Kendrick Lamar – DAMN Review

This is a charged listen that should appeal to everyone. Kendrick Lamar spins great stories with very poignant messages while keeping an entertaining edge.

The production is different from what is out there currently, with less emphasis on polish and more on dynamic impact. Each beat is effective at creating the atmosphere for the point of each track. Kendrick has already shown that he can make polished tracks and it is interesting to see that this was designed to be gritty and not so finessed.

The lyricism is obviously amazing and Kendrick Lamar uses his impressive wordplay skills to embellish his stories. Each bar is layered with meanings and every lyrical device is included. There are no issues here with a varied delivery, interesting flow and great rhymes.

The features are good because they help bring another level to the album with fresh voices. Each does a good job of adding a new flavour to the track they are on and aiding in making this project more cohesive. Some more rap guests could have made a few more interesting moments, but Kendrick does so well that others might have brought the quality down.

Overall, this is a truly great release and will only have commercial success. Kendrick Lamar is doing a lot to shape the youth and is doing it in a very effective way.

Fabolous – Summertime Shootout 2 Review

This is a great project as it keeps Fabolous in the public eye, showing his skills, as well as being a refreshing step back towards lyricism for Hip Hop. This builds on the work of the first installation to make this a promising staple for rappers everywhere.

The production is great as it is very summer like as the title suggests. The beats are light and airy which allows the listener to float back to summer memories while being entertaining and enjoyable. There are no problems with the beat selection as they fit perfectly with the aim of this project.

The lyricism is excellent with Fabolous not missing a step to add wordplay to every bar. He adds a lot of lyrical genius to these songs and lifts the whole genre back towards smarter rhymes. Maybe some more changes in pace and flow would make for a more balanced performance, but Faboloous does a really incredible job of making this project amazing.

The features help to add points of comparison for Fabolous as well as fleshing out the tracks. Each puts in a good effort and, with some big names, show that Fabolous is one of the big players in the rap game. The guests do a great job of adding more summer feelings to this mixtape.

Overall, this project is fantastic and should be celebrated by listeners everywhere. Fabolous should continue to put out this music so maybe Hip Hop doesn’t forget to have clever lines.