T.I. – DIME TRAP Review

This is an amazingly complete release that somehow doesn’t quite gel together as smoothly as it feels it should. T.I. explores a lot of different things in this album, from how he cultivated the trap sub-genre to how his mistakes have led to a lot of problems in his personal life, that together create a complete picture of the man we know.

The production is great and does compliment the message on each song. Individually, the beats all work, but when you put them together as a full album listen to, they can come across as a bit choppy and it can make listening through the whole thing a small challenge. On the other hand, a lot of listeners will simply pick out their favorites, as is the current trend, so this is not a huge disadvantage.

The lyricism is good, with a lot of uptempo rhyming to help keep energy levels up. However, when on an emotional track, T.I. bears his soul to show his side of the story and show that he knows he is a human being and that he makes mistakes. However you slice it, his performance here is phenomenal.

The features do a great job of accentuating the song they are on as well as showing their own talent. There is a real combination of tough street efforts on top of softer singers to add an extra dimension to the project. The guest selection is excellent and are only additions to this album.

Overall, this is a strong album with a lot of strong performances. T.I. continues to be a staple in hip hop and will continue to be, while hopefully having less drama.

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Apollo Brown and Joell Ortiz – Mona Lisa Review

This project is a blend of smooth and soulful beats with passionate rhymes. Apollo Brown works wonders with the boards to make beautiful sounds that lift the rhymes from Ortiz to new heights on the emotional side.

The productions is incredible as Brown sculpts these tracks to amplify the rhymes, especially the emotional content, and keeps to the mission statement of the title, to be beautiful and mysterious just like the famous painting. There are still a few grittier offerings to make a more balanced release, but this is still one of the prettiest productions heard in recent times.

The lyricism is amazing as Joell Ortiz continues his run of lyrical dominance. Ortiz fills his words with emotion as well as true confidence in his words as he goes deep into his feelings and psych for content. Ortiz will continue to stun with his descriptive and storytelling ability if he can continue to push with these efforts.

The decision to only have a couple of features was smart as the project is not particularly long and the artists don’t want to detract from their own efforts. That being said, both the guests do a great job of adding to the songs they are on, with one on the production and the other with vocals. It will be interesting to see who both artists choose to collaborate with in the future with this release behind them.

Overall, this is a very creative album that both artists should be extremely proud of. With a wave of drug promoting, hard hitting records, it is refreshing to see a pair of veterans put their effort into something a little different.

Bun B – Return Of The Trill Review

This is a great album from a veteran artist, showing that he still has a lot of talent behind the mic. Bun B has crafted a release that will resonate with a lot of listeners as having a lot of classic feel, but with a modern twist.

The production is great and works extremely well with Bun B’s rap style and tone. There is a lot of flavour in each beat and each backing creates the right atmosphere for the song. Maybe a few more softer offerings could make this feel a little more complete for some, but this is still a great listen when it comes to the production.

The lyricism is great, not the most complicated, but very enjoyable. Bun B has a unique vocal tone that exacerbates the impact of the rhymes and makes them much more entertaining. A little more experimentation with flow and complexity could show a little more willing to grow as an artist, but Bun B has certainly carved out his own lane here.

The features are great as each does a great job of showing their own capabilities as well as adding to the cohesiveness of the track list. All the guests fit perfectly into the song they are on and only bring positives to this project. It is possible that a few moresingers could add another dimension, but the guests on here are exactly what was needed for these particular songs.

Overall, this is one of the strongest releases of the year so far. Bun B has done a truly fantastic job creating this album and hopefully listeners will recognize that.

Eminem – Kamikaze Review

This album is full of what listeners thought Revival was missing. Eminem packs it full of rhymes aimed at a huge portion of the rap world as a younger Shady would have. He has grown and matured, as Revival proved, but now they are taking him back to his beefing days and listeners should know from the past that he will not back down.

The production is high energy and is a good base for the bars over the top. Each sets the right tone for the song they are part of and gives them the edge they are looking for. It even has some softer moments that were unexpected given the drive behind this album, and all makes for a good listen.

The lyricism is as strong as ever with Eminem even playing with flow a little more too. His fast paced rhymes are filled with raging indictments of those who criticized his last album as well as himself as an artist. Even if you do not agree with his point of view, you have to admit that his actual skills and talent behind the bars are almost beyond compare.

The features are great and help give listeners another piece of the puzzle they thought was missing from his previous release. They each show a lot of talent and add another dimension to the project. The guest selection on this is strong and it will be interesting to see who Shady will work with in the future.

Overall, this aggressive release might be considered a fail by some for the drive behind it and who he takes aim at, but this is a reflection of how his previous project was received so he has simply switched his approach and given the listeners what they wanted.

Eminem – Revival Review

While not reviewed at the time, this album is important to the newest Eminem album review, so this release has been revisited.

A lot of people think that this is a bad album, but that has been misconstrued. This album is full of personal growth that is only natural considering how long Eminem has been rapping for. He is not the same angry young man, until everyone set him off over this.

The production is not as grimy and aggressive as previous releases, but that is the point. The atmosphere created by the beats fits the message of the songs well. The only issue really is that sometimes the backings are slightly too loud for the lyrics to be crystal clear, but this is not a huge issue.

The lyricism is amazing with Eminem keeping up his absolute top level lyrical wit and skill. Instead of using his talent to describe violent scenarios, he puts them to work with more conscious rhymes and more emotional story telling. Eminem does not miss a step and proves his pen is as sharp as ever.

The features are more pop centered on this album, but all contribute strongly. They all have a softer touch to add to the messages on this as well as reinforcing the same messages as well. A few more rap features could appease more of the masses, but might take from what this album is trying to say.

Overall, this is an album that was released to try to show the world that Eminem was stepping up and was trying to tell America something and instead all that people seemed to take from it was that he has grown as a human being and that they don’t like that. Eminem was right to release a follow up scathing people’s responses.

Tragedy Khadafi And BP – Immortal Titans Review

This release is great for both Tregedy and BP. The project shows why they have both been in the industry for so long and have no plans to leave.

The production is fantastic, with a lot of old flavour. There is a real classic feel to these songs as they stick to the atmospheres that helped build their careers. Maybe something further from their comfort zone could show how they are growing as artists, but the selection here does compliment the style of the artists.

The lyricism is amazing with plenty of wordplay to keep this entertaining. In every bar you can hear the passion that has kept these two in hip hop for so long. A few switches in flow might help keep things exciting, but the impact from the performances is enormous.

The features all do well with their contributions. Each shows their own skills and helps the tracks play through with a lot of cohesiveness. Some more singers could add a fresh dimension but might not give the right feel for the two main artists.

Overall, this is a strong project for both Tragedy and BP. Both have done great and hopefully they will take this quality forward onto their next ventures.

AD – Regional Departure Review

This release shows a willingness for AD to expand beyond his local territory. This is a great project that proves that AD is a talent to stay.

The production is smooth and expansive. Each beat leaves a lot of room for the artists on it to flex their skills and lets the flavour of the artists add to the backings. Maybe a few more songs with a few different influences could show a little more growth, but AD has a strong selection here.

The lyricism is not overly complicated but has a lot of impact with the delivery. AD does well to pick strong production that accentuates his performance. He has good wordplay, but a little more complexity would not go amiss.

The features all help to keep this project rolling smoothly on. They all show talent in their ability and keep this release being cohesive. A few more singers might give this another edge to praise, but the guests on this are a solid group.

Overall, AD should be very happy with this as it is another stepping stone to greater success. This should make more listeners take notice of the west coast rhymer and appreciate his skills.