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.

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DJ Khaled – Grateful Review

This release is full of big names and big tracks that make this a very entertaining listen. With DJ Khaled acting more like a  on this album, only the best tracks make the cut, and this album proves it.

The production is varied but always interesting. Every beat is energetic and works very well with the artists chosen to work on it. There may be something for everyone, but most will appeal to any listener as they are all polished and work as a full listen through as well as individual songs.

The Features on here make this project such a success. All show great skill and have great chemistry with the other artists on the songs as well as DJ Khaled. It is possible that some guests further from his comfort zone may have made some more interesting moments, but DJ Khaled has chosen most of the biggest names in Hip Hop to be a part of this release, and they don’t disappoint.

Overall, this is great for those who want to stick on an album and not use the skip button at all, leaving it to play through. DJ Khaled continues to have enormous success with his albums, but it should be noted that it is mostly down to other artists work. Not to take from Khaled’s ability to bring artists together, but most of the entertainment value is down to the features and not him shouting out during the project.

The Lox – Filthy America…It’s Beautiful Review

This release starts off strong with all three members having strong verses, but some safe choices later can make a full listen through disappointing. Some of the more mainstream options takes this edge off this gritty album that could have been solid without them.

The production is good with the right atmosphere on every track helping to make this have more of an impact. While some of the beats are perfect for the group, the attempt to seem more radio friendly makes the group seem like they are trying to grow their audience. However by doing this they may have lost some of the core group that liked their old stuff. By sticking to what they know, they may have created a more cohesive project.

The lyricism is fantastic with all three members trying hard to be the best. They also try hard at the performance aspect with their individual delivery making the tracks stand out slightly. On the downside, the hooks are not as hard hitting as the verses and can be repetitive in places. While there are no major works to be done, this is not a totally smooth ride.

The features are the weakest part of this release because they don’t necessarily fit with the style of the group. While none do particularly badly, some do not gel with the chemistry of the group and sound a little out of place. Some singers would have been a better way to show the softer side than radio attempts.

Overall, this is an enjoyable release if you can sit through the few rough patches. Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss should be proud of their individual performances as well as how they work as a team.

Belly – Inzombia Review

This project is a showcase of how talented Belly is. He has got the right feel and talents to bring this emotional and haunting project to the public and make it a success.

The production has an apocalyptic feel which creates the atmosphere needed for Belly to explore his self destructive emotions. The almost empty nature the beats create is exactly what the project needs to land home hard which is not easy with the deep nature of the content. Normally a suggestion of a more energetic track would help show some balance, but that would upset the whole point of this project.

The lyricism is clever and does a great job showing how Belly has grown as an artist. He uses multi-schemes to punctuate his lines and paint vivid images for the listener to experience. He doesn’t make many mistakes, but maybe some more experimenting with his flow could make some more interesting moments.

The features are good as they bring great and versatile verses to this project. Each shows their own ability while showing that what Belly has gone through is not a unique experience. Maybe some more singers would make this flow a little easier, but his selection of guests is fantastic.

Overall, this is a dark view of Belly’s deep, dark self that he puts masterfully into music. This should show audiences that Belly is a complicated man as well as a talented musician.

French Montana – Mac & Cheese 4 Review

This project is good, fun and energetic which is sometimes what the audience needs. There are a few emotional songs, but Montana remains in his comfort zone for the majority.

The production is very bouncy with a lot of club atmosphere as well as some street beats to help keep this mixtape fresh. With so much power behind the boards, there is a lot of drive pushing this project forward that the backings provide a lot of the entertainment here. The beat selection is great for the music that French Montana wants to make.

The lyricism is straight forward but is effective in places. The rhymes are not made to be the most lyrical and his shouting at the end of almost every line doesn’t help make this more interesting. He knows what his fans want, and supplies that, but doesnt push French doesn’t push himself to be better.

The features help to make this more cohesive and to break up the monotony of hearing French Montana shout. Each puts in good effort and their styles alleviate some more of the similarities between the songs. Some more singing could have added another dimension to this mixtape, but French Montana knows what his fans expect and there are some huge names on here to assist with that.

Overall, this is a good romp through what a formulaic hip hop hit sounds like, but it lacks a lot of substance. French Montana may want to evolve his content if he wants to have more longevity in his career.

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.

Schoolboy Q -Blank Face LP Review

This album has tracks for everyone but not necessarily in a cohesive order. Every track is interesting, but not all have a high level of replay ability.

The production is varied and allows plenty of scope for Schoolboy Q to work with. Each has its own feel, but some carry extremely similar elements. On a full listen through, it can sound disjointed because of the track similarities, but is still enjoyable.

The lyricism is strong with passion filling every bar of Schoolboy Q’s rhymes. He may not always have the most complex lyrics but he gets his message across with such belief that the listener feels through their whole body. Maybe some changes in flow could make some more exciting moments, but there are no real issues with the raps on this.

The features are great and add a lot to this project. Each puts in a good performance, and help to push the tracks to further greatness. Most come off well and show the connections that the main artist has made in the Hip Hop world. No problems with selection here.

Overall, this album has a lot of good things about it and will have songs that will appeal to everyone at some point. Lets see where Schoolboy Q takes this momentum next.