Freddie Gibbs – You Only Live 2wice Review

This release shows that despite his recent legal troubles, Freddie Gibbs can still make entertaining music. This release may be compact but it has great repay value.

The production is great with a lot of dark sounds to fit with the theme of the project. Each might have similar aspects, however none of them feel like formulaic which helps the level of cohesion on the release. Maybe something lighter would give the listeners something to move around to, but this is clearly designed to be a brooding project.

The lyricism is solid with a good variations in delivery and flow to help keep things feeling fresh. The wordplay is enjoyable but can become a little slurred in the faster sections. Maybe a bit more emphasis on the annunciation of the words could help make this a little less work to listen to.

Overall, with no features to steal any of the spotlight, Freddie Gibbs has made a great release. It will be interesting to see where his career heads next.

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.

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service Review

This is a great project from a legendary group. Not only does it show that there is still a way to make unique sounding music, but it is the best farewell they could ever give to Phife Dawg, may he rest in peace.

The production is full of the jazz influences you would expect to hear from this group. They use the instruments to create great atmosphere throughout the project as well as affect the energy as it flows through the songs. There are some moments that are sudden changes but they are out there for effect and are not mistakes as they are part of how the project plays out.

The lyricism is great with each member who raps doing a great job of showing their signature flow with enjoyable rhymes to make tracks that are thought provoking and yet easy listening. maybe a few more changes between flows could make slightly more impact, but there are no weaknesses in the performances on this album.

The features are great as each shows off their own impressive skills while showing great chemistry with the group. All are uncredited on the album which means that on first listen through they are a surprise and are somewhat refreshing. This is a nice touch as there is a good balance between singers and rappers which leads to a smooth project on each listen through.

Overall, this is a great alternative project from what is popular in the mainstream and should help show people that rap is more than the generic pop tunes. Each member should be proud that they could make Phife Dawg’s last project as great as this.

Tory Lanez – I Told You Review

This project is great because it has songs that appeal to a lot of people, but with skits that tie the songs together into a story. Tory Lanez has done well to make songs that can be listened to together as well as individually.

The production is good with a lot of variation in instruments and sounds used. Each song is individual and cant be confused with others on the project. There are no problems with the selection but maybe more traditional instruments would make some more interesting moments.

the lyricism is sporadic but good in general. There are moments of fantastic lyricism and moments where it is average, but when the level of wordplay dips, is when it tends to be more emotionally packed. The only issue is the possible over use of auto tune which runs rampant through the album.

The choice to have no features is good because there are other voices in the skits and it helps to explore his personal narrative. It also gives plenty of space for Lanez to show what he is capable of. Maybe on his next project, he can show how he works with others.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable project with a whole range of tracks. Tory Lanez shows he is definately a Hip Hop power for the modern day.

Papoose – You Can’t Stop Destiny Review

While this album does have a lot of great points, it has the feel of being another mixtape that Papoose has cranked out. It is unfortunate because it starts off really well, but the end feels unstructured.

The production is great for the most part but the end starts to have an atmosphere of being outdated and old. The first few songs sound smooth and really improve the impact of Papoose rhymes. A bit more focus would help keep the production flowing well through the whole project, but all the songs can still be enjoyed.

The lyricism is fantastic and Papoose demonstrates why he considers his ability much above other rappers in the game. He uses a whole range of abilities to make tracks that are descriptive and enjoyable. A few more techniques throughout the songs spread more evenly could be an improvement, however Papoose certainly doesn’t slouch on this project at all.

The features are good as they compare well to Papoose. There is a good balance of singing to rapping which helps to make this project more cohesive. Maybe some more high calibre rapping from the features to challenge Papoose could be good for the album, but there are no problems with the choices for guests on this.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable album that falls short of being great. Papoose has put together a good album and by keeping the quality up through the whole album, his next could be a bigger success.

Tank – If You Were Mine EP Review

This is a good showcase of Tank’s singing ability as he takes on others songs to show he can sing it as well as they can. This works ot show his talent but not his songwriting ability.

The production is a toned down edition of the radio rips of these songs. While this may take some of the energy out of it, it does make Tank a much more powerful presence on the songs and help clear the path for him to really show what he is capable of.

The lyricism is all about imagery and message as this is a singing project and not a rap one. This means that the tones that are used in the singing combined with the overall message of each track is the main focus and not any intricate schemes or wordplay.

There are no features on this project as it is all about Tank showing what he can do vocally with other peoples songs and he does a good job with them. He shows that he can reach the high notes and then some with his pitch and he keeps the passion that others display on these songs as well. The only problem is that he may not put enough of his own self and style into each track to make it differentiated from the originals.

Overall, this is a good listen and is a good effort by Tank to break into the singing mainstream which can be very difficult in todays music scene. If he keeps being able to produce notes like he does on this selection, combined with being featured on others songs in Hip Hop, he will go far in the music industry.

Drake – If Your Reading This It’s Too Late Review

This is a personal sounding project by Drake with some haunting production, but it is only showing a more toned down version of what we have already seen from him.

The production is good and does well to make a good base for Drake to try and show his lyrical skill. With its minimalist sound and interesting instrument choices, the beats blend together well while staying individual. Maybe some variation could create a more complete sounding project but the production on this is still enjoyable.

The lyricism is alright but is not on the level that could be expected of him. This project is on a more personal level which puts Drake in the position of making powerful tracks. This does mean that he puts touching sentiment ahead of clever wordplay but that is ok as that is the idea. He does this extremely well and creates some tracks with some good messages.

The features put in some good efforts but do not live up to the expectation of being on a Drake project. While they do try hard, they don’t shine and simply fill in space on their tracks until the next one begins.

Overall, this is a good effort from Drake to air out some of his personal life but it has too much singing Drake and not enough rapping Drake for it to appeal to a Hip Hop orientated audience.