21 Savage – Issa Album Review

This release is good as a concept, but lacks the push to make it a success. 21 Savage starts off well, but runs out of steam towards the end with a few missteps along the way.

The production is great, with a more sweetened taste to it rather than the darker sounds some might have been expecting. Each beat has similar elements, but works well with Savage and his delivery. It is good that Savage is trying to spread his musical wings, and not straying too far from his musical roots is definitely a good choice.

The lyricism is alright, as Savage uses some wordplay for descriptive power. However, at a run time of fifty seven minutes or so, he does not have the depth in his rhymes to keep them hitting hard for the whole project. Some improvement, whether it be in changes of flow or lyrical prowess, would go a long way here.

Overall, with no features to help break up the monotony of 21 Savage’s drawling delivery, this shows some want not to be typecast as any one kind of rapper. However, some work is done as Savage sounds especially out of place on the love songs and some consolidation of album length would help too.

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JAY-Z – 4:44 Review

This release shows that it is possible for veterans to change up how they operate in the game and still be a success. JAY-Z sheds a little of his armour to shoe a more complex emotional side that resonates with the listener.

The production is much less in your face but without being less powerful. Each is different from the others but still projects the correct atmosphere to enhance the message of the artist. Maybe something with a little more flair could keep a little bit of the old Jay Z alive, but with the point of this album being to get rid of that alter ego, as shown by the first track, it was a good choice not to.

The lyricism is great with JAY-Z showing that while he may have grown as a person, he has kept all his rhyming abilities. Each bar impacts well with the audience, while containing plenty of smart wordplay to increase the descriptive power. Maybe something with more aggression could add another dimension to the album, but would not fit with the overall, running theme.

The features really help this to come to life with the voices of some of the people close to the main artist lending their help. Each helps enhance the song they are on while not detracting from Jay-Z’s performance. Some more guests could help to show his level of influence in the rap game, but Jay-Z has an agenda here and doesn’t allow others to jeopardise it.

Overall, this is a great piece of work to show where JAY-Z is in his life right now. There is always a chance for the resurrection of his old self, but hopefully he continues to move forward and doesn’t fall back.

Prodigy – Hegelian Dialectic (The Book Of Revelation) Review

This release shows how Prodigy is aware of issues happening today as well as his own status and his position to help change it. Before his untimely death, this was a good album to end with, even if he didn’t mean it to be his last.

The production is great with plenty of different atmosphere’s, reflecting the content with ease. Each track feels individual and the skits work well to help bridge the gaps between each one. The is a great selection of beats on this and only missing something with some pop flare, which Prodigy would not have wanted to be particularly near in the first place.

The lyricism is sharp and poignant, with the unique delivery giving each bar extra impact. With so many messages woven into each rhyme, the level of description and story still involved is incredibly high and Prodigy makes every word land heavily with the listener. maybe trying something further out of his comfort zone could show a little more growth, but Prodigy knew what he was doing when he put this together.

The choice to only have one feature was clever because the introduction of the skits into the album broke up the rapping nicely and didn’t require other voices to do so. The one guest does well to keep the message strong and display his own skills, not letting down the full listen through. It is possible that showing his chemistry with others may have improved these songs, but they are still amazing songs without other voices marring the point of each one.

Overall, this is another strong release from Prodigy and addition to his catalogue. He was taken too early from not only the Hip Hop community, but from this world and may he rest in peace.

JL – DIBKIS Review

This release is a great showing of skills for JL and helps put his name into the public eye. Each track shows a lot of talent from the artist and how he is developing in his music.

The production is energetic and dark in a lot of places. There are a lot of songs with deep atmospheres to delve into and helps to connect with the listener. Maybe some more lighter beats could help give a more balanced experience but this is still a great backdrop for the stylings of JL.

The lyricism is amazing with a lot of clever wordplay and fast paced rhymes to keep things interesting and exciting. JL does a great job of displaying a variety of abilities through out the songs, but his hooks can be a little repetitive. However, that is the only real issue with his performance on here.

The features do great of expanding upon JL’s performance to increase the entertainment value of each song. All the guests did a great job of showing how well they can rap and/or sing, and help build this project up to an even higher level. The guest selection on here fill the criteria but maybe something further from his comfort zone could add another dimension.

Overall, this is a very deep project that connects with the listener while giving them an energy boost to their day. JL is a fantastic member of Strange Music and proves it with this album.

MC Eiht – Which Way Iz West Review

This album is incredible as both MC Eiht and DJ Premier do exactly what they got famous for. Great cuts and killer bars make a wonderful west coast experiance.

The production is truly amazing with DJ Premier bring his substantial talents to the west coast flavour. His impressive use of scratching and samples makes a beautiful canvas for the artists to work over. There are no issues here as the expertise is clear here and makes for a great listen through.

The lyricism is great as MC Eiht weaves a great tapestry of description. His bars do a really great job of expressing his feelings and the development of the west coast sound. Maybe something a little more explosive with his delivery could have brought a little more to the table, but his wordplay goes a very long way.

The features are all great and lend a lot to the nostalgic feel. Each puts in a fantastic verse and helps to stop one voice from becoming boring. There are no issues with the guest selection as they fill the criteria perfectly.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable release and will be an essential for any west coast fans. MC Eiht and DJ Premier have made another quality project for both of their catalogues.

Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory Review

This is an enjoyable release, but Vince Staples is not in the forefront as much as audiences might hope. The tracks can be beat heavy, making it harder to enjoy the rhymes within.

The production is great with a lot of dark energy running through the project. Each backing is strong and could easily stand on its own, which makes rapping over it very challenging. Something with less bass and with less overpowering noises could help show the artist in a better light.

The lyricism is good when it can be heard and does show that Staples has more than a little talent. His bars are well constructed and his wordplay has a great level of descriptive power. He needs to be a bit more powerful on his delivery to overpower the production to have more impact on the listener.

Overall, with no features to compete against or to pump up any songs, this is an entertaining release, but can seem lacking in depth. it was a good choice to keep it relatively short to keep a certain level of replay ability.

DJ Khaled – Grateful Review

This release is full of big names and big tracks that make this a very entertaining listen. With DJ Khaled acting more like a  on this album, only the best tracks make the cut, and this album proves it.

The production is varied but always interesting. Every beat is energetic and works very well with the artists chosen to work on it. There may be something for everyone, but most will appeal to any listener as they are all polished and work as a full listen through as well as individual songs.

The Features on here make this project such a success. All show great skill and have great chemistry with the other artists on the songs as well as DJ Khaled. It is possible that some guests further from his comfort zone may have made some more interesting moments, but DJ Khaled has chosen most of the biggest names in Hip Hop to be a part of this release, and they don’t disappoint.

Overall, this is great for those who want to stick on an album and not use the skip button at all, leaving it to play through. DJ Khaled continues to have enormous success with his albums, but it should be noted that it is mostly down to other artists work. Not to take from Khaled’s ability to bring artists together, but most of the entertainment value is down to the features and not him shouting out during the project.