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Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – Art of War: WW3
For really the first time ever we finally have all 5 members of Bone Thugs –N- Harmony in the same room at the same time. Bizzy comes back to the group after a decade of solo albums and Flesh is not in jail for the duration of a project for once. The group was once holding up Grammys and Platinum plaques, but much like TLC, bad paper work had them broke and fighting with one another. On previous post break up Bone albums they have tried a little too hard to fit in with the times and the radio. On this one they go back to their roots. DJ Unique who produced the first album on Ruthless returns to help recreate that old Bone sound from the 90s that their fans originally fell in love with. I’m happy they attempted that but it’s just not as aggressive as I want it to be. They really didn’t work together very much on this album either. It sounds like individual rappers on the same CD. Bone really did harmonize back in the day and accomplished some amazing things with their originality. Many rappers imitate what they used to be but they were the best. None of those elements are here in this album. I think they need to be reminded of what made them unique and it doesn’t work if they can’t truly bond. Not just as brothers, as they say but musically as well. I hope they attempt again and get it right. After all that, there are some good songs just not the harmony I think we all want.
Score – 7
Crown the Empire – The Fallout
I’ve been fiending for a fix of My Chemical Romance but in their absence I have found nothing to substitute. Crown the Empire is nowhere close to My Chemical Romance but a solid hard rock album in the same lane. They have great melodies and edge. I really like this album and the way it flows. A lot of unclear singing or yelling as most of you would call it but it works. My eye is on Crown the Empire and to the rock fans I say this indie rock band is on the rise. There are no singles or radio hits but then again the time for this sound being mainstream has passed long ago. It’s good to know that it still exists on the underground level.
Score – 7.5
Problem – Understand Me (EP)
Here’s another rapper in the mix from southern California. I do believe this Compton native has the talent and potential to do some creative music in the future. With that said he still has some room to grow. In the lane of rappers like Nipsey Hustle he has that same matter of fact cocky flow. The production is solid and he’s on point with the rhymes and metaphors. I say good things about him but I still expect more. I know this is just an EP so I give him the benefit of the doubt but I have faith that he well be more creative as time progresses. A solid EP but something is still missing. Please don’t end up another underground Cali MC lost by the way side. Think outside of the box and continue to grow is my message to Problem.
Score – 6
Bobby V – Peach Moon (EP)
Bobby Valentino has been around for a long time. Remember the young boy band Mista and their hit single Blackberry Molasses. He had some good years as a solo artist with Ludacris’s DTP records. Now with his independent grind, well, he has drifted into a Neo Soul sound with a live band. It’s a good soul sound for him and he gives us a positive vibe. It almost sounds like an inspiration project at times. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here. For now the EP has 6 songs and I think you’ll find that two or three of them are playlist worthy. I applaud the theme though.
Ellah – Metamorphosis (EP)
This Female R&B artist gives a bedroom slow jam EP. I don’t get the title and how it relates to the music, but she has good moments. For the most part she sounds under developed. The production is good but needs a little polish, as does her hooks and melodies. She needs a producer to step in help her with direction and finishing touches. Some instrumentalists call themselves producers but an ear for music and vision for direction is what makes a producer. It’s not bad, but it needs work.
Twista – Back to the Basics
Disappeared for a while but the speedy tongue-twisting Chi – Town legend has returned with a 7-song release. Twista does what he does best lyrically as he focuses on his core underground fan base and not so much the pop fan base that he attracted when he was hanging out with Jamie Foxx and Kanye West. I guess that’s what Back to the Basics stands for. He returns to the Legendary Traxter for production and gives his self an outdated sound, but true die-hard fans that weren’t happy about the pop years will love it. I personally enjoyed his lyrical presence. It felt good to hear him spit lyrics and know that he hasn’t lost a bit of skill with age. As for the project as whole, it’s a little on the boring side.
Score – 5
Paul Wall – Check Season
So the inside of Paul Wall’s mouth is shinning like a disco ball. Everyone is looking at the rims on his car and the chain around his neck. He’s all about his money, chasing that money, talking money, getting the money and it’s all about this money and more money. Now look at my car again! So I’ve summed up the album so you won’t have to waste time listening to it. No disrespect to Paul Wall because his album isn’t that bad, but you haven’t really missed anything special if you don’t check it out. After you hear the first 3 songs well you’ve heard all he has to say and offer.
Score – 5
Jamall Bufford – Victim of a Modern Age
He once went by the name Buff1 and under that name this Michigan received all the online praise from critics that one could receive for a debut album. On this one he uses his government issued name and does not disappoint. If you’re a hip-hop head looking for an underground rapper to claim the next big thing well he’s close. The album starts slow and grows stronger with each track. This is my artist to watch.
Score – 9
Dice Raw – Jimmy’s Back
Dice Raw has been featured on The Roots albums so much that I’m sure they consider him a member of the crew. Similar to the Legendary Roots sound he’s street and positive at the same time. He’s latest contribution to hip hop starts off great but lags throughout the duration. The album has more upside then down and it very original. It’s hard to judge because it’s almost great but at the same time borderline boring. I know that sounds like a contradiction but that’s how I feel. I enjoyed listening to it from start to finish, but not on repeat.
Score – 7
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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 lifeGoogle+