Royce Da 5’9 – Book Of Ryan Review

This album feels like a continuation into Royce’s life that he started on “Layers”. Full of emotions, stories and clever rhymes, this is a masterpiece of music.

The production is amazing. There is a lot of different beats on offer and all help add up to a cohesive listen. There are some missteps where some songs try to cater for specific times and/or places like the club, but it is not like they do not fit the message of the track still.

The lyricism is fantastic as Royce continues to flaunt his incredible ability. The wordplay is smart and adds a level of detail to the anecdotes and helps expand the messages of the songs to bigger proportions. There are no complaints about Royce’s performance on this project as it is this ability that has allowed him to continue despite a few problems earlier in his career.

The features are great and show how a combination of A-List and lesser known artists can come together and create great tracks. Each does astonishing work showing their own skills as well as building upon the work Royce has already put down. There is also a good blend of singing to rapping to help give an extra edge to the project.

Overall, this release is the project that Royce needed to capitalise off the momentum gained from his last releases. Including his work as various duos and groups, this is the peak of his rap career so far and it looks like he is only getting started.

Fabolous And Jadakiss – Friday On Elm Street Review

This release shows that both artists and lyrically talented, but the theme of the album is never truly explored. Both artists have come a long way from their roots, but show they have never forgotten where they came from and how they have grown.

The production is great with the help of some of the friends they have picked up on the way. Every beat works very well to create the atmosphere needed to enhance the message of the songs. With the variation of messages possibly throwing off the cohesiveness of this project overall, the backings really help with the songs individually.

The lyricism is obviously incredible. Both Fabolous and Jadakiss are known for their wordplay and flow, and they both exploit those facts to cement their work here. However the title of this album does not carry throughout the project and detracts from what listeners think the album is about.

The features help throw something different in the mix but it does not always feel natural. While some are amazing and really click together, a few sound like they don’t really have the same level of chemistry. On the other hand, on a full listen through, the album plays great with the fresh voices.

Overall, this is a great release, even if it is not exactly what it is described to be. Fabolous and Jadakiss might not be so well known to the newer generation, but their skills are sharp as ever.

Fabolous – Summertime Shootout 2 Review

This is a great project as it keeps Fabolous in the public eye, showing his skills, as well as being a refreshing step back towards lyricism for Hip Hop. This builds on the work of the first installation to make this a promising staple for rappers everywhere.

The production is great as it is very summer like as the title suggests. The beats are light and airy which allows the listener to float back to summer memories while being entertaining and enjoyable. There are no problems with the beat selection as they fit perfectly with the aim of this project.

The lyricism is excellent with Fabolous not missing a step to add wordplay to every bar. He adds a lot of lyrical genius to these songs and lifts the whole genre back towards smarter rhymes. Maybe some more changes in pace and flow would make for a more balanced performance, but Faboloous does a really incredible job of making this project amazing.

The features help to add points of comparison for Fabolous as well as fleshing out the tracks. Each puts in a good effort and, with some big names, show that Fabolous is one of the big players in the rap game. The guests do a great job of adding more summer feelings to this mixtape.

Overall, this project is fantastic and should be celebrated by listeners everywhere. Fabolous should continue to put out this music so maybe Hip Hop doesn’t forget to have clever lines.

DJ Khaled – Major Key Review

This album had high hopes, but falls flat a lot more than it soars. Some tracks come across as cohesive genius whereas others seem more like formulaic noise to try and bring in more listeners who are not Hip Hop educated.

The production is good in places and great in others. There is a lot of energy running through the project but in a lot of places the elements in the tracks become more merged together into background noise rather than being effectively tools. Maybe some more beats with less happening in them would open up more space for the artists.

The features all do their job and most do it well to help flesh out this project. The verses tend to be effective but the hooks come across as repetitive in a lot of cases which really lets the album down. Some more imagination in that particular aspect would go a long way.

Overall, Khaled has made his playlist of high value artists and put together a collection of music that will appeal to most. However only a few tracks will remain with the listener.

Busts Rhymes – The Return Of The Dragon (The Abstract Went On Vacation) Review

This mixtape shows that Busta Rhymes is still making great music that helped raised his profile in the first place. Without Q-Tip to help, he carries more of the burden and excels while doing so.

The production is good as it works well with Busta Rhymes style Each beat has its own feel and atmosphere which helps show the variation that Busta can work with. Maybe a few more slowed down tracks could show a higher level of diversity but the backing selection on this is fantastic overall.

The lyricism is fast paced, rapid fire and full of multi schemes. Busta shows that he has not slowed down over time and keeps his rhymes coming with barely a breath in between bars. A few different techniques could show more growth as an artist, but Rhymes has done a great job keeping his level so high after all these years.

The features all do a good job too as they show thier own skills as well as filling out the project with fresh voices. Each has a good verse which helps keep the entertainment high and keeps the project cohesive. Some singers could have had an interesting effect, but the selection on here is great.

Overall, this project is great fun to listen to and keeps Busta Rhymes in the public light. He shows his talent and shows plans to keep his momentum going.

Fabolous – Summer Shootout Review

This project is great as it shows that Fabolous is still making great music. He uses his great skill. To make these that have a summertime feel but with a winter coldness.

The production is great as it is light and breezy but with the ability to apply to any content. The beats are all individual and won’t get confused with any of the other songs. Any other style of production would not have been in the keeping with the theme.

The lyricism is fantastic with Fabolous showing how he first built his name in Hip Hop. He uses a range of techniques flawlessly to get his point across with great imagery and with plenty of impact. There are no real problems with the rhymes on this project.

The features are diverse and help to pull the project together. Each has an enjoyable verse or hook that helps push Fabolous to work harder as well as show what each of the guests are capable of. Maybe some more singers could give the project a little extra something but there are no problems with the selection here.

Overall, this project is a great showing for Fabolous and to show that the mixtape world can still crank out album worthy projects. Hopefully Fabolous can carry this momentum forward.

Sheep Louch – Silverback Gorilla 2 Review

This album is a great balance of street content but with more of a refined sound. Sheep Louch has grown musically and it shows on this project.

The production is good with the raw power of street music but with the more refined radio sound that makes this easy to listen to. The beats are all cohesive and follow through well without blending well together. There are no problems with the selection of backings for this album.

The lyricism is good with Sheek using different techniques without a rapid pace to show that bars still exist in Hip Hop. The variation in his rhymes help give his lyrics an edge and make the songs more enjoyable. A few changes of flow could show a willingness to try new things but he knows what works well and does that fantastically.

The features help make this project even more cohesive and show the connections Sheek Louch has in the industry. Each brings a good verse that makes thier tracks more entertaining. There is a good balance of singing to rapping as well so there are no particular issues there.

Overall, this is a very listenable album that will have fans bumping it for a long time. Sheek Louch has done a really good job of putting this together and should be proud of this result.

DJ Khaled – I Changed A Lot Review

This album is good if you like the highly energized rap music that pumps out of mainstream radio these days. If you prefer something deeper or more lyrical, there are other options out there for you.

The production is good with plenty of different types of energetic beats, but there are no slow moments. This works fine for the basis of this album as it is DJ led, but should be avoided elsewhere. A few more diverse backings could do well to show that DJ Khaled does not follow a formula, but the concept of this album works for his purpose.

The features all do a good enough job to make the songs enjoyable but there is not a lot of substance. Each guest puts effort into thier verses, but with the same people recurring multiple times doing the same thing, can become stale. Maybe some more variation in guest selection could create some more interesting moments, but at least the songs are not totally boring.

Overall, you will probably like a few songs on this but a full listen through may not be as entertaining to everyone as it might seem. DJ Khaled does show that he can still put together a project however.

Fabolous – Friday Night Freestyle Review

This is a built up, bigger version of the mixtape that recently released. Fabolous takes those releases and adds even more great tracks to further secure his spot as one of the greats out of New York.

The production is a mixture of old and new while all being able to give a great background for Fabolous. All of the beats have significance to New York and are well known to a large portion of the Hip Hop community. The selection of beats on this project are Ideal for Fabolous and he has chosen them wisely.

The lyricism is fantastic and shows that Fabolous is still a great lyricist and rapper. He weaves a lot of lyrical techniques into his rhymes that really show his creativity as well as the complexity that rappers can achieve. There is not a lot to comment on when it comes to improvement as Fabolous appears to be helping lead the way on how raps should be written.

The features all do a good job of supporting Fabolous on a lyrical front as well as helping build New York up. They each bring great effort in which helps keep this cohesive. A few more features that will help to push Fabolous’ further into greatness by making him test himself would be great, however there are no problems with what has taken place on this album.

Overall, this album is not for those looking for a production heavy listen. Instead this is for the lyrically inclined who enjoy hearing what the rapper is saying and how cleverly he is saying it and Fabolous does not disappoint.

Troy Ave – Major Without A Deal Review

This album is ruined by all the references to how successful he currently feels he is. However the arrogance displayed does not reflect his position in Hip Hop and this project may well have brought him down a stage.

The production is good and opens a variety of avenues for song content. Troy does try his hand at a variety of track types, but doesnt get into the groove of each beat to make the connections cohesive. While variety is good, he needs to limit it down to a beat selection he really gels with.

The lyricism is alright but the lack of substantial content really takes from the performance. Troy Ave does have some good things wrapped into his rhymes but the delivery and obsession with wealth take away from what could be some great songs. Troy needs to look into some new things to rap about if he wants to be an actual success.

The features are a mixture of cohesive guests to big name rappers who all do well on the tracks they feature on. All of them put in good effort and, while some do better than others, each shows they can be big in Hip Hop. Some features that dont fit the rap profile so much could have expanded the audiance for this project, but the guests on this are a good selection.

Overall, this could have been an enjoyable album but Troy Ave does not seem to care about how good the songs are as long as he can rap about money. He has a lot of work to do.