Bun B – Return Of The Trill Review

This is a great album from a veteran artist, showing that he still has a lot of talent behind the mic. Bun B has crafted a release that will resonate with a lot of listeners as having a lot of classic feel, but with a modern twist.

The production is great and works extremely well with Bun B’s rap style and tone. There is a lot of flavour in each beat and each backing creates the right atmosphere for the song. Maybe a few more softer offerings could make this feel a little more complete for some, but this is still a great listen when it comes to the production.

The lyricism is great, not the most complicated, but very enjoyable. Bun B has a unique vocal tone that exacerbates the impact of the rhymes and makes them much more entertaining. A little more experimentation with flow and complexity could show a little more willing to grow as an artist, but Bun B has certainly carved out his own lane here.

The features are great as each does a great job of showing their own capabilities as well as adding to the cohesiveness of the track list. All the guests fit perfectly into the song they are on and only bring positives to this project. It is possible that a few moresingers could add another dimension, but the guests on here are exactly what was needed for these particular songs.

Overall, this is one of the strongest releases of the year so far. Bun B has done a truly fantastic job creating this album and hopefully listeners will recognize that.

YG – STAY DANGEROUS Review

This has a lot of similar elements to YG’s previous and critically acclaimed album, but that turns out to be its downfall. A lot of the tracks feel like rehashing of previous songs and while this may create a few gems, it takes the sheen off the album as a whole.

The production is good, but lacks the luster that made previous beat selections so incredible. Each backing is still good and does make a great atmosphere for the song. Moving forward, hopefully YG can choose beats that stray a little further out of his comfort zone to possibly drive him to push himself a little more.

The lyricism is not the cleverest or most versatile, but it is still entertaining. YG has a signature tone and flow that enhances the impact of his wordplay and helps to keep the song enjoyable. A few more attempts at sharper schemes and wordplay might open this up to a wider audience and while YG sticks to his formula, this is still not a bad performance from him.

The features all do well to show their own skills and add to the songs they are on. All put in good verses and help stop things from becoming stale, especially with YG staying well within what he already knows. A few more singers wouldn’t go amiss, but the guests on here are still a welcome addition.

Overall, this is not quite the album people were hoping for from YG, but it is not all bad. There are still flashes of an incredibly talented rapper in here that can hopefully come back to the forefront for whatever YG pursues next.

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.

Cyhi The Prynce – No Dope On Sundays Review

This debut was worth waiting for. Cyhi The Prynce has spent a long time working on his craft and it is clear on this release.

The production is fantastic with a lot of backings that don’t overpower the artists on the tracks. Each fits the tone of the songs as well as being a strong atmosphere for the message being sent. Some more offerings with more of a club feel could give more for the general populace, but may not be in keeping with the project that Cyhi is trying to put out.

The lyricism is exceptional with Cyhi showing the talent that made the industry sit up and take notice. His lyrics are full of clever references and other great lyrical devices that embellish his storytelling with plenty of description. Possibly some more changes in flow could show a little more of what Cyhi is capable of, but his delivery is incredible on these tracks regardless.

The features are good and help to stop one voice becoming monotonous. Each shows their own skills while having great chemistry with Cyhi. There is a good range of different guests on here and it will be interesting to see who he chooses to work with in the future.

Overall, this is a very interesting listen with many thought provoking moments, The only issue is that the songs are possibly too long and can make a full listen through a bit of a struggle but Cyhi The Prynce has a great debut here and deserves a try from everyone.

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.

2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music Review

This release shows that 2 Chainz knows his core audience, but doesn’t grow to increase his listeners and therefore earn more money, as one of the songs on here is all about. Something to think about at least.

The production is good with a lot of interesting and entertaining sounds that create a lot of energy and keep it flowing through the whole project. A lot of the beats however are very much within the wheel house of the main artist. Trying to expand his repertoire further out of his comfort zone would make a more balanced release.

The lyricism is good, but is more of the same from 2 Chainz. He has respectable wordplay and his delivery is still entertaining, but his hooks are repetitive and the content is more of the same. Something fresh could give a lot of boost to this release, but it would have to be a big boost.

The features do great at breaking up the monotony that can set in by adding fresh voices and styles to the mix. Each does a good job of showing what they are capable of, but also at bringing fresh energy streams in ot stimulate this project and stop it dropping rankings any further. Some more singers would help bring more diversity too.

Overall, this will appeal to Chainz’s core audience, but does not have a lot to give other rap listeners. The title does not reflect the content and a lot of it will already have been heard before.

Gucci Mane – Droptopwop Review

This is another solid release form Gucci Mane, but it is carried by its beats. Gucci does his thing, but it becomes monotonous as a whole listen through.

The production is fantastic with Metro Boomin providing some great backdrops. Each song is individual while having similar elements, but that is due to the same producer doing every song. There are no issues with the backgrounds as they are all sonically great.

The lyricism is not complicated but it is effective. The wordplay is there with some clever rhymes used, but there is a lack of variation in flow that drags it down a little. Some more effort in the performance and diversity could help lift this up a level, but it is still enjoyable.

The features are great as they help break up some of the monotony. Each puts ina  good verse and while some sound similar to Gucci in style, they seem to have more energy and passion to fuel their verse. Maybe some singing would add another edge, but this is still a strong selection.

Overall, this shows that Gucci Mane does not plan to slow down or change the formula, especially when it puts up numbers like he was doing last year. If he wants to stay on this hot run, he might need to look into adding a little more flavour, but he will still make a bunch of money off of this.

Mike WiLL Made-It – Ransom 2 Review

This is an energetic release reminiscent of the first Ransom project, but there is a certain amount of formula that is clear in each of the tracks. While the production from Mike WiLL is fantastic, what each artists does with it all seems to lead down the same path, with a few exceptions.

The production is phenomenal, with Mike WiLL creating trap beats that may seem similar, but all have different aspects that makes each individual. In a few cases it seems like there is a base guideline rather than an organic blooming to his creative process, but it still yields some great results. Maybe seeing what he can do outside the trap sub-genre could be an interesting challenge for the producer.

The features on this project are exactly what you would expect to find on songs from a producer as big as Mike WiLL. A stream of A-List rappers as well as fresh up-and-comers helps show a great level of respect for the producer here. It is a shame that so many come from the same vein of writing and delivery, but individually, they all still have good performances.

Overall, this is another release from an exceptional producer that proves he deserves the money and respect he is given. Only time will tell if he will attempt to branch out and attempt to work with a wider pool of talent.

Drake – More Life Review

This is a nice release from Drake with plenty of energy to make a listen through a delight. Drake is right to call this a playlist instead of an album because it is not so balanced as an album should be, but makes a great playlist for almost any situation.

The production is fantastic with all the elements that helped make Drake a household name to begin with. There are influences from grime to dancehall that help keep the palette fresh and cleansed as you listen through the whole project. The beat selection here is fantastic, but maybe a few more slower songs would give this a little more diversity.

The lyricism is great with Drake flexing his wordplay muscles as well as as continuing to shine with his singing. He takes a few subliminal shots at other artists but in ways that still show creativity and that he is still working to stay the top artist in the world right now. There are no problems with Drake’s performance on this project as he continues his run of greatness.

The features are great and show how Drake is growing as an artist. He is not worried about just choosing the biggest names, but instead chooses the artists he wants to work with. All of them do a good job and help make this release more cohesive.

Overall, this is a very entertaining listen through and could be a step into the future of music releases. Instead of trying to make an album that shows every side of you, Drake makes a list of songs that sound great all the way through, and maybe that is the direction the industry is headed in.

Post Malone – Stoney Review

This release sounds somehow like a cross between country music and rap. Post Malone shows he is a triple threat with his guitar, rapping and singing to make a very versatile project.

The production is great with a good mash up of different styles, with the guitar playing a heavy role. However the guitar helps open up the album, helping to change the atmosphere of the tracks as well as making them sound more personal to the listener, helping to make a connection. Something a little more upbeat may have spawned more of a mainstream hit, but certainly this selection is a great experiment for Hip Hop and it is paying off.

The lyricism is not the best that is out there, but the delivery and added talent of singing help to bring Malone’s performance up a few levels. There is definitely some solid wordplay and punchline sin this to draw the attention of the lyrical hip hop heads but the real gift is in working in his other talents to craft the tracks. There is a chance a more aggressive flow could bring in a few more listeners, but it would be uncertain if that would fit with his style.

The features are good as they help bring fresh opinions in. It is also interesting to see how they fit in with this style of music, with each still putting in a good verse while tweaking their delivery for the backing. Maybe a few singers would make an interesting song or two with Malone singing himself too, but he chose well to only have a few and leave space for him to show his own skills.

Overall, this is an album that could catch people’s attention simply because it is different. The variation from the normal is great and Post Malone will grab some listeners from that alone.