[Preface: I'm no journalist, I just do this for a hobby. With that said, I must break rules and add a disclaimer. When I review an album, I put my personal opinion aside for a fair review. Ex: I hate The Game as a person, but RED is just a dope album. If you say i'm a hater, well...get over it]
Do you know why we loved Flockaveli? It’s because it was filled with club anthems, simple repetitive hooks, and he would tell you himself that he’s not aiming to be the world’s most renowned lyricist.
This is where the phrase “heavy is the crown” comes in to play. If one assigns himself the monicker “best rapper alive” then it’s only fair that his music is critiqued in that way right? Right.
With that said, Tha Carter IV is simply not a great album. Not even good. I would actually go back to 2008 and apologize to Tha Carter III for bashing it, because it’s far superior than it’s successor. Tha Carter III showcased a raw, unique style, at the time I didn’t get. However, he’s regressed on this album. Using lackadasical wordplay and a rhyme scheme that was trendy two years ago.
The album goes back to the formula of the two original Carters loosely, having an intro, interlude and outro with the same instrumental. Unfortunately, this instrumental wasn’t the best way to start the album. Don’t worry though, the production on this album is still excellent though.
Another detractor is the large amount of features, most of which steal the show. Tech N9ne is actually the highlight of the album on Interlude. Drake makes “She Will” his song with his ability to make great hooks. Nas shows flashes of greatness on the Outro.
The highlight of the album in my opinion is “President Carter”. But in typical Weezy fashion, he strays off rhyme scheme and sabatoges his own verse.
There’s not much content to break down. Subjects include:…well you know what he raps about. While “How to Love” is actually a good song with a powerful message, it sticks out like a sore thumb within the context of the album.
This album is sure to be heard booming from a lot of car stereos and parties but as a cohesive project from a contender for the “best rapper alive” it is quite underwhelming.
I dare say it is the worst of the Carters.
Final grade: 3/5
No suh goes in on Mos Def’s Umi Says. Listen up folks
When he’s not beefing with every household name in the industry, The Game is actually a decent rapper with a very sound catalogue. RED, would be no different.
After jumping from label to label, Game finally reunites with his mentor Dr. Dre, who handles the Intro/Skits. The album starts off on a great note with “The City” featuring Compton’s prodigal son Kendrick Lamar (he really shines on his last verse, just see”.
The theme of this album: Guest appearances. Some make songs and others hurt them. Martians vs. Goblins featuring Tyler the Creator and Lil Wayne, who handles the hook, is a great track. The Game and Tyler actually feed off each other and mesh well. Then there’s tracks like “Heavy Artillery” and “Speakers on Blast’ where two rappers aren’t even needed, just one guest verse maybe.
The highlights of this album come from “Ricky” and “Born in the Trap” produced by DJ Premier, which is an honor within itself. The game has shown growth with his songwriting skills and these songs are prime examples.
Only negative thing about this album is those two songs for the ladies that sound forced. Other than this, this album is actually great.
What I REALLY respect about the game is that he’s grown as a lyricist and has decreased the name dropping. While this album isn’t a classic, it’ll hold your attention for a few spins.
Final Grade: 3.85/5 (would have been a 4, but replay value decreased it slightly)
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Toronto native and internet underground sensation releases a new free album for the masses. If you miss 90s RnB give it a listen.
New mixtape from the hardest working man in the game. Hosted by Dj Drama. Download below
New album from mysterious MC, Blu. I didn’t know this existed until like 5 minutes ago. Production by 9th Wonder, Madlib, and The Alchemist.
New mixtape from bay area artist Main Attractionz. Feature from A$AP Rocky
I’m pretty sure no one knows who Danny Brown is so I’ll catch you up to speed. He’s a Detroit mc who…um…actually there is no way to describe Danny Brown, one adjective isn’t enough. Well this is his follow up to his underground classic, The Hybrid, and I assure you it’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard.
On this title track he exhibits his unorthodox flow. Most who don’t get it may want to press the stop button here, but I assure you it gets better. Keep listening.
2. Die Like a Rockstar
This track reminds me of an old school Def Jux track with El-P production. This song is a prime example of his witty wordplay “I got a Kurt Cobain mindframe…”.
3. Pac Blood
This track is produced by the very underrated BrandUn Deshay and will intstantly become a standout track on the album. The hook of this song is definitely the highlight of the album.
Probably my least favorite track on the album but still clever enough to hold your attention. The instrumental is just one snare and the beat comes in at the hook.
Just when you think you’ve typecasted Danny Brown’s style here comes Lie4 where he makes a reference to “Make It Rain” and the Euro-genre grime all in one song. Dizzee Rascal influence is evident on this song
6. I Will
This is possibly the most vulgar song you’ve heard in awhile but it represents a very important element of Danny’s style and content. I’m sure you’ve heard a dozen “sex songs” but Danny raps about it cleverly in a semi-serious matter.
7. Bruiser Brigade
This track is also heavily euro-rap influenced but incorporates the american crunk sub-genre. Expect lots of yelling…and maybe the strong urge to fight.
8. Detroit 187
If you’ve been up on Danny Brown this is probably the type of song you’re accustomed to. He spits one of my favorite lines “other rappers got lines, dog I got encroachments”
Danny kicks off this song with possibly his best verse on the entire album. There’s no hook on this song, just a display of his lyrical prowess.
10. Blunt after Blunt
Use your context clues to figure out what this one is about. With Danny Brown you have to expect a drug ballad, and this one serve its purpose.
Another standout track on the album. He goes absolutely crazy on this track.
12. Adderall Admiral
This is one of my favorite tracks on the album because of the absurd punchlines. Danny showcases his wittiness before the album takes its shift.
This is the first serious song of the album. If you listen his voice isn’t altered on this song and he sounds more like the Hot Soup Danny Brown.
Danny proves he’s a well-rounded MC with his storytelling skills on this song. It tells the story of a troubled young lady.
15. Party All the Time
Going off the title alone, I was expecting something totally different with this song. Again, his voice isn’t altered and this song is similar to “Nosebleeds” content-wise. Another standout track.
Just in case you were wondering, the song’s title means eastside-westside-northend-southwest. This song tells the tale of his Detroit upbringing.
This is another song that chronicles his experiences in Detroit. The sample may sound familiar if you’re a fan of classic animé.
18. Scrap or Die
Initially you may think scrap = fight but that’s not true. The hook may sound familiar also. Think Thug Motivation 101.
If I had to make a list and rank Danny Brown songs this would make top 3. This is the song that needs to be played when someone asks “who is Danny Brown?”. He passionate raps about his struggles to get where he is today. This song serves as the perfect closing for the album.
After listening to XXX I literally asked myself “what the hell did I just listen to?”. This album breaks all the rules of hip hop today and is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. He cleverly meshes every aspect of this style without making the album sound like it’s jumping all over the place. Last time I felt like this after listening to an album was Hell Hath No Fury by the Clipse.
Final Grade: 4.5/5
Yes…that is correct.
Also, this album is a free download. So check it out here and let me know what you think.
Long awaited follow-up to House of Balloons. No further explanation is needed.
When he’s not the primary recipient of #whohurtyou on twitter, you have to admit Chris Partlow face has a collection of untouchable mixtapes. This is the precursor to his Maybach Music Group debut, Ambition.
New album from my favorite rapper who i’m sure no one has heard of. This album is filled with tales of drugs, sex, and everything in between
The announcement of Watch the Throne easily made it the most anticipated project of the decade, even before the first song was recorded. And rightfully so, there hasn’t been a collaboration between two artists of this stature in hip hop’s history. So did this album live up to the hype or just become a Best of Both World’s Pt. 2 (sorry, I had to bring it up).