Your Old Droog – Packs Review

This release is a great showing for lyricists everywhere, but lacks a certain star power to help bring it back to the forefront as a skill. Your Old Droog clearly has some talent, but may want to expand his repertoire to attract more listeners.

The production is good but with a lot of unusual instrument placement. The way some of the instruments are incorporated make the beats more unique,, however do not make them more mainstream so are unlikely to make Droog a household name. A few more mainstream backings could help bring more listeners to the audience, but Droog does great on the selection here.

The lyricism is obviously incredible with Droog showcasing his abilities with amazing wordplay. Each of the verses is packed with an assortment of techniques that make the bars so entertaining for the real hip hop listener.Maybe Droog could try varying his delivery and performance, but the actual lyrics are truly amazing.

The features are good and help to flesh out this release, but they do not add a huge amount to the finish. Each does an alright job, but their main contribution is breaking up the monotony of one tone and voice. Some more variation in the guests could add another dimension to this project.

Overall, this is an enjoyable release for every listener who loves true lyricism. If you are looking for pop beats and autotune, you are definitely in the wrong place.

Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3 Review

The cover art for this release lets you know that this is rap gold and it does not disappoint in any way. This is the most cohesive the duo has ever sounded, and considering their catalogue, that is saying something.

The production is incredible with all the right emotions in the correct measures. The aggression that fuels this runs deep and helps the artists connect with the beats to aid in the performance. There are no problems with the backing selection on this and El-P should be proud of his work.

The lyricism is some of the strongest in the modern age with both members only doing fantastic jobs. There is great wordplay and schemes all over this album and it makes for very entertaining listening. Both artists have great delivery and flow to go with their rhymes, as well as having signature voices to help them stand out. Only rap genius from these two once again.

The features help keep the project on a high because of their own chemistry with both main artists. All give amazing efforts to compete with the others which helps keep energy levels high. Some singers could show another dimension, but might not be in keeping with the groups style.

Overall, this is definitely one of the top releases of the year. It is difficult to keep such a streak of great albums going, but Killer Mike and El-P may even have a few more in them if they can keep this momentum going.

Danny Brown -Atrocity Exhibition Review

This is a very interesting release as Danny Brown continues his psychedelic and somewhat psychotic approach to his music with results that push the experimental envelope. Fortunately there are some gems in all the confusion that make this a success.

The production is certainly different with a lot of unusual sounds and patterns used to make an unusual feel that helps somewhat to explain the album title. While not conventional beats used as a backing, they do all work with Brown’s style and with the guest appearances. It may not be for everyone, it does prove that making music does not have to be formulaic as it so often is in mainstream Hip Hop.

The lyricism is clever with Danny Brown showing he can write clever lines about a range of subject matter while keeping his signature tone and flow. He works with the range of production to make emotional songs as well as tracks for the recreational drug user and even high energy offerings. Listeners should be able to find rhymes for everyone on this particular project.

The features are good as they don’t fill the project while helping to elevate it to new heights. Brown selects some A-List acts to prove he can rap with the best and does so with gusto. it will be interesting to see who he chooses to work with in the future as he is already close to the Hip Hop elite.

Overall, this is a very entertaining listen because it is so different. Few artists would try something so experimental, or be able to pull it off so well. Danny Brown should be celebrated for even attempting this, let alone for how well he has crafted it.

Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD – Sour Soul Review

This is a great project that combines Ghostface’s signiture style with the haunting production he does so very well with. If the chemistry on this project is anything to go by, we can expect great things from this pairing in the future.

The production is full of beats that sound like they use the same idea behind Wu-Tang Clan’s original album. If you modernised the backings on those tracks, you get an idea of what to expect on this album. With that sort of stand out beat to work with, The duo do a great job making a great project.

The lyricism is classic Ghostface and does not disappoint. He does a great job keeping the tracks at a pure Hip Hop level at its most entertaining. The lyricism may not be the most complex out there, but it is vivid imagery that is painted and makes a good listen.

The features are also good and help bring a level of diversity to the project. Each is different from Ghostface and shows that he works well with a range of other rappers. The kind of chemistry shown on this project is fantastic and should be an example to others in the rap game.

Overall, this is a good project and an enjoyable listen through. If you are a fan of Ghostface already, you will love this album. If you aren’t, then this should make you one.

Shady XV – Various Artists Review

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.