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Review: Tee Grizzley’s “Grizzley Gang” is a resounding statement of superiority

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“Hov told me quit puttin’ that money to my ear/ I gotta get used to this shit, I’m just now gettin’ here” opens up Tee Grizzley’s long and intense verse on “Grizzley Gang.” It shows his youthful view of the game; yes he likes money phones but he is just now getting here. We can’t judge him for these actions, but we can judge him for his rhymes. And that’s what makes Grizzley Gang a resounding triumph – it’s an exercise in expressing supremacy in a game full of fakes. It’s my favorite of Grizzley’s growing catalog of bangers because of the raw veracity of its lyrics.

The Bay Area of California is the antithesis of Detroit. Both areas provide drastically different sounds; Detroit’s dragging, pounding beats contrast with the light-hearted, swift nature of the Bay Area’s notable sound. Helluva, one of Detroit’s most notable producers, has managed to bridge the connection between both cultures with a sound that’s both derivative of their individual styles yet wholly original at the same time. This new sound provides the backdrop for Grizzley to smash through any semblance of  rapping restraint, roaring mightily.

The one, extended verse that we get is nearly legendary. Grizzley’s the king of no chorus verses and he makes it clear here that there’s no one around that can top him. By the end of the relatively short release, we’re eager for more.

Grizzley once again lets us know that he’s superior in every way to the scores of artists who attempt a similar style that he exhibits. It’ll surely hold the world over until the release Tee Grizzley and Lil Durk’s collaborative mixtape that comes out on December 8.

Check out “Grizzley Gang” below:

 

Features

Review: Tee Grizzley and Lil Durk’s “Bloodas” is a dark, autotune trip into fraternalism in the streets

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When Tee Grizzley and Lil Durk announced that they were working on a joint project, the rap world was understandably confused. Both artists come from different areas and gave no inkling that they were in cahoots with each other, outside of praise on social media being lauded towards each other. Even when listening to the individual rap styles of the two, it’s hard to imagine how they could coexist with each other. Tee Grizzley’s machine-gun delivery contrasts with Durk’s more melodic, lovingly crafted style of rap. How could the two work together on one song – let alone, a whole album?

Henceforth, Bloodas. It’s a ton of things – probably best described as a hurricane of emotions, fast-paced music, and conflicting styles. While much of it may bleed together in terms of beat choices, the project is strong in what it represents for hip-hop and the cities of Chicago and Detroit – peaceful coexistence and a willingness to collaborate and experiment.

Tee Grizzley is the anchor of the project, diligently punching into each beat with a delivery unlike anything else out on the market. “Feed him somethin’, he gon’ turn into a leech, that’s dead weight/Dirty AR pistol, hold up, dirty SK/Let the .40 with the dick bust on ya’ll on camera, that’s a sextape” he mixes together effortlessly on the vapid cut “Dirty Stick,” one of the project’s highlights. While he brings the lyrical assault, Durk acts as the Knuckles to Grizzley’s Sonic; his autotuned vocals give the music the extra push it needs to go from good, to great. His chaotic chorus on “Ratchet Ass” is an indicator of what he brings to the proceedings; controlled anarchy. While it may be overbearing for the course of the album in the long run – see cuts like the awkward “Melody” or “Flyers Up” where his verse can be somewhat grating – he’s a necessary presence to switch things up whenever he jumps in.

The most interesting track, by far, is “Flyers Up’ where both rappers clock in and clock out on the same track for dramatic effect. It’s done elsewhere on the album but here, it’s something special. Maybe it’s the ominous production that enables both to give some emotionally jarring performances, especially Durk who croons over Grizzley’s vocals while also giving his own contributions. It’s an oddly satisfying track with an unconventional setup. that works in the end.

With the exception of some less than stellar production, the album is a solid outing from the two. Here’s to hoping that the comradery between Tee Grizzley and  Lil Durk continues to flourish so we can receive another solid outing from the unlikely duo.

Score:

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Editorials

Review: “Pull Up N Wreck” by Big Sean ft 21 Savage (prod. by Metro Boomin)

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It’s always nice to hear Big Sean switch from sullen, introspective mode to the loose, thrill-seeking rapper that we grew to love over the course of a couple of mixtapes and a few albums. With a self-focus aspect that permeated the subject matter of his last release, I’m Decided – save for a handful of singles made for radio – his new release “Pull Up N Wreck” is a welcome look into a more enjoyable style of rap that we’ve missed.

Sean makes two decisions that define the track, making it one of the better of his last releases. The first is that he brings in superstar producer Metro Boomin to handle the production. It’s faster than what Boomin’s usually darker, more foreboding, style of beats usually entails. It’s jumpy, crass, and yet, soothing. It’ll definitely garner some spins at a party, something that previous releases like “Bounce Back” and “Moves” somewhat struggled with. The second decision is to feature a guest verse from Atlanta-rapper 21 Savage, who brings in his effortless, grimacing style of rap. 21 raps at a brisk pace, utilizing his usual array of street raps. It’s largely the same, but it works.

Combining these elements together, along with some creative bars from Sean himself, creates a track that works on multiple levels. It may not be his most lyrical or his most entertaining party-grabbing anthem, but it’s solid nonetheless. With it coming so soon after the release of I Decided – which just recently went platinum – is it an indicator of another project? If so, we’re ready to see if the fun-loving style of “Pull Up N Wreck” will be a consistent theme of the project or just an isolated instance.

Score:

3.9/5

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Reviews

Review: “Cold Summer” by Jeezy ft. Tee Grizzley

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Street rappers make the best music, DJ Drama said it best. The language he used may have been more colorful, but in the end, the fact remains true that rappers who come from the struggle often times make the best music available. This effect doubles when two of those artists come together for the same track. Jeezy’s “Cold Summer” featuring Tee Grizzley is an indicator of that: two wordsmiths from two very different areas use an angry beat to describe a similar street experience that transcends their locations.

Jeezy’s continued relevance is something that many artists of his age bracket often struggle with. He manages to stay on the tip of peoples’ tongues because he’s able to compete at the lyrical level of the younger generation without coming off as corny or out of place. His street panache makes him a logical pairing for Tee Grizzley who’s youthful appearance and strong rap style are somewhat resemblant of a younger Jeezy’s own career beginnings.

The beat that they choose seems dipped in Detroit’s harsh style of bass-heavy production but laced with Atlanta’s melodic trappings, ever so lightly. Over the combined production, Jeezy and Grizzley spit some serious bars. Grizzley brings it back to Detroit with “I’m from Detroit, baby that’s a wild city/Hop on to that block party give the crowd 50” painting a harsh picture of the city’s street life. Over the course of just over three minutes, both street rappers paint vivid pictures of their lives now and the lives that they lived that made them the powerhouse lyricists they are today.

All in all, it’s a solid track that’s sure to be a single from Jeezy’s upcoming album. Check it out below:

 

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