Jay Rock – Redemption Review

This album is a step away from the more street rhymes and moves towards a more open view of Jay Rock. He shows personal growth and is willing to try new things here that could pay off in a big way.

The production is great with the right touches in place for the appropriate songs. With this being a softer album, there is a high level of polish throughout the release that makes a very cohesive listen. It might be nice to hear a little more aggression in the beats, but Jay Rock’s delivery takes care of that.

The lyricism is strong and there is an increase in diversity from Rock too. He plays around more with a little bit of auto tune, used very tastefully, and variation in flow to keep every song sounding fresh. Again, it is missing a little bit of an aggressive edge, but the personal growth on this out shines that fact.

The features all do fantastic work helping to make this album great. Each puts across their own talents and finds the right tone for every song. The only thing missing for a lot of listeners is the rest of the Top Dawg Entertainment label, but there are still brilliant moments from the ones on here to tide people over.

Overall, this is quietly phenomenal and should be highly commended. People seem to forget that Jay Rock was the first one to break into the mainstream from Top Dawg and should keep this in mind when he releases projects like this.

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Ab-Soul – Do What Thou Wilt Review

This release shows more of his lyrical talent and emotions than his last release which shows him in a series of different lights. His musical skill is fantastic and this project will help secure his place as a great wordsmith.

The production is great because it keeps the project flowing without overriding the actual rhymes. Each leaves space to manoeuvre as Soul requires with his unique flow. Maybe some more energetic offerings might show a more complete picture of Ab-Soul, but these beats all go well with the messages he is putting across.

The lyricism is strong with each song benefiting from the flow and delivery, as well as the wordplay. Ab-Soul paints vivid pictures and tells good stories with his bars, and shows a lot of dexterity. Possibly some more aggressive emotion would show a more whole human being, but Soul does a great job reflecting on this side of his.

The features are great as it helps bring new characters into this story.. Each has a good effort that shows their skills as well as helping this project to stay cohesive. With some singers in the mix, this is a good guest selection to have.

Overall, this release is great as a listen through as well as an emotional roller coaster for Ab-Soul. Hopefully he can take a good spot in the charts with this release to get more recognition than he is currently getting.

Schoolboy Q -Blank Face LP Review

This album has tracks for everyone but not necessarily in a cohesive order. Every track is interesting, but not all have a high level of replay ability.

The production is varied and allows plenty of scope for Schoolboy Q to work with. Each has its own feel, but some carry extremely similar elements. On a full listen through, it can sound disjointed because of the track similarities, but is still enjoyable.

The lyricism is strong with passion filling every bar of Schoolboy Q’s rhymes. He may not always have the most complex lyrics but he gets his message across with such belief that the listener feels through their whole body. Maybe some changes in flow could make some more exciting moments, but there are no real issues with the raps on this.

The features are great and add a lot to this project. Each puts in a good performance, and help to push the tracks to further greatness. Most come off well and show the connections that the main artist has made in the Hip Hop world. No problems with selection here.

Overall, this album has a lot of good things about it and will have songs that will appeal to everyone at some point. Lets see where Schoolboy Q takes this momentum next.

Jay Rock – 90059 Review

This album has a great performance from Jay Rock, but his choice of production, while the beats are enjoyable, can make the songs seem quirky and difficult to follow. Individual good components, but not great put together.

The production is good with interesting sounds that make the beats interesting. Each beat is individual with not a lot of confusion between the songs. They could stand on thier own two feet a bit more rather than relying on the artist but at least it gives Jay Rock plenty of room to show what he can do.

The lyricism is good without being overly complicated or confusing. Jay Rock keeps it relatively straight forward, packing his rhymes with delivery and messages to keep the listener interested. Some more complexity could show that Jay Rock is still evolving as an artist, but what he does here shows that he is still making good music.

The features are great and compliment Jay Rock very well. Some showcase his label mates trying different techniques, while others do just enough to enhance Jay Rock on the tracks. There is a great blend of people for the eleven tracks on this album that help build the project.

Overall, this album shows that Jay Rock can hang out with the best of them when it comes to signiture songs, but may want ot look at making some more radio friendly type songs to gain more of  an audiance.

Wale – The Album About Nothing Review

This album does not have a great finish to it like other albums released in recent times but it does still have a lot of great qualities. Wale seems to be trying to imitate Drake or J. Cole in his delivery while trying to keep his individuality intact.

The production is good but can sometimes feel like it is missing something. A lot of the tracks have a lot of good, strong moments that really help to make this a project to listen to, but they tend to lack flair and relying on Wale and his rapping to bring it all together. While that can work some of the time, it should not be relied on for one element to bring every track together.

The lyricism is good but not great. In recent times, the level of lyricism in the rap game has increased and Wale may need to increase his level higher to help himself stand out more from the rest of the pack. However what he delivers on this project is still enjoyable and fun to listen to.

The features do a great job helping to bring a higher level of diversity to this otherwise single track project. Each of them puts in good effort to bring the level of entertainment on the song they are on to a higher level. Some features that weren’t so generic or almost expected may have made some more interesting moments.

Overall, this is a nice project that does not have the flair to be an elite album in todays game. A lot of elements on this album are good but do not rise to the level of greatness that Wale needs to keep his high ranking position.