A short film coupled with several verses from the Dallas emcee. The whole video is cryptic in nature, but that mysteriousness is its allure. That and the music of course. Take a ride.
I respect and share good music. Here are some songs that glide above the sea of singles being thrown across on the internet through links, that you need to be aware of. These tracks foreshadow a flood of bar-setting music voming in the near future.
OXYxMORON – “You Don’t Know”
Well you should. The past couple of years Oxy has been laying down some truly excellent music. In this recent pocket of history they have been one of the best hip-hop acts out, and this song is no exception. “You Don’t Know” is a triumphant return, that’s just so bright and exciting as a hero’s welcome. The song has the power to turn crowds of listeners into choirs.
Lord Byron – “0 Grams Fat”
Byron switches up the style to create this kingpin-steelo soaked banger. Byron exemplifies the presence of a don by giving game over this anxious, squealing, rock-inspired instrumental. The song carries a sort of edginess and intensity that’s not only different from Byron’s previous work, but from everything else. Short, heavy, and catchy… Let’s see what Byron comes up with next.
Ciscero – “Never Make It”
Ciscero teams up with the rap superhuman, Sir EU, to denounce the evils of “hating on your homies”, and proclaim his impending ascension to success. Subdaio produces something surreal and phasey for them to rap on, with the use of watery synths. The sound results in a dark and reflective imagery. Meanwhile, Ciscero’s verse showcases a climaxing aggression with champion rhythm; EU opens with some heavily rhyme-laden bars and some deep expressionism.
Chicago’s own Mick Jenkins has something for you. An interesting concept album themed around the truth, represented as H2O-the essential chemical for all living beings. “The Water[s]” showcases Jenkins’ skill in syntactic manipulation, aggressive rapping, and underlying conscious messages.
The pair of Anthonys from the Ill Doots crew put together their skills to form a brand new sound. One could hardly know what to expect, but what everyone can expect is some instrumentation, progressive rhymes, and good music. Y NOHT tune in?
No tomatoes please…
Experience life raps from the Eli Dynamite. Kendall Elijah delivers passionate self-expression through his rapsings. biscuit #1 is a short but sweet little EP with a contemporary flavor.
Ill Doots’ Sly Tompson has something for your ears. Wonka Beats is a collection of instrumentals deftly built with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory samples alone, to the point to where you wouldn’t even realize the limitation (if you want to call it that). With these tracks, a challenge is issued. The Wonka Wednesdays series where “every rapper with a set of balls is expected to go the f** in”.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Check it out:
If you’ve got bars, download it here, and swing it to email@example.com
Ab-Soul has his sophomore album release after two years. Many have come to love and enjoy Ab’s music by being introduced through the “Ab-Soul Outro” on Section.80, and his excellent last release Control System. Besides being associated with a popular group of emcees, he’s also known for his cleverness in his lyrics. Despite this, Ab-Soul has failed to deliver on his new album after proving himself so well. Let me take you to a land void of any profoundness, creativity, soul, and personality (and overpopulated with obscure Jesus comparisons); the place on the cover art.
These Days is jam-packed with cliché and unoriginality. A prime example is the halfway point of the album, “TWACT”, where listeners are given a My Krazy Life reject song with a corny catchphrase that’s doomed to never catch on. On “World Runners” Ab-Soul shows you how well he can mimic a mainstream faux-inspirational rap song. Even with the song’s blurred message, he manages to come across extremely preachy. Soul even directly copies his groupmate Kendrick Lamar with the “Kendrick Lamar Interlude” the antithesis of the Ab-Soul outro.
The lack of creativity doesn’t just stop with the mimicry, but also in damn near every single chorus/bridge on the whole album. The majority of the hooks on the album consist of Ab-Soul repeating a very short phrase over and over and over and over again. And even on the ones with a little variation (emphasis on little), they fail to cross the line from annoying to catchy. Hooks are only one part of the song, but Ab made sure to put this in his verses as well. The automatic skip and epic streak-ender of the “Druggys with Hoes” series known as “Hunnid Stacks”, features two of the same verses by the same rapper–oh wait…
“Feelin’ Us” also repeats the cycle of painful repetition to the maximum with the quadruplets of “raise your hands, say Soulo hoe” and “now mama don’t cry no mo’” randomly slapped in the middle of his verses.
The part where this redundancy fails where most hip-pop tracks don’t fail as hard, is that the latter’s beats are usually more moving. A handful of beats on her are pretty good, but none exceed any expectations.
Ab-Soul struggles with structure in his latest release. Proof is the scatterbrained-ness of “Nevermind That” with BJ the Chicago Kid singing so sweetly at the most random times. “Nevermind That” just screams tourrettes, with its left-field breaks and tempo. There’s also the needlessly long beat ride-outs on “Ride Slow”. The biggest surprise of These Days is that almost all the songs are aimless and have no feeling. In the Black-lip Pastor’s previous works, he were a lot of self-expressive works: songs like “Book of Soul” and “Be A Man”. As mentioned in the intro, this album is void of that.
Fortunately, the song “Closure” prevents the album from being completely soulless. It’s actually one of the few good songs on the project, which is ironic because it’s an all singing song on a rap album.
“Tree of Life” sounds like an adventurous soundtrack to Ab’s exploration of the multiple definitions of “tree”. “Stigmata” was a rather appropriate title single to the album, especially when it cut out the ending verses for the video, because it’s a pretty good beat and verse with an epic hook that goes against the grain of this album.
“Ride Slow” features the Hybrid picking up slack with a verse that takes you back the good times of 2012, when he wrecked every instrumental he spit on. And the album ends with a rap battle where clever bars are exchanged between Ab and Daylyt—something different. These moments are to few and far between to redeem all the faults of These Days, however.
One can really tell that an album is lacking when it’s more exciting to talk about why it was bad, than to talk about the actual album itself. There are plenty of theories,
but at the end of the day the album remains disappointing. It contains a few rare peeks of what Soul is actually capable of. Perhaps These Days is Ab-Soul’s discographical death so he can rise again.
Room temperature at best.
Favorite Songs: “Closure” “Tree of Life” “Stigmata” “Just Have Fun” Danny Brown’s verse in “Ride Slow”
Songs That Blew Me: Almost everything else