Archive for rap

Jay-Z/Kanye West / Watch The Throne

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 90000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Watch the Throne

Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, released on August 8, 2011, by Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc Nation, and Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording locations and began in November 2010. It was produced by West, 88 Keys, RZA, Swizz Beatz, Jeff Bhasker, and Mike Dean, among others. Prior to the album, Jay-Z and West had collaborated on their respective singles and with West as a producer on Jay-Z’s work.

Expanding on the dense production style of West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne incorporates orchestral and progressive rock influences, unconventional samples, and dramatic melodies in its sound. Jay-Z and West’s braggadocio lyrics on the album exhibit themes of opulence, fame, materialism, power, and the burdens of success, as well as political and socioeconomic context. Music writers interpreted the album’s subject matter to concern the rappers’ plight as African Americans struggling with financial success in America.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 436,000 copies its first week. It produced seven singles, including the international hits “Otis” and “Niggas in Paris” and Billboard hit “H•A•M“. Upon its release, Watch the Throne received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its production and the rappers’ performances, although some criticized its subject matter and cohesiveness. It was one of the top-ranked albums in year-end lists by critics and publications. Jay-Z and West promoted the album with a concert tour that spanned October to December 2011. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and, as of March 2012, has sold 1,421,000 copies in the United States.

The Analysis:

No Church In The Wild—-From the very first strains of this track, you know that you are in for an epic journey of two huge personalities coming together to make a possible masterpiece. When Jay opens his mouth and begins to rap over the dar beats of West’s production, you know this is a match made in heaven. there is no ego here…just the urge to make something magnificent……few can match the easy flow from Kanye….this is magnificent!

Lift Off—-When I first heard the opening strains to this track, I just knew….it was going to be EPIC!!!! When they included Beyoncé in the mix, that made it even more magnificent….there is an aggression to this track that Beyoncé herself is responsible for……her vocal combined with the music makes me feel really hyped! Kanye enters with some magnificent robot vocals that are fantastic…and delivers some lines in a higher tone that is so becoming…this is a magnificent track…..not sure why it did not get mass air-play….perhaps everyone feared nepotism…but it deserved to be heard everywhere!

Niggas In Paris—-With a sound that hearkens back to the earlier days of Jay’s solo music, this is not that different from the very first few singles he released. The piano in the backdrop is irritating…but it would be a different track without it. this is magnificent…these two work so well off of each other..it is like a marriage made in heaven. The interplay between the two vocals are as natural as spring and summer…..this is brilliant!

Otis—-The lead off single to this release and a fantastic video, the sample becomes annoying after a bit…but it never gets tired. The video and the premise is fun…and you can tell these guys have a relationship between the two of them that was begging to be expanded upon. The throwback soul vibe is freakin brilliant…..the vocal play between the two MC’s are incredible and leaves you breathless…..this is a match made in heaven…who knew!!!!

Gotta Have It—-Again searching back into the old school souls sound, Kanye delivers an opening vocal that is magnificent. The switch back and forth between the two is almost seamless…even over the heavy sample…this is practised and perfect…there are no errors…but pure perfection. Jay is laid back as always….Kanye still carries his anger…it drives this entire lp…..

New Day—-Returning to the Robo-Voice of his previous releases, Kanye begins this whole show with a nice vocal introduction……with just a tad bit of reverse racism thrown in for fun? Sometimes I get offended…but I try not to let it get in my soul…..I’m the most open-minded person in the world…sometimes the fact that people feel this way hurts my soul…..but that is what music is for…to discuss and reveal….

That’s My Bitch—-With a nice throwback hyped feel, this reminds me a lot of old school rap from the late 80’s!!! The sample that runs through the song is incredible and Kanye delivers a flow that is just incredible….words piled upon words….making me smile. This is fun, misogynistic and predictable…but needed in the flow of the CD….the backdrop singing makes the track even larger…this is fantastic…..Jay can go fast to…who knew!!!!

Welcome To The Jungle—-Another sample filled track that just adds to the hype-ability of the song….makes it even more incredible. So often through this release, Jay sounds almost breathless…like he caught the excitement that this whole thing was going to become. This is line after line of classic wordplay….lyrics that make you think and require time to digest…this is incredible…almost a year out and I still listen to this most everyday!!!

Who Gon Stop Me—-Again sample heavy, but with some really aggressive sounds in the backdrop, Kanye almost manages to outshine the master on this track. There is a real distortion that runs through the backdrop…as well as the vocal distortion that gives a hyped energy that is impossible to ignore…this is one of my favorite tracks on the CD.

Murder To Excellence—-This is rather run of the mill…..it appeals to me, but is not a stand out track to me…I know the content is important….Blacks are killing Blacks at an alarming rate…so perhaps we should pay attention…I understand the frustration…but what about the sympathetic White guys dudes? We do exist…..

Made In America—-A track full of empowerment and references to the greatest that stood for equality, you have to give the guys credit for including those things that make credence to the advancement of human beings! this is a poignant song…with many references to Kanye’s mom…while Jay sits in the back for most of the song. The interlude that runs through the back drop gives me shills…this is epic!!!!

Why I Love You—-Another brilliant track…..with fantastic manipulated samples and an energy that makes me want yo jump up and get rowdy from. The vocal from Jay is still almost breathless……wondering what that is all about. The energy of this song…even though it ebbs…never lets you alone…this is hyper active…built around an ADD nation!!!!

Illest Motherfucker—-Not a favorite of mine, but it is still a classic track…..I will leave most of my comments to myself…..sometimes Kanye and his words cause me hurt?

H*A*M*—-Stripped down and very raw, this is kind of surprise to be…I guess just because it is so graphic. This is raw and sexist…I guess that fits in the whole rap game…right? The ‘chorus’ opens up the song really nice…but you have to wonder whether Jay was really on board with this whole thing…especially since his verses are totally different from anything Kanye delivers…but, somehow it works…amazing!!!!

Primetime—-CLASSIC…..one of the few tracks that seems to allow Jay control from the very onset, this is like old school Jay….I love this. I like the stripped down NY style music…this is a first on this release thus far….even Kanye sounds a bit different on his delivery……I love this track……fantastic…and one of my favorites!!!!

The Joy—-Damn I love this sample…..wish I knew where it came from. Kanye enters the scene and delivers a rather dry vocal…full od nastiness and things that really do not fit on this release which has been full of empowerment and expression. I dont hate this, but to end it like this makes me wonder. I see more stuff from these two…and I can’t wait…..I love Jay and Kanye together…without the reverse racism please!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

 

Jay-Z / The Blueprint 3

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 250000001UTC 12 by marky7235

The Blueprint 3 (Explicit)

The Blueprint 3 is the eleventh studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released September 8, 2009, on Roc Nation. It is the final installment in The Blueprint trilogy, preceded by The Blueprint (2001) and The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse (2002). Production for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at several recording studios and was handled by Kanye West, The Neptunes, Jeff Bhasker, Al Shux, Jermone Harmon, No I.D., The Inkredibles, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 476,000 copies in its first week. It became Jay-Z’s eleventh US number-one album, breaking the record he had previously shared with Elvis Presley, and produced five singles that achieved chart success. Upon its release, The Blueprint 3 received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone named it the fourth best album of 2009.

The Analysis:

What We Talkin’ Bout—-Kicking right off with a musical sound that carries through most of this release. Jay enters with the familiar and welcome flow that he has always delivered. the song has many messages mixed in with a foolproof flow and a chorus that was designed to stick in your head…..proving to everyone that Jay still is the king of the New York scene…as well as the rap scene in general!

Thank You—-Full of slight irony and a bombastic bass beat, Jay almost breaks his arm patting himself on the back…but I guess that is what the rap game is all about. Jay never fails to mention himself as a King, a Hero, a legend….but we made him so…and we keep him there. This has a great shuffling beat that is contagious as hell…one of my favorites!

D.O.A. [Death Of Auto Tune]—-Meant as a backlash to the constant release of pop and rap songs featuring the annoying yet ingenious Auto-Tune, Jay delivers a song that is full of actual instrumentation and a clear and smooth flow that needs no alteration of any kind. After a bit, this becomes a bit erratic and annoying…but really is important because it is an honest address to the decline of talent in the rap game in this new era of music making!

Run This Town—-Featuring an irresistible chorus from R n B Diva Rhianna, this another of those tracks that will live in your brain….FOREVER. The beats are classic Jay…the vocal delivery is as smooth as silk…you cannot deny that this dude knows all the tricks, has the hooks and makes music for the masses…..the shuffle beat gets me everytime!!!!

Empire State Of Mind—-The only thing better than a genius delivering an impeccable record is the combination of two separate musical genius minds coming together and delivering one of the catchiest songs ever written in the history of rap and/or pop music! Alicia Keys adds so much to this song and the contrast between the two voices makes this a permanent favorite…this is incredible…one of the most popular tracks of 2009…it still plays well three years later…this is PURE GENIUS!

Real As It Gets—-With a classic cameo from Young Jeezy and that rough vocal of his, i am always surprised how well the entire plays with the backdrop created by Jay. There is much boasting and typical rhetoric, you still cannot deny the thought that is put into the layers and layers of music and beats that are delivered. the music works as well for Jeezy as it does for Jay….fantastic!

On To The Next One—-Featuring the masterminds of Swiss Beatz, this track has an almost MIA hype to it that becomes addictive from the first listen. There are some nice old school moments of the song….the breaks and the erratic backdrop sounds are classic. This is a genius at work…the wordplay shows through the entire track…just brilliant!

Off That—-The reigning King of Rap allows nice cameos on this release from the up and coming kings…like Drake….This just shows that Jay knows he runs the game but does not own the game. This is remarkable…the beats are faster than you would expect and the deeper tone from Drake serves as a fantastic contrast.

A Star Is Born—-J. Cole lends his smooth vocal to the hook of this song and takes a general track to a whole new level. the erratic beats are fantastic and the rhymes pay tribute to all those coming up and those who are emerging as well as those who reign…this is fantastic…name droppin like a Mutha!!!!

Venus VS. Mars—-Finally tackling a track all by himself, Jay delivers a flow that is classic although the music is a bit more sedate and a bit gloomy. this is kind of different for me…not really my favorite track, but I love all the phrasing and word play!

Already Home—-Returning to the colab formula with Kid Cudi, Jay is back in hype mode with a musical landscape that is energetic and damn addictive. Cudi delivers a vocal that is a bit flat for me…it seems to ride over the energetic beats and makes me wonder if he was even listening to the music when he was recording. Jay on the other hand hits his inflections with the bass beats like a freakin’ master. this has high points and low points….Jay could have handled this alone with no problem!

Hate—-Another guest appearance from Kanye, this release just set us up for the monumental Throne CD!!! This is kind of bit of a silly track, but could have fit on the later release fairly well. this time period kind of caught West in his down swing…but he still manages to fit with jay masterfully. This is exquisite…a bit aggravating but still listen worthy on any given day! This really is a big poke in the chest at Southern Rap!!!!

Reminder—-Returning to the flow solo, Jay delivers a track that is worthy of anything he ever put on any Blueprint release. Laughing at those who think he has passed his prime, Jay just reminds us that he is far from retirement age….watch your back younglings’!

So Ambitious—-With a guest appearance from the ultra smooth Pharell Williams, this track still fails to live up to my expectations…I rather expected a masterpiece from these two powerhouses. Williams never gets the chance to live up to his true potential, but still the track is CD worthy. This is nice…but not what I expected.

Young Forever—-With the elusive Mr. Hudson sampling the classic Forever Young chorus from Alphaville, this track is another masterpiece that one is lucky to have once in their career rather than as many times as Jay has had. This is rather brillinat…reminding us that despite his age….Jay still manages to run the game with no problem…delivering classic release after classic release….Jay Z is Young Forever…and he has no problem reminding us of that!!!!

**** out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Meets Evil / Hell: The Sequel

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 240000001UTC 12 by marky7235

Hell: The Sequel (Deluxe Version) [Explicit]

Hell: The Sequel is the debut extended play by Bad Meets Evil, an American hip hop duo composed of Royce da 5’9″ and Eminem. It was released on June 13, 2011 in some countries by Shady Records and Interscope Records and on June 14, 2011 in the United States.[1][2] The EP focuses on hardcore hip hop and midwest hip hop. Songs such as “Welcome 2 Hell”, “Above the Law” & “Loud Noises” feature violent lyrical content while trying to maintain a humorous tone. “Fast Lane“, “A Kiss” & “The Reunion” feature sexual themes – “I’m on Everything” is a humorous song about drugs, while “Lighters” & “Take From Me” feature focus on more serious themes such as success and stealing music on the internet.

The EP’s title and artwork was revealed sometime in May. It features executive producers Eminem and Mr. Porter, with production from Bangladesh, DJ Khalil, Sid Roams, Havoc, The Smeezingtons, and Supa Dups amongst others. Following the reunion of the duo, recording began in late 2010, when two tracks, “Living Proof” and “Echo” having leaked onto the Internet. The first single, “Fast Lane“, released on May 3, 2011, was considered a highlight from the EP, while the second single, “Lighters“, was met with mixed reviews.

Hell: The Sequel was met with positive reception. Critics favored the chemistry between Eminem and Royce da 5’9″ and their rapping ability as well. The EP debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart with sales of 171,000.

The Analysis:

Welcome 2 Hell—-This track still remains one of my favorite on this ‘so-called’ EP….the mood is dark and lyrics are full of darker themes and more violent imagery. Royce and Eminem seem to gel so well together….I wonder why there has not been collaboration after collaboration with these two. The classic line is from Eminem……”kissing the shit stains from my underwear that ain’t even there’!!!! It always get a chuckle from me….this is dark…overtly darly sexual and full of beats that make you hang your head.

Fastlane—-This track begins with Royce delivering a flow that surprises even me…while Em seems to supply the melody of the song that is necessary to pull it off. there are of course sexual overtones….but even more remarkable is the wordplay and the play of the two very different vocal styles. This is pretty awesome….another favorite of mine, at some points in the song Royce raps so damn fast I thought he was part of Bone!!!

The Reunion—-Another track, that from the onset has a darker tone to it, this is much more in the vein of classic Em…..the screaming girl at the intro sets the tone for the song and it never lets up throughout the whole song. although the chorus is damn catchy and defies the true dark nature of the song, it just further defines the genius of Em and Royce adds a few lines that are nice,,,,but do not even come close to the dark and sarcastic nature of Marshall!

Above The Law—-With a scratchy and fun beginning, the huge and contagious chorus gives way to yet another track that is wrought with a dark and sublime message. Eminem has never been shy about delivering line after line of dark and violent themes and this song is nothing but perfection if you prefer that type of rap. Em sounds damn right pissed off at the attraction of the female genitalia and the beats are just incredible magnificent. I could not ask for more emotion, anger, and mixed messages from one track….to me Royce does not even seem to matter…..

I’m On Everything—-Introducing the track with some great comedic lines, this seems to be an ode back to the wonderfully carefree days when Marshall never cared what he was pumping into his body. This has so many references….from addiction…to comedy…to Wu-Tang…..to video games…..you can’t ask for more from one song. I love it when Em actually allows himself to sing for a bit…reminding us of the true talent that he is. The lyrics and lines are biting and true…real and almost hurtful…..extraordinary!!!!

A Kiss—-Beginning with such a pleasant, yet overtly sexual overtone, Royce enters and delivers a clear and concise vocal that tells of the rap worlds treatment and vision of women….kind of sad and misogynistic…..but comical at the same time. Em delivers rapid fire lines over a fun and almost lullaby sounding backing track that tries to remind you this is not as sexist as it really is…such is the magic of Em and his brillance…this is fantastic!

Lighters—-With another addictive introduction that sucks you in and forces you to listen to the entire song…just to hear the fantastic melodic chorus, this man [Eminem], know the true formula of creating an incredible song…with many messages all inter-weaved in one single 3 minute track, it is pure genius. The song is a bit throwback…yet brand new….fantastic yet lame….happy yet sad……the same but so very different!

Take From Me—-Another of those addictive tracks, this has snippets of different sounds from everywhere!!!! How does he manage to create stuff like this? This features the intro vocal from Royce but you know where the ideas and the verses came from…you can feel it in your bones. This track has a nice dark tone to it….I would expect nothing less and the result is one of those songs I can’t stop listening to….Mission Accomplished!!!!

Loud Noises—-Ending the release much as it began, Em enters with a rapid fire delivery that has an almost violent edge to it…..this has anger, sarcasm and a delivery that is freakin classic….but the backdrop music is what makes the track a masterpiece. This is huge and epic…even Royce sounds a bit possessed and driven by the Em energy….the words come almost faster than he is capable of….leaving you with a memory that will make you reach for this Cd over and over and over!!!!

**** out of 5

 

Beastie Boys / Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 290000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is the eighth studio album by the Beastie Boys, released in 2011.

The album was originally planned for release on September 15, 2009 under the title Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1, as the first installment of a two-part set. However, the album was delayed after band member Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with cancer.[3] After a two-year delay, only one album has been released and it is not clear if the plan for a two-part album has been abandoned.

The Analysis:

Make Some Noise—-Right out of the gate, the old school sound of the Boys is intact. The trade-off vocal rhymes have not lost the charm…even after all of these years. the samples are so deep, you would be hard pressed to actually identify any of them. The content is still juvenile and you step back into the late 80’s with no problem. Charming!!!

Nonstop Disco Powerpack—-Seemingly combining early sounds that made the band huge with the more experimental jazzy sounds that the Boys later explored crash together to create a huge wave of sound that allows me to relive some of the best years of my life. The rhymes are incoherent and as cheesy as ever, the tones have never changed and the experimental muted sound of the track keeps everything from becoming a bit too boring!!!

OK—-This has a nice level of silliness to it…what beastie song doesn’t? when the ‘chorus’ comes in, you are swept up in the slight vocoder energy of the whole damn thing. The Boys sound like they have never been gone or left the ‘scene’…despite the electro feel of the song, this is still fresh as anything they have released in the previous 10 years!

Too Many Rappers [New Revolutionaries Version featuring Nas]—-This builds and builds..like the anticipation prior to a rocket liftoff. The song ebbs and flows magically while the boys trade not only versus but words and short phrases. This is deep in sound….even sounding a bit muted….Nas sounds like he has come home and found a new crew. There is humor and static…but still comes across as brand new!!!

Say It—-Adding in a nice bit of actual live guitar and a generous helping of feedback, the boys go back in time to earlier recordings when they relied on much more of a musical base than just samples and cuts and splices. This is nice….the sound is deep …the very little sounds you have to strain to listen to…but the listen is worth it….for me, one of the better releases on this CD.

The Bill Harper Collection—-Silly but typical interlude…hilarious!!!

Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win [featuring Santagold]—-Now, this is what I needed to hear!!! This has a deeper sound to it…Santagold adds a flavor to the song like only she can do…this is fantastic!!! This is still a bit distorted at times, but the song magically flows between clarity and distortion like magic…and becomes one of the most accessible tracks this trio has recorded in years. simply fantastic!!!!

Long Burn The Fire—-Beginning with some nice funky organ and a deep bass beat that runs underneath it, the sound these guys manage to produce is incredible. Yauch delivers a vocal that sounds a bit hoarse and rough…making you wonder if he is ready for all of this already. The music is pristine…the energy is top-notch, but the vocals are a bit flat.

Funky Donkey—-This is interesting to me…beginning with a slight Middle Eastern sound and some references that allow you to believe the intent was clear. The trade-off of the vocals are as masterful as the very first record…wonder how they decide who takes what phrase? This is funny, humorous and bordering on hysterical!

The Larry Routine—-A small and short interlude, this is bass heavy and classic in sound…I could do with an entire CD of this type of stuff!!!!

Tadlock’s Glasses—-Rumored to be the original title of this record, this is more sample heavy classic Beastie’s. the atmosphere on the song is so experimental and jammy…making you wonder what these guys are smoking. this is ok, but a bit to out there even for me. This is largely inaccessible….

Lee Majors Come Again—-Not does this remind me of something that belongs on the band’s Greatest Hits CD, this is innovative and fresh as hell. the energy that is parlayed on this is just incredible…making me want to jump up and down and act a fool. There are nice levels of both live instruments and sampoles….a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm that leaks out of my headphones….fantastic!!!!

Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament—-Right away, I am drawn to the funky bass beat of the song and the slight references to past electro sounds of day past. This has a groove that I have not heard from this trio in quite sometime and it draws me in and makes me smile. This is the best of the Beasties and Moby combined….incredible light and refreshing!!!

Here’s A Little Something For Ya—-Old School at it’s finest, right from the onset. The trade-off vocals remind you of the glory days…despite the fact that Yauch still sounds a bit tired and worn. This is still magnificent…the beats are old….yet fresh. The attitude is 1990 and the energy is all 2011!!!!

Crazy Ass Shit—-This is another fantastic track…with a little child chorus and a huge pulsating beat, you are smiling right from the onset. this is a bit more distorted as well…perhaps to drown out the wear and tear that has been taken on Yauch’s voice. None the less, the others take up the slack and deliver a classic Beastie track!!!

The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine—-Nonsensical and giving a nice nod to days gone by. this is fun but just filler. Still not a waste!!!

**** out of 5

Lupe Fiasco / Lasers

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 260000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Lasers

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982), better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco (pronounced /ˈluːpeɪ/ LOO-pay), is an American rapper, artist, producer and CEO of 1st and 15th Entertainment. He rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his critically acclaimed debut album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. He also performs as the frontman of post punk band Japanese Cartoon under his real name.[1]

Raised in Chicago, Fiasco developed an interest in hip-hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity. He adopted the name Lupe Fiasco and began recording songs in his father’s basement, and joined a group called Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception, and Fiasco soon met rapper Jay-Z who helped him sign a record deal with Atlantic Records. In 2006, Fiasco released his debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor on the label, to commercial and critical acclaim. He then released his second album, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, in December 2007. The single “Superstar” became a hit, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] His latest album, Lasers, was released on March 8, 2011 after several release date delays.

In addition to music, Fiasco has pursued other business ventures, including fashion. He runs two clothing lines, “Righteous Kung-Fu” and “Trilly & Truly”; he has also designed sneakers for Reebok. He has also been involved with charitable activities throughout his career, including the Summit on the Summit expedition, and in 2010 he recorded a benefit single for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The Analysis:

Letting Go—-The release begins with a nice landscape of sounds…..and a hook that is almost magical from the very first listen. Reminding me of Superstar a great deal, Fiasco enters with his vocal in a slight distorted manner. The lyrics are heavy and laden with images of the poor and the difficult parts of life…but that hook comes back and grabs you…allowing to bounce yourself through the gritty tale. Just fantastic!

Words I Never Said—-Still delivering a bit of a distorted vocal, the piano that leads off this track is almost beautiful. the bass hits and takes the song to that next level. Lupe enters with his vocal and the sound is clear and concise as he extolls his beliefs about 9/11 and the government involvement. This is fantastic…the song has a huge sound to it…the finesse that Fiasco delivers his raps with are exquisite…hard to believe this is only release #3. The chorus is as you would expect…huge and contagious as hell….another definite winner that shows a hook and intelligence that is rare these days.

Till I Get There—-Returning to a more relaxed sound that reminds me of the very first release, this is calm but still laden with lyrics that will cause you to pause and think. The jaunty sound of the music is incredible…the chorus is another sing a long type affair that lands in your brain and refuses to leave. I just love this guy!!!

I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now—-Wow….this was a surprise for me…the song has a nice electro feel to it that I never expected to hear from Lupe. The delivery is much faster than anything he has ever done…but it works so well…it takes a few listens for you to really catch every word that is being delivered. Of course the chorus is a huge affair that almost borders on Emo-Rap….just masterful!!! This is a must have!!!

Out Of My Head—-Beginning with the hook right from the onset, the song becomes addictive from the very first listen. The hyper…ever-rising style music is addictive as hell. The vocal that delivers the sung chorus is fantastic and almost takes away from the entire body of the song. This is brilliant…the track is delivered with a feeling of urgency and need. I just love this!!!

The Show Goes On—-Again….the chorus deliveries on this release are just huge….I would love to see Lupe play the Vans tour!!! This is nice….the verses are classic Fiasco, but the chorus takes this to a whole new level…delivering a melody line that is more addictive than the best drug on the face of the earth. This is just stellar!!!

Beautiful Laser [2 Ways]—-With a huge auto-tune chorus, this is another keeper. The sound of the song is rather dark and has a nice Alternative sound…this guy is a master of rap that will please anyone. This is styled much like some of the songs from the first release…but is delivered with a better punch and an almost hypnotic melody line that sucks you in from the very first listen…this will be in rotation for me for quite sometime!!!

Coming Up—-With a nice piano style intro that still delivers a nice hype feel, Fiasco delivers a vocal that is set to music that makes you think of classic Tupac!!! This is California rap…delivered with a handclap that makes the track huge, a chorus that makes it addictive and a piano underneath it all that makes it accessible as hell. This is just incredible!!!

State Run Radio—-Lupe delivers another pseudo-political song that makes you really pay attention to the lyrics, although it is rather difficult with the hype that is accompanied in the song. The verses are full of words and sentences that makes you think about the state of the world for African-Americans. The chorus comes in and almost wipes out the powerful nature of the verses. All in all though, this is stellar…an incredible delivery of political, consciousness raising words!

Break The Chain—-Perhaps my favorite track on this release…the song has a huge chorus…a music delivers that builds at times almost like a rave classic and a vocal that is delivered so fast it is almost impossible to keep up with the words that are being spit at you. Just when your ears become exhausted, the chorus comes back and sucks you in and allows you to relax once more. This is stellar…really one of the best tracks on this release!!!!

All Black Everything—-Beginning in a rather sedate manner, the track really becomes alive. Fiasco delivers line after line of idea oriented lyrics that make you really think about what the country would be like if it was really all black, all the time. This is an interesting concept and a huge undertaking for a three-minute song, but fiasco manages to deliver with no problem. This is really a though inducing song…making you process the words and the idea. This is fantastic…..wow…imagine if everything were reversed? Wow!!!

Never Forget You—-Ending the release as relaxed as it began, you have time to digest everything in the middle as if at a feast!!! The chorus is not nearly as powerful as some, but the laid back and throw back sound is monumental…the deep bass line, the sharp high hat that catches your ear…this is just fantastic!!! Fiasco may very well be the future…but for me…he is very here and now!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

Kanye West / My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 50000001UTC 12 by marky7235

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the fifth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released November 22, 2010 on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place primarily at Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during 2009 to 2010. Production was handled by West and several other record producers, including Jeff Bhasker, The RZA, No I.D., and Mike Dean, among others. Following a hiatus from his music career, West worked on the album through a communal development that involved him and various other musicians and producers contributing collectively to the album’s music.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 496,000 copies in its first week in the United States. It achieved respectable international charting and produced three singles that attained chart success, including US Billboard hits “Power“, “Monster“, and “Runaway“. Upon its release, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy received general acclaim from music critics, earning praise for its varied musical style, opulent production quality, and West’s dichotomous lyrical themes.

The Analysis:

Dark Fantasy—-Really, from the onset, this is classic Kanye….building on atmospheric beats, huge catchy vocal interludes and a delivery from West that almost seems possessed. The soundbites and chorus choirs on this song are almost overwhelming…planting themselves in your brain and threatening to live there forever. West delivers rhyme after rhyme that leads you to believe he is alienated, pissed off and a bit fed up with the public perception. this has a shine and a gloss that makes me smile…this is fantastic!

Gorgeous—-Featuring both Kid Cudi and Raekwon, from the very onset this track has a throwback soul sound that again just makes me smile. This is deep and dark…delivered with a beat that is less than acceptable in today’s Rap world but somehow seems to work under West’s delivery. The vocal is a bit distorted at the onset…Raekwon always hides behind the microphone. The chorus is another huge affair that promises to lie in your brain forever. Another classic! “What’s a black Beatle anyways….a fucking roach?’….brilliant!!!

POWER—-From the very first strains of the song, you know that you are again in for another treat. West has not seemed this driven since his very first release. The beats that drive the song are aggressive as hell…the heaviness of the bass almost threatens to drown out the voice from Kanye. The words come at you fast and furious and the chorus is a huge affair of Rap/Rock that leaves you exhausted by the end of the song. This is freakin’ stellar!!!

All Of The Lights [Interlude]—-This is just a slight build-up for the song that actually is formed from all of these sounds…prepare yourself for….beautiful arrangements, instrumentation and a love for the finer things in life.

All Of The Lights—-With a huge vocal from Rihanna, this song is damn noisy at times, and full of wonderful instrumentation at others. It cracks me up that West would refer to MJ as a N***a…..he was anything but. This is surprising to me because of the aggression alone. the beats are hard and LOUD…almost drowning out everything else. West tells tales that you can believe in and follows it up with a chorus that lives in your brain and wakes you from a sound sleep….masterful…for me, this is the best release from West yet!

Monster—-This is perhaps one of the oddest tracks from the onset that I have ever heard, but as it develops this is incredibly incredible!!! Featuring cameos from Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Indie God Bon Iver, this is a tour-de-force of sound like no other. The beats on this track are powerful as hell…the underlying bass just drives the thing right into your forehead. There is nothing else like this out there these days…and you could never ask for more. Kanye sounds like a beast…and all of the guest seems as driven as he is to deliver a masterpiece of a classic song. Well, they far surpass their own expectations…even Jay sounds fresh and new. This is perhaps…brilliant!!! And Minaj…..well WOW!!!

So Appalled—-Again full of cameos, the song features RZA, Pusha T, Swiss Beatz and Jay-Z….not that West needed any kind of help on this record. None the less, RZA delivers lines sounding better and more refreshed than he has in years. West has no problem matching line for line with seasoned veterans….proving that he is of the same class as some of the legends. this is stellar…West refers to his fashion sense as well as his underlying anger all in one sentence…making you wonder how the hell he comes up with this stuff. This is incredible…beat after beat, line after line that will live with you forever!!!

Devil In A New Dress—-With a nice cameo from Rick Ross, from the very onset this has one of those female vocals running through the backdrop that takes another little spot in the brain cells that you have floating around in there…decreasing your internal memory just a bit more. West has a magical way with words…making you listen closer and closer each time you hear the song…trying to figure out exactly what his purpose is with each word placement. This is stellar stuff….don’t tell him, but West borders on genius!!!

Runaway—-Beginning with a lone and annoying piano key that slowly develops as the song takes shape, this will stay in your head just because of the slight annoyance. When the track really opens up and the rhythmic beats take full effect, you are again wrapped in a warm blanket of funk and rap that takes over the center of your brain. Perhaps this was written for Taylor Swift…to me, this is a track for us everyday joes…we all do stupid shit everyday…just not on national TV. this is fantastic…although i much prefer West rapping and not singing!

Hell Of A Life—-This has such a nice ‘machine’ element to it…I fell in love with this track the first time I heard it. This would have fit perfectly on 808 but managed to land here…but i ain’t mad about that. This is aggressive…but the best part of the song is that huge dark hum that runs through the lower part of the song. Not to mention that the song really references, musically, Black Sabbath…..how much more alternative can you get? Freakin’ Stellar!!!!

Blame Game—-Featuring John Legend, as you would expect, this is piano based and a bit more mellow than most of the stuff on the rest of this record. But there is a metallic edge that runs underneath the edge of the song that reminds you that you are listening to a record released by someone who is frustrated and pissed off with the press, god, the public and everyone else who even comes close. This is a song that is at times stark, at times beautiful, at times disturbing but always full of a certain realness. This is Kanye! Just Incredible!!!

Lost In The World—-Again featuring Bon Iver, a combination which I find bizarre but works all over the record! All I can say….is wow!!! Kanye is a freakin genius…who ever thought he would reach out to the Indie circle to further his career…but he did and it works like the best magic trick never known to man. When this tracks kicks into high gear you will be laid out flat on the floor. This is energetic, bombastic and full of an infectious groove that will never escape your brain. this is a magical moment caught in time…am I gushing? you should be too!!!

Who Will Survive In America—-What a great question……not many of us will….this makes me think of Public Enemy…this has a message that everyone should take a listen to and pay huge amounts of attention to. This is Kanye…painting the American Dream!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

12 Inch Wonders Of The World / Vol. 28

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 80000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Supersonic/Extended [JJ Fad]—-Blending a nice mix of old school rap with a nice electro feel, I remember the first time I heard this I was hooked. This has that old style feel that you just don’t get from rap these days…the message was pure and simple and the delivery was amateur at best…none the less, it propelled them to new heights..if only for a moment. This is a millisecond of time caught  forever.

Comin’ Correct [JJ Fad]—-Somewhat lacking in the energy of the previous song, this is nice though. Delivered with a heavier bass back beat, the song is somewhat of an empowering song…speaking on the strength of the ladies. This is clean and innocent…nothing like the rappers of the modern age….this was the early days…when rap was more fun than a genre’. Hard to believe they were signed to ruthless back in the day!

Pump Up The Jam [Techontronic]—-Another of those studio produced groups that were so prevalent in the 90’s, you would be hard presses to find a human being who has not heard this song. Listening back to this after such a long time of not hearing it, it is no surprise this hit so big. This has lost of fresh energetic beats…a powerful vocal and is danceable as hell. You can’t forget it.

Boom! [MC Lucious]—-This is such a fun song….the tone is overly sexual..with some nice samples from Shante’ and a bass beat that is powerful. the remarkable thing is the speed of the vocal delivery…this song moves and is a lot of fun to top it off. I love this old school shit!

Go On Girl [Roxanne Shante’]—-I think this came from The New Jack City soundtrack…I loved this from the very first time I heard this. The biggest draw for me was the speed of the song…this girl could rap like no one’s business…this is remarkable. The backdrop beat is a nice old sample that is put through a processor….sounding like a nice scratchy record. This girl could spit too….giving herself all kinds of props…ahhh…the good old days!

Horny [Roxanne Shante’]—-Jeez….does anyone but me remember Cold Chillin’ Records!!! This is a much slower paced song….full of more self-indulgent lyrics that builds up one’s ego. Shante’ delivers a remarkably clear vocal…you catch every word and the chorus is a fun, sexually charged affair that would never have gotten played on the radio back in the day…this is fantastic…sounding dated but still a lot of fun.

Roxanne’s Revenge [Roxanne Shante’]—-I so clearly remember the first time I heard this song…this was back in the day when I was the only white person I knew who loved and lived and breathed rap music. For the longest time, I wanted to be nothing but Black!!! I was at shows…the only white face to be found, but accepted just as much as the next person. This is full of memories for me, but this is also about the time that the world finally began opening up to rap music as a real music form. This is history!

UTFO vs. Shante’—-The track that started the whole back and forth rap drama that prevailed so much in the 80’s. I remember seeing UTFO here in Toledo…with like 15 other rap acts…none of them ever to be heard from again…none the less, it was a lively afternoon. This is another of those pieces of history that will live forever because it is a huge track that really began the movement of rap to the forefront of the music community…call me weak…I still love this shit!

Salt N’ Pepa vs. Fergie vs.  JJ Fad—-This is breathtaking!!! It is amazing how much Push It, Supersonic and Fergalicious all sound alike. This flows together to create a huge nod to the past while still allowing Fergie to have the spotlight. without these ladies. Fergie would be nowhere…how nice of her to pay tribute to the founding Sistas!

Bite This [Roxanne Shante’]—-This has a great lyric line…but the remarkable thing about this song is the room shaking bass that forms this song. And all of these references to Marley Marl…this is fantastic. Shante’ spits with the best of the MC’s of her era and still sounds as clear and concise. Shante’ was much smarter than anyone gave her credit for…after her label dropped her, she sued and they paid for her to get a law degree….go on girl!!!

**** out of 5