Friday, March 22, 2013

[EP] Surp - God .

The enigmatic wordspitter known as Surp is back with his latest work God ., keeping up with his tradition of being non-traditional, the project is half instrumental with the other half being actual rap tracks. Most artist couldn't do this, most wouldn't do this but Surp isn't like most. As always Surp impresses lyrically but what is most impressive about the project is the atmosphere that it gives off. The otherworldly ambience is created through a combination of the odd instrumentals, lyrics and the voice clips featured on the project. I can guarantee that you haven't heard anything thing like this so far this year, it definitely holds the title of most unique project of 2013. 

ScHoolBoy Q - Yay Yay (Prod. Boi-1da & The Maven Boys)

TDE's wild man ScHoolBoy Q has been relatively quiet since dropping his critically acclaimed project Habits & Contradictions last year. Today however, Q returns with the first single "Yay Yay" off his upcoming major debut album Oxymoron . The single is what we've come to expect from Q, lyricism with a gangster twist and hard knocking production, this time around supplied by Boi-1da and The Maven Boys. Q said seeing Kendrick's success with good kid, m.A.A.d city has inspired and motivated him to create his best project yet, we'll see if that's true when Oxymoron drops later this year. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

[Mixtape Review] Steezy Grizzlies - Green

Right from the very start of Green, the latest project from Steezy Grizzlies, it's apparent that Steezy is on a different plane than that of his previous works. Beginning with "Yawns" Steezy drops some real lines "In this rap circle, everyone wants to be rMell or Trill. That's why it's kinda hard to tell, who is original still" something which is quite true. Rap has become a carbon copy genre, with every rapper wanting to be someone else or sound like something else. This introspectiveness is what sets Steezy apart, not only is he aware of his own faults, he is willing to point them out. That is one of the reasons why the intro to Green is so great, it's Steezy finally being himself and not caring about pleasing fans or the opinion of others. 

Next is the high energy "SNB Anthem II" featuring Rashad Stark with excellent production from Plue Starfox. It's simply Steezy and Rashad having fun and rapping well, the former is something that I noticed over the course of my listen. I get the sense that Steezy had fun during the recording process of Green, something that I didn't get from past projects. 

Green does well to show off Steezy's versatility from his softer side, "Paradise Falls" and "My B.R.I.A. (Simp Song II)" which are definite highlights of the project with the former featuring not only a dope verse from Grammy Family's rMell but also production, which samples Yuji Ohno's "Love Theme" from Lupin III. To his more "street" side with "Gangsta Minded Gohan"  and the Johny Locus assisted "dmGOTHAM" both featuring some braggadocious rhymes. Lastly, "Neega The 2nd." with the lyrical monster Surp God who drops a show stealing verse but Steezy holds his own against Surp and avoids being outclassed. Steezy closes out the tape with the last two tracks featuring his SNB family, although I wish he would've ended it with a solo track, the whole SNB does well and shows off their individual talents which I suppose was the purpose. 

All together Green is the best project from Steezy Grizzlies by far, it is more polished and feels more organic than his previous drops. The only thing I can say negative about it was that it was too short but that doesn't take away from the project itself, plus I believe it was intended to be short in duration. Steezy has shown that he can hold his own against some of the best in his area with his last three projects, hopefully an album is in the works. I think that is the last step in his evolution as an artist, I'd like to see what he could do over a full length 45-55 minute project. However, until that time, just enjoy Green.

Standout Tracks: Yawns, Paradise Falls, My B.R.I.A. (Simp Song II), dmGOTHAM, & Neega The 2nd. 

+ Steezy's best work yet
+ Great production
+ Good features
+ Versatile sound

- Unnecessary interludes
- Short track length 


[Album] Matt McGhee - AWARD

AWARD (Always Working At Reaching Destiny) by Matt McGhee dropped back in February and while I loafed on a review for it, I definitely did listen and I suggest you do so also. I won't write an entire review for it (sorry Matt) but I will share Dave Caldwell's of Back2Pluto excellent review. Dave pretty much sums up my exact sentiments on the album with his review and does it more well than I possibly could've. While I won't be writing a review, I do however want to share this album with you. It is one of the best, if not the best, indie projects to drop this year and it deserves all the shine and praise it gets. Without further ado AWARD...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

[Mixtape Review] Chick Gaynor - LORD $LUG

After a few singles and an EP, Chick Gaynor returns with his first project of the new year LORD $LUG, the follow up to his album ORIGAMI. It's been a while since a project has had me this conflicted on my opinion of it. LORD $LUG is a good project but it is definitely a step back when compared to ORIGAMI, but ORIGAMI shined mainly due to the improvement over Chick's first mixtape Whatever. In no means is LORD $LUG a bad project but it does have its faults, one thing it is lacking is the cohesiveness that ORIGAMI benefited from. It feels much more like an EP comprised of material that Chick has been working on for the past months than a true project. It is almost more comparable to his Slug Gawd: The Lost Memoirs in that sense. 

Chick has always been an artist who has shown improvement with each project and while LORD $LUG doesn't improve on too much from Chick's previous works it does enough. One thing that it has over his past projects is replayability, I've listened to it a lot in the weeks since its release and I've yet to tire of it. Whatever and ORIGAMI both lack in this, mainly due in part to production choices. The production featured on LORD $LUG is definitely more upbeat when compared to the melodic melancholy production on ORIGAMI. Thanks to producers such as Louseph Bruise Em', rMell, High Class Filth, Suede Moccasins and Nomad. Although at the same time Chick doesn't stray to far off from the sound that made him, he more or less fine tuned it. Tracks such as "Alexa Chung" show off Chick's humor and his ability to spit over more uptempo production. While "#BushMOB" shows off Chick's more menacing side, as he and Mike of Doom take turns trading bars while sending shots at fellow rappers. As I said earlier, while LORD $LUG does lack the cohesiveness that ORIGAMI had, it does well to show off Chick's versatility as an artist as he tackles various production styles.

Lyrically LORD $LUG is strong, featuring some of his best verses, Chick retains the improvement in lyrics and flow that he showed in past projects. Chick keeps the feature count low this time around, only Mike of Doom and Nomad make appearances with both bringing their own unique talents to their respective tracks. Chick has always had an ability to be personal in his raps and that makes him much more relatable and it truly shows on this tape. The project ends with the excellent "Lama Sabacthani" as Chick laments over the Nomad produced track about his griefs, it is truly moving and in my opinion the best track on LORD $LUG, a definite highlight.

Overall, LORD $LUG is another great project from Chick Gaynor who continues to improve and hone his sound with each project. It'll be interesting to see what he does for his next project but I have no doubts that it'll be his best yet.

Standout Tracks: #BushMOB, Edward Nygma, Alexa Chung, Psalm 27 & Lama Sabacthani

+ Some of Chick's best work yet
+ High replay value
+ Strong production
+ Digital Booklet featuring lyrics and excellent design 

- Lacks cohesiveness
- Short duration


Stream below or download here