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.

Advertisements

Murs – A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable Review

This release is an excellent example of how to turn around a horrid point in life. After what Murs has been through, it shows incredible strength to not only stay a functioning person but to also be able to use it in their music? not many can utilise pain in this way, especially in such a cohesive and poignant album.

The production, handled exclusively by Michael “Sevens” Summers, fits perfectly with what Murs is saying on each song. The chemistry between this producer and rapper is crystal clear every second of this project and keeps it flowing nicely. With the wide variation of vibes here, there is not a lot that could be worked on.

The lyricism is amazing, with Murs showing his wordplay and also great story telling skills. Every line is crafted to work perfectly with the beat as well as the overall messages on the songs. Maybe a little more flow experimentation could make a little more excitement but there is no doubt that these are some fantastic performances from a true wordsmith.

The features all help to keep this fresh with additional voices to break up any monotony. All have top skills of their own and keep the quality high with their contributions. There is a slim chance that some more singers could give another softer edge, but Murs handles that on his own with the content.

Overall, this is a really amazing album that explores a lot of different feelings and shows that it is possible to keep living after a tragic event. Hopefully Murs continues to work on his music and personal issues so hip hop can continue to recieve these gifts of his.

PRhyme – PRhyme 2 Review

This is another strong release full of smart lyrics, enjoyable beats and poignant messages. While there is still a sense of fun, there are some important points made and both artists here do a great job showing their skills while getting them across.

The production is amazing and is entertaining to everyone. There are some good samples that are then flipped and turned into incredible backings that help keep the listener interested. DJ Premier continues to deliver his signature sound in ways that keeps the audience enjoying every second.

The lyricism is, of course, steller. Royce shows he is still a strong lyricist with examples of wordplay that keep Royce in contention for one of the best lyricists. He could have played around with his flow a little more, but he is well known for this style and exploits his creativity through it with ease.

The features do a great job of adding fresh voices to the tracks and enhancing the message given by them. Each brings a lot to the table and shows great chemistry with the rapper and producer. It would be nice to see Royce’s Slaughterhouse cohorts appear here but it is always nice to see that a member of a group doesn’t need to be propped up with them to make a great album.

Overall, this is a top release to show people that both artists are still forces to be reckoned with. Both should push forward with solo projects to continue to show those who have not heard of them why they should have.

Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap Review

This release is a true reflection of how talented Nipsey Hussle is as both an artist and a business man. Victory Lap is a perfect title to fit this as it shows not only the content of the music, but also how Nipsey has progressed in recent times.

The production on this is energetic and impactful. Each beat is full of classic west coast sounds that show that Nipsey is a strong representation of what the modern west coast sounds like. Something further afield then this signature sound might give an indication that Hussle is trying new things, but he knows what works well for him and uses this to pick backings that he is extremely effective over.

The lyricism is great with the delivery helping to boost the impact. The wordplay is fantastic and helps shows why Nipsey Hussle has such a loyal fan base in the first place. Maybe something with more of a story to tell would be interesting, to see how he would handle it, however he is definitely adept at using what made him a household name in the first place.

The features do a great job of adding their voices to the message of the track they are on. Each shows their own skills and passion for music while helping to build on Nipsey’s work on the song. Maybe a few more singers could add another dimension, but the guests all do fine work on this album.

Overall, this is an entertaining release that has plenty of replay value. Nipsey Hussle has had some great success and this should show that it isn’t fleeting.

Hopsin – No Shame Review

This album shows that Hopsin has a lot of technical ability but it would be nice to see him exploring more content. The whole album is based around one awful event but there is only so many times the listener can hear about it, despite how many different ways it is approached.

The production is amazing with plenty of energy and a variety of tempos to try and stop things becoming uninteresting. With the variation helping to stop things being completely stale, there is not a lot more that the beats could do to improve this project. On the other hand, this is full of classic Hopsin style beats and it would be nice to see him try something further from his comfort zone.

The lyricism is amazing with the multi syllable schemes doing a lot of the heavy lifting. The wordplay is also great and does lend quite a lot to the descriptive power of the story telling. The main issue is with content because, with all the different ways he approaches it, it can become repetitive and take from the impact of each track.

The features do add a little to the tracks they are on, but not enough to add to the album as a whole. Each does a good job of showing their own skill and assisting their own song, but not particularly helping with the overall narrative. Maybe a few more guests could bring a little more cohesiveness to the release.

Overall, this is a good album, but it isn’t great as it is missing a few distinct elements, namely songs for everyone to enjoy and not one song several different ways. Hopefully with some of his drama behind him, Hopsin can focus on new ventures and try to stay away form the past.

KXNG Crooked – Good Vs Evil II: The Red Empire Review

This is another steller release from KXNG Crooked as he continues to use his platform to share and explore his views on America as it stands today. He does all that while showing that he has not missed a step in all his years of being part of the industry.

The production is versatile and fitting for the different content and atmosphere in each song. While the album has some more energetic offerings as well as slowed down songs, every song flows together with ease and makes the listen through so easy. The collection of different feelings and vibes on this release make for a well rounded album that has plenty of replay value.

The lyricism is a masterpiece as well as a master class on how to put what you believe in and your passions into well crafted bars. KXNG Crooked has always been a top wordsmith, but he really pushes himself on this to show once again that he belongs amoung the absolute best. A lot of rappers today could learn a lot from this artist, from rapping and his business acumen.

The features do well to compliment the songs they are on. Each shows that the guest them self is talented but also shows good chemistry with Crooked and only adds to the track they are on. It would be interesting to see some more artists work with Crooked in the future, but this project feels balanced with this many guests to help lighten the load.

Overall, this is a release with great songs that will give the listener plenty to think about as well as a high level of entertainment value. KXNG Crooked should continue to educate the masses on what it means to be a questioning mind with a razor sharp tongue in this day and age.

Yelawolf – Trial By Fire Review

This album shows that Yelawolf has found the sound he has been striving for, that merges hip hop and country music. This combined with his storytelling and lyricism makes for an album that shows a much deeper side of the musical artist.

The production is amazing because it is established in the first track that there is a band actually playing the music with country elements. This combination of things helps to make each track have the perfect atmosphere for the message or story that the song requires. The range here is also incredible with deep or saddening songs as well as bright and energetic helping to stop this album becoming boring.

The lyricism is fantastic with Yelawolf using his own life experiences to flesh out the topics for the tracks. All the stories in this album are delivered exquisitely and the descriptive wordplay makes the listener feel the full force of the messages he is performing. With the variety of his flow helping to keep this cohesive, there is very little to complain about on this project.

The features help to add fresh voices and to add another dimension to the song they are on. Each one shows their own skills while building upon the story Yelawolf is telling. Maybe some bigger names, considering the label he is signed to, could have made some more interesting moments. On the other hand, the fact that Yelawolf doesn’t need many A List performers to make such a great release is a perfect reflection on how artists should see themselves which is as a competent enough performer to not seek as much help as they can get.

In conclusion, this album is the best Yelawolf album out yet as he seems to find his stride more and unveils more of himself on it. It could be difficult to find more material, but there is no doubt that Yelawolf is back on the path to greatness.