Liam Payne – First Time (EP Review)

Liam-Payne-First-Time-758x758

The Ex- One Direction star was slated to release a debut  album but he has gone through a lot of life changing events in the last few months. He’s now  a father and he went through a break-up from his girlfriend of over two years, Cheryl Cole. Those are definitely some of real life changing events I would think. Though going through the course of life, Liam still shows he clearly loves his fans. On Friday August 24th, he announced and released a four-track EP called ‘First Time’.

A short EP means a short review. That being said, i’ll make this very brief and direct. Liam Payne came through and delivered with this pleasant surprise that is ‘First Time’. Liam showcases his maturity and diverse range of sounds. Each track on here displays well-written lyrics and shows Liam’s versatility in making music in multiple genres. Liam Payne has come a long way since his debut track ‘Strip That Down’ (Real Talk). I loved that he was able to give us some insight into his personal life, mainly his relationships since many always seemed to be concerned with his love life. 

On the title track “First Time,” which features French Montana, we get a Latin-infused  groove.  This reminded me of Liam’s collab with Colombian singer J Balvin on “Familiar.”  “Home With You” is a track that I’m surprised has grown on me as of recent. But then again, is it much of a surprise? This track seems to be one of the most underrated songs on this EP. This track is like that pleasant surprise track that you’ve probably skipped over but its really a hit! On track three Liam takes a different direction with the somewhat soulful piano ballad that is “Depend On It.”  Here Liam gets brutally honest with his lyrics such as, “There’s still a thread left, if I could just hold on, onto unraveling hope, give it one last go.” He also showcases his powerful vocals that should keep critics quiet. Mainly those critics from his One Direction days that said he “couldn’t sing for shit.” This track was a bit of a tearjerker for sure if you can relate and or currently feel what Liam was feeling on this track. ‘Slow’, the last song in the four-track EP, is an electric  groovy tune with heavy synths, that couldn’t have been a better way to close out this EP. 

‘First Time’ is a COMPLETE EP. We got four songs that all sound different and showcased Liam Payne’s versatility and talent. He also managed to stay very honesty with his music. He gave us an insight to his love life through his own eyes. Liam being able to genre hop is something that isn’t easy to do. ‘First Time’ shows that the pure vocal talent and versatility to deliver diverse sounds is present. Liam’s future is bright and I’ll be checking to see what a full length project sounds like. Should be a treat! 

Rating: 9.5/10

Stream on Spotify: 

 

 

#SongOfTheDay for 8/4/2018 – 8/31/2018

I’ve been super busy and just flat out either forgot to post the #SOTD or just too tired too. Here were the songs selected for the past six days! No write ups were done but songs were picked out. all the songs selected are new tracks! I want to to do a whole segment for new music weekly and continue the doing a “Song Of The Day.” I’ll post a poll or something… anyways sorry everyone for  being MIA. I’ll do better! 

 

August 4th:  Machine Gun Kelly – Loco

 

 

August 5th: Diggy Simmons – It Is What It

 

August 6th: Future – Scammalot

August 7th: Trippie Redd – Taking A Walk

August 8th: Kap G – Raise The Roof (Ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

August 9th: Playboi Carti & Lil Uzi Vert – Big Bank

August 10th: Soulja Boy – Infinity

August 11th: Travis Scott – Stop Trying To Be God

August 12th: Young M.A – Car Confessions

August 13th: Gunna x Lil Uzi Vert – .223

August 14th: Smokepurpp x Dj Flippp – Guap

August 15th: NBA Youngboy – Drawing Symbols

August 16th: BHAD BHABIE – INTRO

 

August 17th: Kid Ink – Cana Ft. 24hrs

August 18th: 24hrs – YG

August 19th: Russ – The Flute Song

August 20th: Juelz Santana Ft. Ez Work

August 21st : Young MA – LA LEAKERS FREESTYLE

 

August 22nd : Sahbabii – 7 Squids (Ft. R.Kelly)

 

August 23rd: Logic – The Return

 

August 24th: blackbear – the 1

August 25th : Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp Help KAMI & Smoko Ono – Reboot

August 27th: Bryson Tiller – Normal Girl

August 28th: Bryson Tiller – Canceled

August 29th: Mick Jenkins – What Am I To Do

August 30th: Logic – YSIV Freestyle

August 31st: Kanye West- XTCY

Aminé “OnePointFive” (Review & Stream)

Aminé basically has been MIA all 2018. He tweeted out last Monday about having “albums ready” so obviously he’s been keeping things low-key but working round the clock. The album cover for this says it all. On the following day, he announced his new “LPEPMixtapeAlbum” project called ‘OnePointFive.’The follow up to last year’s debut album ‘GoodForYou ‘contains 13 tracks in total and features guest appearances from G Herbo, Rico Nasty and Gunna. On production we have contributors from the likes of Pasque, Charlie Brown, Tee Watt, Amine himself, LDBG Beats & more.


Tracklist and Song Ratings 

1. DR. WHOEVER (4.5/5)
2. HICCUP (feat. Gunna) (4.5/5)
3. REEL IT IN (4.2/5)
4. BLACKJACK (4.2/5)
5. WHY? (5/5)
6. SHINE (4/5)
7. CHINGY (4.5/5)
8. DAPPERDAN (feat. G Herbo) (4.5/5)
9. CANTU (5/5)
10. SUGARPARENTS (feat. Rico Nasty) (4/5)
11 STFU2 ( 3.8/5)
12. RATCHET SATURN GIRL (3.5/5)
13. TOGETHER (5/5)

Favorite Tracks: HICCUP, WHY?, CHINGY, DAPPERDAN & CANTU

Stream


‘ONEPOINTFIVE’ is not Aminé’s sophomore album, as the title suggest. With this new release though Aminé delivers some fire content to make up for his quiet 2018 and to prepare us for whats ahead!  I mentioned ONEPOINTFIVE ‘s album cover and how it appears Aminé is tired. On the cover he has this dead-eyed gaze and shows that he is absolutly exhausted. Maybe it’s to show the fame has taken it’s toll on him? Or maybe, he’s just being f*cking weird. I say it shows the fame catching up with him as he presents this mind state on the intro track, “Dr. WHOEVER.  Aminé raps, “I sit here and tell you my problems, that’s how this work, right?/I’m s’posed to be open and honest, but I got time, right?/My niggas having seshes and I’m doin’ sessions/Can’t man up if masculinity your only weapon/Man, I’ve thought about suicide a hundred times/But I’d hate to disappoint and see my mama cry.”  Its all in the lyrics. The next three tracks  actually had a complete different feel and sound from the first track. 

“HICCUP” gives us a feature from an artist who is absolutely hot now in Gunna. I really enjoyed this unlikely collab from these two. “BLACKJACK” is a heavy hitting track that was really enjoyable and seems to be a big favorite by many listeners. After getting an intro track with Amine opening up about fame and his current state of living we got three tracks that had a completely different tone. On the gloomy baseline track “Why” produced by Pasqué and Tee-WaTT, Aminé gets real again as he raps, “Had to relax and never relapse/Shout out to Reese, the sex was like crack/I need love, I’m depressed/I’m a fool, I’m a mess.” Lines like these had myself and probably other listeners hitting pause wondering “what was just said?” Aminé’s ability to turn “simple ass sh*t” into something deep and thought-provoking was an on going affair on this project. After this point, all the tracks pretty much remain enjoyable but the mood definitely changes. There was a lot of anthemic, flex happy and just all in all catchy sing along tunes. Aminé also remembers to have fun on “DAPPERDAN” that features colorful name-drops such as, “B*tch, ya boy a Borat and a Boris mixed with Maury (true!)/I’m out here with Topanga like I’m white and my name Cory (woo!).”  After all the fun and heavy head bopping tunes, this “LPEPMixtapeAlbum” closes with “TOGETHER” which could be seen as the sequael track to his song “Wedding Crashers” off his debut album. On here he talks about about having a bigger role than just  being an attendee at his long lost loves wedding but being apart of it.  

So this “LPEPMixtapeAlbum” is really a mixtape in my eyes! It doesn’t feel like a studio album what so ever. Even though there were some lyrics that gave vibes that Aminé struggles with fame and other things in life, I believe Aminé is enjoying his hip-hop star status and is making lighthearted rap music to soundtrack the unusual moments that tend to occur in life. He doesn’t need therapy. Putting it all into the music is his therapy. ONEPOINTFIVE isn’t as fluid or exciting as his debut album ‘Good For You’ but I kind of enjoyed the roughness of this project. I also just LOVE hearing Aminé rap a little more than singing. If these are throw away tracks they sound amazing and this indicates that his actual sophomore album should be a good one. ONEPOINTFIVE is more than a project that  will keep  Aminé’s fans eager for his upcoming sophomore album. It’s a worthy body of work that belongs in his catalog as he continues to be himself and that’s what we love him for! 

Rating: 8.7/10

H.E.R. – I Used To Know Her: The Prelude (EP Review)

HER

H.E.R is back!!!! The mysterious and talented H.E.R official debut album doesn’t have an official release date yet but she hints that it’ll be coming real soon. For the time being, she is on Chris Brown’s Heartbreak On A Full Moon Tour preforming the gems from her two previous self titled EP’s, “H.E.R. Volume 1” and “H.E.R. Volume 2 – The B Sides.” With H.E.R busy on tour she still was able to grace us with some new music! “I Used To Know Her: The Prelude” is a six track EP that features Bryson Tiller and DJ Scratch! Shall we dive in?


Tracklist and Song Ratings

  1. Lost Souls (feat. DJ Scratch) (5/5)
  2. Against Me (3.9/5)
  3. Be On My (Interlude) (4.5/5)
  4. Could’ve Been (feat. Bryson Tiller) (4.6/5)
  5. Feel a Way (4.2/5)
  6. As I Am (5/5)

Stream

 


H.E.R definitely did “H.E.R” thing on this EP! An artist heavily loaded in mystery gifted with mesmerizing vocals delivers a complete EP to build the anticipation of her forthcoming but also holding her fans over with some great music in the meantime. H.E.R channels her inner Lauren Hill on the 90’s era inspired track “Lost Souls.” H.E.R  addresses materialism, body positivity and toxic masculinity. All topics in which the great Lauryn Hill would cover. In her first verse, H.E.R raps:  

“Confusing self-conscious with self-confidence // So you monogamous be body positive // Those pills you swallowing, for a following // What he got to offer? // He don’t see the kids that he fathering.”

It doesn’t get any more real than that! I had no clue she  had this sound in her arsenal. After the opening track she returns to her familiar sound for the rest of the EP. On “Could’ve Been,” she teams up with Mr. Trap Soul, Bryson Tiller, to create a smooth yet soulful track about heartbreak. On it, H.E.R. and Bryson Tiller go back and forth about the potential  of a  relationship that ended with a lot of wonders.  These two sound great together and I would not mind hearing them again in the future. On the final track, “As I Am,” we get a feel good track with amazing instrumentals to coexist  with  some lovely vocals.

H.E.R presents us with a dope EP as we wait for her next full length project. She is an extremely dope artist who is becoming quite the star. Seems like just yesterday she was an up and coming artist that not everyone knew of. I discovered H.E.R  last year through the Joe Budden podcast and never looked back. Now H.E.R is on tour with Chris Brown and getting Bryson Tiller features. I like seeing growth from artist and this EP shows it.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

 

 

The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy (Album Review)

My Dear

I don’t mind stating the obvious. I’m pretty damn late on reviewing this project. What’s important is that I am here now and ready to tackle a Weeknd project that seemed to be loved by all my peers. Anyways, The Weeknd returned to the scene back in late March with his six-track EP “My Dear Melancholy.” When he first appeared back in 2011, he dropped three amazing mixtapes that have turned out to be timeless and still loved by many! We knew pretty much nothing about him back then. He was just an artist who wanted to make great content and did not care for mainstream success. So now lets fast forward to 2017. A lot has changed with The Weeknd. We learned his identity as Abel Tesfaye. Also, this once mysterious and shy individual a red carpet star with two smash crossover pop albums, 2015’s ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ and 2016’s  Daft Punk-featuring ‘Starboy’. On top of that he has had a couple high profile relationships. OH! How could i forget? He also has his own label, XO Records. On “My Dear Melancholy,” we see The Weeknd looping back to that that dark gloomy aesthetic sound that caught our attention.


Tracklist and Song Ratings

  1. CALL OUT MY NAME (4.3/5)
  2. TRY ME (4.5/5)
  3. WASTED TIMES (5/5)
  4. I WAS NEVER THERE (4/5)
  5. HURT YOU (5/5)
  6. PRIVILEGE (4.4/5)

Stream


My Dear Melancholy is a solid project that gives “true fans” the feels from when The Weeknd first busted on to the scene. From track to track you can’t help  but to feel the deep emotions that are generated from this project. This six song EP revolves around heartbreak and anger which comes to no surprise following his Selena break up and prior to their relationship, the split between he and Bella Hadid. 

 On “My Dear Melancholy ” Abel owns the “heartbroken jerk” persona. There were plenty of extremely petty and personal lyrics that could be felt by any listener who has ever experienced heartbreak. The Weeknd was able to use his pain into making an amazing EP. In my opinion this could be his most FOCUSED project since “House of Ballons.” 

Two Songs that I really enjoyed were “Wasted Times” and “Hurt You.” Wasted Times was a song that was very Drake esque but here we find The Weeknd doing Drake better than Drake. (Confirmation that The Weekend DEFINITELY wrote some of our favorite emo Drake tracks for him lol) On here, The Weeknd makes subtle references to his high profile relationships with Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez from the past. Abel sounded great on here as he sings out his frustrations. This song solely focuses on his regrets and faults.

“Hurt You” is that song that comes on late at at night on shuffle that might make you f*cking cry. Straight Up! The Weeknd starts the song by saying relationships are his enemy. The song is more uptempo than the other tracks on the album but the lyrics remain dreary and somber. Maybe I should stop talking about this song before I shed a tear myself. 

I had no real issues with this project. There were apparent contributors on this project in  Nicolas Jaar and Gesaffelstein but I guess The Weekend’s style overpowered them and had the two contributors on mute. I did mention this EP had that classic Weeknd sound but I was surprised that their wasn’t a song on here that could be seen as a smash hit single but, they were all of great quality. 

Anyways to wrap things up, This project was a bit thin but its purpose was to serve as an EP and it was released unannounced. “My Dear Melancholy” has cohesion which is good. Thematically this EP surrounds heartbreak with a focus on regret, remorse and reflection. I keep mentioning classic Weekend because this project really does bring back this nostalgic feeling but its just not like The Weeknd’s early projects  “House of Balloons” or “Echoes of Silence.” I really enjoyed this project and it has me curious in what direction The Weeknd will be headed in for his next album. The Starboy may be drifting from the bright lights and returning  to darkness, a place where his music always thrived. 

 

Rating: 8.8/10

#SongOfTheDay 8/3/2018 : LEBANON DONN – LEFT RIGHT (Prod. By NNANNA)

Happy Friday Good People!! There was a plethora of music that released today/late last night. There were highly anticipated album releases from the likes of Travis Scott, Mac Miller and YG to singles by one of the games Best Kept Secrets, Mr. Lebanon Donn.

Today’s #SongOfTheDay is Lebanon Donn’s well deserved new single, “Left Right.” “Left Right” was produced by Nnanna who is an up and coming producer who displays all the quality sounds to show that he is a real force to be reckoned with. This isn’t the first time these two have worked together. On Lebanon Donn’s debut album “Journey To Forever,” Nnanna produced the “Intro” and, one of my favorite tracks off the album, “Off The Muscle.”

Both these talents are special and share an uncanny chemistry as artist and producer.  So its only right  for these two to continue collaborating. On “Left Right,”  Lebanon shows off how versatile he is as he gets saucy all over this electrifying Nnanna produced beat with a series of melodic bars. I knew my guy was talented but then he also displayed the melodic flow and I lost it. You feel the chemistry between these two per every beat and bar as they coexist to create magic and give us all the good vibes that we seek through music.

This electrifying track can be streamed on all platforms! I am definitely getting ahead of myself here but if there is a video for this song, MAN IT WILL BE SPECIAL! Speaking of special, I’ve talked to both Lebanon Donn and Nnanna and they told me that they have some serious unreleased heat on the way and that we can expect to see a joint album soon…. 👀 

This electrifying track can be streamed on all platforms! I’ve attached the link below for streaming on top of the link to stream Lebanon Donn’s debut album “Journey To Forever.” ENJOY!!

https://song.link/album/us/i/1383342473

Lebanon Donn’s “Journey To Forever” Album Stream

 

 

 

 

 

Song Of The Day 8/2/2018: Mac Miller – Inertia

Mac Miller prepares us to go ‘Swimming’ with his new track and today’s #SongOfTheDay, “Inertia.” So Mac announced ‘Swimming’ in early July and followed it with the release of his songs, “Self-Care” and “What’s The Use?” This is Mac’s first album since 016’s The ‘Divine Feminine’. With “Inertia” Mac delivers a dope freestyle accompanied with a cool visual showing him in the studio messing with his keyboard and experimenting with sounds. With Mac’s last two tracks he shows you his ability to make music. On “Inertia,” Mac spits fire bars and talks some real sh*t including a few bars about his life. I can not wait for this album Friday!! I think it may be his best work to date.