Connect with us

Reviews

Review: Washington DZ by FMB DZ

Published

on

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.

Reviews

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

Published

on

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:

Continue Reading

Reviews

Review: Kash Doll’s alluring verse elevates Big Sean’s “So Good’ to the next level

Published

on

Big Sean’s Double Or Nothing will be remembered as one of the most polarizing projects of 2017. People couldn’t tell if they loved it or hated it – questionable lyric choices and the raging question of whether Sean and Boomin (who produced the project) had comparable styles made for some funny social media jokes. But the question that lingers in the mind at the end of the day is how does he ultimately fare? Does Sean do Metro’s dark production justice? For the rest of the album, there are mixed results. But on Double Or Nothing‘s fifth track “So Good,” Sean invites Kash Doll to the proceedings and the two create one of the most intense, sexually-charged rap songs in recent history.

Metro Boomin provides a hurricane of production, something that seems to only move faster as it goes. It’s been stripped down and saddled with the Bay Area’s mainstays – quick snaps, shouts of “Aye,” and trunk-rattling bass. As much as Big Sean and Kash Doll do and say on this track, Boomin’s production is the silent, yet loud, character that trades verses with the others.

And verses, that’s another beast entirely. Sean’s quips here are legendary, aimed at a woman whose very talented in the bedroom. On the song’s explicit chorus, Kash Doll’s sensual voice can be heard adding ad-libs and her own sense of sexual freedom into the mix. When she comes in for her verse, it’s more on-the-head and vulgar – in a good way – than what you’ll hear from Cardi B. or Nicki Minaj. She immediately makes it clear that she’s freaky and her verse backs it up (no pun intended).

What really makes the song work, outside of the witty wordplay provided by the two Detroit mainstays, is the chemistry between the two artists. They both offer a quiet, withdrawn delivery that belies their usual energetic method of rapping. This allows them to ride the beat in ways that help to transcend it’s pumping bass akin to a bull rider mastering the throttling beast. Their energy also plays off each other’s similar styles, egging each on to get even crazier, and raunchier. Their combined efforts have enabled them to slide in, right as 2017 ends, and release one of the best songs of the year.

When “So Good” reaches its conclusion, the impact that it’s made on your ears is a positive one. You’ll be tempted to listen to it again – just not where people can hear that you’re listening to it because boy, is it explicit. But it’s different, organic, and sexy; three adjectives that can be used to describe Kash Doll herself. The sexual tension she brings to the track elevates it from a good one to a great one. This will be the song that pushes her from the top of Detroit rap prominence to the world’s playing field.

Listen to the erotic symphony below:

Continue Reading

Reviews

Here’s A Track by Track Review of Philthy Rich’s “Sem God”

Published

on

We’ve been anticipating Philthy Rich’s new project, Sem God. His tantalizing flow makes for good party music or chill music. His versatility is why he’s still around after years of putting in hard work. Changing things up for a pace, we’ve decided to do a track by track review for Sem God. Inspired by DJ Booth, we’re going to listen to each track one time and give our honest thoughts.

Sem God

Only Philthy can start an album off on a high note without any introduction. There’s no inspirational intros, skits, or eye-rolling phone conversations meant to make us anticipate the album that we’re listening to even more. He goes off on a beat that sounds as if it was created on the steps of the church down the street. The pounding bass compliments Philthy’s silky flow to perfection. I’m almost tempted to say that this is my favorite song so far and the album just started. How will he able to keep up the already impossibly high standard he’s just set?

Around ft. Gucci Mane and Yhung T.O.

You can never go wrong with a verse from Gucci Mane, arguably the hottest rapper on the planet at the moment. Anything he touches turns into gold. Combine his sneaky flow with Philthy’s machine gun delivery and you have a track that’s nearly diamond. The production is kind of one note which detracts from the song’s replayability a tad. But it’s something that will be played on the highways of Los Angeles next summer for sure.

My Zone ft. Marko Penn

How could you describe the classic Bay Area sound? It’s very positive, energetic, and bouncy. Philthy emulates that style of rap with this track, bereft with a feature from an R & B artist able to flow on the hook nicely. This ode to women is another high point in the tracklist so far, probably beating Sem God as my current favorite. Besides the romantically charged lyrics, the production is another high point. As simple as it is, it’s perfect for the idea that the song entails.

Winning Team

Ah, we return to the Bay Area bounce for what feels like a dark flip of “My Zone.” Come play for the winning team is the message of this track, but the light-hearted delivery of the previous track has all but vanished. This is a commanding call towards women while being a chance for Philthy to flex his accomplishments as well. It’s a good track and it’s made all the more powerful by being played right after “My Zone.”

Dead Fresh ft. Money Man

From the instant that this track starts, it’s clear that this is something special. It’s different from everything else so far – it’s quiet and intimate. Money Man on this track sounds like he’s emulating the sing-songy flow of Future, but it works well. Philthy reveals that what he’s writing is off the head on this song. As fast as he raps, it’s almost unbelievable. It’s a great track, but something special feels missing. There should have been a Gucci feature on this song instead.

This One ft. Bankroll Fresh

Loud, commanding tracks are what Philthy Rich is known for. He returns to form here with a boastful track backed by commanding production as well. It’s a decent inclusion, but ultimately forgettable. I understand the message that he was going for though. Basically, everyone who ever doubted him should be eating dog shit. Bankroll Fresh’s inclusion is a brutal reminder of his untimely death. Rest up, Bankroll.

No Extras

I’m noticing a trend. When Philthy goes for darker production, he goes even harder. Imagine what he’d sound like over a Metro Boomin beat. “No Extras” might be the closest that we’ve seen so far – he’s stepped it up even more. He’s got no answer for you no matter what you ask. There’s a lot of numbers he’s throwing out on here. It’s making my head spin just thinking about it.

Big Dawg Status ft. YFN Lucci, Young Dolph, and Lil Durk

Alas, this is what I’ve been waiting for. Just crude, angry, and boastful – the perfect recipe for the go-to hype song at the gym. The beat is largely irrelevant – it’s a little lacking on the bass side – but the verses from Philthy, YFN Lucci, Young Dolph, and Lil Durk are nothing short of spectacular. I was actually shocked to hear these four together on a song. Even more, Philthy managed to bring each artist’s A game.

24 Hours ft. Payroll Giovanni and Team Eastside Peezy

Philthy Rich goes for that classic Detroit sound with this track, featuring D-Town heavyweights Payroll Giovanni and Team Eastside Peezy, and Bay Area artist Mozzy. He fucks with the D, that’s a known fact as he so eloquently puts it. He also gives us a mantra to live by: “We got the same 24 hours in a day. Stop wasting time nigga, get paid.” It’s another strong point to an already strong album.

Free JBay

This track is an ode to an associate named J Bay and it doubles as a speaker-rattling powerhouse. It’s relatively straightforward but you can feel the sentiment that he expresses for his fallen comrades, whether they’re dead or they are in the penitentiary. It’s a heartfelt song that will be added to my rotation in the next couple of days.

Plug Conversation (Bonus Track) ft. Allstar JR

Why is this a bonus track? This furious beat is the perfect pairing for Philthy Rich and featured artist Allstar JR. Philthy and JR both give strong verses about being the plug and the typical mainstays of rap superstardom. A side note: Allstar JR is quickly becoming one of the funniest rappers I’ve heard in recent memory. His comedic punchlines – I’m not sure if they’re written to be funny – remind me of Ludacris. He has a bright future ahead of him in rap.

Right Now (Bonus Track) ft. SOB X RBE, Ziggy

To cap off this album, Philthy delves back into that classic Bay Area sound to send us home on a high note. The hook for this song is a killer; props to the strong songwriting. This, like Plug Conversation, would be valuable admissions into the main tracklist. It’s a shame that they are delegated to bonuses. But then again, since they’re included with the main album, maybe that denotation should be ignored.

Overall, this is one solid album from Philthy. He continues to show his consistency and his ability to spit with the best of them. There’s no rust in his blood; he’s like the Terminator in his ability to keep going no matter what.

Score: 4/5

Continue Reading

Trending This Week

Copyright © 2018 4sho Magazine LLC.