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Album Reviews Comments Off on Rick Ross: Rather You Than Me

Rick Ross: Rather You Than Me

Jordan Suber

Rick Ross has been in the rap game for over 10 years and “Rather You Than Me” is the rapper’s ninth studio album as a successor to his 2015 studio album “Black Market.” The album garnered main stream attention with the song, “Idols become your Rivals,” a track where Ross takes shots at fellow MC, Birdman and features hilarious opening commentary from comedian, Chris Rock. The 12-song project features the biggest names in hip-hop today including the talents of: Future, Nas, Jeezy and more.

The lead single, “I Think She Like Me,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, is a catchy song that really gets you anticipated for the rest of the album. The first promotional single “Trap Trap Trap” featuring Atlanta native Young Thug and Wale really pumps you up and makes you want to keep the song on repeat. The song, “Black Market” peaked at the #6 position on the US music charts and on the US R&B and US Rap charts, the album held the #2 spot. These tracks on this project will have you feeling yourself vibing out for weeks to come.

Rick has produced nothing but consistent songs over his impressive tenure and shows no sign of slowing down. Overall this album is another Rick Ross classic.

Album Reviews Comments Off on Lil Durk: Love Songs for the Streets

Lil Durk: Love Songs for the Streets

Jordon Suber

Lil Durk’s mixtape, “Love Songs For the Streets,” was released February 28. The mixtape has features from Young Thug, YFN Lucci and others. This mixtape consist of nine songs and on production, lil Durk sought out the talents of a few lesser known producers, such as TyMadeIt, Chopsquard DJ and S Breezy just to name a few. The mixtape is hosted by DJ Drama and DJ Bandz. Lil Durk has been releasing mixtapes constantly and hopefully we can see an album in the future. This mixtape is a successor to his 2016 releases: “lil Durk 2.0” and “They Forgot.” “Lil Durk 2.0″ had a smash hit with his then-girlfriend, Dej Loaf “My Beyoncé.” Let’s hope without the leading woman in his life he can muster out the bars and have a project with nothing but fire songs.

“Love Songs For the Streets” is the typical lil Durk release. Lil Durk does not differentiate himself from its usual flow. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Lil Durk fails to try a new sound and reinvent himself. In a market where rappers are trying different, new and exciting things every day, the Chicago-born rapper will have a hard time keeping up with his fellow rappers. The songs on the mixtape all sound alike, and none really stand out from the crowd. If you listen to this mixtape, it will not entice you to want more. On the contrary it feels like a mixtape that you have heard a million times over. The 9-project mixtape will not be in my playlist. I encourage everyone to listen to the mixtape a few times and formulate your own opinion. This is my initial reaction to the mixtape and after giving it a few listens, my opinion of the mixtape did not change. Here’s to lil Durk having a successful 2017 and trying something new that will give him a competing chance with other rappers.

Album Reviews, New Releases Comments Off on Khalid: American Teen

Khalid: American Teen

Landen Winkles

“American Teen,” Khalid’s debut album, is a promising amalgam of bedroom art-soul, 1980s new-wave pop and a union of lonely-boy mirror gazing with a sense of a larger cultural purpose. It most vividly recalls the promise embedded in the soundtracks of John Hughes films — that an outsider’s story might in fact be the thing that can unify and move millions.

Khalid has a face of innocence, but his voice carries a tone that is rare and refreshing. His voice isn’t packed with power; he isn’t going to blow you away with a thunderous falsetto, but there’s strength in his softness and sincerity in his gentleness. He understands his voice and has gathered production that allows his vocals to shine.

It’s rare for an album’s biggest single to be a true highlight, but Khalid captured something special with “Location,” the kind of modern-day love story that perfectly articulates the dance between man and woman in an age of relationships, followers and purveyors of vibes. It’s that moment before intimacy, before love and before heartbreak. “Location” is the rising action before the climax and the anxiousness and anticipation of receiving a reply. This is what dating is like for a teenager who didn’t live through MySpace and totally missed Black Planet, but will be able to tell his children about how a dropped pin lead him to the woman of his dreams. With production this dreamy, subtle and pure, it’s hard not to get lost in the warmth. This will be the song that he’ll be remembered for, not because of it being a catchy jingle, but how he illustrated a situation that many have and will live through. Khalid is singing all this casually, without judgment or emphasis. He only starts vibrating more intensely in the second verse: “I’ve been waiting all year / To get the hell up out of here / And throw away my fears.” Khalid graduated high school last year and he’s nailing the fitfulness of knowing the bright options the future might hold while still being stuck in school, or in his hometown, or in the frame of mind that tells you to do only what’s expected of you.

Khalid truly lives in the moment, he isn’t nostalgic for the past or looking forward to the unknown future. “American Teen” is an artist capturing the soaring emotions of new-age romance and a boy coming into the world.

Album Reviews, New Releases Comments Off on Ed Sheeran: Divide

Ed Sheeran: Divide

April Latham

Ed Sheeran released his newest album last Friday and like his other work, it is gold. He gives you a whole hour of bliss, starting with “Eraser.” This song talks about living day to day with pain chewing away, but using that pain to keep moving forward. It’s a beautiful song and a great intro into the album.

“Castle on the Hill” is another noteworthy song on the album because it’s a solid hit. Sheeran talks about going home when he says “I’m on my way / Driving at 90 down those country lanes.” It’s striking to me because even with all his fame, he still wants to go back to the old days, hanging out with his friends. The way he describes these old roads is perfect imagery.

Every song on this album is chill, but at different levels. Sheeran writes beautiful music that relates to everyone at some point in his or her life. In the song, “Dive,” he talks about the worries of falling for someone without knowing fully if they are feeling the same way about you. It’s all beautiful and comforting. I definitely recommend this album to everyone.

Album Reviews Comments Off on “Fin” by Syd

“Fin” by Syd

By Deja Kehinde

Syd of The Internet recently released her first solo project: “Fin.” In an interview with New York radio station HOT 97, she explained the project was originally titled “Dive” because of all the water references, but “Fin” worked better as she is the force that steers “the animal” (the band). The album features production from MeLo-X, Hit-Boy and more, including a few self-produced tracks that give vibes of neo-soul, hip-hop and R&B.

The first track, “Shake Em Off,” introduces Syd reflecting on the famous lifestyle and shaking off negative people. Some even compare her sound to Aaliyah’s; particularly on the track, “Know.” But she gets grungier on “No Complaints,” a transitional track for the rest of the project, which includes her singles, “Body” and “All About Me,” and also features her band mate, Steve Lacy and Love Renaissance artist, 6LACK.

Overall, the project introduces Syd well and shows the different sounds she can deliver musically from production to cadence. This is definitely a project to play through the night and vibe to.