5/27/09

Writings on the Wall: Less review, more quips


Its very good


1 - The actual opener, Hurry, is the most exhilarating track since Go Hard. FATBOI delivers a bleepy, banger that Gucci has wayyyyy too much fun on. His uber confident, pre-verse shit-talking is instantly contrasted by his eager delivery. The line "Gucci got a warrant, how the fuck I get subpoenaed??!!" is delivered in a way that shows he's super happy to be out, but still kinda salty that he got locked up in the same way. His 2nd and 3rd verses have a "HAPPY AS FUCK TO BE OUT" vibe going on and his lyrics eventually dissolve into nearly incomprehensible quips about his cars.

2 - From "Going In"

"What a sight to see, tattoos all over me
A walking work of art, I took a lot of ink."

"Like a blind man, you can't see the kid
I'm like a deaf man, cause you can't tell me shit"


3 - Track Four is supposed to be "Game featuring OJ Da Juiceman and Kourtney Money". Instead, we get a storytelling track, where Gucci delves into his upbringing with some skill.

"See my daddy hustle hard, but he love some liquor
And my momma wanna leave him, but she love the nigga"

4 - What makes First Day Out so great, is the back to basics attitude of it all. Zaythoven doesn't try to make a Put On type, GUCCI'S BACK!!! track. Sonically, Zay pumps out an eerie, bleepy beat that Gucci does his thing over. Gucci doesn't do anything special, he just keeps it basic. His first day out is just like any other day.

5 - From "Check"

"I'm Sun Valley shawty, shawty you not I
But if you run the east side, it must be two sides"

Disses T.I. and references a Killer Mike song in the same couplet. Impressive.

5 - 17 Brick Squad follows the perfect formula for a posse track. Menacing beat (twinkling keys and loud snares provided by Tha Bizness, tha bizness, tha bizness) and a bunch of guys who sound mean. Waka Flocka Flame gets one of the best intros ever.
6 - Gucci murders She Gotta Friend. Juelz sucks.
7 - Girls Kissing Girls sounds realll sad. Like Gucci wanted to make a song about a lezbo who took his girl, but he just couldnt do it. Nikki Minaj is great.
Thats about it.

mixtapes and stuff

1 - Blackout 2 is one of three great albums, so far this year (Real Recognize Real and UGK 4 Life). The three promo tracks didn't impress me individually, but the albums has a brilliant flow and make everything sound great or at least solid. Erick Sermon, Havoc, Redman, Rockwilder, and company lace Meth and Red with thick boom-baps that they let loose over. I'm not too educated when it comes to Meth and Red, but they're on point and never miss a beat. They dive to the south on the slow, burning City Lights, where Meth's laid-back flow trumps Red's eager comed and Bun B's brute force, serenade the ladies on the breezy Mrs. International, dive into the streets on the stiff, soulful Father's Day, and brings Ghost and Rae along on the horn-heavy cypher Four Minutes to Lock Down. After breaking even on BOMB, DJ Scratch redeems himself by producing the gold star "Dis is 4 All My Smokers". Sinister, shrieky violins provide the backdrop for Meth and Red to wax poetic about their favorite drug. A couple filler tracks, but definitely worth the buy.

2 - Not up on my Cassidy knowledge, but I know he's blacking out on damn near every track of his new mixtape, Apply Pressure. A shitload of annoying rewinds though.

3 - Rich Boy is doing his thang. The great Tom Breihan perfectly sums up my thoughts onDrop. His new mixtape, Pacc Man, has him hooking up with new producer Supa Villain for fourteen of its sixteen tracks. Supa Villain becomes the umpteenth producer to sample PacMan noises, but he probably does it better than anybody. Instead of clubbin it up, he morphs it into a quaky, creepy, gangsta dirge with clocky percussion and gang chants. A shrieking violin line runs through Thank The Lord. After those two, his style gets a little more standard, but I think he has the potential to compete with Zaythoven and Drumma Boy as the go-to producer in the south. Other highlights include Hataz, Got Purp, Harvey Dent, and Big Heads.

4 - I like Drake (no homo).

5/26/09

Old Man Rap: Back on my BS



I was never interested in this album. Back on my BS showed signs of doom from the constant release of prospective "lead singles". Even worst is that I never heard any of these singles, until I listened to the album. An album with 3 or 4 lead singles is a bad album, as is B.O.M.B..

Starts off with a couple dusty, spare would-be bangers, if not for Busta's corniness. One of the eighty-four singles, "Respect My Conglomerate", has a nice mafioso-esque beat, but Bust, Wayne, and Jada are all off their game. The Danja-produced "Shoot for the Moon" is the first great song, with Busta boasting calmly, but confidently. The stiff keyboards of Hustler's Anthem 09 had to grow on me, but I'm a fan of this song now. The Neptunes phone in the weak, patois-oriented Kill Dem.

I never took the time to actually listen to Arab Money, when bloggers were going nuts over all that potential racism and shit. Ron Brownz stacks a dozen Runners-esque synths on top of each other and delivers a gold hook, while Busta adds absurdly brilliant details, "Watch me purchase pieces of the almanac". "Ima go and get my....." is a spare, DJ Scratch-produced, comical, street tale, based off of Mike Epps number rant on All About The Benjamins. We Want In and We Miss You move much too slow and feature Busta's useless weed-carriers.

Sugar is a bass-heavy, slow lust song with a great Jelly Roll chorus and Busta puts on his sexy voice (no homo) to serenade his lady. Don't Believe Them, featuring Akon and a typically great T.I., has to have the most boring Cool and Dre beat ever. Decision is a solid "fucked-up relationship" with just too many people on it. Just Jamie Foxx would've sufficed. The electro-rap finale World Go Round isn't bad, but it worked alot better as Estelle's song with one Busta verse.

Busta probably recorded 300 songs for BOMB, and thats said because only five of these songs are any good. Busta should regroup and go for a more polished song, a la The Big Bang or just give it up, because I'm tired of hearing him ruin great songs like Make The Trap Say Aye and Best I Ever Had.

Overall: 5/10

Best Songs: Sugar, Arab Money, Ima Go and Get My

5/22/09

Cam'ron and DJ Drama



Back from hiatus, Cam drops Crime Pays. Cam is not normal, so don't expect a cover of whats been going on in his life since Killa Season. Expect another Cam'ron album; Materialism, Misogyny, and Mayhem filled with absurd and often juvenile details that has made Cam one of the most polarizing figures in rap history. No longer being able to afford the likes of Kanye West and Just Blaze, the production is handled by Skitzo and ARAAB MUZIK. They deliver a bunch of low-budget versions of today's rap trends; Big Budget synth bangers (Get It In Ohio, Where I Know You From), bleepy trappy anthems (Curve, Chalupa), the Souljaboy-aping Cookies and Applejuice, and the Euro-Synthy Spend The Night. He stays in touch with his soul roots with the recession inspired My Job and the King Floyd sampling Silky. Its no Purple Haze, but its worth a buy, especially for a Cam fan.

Overall: 8/10
Best Songs: Get It In Ohio, Chalupa, Cookin Up



Gangsta Grillz Vol. 2 is pretty much Vol. 1 without the skits. Drama cheats big time and throws three mixtape songs on the album; Love for Money, Ridiculous, and Smoke (the latter two containing hard verses from Gucci Mane). The lead single, Daydreaming, is pure gold. Drumma Boy delivers an airy pop beat, Akon does some great wailing on the chorus, and TIP and Snoop serve up two slippery, seductive verses. Other bangers include the funky opener "A-Town" with Lonnie Mac stealing the spotlight from TI, the defiant, semi-conscious "We Must Be Heard" with a brilliant Ludacris, the dark sex-anthem "Sweat" with a great Ray J chorus, and the zig-zaggy, Tricky Stewart produced Stripper Love. The rest is underwhelming and bland. I would've rather heard Nas and Scarface on We Must Be Heard, than on the bland Yacht Music. And LA The Darkman drops one of the worst verses of rap history on Tipper Love.

Overall: 7/10
Best Song: We Must Be Heard, Smoke, A Town

On another note, I would be satisfied with Cam'ron delivering terrible albums for the rest of his career and DJ Drama delivering fun, but pointless albums, if they would just do a Cam'ron Gangsta Grillz mixtape. That would really make my life.

5/16/09

Rick Ross, Asher Roth, and Eminem mini reviews



Deeper Than Rap is a more polished, but less entertaining version of Trilla. Ross is the still the smooth-talking mob boss who has all the money, hoes, and power. His lyrical skills are sharper, see the gold-star Mafia Music. He abandons the sort of scattershot Trilla production for the jazzy stylings of J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and the slow-burning regret of The Inkredibles. Ross caters the sweet ladies on the knocking "Lay Back", the gangstresses on the throwback "Murda Mami", and the freaks on the unofficial Money Make Me Cum remix "Face". The Tricky Stewart-produced "All I Really Want" and Ne-Yo featuring "Bossy Lady" don't fair as well. Kanye West steals the show on the bombastic "Maybach Music Part 2". Besides the few weak songs, the only real flaw is the shoddy sequencing.

Overall: 8/10
Best Song: Mafia Music, Face, Lay Back



Asher Roth was my pick to be the best of the new breed, but sadly it doesn't seem likely. Most of the brilliance he displayed on The Greenhouse Effect is left on The Greenhouse Effect and the comments he has made about catering the suburbs results in a grating batch of grainy drums and guitar plucks. Hit single, I Love College, is quite entertaining, as is the freestylish opener "Lark on my Go-Kart" and the critic-slaying "As I Em". But Roth doesn't display the charisma to carry the drowsy "Blunt Cruisin'" or the awkward rhythms of "Be By Myself" and "Lions Roar". He does a pretty solid job keeping up with Keri Hilson on "She Don't Wanna Man" and storytelling with the closing trio of Bad Day, His Dream, and Fallin. Not a bad album, but it could've been much better.

Overall: 7/10
Best Song: His Dream, As I Em, Fallin



Relapse is the most important album of Em's career. It's the record to determine whether Encore was a fluke or if he really didn't have anything left to say. Its the latter. Relapse is a semi-concept album where Em relapses back into his psychopathic Slim Shady persona. His lyrics are some of the most complex ever put on Earth and Dre delivers dark, layered compositions, but it doesn't add up to anything entertaining. It lacks the mocking, ironic nature that The Marshall Mathers LP had. It's just gruesome for the sake of gruesomeness. Opening rampage "3AM", the Nick and Mariah attacking "Bagpipes from Baghdad", the overdose tail "Deja Vu", the keepitreal ballad "Beautiful", and the brooding single "Crack A Bottle" featuring a nice Dr. Dre and a stereotypically lazy 50 Cent are the only enjoyable tracks. Eminem is pretty much done.

Overall: 5/10
Best Song: Beatiful, 3 AM, Crack A Bottle