Common – Black America Again Review

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.

Ghostface Killah – Adrian Younge Presents: Twelve Reasons To Die II Review

This album is a great continuation of the story as well as of the story telling ability that Ghostface posesses. While it may not have a hit songle, it does have a lot of replay ability for those who enjoy concept albums.

The production is classic RZA haunting minimalism. There is plenty of scope for content and for Ghostface to try a few different things. The beats work well with how the story flows which helps the project stay cohesive. A few more modern beats could balance the project out on the timeline more, however that would upset the atmosphere of the album and ruin the story.

The lyricism is good through this album and helps to add to the story telling element. While not overly complicated, it assists the imagery and makes it impact more on the listener. Some more rhymes with some more complexity could showcase Ghostface’s talent some more, however the way this story is told, it may have detracted from what the artists are saying.

The features all help to build this album up with the addition of thier verses. Each brings a lot of effort and a lot of great verses that add a lot to not only thier tracks, but the whole project. A few more singing features could have added another dimension to the album, but again, may not have fit with the story.

Overall, this is a great concept album that shows that not only does Ghostface have the ability to still make great albums, but that concept albums are making somewhat of a comeback after a few releases through the last few years.

Skyzoo – Music For My Friends Review

This is a great album for the more emotional listener who enjoys those connections to the artist. Skyzoo forges that connection early in the first track and rides it all the way through the project to make it seem like your there with him.

The production is good with plenty of scope for Skyzoo to pour his soul in. There are mostly more layed back beats with a few more uptempo moments which allow for the more emotional moments that Skyzoo requires for the theme. A couple more energetic songs could have made a project more accessible for the masses, but this intimate album is great for real Hip Hop listeners.

The lyricism is great with above average wordplay and fantastic imagery. This all helps to bring the listener into the stories and makes the collection of feelings and tales into more of a journey. Taking this lyrical ability to more universal offerings would make Skyzoo a wider known rapper, but to be able to tell these stories in such depth are great.

The features are good, helping with the story telling aspect. The cohesive nature of the guests makes the tracks all flow together and make the album smooth and not jarred together. A few more guests with more ofa singing ability could add an extra dimension to the album, but there are no problems with the selection.

Overall, this is a good project if your willing to delve into the emotional pool that Skyzoo puts forth. What he has on here, he has crafted very well and should look at making more tracks like this.

Slum Village – YES Review

This album has a lot of elements to take the listener back to a different time in Hip Hop. If it wasn’t for the topical content, this could have been a ninties project.

The production is very laidback and eases in the listener to the whole experiance. It is easy listening for the most part with a few sharper moments that lend itself to the more politically inclined lyrics. A few more beats with a modern feel could show that Slum Village accepts the modern era of Hip Hop, but thier beat selection fits extremely well with thier style.

The lyricism is strong and flows through the whole project. Every member does a great job layering thier rhymes to help with the imagery as well as the rhythem of the tracks. There are very few improvement to be made of thier individual performances.

The features all add to the feel of the tracks and build up the lyrical repetoire. All of them add good verses and have a great deal of chemistry with the group. A few features with more of a presence in Hip Hop could help attract a few new listeners, however Slum Village have selected thier guests well.

Overall, this is a good kickback album with a lot of good points and no clear bad ones. All of Slum Village should be proud of keeping thier sound all these years.