This week started for me on the 16th and brought us music from artists that in my opinion should have lit the night up. I don’t feel like they did. If you didn’t check out any of the previous weeks music releases, this is what you missed.
B.O.B. – Underground Luxury
This album is very bitter-sweet for me. It’s a decent rap release but I expect so much more from him. In the beginning of his career when he was only found on mixtapes he was hyped up as one of the more creative artists on the rise. At times he was even compared to Andre 3000. No deserving of such, this is the second major label release and I’m not convinced. I know he can be creative and that he has the ability to stand out but now he’s just another average rapper. I can’t tell him apart from the rest of the mainstream rappers. It’s a solid release with my own expectations to the side, but I expect more.
Lorde – Pure Heroine Extended
Her original release was in late September but with the success of her lead single “Royals” she left fans wanting more. While I agree this was necessary to release an extended album with more songs on it but did they truly enhance the album? I’m not sure. She’s an excellent writer and performer but I still feel the album is missing something. I want more variation in the production is my only real criticism. It’s was almost a great piece of work, but it’s still doesn’t have the wow factor.
The LOX – The Trinity EP
Finally able to get the rights to their name back from P. Diddy and hopefully they will bring us a classic underground album in the future, because these teaser’s are proof that lyrically Jada Kiss, Styles P and Sheek are still a force to be reckoned with. This teaser is short and just that, a teaser. A few solid songs, but they leave you upset and thirsty for more. They are almost just playing with us. It’s not their best effort but just enough to say, “We’re still here”.
Travis Garland – Motel Pool (B-sides EP)
The only real R&B release of the week was not a great one. Then again he did title the EP B-sides, a term artists use to classify songs that were not good enough to make the actual album. It’s just that. So so average songs that aren’t special and don’t stand out. I will say he does have a pretty good voice that doesn’t match his face. He has the potential to stand out he just hasn’t found it yet. The EP isn’t bad its just not good. This is an awkward place to be.
Score – 4
Here is a mixtape where Future uses his industry success to promote his up and coming crew. The highlight was the entire buzz about a Drake verse that clogged up the internet conversation this week. A lot of buzz about this being Drake’s retaliation against Kendrick Lamar. I sincerely doubt it. I’m not convinced and even if it was directed toward Kendrick it’s only a warm up. I refuse to believe that’s all Drake has for Kendrick. Other than that I really thought hard about hanging myself during the duration of this project. After about half way into the agony of this project I just felt that I could not go on living. I soon came to my senses and realized I was here for a greater purpose. I’m here to spread the awareness and inform others this is not the way to live. You don’t have to sit through this crap, there’s another way.
Score – 2
Talib Kweli – Gravitas
An exclusive release on his website and he didn’t even let iTunes in on this one. Talib has always been a MC that fills his albums lyrics and subject matter. He touches a lot on political and hip-hop conscious topics and when it’s all said and done it’s a hell of project. I’ve never been a fan of his delivery or the sound of his voice but give respect where respect is due. The album is a gem and the winner of the week.
Score – 8.5
Mac Miller – Live From Space
This is a live album that features mostly songs from his earlier 2013 release. There are also about 6 new studio recordings on it. I’m not the biggest Mac Miller fan, but I will say he is one of the few original artists in the game. I also applaud his independent hustle. I spoke about him in an earlier post and his achievements among them making the Forbes Cash King list this year and he’s not even old enough to drink. Live From Space gives you a good idea of why he is so loved by his tight-knit fan base, but it’s one of those things where you either love him or hate him. There really is no in between.
Score – 6.5
Baby Bash – Unsung The Album
I’ve followed this bay area native since he was on the Houston underground scene as South Park Mexican’s sidekick. Since SPM’s jail bit, Baby Bash has had quite the career making songs about girls and smoking with girls and parting with girls and loving girls and smoking with some more girls. He has quietly had lots of radio success. This album is nothing different. He’s doing what he does best on a well-rounded album about smoking ooey-gooey and oh yeah girls.
Score – 6
We The Kings – Somewhere Somehow
The over produced pop instrumentals behind the group is decent but I just can’t do it. This album was pop garbage with no kind of appeal what so ever from track one. I couldn’t even justify why it’s at the status it is. That’s all I can really say about it. The singing and lyrics are just not that good.
Score – 4
Sean Price & M-Phazez – Land of the Crooks (EP)
Very gritty New York but lyrically entertaining. They really make me laugh even though they are serious with every bar and have no intention of being funny, but that’s what makes them funny to me. It features five new songs and five instrumentals. It’s a good pick up for my gritty NY rhyming fans. I’m not mad at the release by any means, but don’t expect any crossover sounds here. It’s what you think it is.
Score – 6
Quez (of Travis Porter) – Black Bo Knows 2
In the same lane as his former group Travis Porter, I do believe Quez has the talent and potential to grow into a creative rapper and have radio and underground success. I don’t think he ever will outside of what his group was able to do but I believe he could if he wanted to. The production is great and he rides the beat well. We’ll wait and see where it takes him as a solo artist.
Score – 7
That is about the extent of what my headphones pumped in my system this week. A light week, but I needed a break from last week’s releases.
Enjoy your holiday season and look for the releases for the week of Christmas. Adjust your music playlist with some new music and I’ll report next weekend with my thoughts.
10 – Instant Classic – must have
09 – Great Album just short of classic
08 – Good Album recommend checking out
07 – Above average more upside then down
06 – Worth the listen, has a few moments
05 – Average, maybe core fan base will enjoy
04 – You’re not missing much if you skip this one
03 – Bad album let down
02 – Trash- don’t waste your time
01 – Everyone involved in this album needs to reevaluate their life