Yelawolf – Trial By Fire Review

This album shows that Yelawolf has found the sound he has been striving for, that merges hip hop and country music. This combined with his storytelling and lyricism makes for an album that shows a much deeper side of the musical artist.

The production is amazing because it is established in the first track that there is a band actually playing the music with country elements. This combination of things helps to make each track have the perfect atmosphere for the message or story that the song requires. The range here is also incredible with deep or saddening songs as well as bright and energetic helping to stop this album becoming boring.

The lyricism is fantastic with Yelawolf using his own life experiences to flesh out the topics for the tracks. All the stories in this album are delivered exquisitely and the descriptive wordplay makes the listener feel the full force of the messages he is performing. With the variety of his flow helping to keep this cohesive, there is very little to complain about on this project.

The features help to add fresh voices and to add another dimension to the song they are on. Each one shows their own skills while building upon the story Yelawolf is telling. Maybe some bigger names, considering the label he is signed to, could have made some more interesting moments. On the other hand, the fact that Yelawolf doesn’t need many A List performers to make such a great release is a perfect reflection on how artists should see themselves which is as a competent enough performer to not seek as much help as they can get.

In conclusion, this album is the best Yelawolf album out yet as he seems to find his stride more and unveils more of himself on it. It could be difficult to find more material, but there is no doubt that Yelawolf is back on the path to greatness.

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Joell Ortiz – Yaowa Nation EP Review

This is not a Joell Ortiz project as much as a simple showcase of how he can add a strong verse to a range of song types and how he can be appealing to a wider audience. Joell brings his strong verbal abilities to a host of popular tracks and this has the affect of showing that he can be great on almost any beat.

The production is good and has been proved to be popular with audiences already. It is energetic and full of life which makes it more enjoyable to listen to as it gets the listener pumped up and ready to get out and do things. This doesn’t get dull on the full listen through as it is only six tracks. It is great from a production point of view.

The lyricism is strong as it is with every Joell Ortiz verse and as he is putting himself, pretty much, as a featured artist on these tracks, it makes him stand out against others on the tracks. Any other srtist on the tracks doesn’t sound as good as Joell in any aspect and he really improves each track overall with his wordplay.

As Joell is acting as the feature on these tracks, he does great. The other people on the songs are good and help make it an entertaining and enjoyable listen. However they do not compare to Joell on any track and he is behind the driving force behind making these songs great rather than good.

Overall, this is a great project to listen to and for Joell Ortiz to show how great of an emcee he is on yet another set of songs. It is cohesive and fun to listen to and Joell proves he can improve almost any track by being on it.

PRhyme – PRhyme Review

This is a great album to end 2014 on. Both Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier bring their best to this extremely cohesive album that radiates pure Hip Hop all the way through. The beats and lyrics work very well together to create great songs for a great new debut.

The production is fantastic. DJ Premier has done very well crafting this album’s beats so that they can cause the listener to flashback to older times as well as compare to the new age of Hip Hop production. The tracks can have jarred sounds but are smooth to listen to and creates a very enjoyable listen.

The lyricism is very clever and engrained in the very DNA of the tracks. Royce Da 5’9 does a great job of weaving great images and story telling through the whole project which works well with the production. The wordplay is complex and shows why Royce is considered one of the top lyricists in the rap game today.

The features are excellent. They all bring top level rap to the project without overshadowing the others. Each spins a great verse that strengthens each track without weakening it and it keeps it as a very cohesive project. It is also good to see members of Black Hippy mixing with members of Slaughterhouse considering all that has been discussed about cyphers and battles between them.

Overall, this is a great album that is very cohesive and very entertaining to listen to. Both DJ Premier and Royce have created a project that has all the elements of a rap album that can be enjoyed by all and seen as a milestone in Hip Hop.

Shady XV – Various Artists Review

The first disc is a well crafted showcase of how the Shady Records roster is prepared to make more hits and the second is a track back at the past records that helped build it up to the powerhouse it is today. Eminem started it up and has kept it rolling through some tough times and a total reboot, but it is in a strong place now and this set of records is a signal that the label is as strong, or stronger than it has ever been.

The production is great, but being a protégé of Dr Dre you pick up an ear for beats. There is a good range of beat type from country to heavy and everything in-between. Each one compliments the message and tone of the track and helps to show the range of songs and backings that the Shady Crew can work with.

The lyricism is clear and present on every track. It becomes even clearer than before that these are some of the top lyricists in the rap game and that they are not to be trifled with. These guys have come to play hardball and they are annihilating almost all other rappers out there. If your a fan of lyricism and wordplay, you have to get this project.

The features are good and show that the group can work well together with an outside influence. As well as working together with them, they also seem to gain a competitive edge and work harder to outdo the feature which creates a sense of the pure nature of Hip Hop as well as creating a great track for the listener.

Overall, this is a fantastic project for both listeners and the performers on it and we can only hope they continue to create tracks of this magnitude. Whether it’s Yelawolf, any member of Slaughterhouse or Eminem, the rest of the Hip Hop world should take heed of whatever they are doing because it is bound to be a success.

Joell Ortiz – House Slippers Review

The title of this album is a perfect reflection of how it sounds. Joell sounds comfortable on every track, even on tracks where the content is dark, and it is clear that he has come into his own as an individual rapper and not just as one quarter of Slaughterhouse.

Joell Ortiz is clearly a fantastic lyricist as shown in his work with Slaughterhouse but with these solo tracks he really showcases why he is one of the greatest lyricists in the game today. His tone, style and flow also have unique properties and help him stand out amoung the features.

The features themselves are good, and add a lot to the dimensions of the tracks. they are mostly singing on choruses, but the verses on there are also very focused and concise. “Brothers Keeper” is the obvious stand out track for features with the rest of Slaughterhouse on it but Joell actually stands out on the track, even with such talent.

The production on the album is excellent. The beats are very diverse and help to give Joell a varied palette to work with. They help to create a great atmosphere on each track that helps lend itself to the message on each song.

Overall, this is a fantastic album that helps to give Joell a solo platform to show himself as a great rapper and not that Slaughterhouse is a great music group.