Vic Mensa – The Manuscript EP Review

This release is great as preparation for an upcoming album as well as showing some great song making skills. Vic Mensa shows a great flexibility in the songs he can make and with this taster, the album has a lot of promise.

The production is great and helps fill the space that Mensa can not. Each beat is clear and definitely couldn’t be confused together. On this EP, the beat selection is great, but it can be hoped that Mensa doesn’t stay so diverse and he can keep it cohesive.

The lyricism is great with Vic Mensa showing a lot of skill with his rhymes. His delivery is punchy and his wordplay is renewed, as he may have sounded a little too content on his previous release. If he can carry this momentum into his next album, it is sure to achieve success.

The features are good and show a good understanding of who will help improve a song. Both do a great job of fleshing out the tracks while not taking from Vic Mensa’s performance. If he continues to pick guests like this, his next project will work incredibly well as a listen through.

Overall, this is a nice palette cleanser of other rap music to ready the listener for the next release from Vic Mensa. With creative ability like this, it should be a commercial success and a piece of absolute artwork.

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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.

Zothejerk And Frost Gamble – Black Beach Review

This release is another high quality product from a lesser known artist who proves that everyone has a vision. With Zo providing vocals and Gamble doing solid work behind the boards, this is worth a few spins.

The production is great with a good amount of variation, as well as smoother sounds, to allow for a variation in content from the appearing artists. Frost Gamble does well in creating atmosphere and boosting the impact of the lyrics. Maybe something with a little more pop flash could bring in more listeners, but that might not be in the vision of this project.

The lyricism is good, with Zo having some clever rhymes and messages to send to the public. His shout rap delivery sounds generic at first, but as the songs go on, he utilises it well with changes in pace and flow to help keep the songs interesting. There are no major issues here, but it could be difficult to have longevity with this particular style.

The features do a great job of lifting this project up to another level. With some big names included on the selection, each has a fantastic verse and/or chorus that works well with the main duo. Maybe a few singers would add a little more diversity, but this is still a strong bunch of artists to work with.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable album with some poignant messages as well as some more entertaining songs that will appeal to a wide audiance. You may not have heard of these names before, but take a chance on this and you wont regret it.

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.

President T – T On The Wing Review

This release shows that while he has solid rhymes and a unique voice and flow, repetition can really kill a project. President T needs to try to vary his hooks instead of saying one line loudly over and over.

The production is good and is as aggressive as the main artist. Each beat is strong but fades too far back as President T is too vocal over the top for it to make much impact. A bit more balance between the noise sources could help this sound a bit more cohesive.

The lyricism is good but not incredible. While there is some clever wordplay and his delivery boosts that, there is only so many times any listener can hear how good a rapper is without needing more proof. If he can vary his content more, as well as improve his hooks, then he could have some of the evidence to prove he is as good as he says he is.

The features are one of the best things about this album. Each puts in a nice effort and provides a fantastic point of comparison to President T, showing his strengths and weaknesses more clearly. Some more singers could have brought another dimension to this project, but may not have fit in with President T’s style.

Overall, this is a disappointing release, but it does offer redemption. President T shows the potential to make amazing music, but he is falling short due to his ego and simple loudness.

Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3 Review

The cover art for this release lets you know that this is rap gold and it does not disappoint in any way. This is the most cohesive the duo has ever sounded, and considering their catalogue, that is saying something.

The production is incredible with all the right emotions in the correct measures. The aggression that fuels this runs deep and helps the artists connect with the beats to aid in the performance. There are no problems with the backing selection on this and El-P should be proud of his work.

The lyricism is some of the strongest in the modern age with both members only doing fantastic jobs. There is great wordplay and schemes all over this album and it makes for very entertaining listening. Both artists have great delivery and flow to go with their rhymes, as well as having signature voices to help them stand out. Only rap genius from these two once again.

The features help keep the project on a high because of their own chemistry with both main artists. All give amazing efforts to compete with the others which helps keep energy levels high. Some singers could show another dimension, but might not be in keeping with the groups style.

Overall, this is definitely one of the top releases of the year. It is difficult to keep such a streak of great albums going, but Killer Mike and El-P may even have a few more in them if they can keep this momentum going.

Tech N9NE – The Storm Review

This is a lengthy release from Tech, but each song is entertaining. They might not all work as a full album listen through, but individually, these are good songs.

The production is great with plenty of energy keeping the album buzzing. Each beat makes a great atmosphere for the type of song which helps keep the listener interested. Maybe a few more slow tracks could give more of a balanced feel, but it may not fit with Tech’s particular style.

The lyricism is fantastic with some of the best wordplay this year. Tech bends words to his will as he crafts bar full of multi-syllable schemes as well as every other lyrical device. His flow may be a little fast for everyone, but it makes very entertaining tracks.

The features are good as they help keep tracks fresh considering how long this project is. Each puts in a great effort that shows the chemistry that the Strange Music roster has with each other. There is a good balance of rap and singing, but a few more artists who are singers could give a little more depth.

Overall, this is a good release from Tech N9NE but it is not as cohesive as his previous albums. While he does more than good work on this, a bit more direction could ave stream lined this a bit more.