Listening to Cuban Doll’s “Made It Now” created one of the most interesting reviewing experiences I’ve had in my life. Over the course of repeated listens, I’ve changed my opinion about the song three times now – make that four. It’s an intriguing listen that isn’t immediately digestible, but through examination of what it entails, and the characterization of Cuban Doll, it turns into a solid listen that hints at growth for the future.
You know Cuban Doll – we all do. She’s the rapper/model with that femme fatale smile and street gravitas to match,. She’s also a rapper’s rapper, whatever that means. We coined the term out of sheer emotion. She can rap her ass of without any stylistic gimmicks or claims to fame. People like to knock female rappers for being only good as other female rappers but that’s not true in the slightest. Cuban Doll, in particular, can go bar for bar with some of Detroit’s best. With the proper time and training, she’ll improve and could perhaps compete for Nicki Minaj’s spot. But right now, she’s working hard and enjoying her newfound success, evident in “Made It Now.”
The track itself, after repeated listens, sounds to be very polarizing. On one hand, it’s a fast-paced entry of Narcissistic notation that borders on annoying, while on the other, it’s a song that oozes rightfully-earned self-confidence amidst a frantic backdrop of hectic production. On the first couple of listens, the former opinion was one that I held. After having time to sit with the track, I believe I now fall in the secondary category.
For starters, the subject matter isn’t anything new to rap music – it’s about her self-confidence in the rap game now that she’s “made it” – but here it comes across as initially arrogant. She says everything matter-of-factly and to the untrained ear it can be annoying. But when taking into account how old she is, the success she’s seen, and the work that she’s put in, the raps sound better and are more digestible. It also makes the character that she portrays on the song, one that’s started trends that these rappers are following, easier to understand and root for.
Production on the track is also on the lackluster side, being pretty bare bones but serviceable. Cuban Doll brings some of her best bars to date on this track. But as usual with her, it’s not so much what she says, but how she says it. Her killer delivery sells the raps at a level that may not have worked if someone with lesser talent attempted the same thing.
In the end…it works. It takes some time to get acclimated to Doll’s character and stylistic choices but once that’s finished the track takes on a new light. While it’s not the best track to come out this year, it’s still a solid listen that deserves a chance to be heard. See what Cuban Doll has to say about the new things in her life and the trends she started.
Check out “Made It Now” below.
Here’s The Verdict on Joey Purp’s ‘QUARTERTHING”
Joey Purp’s a member of the SaveMoney crew – a Chicago based collective featuring the likes of Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa amongst other eclectic musicians – and brings a striking new element to Chicago’s music scene. When he released iiiDrops in 2016, although his sophomore project, the world was given a proper introduction into his world of street adjacent raps. He showed his ability to be introspective over a wide selection and variety of ethereal beats. His new project QUARTERTHING continues this creative selectiveness with a newfound commitment to innovation.
Over the course of its runtime, the unique cadence and flow he utilizes to channel excitement constantly grows and evolves. On tracks like “Elastic” and “Godbody Pt. 2,” Purp’s tenacity shines through the refracted lens of eclectic beat selection. Confidence is the main currency being traded on QUARTERTHING. “2012,” the album’s most nostalgic cut, even retains some of this aesthetic that helps to build immersion.
Although much of it the project is powerful, there’s a glaring misstep. “Bag Talk” has a yelling problem; one that the album tries its best to mask throughout with loud beats. But “Bag Talk” peels the veil back to showcase just how empty it sounds without the extra bells and whistles.
Nevertheless, QUARTERTHING is a powerful project that continues to showcase some serious growth for Purp. He’s proving himself to not only be one of SaveMoney’s best, but Chicago’s as well.
Review: Kash Doll’s “Ice Me Out”
Kash Doll’s latest release “Ice Me Out” is the signal of a new age for the Detroit paragon. Her raps have been traditionally delivered in luxe instrumentals, with powerful punchlines being delivered in louder tones. She’s like a female Meek Mill, only more cunning and intimate while keeping the garish tone. “Ice Me Out” changes the perception surrounding her rhymes tremendously. It’s a bold change that works out in the long run.
When Kash Doll steps into the booth, you know you’re going to get something fiery. Just listen to “Check,” one of her previous releases from a few months ago, and you’ll find the energy that she raps with to be mesmerizing. But “Ice Me Out” travels in the opposite direction from the sentiment made evident in the first release. Here, Kash Doll is much quieter, more intimate than ever before. Also, the instrumental she chooses is barebones, enabling her tantalizing lyricism to stand out in bold, exciting ways.
If you’re open to change, than “Ice Me Out” is the Kash Doll track for you. It’s much different than her past releases and gives her a platform to build her aesthetic from. It’ll be interesting to see how it grows from here.
Listen to “Ice Me Out” below.
Bandgang’s ‘In Too Deep’ is a hard-hitting opus
Bandgang’s latest project In Too Deep is the kind of hard hitting street record that everyone needs to hear. Street albums often rotate in and out of importance when the next one comes. Think about any Gucci Mane project ever. Once the next one comes, they’re often left to reside in nothingness until they become unpopular again. But not this time – In Too Deep is hard, brutal, and sits with you long after it goes off. It’s the kind of record that’ll keep you up at night when thinking about its dark intricacies. I can’t say too many other albums have had me in a similar manner.
In Too Deep is a long collection of street raps – nothing more, nothing less. These bangers come in three shapes – fast, Detroit-level knockers, slower, more thought-out hits, and plodding, introspective tunes. All three hit equally as hard. “Come From That” moves at a frighteningly fast pace with bombastic production that makes it a treat to get through. “At My Door” is a little bit slower, but equally as hard. The magnetic nature of the songwriting make each cut a treat to get through.
As far as weak spots, there aren’t any. The project’s power comes in its consistency, so, while no two songs sound the same, they carry a similar energy that makes them equally listenable. This is some of Bandgang’s finest work and you can hear the time that they spent perfecting each rime from the outside. Since it sticks with you when you turn it off, you’ll be more than excited to queue it up again. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. In Too Deep is exactly what you need to survive in these streets.