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Album Review: @Fenkellpayroll & @CardoGotWings ‘ ‘Big Bossin Vol. 2’ explores the best and worst of an extravagant lifestyle

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Success and lavish living are two of hip-hop’s obsessions, created during the genre’s inception due to living in poverty. Many artists have created music that attempts to describe that which they are either trying to obtain or already have it in abundance. Most of the time, it comes across as mere lip service. We’re told that they’re bosses by repeatedly being beaten over the head with rap interjections, but we never get the feeling that it’s true. Real bosses don’t tell you, they show you. Combined with the fact that most rappers’ definition of being a boss – or being successful – involves women, cars, and clothes – were left with a hollow feeling when the song ends, wondering about the values of material items in our society instead of true success.

Payroll Giovanni and Cardo’s album Big Bossin Vol. 1 may have been the first instance in memory that portrayed the boss life as something more than what can be bought. It was more of a mindset than an extension of the wallet. The album’s cult status showed that people were hungry for this brand of music, so the pair have dropped a bigger, juicier project with Big Bossin Vol. 2 and it’s everything you can imagine and more.

What separates the two projects is the sheer scope and feeling of adventure. Whereas the first project was an initial toe-dip into the life, this project is submerged in it. Its aesthetic drips through each lovingly crafted song, practically oozing with swagger and panache. It starts with “Rapped My Way,” a seductive female voice relaying Cardo’s infamous beat tag. From there, saxophones introduce the luscious life of discovery that comes with untold riches. Payroll’s machine-like flow acts as the supplement to the smooth jazz-like instrumental, showcasing the first of many classics in the making.

Many tracks dance on the line of being jazz with smooth instrumentals that evoke classic R & B. Payroll continues to bring his all on the project throughout and paints a picture of what’s really important to him – both material and nonmaterial. In doing this, the project transcends its title that may seem initially uninspired – it becomes a portrait of what true bosses find important in their hectic lives.

On project standout “Deep,” the 80’s and Jazz meet at a crossroads, creating a wholly unique experience. Payroll’s deeply troubling lines (“Every time I leave the crib a nigga strapped with a Glock/ Broke nigga talk stupid get slapped with a knot”) are delivered with some serious emotion that reveals the pitfalls of Boss life and what comes with it.

Payroll and Cardo have created another strong entry into the Big Bossin series. Through smooth, seductive instrumentals we find the essence of what it truly means to be a boss in 2018. By painting a vivid picture and offering some words of encouragement to live by, the pair has cemented another classic into their already noteworthy discography.

Score: 5/5

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Review: Young Roc’s “Dreams” Is Unusual, Refreshing, And Daring

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In Detroit, raw lyricism and flow are the main points of interest in the rap scene. Without either, you’re often either overlooked or chastised. But Young Roc has made a case for choosing to circumvent these rap mainstays and focus on aesthetically daring music that channels lyricism and flow through unconventional means. He traverses through songs on the backs of eclectic melodies and daring production. It’s an amazing feat that has made him someone on our “Must Watch” list. His single “Dreams” only confirms his place as one of the most creative rappers in the city.

The track’s borderline pop production is a daring choice for Roc. Knowing that due to his past music that he’ll be categorized with the more lyric-heavy artists in the city, Roc still chooses to go for the outlandish. It works in its own exciting way. Roc’s vocals on the track match the wackiness of the production, blending pop aesthetics with gritty Detroit angst. It’s a beautiful track that shows just how creative Roc can get.

Listen to “Dreams” below.

 

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Review: @SOBxRBE ‘s “Paramedic!” Is Brilliant, One Of Black Panther Soundtrack’s Best

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When Black Panther comes out, people will cause a riot in theaters; partly because the movie has received stellar reviews, but mostly because the soundtrack for the film is of the highest quality. This isn’t an assortment of randomly selected hot songs in pop culture – it’s a carefully curated project by Kendrick Lamar. One of the best songs from the soundtrack comes from the Bay Area’s SOB X RBE collective, the enchanting “Paramedic!”

Kendrick Lamar offers a brief introduction before the tribal beat cuts on, placing listeners in an almost trance-like state. We heard Kilmonger’s name used at the beginning, so it’s reasonable to assume that the song could be related to the movie’s villain. If it is, it makes even more sense – the song has a darkly erotic vibe to it. The chant of “I wish a nigga would,” is long and drawn out, adding to the uniqueness of the track. It’s an enchanting listen that will send the crowd into a frenzy when it comes on during the film.

Listen to the engrossing listen below.

 

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Review: @Tee_Grizzley Channels Detroit’s Signature Sound In “Colors”

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There’s a certain, unconscious sound that makes up the back-end of Detroit’s rap scene. It can be characterized as a bouncy, anti-trap smorgasbord of drums and hi-hats; you won’t find it anywhere else in the country. While difficult to put into words and explain, it’s what has become Detroit’s calling card. The unique sound makes each release from the city easily identifiable and wholly unique, showcasing the city’s individuality in a genre full of copycats and like-sounded individuals.

On Tee Grizzley’s new release “Colors,” this sound is immediately apparent amidst the repeating piano keys that give Detroit’s signature some added vibrancy. Whether he’s riding through Atlanta with Lil Yachty or traveling to California in search of good dope, Grizzley dances upon the track’s light production with ease. It’s a relatively straightforward release – nothing too out of the ordinary in Grizzley’s growing impressive discography – that serves as the first release from his upcoming album Activated.

Where he goes from My Moment remains to be seen. On that project, Grizzley’s initial reach for mainstream prominence caused him to look for a wide discrepancy of beats, checking off the list of probable hits by notable producers. “Colors” is reminiscent of this same sound that was explored on “From The D To The A”; the song may signal a focus towards celebrating the sound that Detroit is known for. If so, it will be an exciting project that will be sure to open the world up to the city’s intricacies.

Listen to “Colors” below.

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