Various Artists – The Hamilton Mixtape Review

This release is incredible. Everyone knows how great the songs from Hamilton are, and letting these artists re-imagine them shows that they work as more than story telling devices in the show.

The production is great with some of the original Broadway backings used so the artists can give their own impression or interpretation of the originals. Where new songs have been created or tweaked, there are no missteps and actually helps keep the listen through fresh. This is a clever re-imagining of an already successful show and should help bring even more attention to it.

The lyricism is fantastic as Lin-Manuel crafted stunning rhymes from the original used in a lot of the tracks here. The new lines are all amazing with fantastic imagery and passion put into the messages of the songs. These tracks are put together with such a close eye on the precision of the craft that each of these feels almost brand new, despite there already being versions of a lot of them.

The selection of artists on here are fantastic. Each compliments the part they play on here in style and fits the need of the track perfectly. There are no problems at all with these features.

Overall, this is a really incredible showing of not only the talent of the artists, but how to put a release together. Lin-Manuel had a bright future after the musical release, but this will help solidify him as a future for music everywhere.

Advertisements

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.

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.

Mac Miller – GO:OD AM Review

This album is fantastic and shows great growth from Mac Miller. He crafts this album with stories of personal journey and uses his life experiance to make relatable tales.

The production is great as it does not override the rhymes while being creative and enjoyable. The beats are all different from each other while keeping the signiture sound of Mac Miller. He has chosen backings that accentuate his talents and make really great tracks.

The lyricism is good and helps with the descriptive portion of storytelling. Mac Miller uses a range of techniques to heep his raps fresh and interesting to the listener while being able to get his point across with a good amount of impact. Maybe some more variation in his delivery could enhance some moments, but he certainly does not slack on this album.

The features bring a good comparison to the project as they all bring good verses that push Miller on. The performances they pull off all help show that they are more than competant and that they can compete with Mac Miller as a great MC. Some more guests from different genres could make some amazing moments as Miller has a lot of crossover skills, but he has chosen guests well for this project.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable and entertaining album that has plenty of replay value and is more than worth the wait. Mac Miller should be proud of fighting his struggles as well as making a great album.

A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP Review

This album has a lotof the same elements as his previous effort that was a big hit with audiances and this should be also. While there arent any outragously club or party tracks, it is all heartfelt and enjoyable to a majority of listeners.

The production is excellent and all comes together to help showcase Rocky’s skills. Each beat has a different feel while some may appear similar, but if the listener pays the slightest amount of attention, the differences are clear and help show how cohesive this project is. Bringing some more energetic music into it may help to create a more all round project but Rocky has done well to keep his individual tastes through his beat selection.

The lyricism is good and helps to take what Rocky is saying and show the message clearly to the listener. Rocky has done well to improve upon what he had when it came to technical skills and to keep the level of lyricism to a good standard. On the other hand it is not as complicated as it could be, to attract the elitest lyrical listeners, but Rocky is effective with his rhymes.

The features are all effective on thier tracks and help to build up the level of cohesion on the project. Each guest is selected to work perfectly with the beat they are on and this helps each of them to produce verses to rival Rockys own. Some guests to open Rocky up to a wider selection of genres may make tracks to appeal to an even wider audiance, however that may not have made this an easy listen for Hip Hop purists.

Overall, this album has built on the success of Rockys previous efforts and has shown growth as an artist. Rocky should use this momentum to build up more of A$AP Mob and to take his brand to new heights.

Ludacris – Ludaversal Review

This is a great project from Ludacris who seems to be following the same lines as his 1.21 Gigawatts mixtape. The messages and energy levels are great and keep flowing through the whole project.

The production is smooth and polished, making each song easier to listen to. They are beats that Luda has proved time and time again that he can use effectively and he continues to do so. Usually, more diversity is good but there is enough variation in this production to keep it very enjoyable.

The lyricism is obviously fantastic as Ludacris never disappoints with his verses. The wordplay comes across with a lot of passion with a lot of emotion packed in to give it some extra kick. There is no bar left without some lyrical technique involved and it makes this a great album to listen to.

The features put in good verses and help bring another dimension to the album. Each may have different qualities to Luda but that helps strengthen the project further. Some features that were a bit more unexpected may have made some slightly more interesting tracks but there is not anything wrong with what has been produced here.

Overall, this is a great album to listen to, although it will probably not get the recognition it deserves from any award communities. A great project from Luda and a great project for the Hip Hop world.

Miguel – NWA.HollywoodDreams.Coffee Review

This is only three tracks, but they have the sustenance of being singles that could chart high in most countries. Every aspect of each song is fusing Hip Hop and pop without sacrificing core values. With a lot of R and B thrown in there for good measure, the tracks on here are superb.

The production is fantastic. Each track is smooth and easy to listen to while being entertaining and energetic. While having completely different atmospheres on each track, they have the same smoothness that makes this project easy listening. Changes in tempo and changes in content shape each track but all of them are great.

The lyricism is alright but a lot of the talent on this project is through Miguel’s singing. The words are more powerful because they flow together like Multi-syllable rap schemes but the singing amplifies how well the words fit together and creates a great listening experience. Miguel has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Overall, for three tracks, it is a great project and if it is a sign of things to come, Miguel is going to have a successful 2015. His singing is a great asset to both R and B and Hip Hop which means that he may have a lot of collaborating to do in years to come.

And Merry Christmas to everyone reading this.