T.I. – DIME TRAP Review

This is an amazingly complete release that somehow doesn’t quite gel together as smoothly as it feels it should. T.I. explores a lot of different things in this album, from how he cultivated the trap sub-genre to how his mistakes have led to a lot of problems in his personal life, that together create a complete picture of the man we know.

The production is great and does compliment the message on each song. Individually, the beats all work, but when you put them together as a full album listen to, they can come across as a bit choppy and it can make listening through the whole thing a small challenge. On the other hand, a lot of listeners will simply pick out their favorites, as is the current trend, so this is not a huge disadvantage.

The lyricism is good, with a lot of uptempo rhyming to help keep energy levels up. However, when on an emotional track, T.I. bears his soul to show his side of the story and show that he knows he is a human being and that he makes mistakes. However you slice it, his performance here is phenomenal.

The features do a great job of accentuating the song they are on as well as showing their own talent. There is a real combination of tough street efforts on top of softer singers to add an extra dimension to the project. The guest selection is excellent and are only additions to this album.

Overall, this is a strong album with a lot of strong performances. T.I. continues to be a staple in hip hop and will continue to be, while hopefully having less drama.

Meek Mill – Wins And Losses Review

This release is another showing of force from Meek Mill, with a renewed vigour for success. After a turbulent time, he has shown how he can pull it together to make good music.

The production is energetic and helps keep the pace as the project plays. Each song with similar atmospheres all have a lot of the same elements, but are varied enough that they don’t get confused for each other. Maybe something with more of an easy listening feel would help include another audience, but would not fit with Meek Mill’s delivery.

The lyricism is strong with plenty of wordplay and clever punchlines. With some poignant messages in the mix here, the impact is huge with the delivery and performance aspects boosting them. a softer delivery might show that Meek is expanding his repertoire, but having already added a lot to his arsenal here, it is not a big miss.

The features are great and help with the cohesiveness of this album. Each makes a great effort and shows their own skills, which always fit with the song they are on. A guest from further afield than the rap game would help make some more interesting moments, but this is a small price for the results displayed on this project.

Overall, this is an enjoyable album with some great moments and little filler. Meek Mill can hopefully take this and have a more stable year to come.

Quavo – ATL Review

This release shows that Quavo can make enjoyable music without the other members of Migos. This collection of songs is full of energy but lacks a lot of depth in many of the offerings.

The production is trap based with lots of highs and plenty of atmosphere. Each beat has similar elements but uses enough different tones and sounds to make them individual. Maybe something further from his comfort zone would show a little growth in Quavo’s music.

The lyricism is good with some excellent descriptions and an interesting delivery to help keep things interesting. Quavo does use some wordplay and other devices to keep his rhymes impacting on the listener, but it can become repetitive, which is why keeping the project short was a fantastic choice. Maybe trying to embellish his words a little more could help push him further into stardom.

The features are excellent, helping to lift this project out of repetitiveness. Each has an excellent verse or chorus, showing their own skills as well as working well with the other artists. Some more singers would help add another dimension, but Quavo does enough singing on his own, even if it it with autotune.

Overall, this is worth a spin, but if the music of Migos is not for you, then this release from one member is most likely not either. Quavo will definitely appeal to his core audience however and possibly gain a few more listeners.

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.

T.I -Us Or Else: Letter To The System Review

This is a poignant and cohesive release that highlights a lot of political issues as well as others. T.I is trying to show some dark areas of America and he succeeds and then some.

The production is smooth and helps the tracks to flow easily as a listening experience, making it simple to listen to the message of the songs. There is some variation in energy levels as well as pace to bring a good amount of variation to the listen through. There are no issues here as there is nothing dull about the backing beats.

The lyricism is clever as well as passionate, which helps boost the impact of the rhymes. T.I weaves great tapestries of how he currently sees America and the issues inside. There are no problems with the words on this project as there is diversity in the flow, schemes and wordplay used to create an enlightening listen.

The features are great as they help give more points of view on the topics described in the tracks. Each puts in a good effort and pushes the others on the song to try harder themselves. Maybe a few more singers would give a softer touch on some of this project, but there is still a great balance between the artists.

Overall, this is a top release and T. I should be proud of his social work and his attempts to better the people of America. May his lessons not be lost on deaf ears.

Meek Mill – DC4 Review

This project is very entertaining and shows that Meek Mill still has a passion for rap despite all the beef he finds himself in. It is good to see he is better than just a target for any number of rappers.

The production is good with plenty going on in the background to support the lyrics. Each beat contains similar elements but are diverse enough that they are not too much alike. Some slower songs could help balance this mixtape out, but Mill has a strong selection to work with here.

The lyricism is good but is not fantastic. Meek Mill relies on his delivery a bit too much and his rhymes do suffer slightly because of it. While they are still clever, his lines need a bit more complexity to appeal to a wider audience.

The features are ok but many run in the same vein and have thier own weaknesses. There is a lot of autotune that doesn’t work great with the beats and Mill’s own style as well as many other shout rappers that sound similar to the main artist. Some more variation would go a long way on this project.

Overall, this is an enjoyable project because of the energy running through and the fun that comes from it, but it does have its pitfalls. Meek Mill shout take what is in this mixtape and refine it for a future album.

DJ Khaled – I Changed A Lot Review

This album is good if you like the highly energized rap music that pumps out of mainstream radio these days. If you prefer something deeper or more lyrical, there are other options out there for you.

The production is good with plenty of different types of energetic beats, but there are no slow moments. This works fine for the basis of this album as it is DJ led, but should be avoided elsewhere. A few more diverse backings could do well to show that DJ Khaled does not follow a formula, but the concept of this album works for his purpose.

The features all do a good enough job to make the songs enjoyable but there is not a lot of substance. Each guest puts effort into thier verses, but with the same people recurring multiple times doing the same thing, can become stale. Maybe some more variation in guest selection could create some more interesting moments, but at least the songs are not totally boring.

Overall, you will probably like a few songs on this but a full listen through may not be as entertaining to everyone as it might seem. DJ Khaled does show that he can still put together a project however.

Rick Ross – Black Dollar Review

This mixtape is a better project than his last album was. It has better hymes, beats and level of cohesiveness which shows an odd amount of concentration for Ross to be exhibiting.

The production is good with plenty of scope. There are interesting sounds and patterns used to make beats to encapture the listener and keeps the listen through sounding enjoyable. Some beats out of his comfort zone could have inspired even more interesting moments, but Ross works well with what he picks here.

The lyricism is not complicated or complex, but contains enough relevant and pertenant information that they can be entertaining when listened to. The content is what drives this along with above average delivery. Some attempts to try new things could show that Ross can evolve outside his comfort zone, but he sticks to what works for him to make music.

The features all help to increase the cohesiveness of this mixtape. They put in a lot of effort and on thier tracks that seems to push Ross to try harder as well. Some guests from further away from his comfort zone could make some more interesting tracks, but the poeple on here work well with Ross.

Overall, this is an enjoyable project that won’t be fun for everyone, but does show growth from Ross in his content. He just needs to try a few more new things.

Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money Review

This album is full of high energy music without it all being aimed at clubs. There are also a few touches of a softer side that are rarely heard from Meek Mill that really help pull the project together.

The production is all excellent as it reflects what Meek Mill’s actual attitude on the song is. There is a lot of higher tempo beats that help the project keep rolling and there are also a good mixture of atmosphere to enhance the message of each song. Maybe a few more backings with more of an old school feel would show more of a complete challenge for Mill, but he has made a good selection of beats on this album.

The lyricism is good, although is not the most complicated. He utilises a lot of different techniques to really embelish each track and really improve the imagery. With his delivery showing that he will not be left in the background, it is really quite upsetting when he uses so much autotune throughout the album. Less autotune could help Mill keep his core audiance, however when he is using his raw talent, the tracks are great.

The features are great and help build the project up with a huge amount of working chemistry. They all bring good verses or hooks and help bring more diversity that the project needs to help it reach that next level. A few more singing guests could have helped bring the level of autotune down on the project.

Overall, this is an enjoyable project that unfortunately has a few down moments. For the most part, a lot of Hip Hop listeners can get into.

Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint Review

This is a pop album with definite Hip Hop roots. While Nicki is known to the general public for her hit pop songs, this project shows she has the lyrical ability to be playing around with some of the Hip Hop heavyweights. However the number of tracks trying to appeal to a wider audience stops this from becoming a purely Hip Hop project.

The production is good and works well with Nicki’s flow. The beats are very well put together and are very modern in sound. This helps enforce the feeling that Nicki is at the forefront of Hip Hop culture and builds atmosphere on the tracks. However it would be¬†interesting to see Nicki try to tackle production with a bit more diversity away from pop culture and more to the streets.

The lyricism is there and is done very well. While not the most complex it is very effective in creating entertaining songs that are easy to listen to and have some good imagery to go with them. Nicki changes her style a couple times which helps to bring a higher level of depth to the project and makes it more enjoyable to listen to.

The features are good and help add some flavour to the mixing pot. Bringing the A-list to this project helps show that Nicki is amoung the elite in the rap game, however also bringing her label mates and rappers who she has good chemistry with makes more cohesive tracks. All of this points towards a good track list and a smooth listen.

Overall, this is a good project if you like Hip Hop music that is blended with pop to create a project that could appeal to both audiences. This is an enjoyable listen and while not being a purist Hip Hops ideal project, it can still be enjoyable.