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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

Artist To Watch

Sean Cole Unleashes Compelling Video For “Ma Drip”

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“Ma Drip,” from Sean Cole’s latest project, Timeless, is now available on all streaming platforms. 

Minnesota-based rapper, Sean Cole, is making waves with his catchy lyrics and melodic sound. The rapper sound is known for that late-night vibe type of sound, reminiscent of Drake while rapping about real things, such as his “upbringing, his struggles, his success, his journey, and ultimately” making a better life for his family.

Sean’s latest project is full of bops that will definitely get you moving around and bobbing your head. The twelve-track project is full of catchy punchlines and a hell of a rhythm. The project does not disappoint one bit. 

The visual for “Ma Drip” has officially been released, and it’s everything fans can be excited about. Watch it below.

The Cash Money AP-produced track showcases Sean Cole quite literally “drippin” in money throughout the video. Flexing his chains and his outfit as he makes his way through the scenes.

Highlighting some standout anthem tracks from the project, “Ma Drip,” No Assist,” and “Squad,” featuring OG Maco, are all banging songs with memorable lyrics and an impeccable cadence. His other standout track, “Tap Out,” has a chiller sound but is still an anthem regardless and something that you can vibe out. 

Sean Cole’s sound on the project is fun and versatile. He showcases his authenticity, which can be seen by his musical influences “Mel Davis, Jay Z, Kanye West, Musiq Soulchild, and Marvin Gaye.” Their originality and zest have certainly played a role in shaping Sean Cole’s melodic sound. 

“You know my music represents the people who have big dreams, to the people who do not have the opportunity to get their voice heard,” Sean Cole says. “Through my music, they can finally feel represented, like their voice matters.” 

Sean’s message is evident in his music, continuously talking about his life and struggles and just trying to make it for his family’s sake, and mother who is still in Libera, and make them as proud as possible. He makes music so people can relate to his story and the struggles he has faced. 

Make sure to check out the “Ma Drip” visual and follow Sean Cole on IG @SeanColeOfficial.

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Artist To Watch

BurnaMaleik Is Here To Stay With New Visual Project ‘U Evol I’

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St. Louis rapper Burna Maleik takes pride in his versatility and the diversity of his sound, be on the lookout for his new project, U Evol I, out everywhere now!

Brandon Maleik Hawkins, known by his artist name, BurnaMaleik, is a St. Louis artist making a name for himself with his versatile sound and lyrical wordplay. With his ability to adapt to any beat, whether that be R&B, traditional hip-hop, or trap, BurnaMaleik can acclimate to any sound and make it his own. He’s a unique artist to be on the lookout for because his diverse sound is what makes him different than his peers.

Starting his journey in music at the very young age of 10 but not seriously starting pursuing it until he was in his 20s, BurnaMaleik claims his upbringing has influenced his music and sound growing up. He says his parents are responsible for his versatility and diverse sound because they exposed him to different artists and genres. “From Luther Vandross to the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony,” the variation of melody is what BurnaMaleik says influenced him and his relationship with music. 

“I pride myself on the variety of sounds I make as an artist,” he said in a recent interview. “When the record comes on, you know it’s BurnaMaleik, and no matter what style of rap you prefer, BurnaMaleik will have at least one record you enjoy.”

His love for music and his fans keeps him motivated and gives him the tenacity to keep doing better. Burna wants his fans to take away that his music has both the fun-trap beat and the conscious flow on the same track, and that you do not need to limit yourself and with one or the other because the two can exist simultaneously. 

Burna feels there is no “need to take away substance to make hit records” and that you can have the hard beat with a conscious flow at the same time. He hopes his audience understands that they too can make songs with lyrical content and a message over a fun-beat. 

His newest project, U Evol I, has an overall Trap-Soul album feel, with the versatility and lyrical malice that audiences have come to expect from BurnaMaleik. U Evol I is Burna’s first official EP in his discography. The project is a visual and conceptual album and gives you a visual representation of light to darkness, from the albums’ start to finish. 

The visual project is an extension of his music, as each song takes you deeper and deeper into this sensual world and the dangers of love and trust created by BurnaMaleik. The visual takes place in a hotel room, where the scene goes from light to dark, or happy and sexual to mysterious and sinister. The energy changes as time passes in the hotel room, making for an incredible narrative and idea for a video. BurnaMaliek’s visual highlights a different aspect of the song. BurnaMaliek expands and illustrates each lyric of his song onto the screen up until the ultimate climax of his story, the demise of love and his partner being collateral damage. 

The project is creatively impressive and is available on all streaming platforms. In the meantime, also stay in touch with BurnaMaleik via his IG @burnamaleik


Check out his latest visual album, U EVOLI, below.

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Artist To Watch

Arkansas rapper Lil Dolfin releases hard-hitting EP ‘Dolfin Not Dolphin’

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Lil Dolfin is an independent artist who’s name already grabs audiences attention. The Pine Bluff, AR native’s recently dropped a new four track EP called Dolfin Not Dolphin which showcases a masterfully crafted sound that Dolfin has been working on since he was nine.

When asked about how he came up with the name Lil Dolfin, he explained that he got his name in junior high from his friends. 

“I got my name in Jr. high school from close friends,” he explained. “I used to wear a lot of Pink Dolphin clothing. First it was Lil Dolphin, then as I got older I changed it to Lil Dolfin.”

The lead single off of Dolfin Not Dolphin is “King Kong,” a bubbly track that gives Dolfin the space to both showcase his work ethic and flex. With lyrics like “keep a lot of green on me, from the sun up, busting out the jeans on me” and “she know I touch money but stack up a lot,” Dolfin creates a perfect introduction to his sound for new listeners. The single also was released with a dope visual, which compliments the track even further.

Dolfin, born Darron Eaves, follows “King Kong” with “No T-Shirt.” Dolfin doubles down on a breakneck, NBA Youngboy-esk flow that shatters the Cali rap-influenced beat. Dolfin’s next track is a complete 180 from the first two, and further showcases his talents and skills.

“Avenue” capitalizes on the money hungry nature of “King Kong ” but slows the flow and instrumental down to a much more leisurely pace. With the “welcome to my avenue” line in the beginning of the song and Dolfin’s call and response flow, Eaves makes the track feel almost like a tour of his life. 

Dolfin’s final track “They Don’t Wanna” utilizes a Lil Baby type flow to detail people who look down on him. Lines like “they don’t wanna see a young n**** grind, I been putting in overtime” and “I hear voices they be talking saying I’m mixed up in the times, so when I rap this shit I do it to make a million every time” illustrate his ability to shake off those who have negative opinions of him.

As far as the message that Dolfin wants audiences to take away from his music, he says he wants people to feel inspired to “never give up” and “never stop going because it’s never too late.”

Check out Dolfin Not Dolphin below and follow Lil Dolfin on Instagram and Twitter!

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