Royce Da 5’9 – Book Of Ryan Review

This album feels like a continuation into Royce’s life that he started on “Layers”. Full of emotions, stories and clever rhymes, this is a masterpiece of music.

The production is amazing. There is a lot of different beats on offer and all help add up to a cohesive listen. There are some missteps where some songs try to cater for specific times and/or places like the club, but it is not like they do not fit the message of the track still.

The lyricism is fantastic as Royce continues to flaunt his incredible ability. The wordplay is smart and adds a level of detail to the anecdotes and helps expand the messages of the songs to bigger proportions. There are no complaints about Royce’s performance on this project as it is this ability that has allowed him to continue despite a few problems earlier in his career.

The features are great and show how a combination of A-List and lesser known artists can come together and create great tracks. Each does astonishing work showing their own skills as well as building upon the work Royce has already put down. There is also a good blend of singing to rapping to help give an extra edge to the project.

Overall, this release is the project that Royce needed to capitalise off the momentum gained from his last releases. Including his work as various duos and groups, this is the peak of his rap career so far and it looks like he is only getting started.

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Styles P – G-Host Review

This release sounds as a Styles P album should. It has every element of street life involved in it and plays through like a reflection on his own life.

The production is fascinating, with gritty street beats thrown in with some slower, more emotional offerings. This helps give a complete feel to the album, rather than focusing on one element and losing a chunk of his potential audience. Styles P excels over these offerings, some might want to see him try something different from what he already knows, but the beat selection here shows some clever thinking and should be celebrated.

The lyricism is good, with a lot of impact in the delivery. Styles P has a signature tone that helps distinguish him from others on the tracks, as well as increase the potency of the words. While his performance here is fantastic, it would still be nice to see P try some more lyrical acrobatics.

The features are all incredible and help add new levels to the songs. With the combination of other rappers and heavy assistance from one particular artist for singing, the cohesion between tracks is amazing. Maybe slightly more variety in singers and an appearance from his LOX colleagues would be great, but Styles P has more more smart choices here again.

Overall, this is a milestone for Styles P as his followers wont be able to keep away. Every track here speaks to a lot of people and is worth the attention of all hip hop fans.

Prof – Pookie Baby Review

This is a nice addition to Prof’s catalog and shows a fair amount of versatility on his part. While Prof does well when rapping he has a lot more memorable hooks to help give an extra edge to his performance.

The production is great and actually really helps to pull the project together. It is energetic and captures the essence of the tracks perfectly. Maybe something slower could give a slightly more rounded listen, but might ruin the cohesiveness of the tracks.

The lyricism is great, with Prof doing a lot of verbal acrobatics and trying his hand at singing too. While his wordplay is good, his delivery helps to elevate it to another level. With his diversity with these performances, there is no problem with Prof on this project.

The features really help to build the tracks they are on. The tracks in question tend to be the more emotional where extra voices are needed to show other sides of the story. Some other rappers could show how Prof works in a more competitive environment, but this selection works well for the songs they are on.

Overall, this release shows that Prof can and is still putting out quality music. Hopefully this release will help put him in more peoples headphones.

E-40 & B-Legit – Connected And Respected Review

This release shows a couple of Veteran rappers who show that they are not going anywhere soon. Both E-40 and B-Legit show their signature styles on here and the chemistry between them is obvious and makes greats tracks.

The production is classic bouncy west coast. There is nothing about the backings to this that doesn’t sound immediately from that area and it fits perfectly. Something that doesn’t fit this formula would automatically feel out of place so it makes sense to make the best of what they know.

The lyricism is punchy but does rely on delivery. The wordplay is still good and is very enjoyable, but don’t expect the most complex lyricism from the artists here. The performance factor is important but there is still no disappointment from either E-40 or B-Legit.

The features help to add some fresh voices and show more talent from some lesser known artists. Each shows their own talents while adding more cohesion to the album. Maybe some singing could help add another level, but may not be in keeping with the project.

Overall, this is a fantastic album for those who still strive for more of a taste of the west coast. E-40 and B-Legit both show continued strength in the rap game and should continue to show how strong the veterans of hip hop are.

Dr Octagon – Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation Review

This release is a nice throwback to the boom bap era with a lot of excellent features. All three members do great jobs to ensure this is an excellent project.

The production is steller with a lot of different backings that are different from the mainstream offerings. The creepy offerings fit with the slightly off, almost uncomfortable, rhythm to make enjoyable but also somewhat chilling tracks. Something a little smoother could make something a bit more universal, but that is not what this album is about.

The lyricism is fantastic with the delivery amplifying the results. Each line is crafted to use creative devices for smart wordplay that fits with the atmosphere of the track. There are no issues with this performance as it is entertaining while remaining unique.

The guests do good work, even if they only appear on one track. The song shows a lot of cohesion between the artists and that they can work well with others as well as among themselves. Some more features could help build the cohesion a little more, but the group does such good work on the song that other voices may not be necessary.

Overall, this is a fantastic album that shows that this talented trio can all make great music after all these years. Kool Kieth, Dan The Automater and DJ Qbert should all be proud of this release and continue to pursue their endeavors for their fan base, whether together or apart.

CZARFACE & MF Doom – Czarface Meets Metal Face Review

This release is another strong showing from both MF Doom and the members of Czarface. Each shows their own skills while keeping the project cohesive.

The production is amazing with the flavour of the previous Czarface albums still very much front and center throughout the whole album. Each track has a good atmosphere that helps lend itself to the way the project plays through. Maybe something further from the comfort zone might help stop this formula becoming stale in the future, but it is still effective now.

The lyricism is great with a lot clever wordplay and versatility through all the different voices. Each lyricist has their own style that keep the songs feeling fresh. There are no issues with how they perform on this project, but maybe switching up the flows might help push the boundaries a little further.

The features all do a great job of fleshing out this project. The chosen guests all have great talents and fit in very well with the Czarface narrative. maybe some more singers could add another dimension, but this all plays out especially smoothly as it is.

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Czarface catalog and a good showing of skill from MF Doom. Hopefully they continue this relationship and keep making this sort of music.

Tech N9ne – Planet Review

This release shows that while Rap may be a younger mans game, some titans work ethic will prevail. Tech N9ne has put the work in for a lot of years and with his twentieth release, returns to some of the best rhyming of his life.

The production is great with a lot of energy and perfect atmosphere where needed. Each song has a beat that responds well to the overall message being sent by the artists and helps build a cohesive listen. This selection of backings lends itself to a variety of content that stops the release becoming stale.

The lyricism is, unsurprisingly, sharp as ever. Tech N9ne doesn’t miss a trick and fills this project with clever lines and punches that show he has worked hard on his craft which has made him the number one independent rapper in the world. It is great to see him living up to that title.

The features all do a great job of helping to flesh this out and make it stand tall. Every one of them shows their particular skill sets and does the job that helps build the track they are on as well as keeping a high level of chemistry. A few more singers could have brought that dimension more to the foreground but there is still a good balance of guests overall.

In conclusion, this is a great album. Sure there are a few missteps, but no artist is perfect and Tech N9ne is as close as any other rapper when it comes to technical ability as well as core followings.