T.I. – DIME TRAP Review

This is an amazingly complete release that somehow doesn’t quite gel together as smoothly as it feels it should. T.I. explores a lot of different things in this album, from how he cultivated the trap sub-genre to how his mistakes have led to a lot of problems in his personal life, that together create a complete picture of the man we know.

The production is great and does compliment the message on each song. Individually, the beats all work, but when you put them together as a full album listen to, they can come across as a bit choppy and it can make listening through the whole thing a small challenge. On the other hand, a lot of listeners will simply pick out their favorites, as is the current trend, so this is not a huge disadvantage.

The lyricism is good, with a lot of uptempo rhyming to help keep energy levels up. However, when on an emotional track, T.I. bears his soul to show his side of the story and show that he knows he is a human being and that he makes mistakes. However you slice it, his performance here is phenomenal.

The features do a great job of accentuating the song they are on as well as showing their own talent. There is a real combination of tough street efforts on top of softer singers to add an extra dimension to the project. The guest selection is excellent and are only additions to this album.

Overall, this is a strong album with a lot of strong performances. T.I. continues to be a staple in hip hop and will continue to be, while hopefully having less drama.

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Westside Gunn – Supreme Blientele Review

This release does show growth from Westside Gunn as well as a touch more versatility. There is still room to try new things and experiment a little more, but there is no doubt that Gunn is in for big success here.

The production is great, with a lot of haunting backings that Gunn excels over, as well as some softer moments to peel back a few more layers of his psyche. The only issue here is that with the delivery of the main artist, the beats sometimes overpower the lyrics and make it hard to hear. On the other hand, this does prove the backings are strong enough to stand on their own and are a good selection to work with.

The lyricism is great and Westside Gunn really shows why he is a rising star of the rap game. He has a great grasp of strong wordplay which really plays into all his songs. It would be interesting to see more changes in his flow to help make a couple of exciting moments, but his delivery works well for the lyrics he spits.

The features all do a good job of expanding the play through with fresh voices and styles. It is great to see him still working well, and having great chemistry with, his label mates, who all show their own considerable skills. The addition of a few big names in hip hop also shows how Gunn has made connections in the rap world.

Overall, this is a great release from one of the rising lyricists in hip hop. Westside Gunn should take all this experiance forward as he prepares for his first major label debut.

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service Review

This is a great project from a legendary group. Not only does it show that there is still a way to make unique sounding music, but it is the best farewell they could ever give to Phife Dawg, may he rest in peace.

The production is full of the jazz influences you would expect to hear from this group. They use the instruments to create great atmosphere throughout the project as well as affect the energy as it flows through the songs. There are some moments that are sudden changes but they are out there for effect and are not mistakes as they are part of how the project plays out.

The lyricism is great with each member who raps doing a great job of showing their signature flow with enjoyable rhymes to make tracks that are thought provoking and yet easy listening. maybe a few more changes between flows could make slightly more impact, but there are no weaknesses in the performances on this album.

The features are great as each shows off their own impressive skills while showing great chemistry with the group. All are uncredited on the album which means that on first listen through they are a surprise and are somewhat refreshing. This is a nice touch as there is a good balance between singers and rappers which leads to a smooth project on each listen through.

Overall, this is a great alternative project from what is popular in the mainstream and should help show people that rap is more than the generic pop tunes. Each member should be proud that they could make Phife Dawg’s last project as great as this.

Schoolboy Q -Blank Face LP Review

This album has tracks for everyone but not necessarily in a cohesive order. Every track is interesting, but not all have a high level of replay ability.

The production is varied and allows plenty of scope for Schoolboy Q to work with. Each has its own feel, but some carry extremely similar elements. On a full listen through, it can sound disjointed because of the track similarities, but is still enjoyable.

The lyricism is strong with passion filling every bar of Schoolboy Q’s rhymes. He may not always have the most complex lyrics but he gets his message across with such belief that the listener feels through their whole body. Maybe some changes in flow could make some more exciting moments, but there are no real issues with the raps on this.

The features are great and add a lot to this project. Each puts in a good performance, and help to push the tracks to further greatness. Most come off well and show the connections that the main artist has made in the Hip Hop world. No problems with selection here.

Overall, this album has a lot of good things about it and will have songs that will appeal to everyone at some point. Lets see where Schoolboy Q takes this momentum next.

MED, Blu And Madlib – Bad Neighbor Review

This album is full of great production and plenty of lyrical displays to make a fantastic album. All parties involved in this album should be proud of thier work.

The production is full of noises and sounds that make the beats seem wierd but work very smoothly with the lyrics and performances. Each is individual and there is very little chance of mixing up which track is which. There are no problems with what has been produced here.

The lyricism is relatively fast paced while using a variety of different techniques to make the words interesting. Each of the artists do a good job of mixing different types of wordplay into thier rhymes to make what they are rapping have more impact and creativity. Maybe some changes in performance and delivery could enhance the album slightly but there are definately no gaping holes for improvement.

The features do a good job of giving more depth to the project. The deeper bench brings more flavour and opinions that helps push the main artists to further greatness. Some more guests further from Hip Hop could make a few more exhilarating moments but there are definately no issues with the selection.

Overall, this album is enjoyable to listen to as it is quirky and does not follow the recipe for mainstream success. That being said, it needs people to listen to it for the artists to become better known and receive the recognition they deserve.

The Game – The Documentary 2.5 Review

This album is the second disc of his release last week and it continues the standard of greatness. There is at least a few tracks for every Hip Hop listener and they are done very well.

The production is good and keeps his west coast feel well and truly alive. Each song may have the diversity to keep its individuality, but it definately has that west influence through all of it. There are no issues with the backings on this as he covers every aspect of Hip Hop with it.

The lyricism is good and shows he is still improving upon his previous performances. The way he moves within the beats shows great talent as Game has shown every step of his discography. There is little to improve on here, but maybe some radio friendly songs to appeal to the mainstream.

The features all help flesh this out and, while they all put in a lot of effort, show that Game is one of the best out there. Each guest shows that they have some talent and that they can put passion into thier work, but few come close to the main artist. There are no issues with his selection however because each helps make the project more cohesive.

Overall, this album is a fantastic continuation of his previous work that shows Game is not missing a step. If Game can keep this up, then he will truly be one of the greats.

Blended Babies – The Anderson .Paak – EP Review

This short four track EP shows the skill of both the Blended Babies and Anderson .Paak. Both do thier parts extremely well and helps to make a very cohesive project.

The production is very smooth and is very easy to listen to again and again. The beats all work together cohesively without running together and merging. There are no issues with the backings on this and it will be interesting to see how they carry this experiance forward.

The lyricism is good but is not intended to bring in the pure lyricists. The lyrics are powerful and speak to the listener. Maybe some more people withg more rap styles on the next project could make some more interesting moments, but the lyrics on here work well.

Having the few features on here as well as Anderson did create some better and more Hip Hop moments. Each does a good job at what they are doing and helps make this project even more cohesive. On thier next project, maybe they will fill it with more rap personalities.

Overall, this EP shows what the Blended babies can do as well as Anderson .Paak. They should both take this forward to thier next bodies of work.