Bun B – Return Of The Trill Review

This is a great album from a veteran artist, showing that he still has a lot of talent behind the mic. Bun B has crafted a release that will resonate with a lot of listeners as having a lot of classic feel, but with a modern twist.

The production is great and works extremely well with Bun B’s rap style and tone. There is a lot of flavour in each beat and each backing creates the right atmosphere for the song. Maybe a few more softer offerings could make this feel a little more complete for some, but this is still a great listen when it comes to the production.

The lyricism is great, not the most complicated, but very enjoyable. Bun B has a unique vocal tone that exacerbates the impact of the rhymes and makes them much more entertaining. A little more experimentation with flow and complexity could show a little more willing to grow as an artist, but Bun B has certainly carved out his own lane here.

The features are great as each does a great job of showing their own capabilities as well as adding to the cohesiveness of the track list. All the guests fit perfectly into the song they are on and only bring positives to this project. It is possible that a few moresingers could add another dimension, but the guests on here are exactly what was needed for these particular songs.

Overall, this is one of the strongest releases of the year so far. Bun B has done a truly fantastic job creating this album and hopefully listeners will recognize that.

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Freeway – Think Free Review

This release shows that despite any health issues, Freeway can still make quality music. He has kept everything that made him a great rapper and improves upon any weaknesses he may have had.

The production is amazing, with some classic offerings blending in with some more modern beats. Each backing accurately reflects the content and message of the lyrics and helps build a cohesive and fluid listening experience. Maybe a few more times on more pop beats will help Freeway be a little more comfortable on the tracks, since he doesn’t sound perfectly at home, but this is still a great selection here.

The lyricism is fantastic with Freeway utilizing his strong delivery to help the impact of his rhymes. There is strong wordplay that really helps with the descriptive aspect of the project. There are no issues with Freeway’s performance here as he even plays a little with his flow.

The features are, on paper, strong choices. However while some pull of great performances and show how clever their rhymes can be, others let the opportunity slide and give less than average verses. Hopefully Freeway will take this experience and not play to what he thinks the audience will enjoy, and make what he thinks is great music.

Overall, this is a great release from a veteran of the rap game. Moving forward, hopefully he can continue to have output like this and make records for real hip hop heads to enjoy.

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy Review

This is a great album from Tyler that is fluid and doesn’t need defending like his previous releases. he shows not only great talent, but personal growth as well.

The production is not as aggressive as on his last album and with the softer tones comes a project that is much easier to listen to. The songs are softer but without losing all of their hardness and shock factor in some cases. This is a side of Tyler the world needed to see and help connect with him on a more human level, which is easier accomplished with this backdrop.

The lyricism is great with a lot of smart wordplay and a lot of clever rhymes. Tyler tones down his delivery but has built up more skill which helps him add to his descriptive ability that is another positive point of this project. With the growth shown from this, there are no issues with Tyler’s performance.

The features are well chosen and fit into their respective songs easily and without sounding forced. Each shows what they are capable of without over stepping and out shining the main artist. there is a good mix of singers with this album as well, which adds another level of entertainment to an already interesting release.

Overall, this is the best album that Tyler has released as it encompasses a wider audience without alienating so many. Hopefully he can carry this mentality forward.

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.

Wale – SHINE Review

This is a solid release from Wale and shows a bit more growth from the artist. The softer tones and choice of instrument help give this a more connecting tone than the party anthems that pop music has become.

The production is magnificent and sets the tone for the whole album. Each beat is not overbearing, so you can hear the artists on the tracks, while being melodic and uplifting in the background. Maybe something a little brasher could help give a more complete release, but the selection works well in this case.

The lyricism is strong and the easy delivery makes it easy to listen to. Wale has a masterpiece way of rapping, every word flowing easily together and the wordplay being descriptive and relevant. Something a bit more aggressive may show more sides to Wale, but there are definitely no issues with his performance here.

The features help to add another level of cohesion to this project, while showcasing others abilities. Each guest does a good job of showing how good their writing is and it is a good blend of stars as well as up and comers. The balance of singers to rappers is also pretty good which helps lead to a diverse listen through.

Overall, this is an enjoyable fifty six minutes that shows Wale is keeping his skills sharp. Mayback Music Group is having a strong year so far.

Mike WiLL Made-It – Ransom 2 Review

This is an energetic release reminiscent of the first Ransom project, but there is a certain amount of formula that is clear in each of the tracks. While the production from Mike WiLL is fantastic, what each artists does with it all seems to lead down the same path, with a few exceptions.

The production is phenomenal, with Mike WiLL creating trap beats that may seem similar, but all have different aspects that makes each individual. In a few cases it seems like there is a base guideline rather than an organic blooming to his creative process, but it still yields some great results. Maybe seeing what he can do outside the trap sub-genre could be an interesting challenge for the producer.

The features on this project are exactly what you would expect to find on songs from a producer as big as Mike WiLL. A stream of A-List rappers as well as fresh up-and-comers helps show a great level of respect for the producer here. It is a shame that so many come from the same vein of writing and delivery, but individually, they all still have good performances.

Overall, this is another release from an exceptional producer that proves he deserves the money and respect he is given. Only time will tell if he will attempt to branch out and attempt to work with a wider pool of talent.

Raekwon – The Wild Review

This is a great release from Raekwon, because it is simply him making music he wants to make, and not trying to horseshoe in artists that are popular but might not fit in with the song. This is a much smarter and smoother project than some will give Raekwon credit for.

The production is amazing with some good range and a lot of smooth transitions between songs. There are a lot of slowed down beats that compliment Raekwon’s flow perfectly and the jazz influences help make this easy to listen to. This is a smart choice because Raekwon does not always fit on modern trap offerings due to his vocal tone which can blend him away, but the selection on here works beautifully.

The lyricism is obviously fantastic with Raekwon showing that he hasn’t missed a step. There is still incredible wordplay as well as storytelling and almost every other lyrical device. While his delivery is solid and works amazingly for him, it might be interesting to hear Raekwon try to switch his flow a little in places.

The features are smart choices because Raekwon appears to have great chemistry with everyone he works with. He doesn’t simply choose people who are hot right now, he picks artists that fit with the song and the atmosphere of the track. There is some good singing heard too which helps this strike a cohesive balance on a full listen through.

Overall, this is a solid release from one of raps most consistent artists. Raekwon has made another great album and hopefully it gets the recognition it deserves.