Kid Ink – Summer In The Winter Review

This album is exactly what the title indicates with all the summer vibes it needs to make you forget it is Winter. With plenty of DJ Mustard’s signiture style to generate energy, if your missing warmer weather then this is the project for you.

The production is fantastic with DJ Mustard using his immense talent to pour a lot of great beats into this project. Each is still individual without running together while giving scope for a range of content to be explored. There are no problems with the beat selection on this.

The lyricism is good with Kid Ink using his ability to explore different techniques to enhance his writing. He tries a few different ways to make his imagery and the impact of his words improved but they sometimes fall short of the mark. While never by much it does influence the tracks and how they play out.

The features help to flesh out the project some more so that Kid Ink does not become stale on a full listen through. Each brings in an entertainment factor that plays well with the production and helps to make the project more cohesive. A few more singers could have made a few more interesting combinations, but the guest selection here works well.

Overall, this project is great for remembering the past summers and looking forward to the future ones. Kid Ink has crafted a project that fits its objective perfectly.

Trae Tha Truth – Tha Truth Review

This album is what the title describes. All the tracks have truth in them and Trae does a good job putting his passion into the rhymes.

The production is great and gives enough scope for Trae to really explore around his emotions and feelings. There is not too much going on in the background to overpower the artists but they do have enough impact that they aren’t forgotten. Some more higher energy tracks could have balanced it out slightly more, however that would not be in the spirit of the emotional sharing.

The lyricism is good but most of the enjoyment comes from his delivery. His unique tone makes Trae easily discernible to the listener while his rhymes have enough power behind them to sink in and make you think. Some more complex techniques could entice more of an audiance, however that is not the aim of this project. Trae has selected his audiance and plays directly to them.

The features all do a good job of adding more depth to the tracks. They all bring a lot of effort to thier songs and give another opinion on the topic at hand. A couple more singing guests could strengthen the additional dimension, but Trae has selected a good group for this project.

Overall, this album is enjoyable to listen to while also making you think. It is good to see Trae make a full album rather than the stream of features the world has seen from him recently.

Kid Ink – Full Speed Review

This is a good project for Kid Ink as it shows him making a whole variety of tracks with some good features and some different flows. There is not a whole lot to criticise about this project.

The production is smooth and refined. The beats blend together easily and are accessible for both lovers of Hip Hop and to lovers of Pop music. The way the producers have put the tracks together comes across as very polished without a fault in them and that is a big bonus for this project.

The lyricism is there and is scattered throughout but may not be as involved as some would like. While Kid Ink does very well to involve wordplay and lyrical devices in this work, the songs aren’t saturated in them so as to help expand the audience further into the realms of Pop music. For Hip Hop purists, Kid Ink could have used more wordplay.

The features are good and add to every track they are on. Each helps to bolster the cohesiveness of the tracks and helps introduce different opinions and angles on the message of each track. If the features weren’t there, this project would not be as good as it currently is.

Overall, this is a great project for Kid Ink and for rap as a sub-culture of Pop music. Kid Ink may well be part of a movement to move Hip Hop out of the darkness and into the mainstream of radio around the globe.

YG – Blame it on the Streets Review

This is a nice short album to remind people that YG is one of the new generation of rappers who shows real promise to keep West Coast Hip Hop alive. This album has a fair amount of throwback value to YG’s debut album “My Krazy Life” which is a good as that was also a good album. However with some repeat songs it can become difficult to really enjoy if you have heard “My Krazy Life” enough times.

The production is good and enjoyable for most listeners as it is very much in the style of popular Hip Hop producer DJ Mustard who has been known to craft some of the biggest hits of 2014. The range is good with some more energetic tracks mixed with an acapella freestyle and an acoustic cover of one of his previous songs. It is a nice blend of styles and flows which create a very diverse album.

The lyricism is good as the freestyle especially shows that YG can rap without the song being held up with the beat. It is clever in most places and where it isn’t, it is kept simpler to help get the point across. This helps YG to create a lot of imagery and show how he has grown as an artist since his debut album dropped earlier in the year.

The features are good but may not always be discernable from one another as some have similar voices. This is not a big problem but with so many features on so few tracks, it can start to feel less like YG’s album and more like a free for all. This doesn’t mean the features aren’t enjoyable though and they definitely help shape the tracks on the album with different pitches and some singing used to add more depth.

The other big thing about this album is it comes with a half an hour short film written and starring YG with the music being used from the songs on the album as well as some from his debut. This increases the entertainment value of the album as a different form of media helps to stimulate the listener and helps to show life from YG’s point of view.

Overall, this is a good pit stop on the way to a more streamlined and cohesive album but is still very enjoyable. The songs mixed with the short film can show YG in many lights ad helps to get his messages across better.

Ty Dolla $ign – Sign Language Review

While Ty$ is a talented singer, he may need to find some new things to sing about. The actual vocals and the ability on this project is fantastic, however the constant stream of songs about women and drugs can become stale. The only thing that keeps you listening ot it is the fresh approach to some old classics. Ty$ takes “Dead Presidents” and flips it to be about strippers which brings a fresh perspective to what you can do with a song.

The vocals, as said before, are fantastic. Ty$ shines with ability and is rising up to take the spot as Hip Hop’s go to singer. On songs with featured artists, Ty$ really stands out as his style of singing ties together what the featured artists put on the track and helps the project sound a little cohesive, despite the repetitiveness of the song matter.

The production is good, with beats that blend with in with the singers crooning and help to showcase how talented Ty$ is. The project as a whole, production wise, fits together very well and as projects go the production flows together and is a good palate for talent.

Overall, this is not a bad project, and not as good as his “Beach House” projects, but needs a bit more variation in the subject matter to make it a great project. However Ty$ is still a very talented singer and should continue to make great tracks.

DJ Mustard – 10 Summers Review

This project would feel like a collection of uncohesive DJ Mustard songs if the skits weren’t in there. That is the danger with making an album from a producers side of things. However DJ Mustard has done a better job than most by actually keeping a lot of the same features on different songs as this helps to keep a feeling of consistency. The skits add a nice touch of breaking up the songs with nice little pieces of insight into what DJ Mustard is aiming for, namely total radio and musical takeover.

The vocals on this album are good, with all the features putting in good efforts on their verses and hooks, and with some big names thrown in there. The only problem is, while it can make some of them catchy, the hooks on a lot of the songs are very repetitive and in some cases just one line repeated over and over, see “Ghetto Tales” and “Guiseppe”. This is the new emerging trend that can make some songs feel like they are slowing down and not keeping up with the style of beat DJ Mustard is trying to supply.

The production is of course fantastic with DJ Mustards signature style shining through on every track. With each track individually, his signature style is a bonus and keeps the track fresh. However, if you listen to the album all the way through the production can start to sound a bit monotonous and missing a bit more variation, although it does start to change very late on in the album.

Overall, this is a good album to nod your head to and pick out your favourites to listen to, but can become a little bit of a chore to listen to the whole thing when you start playing it. A touch more variation and maybe even another skit or two would take this album a long way, but DJ Mustard has put in a solid effort and should be commended for opening up new production paths for the people.