Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!” Review

This release is not a rap release, but it is extremely enjoyable. Childish Gambino explores his talents away from rap and pours more soul into the tracks.

The production is great with the backings being smooth with unusual sounds to make them fresh and interesting. Each beat is individual and is easy listening, with no effort to get through the whole project. Some more hip hop style beats could open this up to his previous audiences, but he makes some great choice son this.

The lyricism is enjoyable but is not so complex as the singing ability takes precedent. His singing is actually good but his voice is not so powerful, which would explain why he allows it to flow and mix with the backings so much. While this is effective, it would be nice to hear him use what he is already known for to his fans to keep his core audience listening.

Overall, with no features on the project, this is an experimental leap for Childish Gambino as he aims to end 2016 on a high. this is a great non-rap album that is smooth and easy listening.

G Herbo – Strictly 4 My Fans Review

This is a nice addition to G Herbo’s discography as it is personnal and passionate which resonates with the listener. More projects like this should be released, but with a touch more cohesiveness.

The production is strong with a lot of hard hitting notes punctuating the beats. There is a type of backing that G Herbo seems to lean towards but he works very well with it. Some variation wouldn’t go amiss to help make this feel more cohesive and not like more of the same, but there is still a solid entertainment factor.

The lyricism is good with a strong and aggressive delivery helping to make them even more enjoyable. The rhymes are clever but not so complex that they are not understood which is a great level of lyricism to be at. G Herbo could still tighten up his flow with the beats slightly, but he has a great performance here.

Overall, with the one feature helping show some level of chemistry with others in the hip hop world, this is good work from G Herbo. If he can show a bit more diversity with his beat selection and with his flow, he could make a real success out of next year.

Big K.R.I.T – All My Life Review

This album has a lot of what K.R.I.T has done before but with renewed vidor and energy. While there are a lot of comparison to previous projects, there are definately some fresher attempts to make the songs appealing to listeners.

The production is great with a lot of more traditional instruements  used to give this a smoother ride and more of an easy listening appeal. There are plenty of good beats for K.R.I.T to use with plenty of scope for content. Maybe some more varied backings could show more of a universal appeal for K.R.I.T but he does well over what he has chosen here/

The lyricism is good but does not seem as complex as it could be. It does not seem like the actual rhymes had too much thought and the focus is on the message which gets lost in the production. Some more focus on lyrical complexity could go a long way.

The features do well in adding another dimension to the project. Each bring s aoog verse to the projhect but does not propel the track they are on as intended. Maybe some more varied styles of rapper could have created some more interesting moments.

Overall, this project has some great moments but they are few and far between. K.R.I.T may need ot look into changing his formula if he wants to bring in a larger audiance.

Skyzoo – Music For My Friends Review

This is a great album for the more emotional listener who enjoys those connections to the artist. Skyzoo forges that connection early in the first track and rides it all the way through the project to make it seem like your there with him.

The production is good with plenty of scope for Skyzoo to pour his soul in. There are mostly more layed back beats with a few more uptempo moments which allow for the more emotional moments that Skyzoo requires for the theme. A couple more energetic songs could have made a project more accessible for the masses, but this intimate album is great for real Hip Hop listeners.

The lyricism is great with above average wordplay and fantastic imagery. This all helps to bring the listener into the stories and makes the collection of feelings and tales into more of a journey. Taking this lyrical ability to more universal offerings would make Skyzoo a wider known rapper, but to be able to tell these stories in such depth are great.

The features are good, helping with the story telling aspect. The cohesive nature of the guests makes the tracks all flow together and make the album smooth and not jarred together. A few more guests with more ofa singing ability could add an extra dimension to the album, but there are no problems with the selection.

Overall, this is a good project if your willing to delve into the emotional pool that Skyzoo puts forth. What he has on here, he has crafted very well and should look at making more tracks like this.

Lil Durk – Remember My Name Review

This album has a good stab at making a lot of different songs for different listeners in Hip Hop, with a lot of diversity. However Durk does not really excell on a lot of them. They are perfectly good songs but it comes across as Durk stretching himself a bit thin, especially with all the autotune.

The production is incredible, with a lot of really good individual beats that are a great canvas for Durk to work with. There is not as much of a range of backings as there is styles over them, but there is plenty of diversity in them and they are all enjoyable. There is no issue with the production really, a good beat selection.

The lyricism is alright with a few lyrical techniques used to embelish the rhymes. However none of the lyricism is going to attract that side of Hip Hop to come and listen to this album. The other point is Durk’s delivery which seems to be autotuned on almost every track which detracts slightly from what he is saying and the impact that it has. Maybe if he left the technology behind a bit and showed his raw talent more, this would feel more like a Hip Hop album.

The features are great and add another dimension to the album. Each breaks up the monotony of hearing one voice well and they all being a great verse or chorus. It also shows good chemistry with others in the industry. A few features higher up the rap ladder could show growth, but Durk has chosen good people to assisst on this project.

Overall, this is an enjoyable album which will have at least one song on it that you enjoy. A full listen through can still be enjoyed but Durk hides behind autotune so much that it takes away from how entertaining an album this could be. One of the stronger debuts of the year so far.

Flo Rida – My House Review

This is a project full of high energy, fast paced music that will appeal to both Hip Hop audiances as well as Pop. Only real drawback is that it is simply more of what Flo Rida has been doing his whole career, but if your this good at it, why stop?

The production is all very smooth and will be viable for almost all genres of music. There are a lot of very good beats that fit the formula that Flo Rida works with to help make enjoyable music. It is possible that some may become bored with the fact that he seems to be making different versions of the same track, but with this only being seven tracks long, this is not a viable negative comment.

The lyricism is not complex but it is complicated with its multi syllable schemes that run through the entire project. Flo Rida does well to keep up his fast paced lyrical flow with the ability to keep his high level of multis up without it dropping at all.

The features do a good job of giving some more diversity to this project. The guests bring their own style to thier verses which helps show that Flo Rida can make tracks that are not always the same. The guests all put good effort into thier time on the songs and there are no let downs from any of them.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable listen that has plenty of replay value. Flo Rida does a great job on every song that creates a cohesive and fun listen through of this seven track mini-album. A full project should show growth from Flo Rida but definately needs elements of this project.

Snoop Dogg – Thats my Work Volume 5 Review

This is another great throwback project from Snoop Dogg. This time he links up with Tha Dogg Pound, Daz Dillinger and Kurupt for those who arent aware, to create a G-Funk sounding project to kick back to. It recreates the G-Funk era perfectly while also incorporating their journeys and newer inspirations, like Snoops recent foray into reggae. That combined with the great chemistry the three of them has helps to create a good sense of cohesiveness.

The lyricism is present on not only every track, but by every artist. None of the three let down with their lyrics and they flow into each others style very easily. They each not only have their signature style and flows, but it is rare to find a group of individuals that sound not only different from each other but from most if not all other rap acts out there. Snoop especially shines through his diversity, being able to add the reggae flavour for a slightly different atmosphere.

The production is diverse with some freestyles over popular new tracks, some old songs they did together and some entirely new songs. The backing ranges from reggae to Hip Hop to even pop sometimes, which is a new direction for Tha Dogg Pound.

With the features only being when the trio jump on someone elses track, this helps to create a more cohesive project that showcases their talents on tracks picked for others.

Overall, this is a great project if your a fan of the rappers or a fan of the era, but it may not attract new fans as it doesn’t contain any of the factors that may make it considered “popular” but it is a fantastic project for kicking back and enjoying a great era of Hip Hop.