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.
This is another steller release from KXNG Crooked as he continues to use his platform to share and explore his views on America as it stands today. He does all that while showing that he has not missed a step in all his years of being part of the industry.
The production is versatile and fitting for the different content and atmosphere in each song. While the album has some more energetic offerings as well as slowed down songs, every song flows together with ease and makes the listen through so easy. The collection of different feelings and vibes on this release make for a well rounded album that has plenty of replay value.
The lyricism is a masterpiece as well as a master class on how to put what you believe in and your passions into well crafted bars. KXNG Crooked has always been a top wordsmith, but he really pushes himself on this to show once again that he belongs amoung the absolute best. A lot of rappers today could learn a lot from this artist, from rapping and his business acumen.
The features do well to compliment the songs they are on. Each shows that the guest them self is talented but also shows good chemistry with Crooked and only adds to the track they are on. It would be interesting to see some more artists work with Crooked in the future, but this project feels balanced with this many guests to help lighten the load.
Overall, this is a release with great songs that will give the listener plenty to think about as well as a high level of entertainment value. KXNG Crooked should continue to educate the masses on what it means to be a questioning mind with a razor sharp tongue in this day and age.
This album is full of all the things listeners love about KXNG Crooked. He is focused and that keeps his work sharp and following the theme of this project.
The production is great with the atmosphere reflecting exactly the message of the tracks. The beats are all dark to reflect the subject matter but are smooth enough to transition easily between the songs without becoming muddled together. Maybe something more light hearted could show another side of Crooked, but he excels on these tracks, so no one will be too bothered.
The lyricism is some of the best that has been released in recent years. Crooked uses some intensely descriptive and clever wordplay to make a project laced with absolute bars. His style might not be for everyone, but his rhymes should suit all.
The features are good as they help add a little more depth to this album. Each may not be in it for very long, but the fact they contributed is more than enough with some legends showing enough respect to this west coast MC that he is brought to some listeners attention at all. The way this is put together with the guests is great as they don’t control the project, just gently shape it.
Overall, this album is great to listen to from top to bottom, as long as you can get on board with the concept. KXNG Crooked is one of the best lyricists out there and should be respected by all hip hop fans as such.
This project is a fantastic introduction to KXNG Crooked for fans before his album drops. Previous fans can get behind the fact that one of the most lyrical rappers in the modern game is still being a rhyme genius and new fans can enjoy the bouncy production while learning what lyricism is.
The production is a sleek west coast affair, with bouncy backings and plenty of energy to help keep the listener interested, especially if they haven’t heard a Crooked song before. Each beat isn’t jarring in anyway and the fluidity of the transitions makes this an easier listening experience instead of being thrown from song to song. With this being only a handful of examples, it will be interesting to see what Crooked has chosen to work with on the full album.
The lyricism is fantastic with Crooked cramming bars into every song but without it sounding forced. Metaphors and similies are strewn throughout but the songs don’t feel overcrowded with rhymes trying to be too clever. The perfect balance is struck between bars and delivery and KXNG Crooked thrives in those moments.
Overall, This is a really great EP for Hip Hop fans everywhere, while knowing it is only a taster for what is to come in a few weeks time. May the album be as good or better than this and it will be in contention for album of the year.
This album shows a lot of different ways to look at Royce Da 5’9 as an artist as well as a man. His clear ability as a lyricist as well as his story telling makes a great listen.
The production is fantastic as it is more background than trying to overpower the vocals. There are many different flavours throughout the tracks which helps give the right atmosphere for the message Royce is giving out. Maybe some more aggression would make a more balanced album but there is a great level of continuity as the album progresses.
The lyricism is incredible. Royce uses his unique flow and incredible ability to weave complex lyrical techniques into his stories to really make them stand out with detail. There is not a lot that can be improved on here as Royce has proved himself a veteran word smith with great verses for many years now.
The features are good and help show that others relate to his stories. Each puts in good effort to make their verses as good as Royce and to add to the listening experience. There is a fair balance of guests who sing and rap, but it is possible that some more interesting combinations with people further from the rap genre.
Overall, this is a great selection of songs to listen to. The skits can become tiresome after a few listens but these can mostly be lifted out as they are individual tracks. Royce might not have crafted a perfect classic, but it is definitely headed in that direction.
This version of the album is great with all the greatness of the first outing with the addition of extra tracks that take nothing away from the original ones. The great chemistry between the duo continues on all four extra songs.
The production is all as great as it was before with the additional tracks only boosting the cohesiveness of the project overall. The extra songs all still have thier amazing drive and cuts, while the new ones do a really good job of showing that they have even more greatness in the vault. There are no problems with the beat selection on this.
The lyricism is still fantastic with Royce showing his level of consistency on the new tracks. He does not dip for a second and his unique flow help give him the edge over a lot of formulaic rappers out there right now. There are still no problems with what Royce is showing on these tracks.
The features all do a great job fleshing out this album and the extra tracks have the same thing. Each of the guests does a great job of pushing the track onward to further greatness and the comparison to Royce works wonders to boost ability. Some singers could have shown more sides of the duo, but thier selection of people to work with is fantastic.
Overall, this has all the greatness of the original but with the extras on here, it propels it further to stardom. Congratulations on taking something amazing and making it even better.
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.
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.
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.
Joe Budden returns in emotional rap mode to make a thoughtful and solemn EP. This project is full of the classic Joe Budden that talks deeply about his personal life and how it impacts his music career. It is clear that he doesn’t just make music for the masses. He makes music for his fans and, it would seem, as a form of therapy.
The production is full of emotional and brooding sounds and instruments that fit perfectly with the overall tone and message that Budden is trying to get across. The atmosphere created is a combination of suspense, fear and undertones of anger and it all leads to the perfect canvas for Budden to paint his message on.
The lyricism is of course there and helps with the story telling element of the project. Although most of it is emotional messages and personal tales of problems and anecdotes, the way they are weaved together and described with wordplay and intricate rhyme schemes is masterful and makes you want to keep listening to find out the rest of the story.
The features are good and assist in building up the tracks so that it builds up into not just a Joe Budden story, but a much wider reaching tale. While it is only on two tracks, they open up the possibilities of his upcoming album by showing he can work with a wider range of people than just Slaughterhouse, although they are a fantastic hip hop group.
Overall, this EP is a glimpse into Joe Budden’s mind-set as he gears up for his next full length album and it is full of his emotional pain and suffering that he is channelling into another great album.