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.

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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.

Method Man – The Meth Lab Review

This album is enjoyable if you were wanting to listen to people Method Man wants you to hear. However Method man gets a touch lost in the sea of other voices.

The production is good and allows for plenty of room for the artists to manouvre. There are a range of sounds as well as a variety of atmospheres to allow for a fair amount of content. However the changes in content topic are few and more diversity could have led to more interesting tracks, but Method Man still makes some interesting songs.

The lyricism is good and really adds to the enjoyment of the album. Method Man uses his unique vocal tones with his delivery and wordplay to make some really good performances that add a lot to the tracks. However his overload of features pushes Method Man into a crowded frame instead of making him standout. He does make his verses count making them far above average.

The features crowd this project out and make the listener lose focus from Method Man on his own project. While each of them do a good job making thier tracks entertaining, they are not top class rappers as Method Man is. They still do a good job, but there are too many.

Overall, this is a good project that has a high entertainment value. Method Man needs to put himself forward more if he wants to call it his own project.

Capone-N-Noreaga – LESSONS Review

This album is great for the most part and does exactly what Capone-N-Noreaga are aiming for. The only marginal downside is the over use of the hooks on some songs, but the project still works well overall.

The production is good and is textbook New York. This helps the duo to stay close to thier roots and keep making music that will connect to the audiance. A few more backings that are a touch further afield from thier comfort zone could show more of a diverse ability, however these beats fit very well with thier ethos so they can not really be blamed.

The lyricism is great and helps to make the descriptive portions of the album much more effective. While they are not in the absolute elite catagory of lyrical ability, they are above average and really show it on this album. Some more varied techniques could help to show a higher level of ability, but both Capone and Noreaga do great work here.

The features are great and help to add additional points of view to the project. Especially on the emotional songs, these guests bring in more depth that accentuate the impact of the wordplay. A few more big name features or some singing ones could add yet another dimension to this project, however Capone-N-Noreaga have good chemistry with those they have selected.

Overall, the elements on this album come together to make a lot of great songs that show Capone-N-Noreaga can still work effectively as a duo. A great goal for all long standing groups in Hip Hop.

Ghostface Killah – Adrian Younge Presents: Twelve Reasons To Die II Review

This album is a great continuation of the story as well as of the story telling ability that Ghostface posesses. While it may not have a hit songle, it does have a lot of replay ability for those who enjoy concept albums.

The production is classic RZA haunting minimalism. There is plenty of scope for content and for Ghostface to try a few different things. The beats work well with how the story flows which helps the project stay cohesive. A few more modern beats could balance the project out on the timeline more, however that would upset the atmosphere of the album and ruin the story.

The lyricism is good through this album and helps to add to the story telling element. While not overly complicated, it assists the imagery and makes it impact more on the listener. Some more rhymes with some more complexity could showcase Ghostface’s talent some more, however the way this story is told, it may have detracted from what the artists are saying.

The features all help to build this album up with the addition of thier verses. Each brings a lot of effort and a lot of great verses that add a lot to not only thier tracks, but the whole project. A few more singing features could have added another dimension to the album, but again, may not have fit with the story.

Overall, this is a great concept album that shows that not only does Ghostface have the ability to still make great albums, but that concept albums are making somewhat of a comeback after a few releases through the last few years.

Canibus – Time Flys, Life Dies… Phoenix Rise Review

This album has all the aspects of being a solid Canibus album as well as having some choice guests that show how his stock is rising once again in the Hip Hop community. However at over an hour and a half in length, he may have tried to cram too much into this project, and with the average track length being over four minutes it is a long haul.

The production is excellent with a few different flavours being thrown in to diversify the beats. Each has a different feel and atmosphere to help the message get through to the listener. However with the tracks running so long, it can feel like the backing becomes repetitive as you hear each song for that length of time.

The lyricism is excellent and Canibus shows why he was a powerhouse in the battle rap ring. The tracks are peppered with all sorts of lyrical prowess and rap techniques that make the words more powerful to hear and more enjoyable to listen to. Canibus should be commended on not only his expert lyriricism, but being able to keep it up for stone length of this project.

The features all do a great job and with some of Hip Hop’s elite included in the album, Canibus shows that he has serious connections in rap. All the guests put in good effort and come away with fantastic verses that make very cohesive tracks. Canibus may want to consider a signing feature or two on a more commercial track to help appeal grow with the mainstream audiance, but he may lose core audiance due to “selling out”

Overall, this is a very entertaining album and a great addition to Canibus’ already big catalogue of music. He shows that he is still a force to be reckoned with and that his strength in rap is still growing.

Raekwon – Fly International Luxurious Arts Review

This album has a good balance of most elements that make Hip Hop the defining genre it is today, but it lacks a certain shine that would attract newer listeners. Raekwon does very well to keep his rap qualities that he has had for over twenty years now and keep them as sharp as they were at the start.

The production is excellent and shows a real mixture of Hip Hop eras combined into one album. The range is great and the variety in noises, sounds and patterns used almost shows Raekwon lasting the ages. There are not many problems with the beats, they simply may not be to everyone’s taste.

The lyricism is fantastic and Raekwon showcases why he has lasted so long in the rap game. He uses a lot of lyrical techniques to embellish his work and pad out his imagery with an extra dimension. He may want to be a touch louder on the tracks to stand out more, but no one can really criticise this rapper.

The features are good and show that Raekwon can work well with a variety of rappers with a variety of styles. Each puts in some good effort and helps to make each track more cohesive. Some features with less of a connection to rap and Hip Hop may have made some more interesting tracks but these are still interesting.

Overall, this is an enjoyable album with a real mixture of tracks for any mood. Raekwon has been in the rap game a long time and his solo work, as well as his group work, has only improved.