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Review: “Beef” by Tee Grizzley ft. Meek Mill

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It was only a matter of time before Tee Grizzley and Meek Mill collaborated on something – and it’s done in the most tasteful way imaginable. Two of Hip Hop’s most veritable voices in street livelihood combine on a track that brings the raw energy of Detroit rap and the guttural bars commonplace in Philadelphia’s music scene. Tee Grizzley comes in menacingly, uttering “Meek, you got your strap?” before the proceedings get under way.

The production by Helluva, one of Detroit’s rappers go-to producers who also made the beat for Grizzley’s smash single “First Day Out,” rides the delicate line of being ominous yet alluring as well. It’s also similar in style to “First Day Out,” so Grizzley is clearly in his comfort zone – churning out what may be a new career best opening verse. “I leave his whole body bloody, call him Red Man/Hit the club in them Audi trucks and threw bands,” he raps effortlessly.

Meek Mill comes in for his verse hot off the heels of the track’s catchy chorus. From the opening line, you can tell that this isn’t some phoned-in verse. Meek’s no fool – he know’s exactly who he’s on a track with. Bullshit won’t fly, especially with someone whose cosigns from Lebron James and Jay-Z have catapulted his career trajectory into the stratosphere. Meek brings his A-game, perhaps taking his own rap career to a new level. “Load the chopper, crack the window when we rollin’ by (There it go)/Fuck a drive-by, run ’em down so we know we got ’em (Hit ’em)/Know we chopping, test ’em and we leave you Holy Bible (Woo)/All this money got me thinking what I owe my rivals (Pussies)” he spits vivaciously, making you realize that despite the many notable events of his personal life over the past couple of years, he really is one of the best lyricists in the game. That Grizzley managed to bring the beast out of the Philadelphia rapper is an achievement within itself.

There’s no other way to say it – “Beef” is a worthy follow-up to “First Day Out,” cementing another strong single in Grizzley’s growing catalog. The career-best verse from Meek Mill will sure add to the replayability and mainstream radio pick-up of the track. With Grizzley’s now known ability for creating high-quality tracks, it’ll be tough to continuously raise the bar with each new track.

Listen to the track yourself below.

Reviews

Revisiting: Finally Famous Vol. 3 by Big Sean

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Big Sean Finally Famous 3

In 2010, Big Sean’s star power was rising rapidly. He hadn’t yet released “My Last” so he wasn’t the household name that we know today, but he had a large core of fans who were deeply rooted in his handful of releases. A quick release of a mixtape trailer shortly before it dropped had fans amped for when it’d finally come out. Upon release, people eagerly devoured it. Critics praised it for its originality and lyrical content while fans were also happy to just have some new music from Sean. The tape had a large part in ushering in the Big Sean era of rap music, introducing his signature flow and rap style to a new audience, and inspired a generation of Detroit rappers to take up the mantle as the city’s savior when he passes the bar.

The project has withstood the test of time well with it still widely being considered his best work. Today, we revisit some of the standout tracks that made the mixtape amazing. Be prepared to head on over to LiveMixtapes and download it. You won’t regret it.


Final Hour

From the moment the beat drops, Big Sean declares himself a new figure in rap’s dangerous game. It’s an amazing intro that gives us a glimpse into Sean’s powerful personality.


Hometown

Big Sean loves Detroit, and Detroit loves him back. This ode to the beauty of his Hometown appeared on FF3, before he blew up. He owes it all to the city and he knows it. By professing his love, he cemented himself in Detroit history.


Too Fake (feat. Chiddy Bang)

This might be one of the more underrated tracks on the whole project. The relatively easy-going nature set by the beat, Sean’s verse, and the featured artists, went against what rap music was at around the time. It made for a great listen that inspired some of the music following its release.


Supa Dupa Lemonade

Who could forget the infamous “Supa Dupa Lemonade” that inspired rappers with its signature rap style? Big Sean went in over Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade” beat so hard that the song became his own. There were so many quotable lines spit here that just about every bar circulated on Twitter feeds for months after the project’s release.


Ambiguous (feat. Mike Posner and Clinton Sparks)

Big Sean collaborated with Mike Posner and Clinton Sparks for the soundtrack to 2010 and 2011 kickbacks. This slow and mellow jam introduced a new audience to Big Sean and Mike Posner, with the latter going on a brief run in relevancy before simmering down.

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Review: Washington DZ by FMB DZ

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Midway through the opening track “Hard To Kill” you’ll likely panic because it sounds like FMB DZ is out of breath. Are you about to hear him pass out on the track? Have no fear. This sense of morbid anticipation becomes a trademark of the listening experience of the album because DZ’s delivery reeks with excitement – he’s anxious to get his message out. Going into the album, if you don’t know much about the Detroit rapper, you’ll learn plenty enough to decide whether you like him or not. Judging by the project’s content, I’m pretty sure you will. By making use of some surprising instrumentation and keeping things short and sweet, DZ manages to gift a package that appetizes just enough to make the world eagerly anticipate another project.

DZ’s delivery could best be described as the perfect mix of guttural and smooth. It helps that he delivers at such a brisk pace because it covers up a lack of lyrical depth that other reviewers would knock off points for. I understand that not all rap music has to be an exercise in deciphering lyrics on Genius, so I find DZ’s content to be perfectly fine. He’s in the business of lifestyle and scenario raps, not verbal hieroglyphics. When he comes in at the beginning of any track, he comes prepared to kill: and that he does. His entrance on “Can’t Hang” plays off of the synths in the background nicely, almost as if he’s sneaking onto the microphone. The best comparison that can be derived would be Yung Gleesh, if Glessh put effort into his extremely casual raps. Of the two, DZ definitely has a leg up.

“Can’t Hang” is a noticeable stand out because of its relatively short length and complexity. Although the tracklist, in terms of song length, follows the pattern set on this song, the production quality varies. The simplistic production on “The Run” makes it sounds more like noise than the backhand support for DZ’s fierce, yet relaxed delivery. Elsewhere, on “Turn Around,” a similar production style is used – almost to the same, somewhat messy effect. But in both instances, DZ’s bars come through to save the day. On the latter track, DZ raps “I don’t give a fuck about your big homie/Big Bully on me, can’t no nigga out here pick on me” invoking the feelings of paranoia, acceptance, and bravado he projects onto listeners.

Aside from these two tracks, the production is surprisingly good. The prominent feature of snare drums on each track cuts across his vocals in a loud, brash statement that probably wouldn’t work for other rappers. Here, it acts as a metronome that DZ constantly refocuses and reshapes his verses around. Maybe the effect is unintentional, but it makes each listen very interesting because you can hear where he’s reformatting things. There’s also some serious piano play here, and a surprising saxophone appearance on “Voices” that sounds nothing short of beautiful. Producers on the project put in some serious work to lace DZ with their best work.

At 14 tracks, the project feels just right. DZ wrapped things up on a speedy note but left fans anticipating more. In an age where artists care more about streams – so they stuff releases with 20+ tracks – someone who realizes the value in creating a tightly put together package is very appreciated. Once the ending rolls around, you’ll be prepared to give it another spin – and you won’t feel exhausted.

By keeping it concise, DZ has created a project that’s both a joy to listen to and easily replayable. Questionable production on a couple of tracks isn’t enough to take away from interesting experimentation and DZ’s unique delivery. This should be the project that brings him to the forefront of both Detroit and mainstream rap success.

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Review: Talk That Shit 2 by BandGang Lonnie

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BandGang Lonnie Bands Talk That Shit 2

Drake’s More Life was marketed as not an album, but a playlist. This was a smart ploy – it
described how come there weren’t any linking factors between songs, making it easier to just
release loose tracks a music. Nobody had came with a statement like that before. It’s impact on the game was expected to be minimal, making little ripples in a giant ocean. With the arrival of Bandgang Lonnie’s new project, Talk That Shit 2, the idea of the playlist has seen its first acknowledgement from other rappers. The project is an amalgamation of drill and hardcore rap that by lacking any cohesiveness has its similar tracks’ appeal strengthen.

Lonnie knows his sound. It’s a problem that many artists often struggle with, evident in albums that stretch out in every direction looking for mainstream success. Lonnie sounds at home over his choices of pounding 808s, trap snares, and piano riffs. “It’s some murders I can’t talk about/So we ain’t finna talk about it,” he says in a tired voice on “Dope and Hoes.” As exhausted as he sounds from running the streets, he manages to portray that in addition to his effort to craft good music. His attempts go through nicely.

Due to the similar nature of the beat selection, many songs can be played in rapid succession even if nothing connects them thematically. What Lonnie’s given us is a collection of trap flavored records that showcase his hazy stylings. Standout track “What’s The Problem” featuring BandGang Masoe sounds extra slow and menacing. Think about the type of music you’d here on a Michael Myers movie in 2017. Masoe comes through with a singing/rapping hybrid verse, building on the already established Lonnie aesthetic.

By the end of the project, you’ll want to run it back to see what you’ve missed. Once you do that, you’ll find that you didn’t actually miss out on anything and that’s fine. Talk That Shit 2 is a collection of music created by a man who knows his sound. He gives fans what he knows and what they want. He largely succeeds, creating a worthy body of work that will be sure to attract newcomers as well.

 

 

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