‘Crew Love’ is an absolutely unbelievable exercise in mind-blowing, spontaneous dynamic shifts, and atmospheric left-of-field R&B. While this is technically a Drake song, it’s obvious who dominates it, The Weeknd, AKA, Abel Tesfaye. Crushing barrages of bass, luscious synth textures beneath Tesfaye’s silk falsetto, all qualities which fit comfortably into the Weeknd’s catalog. Drake does his best to keep up, and in the past he’s proven he can, such as on the Drake dominated track, ‘The Zone’ from The Weeknd’s mixtape, ‘Thursday’, but this time he just comes across as average. The track is very top-heavy in terms of quality , with the first half dominated by Tesfaye’s hypnotic R&B swagger, and the second half and Drake’s verse just getting by in comparison. Check it out…
This song is unbelievable. ‘Matter of Time’, off of The Outline’s 2007 album, ‘Our Lives Are Too Short’. The beat is an awesome collection of sounds with some really smooth piano almost housish piano loop that come’s in towards the second minute. The first thing I thought when I heard this was this song is made to be sampled, or remixed. It’s just set up in such a way where every single cool sound can be cut out and remixed, and there’s just hundreds to choose from. It’s awesome. If anyone finds or creates a cool remix of this I’d be glad to post it, and I can’t see it being that hard to put something cool together out of an amazing song like this.
Since the first time I listened to it, J. Cole’s ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story’, is all I’ve listened to. The day after it came out, I got it, and I initially enjoyed it, and decided I need to put it on my iPod, which has very little space on it, I take iPod space very seriously. But J. Cole had to be on it. He turns down the synth and brings back the samples full force and with genius. Every guitar strum, every beat accent, every chorus is on time and provides intricate backdrops for his intelligent flows. While not as complex in his lyrics as his Compton counterpart and occasional partner, Kendrick Lamar, he brings a wealth of hooks and pop appeal to his work. J. Cole is the full deal, he has it all, the irresistible hooks, the intelligent lines, the sampling over synth production (besides the absolute banger, Mr. Nice Watch). This guy is a true artist on his first major label release, he will make waves in the industry.Stream samples of the whole album at his website.
‘Can’t Get Enough’ ft. Trey Songz
‘Mr. Nice Watch’ ft. Jay-z
‘Nobodys Perfect’ ft. Missy Elliot
This album was released a few weeks ago, and of course I was a little slow to getting it up here, my mistake. Girls is the brainchild of Christopher Ownes, an artist whose knack for attractive melodies and lo-fi California surf pop is irresistible. On ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’, they get a little more complex then on their debut album, ‘Album’. Dynamic fluctuations in texture and volume keep you hooked from beginning ’til end, swinging between shaking emotional sparse acoustic whispers to operatic, arena sized celebrations.
Tha Carter IV has leaked and I am sure the praise will quickly follow, so to clear up the mess that is people’s distorted attitudes towards Lil Wayne, I’ll give you guys a little review. If you’re not into the review, you can just get the album and check it for yourself here.
The album starts out with ‘Intro’, a beat which is used three times throughout the album (‘Intro’, ‘Interlude’, and ‘Outro’). Thankfully this is the only time Wayne himself tackles the beat. It’s a simple typical Wayne style beat with simple typical Wayne style lyrics. I get the impression he’s trying to seem like the deep and complex lyricist everyone thinks he is on this track, but he’s really just trying to hard.
Let me do the next two tracks at once, because they’re not to different. The beats are literally almost the same, with no shame at all. Its as if he knows at this point he doesn’t have to try and he’ll still get sales, he’s got MTVs attitude towards Jersey Shore. Hey the show sucks but people still watch it, we can do whatever we want. ‘Blunt Blowin’ actually has a potentially good chorus with begins as a possible catchy vocal hook, but ends up just disappointing. Here’s an example of his lyrical genius on that track “Man when that cookie crumble/everybody want a crumb/shoot that hummingbird down/hummingbird don’t hum”. Is that a statement on the connection between the US military industrial complex, global economic downturn and corporate influence on government, sounds like it, must’ve taken a fucking genius. Oh by the way, ‘Megamind’, same track, there, two tracks at once.
Next is ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’. What a relief. This song is actually good, with a solid and creative beat, some of Lil Wayne’s better lyrics, and then Cory Gunz, who makes the song. Lil Wayne just goes in hard in this, you can hear the passion in his voice, something which is a rare occurrence, like the Hailey’s Comet of rap. Then after Lil Wayne, Cory goes in and literally destroys the track. That quick flow is unbelievable, I’m glad Gunz made it to this album, because I’ve heard Wayne once gave Cory Gunz a guest spot, just to remove it because Gunz owned him.
‘Nightmares of the Bottom’ has some potential. I enjoy the cool descending piano beat and strings, it’s definitely a big change up from the previous songs on the album. I’m disappointed by the drums though, the snare pattern sounds way to similar to every other song, with a clap that sounds exactly the same as the claps in his other songs. It just doesn’t fit a song like this, more effort should have been put into this beat because there is a lot of potential, but someone got lazy.
‘She Will’ is another one of the tracks on this album that’s not absolutely terrible. It’s nothing special either though, very typical. It’s so typical it might be boring. Lil Wayne, with a Drake feature, and some serious minor keyish sounding beat about pussy popping, and wishing for love, and bad girls and stuff.
Next is ‘How to Hate’ featuring T Pain. Okay next song, because I was in literal physical pain about 30 seconds into this song. That’s it.
Tech N9ne tackle’s ‘Interlude’. His flow really fits the beat well, a lot better then Wayne’s did in ‘Intro’. Tech N9ne is able to keep un-horrorcore enough to make the track actually good. Up to this point, probably the best track besides possibly ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’.
‘Ak 47 is my fucking address’. Obviously Wayne is trying to say something about how hard he is here on ”, featuring Rick Ross. First of all no one will ever remember him like John Lennon, that’s an insult to John Lennon. Once again, extremely typical Lil Wayne song. The only time this song changes from your typical Weezy song is when Rick Ross comes in. But yeah, Weezy is trying to make himself sound hard here. Two facts for you 1.) Everyone knows this, but Lil Wayne shot himself, so there’s his gun experience 2.) One time at a show, he got hit in the head with a water bottle, his reaction..walk off stage. Sounds real fucking hard. Oh and Rick Ross has a chopper.
I actually kind of like the next track, ‘Abortion’, especially the first minute or so. Weezy’s vocals do sound a little off for some reason though. But great vocal sample and some of Lil Wayne’s better lyrics, especially during the chorus, which he drops with some impressive swagger. “I’m a critical thinker/I’m a hell of a smoker/and a bit of a drinker”. Simple, but hat line just has a really cool, catchy ring to it.
Just give ‘So Special’ to John Legend. But then again, Lil Wayne does drop this legendary line “Just sit on my grill/that’s a tailgate for you”. I’m holding back tears. If your looking for a rap love song that’s not soft, it’s ‘Me and My Bitch’ or nothing.
I’m pretty sure ‘How to Love’ was basically conceptually the exact same song as ‘So Special’, but with a softer beat, and without the saving grace of John Legend.
After that though, is another highlight off the album, ‘President Carter’. First of all, whoever thought to sample President Carter’s inauguration was a fucking genius, hands down. The beat is really chill to, like this is once of those rare songs by Lil Wayne that’s just all around good. He really should’ve just ended it all on this track, because it’s one of the best, if not the best on the album.
‘Its Good’ is a bunch of recycled rhymes and an attempted diss track at Jay Z. Listen Lil Wayne, you are fucking delusional if you think you are even close to as good as Jay Z. You wouldn’t exist without Jay Z, rap would be a completely different game without Jay Z. He held his own against Biggie, he released one of the greatest debut albums of all time, he created Kanye West, he helped define East Coast rap, he is a living legend who continues to release quality music. Okay its not as good as it used to be, but it’s still on a whole different level, way above anything Lil Wayne has ever done.
Lil Wayne didn’t want ‘Look at me Now’ on his new album, because he thought it would be soft to have a song that Chris Brown raps on on his album. I’m guessing that’s why he brought in Busta Rhymes to rap on ‘Outro’ and basically repeat his flow. He also brought in the always good Nas, as well as Shyne and Bun B for ‘Outro’, but I’m pretty sure it was just Weezy’s attempt to recreate the magic that was ‘Look at Me Now’. Unsuccessful.
End Verdict: Stereotypical Lil Wayne through and through. Recycled music. Occasional bright spots, but I will never again listen to 80 percent of the songs on this album.
And ‘Watch the Throne’ has finally dropped, and almighty duo has finally dropped their first full length collaboration. I’ll tell you one thing off the bat, I wish this collaboration happened earlier. If it’s this good now, imagine how good it would’ve been like six years ago. Unbelievable.
The album starts off decent, with a Frank Ocean guest spot in ‘No Church in the Wild’. The beat is pretty cool, I like the guitar sample, and Frank Ocean is always good. The imagery in the lyrics seems a little forced though. Then it leads in to a clubby Beyonce feature. An obvious future single, and that’s just about it as far as substance goes. ‘Niggas in Paris’ probably has he best verses of the album so far. It’s kind of a transition into the better sections of the album. Then ‘Otis’, which is a great track, I originally thought it was to repetitive, but I’m falling for it a bit more each time. ‘Gotta Have It’ has a cool beat that’s kind of a collage of Kanye’s beats over the years. ‘New Day’ is a pretty good introspective track about each rapper’s future sons. It provides a smooth, much needed calming point in the album. Then there’s ‘That’s My Bitch’, which is definitely a stand out track on the album. The moment I heard it I knew Q-Tip had a hand in making that beat. ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ comes through as a pretty good headnoddin’ track following ‘That’s My Bitch’. The guitar sample is great and the staggering snares through the verse drive the track pretty well.
‘Who Gon Stop Me’ was apparently called up for the album by the record label, which doesn’t surprise me, but it wasn’t a bad decision. This is a pretty good dubstep banger actually. I’m definitely going to hear it way to much in the following month though. ‘Murder to Excellence’ is a great sudden escape from the excess of dubstep. In interesting track split between a Murder half and an Excellent half.
‘Made in America’ is probably Frank Ocean’s better feature, but when he says Sweet Baby Jesus all I can think of is Talladega nights. I love the Mr. Hudson sample on the following track, ‘Why I Love You’. That song with Caspa he had, ‘Love Never Dies’, was unbelievable, so it’s good to hear it come back, and possibly have a decent resurgence off this track.
I got the bonus version, so I’ll mention those tracks as well. ‘Illest Motherfucker Alive’ is decent, no stand out off of this album though. Then there’s H.A.M. The last two bonus tracks are awesome though. ‘Primetime’ contains an awesome old school sample with a great piano progression. Then that’s followed by ‘The Joy’, a Curtis Mayfield sample, one of the best tracks on the album. I’m so confused as to why ‘Primetime’ and ‘The Joy’ are bonus tracks when they’re two of the best tracks.
‘Watch the Throne’ is an album of some good tracks, some bangers, sprinkled with touches of absolute genius, and some amazing tracks. Get past the for sale pop filler, trim some of the fat, and this album contains some truly legendary material.
It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted, a pretty fast and wild two weeks. Starting classes kind of got me back in the groove of things though, and of course, the groove always leads to tunegrape.
First of all, Kendrick Lamar released Section.80 on July 2. I’ve been waiting for Section.80 forever. Now that I finally have given the album a few listens, I’ve been trying to come to a final decision on it. Section.80 is difficult to dissect. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, whether its the complexity of the music that I need time to grasp or if this album simply is not as good as O.verly D.edicated. It doesn’t have a the feel that O.verly D.edicted did, the glue that held OD together, the common theme that ran through it.
At the same time some of these tracks are unbelievable, and you can tell Kendrick tried very hard. He wanted this to change the world, maybe his ambitions are what hold this album back, maybe it needs to be done looser, with a more carefree feel.
Those are a couple simple criticisms though, beyond that, it’s obvious Kendrick remains one of the truest and most intelligent rappers in the game, and Section.80 is a must listen. ‘Poe Mans Dreams (His Vice)’, ‘Rigamortus’, Kush & Corinthians’ and ‘Hol’ Up’ are definitely must listens, the highlights of the album. ‘Fuck Your Ethnicity’ is a very interesting track and of course, ‘HiiiPower’ has been around for a while and is an awesome song.