This is another steller release from KXNG Crooked as he continues to use his platform to share and explore his views on America as it stands today. He does all that while showing that he has not missed a step in all his years of being part of the industry.
The production is versatile and fitting for the different content and atmosphere in each song. While the album has some more energetic offerings as well as slowed down songs, every song flows together with ease and makes the listen through so easy. The collection of different feelings and vibes on this release make for a well rounded album that has plenty of replay value.
The lyricism is a masterpiece as well as a master class on how to put what you believe in and your passions into well crafted bars. KXNG Crooked has always been a top wordsmith, but he really pushes himself on this to show once again that he belongs amoung the absolute best. A lot of rappers today could learn a lot from this artist, from rapping and his business acumen.
The features do well to compliment the songs they are on. Each shows that the guest them self is talented but also shows good chemistry with Crooked and only adds to the track they are on. It would be interesting to see some more artists work with Crooked in the future, but this project feels balanced with this many guests to help lighten the load.
Overall, this is a release with great songs that will give the listener plenty to think about as well as a high level of entertainment value. KXNG Crooked should continue to educate the masses on what it means to be a questioning mind with a razor sharp tongue in this day and age.
This is a good release with Kool G Rap making a lot of clever decisions to increase replay ability. Shortened songs and great guests help elevate this even higher.
The production is fantastic with MoSS providing good backdrops for each track, and creating a good atmosphere. There are similar elements in each song, but they are still individual. Maybe something a little further from the formula would show the artists in another light, but MoSS has provided songs that allow the vocalists to excel at what they do.
The lyricism is clever with Kool G Rap using his delivery to add more impact to his rhymes. The bars might not be the most complex, however they do carry a lot of weight and land hard with the listener. Some change in flow might help separate out Kool’s performances, but the guests also help to do that so it is not the biggest issue.
The features are great and do a good job of pushing this project forward. Each puts in an amazing verse that helps push Kool G Rap onto further greatness as well as showing that they are at the top of their respective games. With some rap legends keeping their names alive on here, the artists here are a great selection to have on any project.
Overall, this is another release from a veteran that could teach newer artist how to make music with longevity. With plenty of replay value, this is definitely worth a few listens.
This album is full of all the things listeners love about KXNG Crooked. He is focused and that keeps his work sharp and following the theme of this project.
The production is great with the atmosphere reflecting exactly the message of the tracks. The beats are all dark to reflect the subject matter but are smooth enough to transition easily between the songs without becoming muddled together. Maybe something more light hearted could show another side of Crooked, but he excels on these tracks, so no one will be too bothered.
The lyricism is some of the best that has been released in recent years. Crooked uses some intensely descriptive and clever wordplay to make a project laced with absolute bars. His style might not be for everyone, but his rhymes should suit all.
The features are good as they help add a little more depth to this album. Each may not be in it for very long, but the fact they contributed is more than enough with some legends showing enough respect to this west coast MC that he is brought to some listeners attention at all. The way this is put together with the guests is great as they don’t control the project, just gently shape it.
Overall, this album is great to listen to from top to bottom, as long as you can get on board with the concept. KXNG Crooked is one of the best lyricists out there and should be respected by all hip hop fans as such.
This project is a fantastic introduction to KXNG Crooked for fans before his album drops. Previous fans can get behind the fact that one of the most lyrical rappers in the modern game is still being a rhyme genius and new fans can enjoy the bouncy production while learning what lyricism is.
The production is a sleek west coast affair, with bouncy backings and plenty of energy to help keep the listener interested, especially if they haven’t heard a Crooked song before. Each beat isn’t jarring in anyway and the fluidity of the transitions makes this an easier listening experience instead of being thrown from song to song. With this being only a handful of examples, it will be interesting to see what Crooked has chosen to work with on the full album.
The lyricism is fantastic with Crooked cramming bars into every song but without it sounding forced. Metaphors and similies are strewn throughout but the songs don’t feel overcrowded with rhymes trying to be too clever. The perfect balance is struck between bars and delivery and KXNG Crooked thrives in those moments.
Overall, This is a really great EP for Hip Hop fans everywhere, while knowing it is only a taster for what is to come in a few weeks time. May the album be as good or better than this and it will be in contention for album of the year.
This is not a Joell Ortiz project as much as a simple showcase of how he can add a strong verse to a range of song types and how he can be appealing to a wider audience. Joell brings his strong verbal abilities to a host of popular tracks and this has the affect of showing that he can be great on almost any beat.
The production is good and has been proved to be popular with audiences already. It is energetic and full of life which makes it more enjoyable to listen to as it gets the listener pumped up and ready to get out and do things. This doesn’t get dull on the full listen through as it is only six tracks. It is great from a production point of view.
The lyricism is strong as it is with every Joell Ortiz verse and as he is putting himself, pretty much, as a featured artist on these tracks, it makes him stand out against others on the tracks. Any other srtist on the tracks doesn’t sound as good as Joell in any aspect and he really improves each track overall with his wordplay.
As Joell is acting as the feature on these tracks, he does great. The other people on the songs are good and help make it an entertaining and enjoyable listen. However they do not compare to Joell on any track and he is behind the driving force behind making these songs great rather than good.
Overall, this is a great project to listen to and for Joell Ortiz to show how great of an emcee he is on yet another set of songs. It is cohesive and fun to listen to and Joell proves he can improve almost any track by being on it.
This is a great album to end 2014 on. Both Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier bring their best to this extremely cohesive album that radiates pure Hip Hop all the way through. The beats and lyrics work very well together to create great songs for a great new debut.
The production is fantastic. DJ Premier has done very well crafting this album’s beats so that they can cause the listener to flashback to older times as well as compare to the new age of Hip Hop production. The tracks can have jarred sounds but are smooth to listen to and creates a very enjoyable listen.
The lyricism is very clever and engrained in the very DNA of the tracks. Royce Da 5’9 does a great job of weaving great images and story telling through the whole project which works well with the production. The wordplay is complex and shows why Royce is considered one of the top lyricists in the rap game today.
The features are excellent. They all bring top level rap to the project without overshadowing the others. Each spins a great verse that strengthens each track without weakening it and it keeps it as a very cohesive project. It is also good to see members of Black Hippy mixing with members of Slaughterhouse considering all that has been discussed about cyphers and battles between them.
Overall, this is a great album that is very cohesive and very entertaining to listen to. Both DJ Premier and Royce have created a project that has all the elements of a rap album that can be enjoyed by all and seen as a milestone in Hip Hop.
The first disc is a well crafted showcase of how the Shady Records roster is prepared to make more hits and the second is a track back at the past records that helped build it up to the powerhouse it is today. Eminem started it up and has kept it rolling through some tough times and a total reboot, but it is in a strong place now and this set of records is a signal that the label is as strong, or stronger than it has ever been.
The production is great, but being a protégé of Dr Dre you pick up an ear for beats. There is a good range of beat type from country to heavy and everything in-between. Each one compliments the message and tone of the track and helps to show the range of songs and backings that the Shady Crew can work with.
The lyricism is clear and present on every track. It becomes even clearer than before that these are some of the top lyricists in the rap game and that they are not to be trifled with. These guys have come to play hardball and they are annihilating almost all other rappers out there. If your a fan of lyricism and wordplay, you have to get this project.
The features are good and show that the group can work well together with an outside influence. As well as working together with them, they also seem to gain a competitive edge and work harder to outdo the feature which creates a sense of the pure nature of Hip Hop as well as creating a great track for the listener.
Overall, this is a fantastic project for both listeners and the performers on it and we can only hope they continue to create tracks of this magnitude. Whether it’s Yelawolf, any member of Slaughterhouse or Eminem, the rest of the Hip Hop world should take heed of whatever they are doing because it is bound to be a success.
The title of this album is a perfect reflection of how it sounds. Joell sounds comfortable on every track, even on tracks where the content is dark, and it is clear that he has come into his own as an individual rapper and not just as one quarter of Slaughterhouse.
Joell Ortiz is clearly a fantastic lyricist as shown in his work with Slaughterhouse but with these solo tracks he really showcases why he is one of the greatest lyricists in the game today. His tone, style and flow also have unique properties and help him stand out amoung the features.
The features themselves are good, and add a lot to the dimensions of the tracks. they are mostly singing on choruses, but the verses on there are also very focused and concise. “Brothers Keeper” is the obvious stand out track for features with the rest of Slaughterhouse on it but Joell actually stands out on the track, even with such talent.
The production on the album is excellent. The beats are very diverse and help to give Joell a varied palette to work with. They help to create a great atmosphere on each track that helps lend itself to the message on each song.
Overall, this is a fantastic album that helps to give Joell a solo platform to show himself as a great rapper and not that Slaughterhouse is a great music group.
While Canibus is clearly a talented rapper and lyricist, his 15th album is unfortunately overshadowed by its less than average production and strange choice of subjects.
Canibus spends almost the entire album trying to teach life lessons, but obscure life lessons. For example, he tries to teach how the Chinese are going to take over the world in “pay me in gold” as they don’t want currency, just gold. While it is one of the better songs off the album, it is still not a track that could be listened to for too long as the beat is overly repetitive and the chorus is far from catchy.
The large majority of the production, if not all, becomes repetitive and doesn’t have any “pop” to it. It is all low tones with little variation and it just makesthe whole album tricky to listen to as a whole. If you can pick some favourite tracks to listen to then I suggest you take them and not play the whole album as a whole.
Canibus is still as great a rapper as always and his lyricism shines in some moments. However his subject matter makes it difficult to take him seriously when he is making generalising statements and outrageous accusations about what is happening to America.
Overall, this album has some gems but there is a lot to wade through to get them. You can either look at Canibus in several ways, The maker of 15 albums, a hardcore lyricist or as the guy who botched his return to battle rap by taking out a notepad. He should be remembered as one of the greatest because every rapper at one time or another has enjoyed Canibus’ work.