Kirko Bangz – Progression V: Young Texas Playa Review

This is an average mixtape with some very average tracks, but some stand out from the others. Most of the project is fairly forgettable but some get stuck in your head and once their stuck in their, they are stuck in for a while.

The production is good but doesn’t stand out as a great asset to the mixtape. The beats do go well with Kirko’s style on this project, but it doesn’t have that wow factor that makes them great tracks in comparison to mearly good ones, or even forgettable ones. It needs a bit more punch to take it to the next level.

The lyricism is alright but there is a lot of singing type lyrics which can be hard to stay interested in if your looking for wordplay. Many of the hooks and even some verses are sung and detract somewhat from the verses where the lyricism is more present. The verses have some shining moments but a lot of the mixtape is generic which is unfortunate.

The features are good, but make Kirko seem ordinary by coming across much stronger than he does. They are strong points on the project and do really well in showcasing their own talents, while unfortunately showing that Kirko appears to just be going through the motions on this one.

Overall, this is not a great mixtape and show that Kirko may need to put some more effort into future efforts if he wants to keep his audience interested. More punch from the production and from his lyrics will make him seem like a much more appealing artist.

Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint Review

This is a pop album with definite Hip Hop roots. While Nicki is known to the general public for her hit pop songs, this project shows she has the lyrical ability to be playing around with some of the Hip Hop heavyweights. However the number of tracks trying to appeal to a wider audience stops this from becoming a purely Hip Hop project.

The production is good and works well with Nicki’s flow. The beats are very well put together and are very modern in sound. This helps enforce the feeling that Nicki is at the forefront of Hip Hop culture and builds atmosphere on the tracks. However it would be interesting to see Nicki try to tackle production with a bit more diversity away from pop culture and more to the streets.

The lyricism is there and is done very well. While not the most complex it is very effective in creating entertaining songs that are easy to listen to and have some good imagery to go with them. Nicki changes her style a couple times which helps to bring a higher level of depth to the project and makes it more enjoyable to listen to.

The features are good and help add some flavour to the mixing pot. Bringing the A-list to this project helps show that Nicki is amoung the elite in the rap game, however also bringing her label mates and rappers who she has good chemistry with makes more cohesive tracks. All of this points towards a good track list and a smooth listen.

Overall, this is a good project if you like Hip Hop music that is blended with pop to create a project that could appeal to both audiences. This is an enjoyable listen and while not being a purist Hip Hops ideal project, it can still be enjoyable.

Paul Cain – Long Live The Cain Review

This is a good reminder about Paul Cain’s existence in Hip Hop but it would be good to see more from him. Having not released a full length album as he mentioned on this project, he does show he can rap and rap well, however limited the content may be.

The production is good and makes the project easier to listen to. The beats blend well into Cain’s vocals and help to create tracks that become easier to listen to. Some modern sounds in some retro patterns help to make this a more enjoyable listen than just using more basic beats.

The lyricism is alright but is more sentenced on performance than actual wordplay. The delivery is strong and powerful and this helps to make the average lyricism seem better and helps show Cain as a good rapper, which he undoubtedly is. However he may be considered a great rapper if he upped the complexity level of his wordplay.

The features are good and help to give an extra edge to the level of diversity on the mixtape. Cain is a good rapper but it is good to hear some other voices when Cain has such a low natural pitch that it can sometimes become monotonous. They have some good lyrical abilities and help bring new levels of depth to the mixtape.

Overall, this is a short and cohesive mixtape but needs some fresh content. Cain may also want to play more of a lyrical game and get more of his old acquaintances involved to help build more atmosphere on the tracks.

Mike Will Made It – Ransom Review

from a production point of view, this is a good mixtape, but the combination of featured artists and its tending for the tracks to lack any real flare. The artists lack the touch that makes each track want to be listened to and instead there is a string of mediocre songs that make up a majority of a twenty track project.

The production is fantastic and is the best part of the project. As Mike is a producer then this is a great point and the standard doesn’t drop below very good. The beats also have a signature sound that helps Mike stand out against other producers. However with the features on the tracks don’t totally do justice to the quality of the production.

The features are alright overall, but some are clearly not as good as some others. The more high calibre features do very well crafting superior tracks that have great energy and atmosphere. Unfortunately these are few and far between and there are more tracks to play through than to get excited by. This cuases a boring listen for anyone interested in lyricism and Mike may need to be a bit more careful of who he lets on his projects.

Overall, this has a few good tracks but has a lot of other tracks to shift through before you can pick them out. If the project had been cut a bit shorter and been more cohesive then it would have been a better mixtape. As it stands it is too long and too much hard work.

Kevin Gates – Luca Brasi 2 Review

This is a great mixtape and has everything that a project needs to be considered a classic. It has range, wordplay, a great delivery and a good theme running through it. This is a great work of Hip Hop and should be listened to by everyone and Kevin Gates is shown as a great force in the rap game.

The production is good while being dark and gritty. This fits with the running theme and helps to build the atmosphere on the project to make it more enjoyable and enthralling. The beats cause the listener to be sucked into a monochrome world of gangsters and the streets and it is a fantastic listen through.

The lyricism is very good and clear on every track. Gates does well when it comes to storytelling on some of the tracks and does well to relate to his own experience on other songs. He weaves these moments together to create a flowing track list that is an easy and enjoyable listen that is worth more than one listen.

The features are good and help bring the mob feeling to the mixtape. This is good since the mixtape is named after a mobster. They help to bring out a more cohesive project, since they break up the monotony of one voice, and help add depth to an already fairly deep mixtape.

Overall, this is a very good mixtape that should be commended for pretty much every aspect of rap and Hip Hop. Fans of rap, Hip Hop or Kevin Gates should give this album a chance as it will soon become one of you more played projects of recent years.

YG – Blame it on the Streets Review

This is a nice short album to remind people that YG is one of the new generation of rappers who shows real promise to keep West Coast Hip Hop alive. This album has a fair amount of throwback value to YG’s debut album “My Krazy Life” which is a good as that was also a good album. However with some repeat songs it can become difficult to really enjoy if you have heard “My Krazy Life” enough times.

The production is good and enjoyable for most listeners as it is very much in the style of popular Hip Hop producer DJ Mustard who has been known to craft some of the biggest hits of 2014. The range is good with some more energetic tracks mixed with an acapella freestyle and an acoustic cover of one of his previous songs. It is a nice blend of styles and flows which create a very diverse album.

The lyricism is good as the freestyle especially shows that YG can rap without the song being held up with the beat. It is clever in most places and where it isn’t, it is kept simpler to help get the point across. This helps YG to create a lot of imagery and show how he has grown as an artist since his debut album dropped earlier in the year.

The features are good but may not always be discernable from one another as some have similar voices. This is not a big problem but with so many features on so few tracks, it can start to feel less like YG’s album and more like a free for all. This doesn’t mean the features aren’t enjoyable though and they definitely help shape the tracks on the album with different pitches and some singing used to add more depth.

The other big thing about this album is it comes with a half an hour short film written and starring YG with the music being used from the songs on the album as well as some from his debut. This increases the entertainment value of the album as a different form of media helps to stimulate the listener and helps to show life from YG’s point of view.

Overall, this is a good pit stop on the way to a more streamlined and cohesive album but is still very enjoyable. The songs mixed with the short film can show YG in many lights ad helps to get his messages across better.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Review

Once it is worn in, this is a very comfortable pair of shoes. However up to that point they can be uncomfortable as they are of sturdy construction and need to be flexed a bit to become a bit more malleable and conform a bit more to the foot.

To start the silhouette is quite narrow to begin with so getting it on for the first time can be quite difficult. However this can be solved by loosening the laces, even though the laces can be tricky to loosen in the first place as they seem almost stuck in place. After a couple times of wearing them, this goes away a bit but they stay fairly stiff.

Even with this, when they are on, they are still comfortable and can be worn for a long time without getting sore feet. The high top is also helpful because it helps to support the ankle and is a little padded to give extra comfort. However the high top is one of the reasons the shoe can be tricky to get onto the wearer’s feet.

Overall, this is a comfortable shoe that takes some getting used to, but as a piece of Jordan Brand history coming up on its thirtieth anniversary, this could be a great buy. If your a collector, this is a must buy and if your a sneaker afficianado, the same applies.

Edai 600 – Koopa The King Review

This is another generic trap mixtape with all the generic features to go with it. Repetitive hooks, average auto tune and same as everyone else content keep this from being a better project. Edai 600 needs to separate himself from the pack to have any mainstream success.

The production is good, but needs to be broken up more instead of just being played through as this becomes boring and makes the tracks much less entertaining. Each song has a very similar sounding beat and it could easily become difficult to tell them from one another, apart from some changes in the lyrics.

The lyricism is not good, but does exist. There is some attempt at wordplay and other lyrical devices, but they aren’t frequent or good enough to make this even close to appealing to lyrical rap fans. Edai 600 needs to up his lyrical game if he wants to compete with the current rap elite.

The features are alright but are in the same vain as Edai 600 so also become marred in repetitive and uninteresting lyrics. Each one sounds different in voice from Edai 600 but use the same techniques and rap more generic content which doesn’t improve the track they are on. Infact, it just shows how average Edai 600 is.

Overall, this is not a great project or a good one, but simply a reminder that not all rappers can make audience for the masses, but can make one type of music that will appeal to one group. This is an average project that you may listen to once but not again after that.

Kurupt – Kurupt’s Moon Rock Review

This is a good mixtape to let the world know that Kurupt is still very lyrical and can still make good music. A lot of the tracks are well trodden content but Kurupt keeps it entertaining and it has a lot of re-play value. And with a Kendrick Lamar song on the end dedicated to Kurupt helps to solidify the latter as a legend.

The production is good and is reminiscent of the G-Funk era of Hip Hop. It keeps things bouncy and energetic while being engaging and making the listener want to keep listening. There is a range of different beats helping to be more of an open palette for Kurupt to express himself.

Lyrically, Kurupt is still on point and does well in his endeavours to showcase his excellent talents. His wordplay is smart and is littered throughout the tracks and helps with the imagery which is an important part of rap. Kurupt has had a long career and his abilities look like they haven’t dipped a bit.

The features are good and do well to mix with Kurupt’s own style. They help add some additional depth to the mixtape as they help to break up the monotony of one voice through a whole project and gives additional points of view to each track. A good repertoire of names helps boost how many people may sit up and take notice.

One down point of this album is DJ Julio G and his interludes. It is good he helped Kurupt put this together, but his interludes are the same each time, or very similar, and it detracts from any track he may appear on.

Overall, this is a good mixtape and can be enjoyed by most. Kurupt is his spectacular self and the beats help him to do so. If you enjoy an older style of Hip Hop, then this is definitely something to at least look into. If your looking for something entertaining and energetic, this is also the project for you.

J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive Review

This is an emotional roller-coaster of an album. It explores a lot of what people can go through in their lives as a whole as well as in their day to day experiences and this makes for an album that really connects with the listener. It is cohesive and all works together well as an overall project.

The production is amazing and really draws the listener in. It creates the perfect atmosphere on each song and helps to boost the message of each track to get the point across better. It all flows very easily together and isn’t jagged or shifting. Instead it runs smoothly and is a joy to listen to.

The lyricism is clever and has a lot of re-listen ability. Cole masterfully shapes his lyrics into very smart story telling rhymes and witty wordplay. Cole does a great job at staying on point in the songs and making powerful messages in songs, which is also true for this project.

With no features to compare to, Cole does a great  job of shouting out everyone who helped to make this project on the last track where after the first three minutes, leads to him joking around and thanking everybody. He says it is like “the credits rolling” and it is like that if the credits were amusing and made you want to keep listening.

Overall, this is a great album which can be listened to over and over again as it is so easy to listen to while still being engaging to the listener. This is a great feat for Cole and for his Dreamville label as he shouts them out in the “credits” on the album. If you are a fan of Hip Hop, get this album.