A$AP Rocky – Testing Review

This is a release that is the definition of just okay. There are some good things about it but it has too many pitfalls to shine out.

The production is interesting as there is a lot of experimentation in the beats. However it doesn’t break any ground and a lot of them are overbearing in comparison the the rhymes. There are too many backings here that are too far from what people are aiming to hear that there are a lot of missable tracks.

The lyricism is good but there is not enough smart wordplay for it to bring this project out of the mud. What Rocky says entertaining, but his performance gets lost as his delivery is overpowered by the production. This needed stronger delivery to have pretty much any impact on the listener.

The features all do a good job of putting across their skills and are the highlights of these songs. All of their contributions are the highlights of the tracks they are on as well as the best thing about this album. Hopefully Rocky can take lessons from them and improve his own efforts.

Overall, this is a failure for Rocky, but he should still be commended for his efforts. It is important that efforts go into experimentation for progress to happen and there are bound to be mistakes along the way, but without mistakes there would be no lessons learned.

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Yelawolf – Trial By Fire Review

This album shows that Yelawolf has found the sound he has been striving for, that merges hip hop and country music. This combined with his storytelling and lyricism makes for an album that shows a much deeper side of the musical artist.

The production is amazing because it is established in the first track that there is a band actually playing the music with country elements. This combination of things helps to make each track have the perfect atmosphere for the message or story that the song requires. The range here is also incredible with deep or saddening songs as well as bright and energetic helping to stop this album becoming boring.

The lyricism is fantastic with Yelawolf using his own life experiences to flesh out the topics for the tracks. All the stories in this album are delivered exquisitely and the descriptive wordplay makes the listener feel the full force of the messages he is performing. With the variety of his flow helping to keep this cohesive, there is very little to complain about on this project.

The features help to add fresh voices and to add another dimension to the song they are on. Each one shows their own skills while building upon the story Yelawolf is telling. Maybe some bigger names, considering the label he is signed to, could have made some more interesting moments. On the other hand, the fact that Yelawolf doesn’t need many A List performers to make such a great release is a perfect reflection on how artists should see themselves which is as a competent enough performer to not seek as much help as they can get.

In conclusion, this album is the best Yelawolf album out yet as he seems to find his stride more and unveils more of himself on it. It could be difficult to find more material, but there is no doubt that Yelawolf is back on the path to greatness.

A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes, Vol 1: Friends Review

This project definitely has the cohesive feel that comes with people who are close making music. It is a shame that a lot of the songs are in the same vein, but they are done well.

The production is good and really punctuates the rhymes with the amount of emotions somehow crammed in. Each beat has a lot of similarities, which can often happen with total in house production, but they are all effective in getting the energy across. A few more variations on the beats wouldn’t hurt but all the backings are still very much enjoyable.

The lyricism is entertaining and the different delivery of each Mob member helps keep things fresh as the project plays out. A lot of solid bars are scattered throughout the album, but there is the odd miss step which is quickly covered up with another rhyme. A bit more consistency would make this flow just a little easier.

The features are good with some big names keeping things moving. Each puts in a good verse or uses their signature talents to bring their own flavour to the songs. Some singing could lighten up this project full of deeper tones and noises.

Overall, this project is a good showing of each of the members abilities and how well they work together. It will be interesting to see how they progress with future endeavours.

Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife 2 Review

This is more of the same from both members of Rae Sremmurd and is unremarkable, but extremely catchy and hypnotic music. While entertaining, there is little to no showings of personnal growth from the duo, which is a bit of a let down.

The production is good and enjoyable, but can become repetitive. Each song doesn’t run together but contain a lot of the same elements that makes them seem less special. Maybe trying something further from their comfort zone could make a more balanced project.

The lyricism is alright but is very middle of the pack. They don’t push themselves to be better than others with their rhymes, but they know they don’t need to with the kind of music they make. While that is true, it would still be a better album if they tried to draw in more purist listeners.

The features help to make some of the tracks more interesting by bringing their own flavour to the songs they are on. Each puts in a good effort and helps make the project more cohesive. Some guests further from the comfort zone of the main artists would help show growth and experimentation, but the features on here work well with Rae Sremmurd.

Overall, this project is full of energy and will no doubt spawn some popular singles, but is not a great project for Hip Hop. It lacks technical skills and could do with an injection of wordplay with less repetition.

Pimp C – Long Live The Pimp Review

This is a great album for that signiture southern sound as well as the content Pimp C is known for. May he rest in peace knowing this album is enjoyable and entertaining.

The production is full of the deep south and there are no complications about it wanting to sound otherwise. The beats all have that bounce to give it that energy that Pimp C thrives off of while not sounding similar and still sounding diverse. There are no issues with the selection on here as it only brings strength to this project.

The lyricism may not be complex but the delivery and performance is amazing which really boosts the songs. The humour and unique content perspective really help give this a unique edge that makes it stand out against the other projects releasing at the same time. The rhymes on this are definately only a good thing for the rap game.

The features help fill the space in the songs with equally enjoyable verses. Pimp C has a whole host of great stars jump on these tracks to help make them amazing songs and finish this album up. Maybe some singers could give this more of a balance but there are no issues with who has got on it.

Overall, this album is very good for fans of Pimp C and southern Hip Hop. With plenty of interesting moments to keep listeners coming back, Pimp C would be proud of this project if he was here to see it.

Juicy J – 100% Juice Review

This mixtape is not breaking any new ground at all and is a rehashing of everything we have already heard from Juicy J. He needs to break the formula if he wants to bring in new listeners.

The production is a lot of what we normally hear on a track from Juicy J and becomes stale very quickly. While there are some interesting sounds and some good beats in there, there is also a lot of similarities between them as well as what is on the market right now. A few attempts at trying something new to show that he can climb out of the rut he is stuck in could be great, however Juicy J seems caught in hat he already knows he can do.

The lyricism is straight forward and packed with an impactful delivery, but lacks any content that will stick with the listener. Juicy J can craft rhymes about a few things with some effectiveness but it is lacking in diversity which makes the tracks harder to listen through. A bit more variation could lead to more poeple being interested in the music on this project.

The features don’t bring a lot to the mixtape as some do great and others very little. The guestslater on in the project do a better job, but earlier they are very similar to Juicy J themselves. Maybe some guests who compliment rather than imitate could lead to more interesting moments.

Overall, this mixtape is fine if you want to hear more of what Juicy J can already make, but if you were expecting something new from him, you will be disappointed.

Travis Scott – Rodeo Review

This is full of almost party music that Travis has turned into the darker side of those times. He seems to craft his own sound that gives his music another edge above others.

The production is special as it seems to be a blend of almost everything that is popular and instead of sounding like a mess, it comes across as very well crafted. There is a variation and diversity in the beats that make a lot of different scenarios come forth in the music. Maybe some simpler, taken down beats would show that Travis Scott doesn’t need strong backing to make a successful song, but he has great success with his beat selection on here.

The lyricism won’t attract the lyrical purists, but Travis does not slouch and keeps the level of entertainment up with delivery and a touch of autotune. The actual rhymes work well with the song content and help make the songs enjoyable. Some more complexity in the verses as well as the hooks could help bring in some more listeners, but Travis should get a fair sized audiance off the strength of these songs.

The features all do a good job of fleshing out the tracks with fresh voices and opinions. Each brings a lot of effort and puts a fresh spin on the song while showing what they are capable of as artists. Maybe some more guests from further afield could bring in some different audiances, but his selection on here make this a better project.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable listen while breaking Travis Scott into the realms of established artistry. Now he needs to keeo this momentum rolling to really breakout from the rest of the pack.