SiR – November (Album Review)

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TDE’s roster continues to grow! Top Dawg Entertainment is not a label just for rappers. They’ve come to embrace all kinds of artists. TDE’s roster consists of the top MC right now that is Kendrick Lamar. TDE also is the home of super talents such as Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, Isiah Rishad, SZA and Ab-Soul. SZA who falls in the realm of R&B, with the addition of Inglewood’s finest, SiR, they’re diving deeper into R&B. SiR has brought his smooth and sultry brand of the genre into the mix with the execution of his debut album, ‘November’.

‘November’ is full of emotional confusion on majority of the 11 tracks. A project full of amazing vocals supported by laid-back rhythms, ‘November’ is a roller coaster of heartfelt confessions and romantic musings of someone who’s experienced a deep heartbreak but at the same time, an intoxicating love. SiR pines for his mystery woman’s affection on “War.” On the previous track he dismisses her clingy ways on “Never Home” and then on “Better” he wants her back. These tracks play in the order of “Never Home,” “War,” and “Better.” I personally thought this was the perfect organization to display what it’s like being in an intense relationship of the one SiR presents to us. I know I’ve been there before.

I was a fan of ScHoolboy Q’s contributions to lead single “Something Foreign” even though it was track that seemed misplaced a bit but still fit in with the albums concept I suppose. Tracks such as “D’Evils,” “Something New,” featuring British vocalist Etta Bond, and “Dreaming Of Me,” I enjoyed on pure strength of the near-flawless production work. Since we’re talking production now, “Dreaming Of Me,” produced by H-Money, cleverly samples Dr. Dre’s 1999 hit “Xplosive” in a new surprisingly pleasant manner. The album closes with “Summer In November” which I think was the perfect way to conclude and wrap up the album’s concept.

November has many producers but is able to remain sonically cohesive. To couple the amazing production job with SiR’s undeniable talent this makes for an amazing debut that will be in consideration for one of this year’s best releases. (Ain’t that right Shawn?!)

Rating: 9.75/10

Stream on Spotify:

 

Favorite Tracks: D’Evils, Never Home, War, Better, That’s Alright and Dreaming of Me

Travis Scott – Astroworld (Album Review)

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So what have y’all anticipated more the actual drop for ‘Astroworld’ or for me to actually drop the review? Don’t answer that I know its probably both! The wait is over. Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’ has been one of 2018’s most anticipated drops. Its been two and a half weeks since its long waited arrival and I needed the full two and a half weeks to dive into Travis’s latest piece, which was named after the now-closed theme park in Texas that Travis used to go to as a kid. ‘Astroworld’ consists of seventeen tracks and a stacked supporting cast that resembles a particular NBA team (My hoop fanatics know the team I’m referring too). Such key players include the likes of Drake, Sheck Wes, Juice Wrld, Quavo, James Blake, Stevie Wonder, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Nav, Gunna, Swae Lee, and many more. Production is handled by Travis and some of the games finest including Mike Dean, Frank Dukes, WondaGurl, FKi 1st, Sonny Digital, and a few others. Before we dive in I wanted to leave a direct quote from Travis when comparing ‘Astroworld’ to ‘Rodeo’.

“It’s a different story. I’ve been through so much different shit. I’ve seen so much different stuff now, its just a different story I have to tell. It’s kinda like a more personal album. I just want people to get to know me and really get to know the rage inside. Really know what’s going on with my mental and what I be thinking. How I feel about all types of shit…”

Lets get to this review now.


Tracklist and Song Ratings

  1. STARGAZING (5/5)
  2. CAROUSEL (5/5)
  3. SICKO MODE (5/5)
  4. R.I.P. SCREW (5/5)
  5. STOP TRYING TO BE GOD (5/5)
  6. NO BYSTANDERS (5/5)
  7. SKELETONS (4.7/5)
  8. WAKE UP (5/5)
  9. 5% TINT (4.4/5)
  10. NC-17 (4/5)
  11. ASTROTHUNDER (4.3/5)
  12. YOSEMITE (4.5/5)
  13. CAN’T SAY (4/5)
  14. WHO? WHAT! (4.2/5)
  15. BUTTERFLY EFFECT (5/5)
  16. HOUSTONFORNICATION (4.5/5)
  17. COFFEE BEAN (5/5)

Favorite Tracks: STARGAZING, CAROUSEL, SICKO MODE, STOP TRYING TO BE GOD, NO BYSTANDERS, YOSEMITE AND COFFEE BEAN

Stream


Man this album is special so I’ll choose my words wisely as I carefully review this project…. ‘Astroworld’ is F*cking AMAZING. Travis Scott creates his most complete and cohesive album to date. Since I want to discuss how great this project is I’ll tackle its flaws. There are no flaws. Okay, I’ll be honest. There were a FEW lazy bars on a couple tracks but it’s only noticed if you spend time to look for this project’s flaws. These “lazy bars” that I’m speaking on BRIEFLY does not inflict any damage on the whole ‘Astroworld’ experience. This album is FULL of infectious flows and atmospheric beats. Personally, i needed this project! Well based off the albums feedback and ‘Astroworld’ going  #1 on Billboard back to back weeks (Sorry not sorry Nicki), I think Hip Hop and fans of dope music needed this project. Travis was driving me nuts with all the stalling/push backs/and other reasons for him to not put this project out. An album of this caliber cannot be rushed so forgive me for my impatience Travis.  ‘Astroworld’ sounds amazing but most importantly, it’s super organic. Whether it’s your first listen or tenth. It’s like it gets better each time.  

Travis and his supporting cast showed out like the 96′ Chicago Bulls (the hell with the GSW). The album starts off in the most magnificent way possible with “Stargazing.” The two for one intro that is “Stargazing” has two separate musical vibes. Part one has a very psychedelic feel and then there is this urgent and sharp beat switch that just transitions impeccably.  On “Carousel” we get a surprise Frank Ocean appearance! On the tracklist for this project the features are left out and meant to be discovered upon listening, which feels purposely done by an artist who is aware of how limited his audience’s attention span can be. “Carousel” has Frank Ocean rich sound floating over an amazing beat as he sings, “Blue bands, blue bands/Get my cash from drive-thru/Boy you’re too flash, too flash/Keep the flash minimal/Bitch I’m too cold, too cold/See my breath visible.”

TRAVIS AND A FEW GOOD MEN CREATE AN EARGASM OF A LIFE TIME WITH “SICKO MODE.” On “Sicko Mode”, Scott teases Drake vocals before switching gears. “Sicko Mode” has not ONE BUT TWO BEAT SWITCH UPS. On part two of this track we get two dope verses from Travis and a special appearance by that boy Swae Lee! At this point you’re already pretty engaged and loving what you hear but it’s like the song is missing something and Travis literally doesn’t neglect the feeling that listeners would feel after the first two segments. The beat switches up again to a Tay Keith production with none other than Drake reappearing to just put the icying on the cake to an amazing three for one record that leaves you in awe tempted to replay the track. Going back to Drake we hear a clear shot at Adidas as he raps, “checks over stripes.” I hear you Drizzy! Get your ish off boy.  Travis pays homage to DJ Screw on “R.I.P Screw” which also features Swae Lee lending his vocals once again.

 It’s crazy that after just 5 songs in on ‘Astroworld’ everything just sounds so fluid. Okay maybe five songs is nothing but it gets better.  As things seem to slow down and the production sounds extremely Houston on “R.I.P Screw” the slow tempo continues into the albums longest track “Stop Trying To Be God.”  Some way, some how we get James Blake, Kid Cudi and Stevie Wonder all on one track. I could do a deep dive on this song alone and probably give you 1,000 words but maybe some other time. What I will do is thank everyone on this track for giving us an absolute gem of a track with a deep meaning behind it which essential is to “let GO and let GOD” possibly? (You decide) We get a surprise banger in the Vibrant “No Bystanders” which features the next big musical acts in Juice Wrld and Sheck Wes. From here things begin to drift a bit with “Skeletons” which features The Weeknd and Pharrell. The Weeknd remains involved as we are gifted with another collab between Travis and Abel on “Wake Up.”  This track also involved many people on both writing and production and to hear so many different ideas in sound coexist makes this song a lot more special. The acoustic guitar’s played on this track is the real MVP here.  

So now as we approach the half way mark I want to to say few things! Isn’t this album super fluid? Isn’t ‘Astroworld’ flawless? Travis takes us on a psychedelic journey that is truly one of a kind. The first half is extremely mesmerizing giving of this high extremely profound sense of feeling similar to a first time acid trip. So for basically the next half of the album I view it as the “come down.” I don’t refer to it as a come down because of  the quality of music decreasing but there’s a change of pace throughout the next 8 tracks but it all still coexist as one sound, one vibe, a whole experience.

To begin this second half we have “5% Tint” which samples the piano sequence from Goodie Mob’s hip hop classic “Cell Therapy”  by re-recording it for a darker, slightly more dignified and not so playful version. The song also features the samples hook: “Who’s that creeping through my window/Before you come outside I got the info/Took her to the end zone from The Ends.” “NC-17” features 21 Savage as he spits one of the most graphic bars on this whole album. It’s a line that only 21 would get away with.  An interesting sampling job occurs on “Astrothunder” as he uses the guitar hook from “Sold Out Dates” by Gunn ft. Lil Baby and  “Florida Logic”, from the instrumental post-rock band Cougar. This track feeds right into the Dark Horse for best track on ‘Astroworld’. YES I SAID IT. “Yosemite” is ‘Astroworld’s Dark Horse. A track that features a SUPER MELODIC hook by Gunna  and a “questionably” feature from NAV, actually all blend in to create a hell of a vibe! Leave Nav alone y’all I love him on here. Especially since they went back and boosted his vocals on this track.  

“Can’t Say” features Don Toliver an artist who I wasn’t familiar with. This was my least favorite track because I wasn’t feeling his contributions too much but song is still didn’t sound too bad at all. “WHO? WHAT!“  finds Travis teaming up with his Atlanta brethren in Takeoff and Quavo.  This song definitely could have been on Huncho Jack. As we continue to “come down” we hear the lead single for ‘Astroworld’ in “Butterfly Effect” as it still sounds as sonically mesmerizing as it did when first released. “Houstonfornication” is an ode to Houston and the reckless activities Travis’s younger self would have engaged in. Personally, I thought in verse two Travis was addressing Tory Lanez as he rapped, “Yeah, nobody can press me but the press/Nobody can check me when it’s chess.” I could be wrong but I tend to be right when it comes to decoding bars meant to be shots at another artists.

As we come to ‘Astrworld’s final track, our acid trip comes to an end as we don’t experience a single bad trip and experienced a ride of a life time but have one last profound experience. On “Coffee Bean” we get a track completely different from every song on this album. Production wise we get an old school hip hop type beat laced with some blissful guitar strings. This track is where Travis gets super personal and opens up to us. “Coffee Bean” features important bars about Kylie and issues that faced such as the Kardashian Klan disliking him. Travis raps, “Your family told you I’m a bad move/Plus I’m already a black dude.” This sounds like Travis reflecting back at a time where Travis was not accepted by Kylie’s family. It seems to be that things are great now, in the public eye at least. This close out track is really important as we get a clear look at Travis natural self as he performs this song with little to almost no auto tune.

Travis Scott delivers a performance of a lifetime with ‘Astroworld’. ‘Astroworld’ presents itself as an experience that no album could give you this year or possibly last year, sonically speaking. Travis has always been good at collaborating with others as he able to cater to their strengths or at least help showcase it. This is why I have always viewed Travis as a Kanye West minus the f*ckery. He is a special talent who is an extraordinary producer as well as “rapper” making him a superior artist. Travis’s previous work has all been pretty superb but ‘Astroworld’ is different. Right now I feel compelled to call it his best album. That feeling may or may not change. Also, Its only right that I acknowledge Drake, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Juice Wrld, Kid Cudi, Jame Blake and Stevie Wonder for their phenomenal performances. I’ve been a Travis fan since the mixtape days and I used to tell everyone he was next and that he was ahead of his time. Here we are 4 years later as he delivers his third album and it feels like this isn’t even Travis Scott at his maximum potential. Call me crazy but the future is beyond bright for Travis. 

RATING: 10/10

 

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. 

Jorja Smith – Lost & Found (Album Review)

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Jorja Smith has ARRIVED. After a long three years Jorja Smith finally steps into spotlight all whiles taking her first steps into Super Stardom.  It’s crazy that in a matter of a year or so Jorja went from the gorgeous Starbucks barista to singing the hook on “Get It Together”, one of my favorite songs and a stand out track on  Drake’s ‘More Life’ album (playlists) in 2017. This was just the beginning though for a big year for Miss Smith. This led her to appearances on the soundtracks to “Black Panther” and Issa Rae’s hit TV show “Insecure.” She also could be found on some major singles with Stormzy and Kali Uchis where she displayed her versatility. With her debut album, “Lost & Found,” the 20-year-old singer attempts to prove she can carry a complete project of her own!


Tracklist & Ratings

  1. LOST & FOUND (5/5)
  2. TEENAGE FANTASY (4.5/5)
  3. WHERE DID I GO (4.5/5)
  4. FEBRUARY 3RD (4.75/5)
  5. ON YOUR OWN (4.4/5)
  6. THE ONE (5/5)
  7. WANDERING ROMANCE (5/5)
  8. BLUE LIGHTS (5/5)
  9. LIFEBOATS (FREESTYLE) (5/5)
  10. GOODBYES (4.5/5)
  11. TOMORROW (4.5/5)
  12. DON’T WATCH ME CRY (4.75/5)

Favorite Tracks: Lost & Found, Wandering Romance, Lifeboats (Freestyle), and The One


 I obviously take my time when I review albums. Sometimes I know right away how I feel about a project. Most times I like a project and then revisit it several times in a period of two weeks sometimes to a month and I still enjoy a project. Sometimes I discover issues and I feel a different way. In my opinion it’s the best way to take in the music and give an accurate read if something is “Hot” or “Not.” I took my time with this one.

Jorja Smith justified the hype surrounding her with her debut album “Lost & Found.” “Lost & Found” finds the 20-year-old singer delivering 12 tracks circling around heartbreak.  This debut is a follow up to Jorja’s 2016 EP ‘Project 1’. You can see the growth from that project to ‘Lost & Found’. A few songs that stood out to me were “Lost &Found,” “Life Boats,” “The One” and my favorite track, “Wandering Romance.” “Life Boats Freestyle” was super dope. Jorja on here reminded me so much of Lauryn Hill. The way she sang and melodically rapped on a very backpack rap/soulful beat. I’m not too sure this was really a freestyle but none the less. This track was amazing. “The One” was another dope song that showcased some of Jorja’s best singing. You could literally feel her emotion from every lyric and note that was sung. The album titled track “Lost & Found” was an excellent choice as the opening track for this project. This song is extremely soulful and carries some feel-good vibes. Man do I love Jorja’s accent on here……sheesh. Wandering Romance was my favorite track on here. From the production, to Jorja’s singing and the overall feels generated from Jorja’s deep soul quenching words, this song is the best song on the album. I definitely am in a mood as I say this so maybe I am wrong but In my opinion this is the best song on this project.

There was a lot of good on the album. This project was carefully constructed and full of many different sounds. There were no features on this album and I feel that this was an excellent move by Jorja. This was a confident move that pays off as her songwriting decisions prove a clear command of her range. It looks as is the plan for ‘Lost & Found’ as a project full of love songs and heart break. Instead my view on this project was that it was a plethora of complex songs with concepts surrounding desires, emotional clarity and directness in love and self. Also I do have to mention the strongest moments of the album had to be the carefree and bouncy rapping of “Lifeboats” and the heartbreaking “Blue Lights”, a tale of cycles of racial profiling that places her powerful voice front and center.

That being said, I do not have any real issues on this project. Jorja Smith is really making a name for herself.  Throughout these 12 songs, Jorja shows a mastery of many different styles and ability to capitalize on her musical experiments. I obviously liked some tracks more than others but as a collective this debut album by the lovely Jorja Smith was amazing to say the least. 

 

Rating: 9.8/10

 

Nas – Nasir (Album Review)

 

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ESCOBAR SZN BEGINS! One of Hip Hop’s most important artist has returned. Nas has been putting on for New York and the East Coast as a whole since the 90’s. Nas is a lyrical genius and his rap style is one that has earned him a mass of success. His ability at story telling of life in the inner city and its harsh reality pioneered a  wave for Hip Hop, one that has not since been duplicated. Nas has had quite the path to this moment. ‘Illmatic’, Nas’s debut album in 1994 left its mark on hip hop and is known unanimously by everyone and anyone hip hop as a classic album. Nas has maintained his status as a top-selling artist, releasing eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums, plus selling over 25 million records worldwide. Nas’s last project was ‘Life is Good’. Six years later here we are with NASIR, his 12th overall studio album. Back in late April is when we got word of this new Nas album via Kanye West on twitter. Kanye then told us he was going to be acting as the producer. ‘NASIR’ includes appearances from Puff Daddy, 070 Shake, Tony Williams, and The-Dream – making for an interesting mix of collaborators. ‘NASIR’ is under 30 minutes in length. A seven track album executive produced by Kanye for a Legend like Nas. This should be a real treat right?


Tracklist & Ratings

  1. NOT FOR RADIO (4.2/5)
  2. COPS SHOT THE KID (4.5/5)
  3. WHITE LABEL (4.2/5)
  4. BONJOUR (4.3/5)
  5. EVERYTHING (4.7/5)
  6. ADAM AND EVE (4.3/5)
  7. SIMPLE THINGS (4.2/5)

Favorite Tracks: Everything, Cops Shot The Kid, and Bonjour


So ‘NASIR’ came out to debut at number 5 on the Billboard 200, while continuing to build a buzz weeks after release. Not bad for the Legend in a new climate in Hip Hop right? Well ‘NASIR’ is all about the NOW. He discusses  inequality, racial tensions, as well as its lies and truths. Nas did not hold back at all here. On the opening track, “Not for Radio” he lays  the groundwork for a narrative about misconceptions and varied truths. I felt Nas was trying to deliver the feel of some of his classic and most memorable tracks here. I say this based on Nas’s delivery and overall message in this song.  070 Shake is on the hook to add her unique sound to this track. Something about her is so special. She makes a small contribution but its so powerful. 

My favorite song on the album was “Cops Shot The Kid” in which Ye incorporated a Slick Rick loop from his classic song ‘A Children’s Story’  throughout the track, along with a snippet of Richard Pryor  screaming from an old stand up. The song title speaks for itself. Here we have a song that addresses  gun violence and police brutality, two obvious sensitive topics in today’s world. This song featured Kanye West and he definitely dropped a dope verse. I know Ye openly supported Trump (The person not his beliefs and policies) but at the end of the day he is a BLACK MAN from Chicago so this is a subject that is close to his heart. He did a good job producing this track as well.

After the first half of the album we get a change of energy.  “Everything” is a 7 minute masterpiece that features both The-Dream and Kanye West on vocals. It is a song that is very well produced and has a very somber tone to it. The message on this song is open for interpretation. Some may see it as either uplifting or tragic. I see it as being hopeful in a time of hopelessness. Also there are parts in the song delivering a message of just staying true to yourself at all times. This song didn’t seem to be a favorite among my peers but it’ll grow on them if it hasn’t yet! The next song is a strong effort as well! “Adam and Eve” sounds more like vintage Nas from the 90’s with his flow and delivery. On this track Nas seems to be telling a story of a person’s harsh reality. This person seems to be him! The closing track, “Simple Things,” delivers a message  of humility, and ultimately finding peace within yourself and the ones you love. A message that i personally feel is important for everyone to hear. 

‘NASIR’  is a lot to digest from a lyrically standpoint. I could have done a deep dive but that would be way too much work especially since I am trying to get these album reviews a lot faster. Anyways, Nas delivered. He obviously isn’t in ‘Illmatic’ form but he isn’t far from it! Musically NASIR is extremely well put together. I noticed this after maybe my 5th listen since the release day. NASIR retains classic Hip Hop beats and sounds of the past. Salute to you Kanye! Overall, NASIR is a project that could get overlooked as average based on peoples feelings towards it being a Kanye produced project. (This is a sneak diss to a few people who I strongly disagree with) But since I’m  solely judging the music, ‘NASIR’ is an enjoyable project that excels for being just under 30 minutes in length.

 

Rating: 8.6/10

 

KIDS SEE GHOST (Kanye x Kid Cudi) – KIDS SEE GHOST (Album Review)

Kids see ghost

After looking back at ‘Ye’, continuing to play Ye, and reading over my review of ‘Ye’ I still enjoy the project. Yes I know its been a month but I still love the project. There is a lot to be said about ‘Ye’ but a takeaway that I had was that this Kanye x Cudi collab shall be special. My expectations for ‘KID SEE GHOST’ was set extremely high. These are two of my favorite artist so believe the excitement was present when i first hit play! Cudi and Kanye did have a falling out a little while back. This all occurred whiles the two artists were going through some very tough times in their personal lives. NOW HERE WE ARE! All is well as the two have finally gave us fans the collaboration project we have been waiting for years for! Kid Cudi and Kanye West are KIDS SEE GHOST and here is their debut as a a single entity.


Tracklist and Ratings

1. FEEL THE LOVE (4.3/5)

2. FIRE (4/5)

3. 4TH DIMENSION (5/5)

4. FREEEEE (GHOST TOWN Pt. 2) (5/5)

5. REBORN (5/5)

6. KIDS SEE GHOSTS (4.2/5)

7. CUDI MONTAGE (4/5)

Favorite Tracks: 4th Dimension, Free, Reborn and Kids See Ghost


On Kids See Ghost, both Kid Cudi and Kanye West lean on their well-established chemistry to play to each other’s strengths and to support each others weaknesses. The two convene as a super duo to give us a 23 minute collaboration that was long over due. This late addition to each artists discography was an absolute SOLID EFFORT. I say this because there is a whole lot of good on this project. It didn’t blow me away as I hoped a Kanye and Kid Cudi collab would but it showed me where each artists is at currently and that this could be the rebirth of each artists true and best self. Kanye seemed to have showed up on Kids See Ghost. There was quite a noticeable vigor, lyrical presence, and effectiveness on here. ONCE AGAIN it was not a vintage Kanye performance but he is headed back in the right direction in my opinion. Kid Cudi who I believed was “In Form” remains  “In Form” as he does an excellent job playing Robin to Kanye as Batman. Or is it the other way around?

On the intro track, ‘Feel The Love’ we hear some ridiculous ad-libing by Kanye.“Ga-ga-gat, ga-gat, ga-gat, ga-gat-gat, grrrat” is what we hear to kick off what is supposed to be an Iconic all around GREAT album. Well I this intro wasn’t great but it most certainly shall be remembered. Other than that the energy felt on the song is what made it enjoyable, along with  Pusha-T ‘s solo rap verse with Kid Cudi’s resounding, vibrant and melodious chorus. “I can still feel the love” continues to echo even after the song is done with.

Kanye shows off some nice wordplay on “4th Dimension.” They were not vintage Kanye bars but somewhere in between mediocre and memorable. “4th Dimension” samples  Louis Prima’s “What Will Santa Claus Say.” It was indeed a very unique sample choice. S/o to my boy Drew because we were very geeked at this sample. Cudi also delivers a dope verse to maintain the energy set by Ye’s verse and the production. This song is such a bop! Playing this all summer long.

A rock experimentation track, ‘Freeee’, was the track we didn’t know we needed in my opinion!  This is a song that features Ty Dolla $ign and man these three talented artist created a real gem here. Everyone’s vocals blended in so well here. Kanye has had chemistry with a few artists, and lately, Ty Dolla $ign has been his new favorite. Ty$ vocals really shined on here. This rock production was not bad. I would not mind a short EP featuring these three. It would be absolute FLAMES!

‘Freeee’ leads into ‘Reborn’ a song that that gives off that cheers to a new beginning feeling. The focus on here obviously is on how Cudi and Ye have overcome their personal issues and moved on for the better. This is definitely a real feel good track. The Cudi Hums on here are probably his best ever. All around amazing track. That really made sense being next in sequence after ‘Freee’.

The album titled track ‘Kids See Ghost’, had an unlikely feature from Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def.  Yasiin Bey’s repeated chants of “Kids see ghosts sometimes, kids see ghosts sometimes, kids see ghost” coupled with the beat gives it a real peaceful mantra. The overall feel and energy of this song was dark but spiritual and like ‘Reborn’ Kanye expresses himself with confidence as he raps on here. Kids See Ghost debut album ‘Kids See Ghost’ is was the life changing collab we all wanted but it didn’t change lives. It ultimately is an excellent effort that will definitely have long term replay value. My belief is this is just the first of a few more Kanye and Cudi collabs to come our way. 

RATING: 9.2/10

Kanye West – Ye (Album Review)

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Following the release of Pusha T’s ‘DAYTONA’ album, which was solely produced by Kanye, Kanye delivered his own album a week later and it could not have been at a better time. ‘Ye’ like ‘DAYTONA’, is a 7 – track project. The anticipation for this album was through the roof for some and meant nothing to others (apparently). From his open support of Donald Trump to saying “Slavery was a choice,” Kanye’s recent antics have been tough to understand. Even though he took to twitter to correct himself about his slavery comments, the people were not having it. Some people said Kanye was “cancelled.” I did not “Cancel” Kanye, but as a fan I was hurt, overly concerned and confused as he was one of my loved ones or something. I did demand answers immediately and decided to tune out his bullshit and judge the music to determine where he is at. I can not front, the week of this release I was extremely excited but at the same time felt unsure of Kanye and what he was going to put out. I listened to ‘Ye’ several times and did a review and waited a little bit. I listened to it some more this week and scratched out my whole review and this is my redo and final verdict on ‘Ye’ by Kanye West.


Tracklist and Ratings

  1. Today I Thought About Killing You (4.4/5)
  2. Yikes (5/5)
  3. All Mine ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Jeremiah ( 4.5/5)
  4. Wouldn’t Leave ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR, Young Thug, Ty Dolla $ign & Jeremiah (5/5)
  5. No Mistakes ft. Charlie Wilson & Kid Cudi (5/5)
  6. Ghost Town ft PARTYNEXTDOOR, John Legend, Kid Cudi & 070 Shake (5/5)
  7. Violent Crimes ft. 070 Shake & Nicki Minaj (4.5/5)

Kanye’s ‘Ye’ album is one hell of a beautiful f*cking mess. Kanye currently is a mess. So to be completely honest this album makes sense. For those critics calling this “sloppy,” “a mess,” “trash,” “horrible,” try and judge the music without how you feel about Kanye’s antics and yes it is possible to do. Once you do this album will make sense. I won’t waste too much time on this review though since it is only a 7-track album, even though a round table on this project is very necessary! So lets go through each track and let me get my sh*t off.

“I love myself way more than I love you / And I thought about killing myself today / So best know I thought about killing you,” West says on the opening track. The song, “I Thought About Killing You,” begins with Kanye basically talking to himself for like a solid two minutes. The title and the highlighted key lyrics says it all. Kanye, who has owned up to being bipolar, once being addicted to opiods, dealt with constant paranoia and constantly doubting himself has had times where he’s just wanted to give up and take his own life. Then he remembers how much he loves himself and life as Kanye so he settles. After his little tangent a very hard screamo/ hip hop type beat drops! I loved the switch up from the very dope chill relaxing beat to this intense spooky intense beat. Kanye delivered a decent verse on here too. The production here was the most impressive portion of the song but his tangent was kind of excessive but necessary if that makes sense.

Yikes the second track on ‘Ye’ was one of my personal favorites. I loved his aggressive and somewhat hold Kanye flow! Apparently Drake “wrote” Kanye’s verse or the hook. I’m not really buying it but I imagined Drake’s voice rapping those lyrics and it could be true BUT this album two songs in is too personal to have someone write a rap about your current state. In the chorus Yeezy sings,

“Shit could get menacin’, frightenin’, find help. Sometimes I scare myself, myself.” If you really want to dig deep Kanye juxtaposes his current state of the world with his mind which is so dope to me as he references North Korea, #MeToo, death/mass shootings, and bipolar disorder.

Following “Yikes” we have “All Mine.” This track is absurd, humorous and very FIRE all at the same time! This song features Jeremiah and Ty Dolla $ign who i wish had bigger parts on this track but their contributions helped make this song enjoyable for me. Also whiles listening to this, I could hear maybe Big Sean and 2 Chainz as features. Maybe there will be a remix? Probably not. Anyways, Kanye’s first verse was very interesting. He starts off rapping:

“If I pull up with a Kerry Washington. That’s gon’ be an enormous scandal, I could have Naomi Campbell.And still might want me a Stormy Daniels. Sometimes, you gotta bag the boss up,I call that taking Corey Gambles. Find yourself up in the food court,You might have to enjoy your sample. All these thots on Christian Mingle, almost what got Tristan single. If you don’t ball like him or Kobe, Guarantee that bitch gonna leave you.”

I don’t know about you all but I thought the bars were dope on this song and extremely funny. For some odd reason when he said Kerry Washington, I just knew more names were to be dropped. But Stormy though? LOL i lost it. Production on here is nice as well! Kanye is 3/3 so far but “All Mine” was a wild card of a track after hearing “I Thought About Killing You” and Yikes. Oh and that corny “outcome, come from cum” line was very unnecessary….. I actually “LOL” every time. SMH Ye!!!!

The second half of the album is when sh*t gets REAL! “Wouldn’t Leave” features PARTYNEXTDOOR, Young Thug, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jeremiah. These are some talented acts all on one track with Kanye you have to believe they would deliver…… AND THEY ABSOLUTELY DID!!! PARTYNEXTDOOR/Young Thug opens up with a lovely chorus that leads us into Ye’ addressing his recent antics. There’s no excuse for what Kanye West said about slavery, but on “Wouldn’t Leave” he details exactly what happened:

They say, “Build your own”—I said, “How, Sway?”

I said, “Slavery a choice”—they said, “How, ‘Ye?”

Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day

Now I’m on fifty blogs gettin’ fifty calls

My wife callin’, screamin’, say, “We ’bout to lose it all!”

Had to calm her down ’cause she couldn’t breathe

Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn’t leave

And I know you wouldn’t leave.

So as he addresses what he did was wrong, the lyrics and song as a whole seem more as a thank you to his wife Kim for putting up with his bullshit. Definitely would have helped his case if he did more of a apology not just towards Kim but to the people that were offended and just overall hurt by his words. (Kanye Shrug) The song closes with smooth vocals from Ty$ as Kanye dedicates to all the real RIDE OR DIE women out there. Super random, but in regards Kanye and the Slavery comment, I read somewhere that Talib Kweli a good and long time friend of Kanye’s commented on the whole situation and stated “When Van Lathan debunked him and he said, ‘I’m sorry that I hurt you,’ that’s the real Kanye,” Kweli said, “the one that does care, the one that can remove himself and care about other people in the room and the country.” Kweli’s statement is how I felt after i cooled off and sat back and analyzed that moment. Just thought I’d share that.

The next two songs “No Mistakes” and “Ghost Town” may be the two best songs on ‘Ye’. THESE ARE THE TWO BEST SONGS ON ‘YE’. Both tracks are just super soulful. “No Mistakes” is a track that shows Kanye being unable to make mistakes but also displays the public’s mistakes about him. Pride and Ego meets LOVE. This track features the LEGENDARY Charlie Wilson and the man himself Kid Cudi. I love this song so much. From the excellent vocals by Charlie and Cudi to the production! I really wish this song was longer and had a Cudi verse….. “Ghost Town” is a song that gave me the chills. It’s a song that gives you that childlike wonder and hope of feeling innocent and free as we once were as a child. I think I wanted to cry half way into the song. I’m being dead serious too. I don’t know if it was just that this song was so good or if the feels of classic Kanye resurfacing with the strong support with dope artist like PARTYNEXTDOOR, Kid Cudi, and 070 Shake. Once Shake went acapella I definitely lost it…. The production was absolutely amazing here and was the best on the album. Loved this song so much! 070 Shake was definitely the shining star on here.

Finally as ‘Ye’ comes to a close, we arrive to the finally track “Violent Crimes.” The title speaks for itself as this song addresses violent nature of humans. To be specific, It is addressing EVIL CRIMES BY MEN towards WOMEN then when they have daughters all of a sudden its a cry that karma does not come for them when they have daughters and they are the victims of possible crimes of past. Kanye raps “Niggas is savage, niggas is monsters. Niggas is pimps, niggas is players. ‘Til niggas have daughters, now they precautious. Father forgive me, I’m scared of the karma” He also repeats this in closing. I was talking to my boy Kevin about this track and it was definitely one we really felt. Neither of us have daughters but this song resonates with us deeply. This song also featured 070 Shake and Nicki Minaj. I don’t know where I read it featured Dej Loaf and Willow Smith LMAO.

So I apologize that this review is a little long but I had to really dissect this project because for seven tracks, this sh*t was heavy. ‘Ye has no specific structure but it does have structure and does have a purpose. It’s an album showcasing Kanye’s current state. He is currently a mess and yes he is trying to work on himself and become a better Ye. This album is so personal. Some would say it is even his most personal project due to him being able to vent and discuss his current state of mind and life whiles letting us know he has a mental illness and he is embracing it better now and he sees it as a “Super Power.” Ye is an album I feel has received a lot of love but a lot of hate. For those who do not like ‘Ye’ i say give it a chance after the hype dies out. Those who love it I say we may have a classic on our hands due to this project being one that WILL age gracefully and is an important piece in Kanye’s discography. All and all ‘Ye’ featured really good to AMAZING production, coupled with amazing features and with lyrics that aren’t Kanye’s strongest, but most meaningful in a time where Kanye needs to be heard. This is not his GREATEST work but may be one of his most IMPORTANT projects to date.

Thanks for reading and allowing me to get my sh*t off! Definitely expecting feedback. No I am not defending Kanye’s antics. I am displaying being a decent person and understanding others who think, say or feel different from me.

Rating: 9.5/10