Ab-Soul – Do What Thou Wilt Review

This release shows more of his lyrical talent and emotions than his last release which shows him in a series of different lights. His musical skill is fantastic and this project will help secure his place as a great wordsmith.

The production is great because it keeps the project flowing without overriding the actual rhymes. Each leaves space to manoeuvre as Soul requires with his unique flow. Maybe some more energetic offerings might show a more complete picture of Ab-Soul, but these beats all go well with the messages he is putting across.

The lyricism is strong with each song benefiting from the flow and delivery, as well as the wordplay. Ab-Soul paints vivid pictures and tells good stories with his bars, and shows a lot of dexterity. Possibly some more aggressive emotion would show a more whole human being, but Soul does a great job reflecting on this side of his.

The features are great as it helps bring new characters into this story.. Each has a good effort that shows their skills as well as helping this project to stay cohesive. With some singers in the mix, this is a good guest selection to have.

Overall, this release is great as a listen through as well as an emotional roller coaster for Ab-Soul. Hopefully he can take a good spot in the charts with this release to get more recognition than he is currently getting.

Various Artists – The Hamilton Mixtape Review

This release is incredible. Everyone knows how great the songs from Hamilton are, and letting these artists re-imagine them shows that they work as more than story telling devices in the show.

The production is great with some of the original Broadway backings used so the artists can give their own impression or interpretation of the originals. Where new songs have been created or tweaked, there are no missteps and actually helps keep the listen through fresh. This is a clever re-imagining of an already successful show and should help bring even more attention to it.

The lyricism is fantastic as Lin-Manuel crafted stunning rhymes from the original used in a lot of the tracks here. The new lines are all amazing with fantastic imagery and passion put into the messages of the songs. These tracks are put together with such a close eye on the precision of the craft that each of these feels almost brand new, despite there already being versions of a lot of them.

The selection of artists on here are fantastic. Each compliments the part they play on here in style and fits the need of the track perfectly. There are no problems at all with these features.

Overall, this is a really incredible showing of not only the talent of the artists, but how to put a release together. Lin-Manuel had a bright future after the musical release, but this will help solidify him as a future for music everywhere.

Black Milk And Nat Turner – Sunday Outtakes Review

This release is an instrumental collection of six small tracks that are somewhere between easy listening jazz and scattered sounds. There is a song for every occasion, but it is not as cohesive as one might wish it to be.

The actual beats are sporadic in length and in goal. Each one is different from the others but for some that means they are smooth and others are a variety of noise and sounds that accompany the title of improvised jazz. While that could be what they were going for, it breaks up the cohesiveness of the album.

Some attempts at lyricism may have helped to save that cohesiveness, but might not have created the project the artists wanted to make. The title suggests that these are not the beats they wanted for a full length release but were good enough to see the light of day. Hopefully they are working on something in the future that will have words to pull it together.

Overall, this release is hopefully a taster of things to come, but with some more substance. Both Black Milk and Nat Turner should learn from this release and power on to a full length release, but please have lyrics in it.

AJ Tracy – Lil Tracy EP Review

This EP is a good showing of the talents that AJ Tracy possesses. He picks a good selection of beats as well as using his solid rhyming skills to keep his core audience wanting more.

The production is great with plenty of energy to keep the momentum pushing through all six tracks. They are each strong and could stand on their own without my assistance from other artists. Maybe trying something a little less grimey could show more diversity.

The lyricism is good with Tracey using his wordplay with his delivery for interesting results. The bars are fast paced and his unique tone helps keep his rhymes fresh. However, while repetition does help to make songs more memorable, more than maybe a couple lines used over and over to make one hook might make impact.

Overall, with the features doing well, this is a very good showing for AJ Tracey. He could experiment with a few other styles of rap music, but he knows what works for him and how to do it with great effectiveness.

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!” Review

This release is not a rap release, but it is extremely enjoyable. Childish Gambino explores his talents away from rap and pours more soul into the tracks.

The production is great with the backings being smooth with unusual sounds to make them fresh and interesting. Each beat is individual and is easy listening, with no effort to get through the whole project. Some more hip hop style beats could open this up to his previous audiences, but he makes some great choice son this.

The lyricism is enjoyable but is not so complex as the singing ability takes precedent. His singing is actually good but his voice is not so powerful, which would explain why he allows it to flow and mix with the backings so much. While this is effective, it would be nice to hear him use what he is already known for to his fans to keep his core audience listening.

Overall, with no features on the project, this is an experimental leap for Childish Gambino as he aims to end 2016 on a high. this is a great non-rap album that is smooth and easy listening.

D.N.A – Silver Cup Review

This is a more than solid release from one of the worlds best known battle rappers. DNA puts on for his city as well for battle rappers everywhere.

The production is good with a good variety of pace and atmosphere to help show more than one side of DNA. The beats are smooth and don’t sound forced like it wasn’t organic in the making. With this selection, the listen through is enjoyable and is in no way work to get all the way through.

The lyricism is obviously incredible with DNA bringing his experience as a battle rapper to great effect. Each bar has some lyrical device in it and the ones that don’t have much more emotional impact. His performance on this is outstanding and should be recognised as so.

Overall, this is a great mixtape which shows that, as long as they have the passion and lyrical skills, anyone can make great music, including battle rappers. DNA is paving the way for a large group of talented individuals and it will be interesting to see what comes next.

G Herbo – Strictly 4 My Fans Review

This is a nice addition to G Herbo’s discography as it is personnal and passionate which resonates with the listener. More projects like this should be released, but with a touch more cohesiveness.

The production is strong with a lot of hard hitting notes punctuating the beats. There is a type of backing that G Herbo seems to lean towards but he works very well with it. Some variation wouldn’t go amiss to help make this feel more cohesive and not like more of the same, but there is still a solid entertainment factor.

The lyricism is good with a strong and aggressive delivery helping to make them even more enjoyable. The rhymes are clever but not so complex that they are not understood which is a great level of lyricism to be at. G Herbo could still tighten up his flow with the beats slightly, but he has a great performance here.

Overall, with the one feature helping show some level of chemistry with others in the hip hop world, this is good work from G Herbo. If he can show a bit more diversity with his beat selection and with his flow, he could make a real success out of next year.

Fliptrix -Patterns Of Escapism Review

This release helps to show that alternative rap has a place in hip hop. Fliptrix might not have made a perfect album, but it definitely shows he has talent.

The production is somewhat easy going with some higher energy elements to help carry it through. There are a lot of similarities between the songs which can lead to some of the tracks bleeding together slightly. That being said, there is a lot of difference between these beats and the majority of others that are out there right now, making this more of a stand out project.

The lyricism is good with clever wordplay and some changes in pace to keep a full listen through from getting boring. This project shows that Fliptrix can write bars but his delivery could do with something extra. Whether it is confidence or passion, his performance is slightly lacking in the star quality to be a mainstream success, but hopefully he will find it for his next release.

The features help to keep this project flowing with good performances, but some are a little too similar to the main artist to have a huge impact. The guests all write great verses but there appears to be a lack of chemistry with some of them and the performance aspect is very similar to Fliptrix. Some guests with less things in common may go a long way to lifting this album.

Overall, this is an entertaining release in bite size chunks, but can be hard work to get through all seventeen tracks. Fliptrix has some shining moments, but needs to try and make them more consistent if he wants to break into the mainstream.