Big Boi – BOOMIVERSE Review

This is a great release from Big Boi as it is smooth and does encompass every listener with one play through. Something for everyone and high levels of cohesion have built this up into a top quality product.

The production is fantastic as each beat is strong and can stand on its own, while leaving room for the artists to work and not encroach on their space. You also get the feeling of outer space and the expanse as each song plays and really helps link back to the title. Maybe something with a little grit could appeal more to the more aggressive listener, but the selection here is outstanding.

The lyricism is excellent with Big Boi utilising his clever rhymes with a fast flow to create interesting and enjoyable performances on each song. It could be argued that the actual raps aren’t overly complex and could be more intricate, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective and impactful. Something slower may show a more complete balance of skills, but Big Boi only does good work on this project.

The features all help to lift this to new heights as they each put in great performances. Everyone does some of their best work on this album and none feel out of place. Maybe something a little further from the comfort zone of Hip Hop would make more interesting moments, but the guests on this help keep things feeling fresh.

Overall, BOOMIVERSE is a success and is definitely worth a spin. Big Boi should continue to explore his musical skills like this and expand his repertoire of artists he has worked with, as he has done here.

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Kodak Black – Painting Pictures Review

This release feels a little lazy and not as adult as it should have. The cover art is a good depiction of how this plays out, with a child’s view of themselves but without the finesse to make it work for the people viewing it.

The production is good, but nothing really stands out. The beats are all solid with a lot of potential, but they don’t leap out as the elite quality that is hoped for. Maybe something outside of Kodak Black’s comfort zone could help push him towards greatness.

The lyricism is alright, but gets very boring very quickly. Kodak Black sounds lazy through a lot of this and, even if that is the desired effect, the wordplay is not good enough to carry it along. More effort on both parts would help lift this album out of the murkiness that is the average.

The features are one of the strongest elements on this. With some top level guests, the verses and hooks provided are all of good substance and show that maybe Kodak Black is not as good as he might think. Looking to compete with his features more might make Kodak Black perform a little better.

Overall, this release was a bit of a let down and the title describes what the other children were doing. That may seem harsh, but a lot was expected of this album and it did not deliver.

Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me Review

This release show more of a softer side of Ross that listeners might not have expected. There are a few of the more street based tracks, but they appear to have less effort put into them than then slower ones that Ross shines on here.

The production is great with a few gritty beats mixed in with the slower, emotional ones. The slowed down ones leave room for Ross to be more creative, whereas there is so much going on in the backing with the energetic ones that the lyrics can get lost. On the whole, it is a good choice to try to balance the productions but if you do, then you should put equal effort into both.

The lyricism is good with Ross doing more to prove he is lyrically nice on this project. While not evident on every track, the verses on this show personal growth as well as a possible increase in skill. Rick Ross does well to flex his lyrical muscles on these tracks, but maybe still try on the more hood based efforts too.

The features are good and help build up the cohesiveness of this project. Each does a great job of showing what they bare capable of and how it blends with the styles of the others on the songs. Maybe trying to bring up new artists could help solidify his status as a rap great, but the guest selection on here is fit for purpose and works well.

Overall, this is a great release for Ross as it shows he is still working on his talents and becoming the best to ever do it. Maybe trying to improve on the formulas he is using for a few of his songs might help, but this works as a project.

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.

Jeezy – Trap Or Die 3 Review

This is another example of Jeezy showing how to make trap music with more of a refined polished sound that will land with a wider audiance. While there is a lot of trap influenced music right now, Jeezy shows how he helped ot kick off the movement.

The production is good as it is energetic and gritty when it needs to be while becoming softer for the more emotional stuff. While there is a lot going on in each beat, it never eclipses the artists which is a major issue in rap these days. It could be argued that a few different influences would help make a more balanced project, but this is supposed to be a total trap release, so this is not a reasonable criticism.

The lyricism is not overly complicated but still hits hard with the listener. Jeezy has a powerful delivery that accentuates his rhymes so that they are still entertaining without a huge amount of intricacy. Some more complex attempts with the raps could have improved this project, but Jeezy knows what his fans want and he fills that criteria perfectly.

The features do great jobs and help build on the work Jeezy does on the tracks. Each has great chemistry with Jeezy which helps make the tracks flow easier. A few more singers could help give another dimension to the project but would not necessarily fit with the style of beat and music.

Overall, this is a good trap offering but may not be a mainstream success. However, Jeezy has crafted a project that his fans can still enjoy and shows he is still a force to be reckoned with.

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.

DJ Drama – Quality Street Music 2 Review

This album shows that DJ Drama can still put together a great project after all his years in Hip Hop. While he is more of a curator than a performer, he shows he has connections and puts together exactly what the title describes.

The production is energetic while creating the atmosphere the track needs. Each is individual while bring cohesive with the overall listen through. When you listen through the whole thing, it does seem formulaic on first listen, but each backing is crafted well and will appeal to the listener.

The features really help to make this project as they are the main focus of all the songs. All put in good effort and on each track, the guests work well together as DJ Drama knew they would. He picks a few veterans as well as a great selection of up and comers to show their skills and flesh out the tracks. Maybe some artists further from what Drama already knows could make some moments further from the formula, but he knows what works and works it well.

Overall, this is a great playlist for songs for the street. DJ Drama has put this together very well and will hopefully go on to cultivate new talent as he has been.