Wale – SHINE Review

This is a solid release from Wale and shows a bit more growth from the artist. The softer tones and choice of instrument help give this a more connecting tone than the party anthems that pop music has become.

The production is magnificent and sets the tone for the whole album. Each beat is not overbearing, so you can hear the artists on the tracks, while being melodic and uplifting in the background. Maybe something a little brasher could help give a more complete release, but the selection works well in this case.

The lyricism is strong and the easy delivery makes it easy to listen to. Wale has a masterpiece way of rapping, every word flowing easily together and the wordplay being descriptive and relevant. Something a bit more aggressive may show more sides to Wale, but there are definitely no issues with his performance here.

The features help to add another level of cohesion to this project, while showcasing others abilities. Each guest does a good job of showing how good their writing is and it is a good blend of stars as well as up and comers. The balance of singers to rappers is also pretty good which helps lead to a diverse listen through.

Overall, this is an enjoyable fifty six minutes that shows Wale is keeping his skills sharp. Mayback Music Group is having a strong year so far.

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Goldlink – At What Cost Review

This release is great as it shows Goldlink in a great light and shows he can put together an entertaining, cohesive listen. A lot of great choices on here make this a standout album of 2017 so far.

The production is great with a lot of smooth, easy listening backings that blend together well without becoming one long song. The laid back nature of some of these helps to make this a project you can put on anytime and enjoy. Maybe something more in the mainstream, upbeat region could have helped bring more listeners to it early on, but there is no doubt that there is a good ear for beats involved here.

The lyricism is fantastic. Goldlink does well to keep his wordplay sharp as well as work in the high level of detail that the listener feels. There are no real issues with Goldlink’s performance on this as it is a joy to hear on this release.

The features do a great job of adding additional depth to this with some singing and some strong verses. Each guest showcases their own ability, while blending with the message or theme of the song with ease. Maybe something a bit more brash could add another edge, but the people picked for this work wonders.

Overall, this is is a great release for Goldlink and rap music, as it shows that not only trap music can be catchy and enjoyable. May this sentiment keep going and push other rappers to branch outside the drug based topics.

Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me Review

This release show more of a softer side of Ross that listeners might not have expected. There are a few of the more street based tracks, but they appear to have less effort put into them than then slower ones that Ross shines on here.

The production is great with a few gritty beats mixed in with the slower, emotional ones. The slowed down ones leave room for Ross to be more creative, whereas there is so much going on in the backing with the energetic ones that the lyrics can get lost. On the whole, it is a good choice to try to balance the productions but if you do, then you should put equal effort into both.

The lyricism is good with Ross doing more to prove he is lyrically nice on this project. While not evident on every track, the verses on this show personal growth as well as a possible increase in skill. Rick Ross does well to flex his lyrical muscles on these tracks, but maybe still try on the more hood based efforts too.

The features are good and help build up the cohesiveness of this project. Each does a great job of showing what they bare capable of and how it blends with the styles of the others on the songs. Maybe trying to bring up new artists could help solidify his status as a rap great, but the guest selection on here is fit for purpose and works well.

Overall, this is a great release for Ross as it shows he is still working on his talents and becoming the best to ever do it. Maybe trying to improve on the formulas he is using for a few of his songs might help, but this works as a project.

Fabolous – Summertime Shootout 2 Review

This is a great project as it keeps Fabolous in the public eye, showing his skills, as well as being a refreshing step back towards lyricism for Hip Hop. This builds on the work of the first installation to make this a promising staple for rappers everywhere.

The production is great as it is very summer like as the title suggests. The beats are light and airy which allows the listener to float back to summer memories while being entertaining and enjoyable. There are no problems with the beat selection as they fit perfectly with the aim of this project.

The lyricism is excellent with Fabolous not missing a step to add wordplay to every bar. He adds a lot of lyrical genius to these songs and lifts the whole genre back towards smarter rhymes. Maybe some more changes in pace and flow would make for a more balanced performance, but Faboloous does a really incredible job of making this project amazing.

The features help to add points of comparison for Fabolous as well as fleshing out the tracks. Each puts in a good effort and, with some big names, show that Fabolous is one of the big players in the rap game. The guests do a great job of adding more summer feelings to this mixtape.

Overall, this project is fantastic and should be celebrated by listeners everywhere. Fabolous should continue to put out this music so maybe Hip Hop doesn’t forget to have clever lines.

DJ Khaled – Major Key Review

This album had high hopes, but falls flat a lot more than it soars. Some tracks come across as cohesive genius whereas others seem more like formulaic noise to try and bring in more listeners who are not Hip Hop educated.

The production is good in places and great in others. There is a lot of energy running through the project but in a lot of places the elements in the tracks become more merged together into background noise rather than being effectively tools. Maybe some more beats with less happening in them would open up more space for the artists.

The features all do their job and most do it well to help flesh out this project. The verses tend to be effective but the hooks come across as repetitive in a lot of cases which really lets the album down. Some more imagination in that particular aspect would go a long way.

Overall, Khaled has made his playlist of high value artists and put together a collection of music that will appeal to most. However only a few tracks will remain with the listener.

Rick Ross – Black Dollar Review

This mixtape is a better project than his last album was. It has better hymes, beats and level of cohesiveness which shows an odd amount of concentration for Ross to be exhibiting.

The production is good with plenty of scope. There are interesting sounds and patterns used to make beats to encapture the listener and keeps the listen through sounding enjoyable. Some beats out of his comfort zone could have inspired even more interesting moments, but Ross works well with what he picks here.

The lyricism is not complicated or complex, but contains enough relevant and pertenant information that they can be entertaining when listened to. The content is what drives this along with above average delivery. Some attempts to try new things could show that Ross can evolve outside his comfort zone, but he sticks to what works for him to make music.

The features all help to increase the cohesiveness of this mixtape. They put in a lot of effort and on thier tracks that seems to push Ross to try harder as well. Some guests from further away from his comfort zone could make some more interesting tracks, but the poeple on here work well with Ross.

Overall, this is an enjoyable project that won’t be fun for everyone, but does show growth from Ross in his content. He just needs to try a few more new things.

Fat Trel – Georgetown Review

This album has a lot of really good moments that are mixed into some average ones to show growth in the rap game. Fat Trel has now worked with almost every kind of rapper now and has taken that experiance to a new level.

The production is good with a good variety of beats for Fat Trel to work with. The changes in tempo as well as structure help make this a cohesive mixtape with a lot of replay value. It is possible that quicker changes between  the backing types could have kept slightly more interest on a whole listen through, but there are very few problems with the production on this.

The lyricism is good and helps to make the imagery much more real to the listener. while every line is not packed with techniques, the passion behind them carries them through to the next batch of lyrical wit. A couple more bars packed with more wordplay, but Fat Trel does a good job with his rhymes.

The features add a lot to the mixtape as there are plenty of them without over powering Trel. They all put in a good amount of effort and have great verses to show for it. Some features further from the rap game could make a few more interesting tracks, but that is the case for a lot of artists out there so it can’t count against Trel too much.

Overall, this is a good mixtape to help promote Fat Trel as a member of MMG and as an individual. Trel has crafted an exceptional piece of work and should carry that momentum forward to an album.