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.

Advertisements

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.

Hodgy – Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide Review

This is an enticing release as Hodgy shows his skills after the disbanding of Odd Future. He does well to prove that he is his own artist and does not shy away from the spotlight.

The production is great as it is energetic but also somewhat laidback, which leads to an easy listen. Each beat is individual, yet remains cohesive in a full listen through. This selection works very well for not only Hodgy’s style, but for hip hops general audiance.

The lyricism is solid, with plenty of good wordplay making this an interesting listen. Hodgy dips in and out of the beats but always staying within the flow of the track to help give his delivery an edge over the formulaic of the average rapper. Hodgy would stand out among the crowd if he was close enough to them to be part of it.

The features are excellent and show the connections Hodgy has. With only a few of the tracks having guests on, each one counts, which makes the great performances by them all the more important. With some big names on there, it is fantastic to see Hodgy holding his own against them.

Overall, this release is different from the normal, as well as putting Hodgy on more people’s radar. With this album under his belt, Hodgy should be able to continue with this momentum to greater success.

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.