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.

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A$AP Rocky – Testing Review

This is a release that is the definition of just okay. There are some good things about it but it has too many pitfalls to shine out.

The production is interesting as there is a lot of experimentation in the beats. However it doesn’t break any ground and a lot of them are overbearing in comparison the the rhymes. There are too many backings here that are too far from what people are aiming to hear that there are a lot of missable tracks.

The lyricism is good but there is not enough smart wordplay for it to bring this project out of the mud. What Rocky says entertaining, but his performance gets lost as his delivery is overpowered by the production. This needed stronger delivery to have pretty much any impact on the listener.

The features all do a good job of putting across their skills and are the highlights of these songs. All of their contributions are the highlights of the tracks they are on as well as the best thing about this album. Hopefully Rocky can take lessons from them and improve his own efforts.

Overall, this is a failure for Rocky, but he should still be commended for his efforts. It is important that efforts go into experimentation for progress to happen and there are bound to be mistakes along the way, but without mistakes there would be no lessons learned.

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy Review

This is a great album from Tyler that is fluid and doesn’t need defending like his previous releases. he shows not only great talent, but personal growth as well.

The production is not as aggressive as on his last album and with the softer tones comes a project that is much easier to listen to. The songs are softer but without losing all of their hardness and shock factor in some cases. This is a side of Tyler the world needed to see and help connect with him on a more human level, which is easier accomplished with this backdrop.

The lyricism is great with a lot of smart wordplay and a lot of clever rhymes. Tyler tones down his delivery but has built up more skill which helps him add to his descriptive ability that is another positive point of this project. With the growth shown from this, there are no issues with Tyler’s performance.

The features are well chosen and fit into their respective songs easily and without sounding forced. Each shows what they are capable of without over stepping and out shining the main artist. there is a good mix of singers with this album as well, which adds another level of entertainment to an already interesting release.

Overall, this is the best album that Tyler has released as it encompasses a wider audience without alienating so many. Hopefully he can carry this mentality forward.

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.

A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes, Vol 1: Friends Review

This project definitely has the cohesive feel that comes with people who are close making music. It is a shame that a lot of the songs are in the same vein, but they are done well.

The production is good and really punctuates the rhymes with the amount of emotions somehow crammed in. Each beat has a lot of similarities, which can often happen with total in house production, but they are all effective in getting the energy across. A few more variations on the beats wouldn’t hurt but all the backings are still very much enjoyable.

The lyricism is entertaining and the different delivery of each Mob member helps keep things fresh as the project plays out. A lot of solid bars are scattered throughout the album, but there is the odd miss step which is quickly covered up with another rhyme. A bit more consistency would make this flow just a little easier.

The features are good with some big names keeping things moving. Each puts in a good verse or uses their signature talents to bring their own flavour to the songs. Some singing could lighten up this project full of deeper tones and noises.

Overall, this project is a good showing of each of the members abilities and how well they work together. It will be interesting to see how they progress with future endeavours.

Vince Staples – Prima Donna Review

This project has some great tracks on it, with some very confusing interludes tagged onto the ends that don’t seem to tie in anywhere. Vince Staples does a great job rapping, but doesn’t quite pull the project together.

The production is interesting with no beats that are overpowering, and with a lot of scope for content. Each backing has an atmosphere that mirrors the message while striking the delicate balance of noticeable but not centre stage. Maybe some more club beats would show Vince in a different environment but he works well on these songs.

The lyricism is clever and is the best part of this project. Vince Staples uses great wordplay and story telling ability to make songs that strike the listener and get caught in thier head for a while after. Maybe an attempt or two for a few more flow changes could add a touch more diversity to this project, however Staples still does an amazing job on these tracks.

Overall, this is an enjoyable project with good songs, which the features help to make great, but is marred by the strange interludes. Vince Staples should learn from the reception of this and carry that knowledge into his future work.

Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before The Dawn: The Prelude Review

This album s a good introduction to the direction Pusha T is heading and he shows his ability on every track. The way this project has turned out, whatever comes next will be incredible.

The production is on the dark side but with enough energy to keep the listener interested. Each song has a standout beat that would not be confused with any other song on the album. Something cheerier could show that Pusha T can have more of a balance, but that is not in keeping with the theme of the project.

The lyricism is good with Pusha T doing plenty to keep his rhymes interesting. Using a range of techniques he adds a lot of imagery and impact to his words to make them land harder with the audiance. There are no real problems with what Pusha T has delivered on this project.

The features do a good job of fleshing out the songs on this album so that they are enjoyable and provide comparison points for Pusha T. Each brings a good verse that pumps up the project and makes some good chemistry on the project. Maybe a few singers could help to balance out this album a bit more, but the guests really work well here.

Overall, this is a great album for those waiting for Pusha T to keep pushing rap forward. He only does well here so let’s hope he carries this momentum forward.