Leaf Dog – Dyslexic Disciple Review

This release is a good showing of UK alternative rap with a lot of solid aspects with a lot of carry over to other genres. Leaf Dog is leading the way to making this alternative a mainstream.

The production is great as it is catchy, bouncy and keeps the energy flowing through the project. Each beat is individual and doesn’t get confused with each other and the use of different influences is clear on each one. None of these fit any mainstream formula which shows that not all artists are in rap to be in the public eye and that their integrity is important to them.

The lyricism is very interesting with great wordplay, but a flow that can sometimes become stale. The actual rhymes are fantastic with a lot of imagery and similes, but the way Leaf Dog seems to go to the same rhythm and without a lot of variation in flow. Pushing himself a little out of his comfort zone could go a long way.

The features are good but don’t provide a lot of diversity in their performance. They do a good job of fleshing out their verses, but sound similar to Leaf Dog, apart from the last song, so it can be difficult to separate them out. Something further from his comfort zone, once again, could add some more edge to the album.

Overall, this is an enjoyable release that is entertaining to listen through. It is not breaking any boundaries, but it is leading alternative rap out into the wider audience a little more.

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Playboi Carti – Playboi Carti Review

This release shows that in these modern times, the beats make the product. Playboi Carti doesn’t do a bad job, but it can be repetitive and sounds similar to a lot of artists out at the moment.

The production is interesting with a lot of potential while sounding sonically pleasing. There are a lot of low tone noises to contrast to Carti’s singing and high tones, but not enough to make the tracks great. The backings are good canvas to paint on, but they aren’t strong enough to stand on their own.

The lyricism is not complex or complicated and comes across as basic. Carti seems to depend highly upon his delivery which also seems to rely on autotune. A bit more effort to layer his wordplay would go a long way.

The features break up the monotony, but most are still similar to Cardi’s own style. Each puts in a good effort but not all totally pay off. Something further from his comfort zone would create a lot more songs that would appeal to a wider audience.

Overall, this is a disappointing release that is absurdly average. Playboi Carti should look at his formula and modify it to push himself to do more and do better.

Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro Review

This is a very appealing shoe to wear out as it is iconic and eye catching. The different layers of the shoe wrapped around make for a great canvas for colours and different design elements.

The upper is made from softer material to allow for more comfort and different textures. The chunky midsole is great because there is plenty of cushioning as well as some support for the foot. The accents around the lace loops at the top are a distinct touch for the shoe and help identify it as a piece of basketball history.

The outsole is good because it gets plenty of traction while, like the midsole, has plenty of protection for the foot. The heel clip helps hold the shoe together while supporting a rubber grip that sticks up over the top to grab and assist putting the shoe on, which can be a struggle sometimes.

Overall, this is a great shoe for wearing around as it will catch a lot of eyes. However, it can be ill fitting because the upper is not so flexible to fit with the foot. A successful piece of footwear from the basketball legend.

Tinie Tempah – Youth Review

This release takes Tinie Tempah back to sounding like his hugely successful debut album. The sound on this may lean towards more pop sounds, but the content helps to keep one foot in his roots.

The production is great with a lot of smooth sounds making this feel very cohesive as a full listen through. There are a lot of beats that seem simple, but are very effective as they don’t overshadow the artists at any point and help them have a little more impact. Something a bit grittier could have helped bring in more of his underground followers, but that might be a little lost for a big gain.

The lyricism is great, with Tempah showing the skills that brought him to the forefront of UK rap in the first place. He has a lot of great rhymes that punctuate his descriptive terms well and that push his story telling to the next level. However he does have moments of simply repeating the same phrase which can let a song down in places.

The features all do a great job of showing the connections Tempah has in the music world. Each contributes with a solid verse or chorus that works beautifully with the project overall, The guest selection here is so diverse that there is nothing that could be done to improve it really.

Overall, this is a release to remind the world that Tinie Tempah can still make big hits. He does that while showing he also has a softer side and staying entertaining, which is no easy feat.

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN Review

This is a charged listen that should appeal to everyone. Kendrick Lamar spins great stories with very poignant messages while keeping an entertaining edge.

The production is different from what is out there currently, with less emphasis on polish and more on dynamic impact. Each beat is effective at creating the atmosphere for the point of each track. Kendrick has already shown that he can make polished tracks and it is interesting to see that this was designed to be gritty and not so finessed.

The lyricism is obviously amazing and Kendrick Lamar uses his impressive wordplay skills to embellish his stories. Each bar is layered with meanings and every lyrical device is included. There are no issues here with a varied delivery, interesting flow and great rhymes.

The features are good because they help bring another level to the album with fresh voices. Each does a good job of adding a new flavour to the track they are on and aiding in making this project more cohesive. Some more rap guests could have made a few more interesting moments, but Kendrick does so well that others might have brought the quality down.

Overall, this is a truly great release and will only have commercial success. Kendrick Lamar is doing a lot to shape the youth and is doing it in a very effective way.

Kodak Black – Painting Pictures Review

This release feels a little lazy and not as adult as it should have. The cover art is a good depiction of how this plays out, with a child’s view of themselves but without the finesse to make it work for the people viewing it.

The production is good, but nothing really stands out. The beats are all solid with a lot of potential, but they don’t leap out as the elite quality that is hoped for. Maybe something outside of Kodak Black’s comfort zone could help push him towards greatness.

The lyricism is alright, but gets very boring very quickly. Kodak Black sounds lazy through a lot of this and, even if that is the desired effect, the wordplay is not good enough to carry it along. More effort on both parts would help lift this album out of the murkiness that is the average.

The features are one of the strongest elements on this. With some top level guests, the verses and hooks provided are all of good substance and show that maybe Kodak Black is not as good as he might think. Looking to compete with his features more might make Kodak Black perform a little better.

Overall, this release was a bit of a let down and the title describes what the other children were doing. That may seem harsh, but a lot was expected of this album and it did not deliver.

Tech N9ne Collabos – Dominion Review

This album is fantastic as it shows that every member of Strange Music is not only talented, but works extremely well with the other members. Tech N9ne has built a strong house and will only continue to be a powerhouse in the rap game.

The production is incredible with a huge range of different beats to allow for an extremely diverse set of tracks. The backings each create the perfect atmosphere for the type of song that they are as well as blending together with a top level of cohesion. There are no problems with the production here and Strange Music should continue with this mentality.

The lyricism is amazing with every artist showing that they are as talented as their leader. Tech leads the way with plenty of examples of top quality wordplay and the rest of his troops fall in line with their own stunning displays. Each artist here does a really magnificent job here and proves that Strange music makes strong decisions about who they sign.

Overall, with every artist here being a guest and doing a great job, this release may be a bit of a long slog to the end, but the end result stays fresh with the switching artists making things interesting. The house that Tech N9ne built is a strong one and only continues to get stronger.