This release starts off strong with all three members having strong verses, but some safe choices later can make a full listen through disappointing. Some of the more mainstream options takes this edge off this gritty album that could have been solid without them.
The production is good with the right atmosphere on every track helping to make this have more of an impact. While some of the beats are perfect for the group, the attempt to seem more radio friendly makes the group seem like they are trying to grow their audience. However by doing this they may have lost some of the core group that liked their old stuff. By sticking to what they know, they may have created a more cohesive project.
The lyricism is fantastic with all three members trying hard to be the best. They also try hard at the performance aspect with their individual delivery making the tracks stand out slightly. On the downside, the hooks are not as hard hitting as the verses and can be repetitive in places. While there are no major works to be done, this is not a totally smooth ride.
The features are the weakest part of this release because they don’t necessarily fit with the style of the group. While none do particularly badly, some do not gel with the chemistry of the group and sound a little out of place. Some singers would have been a better way to show the softer side than radio attempts.
Overall, this is an enjoyable release if you can sit through the few rough patches. Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss should be proud of their individual performances as well as how they work as a team.
This project is a statement about the state of America for Black people in the country. It also has a wider message as other minorities will recognise the oppression that Common raps about and relate to it.
The production is smooth and while not being aggressive, reflects how Common feels about the message of each song. It all flows together beautifully with each cohesive song becoming the next effortlessly but with a definite break. With the politically charged nature of this album, the production works beautifully.
The lyricism is smart with Common making poignant comments and striking remarks in his rhymes about a subject close to his heart. He pours his emotions into what he is saying and you can tell he truly believes what he is rapping. There are no issues with Common’s performance at all.
The features do a great job of reinforcing what Common is saying and helping to keep the political message fresh. Each shows talent and works very well within the confines of the theme which helps keep the message clear. For this to work at its best, Common has chosen some of the best guests to make this project great.
Overall, this is a really amazing album with a beyond strong signal to America and the world. Common should be commended for his work here and will hopefully keep campaigning for equality among the human race.
This is a nice project but lacks the flair to make it a great one. A lot of it is on the soft side of Hip Hop and could do with more aggression to give more energy and fuel to pump this mixtape up.
The production is good and blends well together without losing the borders on each track. The beats are smooth where they need to be and jarring in places where it should be, which leads to a cohesive backing that gives Bizzy Crook plenty of room to manoeuvre when it comes to his lyrics.
The lyricism is good and entertaining but could do with more technical aspects. The story telling portion of his skills are good but he could include more wordplay and other rap techniques to help keep his appeal more open to a wider audience in Hip Hop. This would bring him more to the mainstream and make him more of a success.
The features, or feature in this case, are alright but doesn’t add enough to the track he is on to improve it. In fact, his particular flow compared with Bizzy actually shows that Bizzy is the better rapper and helps show that he is above average.
Overall, this is a good mixtape but wont blow the listener out the water. It has some shining aspects that make it slightly above average, but it isn’t a contender for mixtape of the year.