Nas – NASIR Review

This is a nice collection of songs but it does not feel like a total album. It might have some great moments, but it only feels like a piece of something bigger.

The productions is great with a lot of different offerings opening up a lot of avenues for content. The way it plays through can feel a little stop and go, but it does work for the duration of this project, although not anything longer. The main issue is that anything longer wouldn’t work, but this feel surprisingly short, while replay ability is moderate it can feel the listener feeling cheated.

The lyricism is clever and sharp, as Nas always is. Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest wordsmiths of the modern age, Nas does not disappoint with his wordplay on this release. His performance on here will help show the newest generation of rappers, not to throw shade at the older generation because they can still do a damn good job.

The features all help to build this track up, but on such a short project, it is a shame to see time taken from the main artist. They do a good job of showing their skills as well as add more cohesiveness to the release. It would be interesting to see how Nas would interact with a few other artists, but its good he kept at least that much time for himself on here.

Overall, this is a nice selection platter for what Nas is capable of, but is not totally satisfying. Maybe on his next release, it will feel like a meal, rather than a sample.

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS Review

This project is an intriguing listen as the two artists are both highly creative and have clear styles that blend well on this. However while this is a revitalizing project for Kid Cudi, Kanye West does not seem at his best.

The production is truly amazing, with each beat capturing the atmosphere of the tracks superbly. With each instrument being masterfully used to create the feeling needed deep inside the listener, there is no doubt that the beatsmiths put their best work into these offerings. It is a shame that they feel squandered with the vocals that are layed over the top.

The lyricism is strange, with a lot of clever wordplay used, but also some basic shouting and some just noise making. While both the main artists have some top verses given, for a short project they don’t fill out the songs and are happy to let the instrumentals run their course. Now while the beats are fantastic, it should also be important for the vocals to stand up and take some control as well as not be tampered with, which unfortunately they are.

The features are a mix of phenomenal and confusing. Some put in great work and create moments of greatness, while others seem to be barely contributing and leave a lot to be desired. Maybe some guests with a bit more punch could create some more memorable moments.

Overall, this project seems hit and miss, with more hits from half of the duo then the other. Let it be said that it can not be a great project when the best part of the whole thing is how Kid Cudi hums.

Kanye West – ye Review

This album is a bizarre mix of excentricity as Kanye tackles his own difficulties throughout last year. However there doesn’t appear to be any regret over things he said while lacking passion to fill out his own tracks.

The production is interesting, with a lot of creativity being shown through the use of unusual sounds and patterns. This level of variation helps keep the songs sounding fresh, but stops them feeling fluid as the album plays through. A but more cohesion would go a long way to helping this project as a whole.

The lyricism is, if you take how it was technically put together, great. There is some clever wordplay as well as his signature shout at the end of his bars. However the content leaves something to be desired where, when he tackles some of his more turbulent moments in the year, he doesn’t seem to apologize for anything he said that might have been upsetting or wrong, morally or otherwise. This detracts from what Kanye is saying and may put off some listeners all together.

The features all do a fantastic job of showing their own skills and how they work together with Kanye. Everyone contributes, even if it is just a tiny amount in the background, but it all helps make the songs as good as they are individually. If they were all named on the tracks could be a nice touch, but their contributions are not forgotten.

Overall, this is a nice collection of songs but it does not have the impact of a great album. Some of the songs needed a bit more Kanye on them ot be included on this Kanye album.

Pusha T – DAYTONA Review

This is a strong set of tracks from the former member of Clipse with very few missteps. While only seven tracks long, all have plenty of merit to them.

The production is great, with a lot of unusual sounds being used effectively for a fresher performance. Each beat is individual and stands out not only from each other, but also has entertainment value on its own. There are no issues with these backings as they only enhance this project.

The lyricism is great, as Pusha T uses his unique delivery to boost the impact of his rhymes. All the songs are filled with wordplay as well as fantastic story telling. Maybe a little more variation in flow could add a little something more to this release, but these are still top performances.

The features do well to keep the voices fresh and add new perspectives and angles on the songs. Both show how talented they are and help the album feel a little more cohesive. Maybe seeing Pusha T work with a few others from the industry could be interesting, but the way T works on here, he doesn’t really need the help.

Overall, this is a top release from Pusha T. Hopefully he can continue with this success and continue to put out music of this caliber.

Cyhi The Prynce – No Dope On Sundays Review

This debut was worth waiting for. Cyhi The Prynce has spent a long time working on his craft and it is clear on this release.

The production is fantastic with a lot of backings that don’t overpower the artists on the tracks. Each fits the tone of the songs as well as being a strong atmosphere for the message being sent. Some more offerings with more of a club feel could give more for the general populace, but may not be in keeping with the project that Cyhi is trying to put out.

The lyricism is exceptional with Cyhi showing the talent that made the industry sit up and take notice. His lyrics are full of clever references and other great lyrical devices that embellish his storytelling with plenty of description. Possibly some more changes in flow could show a little more of what Cyhi is capable of, but his delivery is incredible on these tracks regardless.

The features are good and help to stop one voice becoming monotonous. Each shows their own skills while having great chemistry with Cyhi. There is a good range of different guests on here and it will be interesting to see who he chooses to work with in the future.

Overall, this is a very interesting listen with many thought provoking moments, The only issue is that the songs are possibly too long and can make a full listen through a bit of a struggle but Cyhi The Prynce has a great debut here and deserves a try from everyone.

Drake – More Life Review

This is a nice release from Drake with plenty of energy to make a listen through a delight. Drake is right to call this a playlist instead of an album because it is not so balanced as an album should be, but makes a great playlist for almost any situation.

The production is fantastic with all the elements that helped make Drake a household name to begin with. There are influences from grime to dancehall that help keep the palette fresh and cleansed as you listen through the whole project. The beat selection here is fantastic, but maybe a few more slower songs would give this a little more diversity.

The lyricism is great with Drake flexing his wordplay muscles as well as as continuing to shine with his singing. He takes a few subliminal shots at other artists but in ways that still show creativity and that he is still working to stay the top artist in the world right now. There are no problems with Drake’s performance on this project as he continues his run of greatness.

The features are great and show how Drake is growing as an artist. He is not worried about just choosing the biggest names, but instead chooses the artists he wants to work with. All of them do a good job and help make this release more cohesive.

Overall, this is a very entertaining listen through and could be a step into the future of music releases. Instead of trying to make an album that shows every side of you, Drake makes a list of songs that sound great all the way through, and maybe that is the direction the industry is headed in.

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service Review

This is a great project from a legendary group. Not only does it show that there is still a way to make unique sounding music, but it is the best farewell they could ever give to Phife Dawg, may he rest in peace.

The production is full of the jazz influences you would expect to hear from this group. They use the instruments to create great atmosphere throughout the project as well as affect the energy as it flows through the songs. There are some moments that are sudden changes but they are out there for effect and are not mistakes as they are part of how the project plays out.

The lyricism is great with each member who raps doing a great job of showing their signature flow with enjoyable rhymes to make tracks that are thought provoking and yet easy listening. maybe a few more changes between flows could make slightly more impact, but there are no weaknesses in the performances on this album.

The features are great as each shows off their own impressive skills while showing great chemistry with the group. All are uncredited on the album which means that on first listen through they are a surprise and are somewhat refreshing. This is a nice touch as there is a good balance between singers and rappers which leads to a smooth project on each listen through.

Overall, this is a great alternative project from what is popular in the mainstream and should help show people that rap is more than the generic pop tunes. Each member should be proud that they could make Phife Dawg’s last project as great as this.

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.

Gucci Mane – Everybody Looking Review

This album has the same elements as every other Gucci project, but with slightly more focus on the being famous and not the trap past. Maybe Gucci is starting to pull away from that particular crutch in his music.

The production is great as there is a record of Gucci picking beats that are similar, which on this he has avoided. Each is individual and has the atmosphere that each song needs. Maybe a few more tracks with some different influences could help Gucci to branch out to new listeners, but he has selected beats he knows he could work with and works well with.

The lyricism is not overly complex but there are still smart moments. Gucci is more about his delivery and ability to write catchy material, but does not use a lot of lyrical techniques to amplify his work. Maybe a few more lyrical turns could bring in a wider audience but Gucci Mane sticks to what he knows for the time being and does it well, apart from a few overly repetitive hooks.

The features are good as they help lend fresh voices to the project. Each puts in a good effort and help to show that Gucci is definitely still an influential figure in Hip Hop. Maybe a few more guests further from the rap game could show how his influence has grown, but he works well with the selected few on here.

Overall, this is a good project for background music but may not have the replay ability for most to really focus on the listen through. Gucci Mane is out of prison and on a roll if he can keep putting out projects like this.

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.