn’t save it either. The song “Faithful” with Tory Lanez sees the 2 telling their ladies to have faith in them over another tropical beat & the penultimate track “Ja Rule & Ashanti” is filled with corny references to both artists over a nondescript beat. The torture finally ends with Holdin’ On’, where he gets sexual with his current woman over a generic beat.

Now I know a lot of people including myself went at the artwork when Tyga originally posted it on Instagram last month but musically, this is truly the worst thing he’s ever done. I can commended him for trying to step out of his comfort zone, but there is not a single song worth sitting through from beginning to end. His singing is absolutely God awful, the auto-tune he throws on top of it doesn’t mask it either, the lyrics are trite & the production is dime a dozen

Score: 0/5

Lonzo Ball – “Born 2 Ball” review


Lonzo Ball is a 20 year old rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers & this is his very 1st mixtape. The opener “Grind Mode” with DC the Don talks about working hard over an Atari-trap beat & the next track “Get Off” is filled with lame braggadocious lyrics over a piano-trap beat. The song “Z02” is basically him promoting his sneakers over an airy trap beat & the track “Puttin’ in Work” with Kenneth Paige & DC the Don brags about their alleged rapping prowesses over an eerie piano with rattling hi-hats. The song “Better” talks about the lavish life over an organ-trap beat & “L.A.M.L. (Look At My Life)” with Kenneth Paige is basically about success with a bass heavy instrumental.

The song “Super Saiyan” compares himself to the titular Dragon Ball Z transformation albeit in a corny fashion over a trap beat with some eerie keyboards. The track “Bring It Home” with Kenneth talks about doing it for their families & the production isn’t really anything special either. Both “Money Talks” & “Check” redundantly talk about making money, but the production on the latter is more describable with it’s keyboards & monstrous bass. The song “Day 1s” is a dedication to everyone who’ve stuck with him up to this point over an eerie keyboard trap-beat while the track “Livin’ Lavish” is basically another “Better” but with a spacey beat. The 2 & half minute freestyle is basically Lonzo & Kenneth Paige going back & forth about how big they are & while there is chemistry, it’s not good. The synth-trap production is pretty mediocre as well.

The track “Gotta Get It” is another boring money making anthem with a beat that knocks off something Dr. Dre would’ve produced in the Early 2000s & the song “What Is You Doin’?” touches down on how he’s doing his own thing over a bland instrumental. The penultimate track “BBB” is basically a promotional song for his dad Lavar’s Big Ball Brand over some grimy down-tuned synthesizers & the closer is a tribute to his dad over a spacey beat.

I don’t have a problem with basketball players trying to rap (case in point Shaquille O’Neal or even Damian Lillard), but this is a serious contender for Worst Release of 2018. The production is generic, it’s monotonous & the content gets super stale after a while. Just stick to basketball. Please

Score: 0/5

Various Artists – “Black Panther: The Album” review


With the Black Panther coming out a week from today,  Top Dawg Entertainment is giving us the soundtrack alongside Aftermath Entertainment & Interscope Records. The opener “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar (who curated the whole soundtrack) talks about being a king over a gloomy piano instrumental. However, there’s one point where it gets abrasive. The song “All the Stars” is a spacey love duet with Kendrick & SZA that’s just ok. The track “X” by ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz & Saudi gets celebratory over a decent trap beat while the song “The Ways” by Khalid & Swae Lee is a duet about this attractive woman over a moody trap beat. The track “Opps” by Kendrick, Vince Staples & Yugen Blakrok gets into the mind of criminals over a hip house beat while the song “I Am” by Jorja Smith gets insightful about change & how we aren’t meant to be free over a funk rock beat.

The track “Parademic!” by SOB x RBE is an eerie gangsta rap tune while the song “Bloody Waters” by Ab-Soul vividly talks from the point of view from an organized criminal over a kick-back beat. The track “King’s Dead” starts off with a eerie beat & while Jay Rock’s flow is absolutely deadly, but the Future bridge is so hilariously bad. However, they make up for it during the 2nd half when the beat switches into something more hard hitting & Kendrick comes in with an angry verse filled with references to the film’s antagonist Erik Killmonger.

After the “Redemption Interlude”, we then go into the actual song “Redemption” by Zacari & Babes Wudomo. Here, they get sexual albeit in an underwritten & generic fashion. The following song “Seasons Change” by Mozzy, Sjava & Reason talks about escape the ghetto over a somber yet reggae-infused instrumental. The penultimate track “Big Shot” by Kendrick & Travi$ Scott talks about the celebrity lifestyle & the flute sample that Cardo uses on here is absolutely beautiful. Also, I love how Kendrick reuses the first couple lines from his “New Freezer” verse for the hook. The soundtrack then finishes off with “Pray for Me, where The Weeknd & Kendrick talk about heroes burden over an electropop beat.

While I wouldn’t call this a future classic by any means, this is still a solid soundtrack album. It’s not too overproduced like many soundtrack albums nowadays, it’s well written & most of the performers do their thing

Score: 3.5/5

Justin Timberlake – “Man of the Woods” review

With his 37th birthday passing this Wednesday, former *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake is celebrating with his 5th full-length album. The opener “Filthy” is a sex tune over a messy, techno-pop instrumental from Timbaland & Danja. The next song “Midnight Summer Jam” gets celebratory over a funky instrumental from The Neptunes (who produced a bulk of the album surprisingly) with an acoustic guitar & some fiddles.

The track “Sauce” gets playful over a funk rock instrumental from Timbo & Danja while the title track is a dedication to his wife Jessica Biel over a Neptunes best with some rubbery bass along with a twangy guitar at the beginning that later progresses into something more funky. The song “Higher, Higher” talks about Jessica yet again over a guitar & the keyboards on here are vintage Neptunes. The track “Wave” sees JT basically telling Jessica to come away to an island with him over some acoustic guitars while the song “Supplies” talks about how they’ll be living like The Walking Dead over a sitar.

The track “Morning Light” is a duet with Alicia Keys about how they wanna spend 1 more night with each other over a smooth yet funky instrumental while the song “Say Something” is a decent country-rock duet with Chris Stapleton about being caught up in the music. After the “Hers” interlude, we then go into the next song “Flannel. However, it’s pretty much JT impersonating what sounds like if R. Kelly made a country ballad. The track “Montana” gets romantical over a vintage Neptunes beat with an acoustic guitar & the song “Breeze Off the Pond” uses nature similes over an instrumental that kinda reminds me of Pharrell’s last solo album G I R L.

The track “Livin’ Off the Land” talks about being a man doing his best over some predominant bass & twangy guitars. The strings near the end are nice touch as well. The penultimate track “The Hard Stuff” pretty much tells Jessica how much he loves her over a laidback country instrumental while the closer “Young Man” pays tribute to JT’s son Silas over a Timbo instrumental with mostly guitars & organs.

While it’s not even close to a Justified sequel or anything like that, I think this is big improvement over the 2nd disc of Justin’s last album The 20/20 Experience. The lyrics are mostly endearing & the production is funky as ever, but I should point out the fact that Justin incorporates more country elements on here & it actually works out pretty well given that he’s from Memphis. Sure it isn’t reinventing the wheel, but I really love hearing JT’s maturity on here

Score: 3.5/5

Mike Shinoda – “Post Traumatic” review


Mike Shinoda is a rapper from Agoura Hills, California best known for his work with LINKIN PARK. He put out a solo album called The Rising Tied under the name Fort Minor back in Late 2005, but the first project of his to be officially credited to his birth name comes in the form of a 3-track EP. The EP starts off with “Place to Start”, where he vents about being tired of fear & hopelessness over a settle instrumental. The next song “Over Again” sees Mike on the verge of tears paying tribute to his longtime LINKIN PARK co-vocalist Chester Bennington, who committed suicide in Late July of last year, over an electronic-esque instrumental. The closer “Watching As I Fall” talks about how distraught he is of Chester’s suicide over a dubstep-ish instrumental with some guitars thrown in. Going into this, I got EXACTLY what I was expecting. The production’s a lot darker than LINKIN PARK’s latest album 1 More Light (which I still consider to be the band’s worst album by the way) & it fits perfectly with Mike’s passionate delivered eulogy to Chester

Score: 4/5

Migos – “C U L T U R E II” review


Just the day before the 1 year anniversary of their sophomore album C U L T U R E, Atlanta trap trio Migos is celebrating by putting out the long-awaited sequel album to their last one. The album starts off pretty well with “Higher We Go”, which sees the trio talking about their staying power over a wavy trap beat from Metro Boomin’. The next song The next song “Supastars” talks about their lives now over a futuristic trap beat from Honorable C.N.O.T.E. & while the track “Narcos” does reflect on their drug dealing days, the production is so mediocre. The song “B.B.O. (Bad Bitches Only)” pretty much speaks for itself & the jazzy horns on here were a pretty nice touch.

The track “Auto Pilot (Huncho on the Beat)” brags about the lavish life over a video gamey trap beat from the trio’s standout member Quavo & while the song “Walk It Talk It” with Drake sends a message to all of their haters, the hook is super lazy. The track “Emoji a Chain” talks about being all decked out over a decent Metro Boomin’ beat & while the song “CC” with Gucci Mane is a futuristic sex tune, it deadass sounds like an unreleased Travi$ Scott song down to Quavo’s auto-tuned delivery. The song “Stir Fry” touch down on about their success over an infectious funk/trap fused instrumental from Pharrell & despite “Too Much Jewelry” having a nice verse from Takeoff & the Zaytoven production is pretty atmospheric, it’s not structured all that well. We should’ve gotten verses from Offset & Quavo right after because when Takeoff’s sole verse ends, we’re then lead into the hook alongside a robotic bridge from Quavo that’s hilariously bad & then a short interlude before going back to the hook to end the track.

The song “Gang Gang” is an ode to themselves with a settle trap beat from Murda Beatz while the track “White Sand” with Big Sean & Ty$ talks about the celebrity life over a mediocre video gamey beat from Wheezy. The song “Crown the Kings” talks about how they’re living the dream, but the only distinct characteristics about the instrumental is the faint “ Get Up, Stand Up” sample that’s buried in the mix along with piano that comes in around the second half. The track “Flooded” sounds like a murkier, better structured version of “Too Much Jewelry” & the song “Beast” is pretty much a better version of “CC”.

The Cardo produced “Open It Up” is a sinister-sounding banger about their drug dealing past & despite “Motor Sport” being a pretty decent tune to cruise around to from all 3 members’ flows to the laidback beat from Murda Beatz & Cubeatz, the guest verses from Cardi B & Nicki Minaj ruin it for me. The track “Movin’ Too Fast” talks about their drug dealing lives over a gloomy Quavo instrumental isn’t too bad & the song “Work Hard” talks about their work ethics over a moody beat.

The track “Notice Me” talks about their new lives yet again over a laidback beat & the song “Too Playa” with 2 Chainz is a boastful look into the celebrity lifestyle over a somewhat jazzy trap beat. The song “Made Men” talks about their success over a mellow instrumental & the penultimate track “Top Down on da NAWF” reflects on their younger days in Northside Atlanta over an atmospheric beat. The album then closes with “Culture National Anthem”, which surprisingly gets conscious over a piano-trap beat.

To be quite honest, I’m pretty disappointed in this. There are definitely highlights on here but the final product here is so bloated, that the album becomes an inconsistent listen from start to finish. It’s definitely more listenable than the new Chris Brown album Heartbreak on a Full Moon or even the Control the Streets compilation that Quality Control Music (to which Migos are signed to) dropped last month but if they kept 12 tracks for the album & saved the other 12 in the vault, then I’d enjoy it a lot more than what we really got

Score: 2/5

Evidence – “Weather or Not” review


A little over 4 years since his magnum opus Cats & Dogs, Dilated Peoples member Evidence finally delivering his 3rd full-length solo album & his 2nd with Rhymesayers Entertainment. The album starts off with “The Factory”, where he tells you that you’re rocking with the west over an eerie boom bap beat. The next song “Throw It All Away” gets inspirational over a somber beat from The Alchemist while the track “Powder Cocaine” sees him & Slug talking about internal conflict over a mellow vocal sample. The song “Jim Dean” vents about a slew of things to the listener over a boom bap beat from Nottz while the title track brags about his rapping prowess over a DJ Babu instrumental with some strings & explosive drums.

After the “Moving Too Fast” interlude, we then go into the next track “Runners”. Here, Ev & Defari go back & forth in battle rap mode over an explosive beat with a nice soul sample. The song “Bad Publicity” is another humble brag with some semi-dinky keys & hard hitting drums while the track “Rain Drops” gets insightful over a meditative instrumental. The song “Sell Me This Pen” sees the Step Brothers & Mach-Hommy talking about their talents over an eerie beat while the track “Love’s a Funny Thing” is Ev linking up with Rapsody & Styles P to talk about love over a boom bap beat with twinkling piano keys .

The song “10,000 Hours” touches down on his come up in the game over a gritty beat from none other than DJ Premier while the track “What I Need” gets reflective yet ambitious along with wanting to be remembered over a laidback beat. The song “To Make a Long Story Longer” continues talking his about his come-up over an explosive boom bap beat & the Jonwayne verse was just as much of an intriguing story. The penultimate track “Wonderful World” sees Ev & Rakaa getting on the motivational tip over an organ-laced boom bap beat & then the closer “By My Side Too” is an endearing soulful ode to his son & his breast cancer surviving wife.

So with the first month of 2018 drawing to close, Evidence does it justice by providing a serious contender for Best Album of the Year. It stays just as consistent as the predecessor throughout it’s 56 minute runtime, the production is organic of course & Evidence staying as equally focused along with pouring his heart out on just about every single track

Score: 4/5

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


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

Drake – “Scary Hours” review


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