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“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.

Album Reviews 0

“Mega Millions” by Michael Aristotle

By Deja Kehinde

Imagine winning the lottery for $600 million—what would you do? Michael Aristotle takes us on the journey of a man from the east side who wins the lottery and is now facing a new lifestyle due to his boost in financial status. The East Chain rapper starts the project in a dream, which he wakes up from. He checks the lottery and sees that his dreams of drowning in money are now a reality.

The 17-track LP is narrated by Tane Runo and features guests like Deante’ Hitchcock, Ladonnis, Farra Aki, Jaque Beatz and Da Kidd Half. The project is carried by crazy flows, slick wordplay and even crazier production from executive producer Wili Hendrix. You can’t help but nod your head to every track. Surrounded by newfound wealth, Aristotle learns that possessions don’t ensure happiness and the story closes with him finding self-love.

Stand-out tracks include “Lottery,” “Lil Engine,” “2 Much,” “Make It Thru,” “Swimming Lessons,” “Door Bell Ring” and “Slum Dogs.” Michael Aristotle surely delivers and seeing the album performed live made me appreciate it even more.

 

Album Reviews 0

“Her Too” by SiR

By Deja Kehinde

TDE’s newest signee, SiR, has released his latest EP, “Her Too” on February 10. The label’s first project of the year has six tracks with guests from Anderson .Paak, King Mez and Masego. Production credits the likes of DK The Punisher, Seige Monstracity and more.

The project kicks off with “New LA,” a song about a woman who ventures into California and experiences the Hollywood lifestyle for the first time. The track is followed by the smooth sounds of “The Canvas,” where he pursues a woman as a work of art. The pace picks up a little bit on “Don’t Call My Phone,” where he uses flows with a helium effect on his voice with funk instrumentation.

“Ooh Nah Nah” features the sounds of Masego’s saxophone, which aligns perfectly with SiR’s serenade. “SUGAR” is my favorite track because it embraces being faithful to what he has at home regardless of distractions. Ending with the West Coast in mind, “W$ Boi” takes listeners back to his hometown in California where the project started. To say the least, “Her Too” is a great introduction to SiR and I’m looking forward to what he does next.

Album Reviews 0

“Black Noise” by Kirk Knight

By Landen Winkles

My pick of the week is from one of my favorite hip-hop collectives, Pro Era. Kirk Knight, one of the few artists I’ve been lucky enough to have seen live, dropped an instrumental-themed album titled “Black Noise.”

The first thing you’ll notice is the lovely art work that sets the vibe this album will give. Heavy, atmospheric and moderately psychedelic in tone, the sound really will hit the pallet of anyone who has enjoyed other hip-hop producers such as Madlib, Flying Lotus, and Shlohmo.

The first track completely enticed me with the lo-fi synthesizer making me reminisce about past summers listening to Kool and the Gang’s more soulful projects like “Light of the Worlds.” Throughout the album you can hear him upping the progressive nature such as “Mute,” and my personal favorite, “A.I.” The album finishes strong with a bonus track where Knight, also known as “The Kreeper,” lays some complex and meaningful lyrics that ends this project to make you feel like you had a full journey with Knight. This is definitely a project that’s worth listening to while you’re studying, working out, or even just chilling at home. The ambience brings an inner peace to your overall mood and well-being.

The focus on the production definitely shines in this project. It leaves you waiting and longing for more. After this I’ll be looking forward to him producing more for the rest of the Pro Era group.

Album Reviews 0

“Future”

By Jordon Suber

Future’s self-titled fifth studio album has finally arrived. In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, which aired on Beats 1, Future admitted to shutting down his social media presence around the time he started putting pieces together for an album to focus and put his all into his music.

“I wanted to give the fans all of me,” Future said. Future also said he wanted to “embrace everything including his success” on his new project. After this album, he said he wants to go back “underground” with his music. On this project Future has sought out familiar faces (Metro Boomin’, 808 Mafia leader Southside, Dj Khaled) while also adding on a new face to the lineup. DY is the producer Future has added on this album. DY is credited with three tracks on this project: “Super Trapper,” “High Demand,” and “Massage in my room.” Future has stated that “DY is the next one.” This is a huge compliment to the young producer from the mega-star.

“Super Trapper” is a reflection of the rapper’s life.. Future wanted to stay true to who he is and wanted to make the most of his environment. “Super Trapper” is taking the average person and making him into a superhero.

“Draco” is named after “Draco season,” and Future said he wanted capture energy with this title. In the DJ Khaled co-produced song, Future raps, “I got my empire up like Lucious.” I think the song is amazing and I love a good TV reference. In my opinion every song is a head-banger and I have a hard time choosing a favorite.

This unexpected album is nothing but fire. Future wanted to take his music in a new direction when he felt he earned the prestige and delivered on his promise.