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.

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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.

2 Chainz – Hibachi For Lunch Review

This project is more of the same from 2 Chainz, but he does do them well. Chainz makes energetic and repetitive music that gets stuck in the listeners head and is entertaining, if nothing else.

The production is bouncy and inspires movement when being listened to. Each beat has similarities, but not enough so they get confused into one big mess. Maybe some more diversity could help further this mixtape, but Chainz has selected backings that give him a plenty of space to do what he does.

The lyricism is to the point and relies on delivery but it effective. The rhymes are punchy but don’t contain a lot of complexity and this helps it appeal to all listeners. Some more complicated bars would not have gone amiss but Chainz knows what his fans want to hear.

Overall, with the features on this mixtape adding a little diversity, this is a good romp through some formulaic 2 Chainz tracks, but it would be great to see Chainz trying something a little different. Maybe on the next one.