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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Black Thought – Streams Of Thought Vol 1 EP Review

This is an amazing EP released by one of the top lyricists out there. After his impressive ten minute freestyle, people have been craving more from this artist and this is as good as it gets.

The production, handled by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council, is incredible. There is plenty of variation and distinct sounds to make each beat stand out. Sometimes the beats are a little too strong and override the lyrics a little, but all of these backings could be used as instrumentals and still be a success.

The lyricism is, as expected, amazing. Black Thought is renowned for clever lines and he packs all of these songs with bars. Considering the messages throughout the release, this is no easy feat and Black Thought weaves through the wordplay masterfully.

The features all do a great job of showing their own skills while keeping the project cohesive. All three show good chemistry with Black Thought and assist in making the EP flow freely. It is also impressive that they all work with the content so well and can add their own experiences as well.

Overall, audiences everywhere are hoping that this EP is just a taste of what is to come, as the title suggests there are more volumes coming. Black Thought will hopefully take this momentum and continue to put out music that the world wants to hear.

Royce Da 5’9 – Book Of Ryan Review

This album feels like a continuation into Royce’s life that he started on “Layers”. Full of emotions, stories and clever rhymes, this is a masterpiece of music.

The production is amazing. There is a lot of different beats on offer and all help add up to a cohesive listen. There are some missteps where some songs try to cater for specific times and/or places like the club, but it is not like they do not fit the message of the track still.

The lyricism is fantastic as Royce continues to flaunt his incredible ability. The wordplay is smart and adds a level of detail to the anecdotes and helps expand the messages of the songs to bigger proportions. There are no complaints about Royce’s performance on this project as it is this ability that has allowed him to continue despite a few problems earlier in his career.

The features are great and show how a combination of A-List and lesser known artists can come together and create great tracks. Each does astonishing work showing their own skills as well as building upon the work Royce has already put down. There is also a good blend of singing to rapping to help give an extra edge to the project.

Overall, this release is the project that Royce needed to capitalise off the momentum gained from his last releases. Including his work as various duos and groups, this is the peak of his rap career so far and it looks like he is only getting started.

Bugzy Malone – King Of The North Review

This release is a great showing of Bugzy Malone’s talent and how he is a force to be reckoned with. There is a song for each audience on here, but it may not connect totally because of the backings.

The production is good, don’t be mistaken, but it fades away a little too much in places, taking from the impact of the songs. Each beat is still individual and creates the right atmosphere for the project. However they do not totally support Malone and something with a little more push could lift this higher on the way to success.

The lyricism is great, with good story telling elements as well as wordplay. Bugzy Malone proves he deserves a title in the rap game, but knowing what happened to the last King in the North (Game Of Thrones) could show it is not always the best path to take. Let us hope he can continue to carry his brand and his skills forward to future releases.

The features are good and help show some good chemistry with the main artist. They each show their own skills and break up the hearing of one voice as well. Maybe some more guests could show that Bugzy can work with a range of people, but leaving more time to show his own abilities was still a smart move.

Overall, this release shows that Bugzy Malone definitely has a strong following that he appeals to. Now it is just a case of seeing if he can broaden that audience to fill the south as well.

Prodigy – Hegelian Dialectic (The Book Of Revelation) Review

This release shows how Prodigy is aware of issues happening today as well as his own status and his position to help change it. Before his untimely death, this was a good album to end with, even if he didn’t mean it to be his last.

The production is great with plenty of different atmosphere’s, reflecting the content with ease. Each track feels individual and the skits work well to help bridge the gaps between each one. The is a great selection of beats on this and only missing something with some pop flare, which Prodigy would not have wanted to be particularly near in the first place.

The lyricism is sharp and poignant, with the unique delivery giving each bar extra impact. With so many messages woven into each rhyme, the level of description and story still involved is incredibly high and Prodigy makes every word land heavily with the listener. maybe trying something further out of his comfort zone could show a little more growth, but Prodigy knew what he was doing when he put this together.

The choice to only have one feature was clever because the introduction of the skits into the album broke up the rapping nicely and didn’t require other voices to do so. The one guest does well to keep the message strong and display his own skills, not letting down the full listen through. It is possible that showing his chemistry with others may have improved these songs, but they are still amazing songs without other voices marring the point of each one.

Overall, this is another strong release from Prodigy and addition to his catalogue. He was taken too early from not only the Hip Hop community, but from this world and may he rest in peace.

Kool G Rap – Return Of The Don Review

This is a good release with Kool G Rap making a lot of clever decisions to increase replay ability. Shortened songs and great guests help elevate this even higher.

The production is fantastic with MoSS providing good backdrops for each track, and creating a good atmosphere. There are similar elements in each song, but they are still individual. Maybe something a little further from the formula would show the artists in another light, but MoSS has provided songs that allow the vocalists to excel at what they do.

The lyricism is clever with Kool G Rap using his delivery to add more impact to his rhymes. The bars might not be the most complex, however they do carry a lot of weight and land hard with the listener. Some change in flow might help separate out Kool’s performances, but the guests also help to do that so it is not the biggest issue.

The features are great and do a good job of pushing this project forward. Each puts in an amazing verse that helps push Kool G Rap onto further greatness as well as showing that they are at the top of their respective games. With some rap legends keeping their names alive on here, the artists here are a great selection to have on any project.

Overall, this is another release from a veteran that could teach newer artist how to make music with longevity. With plenty of replay value, this is definitely worth a few listens.

CZARFACE – A Fistful Of Peril Review

This project is another good showing from the members of CZARFACE. Each does their part very well which helps lead to a concise and cohesive project.

The production is fantastic with the signature CZARFACE sound coming through very clearly. The jazz influences are still present and help add a dimension to this music that a lot of new music is missing. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is different, edgy and very enjoyable.

The lyricism is good with the rappers using plenty of superhero references to play to the comic book style. Both Esoteric and Inspectah Deck put in the energy to fit with the fast paced album, which is thirteen tracks but last only thirty five minutes. Some more changes in flow could make a few more interesting moments, but there are no faults in the rhymes spit by the main artists.

The features help to flesh out this project and shows that not only big names help make tracks. Each of them put in good efforts and help keep the quality high on this album. A few more singers may help to expand the possibilities of this album, but may not have fitted with the style of the CZARFACE story.

Overall, this is a very fast paced and entertaining project, but may not be for everyone. On the other hand, it is definitely worth one listen to decide if the style of this group works for you.