Khaled’s Not ‘Suffering from Success’, perhaps suffers from a lack of innovation…
DJ Khaled⎪ Suffering From Success⎪ Cash Money ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 22, 2013
If there is one reservation I (and likely others) have with DJ Khaled’s albums, it is that generally they all seem ‘one-dimensional’. Maybe that is a harsh critique, or maybe it’s just actual reality. Of the Khaled albums that I have partaken of in recent times, they’re always good for some top-notch club bangers (“I’m On One”), but cohesively, the albums feel like somewhat detached compilations. Suffering From Success proves no different, ultimately yielding some pleasant, head-nodding moments, but eschewing the ‘second coming’.
After intro “Obama (Winning More Interlude)”, “Suffering From Success”, featuring Ace Hood and Future, kicks off the album of the same title. Ultimately, the production work (Young Chop) is dark, malicious, and characteristic of the hardcore rap idiom. Future delivers his first of many hooks, sounding his typical, auto-tuned self: “Got too many racks on me, I can’t even go to sleep / just to get ‘em out V.I.P., I’mma need to see I.D. (I don’t trust you) / I’m sufferin’ / I’m sufferin’ from success / I’m sufferin’…” Really, “suffering from success”? Please! The best part of the so-so title track may be Ace Hood’s aggressive rhymes.
“I Feel Like Pac / I Feel Like Biggie” is much stronger, sporting production from The Beat Bully. Ah the weight that synthesized brass and a hard underlying beat carry! The inspiration seems to be full-fledged here, whether that’s just the mere mention of rap royalty or a star-studded cast including Rick Ross, Meek Mill, T.I., Swizz Beatz, and Puff Daddy. Swizz Beatz’s hook is definitely ‘on point’ as they say, while Meek Mill kills it on his verse. The momentum is propelled even further on “You Don’t Want No Problems”, yet another juggernaut assisted by Big Sean (the hook), Rick Ross, French Montana, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Ace Hood, and Timbaland (who produces with Khaled). There are numerous highlights, including memorable lyrical moments from Rick Ross (“On the phone at the light, Kelly Rowland’s a friend / Catfish in the Benz, Manti Teo’s a sucker…”), 2 Chainz (“They slept on me, I stopped sellin’ work and started sellin’ coffee…”), and Ace Hood (“My sanctuary’s that cemetery / my choppa, named it obituary…”)
“Blackball” follows, again relying on the ubiquitous Future for a hook (“They tryna blackball me, they say I get too much money / they want my name from me because they know what it do…” etc.). Plies and Ace Hood handle the verses, though compared to the previous duo, “Blackball” is less triumphant. “No Motive” featuring Lil Wayne sort of falls into the same boat, sounding ‘solid’, but not exceptional. The hook definitely didn’t take much thought: “F**k all you b*****s… f**k all you hoes… one million, two million, three, four…” “I’m Still” is enjoyable enough, but I feel like I’ve heard this cut over and over again. Chris Brown excels at infusing some R&B into hip-hop, but at this point it’s not truly new or rousing. Wiz Khalifa joins the lengthy credit list, rapping unsurprisingly “So high don’t see no problems / b**ch I’m on them trees like Tarzan…” It works, but doesn’t excite. Personally, I’m sick of hearing about Wiz getting high.
“I Wanna Be With You” again brings in Future, but also sees another return from Rick Ross and a debut appearance from Nicki Minaj. Minaj remains at her best when she’s raunchy, if you can handle her un-lady rhymes. Even though Minaj is a “girl on fire”, Rick Ross has arguably the best line: “That ho chick gets you no play, all I talk is cocaine.” Hit “No New Friends” is a showstopper, again rekindling some magic between Khaled and Drake (“No new friends, no new friends…f**k all y’all n***as except my n***as…”). Rick Ross hops on board (“…All I hug is blood n***a, Khaled that’s my flesh though / all I want is love n***a, money bring that stress though…”) as does Lil Wayne (“…B**ch we good-fellas, boy all them n***as with you they just pall bearers…”). The production work is aligned with the ‘Drake’ sound as the track is produced by Boi-1da and Noah “40” Shebib. A standout? Of course!
The remainder of the album is so-so. “Give It All To Me” (Mavado featuring Nicki Minaj) sounds like it’s going to be a deal breaker initially, but it’s respectable enough. “Hell’s Kitchen” has its moments, thanks to the sound and solid rhymes from J Cole and Bas. Still, “Hell’s Kitchen” sits too long. Lengthy duration also hurts the super ambitious “Never Surrender”, which manages to utilize three R&B singers in John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, and Akon. Add raps from Scarface, Jadakiss, and Meek Mill to that mix and it’s quite ‘big’. “Murcielago (Doors Go Up)” is not only ‘tired’ in name, but the song itself is a ‘C’ at best – merely average and unmemorable. “Black Ghost”, credited to Vado is ok, but like “Murcielago”, it’s nothing to write home about.
Thoughts overall? Suffering From Success isn’t really suffering from success, but it may be suffering from a lack of innovative spirit. It’s good enough, not great If you’re looking for depth, avoid it. If you want to get it poppin’ at the club, this is for you.
Favorites: “I Feel Like Pac / I Feel Like Biggie” ; “You Don’t Want These Problems” ; “No New Friends”
Pusha T captures a darker portrait of life exceptionally on his ‘official’ solo debut
Pusha T⎪ My Name Is My Name ⎪Def Jam ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 8, 2013
To call ‘street life’ captivating would probably be an incredibly irresponsible statement to make. What isn’t an irresponsible description is that Pusha T delivers and captures a darker portrait of life exceptionally on his official solo debut, My Name Is My Name. Sure, the ‘dope game’ is nothing to glorify by any means, but something about Pusha T’s honest and authentic stories of a checkered past proves to be an interesting listen across these 12 excellent tracks. If nothing more, one definitely knows where half of rap duo Clipse stands.
“King Push” initiates with dark-tilted production work, driven by a marching band-like snare drum. From the jump, Pusha T is confident and hardcore about his intentions. This is evidenced by the hook: “I’m king Push, still King Push / I rap n***a ‘bout trap n***as / I don’t sing hooks.” Indeed Pusha T avoids sung hooks throughout My Name Is My Name and definitely sugarcoats nothing. The unapologetic nature of “Numbers On The Board” is welcome, with Pusha T kicking off things in electrifying fashion: “I’m so bossy, b**ch, get off me / it’s a different jingle when you hear these car keys…” Adhering to the 2013 rap trend of ‘god status’, Pusha seems to have more oomph than many of his contemporaries as he spits “It’s only one God, and it’s only one crow / so it’s only one king that can stand on this mound / King Push, kingpin, overlord…” There it is.
“Sweet Serenade” isn’t true to it’s title, continuing to sound mysterious and dark. Chris Brown’s usually enthusiastic pipes are subdued in effect to make the ‘sweet serenade’ a bit more ‘realistic’ you might say. “Come on let’s toast the champagne, this one’s for the life / did everything you could do to be here for the night / man it feels good, everything feels right / energy is strong enough to bright city lights / my whole team winning, no vision on quitting…I risk my life to try everyday to go and get it…” The track wins and apparently the “team [is] winning”, so why so scary? Well it is Pusha T. “Look, my ouija board don’t never lie to me / the best rapper living, I know who’s alive to me / yeah the competition’s all but died to me / Raah, I make these motherf**kers hide from me…” Maybe that’s why!
“Hold On” brings in Rick Ross, a perfect collaborator for Pusha T. Pusha never falls short lyrically, always delivering a compelling performance. Again, it is the brutal honesty that lifts Pusha, moments like “I sold more dope than I sold records / you n***as sold records never so dope/ So I ain’t hearing non of that street sh*t / cause in my mind, you motherf**kers sold soap…”. Pusha T is also equally effective on socially-conscious lines like “They tipping the scale for this crackers to win / no reading, no writhing, made us savage of men…”, seeming a reference to the ‘lot’ of the black man. Rick Ross balances the street and money on his guest spot: “Over night I seen a n***a go get a Carrera / two weeks later I had to be that boy pall bearer / young king bury me inside a glass casket / windex wipe me down for the life after.” Well we know one thing, Rozay has a thing about how he’s treated after death (see “Bury Me A G”). Brilliant by all means.
“Suicide” continues the enthrall and consistency, with Ab-Liva guesting on the third verse (“My future is bright hot, you never can last here / I’m top five, listen, who hot in the past year?”). Naturally given its title, Pusha T is in it for ‘blood’, but he still manages to deliver the street with some eloquence you might say: “You n***as clique-ing up with my rivals / like the bible don’t burn like these bullets don’t spiral / like I can’t see the scene that you mirror in your idol / but a pawn’s only purpose is completely suicidal…” On “40 Acres”, The-Dream lends his beautiful pipes to the hook of this reflective, autobiographical cut. One of the more notable moments from Pusha references his mother’s broken marriage: “Unpolished, unapologetic / might have broke a heart or two but gave an honest effort / my nonchalant attitude is always ‘eff it’ / 35 years of marriage and my momma left it…” Consistency continues.
“No Regrets” features Kevin Cossom singing the hook and Young Jeezy given his two cents on second verse. Ultimately, “No Regrets” is nearly enjoyable if not as enjoyable as everything else, but it also seems a bit overproduced. Still given the attitude conveyed here, the abundance of production and dynamically-loud moments doesn’t seem that far-fetched. “Let Me Love You” softens the mood, something that feels right at this point on My Name Is My Name. Kelly Rowland is the perfect R&B diva to deliver sexiness vocally, singing “Boy you got that six in the morning / you got that thing that’ll make a girl feel high… boy let me love you.” Pusha T isn’t exactly thinking ‘chivalrously’ though: “Hey mama come f**k with the shotta / with the Givenchy toppa, shoe Balenciaga / if you act right, I can match you up proper / if it’s about a dolla thing, big like Poppa.” Can’t go wrong with a Notorious B.I.G allusion, right?
“Who I Am” is nothing short of fire, no questions asked. Sure Pusha T didn’t select the most ‘intellectual’ crop of MC’s to guest with 2 Chainz and Big Sean, but it works out superbly. But honestly it should since all Pusha T really wants to do is “…buy another Rollie” and “…pop another band / I just wanna sell dope forever / Just wanna be who I am.” 2 Chainz does simple ambitions well, here rapping “Entrepreneur, strip club connoisseur / hot fudge sundae, pour it on you hallelujah…” – need I go further? Big Sean also keeps it simple and 100 at the same time, rapping “Pretty girls is my reputation / one on my arm, that’s decoration…” We all enjoy a good club track about excess though, so I give this one a pass…a highly recommended one at that.
“Nosetalgia” is a perfect follow-up, only made more perfect by featuring Kendrick Lamar. The rap IQ here is off the charts, with “Nosetalgia” ranking among the top echelon, and that’s saying something considering how well put together this effort is. One of Pusha’s best lines is his proclamation he was “Black Ferris Bueller, cutting school with his jewels on…what I sell for pain in the hood, I’m a doctor…” while Kendrick Lamar’s slaughtering verse is capped off with “Go figure motherf**ker, every verse is a brick.” “Pain” is a solid penultimate cut, still very ‘heavy’ in content and in its overall sound. Standout closing cut “S.N.I.T.C.H.” succeeds not only because of it’s production or Pharrell’s distinctive voice performing the hook, but because it continues to keep things real. The evidence lies lyrically: “Nowadays n***as don’t need shovels to bury you / pointing fingers like pallbearers how they carry you / so much for death before dishonor / might as well have a robe and a gavel like your honor…”
Now the burning question is just how great is My Name Is My Name? I’d say pretty great; one of the best rap albums of 2013. Pusha T is quite underrated, but he is definitely one of the better MCs in the game. Sure rap about dope may not be for everybody by itself, but Pusha T’s authenticity and honesty easily atone for any reservations.
Favorites: “Numbers On The Boards”; “Sweet Serenade”; “Hold On”; “Who I Am”; “Nosetalgia”; “S.N.I.T.C.H.”
- Pusha T reclaims his name (audiomob.wordpress.com)
- Pusha T- My Name Is My Name: a review (samxgillard.wordpress.com)
- Pusha T:The Underground Champion***messymandella*** (messymandella.com)
- Pusha T Says Popular Rap Has Become More About Fashion Than It is About Talent (subzinfo.wordpress.com)
- Pusha T – My Name Is My Name (recordhoarder.wordpress.com)
- Pusha T (ebaker4.wordpress.com)
- MNIMN album review (markweininger.wordpress.com)
- Album Review: Pusha T “My Name Is My Name” (theopnation.com)
A ‘household name’ he’s not, but Deca has plenty to offer
Deca⎪The Ocean ⎪⎪ US Release Date: September 24, 2013
Deca is certainly no household name – that is a fact. Regardless, the Denver, Colorado born MC definitely has skills. While he hasn’t ascended to commercial relevance as of yet, Deca has invested his services in the game, both collaboratively and as a soloist. After three solo albums (Top of the Line Bottom Feeder, The Hedonist, and The Veil), Deca returns triumphantly with 2013 effort The Ocean. The Ocean is an incredibly smart album, truly highlighting Deca’s cerebral nature as an MC. His own reasoning for the title is higher level thinking: “The ocean is one of the most familiar symbols of the unconscious mind.” Impressively produced with soulful backdrops inciting Deca, the often dusty beats match the prudence of which the rappers spits in his rhymes.
“Night’s Preparation” serves as the first of several interludes, all of which are unscripted. It precedes the fine “Gabriel Ratchet”, which finds Deca’s flow easygoing, matching chill, soulful production. Follow-up “Salome” is even more alluring, characterized by it’s lushness and perhaps most notably, the reference to the biblical figure. “I saw the light that day / like we don’t ever have to live our life that way / Salome lead me down the the right pathway / take my head, watch the light cascade…” If you’re unfamiliar with Salome, you should do some research…really, whether you’re a believer or non-believer. :-/
“The Ocean (Interlude)” separates “Salome” from the next biblically-referencing delight, “Edenville”, which alludes to The Garden of Eden. “One day, one became two / I sat beneath an apple tree with you / one day, I welcome change when I see him…”, Deca poetically delivers on the hook. A cut with a return to the good, easier times before paradise was lost and innocence was stripped, “Edenville” is quite intriguing. “Big Time” continues Deca’s introduction to many, though it doesn’t quite achieve the illustrious nature of “Salome” or “Edenville”. “Pretty Things” (featuring King Foe) makes up for any loss of momentum, where Deca suggests that life is filled with ups and downs (“and I know how it goes, I get high, I get low… but that’s life…”).
“Dreamscapes (Interlude)” continues to deliver an intellectually driven sound, regardless of being an interlude. “Angel Butter” builds upon that braininess solidly, buttressing the poetic lyrics with hard drums. Regardless of how solid “Angel Butter” is contextually, “Breadcrumbs” is the show stopper, no questions asked. “Everything’s sunny, everything’s lovely, put me on a pedestal, hold n one above me / everything’s pleasant and good, eating breadcrumbs like the little peasant that could / fuel for the furnace combust, learn to adjust, you view the world on the surface with a certain disgust / but everything ‘s sunny, everything’s lovely, put me on a pedestal, hold no one above me…” What is there to say to that? The lyrics are touching, honest, and incredibly artistic. Oh and my homeboy’s love of all things biblical just makes it that much better (“Catch a stone cast at your dome by a / self righteous sinner that would send Gestapo to tap your phone…).
I’d never call myself a big interlude fan, but “Tariq Abdul Hamid (Interlude)” definitely brings something to the table, specifically the spoken words of prudence: “Don’t get hung up in that game man… stay away from that dope, stay way from dissipating yourself…what frees you is awareness.” The reference to “paradise lost” shows up once more in “Sailboats and Trains”. The theme is weighty, but the results worthwhile for sure.
Ultimately, Deca more than proves he has plenty to offer The Ocean. Sure its a brief 29 minutes of music, but the MC packs a punch, and goes ‘smarter’ than many would dare. In an age where the next ‘dumb’ rap track seems to be the trend, Deca goes against the grain to deliver something truly meaningful and deserving of wider recognition. He gets my approval, easily.
Favorites: “Gabriel Ratchet”; “Salome”; “Edenville”; “Pretty Things”; “Breadcrumbs”
- Deca dives in the subconscious:’I think the whole universe is inside of us’ (platform8470.com)
- Personally Speaking: Deca’s Leaving A Trail of Breadcrumbs, Baby! (grungecake.com)
- Deca – “Breadcrumbs” (boingboing.net)
Goodie Mob stretch the definition of the standard rap album
Goodie Mob⎪Right Records⎪Age Against The Machine⎪⎪ US Release Date: August 27, 2013
Goodie Mob’s first new album since 1999 is nothing short of a fascinating listen. Face it, the minute it begins, it’s obvious who took the reins… one idiosyncratic, unique genre-bending artist named Cee Lo Green. Because it is such a unique affair, it is both forward-thinking yet at times unaccessible. Unlike any other rap album from 2013, Age Against The Machine ‘paves its on way’ as they say, with top-notch results overall…and some confusion.
Where do you start on such an ambitious, unorthodox affair? “State of the Art (Radio Killa)” sorta sets the tone with a maniacal nature accentuated by its expressive rhymes and ripping strings. Think of it as fitting for a soundtrack. Then there’s the captivating “I’m Set” with its jungle drums, jazzed-up horn riffs, and enthusiastic raps. Cee-Lo that steals the show, most notably on the dramatic hook. I think you’d find Cee-Lo’s picture under the word dramatic in the dictionary. Who’d have it any other way?
Then later there’s “Pinstripes”, which sounds like more standard southern rap fare compared to the aforementioned. Sure Goodie Mob may not be in their prime, but a more contemporarily produced number such as “Pinstripes” certain amps up their swag…if that was necessary. If you want something incredible odd yet strangely compelling, look no further than “Kolors”. Then there’s also the Janelle Monáe collab “Special Education” which is a clever play on what is normally associated with special education. ”Amy” stands out too, perhaps most pronounced by chorus lyric “My very first white girl…” It’s certainly interesting!
All in all, Age Against The Machine is an album that most seemed to sleep on for various reasons. Should they have passed it up? Nah bro! This is not your standard rap album and because it ain’t, it actually a welcome ‘departure’ of sorts. If you’re looking for deep rhymes, Age Against The Machine won’t be your first choice, but if need something from left-field out of the box, this album has all that and more.
Favorites: “State of the Art (Radio Killa)”; “I’m Set”; “Pinstripes”; “Kolors”; “Special Education”; “Amy”
- Goodie Mob reunites, and its still about the (CeeLo) Green (sfltimes.com)
- Goodie Mob: Building New Leaders From The Elders (wnyc.org)
- Goodie Mob, ‘Age Against the Machine’: Album review (nydailynews.com)
- Goodie Mob: Age Against the Machine (Review) (popmatters.com)
- The Rundown: Goodie Mob, Age Against the Machine (bet.com)
- Goodie Mob: Age Against The Machine (jwstraighttalk.wordpress.com)
2 Chainz Does Dumb Surprisingly Well on B.O.A.T.S. II
2 Chainz⎪ B.O.A.T.S. II: #Me Time⎪Def Jam⎪⎪US Release Date: September 10
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go… 2 Chainz is crazy! Like totally cray cray. Honestly, B.O.A.T.S. II: #Me Time should be a disaster (add a profanity of choice in front of ‘disaster’). Somehow though, through all of Tauheed Epps’ stupidity, he puts together a dumb, but fun rap album. Yeah, maybe there isn’t one single cut that supplants the brilliantly, naughty “Birthday Song” which I still jam out to on my iPod, but there is plenty of songs that lack substance that give the listener, um, a guilty pleasure. 2 CHAINZ!
The fun starts with “Fork”, in which 2 Chainz “…had a dream that rap wouldn’t work / woke up on the block, had to hit it with the fork / skrrr, skrrr, skrrr, skrrr, skrrr: hit it with the fork… rap don’t work, records ain’t bein’ sold…so much money on me, it won’t even fold….” Yeah something like that. What is he talking about? Good question! Well, sounds like drugs, rap albums not selling, and having more money than he’ll ever need. If that’s not enough, he elaborates on his excesses, maybe best epitomized by a lyric like “I drink red b**ches, I don’t drink Red Bulls…” Alrighty then, heck of a way to start 2 Chainz by hitting it with the fork.
On “36”, the king of dumb educates us listeners on the hook: “36 / that’s how many ounces in a brick / 36, 36, 36, 36…” So if you had no idea about the wait of drug paraphernalia, 2 Chainz has schooled you over the course of one minute and a half. Feel lifted? Then after all the drugs, the “Feds Watching”, featuring and produced by Pharrell Williams. 2 Chainz begins his first verse with bragging about material things (“Dreads hang on designer everything…”), then goes on to the strip club (“This that category 5 when I walk up in the strip club…”), and throws in some drugs for good measure (“Backing soda marketing , I’m getting it ain’t I? Obviously…”). He caps all of his higher level thinking with a simple, summative hook: “I’mma be fresh as hell if the Feds watching….” So basically, even if 2 Chainz gets caught, he’s going to be ‘fresh to death’ I’m assuming? I don’t know about all that, but the track is killer.
“Where U Been” keeps things consistently ‘materialistic’, featuring the assist from Cap.1. Simply, 2 Chainz has been balling “getting money, where the f**k you been?”. Oh and to add a little more oomph to his brashness, he throws in the ‘tasteful’ punch “bought a new crib just to f**k you in.” Seems extreme to me, but he is 2 Chainz. Oh an as for Cap.1’s contributions, perhaps the lyric “My b**ch she’s so pretty that’s my Pocahontas…” takes the cake. Next, my boy brings in Drake and Lil Wayne for the superstar collaboration “I Do It”. Simplicity remains key, particularly given 2 Chainz’s opening ‘salvo’: “Hang up on a b**ch, call it crucified”. Still, he has his moments. Drake may have the best line, when he alludes to Lil Wayne near the end of the second verse: “Man I just hear this sh*t and think about what Tunechi will tell you / he might call up Patricia, she ‘bout to call up Melissa…” Oh and in case you’re wondering, yes Lil Wayne talks about sex on his verse… shocker. The Outro is a nice contrast though.
“Used 2” keeps the absurdity alive and well, evidenced by the ridiculous hook which seems to reference recording the naughty and uploading it to youtube as looking for a baby mama… SMH. Repetition is 2 Chainz’s best friend here, or his worst enemy with the clumsy lines he chooses to repeat. He ‘redeems’ himself on the it’s-so-ridiculously-stupid-it’s-good “Netflix” which pairs him with Fergie… what a combo, phew! Where do you even start? 2 Chainz references weed, sex tapes, the paparazzi, high end fashion, and uninspired rappers all in the matter of his first verse. On her verse, Fergie lifts from “Birthday Song” (“When I die, bury me inside the liquor store…”), as well as dropping the obligatory weed reference, blowing wads of money, and “b**ches copying” her. And then there’s that hook… “I know you had the time of your life…you know I’m gettin’ money, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, Ill be countin’ this sh*t all night…” Geez Louise!
“Extra” is one that annoys me. Yeah, yeah, I know 2 Chainz is no Nas, but 2 Chainz’s pop-rap here is a bit questionable, even for him. The most shameful line from Chainz? “I just had a threesome for three weeks in a row / Last name Chainz, first name Two…” WTF? Rich Homie Quan guests on the third verse. On “U Da Realest”, Chainz states “I’m like a quarterback, hand it off / drop the work in the pot, watch it cannonball / I done seen ‘em ball, I done seen ‘em fall / rest in peace to my n***a, you da realest, dawg…” Somewhere in there there seems to be some substance… well besides what’s in that pot he references. But of course, he ruins a good moment too, like “Rest in my piece to all my n***as, they died while they was servin’ / rest in peace to all the soldiers that died in the service / I died in her…” I. Have. No. Words…that I’m going to publish here…
Then comes “Beautiful Pain”, which features Lloyd and Mase. 2 Chainz doesn’t take himself seriously, but Lloyd refines things on a fine hook (“Oh I feel so fly / came so far, but I still wanna fly…see what this beautiful pain, provide / baby look into my eyes…”) And of course, Mase keeps things classy. Overall, “Beautiful Pain” stands out. T-Pain joins the boatload of collaborators on “So We Can Live”, drenched in autotune as always. 2 Chainz has plenty of ‘interesting’ moments, whether it’s his illegal activities (“Mama don’t work, heater don’t work / Police pulled me over and said he seen weed on my shirt / I pray to the lord and ask for forgiveness / If he popped my trunk I can get a life sentence…”), playing copycat (“Simon says, monkey see money do / I wore the shirt, you wore the same shirt too…”) or being the sh*t (“appetite for destruction, and I don’t need a menu / so far ahead of y’all n***as, I can see you in my rearview…”) . There it is, I suppose.
He’s hella clumsy on “Mainstream Ratchet”, but isn’t that understandable? Proceed with caution folks! I mean, anything with the word ratchet in it… “And that’s ratchet huh? Her a$$ so big it look like she trying to walk backwards bruh…” “Black Unicorn” contrasts, opening with an lovely spoken word performance by Sunni Patterson. Chrisette Michele handles the hook as classy and nuanced as always. And as for Chainz, he’s not too shabby himself. Ol’ boy gets himself together on “Outroduction”, presenting himself much more thoughtfully and candidly. There are “two sides to a book” after all.
Classic or total bust? Neither, but B.O.A.T.S. II: #Me Time is actually a much better album than I envisioned it to be. It’s hard to call an effort with so many references to sex, drugs, and irresponsibility a masterpiece, but I’ll give it to 2 Chainz, he certainly has some highlights here. If you’re a fan of more intellectual rap though, this is not your cup of tea. But if you don’t mind going ‘stupid’ like a lot, well then, this album is your new jam.
Favorites: “36”; “Feds Watching”; “I Do It”; “Netflix”; “Beautiful Pain”
- 2 Chainz, Career Revisionist (brentmusicreviews.com)
- An Artist of Narrow Contrast: A Review of 2 Chainz, Me Time (popjones.wordpress.com)
- Writing On The Wall: 2 Chainz Upset With Def Jam Over “B.O.A.T.S II” (djsdoingwork.com)
- For the Haters: 2 Chainz ‘Where U Been’ Video (atlantablackstar.com)
- 2 Chainz Pleads ‘I Don’t Do Anything Illegal’ After Arrest The rapper says he showed police his guns during the Oklahoma snafu, saying ‘I probably let my guard down.’ (teebreezzy.wordpress.com)
- Review of 2 Chainz’s B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time (examiner.com)
- 2 Chainz: I’m Pissed At Def Jam For Undershipping My Album, Appears In New Fabolous Video (allhiphop.com)
- 2 Chainz Publishes Cookbook With Deluxe Edition Of ‘B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time’ (contactmusic.com)
- (MUSIC) 2 Chainz ~ Netflix ft Fergie (muzicupdate.wordpress.com)
- 2 Chainz – “B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time” – ALBUM REVIEW (jakobsalbumreviews.wordpress.com)
No Sophomore Slump for Big Sean
Big Sean⎪ Hall of Fame ⎪ Def Jam⎪⎪ US Release Date: August 27, 2013
Big Sean has one of the better rap voices in the game. That isn’t saying his lyrics necessarily rank among the top (he go stupid y’all), but if there were an ideal voice, Sean Anderson definitely possesses it. As a fan of his first album, Finally Famous (2011), I was interested to see if the sophomore effect would undo Sean, who has been one of the hotter collaborative artists in recent times. The answer is a resounding no, as it is arguable that at least portions of Hall of Fame are even more intriguing that the rapper’s debut, which was stacked with hits like “I Do It”, “My Last”, “Dance (A$$)”, and personal favorite “Marvin and Chardonnay”. Sure some of the more sexually-driven material lacks depth, but more often than not, Hall of Fame is quite alluring.
On opener “Nothing Is Stopping”, Sean reflects on the growth of his career, whether it was rapping for Kanye West or just the scope of his come-up financially (“Just to think, last night I was in Venice hugging b*****s / thanking God almighty, condoms was invented…”) Yeah better stop there, but basically, Sean has became ‘something’ from ‘nothing’. After the hookless, though brilliant opener, Sean keeps on truckin’ with “Fire” which sho’ nuff is fiery. Big Sean isn’t always the most prolific MC, but he delivers the goods here, particularly clever lyrics “Coming from Detroit where everybody say ‘whaddup though’? Horror movie sh*t, cause everybody there cut throat / watch who you hustle with you might not get a cut though / even though you deserved a commission plus mo’” Can you say fire? Furthermore the production work – amazingness!
“10 2 10” doesn’t let up, even if Sean infuses some dumbness, even if he is being serious. “I woke up working like I’m Mexican / that mean I work from 10 to 10 / then 10 to 10, then 10 again / Nightmares of losing everything boost my adrenaline…” There it is. Filled with better than expected punch lines, Sean ‘rocks out’ over NO I.D.’s superb production. Then comes “Toyota Music”, where Sean is clever, simple, and sort of oddball-ish. “I got money coming through / drugs and women coming too / got my family living comfortable / got me thinking I’m doing what I’m supposed to do…”, he offers on the second verse. At times spacey, “Toyota Music” matches the numerous drugs/references to drugs which Sean speaks of. On “You Don’t Know”, an uncredited Ellie Goulding provides vocals, serving as an interesting collaborative pairing. Sean continues to do his thing, though “You Don’t Know” isn’t necessary the ‘elite’ of Hall of Fame.
“Beware” continues to shine, being a promo single for the set. The main rub with “Beware” is it lacks the commercial punch that Sean’s previous hits have had. That doesn’t make it a dud as it is the opposite; it’s a good song overall. “When you said it was over, you shot right through my heart / why you let these hoes tear what we had right apart / ooh I was so mad, I should’ve seen this coming right from the start / you should beware, beware, beware of a woman with a broken heart.” Real talk on the hook right? Jhené Aiko assists on the hook while Lil Wayne brings some ‘Weeziness’ onto the third verse.
“First Chain” may be a bit indulgent as the trend of rapping about Jesus pieces and excessive jewelry has been overdone, but with some of the effort’s strongest production and generally solid rhymes from Sean, Nas, and Kid Cudi (who also provides his signature humming), “First Chain” is a personal favorite. Yeah maybe the hook is nothing innovative, but you can’t deny the memorability of Sean’s third verse: “I don’t remember my first love or my first time prayin’ / but remember my first a$$ and the first time she…it almost felt as good as when I got my first chain…”
Then there’s “Mona Lisa”, which leads the ‘freak show’ portion of Hall of Fame. Among the most absurd yet notable lyrics? “I believe in God and rubbers / even if we sex / you are not my lover / hit you on the couch and not the covers / if you bring your friend then we got to f**k her…” Well, at least Sean makes it clear he’s into hooking up, not a real relationship. “Freaky” is an interlude, and definitely not for the more conservative crowd. Then again, neither is the electrifying “MILF”, which is what it is. As raw as Big Sean goes, factor in Nicki Minaj who leaves little to the imagination and of course the trippy Juicy J (“Yo mama a great head doctor, with no PhD…”). Again, it is what it is and with a title like “MILF”, you know what you are getting yourself into.
“Sierra Leone” sports lush production work and some more erotic lines from Sean, which I’ll leave to your imagination. It’s enjoyable, not the best. “It’s Time” (featuring Jeezy and Payroll) and “World Ablaze” (featuring James Fauntleroy) are similarly consistent and enjoyable, without being ‘first round draft picks’ per se. Penultimate gem “Ashley” is awesome, featuring a soulful vocal hook courtesy of lover man extraordinaire Miguel, and honest rhymes from the MC about his mistakes towards his ex (“Sorry when you put your faith in me I was unfaithful, disgraceful, distasteful / yeah I know you’re not supposed to have cake and eat too…”). Ultimately, Sean conveys that he truly screwed up a great thing. He closes with “All Figured Out”, but compared to “Ashley”, Sean’s just going through the motions.
All-in-all, Hall of Fame is easily one of 2013’s better rap efforts. It’s not perfect, and some of the end cuts lack the same punch as the elite earlier cuts, but for the most part, Sean does his thang. Sure he could tone down his inner freak (like a lot), but Big Sean suffers no drop off from album one.
Favorites: “Nothing Is Stopping You”; “Fire”; “10 2 10”; “Beware”; “First Chain”; “Ashley”
A$AP Ferg is Rough Around The Edges, But Captivating
A$AP Ferg⎪Trap Lord⎪Polo Grouds⎪⎪US Release Date: August 20, 2013
I like dark music, even though I wouldn’t label myself as a dark nor evil being. I say that to say that A$AP Ferg’s debut effort Trap Lord is incredibly dark from top to finish. Even so, it’s also very consistent and well done. The name A$AP will be more associated with A$AP Rocky of course, but don’t sleep on the real talk and unique musical personality that is A$AP Ferg. After all, he is “Fergivicious”!
“Let It Go” opens the effort with a mysterious bang: “Trap Lord season begins, now repent your sins…” The hook holds nothing back, with the ‘Fergenstein’ stating “I be down to let it go / the semi or the tech, spray it at him then reload…” Certainly not material to chat over coffee or with family, “Let It Go” definitely sets the tone. “Shabba” is a better cut, fueled by malicious production and sick rhymes. Ferg impresses lyrically, particularly clever moments like “I was broke last week but today be a new day / motherf*****s like cavities cause them n***as be too fake…”. His buddy A$AP Rocky guests, keeping right in step with Ferg: “Cause n***as be plotting these days / but the ‘Rari kinda fast though (probably with a bad ho) / she told me to pump my brakes…” Two tracks in, things are looking up.
“Lord” continues the excellence, bringing in Bone Thugs N Harmony on quite the hookless juggernaut. It is a bit lengthy over five-minutes, but the odd-ball, quick-paced ‘spiritual’ cut is quite captivating. Lyrically, it is rich, even if it seems more antithetical to say Christianity than supporting it (“Murderous poet, I create a bloody murder poem / so when they run up on me n***a be ready to show em…”). On “Hood Pope”, it seems far fetched the face of the Catholic church would have his “…chain hang low, read rubies and the gold…drinking Jesus juice, jeans hang low…”, but to each his own. To the Ferg’s credit, he does at least reference himself as both the ‘hood pope’ and the ‘trap lord’ as opposed to Jesus himself. To his credit, Ferg does ask for guidance: “Lord please what is my purpose / besides f**king these Persians / popping these bottles and popping these models…”
“Fergivicious” has some depth, most notably when Ferg references his late father (“…why he couldn’t see a n***a in Medusa lens / why he couldn’t see a n***a cop his first Benz / why he couldn’t see a n***a pop his first band…”) “4:02” may be more captivating, even if the topic is definitely rated X (a threesome). Odd, erotic, yet it’s intriguing… I feel like I need to repent. “Dump Dump” isn’t any less lascivious, serving as a segue of sorts from “4:02”. I wouldn’t say it’s intellectual, but it is, like everything else, very interesting. ‘Course, maybe there’s a few too many instances of the n-word, and of course ‘the nasty’.
“Work (Remix)” is superbly produced and nothing short of a superstar rap collaboration; a juggernaut remix . “I gotta close the window before I record / cause New York don’t know how to be quiet”, A$AP Ferg proclaims on the intro, before diving into the first verse. “Coogi down to the socks like I’m biggie poppa / Keep your girl head in my Tommy boxers…”, he proclaims, alluding to The Notorious B.I.G. French Montana takes the second verse (“when they mask up, coming for your ice / when they barefaced, they coming for your life”) while the molly-poppin’ Trinidad James reps for Trinidad, citing “Jamaica, I’m your brother…” Schoolboy Q cites different ages to assert his swagger (“Pimpin’ like I’m 33, move keys like I’m 36 / ship O’s like I’m 28, Tacoma know I’m pushing weight…”). A$AP Rocky revisits violence on the final verse (“A lot of homies cried, due to crimes, homicide / drivin’ by poppin’ nines, Pakistan, Columbine / out of line, pistols barkin’ “ar ar” ride or die…”). There is more than enough goodness to compel for sure.
“Didn’t Wanna Do That” sounds hazy, drenched in the streets and confirmed through its lyrics (“Your chromosomes all on that street life”). The murderous “Murda Something” just might be the crown jewel, featuring a surprisingly impressive Waka Flocka Flame, who lends talents on both the first verse and collaboratively on the hook. The point of the exceptional, violent affair? “Ain’t afraid to murda something…” Basically, Ferg will kill if provoked, regardless of the po-po (aka the cops). He confirms this once more on “Make A Scene”, where his beloved “semi auto tech finna leave a n***a wet, you asked for it…”. But Ferg has the right to shoot – “Neighborhood is rough / and livin’ ain’t easy / streets is so mean / ‘bout to make a scene.”
The effort closes as intriguingly as it opens. “F*** Out My Face” is brutally honest, featuring guests Aston Matthews, Onyx, and B Real. Among the most memorable lines comes from B-Real: “Pass that sh*t like a deadly virus / she want to hit that’s Miley Cyrus / head so hard my god she likes this / change that chicks name to Miley Cypress…” That goes hard! So does the druggy “Cocaine Castle”, which serves as the perfect tone poem considering it’s title. It may not be what you bump when you need a real lift, but it’s definitely something.
All in all, Trap Lord is a fine effort. It is a twisted effort mind you given it’s explicitness and basking in more hellish themes, but if you can handle it, it’s quite rewarding. As alluded to earlier, you may need to repent after listening, particularly on “Lord”, “Hood Pope” and especially on “4:02” and “Dump Dump”. Phew!
Favorites: “Shabba”; “Lord”; “4:02”; “Work (Remix)”; “Murda Something”
- Tracking: A$AP Ferg Breaks Down “Trap Lord” for Complex TV (complex.com)
- A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord (Album Review) (csnowheaties.com)
- Album Review – A$AP Ferg “Traplord” (thepoetryquestion.com)
- ALBUM REVIEW: A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord (okwest.wordpress.com)
- Asap Ferg (Cover Story) (coverstoryexclusive.wordpress.com)
Earl Sweatshirt impresses on Doris
Earl Sweatshirt⎪Doris⎪Odd Future / Columbia ⎪⎪ US Release Date: August 20, 2013
Underground rap as a style has plenty of virtues. It tends to offer an additional element of uniqueness that contrasts more mainstream, commercial rap styles. That isn’t to say that underground rap supersedes the styles, but it offers something different and refreshing. Earl Sweatshirt, like other members of collective Odd Future, releases his major label debut, Doris, which epitomizes unique conception and underground hip-hop cues. Doris eschews any pop crossover, with pop success ultimately never crossing he youthful MC’s mind. Because of this nonconformity, Doris ends up being a fine album, different from other rap releases in 2013.
“Pre” sets the tone, featuring SK La’Flare, who guests on the first verse: “I need the wool, I’mma skin the sheep / and take the bull, skin it to the meat / you full of sh*t, we into deep…” Following SK La’Flare’s unique verse, Earl Sweatshirt follows, with no hook to be found. Sweatshirt offers real talk, providing enough lyrical allusions to ‘float a boat’: “Dealt with addiction, fell for the b***h with the pale butter skin who just packed up and dipped / in the land of the rent-less, stand with my chips…” “Pre” is pretty captivating.
As captivating a start as “Pre” is, “Burgundy” is even stronger, featuring superb production (The Neptunes) and featuring contributions from Vince Staples. Sweatshirt delivers plenty of standout lyrical moments, beginning with verse one in which he states “ Grandma’s passing / but I’m too busy tryna get this f**kin’ album crackin to see her / so I apologize in advance if anything should happen…” or later within the same verse when he says “And when them expectations raising because daddy was a poet, right?” Through and through, Sweatshirt impresses, complementing the unique production work exceptionally.
“20 Wave Caps” can’t quite match the brilliance of “Burgundy”, but there’s still plenty to revel in. Domo Genesis guests on the first verse, spitting ether for sure (“I know that n***as is finding my progression so uncommon / the pressure I’m still applying until I hear the angels crying / sad day in Hell for those who doubted, hope your head explode / cry about it, but don’t deny that Doms got the realest flows…”). Earl isn’t outdone, still impressing us with his unorthodox approach. “Sunday” is definitely interesting, maybe most surprising because a guesting Frank Ocean raps as opposed to lending those silky, soulful pipes. Weird but alluring, “Sunday” is all about the vibe, and that’s a good thing.
“Hive” is among the cream of the crop. Earl Sweatshirt is on fire, period. “In turn, these critics and interns admitting the sh*t spit / it just burn like six furnaces writ it…”, he raps on verse one or “Desolate testaments trying to stay Jekyll-ish / but most n***as Hyde, and Brenda just stay pregnant…”, which he slays on verse two. Throw in an electrifying hook (Casey Veggies collabs with Earl) in which he refers to himself as “Brutus in that booth”, as well as an assist from Vince Staples on the third verse (“Voice inside my head told me wet ‘em if they test you…everybody hard until it’s only God they seeing…”), and “Hive” is a five-star cut.
“Chum”, another home run, finds Sweatshirt in autobiographical mode, rapping about missing his father, his friendship with Tyler, The Creator, and his relationship with his mother. Like some of Tyler, the Creator’s cuts, jazz cues are full throttle towards the end. Speaking of Tyler, he guests on “Sasquatch”, a worthwhile cut, but clearly not among the first tier of cuts. Tyler does get in his brashness, at the expense of One Direction’s fans of all things: “Trashwang scratched inside the knucks / got some One Direction tickets, I should hit that up / drive by with puppy signs plastered on the truck / then see how many of they fans could fit inside the trunk…” Yeah…
“Centurion” is stronger, more on the level of top tier showings such as “Burgundy”, “Hive” or “Chum”. The underground production once more is fresh, as are Sweatshirt’s rhymes. Among the most compelling rhymes arrives on verse two: “Few n***as I’m on a first name basis with / address me by the alias, that trunk weight like he bout to catch a case again, eighths louder than the voice of Satan that be plaguing him…” “523” is an instrumental cut that follows, while “Uncle Al” packs a mighty punch despite being under a minute in duration. Mac Miler arrives on “Guild”, which is usual ‘charm’ with chopped-n-screwed vocals (“Moms love me cause I’m so commercial / I f**k em raw cause I know they fertile…”), while Earl Sweatshirt is no slouch himself (“Tell the label that I want a white driver / and tell him give me space, I don’t know that n***a…”). Crazy stuff, right?
The remainder of the affair is enjoyable, like the majority. “Molasses” featuring RZA isn’t among the best, but it’s good nonetheless. How many rappers will name drop a White Stripes album (Icky Thump)? “Whoa” is a better cut, once again featuring Tyler, the Creator. Sweatshirt’s rhymes continue to be dizzying yet clever. “Hoarse” proves to be a solid penultimate track, Ritalin reference and all (“Eating like the kids when you take ‘em off Ritalin / throwing temper tantrums at the window of your whip again…”) while “Knight” finds Earl and Domo being “young, black, and jaded, vision hazy strolling through the night”.
All in all, DORIS is quite creative and enjoyable. Nothing misses the mark, and the underground and alternative rap aspects only make this effort more intriguing and endearing. Sure, this will only appeal to a certain audience and still won’t make parents happy (plenty of profanity), but Doris serves as a solid artistic introduction of Earl Sweatshirt.
Favorites: “Burgundy”; “Hive”; “Chum”; “Centurion”; “Whoa”
Ace Hood⎪ Trials & Tribulations ⎪ Cash Money (Republic) ⎪⎪ July 16, 2013
Executive producers: Khaled Khaled; Ronald “Slim Tha Don” Williams; Bryan “Baby Birdman” Williams; Dwayne “The President” Carter
“I woke up in a new Bugatti”. One of the more catchy, arguably ‘epic’ lyrics of 2013 you might say. Why? That I dunno, but it’s wishful thinking for those of us who won’t come anywhere close to a Bugatti in our lifetimes! “Bugatti” was one of the reasons I was drawn to buy Ace Hood’s latest, Trials & Tribulations. To be honest, I knew very little about Ace Hood. He’s released several albums, but has failed to latch on the way some of his contemporaries have. Hopefully “Bugatti” is enough to give Trials & Tribulations some commercial footing because it is actually an enjoyable, well conceived effort.
“Testimony”, the intro, sets the tone with it’s preachy, spiritually-driven skit. Opening track “Trials & Tribulations” shifts the idea of the ‘testimony’ from the church to real life and the streets, with the MC ultimately repeatedly emphasizing “I’m a walkin’ testimony”. It still won’t draw the approval of many pastors regardless of Hood’s “Okay, please forgive me all the sinning I done did..”, but Hood’s tribulations should draw mad respect from the listener. “Another Statistic” is another ‘respect earner’ in which Hood speaks on the plight of black men (“Rather see me crucified, police are the crucifiers / shoot us up and dig a ditch, this ain’t nothin’ new to us…). He does so by referencing a list of examples including past (Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till) and recent (Trayvon Martin). Hardcore he may be, but Hood’s real talk appeals early on.
Ace goes a bit more ‘clubby’ on the excellent “Before The Rollie” featuring Meek Mill. Sure maybe he uses a material example with his watch (“rollie” translating to Rolex), but ultimately, Hood is still sharing his ‘trials and tribulations’, recalling once more “No A/C cause the sh*t don’t work / plus no radio to make sh*t worse…” or “boy my mom gon’ cuss me out / runnin’ her blood pressure so high / when that money comin’ slow…” Meek Mill packs a punch as usual on his verse, packing a punch at the end: “I still kill n***as like shame on me”. LEE ON THE BEATS provides a sick backdrop for Ace Hood and guest Lil Wayne on “We Outchea”, where Hood boasts “We outchea / ain’t no sleepin’ / cause we outchea…grindin’ all damn night, cause we outchea…” Maybe it’s not the profound juggernaut of “Trials & Tribulations” or “Another Statistic”, but it’s still ‘real’ regardless of the simple hook. “Tryna get my folk and them out that struggle,” Hood raps, “f*ck that nine to five, it don’t cut…”. Wayne goes along, well sorta: “I go dumber than Lamont Sanford / remember when mom couldn’t afford Pampers / now she trying to avoid cameras.” Come-up indeed.
“I’m screamin’ ‘f*ck them other n***as cause I’m down for my n***as’” proclaims Hood on the confident “We Them N***as”. If that opening salvo isn’t enough, the hook exudes even more self-assuredness: “Anybody seen a waitress? / tell her bring more liquor / all my dawgs in the building, and we smokin’ on that killer / anybody know a hater? / middle finger to the ceiling / feelin’ like John Gotti / can’t nobody f*ck with us…” Maybe confidence comes off a bit arrogant, but don’t we all love a rapper who knows he’s the hit? On “The Come Up” featuring a soulful Anthony Hamilton, Ace Hood continues to paint triumph through trials and tribulation: “This is the come up / where n***as hustle from night to sun up / the gutta where n***as run up and they get done up…” Hamilton further accentuates the sentiment throughout the bridge and outro: “This is the come up / so don’t you dare give up / keep your head above the clouds…” It’s solid, but not among the top echelon.
Hood switches gears on “Rider”, getting the assist from a gentlemanly Chris Brown (did I really just write that?). The sound of this cut is quite similar to Brown’s guest spot on Tyga’s “For The Road”, but the content is different. Rather than looking for physical pleasure per say, Hood and Brown are going for a ‘ride or die’ chick, eschewing the objectification of women often commonplace in urban music. On “Hope”, producer LEE ON THE BEATS does his thing once more. Hood meanwhile continues a message of ‘hope’ through struggle. Although it’s effective, follow-up “Pray For Me” is stronger, finding the MC petitioning for prayer, and it seems he needs it! “I think I’m going crazy, I think I lost my mind / feel like the feds watching / I think they tapped my line”, he rhymes on the first verse. An excerpt from the second is even more troubling: “I’m calling out to God, I hope he get the message / Just bought a brand new choppa / run up and you’ll regret it…” Violent but ‘real’, “Pray For Me” shines through its sins.
The comes that little number called “Bugatti”. Need I say more? Future, who is an ‘acquired taste’ as an MC truly shapes a juggernaut in all his autotuned glory. Rick Ross is a perfect fit on the third verse because this club track is all about money and ‘The Boss’ loves his bread. Ever heard his collaboration with Gucci Mane called “All About The Money”? Hood’s rhymes are aggressive and potent as well, as he brags “smoke me a pound of the loudest / whippin some sh*t with no mileage / diamonds cost me a fortune / them horses all in them Porsches…”
“How I’m Raised” has a difficult act to follow, but manages to do so solidly. If nothing else, we learn Hood “ain’t never snitched or told on my dawg / ain’t never copped a plea to get off / ain’t never testified on no stand / ain’t never point a hand at no man…” That’s big. “My Bible” samples Gladys McFadden & The Loving Sisters’ “Alone”, which gives the cut the gospel, churchy vibe Ace Hood is going for. It also allows for the obligatory references to ‘jesus pieces’ including “Holding on to my Jesus piece, no demons allowed” and “20 Jesus pieces on me like I can’t be touched…” On strong closing cut “Mama”, Hood touches. He gets a boost from the soulfully, riled up Betty Wright.
Ultimately, Trials and Tribulations is well done. Too often southern rap albums have fallen into the trap of being incredibly shallow overly focusing on money, cars, and women. Sure Ace Hood brags of a “waking up in a new Bugatti”, but the focal point of the album are the struggles that he had to overcome to earn his success. That makes for a better overall narrative from my personal perspective.
Favorites: “Trials & Tribulations”; “Another Statistic”; “Before The Rollie”; “We Them N***as”; “Pray For Me”; “Bugatti”
Rich Quick⎪ Walk On Bye – Single ⎪Ben Frank Recordings ⎪⎪
On August 20, 2013, rapper Rich Quick will release his seven song EP Sad Songz via Ben Frank Recordings. A review/feature on Rich Quick and a five song edition of the EP (at the time thought to be the final) was posted last month on brentmusicreviews. With seven songs though, that’s even mo’ betta right? To build up anticipation for his breakthrough, Rich Quick releases single “Walk On Bye” featuring Jakk Frost and Chuck Treece.
My opinion of the new single? Good stuff! With “Walk on Bye”, Rich Quick has built a solid ‘introduction’ of himself to the world. Collaborative hip-hop is often a winning formula, and this particular union works soundly. Jakk Frost’s brash, potent rhymes grabs the listeners attention on the first verse. Sure the ‘colorful language’ he infuses within his verse is a common happening in hip-hop music, but Frost sure rides the soul-guitar driven production like a beast. Chuck Treece provides a solid contrast, delivering a chill, relatively simple hook (“Walk on bye…”). And what about the main man Rich? As always, he’s on his game, delivering his rhymes confidently and with an agile, well-paced flow. Pretty easy to understand rhymes don’t hurt either.
Is this Rich Quick’s ‘come up’? I dunno, but certainly I approve and I hope that others will to and follow suit and ‘get on’ Rich Quick. August 20 – Save the date!
- New Music and Review: Rich Quick, ‘Sad Songz (EP)’ (brentmusicreviews.com)
- Rich Quick released “Say U Love Me” single (hangout.altsounds.com)