ADÉ – Something New (EP Review)

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DMV rapper ADÉ, formerly known as Phil Ade, is an act that I have always been impressed with through his collaborations with some of my favorite music acts like Wale, Mac Miller, and GoldLink. ADÉ has returned with ‘Always Something’ to showcase the refreshing energy to validate his change in direction. The six track EP features guest appearances from Lil Baby, Rich The Kid, GoldLink, Wale, and Fatman Scoop. Production is handled by the likes of Super Miles, Ayo N Keyz, DJ Money, and more.


Tracklist & Ratings

  1. PLAY SOMETHING
  2. SOMETHING NEW (feat. Lil Baby)
  3. SOMETHING FROM NOTHIN’ (feat. Rich the Kid)
  4. SOMETHING’S UP
  5. SOMETHING SWEET (feat. Fatman Scoop)
  6. SOMETHING REAL (feat. GoldLink & Wale)

Stream On Spotify:


From start to finish, ‘Always Something’ is quite the treat sonically.  Its full of colorful synths and dope backdrops that makes it easy and enjoyable. Strong diversity among the production allowed Adé to show his skills across a range of styles. The vibrant opening track “PLAY SOMETHING” serves its purpose as it showcases Adé’s SMOOOOOTH delivery over a very instrumental heavy beat. Personally this excited me as I moved forward listening. On the Lil Baby featured track “SOMETHING NEW,” the vibes that were established in the intro track were felt here as well.  Lil Baby’s contributions melodically gave the track a nice dynamic in that second verse. It seemed very fitting and he was totally in his element as his vocals slide beautifully in the pocket. The best track on here was the Rich the Kid featured “Something From Nothin.” Rich the Kid delivered per usual with arousing 16, gleefully bouncing above the beat with engaging vocal inflections and ad-libs. Adé absolutely held his own here as well with his verse and chorus. My only beef with this project arrives on  “Something Real.” A track that is one of the most enticing with a D.C. linkup of Adé, GoldLink and Wale did not meet my expectations. I hated the stuttering instrumental. It doesn’t allow any of these artist to really get into their bags and showcase themselves. It actually  upsets me that this is how the EP closed out. 

‘Always Something’ is just a mere sample size of what Adé brings to the table with the EP clocking in at less than 20 minutes. Though short and sweet, this EP showcased his versatility. That alone gives plenty of reason to see to be excited for what Adé has in store for 2019. For those unfamiliar, get familiar. Adé is no rookie but he is a “seasoned vet” looking to have himself a coming out party this year. 

RATING: 8.5/10

 

Summer Walker- CLEAR (EP Review)

Summer Walker

I see you all have fallen in love with my boo Summer Walker huh? Well let’s have discussion about her short but sweet EP titled ‘CLEAR’.  Last year, Summer arrived to the scene with her debut ‘Last Day of Summer’. This project found considerable success with the stand out track and single “Girls Need Love.” Just this past month Drake hopped on the remix and as we all know. A Drake feature always does wonders for one’s career.

Summer continues to tell tales about love, heartbreak and all that comes with the two. “CLEAR” is comprised of four live recordings clocking in at about 10 minutes total. This is a quick listen so instead of rapping and dissecting a 10 minute EP, I will let you all formulate your own opinions and thoughts on this project. With that, I’ll say this. Play very close attention to Summer Walker this year.  I feel like she could have a rise like H.E.R last year.

 

Stream On Spotify:

Q Da Fool & Kenny Beats – Bad Influence (EP Review)

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DMV’s very own Q Da Fool clearly has next! The newly signed Roc Nation act made a great decision to record an EP with the extremely talented and versatile Kenny Beats. The Connecticut-born ex-EDM producer, is killing it right now. He’s that producer that consistently shows the will to work with whomever and whenever. This results in him often exploring the other regions and sounds in the many variations of hip hop. With Q Da Fool wanting to prove his commercial viability and Kenny Beats eager to showcase his ability to experiment with different sounds, these two released the collaborative EP ‘Bad Influence’. ‘Bad Influence’ is just six songs capping at about 14 minutes of  Q’s high energy and might and Kenny Beats to hold his own with some rumble and hard hitting beats to create a sampler to gain some mainstream love.

 

Rating: 7.8/10

Stream On Spotify: 

Wale – Free Lunch (EP Review)

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Wale has been on a absolute roll in 2018! Wale’s productive 2018 continues with his latest EP release, ‘Free Lunch’. Back in May, Wale inked a new deal with Warner Bros. Records. Since then, the anticipation has been high for a new Wale full length project. Wale has been able to flex  his versatility this year by way of ‘It’s Complicated’ and ‘Self Promotion’. Both projects received plenty of praise. Can Wale go 3 for 3?? Lets find out!

Wale is 3 for 3 in 2018 and on ‘Free Lunch’, he shows that he is really in album mode and he is determined to put an end to all the disrespect and noise that constantly is attached to his name. Wale is underrated and underappreciated.  Wale shows us what makes him special on every one of these tracks. The project opens up with “Dummies.” On here we hear Wale addressing a plethora of topics from industry politics to street ethics. He talks his new deal with Warner Bros as well.  He also delivers a little PSA to the naysayers and haters as raps, “I’m ’bout to embarrass niggas, I feel that have carried me/This industry very cold but it look to you very sweet/Put niggas on big stages put niggas in little beefs/You put too much faith in it, it puts you in therapy.” It’s safe to say Wale’s fire has returned! “Ungrateful and Thankful” was a track I really enjoyed. The production was so dope and Wale and his unique flow levitates on it oh so well. I felt this track so much that I think I would have to do a whole separate post to explain why. “Wale the Poet” illustrates the wide range of emotions that come with being in love on “3 Days 3 Hours.” These type of tracks always seem to be the standout tracks when Wale drops a project. This track is supported by a relaxing instrumental that makes you feel the emotions Wale expresses in his 4 minute vent.  As we arrive to the fourth track on ‘Free Lunch’, we get one of Hip Hop’s most underrated duos in Wale and J. Cole going absolutely the f**k off on “My Boy.” This was probably the most exciting moment on this EP. The production included a really eccentric percussion-heavy beat that complimented both rappers braggadocios bar session. On the final track, “Right Here,” we have Wale teaming up with a frequent collaborator in Eric Bellinger. This wasn’t my favorite track but still has replay value!

Wale show’s off his versatility on “Free Lunch.” He is most defiantly in album mode and is ready to take things up a notch. He’s an underrated and underappreciated artist who in reality has been elite for years. Wale now going 3 for 3 on projects this year tells me he’s really in his bag and its wonderful to see how focused he is. The critics and naysayers have even taken notice. “Free Lunch” is satisfying but, Wale the game is still starving. Please deliver what I am expecting to be a great album soon!

Rating: 9.2/10

 

Stream Spotify:

 

Favorite Tracks: “Ungrateful & Thankful” and “My Boy”

Liam Payne – First Time (EP Review)

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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: 

 

 

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

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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

 

 

 

Iggy Azalea – Survive The Summer (EP Review)

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I bet a lot of y’all are surprised that I took the time to review an Iggy project. I’m SHOOK at myself for reviewing this but in all honesty……I AM VERY INTERESTED IN HEARING WHAT IGGY HAS TO SAY. Yes I said it. I am INTERESTED in hearing Iggy Azalea. I feel like is a capable rapper but she gets all the jokes. I remember a few years ago she was supposed to be the next “Nicki Minaj.” Time has passed and she is not Nicki.  She is still Iggy. After a couple setbacks & delays, Iggy Azalea’s long awaited Survive The Summer EP has arrived. This is Iggy’s first project in over four years, following up 2014’s The New Classic, S.T.S. contains 6 songs in total and features guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, & Tyga, the latter of which who appears on the breakout record “Kream.”


Tracklist and Song Ratings

  1. SURVIVE THE SUMMER (4.5/5)
  2. TOKYO SNOW TRIP (4.2/5)
  3. KREAM (4.5/5)
  4. HEY IGGY (3.3/5)
  5. KAWASAKI (3.7/5)
  6. OMG (3/5)

 

Stream


Iggy Azalea’s “Survive The Summer” EP contains a total of six tracks and includes collaborations from Wiz Khalifa and Tyga. Since it’s a pretty short project I’ll run through each track. The opening track “Survive The Summer” may be the best song in my opinion. This track was a PSA  to her haters. It was a real clap-back claiming that those individuals will not make it through the summer. Too bad Summer is almost over anyways Iggy…. Anyways, the song wasn’t bad. Iggy brought the bars and the production was made for her. 

“Tokyo Snow Trip” was a promotional single like “Kream” but I do not remember hearing it once nor anyone talking about it which is shocking because it was a decent track! It definitely is a track that some will love and others will hate, so it is a required taste, but it’s one that could be listened to on repeat. So the next track was “Kream” and y’all should know how i feel about that track already. It was the ‘Song Of The Day’ a few weeks back. The collaboration between Iggy Azalea and Tyga work brilliantly together. She adopted Tyga’s stripper anthem sound and delivered. I wouldn’t mind hearing them together again.  The next three songs were weaker than the EP’s first half for sure. “Hey Iggy” is for Iggy fans. I wasn’t a fan but the song wasn’t complete trash. “Kawasaki” was kinda cool. I was digging how she sounded but it didn’t excite me. The final track “OMG” was very skip-able….. OKAY time to conclude. 

This EP sounded like a lot of pre – New Classic Iggy. I’ll be honest I will not revisit this EP. I just wanted to check in on Iggy and see where she was at musically. She some what has shown some growth (i think) and has a few songs that I liked. This EP will be loved by her fans without a doubt. Iggy overall sounds good for her first project in four years. 

Rating: 7/10