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.

Advertisements

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.

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.