MAGNA CARTA…HOLY GRAIL : A REVIEW

 

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Jay Z’s 12th studio album. Hov is still one of the few artistes to have successfully been able to combine commercialism and content and make a profit off of it.  [Dude, Hov needs no introduction]. To get in this album I had to jam Reasonable Doubt and The Black Album cos I believe those are his best albums so far. So forgive me if I review this with high expectations.

Holy Grail ft Justin Timberlake

Can’t even take my daughter for a walk, see ’em by the corner store
I feel like I’m cornered off enough is enough, I’m calling this off
Who the fuck I’m kidding though, I’m getting high, sitting low

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This starts off with a scintillating chorus from JT before Hov proceeds to spit some of his regular stuff. The Nirvana sample didn’t really make much sense here. [Here’s the thing if any artiste is gonna make a track like this, it’s either it’s completely awesome or it’s not and in this case it’s not, I have nothing against the track I think it’s very okay but it fails more than it excels].

Picasso Baby

My Mirandas don’t stand a chance with cops
Even my old fans like “old man just stop”
I could if I would but I can’t, I’m hot
And you blow, I’m still the man to watch
Hublot on my left hand or not

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The first and second verses have Hov spitting some artistic shii. After the break, He goes into this “99 problems” flow mode but this one has him sending shots out to Fox news, the paparazzi and fans that have lost faith in him. The way he flows on this beat is just craY and the beat itself is a being on it’s own. The song title should read JayZ ft the Beat. It’s that good. [The sound of the slapping electric bass and the 3rd verse >>>]

Tom Ford

District of Columbia, guns on y’all Tumblrs
Fuck hashtags and retweets, nigga
140 characters in these streets, nigga

From the moment the song started, I was already head bobbing and imagining a video for this song. The only problem here is his flow when he starts rapping, he almost sounds like he’s buffering or loading. The best parts of this song are the beat and the hook but the verses just fall short of being good enough for a Hov rap album.

FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt ft Rick Ross

I don’t bop, I do the money dance – Rick Ross

Hov keep gettin’ that dinero, got it
Even if a nigga gotta Robert, get it? –  Jay-Z

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The beat has this H-Town feel to it (the late Pimp C of UGK was the dude talking about the importance of jewels on the intro), that bump-your-head-and-drive-in-slow-mo feel. Ross’ verse on this isn’t that spectacular as he takes too many pauses (the buffering thing again) and he doesn’t fully connect with the beat. Hov, on the other hand, speeds it up and spits some of that raw raw. All in all, this is another really good track. [I just have to talk, this track is one of the best moments on this album from the intro to the hook and yes Ross’ pauses work so well with the idea of the song (he was lika a hype man for the track, brilliant) the track has a whole bounce feel to it even hov didn’t speed it up that much, you just have to enjoy the feel of the track and do the ‘money dance’]

Oceans ft Frank Ocean

Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace
I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket

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This is an awesome song. The concept being that the same seas that rich black men yacht on are the same seas that their forefathers were brought to the Americas on. It’s essentially a re-imagined form of Ye’s New Slaves. The hook by Frank Ocean is perfect and Hov also doesn’t disappoint with the layered lyrics about the new fortunes of old slaves. #NewRules

F.U.T.W (fuck up this world)

You know I’m gon’ shine like a trillion watts
You know a nigga trill as Michael Jackson socks
Sendin’ light out to Compton and the hundred blocks
Lil bastard boy, basking on top

Hov is more laid back on this and his words are louder than his voice on this. This song has Hov talking about being the face of the black community. [This is Hov in his element, just gotta love it].

Somewhere in America

New money, they looking down on me
Blue bloods they trying to clown on me
You can turn up your nose high society
Never gone turn down the homie

This one is more of a slow jazz vibe like the sort of stuff they play in Upper class clubs while people are eating. I don’t really get the song cos there’s really no theme to it, it’s just 2minutes and 27 seconds of Hova ignorance. [Nah, the track is about racism from his perspective as a wealthy man, it’s another really great moment. If you just follow the idea and thought of the verse, you would really appreciate the end more]

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Crown ft Travi$ $cott

You in the presence of a king
Scratch that, you in the presence of a god
Put in the belly of the beast

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This sounds like a Yeezus beat but Ye wasn’t even on this. The production on this one is Mike Dean, Travis Scott & WondaGurl (some 16 year old girl. Makes you think “What am i doing with my life?”). The beat is crazy and Hov matches it with god comparisons and that awesome “caine and able” line. I actually liked this so much, I set it as my ringtone. [Didn’t feel the hook from Travis on this, all through my mind kept going to Ross’ ‘hold me back’ hook].

Heaven

Getting ghost in the Ghost, can you see me? Can you see me?
Have mercy on a Judas, angel wings on a ‘ghini
I’m secular, tell the hecklers seckle down
Y’all religion creates division like my Maybach partition
And God is my chauffeur, boy they love Hova

Ok, that lasted just 30 seconds. This is my new rigntone. The Aerosmith sample was used so well and Hov once again murked this. [The way Hov played around with the rhymes on this and the thought of the track itself is just awesome and also the way he sells the idea is just brilliant]

Versus (interlude)

Your last shit ain’t better than my first shit
Your best shit ain’t better than my worst shit

This interlude has Hov dismissing all rappers who believe they’re on his level. Too short. [ I guess he doesn’t have time to be going at niggas again]. No time

Part II (on the run) ft Beyonce

Matching tatts, this Ink don’t come off
Even if rings come off, if things ring off

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Part 2 of 03Bonnie & Clyde? I think so. The message here is essentially the same. This is a love song for gangsters. Pretty good song. [ There is no denying that Hov and Bey make great music together and this is no exception, it’s a great composition, all the elements just come together really well]

Beach is Better (interlude)

I brought sand to the beach cause my beach is better
You can keep ya beach cause that beach whatever

This track is so good yet so short. I mean the beat sounded like H.A.M but it was just so so short.

BBC ft Beyonce, Nas

My whole life is leisure
Gangsta lean like the Pisa – Nas

Rope chains, Rakim and Eric B
Bought my sidekicks Suzuki Jeeps and Cherokees
Hoop earrings, coupes with the rear cameras
Put that bitch in a cherry M3 – Jay-Z

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This song makes up for the brevity of the previous track. This one has the other god on it and it lives up to expectation. I can’t even say that one artiste outshined the other. Really. [This is a fun track as it is supposed to be (don’t compare Nas and Jay), it’s one I can listen to for days].

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JayZ Blue (Daddy Dearest)

Father never taught me how to be a father, treat a mother
I don’t wanna have to just repeat another leave another
Baby with no daddy want no mama drama
I just wanna take her back to a time when everything was calmer
Out in Paris on a terrace watching the Eiffel Tower
And a Ferris wheel yet and still, nothing could prepare us
For the beauty that you be Blue be

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This song is for his daughter (obviously). It sounds sorta disjointed with the Mommy Dearest snippets and Biggie’s grunts plus the beat just seems everywhere [check your ears brah]. There are a couple of quotable lines on this but I’m just not feeling it.  Oh shit. Ok, I jammed this again and it’s not bad. Not bad at all. [ it’s actually very good].

La Familia

You must gonna hide your whole family
What you think we wearing black for
Ready for that war, ready for that war, ready
You ain’t ready yo, you radio, you ain’t really ready

Nah. I can’t deal with this. Nah. [ Yo! He’s preparing the family for war, this is serious business, not sure what war tho *sigh]

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Nickels and Dimes

Got a thing for nickel plated nines and pretty dimes
Mac-11 I squeeze like lemon limes
Squirt obey your thirst, fashion lines

There are some lines that just fail on this track but at the same time, there are some really good ones. This track is okay too. It takes a particular mood to actually enjoy this one.

In Conclusion

The album, on the whole, is great but as Hov as always done in recent times, it’s almost unbearable at times to listen to some lines that you’d only expect from a less skilled MC like Meek Mill or Trinidad James (Yes, I just put Millie and TJ in the same category. Sue me). Thing is, Hov is trying to be a lot of things at once (Agent, Businessman, CEO, Record label owner and Rapper) and it seems like he just didn’t give this his full attention. This seems like a half-hearted attempt at an album.

The album leans towards being classic for the better part but then it leans towards FAILing, it almost subtracts from the rest of the tracks..

The production on this is top notch as should be expected from an album that boasts Rick Rubin, Timbaland and Pharell as producers.

There’s a lot to say about this album but I’m just going to stop here and give this album a B. Bite me.

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THE GIFTED: A REVIEW

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It’s usually really hard for me to listen to Wale cos he either sounds boring or conflicted. He used to be known as this DC rapper that spits knowledge but then he joined MMG and what he was spitting didn’t add up to his new lifestyle. His last album, Ambition, was just about 30% good and didn’t live up to expectation. Let’s hope this one does. [You just can’t give a nigga credit can you?]

The curse of the Gifted

I eat this game and shit this out

My dirty drawers got winning streaks

The title of the song is rather self explanatory and a twist of Hov’s “the gift and the curse”. The song starts off with a couple of dudes spraying a statue of Wale (that’s probably sometime in the future). Not a great song but a good enough start to the album with Wale’s live band providing the instrumentals. [This is just some background music basically].

LoveHateThing ft Sam Dew

Listen when you get the keys it’s seldom, you don’t  get the beef

Make a nigga wanna get the piece to get to peace

Like the first line says, this song was inspired by Marvin Gaye. This is about how you can’t be loved by all and even the people that hate you with still hate you at some point. This is a strong track which is sort of a throwback to the mixtape Wale days. I guess this is the New Black Soul that he has been hyping so much. Really good track with Wale’s regular flow.

Sunshine

Before I love a industry girl I’ll marry civilian

Picture a young, rich former taking me serious

This song has Wale going back to his poetic style which gets really boring really fast but on this one, he is able to keep it lively with the drums and that dope-ass chorus.

Heaven’s Afternoon ft Meek Mill

Been a week since he seen his mother

And 18 since he seen the other

-Wale

I was so fresh, so clean when I stepped on that scene

Pulled up Aston Martin, you could ask them ya’ll seen

-Meek Mill

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Born to lose, built to win. Wale believes that line can sum up his whole career cos even though he had all the odds stacked against him, he was still able to make it in rap.

Golden Salvation

The Good Book said praise

But you so stuck in your ways

You got my image appraised

 Wale’s own ode to Jesus Pieces and jewelry in general (everyone has their own Jesus Piece song now). His own ode presents a more introspective view into hip hop’s obsession with rocking gold chains. A strong track. It is told from the perspective of Jesus [now that’s daring, gotta respect that] .(For another example of a track where Wale raps like this, jam RATHER BE ft JCole and Curren$y where they all rap about box/puss). This song deserves more than a couple of replays. [sadly as dope as this track is, it’s the shortest; of all the tracks to cut short].

Vanity

Ya ain’t pay up for no pussy but you pay for what she see

This song tho. He uses this song-like flow on this that just goes in perfectly with the beat and the overall feel of the song. As the title indicates, it is a song about Vanity. [for me wale doesn’t do too much on the track, he just allows the flow of the music do the work and he goes with that flow, it’s just him vibing out on a sampled track].

Gullible ft CeeLo Green

What if they told you this music was bogus?

The government run it, they controllin’ the culture

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We all know TV killed the Radio. Imagine a time where you didn’t need to see how an artiste looked before deciding he was good, where reputation was based solely on flow.  A really good song with CeeLo singing some angelic stuff on the chorus. This song has Wale talking about how the media has affected the society and the way people think. [the idea appears pretty golden, good stuff, I like the way he expresses the idea but he doesn’t exactly kill the track as I would have wanted]

Bricks ft Lyfe Jennings and Yo Gotti

Can’t shoot, can’t dribble, can’t rap

Young nigga don’t got no options

-Wale

First time I heard bricks, I was thinking construction

Until my ‘migo plug from Mexicó gave me my  introduction (now)

-Yo Gotti

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This song is about the boom in dope peddling and how he tried to keep himself above it due to the fact that he can actually rap. Yo Gotti surprised me with his verse on this one, I was expecting total lil-wayne-like crap but his verse was like a brief Autobiography of Yo Gotti. Another really good song.

Clappers ft Juicy J and Nicki Minaj

And I ain’t hating mama, fact I wanna take your  number

Said you save yo bread from Magic something  happened then went Voila!

-Wale

Your chick to be, I be a getting her pregnant in her throat

-Juicy J

Got ass for days, come activate

This ass on fire evacuate

Throw that ass in the air, evaporate

-Nick Minaj

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At last! This is the first party track on this album and it’s really good despite the verse from Nicki Minaj. Juicy J’s verse isn’t that good [it’s never really supposed to be] but on a party beat, it just works. [You cannot make songs like this without including Juicy J, and wale makes that work for him, good track]

Bad Remix ft Rihanna

You froze with it, you try and play Sub Zero I be  Scorpion

Pshh get over here today

Smellin’ like Jean Paul, got the ye

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This song has already been remixed once so I don’t really think this remix is of much use as it is. It’s a good track anyway just not as good as the original. [I was expecting that, but truth is this Is a very well remixed track, the texture in Rihanna’s voice was lovely and the way they blended in the song just makes it dope, and I’m not even gonna compare it to the original, same song but just different].

Tired of Dreaming ft Neyo and Rick Ross

And no, I won’t OD, you’ll get D, young as 19

I believe age is for math, all I need is chemistry

-Wale

Bonita Applebaum – my strawberry letter

Love Potion #9, this shit’s a gifted era

-Rick Ross

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Another good track which would be pretty average if not for the chorus by Neyo. [mostly cos it’s more of an RnB ft Rap song and that should be the other way, doesn’t feel right]. Not the best verse from Wale but Rozay’s verse has to count as one of his best (I guess whoever wrote that was paid 5 figures).

Rotation ft Wiz Khalifa and 2chainz

I define the odds, 2 Glock nines is my body guards

Ain’t nothing slick to a can of oil

-2chainz

A nigga like me don’t smoke blunts so I keep those  joints in rotation

Bad bitches calling the radio, keep my joints in  rotation

Keep throwing money on her ass, she keep that  joint in rotation

First I’m in a car and then another car, I keep them  joints in rotation

-Wiz Khalifa

Like a nigga out the globe, with a nigga throwed

Like a cornerback in the flat, nigga in the zone

-Wale

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An ode to the sacred leaf with Wiz Khalifa and 2chainz. 2chainz spits his regular “2 bracelets,4 chains” stuff and Wiz Khalifa spits his regular “rhyme with one word 5 times” stuff (although Khalifa’s style works this type cos he uses “joints in rotation” in four different ways). A good track. [good blunt music]

Simple Man

Ayo I’m goin places, Dior Homme lacin all occasions

And Lord gave me amazing thinking and short  patience

This song was usually produced by Wale himself and the beat is aiite with a slow first verse and a sped up second verse. You have to jam it to believe it cos I even thought this song would be crap cos of the title and the fact that it was produced by Wale. Pleasant surprise. [he samples Pac on this and well he doesn’t quite cut it for me, it’s not bad but it’s really good].

88

They tryna see me fail

Just know my thinking and my sneakers rare

Get that Chi-Town love, I’m in Leaders gear

This track talks about Wale’s spectacular sneaker game. This track also compares Wale’s career to that of one of the greatest: Michael Jordan [lol he’s trippin on his laces] (I actually consider him the fifth greatest after Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson).[like how is this relevant to us?][only thing I really enjoyed about this track were the instrumentals, Awesome shii].

Black Heroes

This cold poet just throw up quotables to give em hope

Go and slow up haters train of thoughts with brain storms

This song has Wale concentrating more on the lyrical aspect of music as this song plays without a readymade or commercial-like chorus. If this is what we’re to expect from the album about Nothing then this is a sign of good things to come.

The outro about nothing serves as the intro to Wale’s second album of 2013. The white dude speaking is Jerry Seinfeldof Seinfeld fame and the inspiration behind Wale’s breakout EP.

Bad ft Tiara Thomas

She hurt feelings, she break hearts

She stay quiet, she play smart

She take pride, in going out

Getting hollered at, and saying nah

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The original bad that samples an old Tiara Thomas song (meaning Rihanna’s song was the RIHmix of the remix of the sampled mix of the original). Another good track that is prolly better suited to the ladies.

Conclusion

 While he has appered to have lost some parts of his former self, he has improved on the parts he has left and added to that. He’s still the type of guy who wears too much cologne, but at least he’s figured out the scent that works best for him.

This album is surprisingly good but that might be because I expected absolutely nothing from him on this album [you should be ashamed of yourself]. This album was the last one I downloaded of all the Albums released in June and it took me even longer to actually listen to it. The production on this is also pretty good but the major part of this is the wordplay and delivery which he does so well on most of the tracks.

This album presents a more mature side to Wale’s media persona. It’s a return to the introspective,thoughtful and somewhat wiser Wale. Even though the album is 16 tracks long, it doesn’t feel too long at all. Instead, it feels a bit short. Some tracks were not needed at all eg Bad or Bad Remix (Bad was already on FOLARIN) and some songs just need a particular mood to be enjoyed.

[The album is actually pretty long cos most of the tracks take longer than they should( some became a drag towards their ends) and that kinda brings a drawback to the whole vibe of the album. Also, this album has some really good collabos which even goes kinda unnoticeable cos there very few rappers he worked with o this. The album is like in two phases, first you get the whole soulful instrumental thing going for like the first 7 tracks on the album and then it just kinda switches to a more urban ‘MMG’ feel for another 6 tracks and then back again to the instrumental feel. That in a way kinda brings a sense of ‘confusion’ into the mix tho it doesn’t sound bad but it kinda splits the musical idea of the album in two. So some people might like one part of the album and the detest the rest and vice versa but from a commercial point of view it actually really pays off cos it allows the album to cut across well and reach different types of music lovers]… 

I’m going to have to give this a B-

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SUMMER KNIGHTS: A REVIEW

 

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Another mixtape from one of the 2013 XXL freshmen. He has being labelled as the next king of the East Coast.

Alowha

Used to be mad premature now I’m mad premium

From lookin’ up to niggas, to lookin’ up niggas  meetin’ ’em

The project kicks off with an announcement introducing the champion from Flatbush, NY.  Once the introduction fades out, we witness shattering cymbals and a slightly darker and more sadistic beat, the kinda stuff he probably grew up listening to. This is a strong start to the album and it’s reminiscent of his previous work.

Hilary $wank

Fulfill your needs with similes non similar

Spit that unfamiliar, put that on familia

If ya love Hip Hop, ladies rub your papillas

Fellas beat they chest like they Silverback Gorillas

We don’t say swag no more, we say swank (Who still says Swag?) [swag].  On this one, Joey squeezes long bars over a looped jazz beat perfectly. Finding a particular couplet to quote on this one is pretty hard cos there’s a gem in almost every line. Strong stuff. [This track is one of the reflections of his true talent]

My Yout ft Collie Budz

One hand on the mac, one hand on my sac

I’m thinking to myself what if I handed it back

But I gotta hand it to myself I’m handling rap

This is another good track with the beat paying homage to Joey’s Jamaican roots. There isn’t a lot that I can say about this track cos it’s just good but it’s not exceptionally good. Nothing spectacular about it. [it was nice listening to him go in on a reggae beat I must say]

Death of YOLO ft Smoke Dza

International, my bread is well earned

L’s burn, smash hoes in Melboure

Light skinned jawn, look like Chanel I’mon

One night, got her hooked, like I’m heroin

-Smoke Dza

And now it’s new beginnins, catch me sinnin’ in Sin  City

Sittin’ and spinnin’ and spittin’ in ya city

Swimmin’ in ya bitty, put kin in her kitty

-Joey Bada$$

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It’s Possible that this song is a reference to an up and coming East Coast rapper who tweeted YOLO before dying in a car crash. (Ironic stuff). According to the chorus, this is the song he wrote for when he dies and for a song that is supposed to be a tribute, this song isn’t all that. Smoke Dza arguably renegades Joey on this one even. Another exceptionally good track.

Right on time ft T’nah Apex

They say one mans trash is another mans treasure

No! one man’s clever, one knows no better

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This track centers around Joey’s idea of love. It’s another really good track with a slow tempo RnB beat and an okay chorus from T’nah. [The vocals could have been a whole lot better on the chorus]

Sweet Dreams

Where I live it’s either you know talents well and sell records

Or no talent. Well, we still sell for the record

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I’d go to the nineties

Joey explores the theme of people like him who are “stuck in the nineties.”(The “golden” age of rap). I wish we could all go back to the age of reputations based on lyrical content and not based on gimmicks or fake butts.[true, but  if people still carry that vibe from the 90’s like Joey here, then I feel it’s still all good]. Even the beat on this one has a 90’s feel to it. [It’s simply Joey’s view on the hip-hop game]

47 goons ft Dirty Sanchez and Nyck Caution

Yo, Badass don’t act or pretend, back at it again

Hit it from the back, she a addict within

-Joey Bada$$

Hotbox the whip and let smoke fill the room

Even through my lenses, my sense is on the moon

-Dirty Sanchez

This ain’t Quidditch but you know the snitch get  caught

-Nyck Caution

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First of all, who knows what a Dirty Sanchez is? No one? Ok, moving on.

This sounds like a throwback to some Wu-Tang stuff. The verses are strong on a shaolin-like beat [more like some basement/underground beat actually]. If you don’t have the full album, I recommend that you at least download this song.

Word is Bond

She said she fell in one of them Ls, but lust don’t  count

These chickens don’t love me, they love the account

I believe we’re all familiar with this since it was one of the singles off this free album/mixtape so I won’t bother re-reviewing this [when did we review this?]. This borrows a couple of bars from Tupac. This is another strong track. [he was really in his element on this, I guess that’s why it just had to make the cut]

Sit n Prey ft Dessy Hinds and T’nah Apex

Steez taught me how to store it in my ball shorts

So when we stop by the D we never get caught

-Joey Bada$$

A soft nigga caught between these rocks and a hardplace,

Because the Mafia is on the look out for the Scarface.

-Dessy Hinds

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This song has Joey bending his words just to fit in with his rhyme scheme. This isn’t a really good track. It’s not terrible but it just feels like a filler track compared to the rest. The highlight of this song for me is this Dessy Hinds dude cos he sounds and flows like a young Hov. Seriously.

Trap Door

Third eye sight, she rodent the car with three blind  mice

They chase cheese and don’t think twice

Aaaaaaaand we have another good track. This song places less emphasis on the beat [an Alchemist produced beat so yea it’s dope] and a greater emphasis on the actual lyrics. Another good one. (Notice how I keep saying “good”? It’s cos most of these tracks are good but not exceptional).

Satelite ft Chuck Strangers, Dessy  Hinds & Kirk Knight

Let me show you how I feel these Jays

The cheese stays high like Dr. J

My flow is like land the boats, dock the planes

Hand the dope but cop the chains

-Joey Bada$$

I keep niggas on their toes

So you got creases in your Forces

-Chuck Strangers

Two dubs I got 40 on my hit list

Just smoking drinks both the broken in-glass like old English

-Kirk Knight

Come and hear the blunt-smoking philosopher

Smoking with a joint to get you open like a chakra

-Dessy Hinds

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This is another Posse cut but unlike 47 goonz, this one bears little semblance to the WuTang style. This is another really good track with a hard hitting but slow beat. The lyrical quality on this one is also remarkable.

95 Til’ infinity

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Cause they will never stop for a young black male

Black mailed in braille that means what he felt

And the very reveal could appeal

Put you on the Alcatraz trail or railroad to hell

On this track, we see Joey as he tries to explain himself and his life struggles, from rising from the ghetto to “taking care of business.” The name, 95 Til’ Infinity, refers to his belief that his legacy and music will live forever. He drops some gems on this one in every other line with a DMX-like gruffy flow. This is my favorite track so far.

Amethyst Rockstar ft Kirk Knight

I’m not Pinocchio, I never lied I poke her nose

With the dopest dope, brand new Pablo, brand new God flow

-Joey Bada$$

Can’t knock the hustle though, I may just bust a  jigga

And lookin’ through my eyes you can kinda get the  picture

Mo money mo problems as ya get notorious, inglorious, until you’re a big victorious, no show,

-Kirk Knight

The title is a reference to the great Saul Williams album: Amethyst Rockstar and the beat itself is a MF DOOM beat which has already been used before. That aside, this track is not that good. It’s pretty average. The spoken word intro already had me waiting for another crazy track but the resulting track just disappointed me. Crazy verse from Kirk Knight tho.

Reign

Tryna balance it at once but keep hitting these blunts

Demons of lust, keep hinting they stunts when I’m drunk

The Reign is on now. When 1999 came out, Joey was a 16 year old. He’s even still in High School. This is sort of similar to The Lebron James story. This song alludes to all that and the idea of being made king waaaaay before your time. [one really nice thing about this one is the way he put his thoughts down, pretty impressive]

Sorry Bonita ft Pro Era 

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It’s all illusions, fixed gear cruising

Fixed reality shrouded from governmental pollution

-Dyemond Lewis

‘Cause I’m a socialite in the night,bitch get right enable

I’m boxin yo dorm, Put my Nikes on the coffee table

My tongue’s below her navel, she makes it where her skills enable

-Chuck Strangers

Smoker’s club, Michael Jordan how I’m killin 4  quarters

You stashin’ the trash, hoarder

-Dirty Sanchez

I shine further, you sons get in the bogard

You gotta pick yo road, give it a go, keep the point  gawd

-A la $ole

Chillin at my backdoor, back off, mine tweakin on bath salts

-Kirk Knight

Respectin the Era where the Era’s been ascendin up

Got all types of fans that’s always sendin us love

-Dessy Hinds

Lookin for who’s in charge, don’t be shocked, I’m  the plug

Get inside like the socket, the surgeon, the sergeant

Energy – I put all in

-Cj Fly

Everything ain’t what it be seemin’

Don’t blame me girl, blame my semen

-Joey Bada$$

Another Posse cut/ Cypher-like track. Even with the names on the feature list, this is a comparatively short track (when compared to other cyphers)[still the longest track on here just saying]. The song title is in reference to A TRIBE CALLED QUEST’s song: Bonita Applebum. Outstanding Verses: Dyemond Lewis, Chuck Strangers, A la $ole, Dessy Hinds. [it really has a nice vibe to it, it’s something you’ll enjoy listening to]

#LongLiveSteelo

The sky’s the limit

That’s what they told the fuckin’ fool

I disguised the limit

Now I’m aiming for the Sun and Moon

A tribute to former Pro Era member Capital STEEZ, who died in 2012, supposedly a suicide. ( To get a little glimpse at just how good Capital Steez was, just jam “Survival Tactics”). This song has Joey doing something he rarely does: laying out his emotions. And he does this without sounding like a wuss [ouch, that hurt, nigga lost a bro here, respect that]

The beat has these soft, angelic echoes are heavenly and hollow plus it makes use of a dry, cracking snare which is sort of a bit harsh on the ears compared to the lightly reverberated drums.  #LongLiveSteelo

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Unorthodox

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 Cause money ain’t a thing if I got it I won’t spend

All I got is my Pros, I don’t need no friends

Feel like this glory road is coming to an end

The only soul that won’t sin

No he won’t give in

This is the other single off the album and it has Dj Premier providing the beat (Dj Premier is one half of Gangstarr and the dude who usually provides the beats for BET cyphers). Another strong track with the break beats and gritty bars that sort of defy the beat. [yeah yeah but it’s just a bonus track]

Conclusion

It’s sort of plain to see that there’s now this tired or just plain bunt out feel to Bada$$’s voice: His rise was meteoric, he constantly sounds like someone who has been made to grow up too fast. Since the release of 1999, everyone has been hailing him as Brooklyn’s new chosen one and that sort of pressure is the reason why there are no tracks like Survival Tactics on this or the playful and childlike bragging seen on World Domination. The industry is a harsh and cold world, and expectations never cease in the Internet age where every new above average rapper is thought to be the holiest shit to have dropped from heaven.

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Joey experiments with his voice and flow on this album to great effect. He alternates his flows, switching from a rugged growl to a slippery flow, with the beats ranging from old school radio stuff to beats that sound like the after thoughts of a Fruity Loops experiment. When it’s good, it’s great but when it’s bad, it’s pretty average. Unfortunately, this free album/ mixtape is a few songs too long. In the age of 10 track albums, this is just too long and it’s really hard to jam the whole mixtape at once.

Seeing as The rating system of albums is different from that of mixtapes, I’m going to give this album 4 out of 5 stars.

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BLACK FLAG : A REVIEW

 

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I know this is a mixtape but I’m just going to review it anyway. His lyrics don’t look so good written as they will if you actually jam the song.

Note: this is not eminem. If you’re looking for any similarities with eminem, you’ve reached the wrong site. Please try again. I don’t want to see any comments in the comments section comparing him to Em. Thanks for your compliance.

PS: this is not Eminem. Seriously.

Raise the Flag

The beginning of the song already had me hyped up. It’s a a sample of one of my favourite Florence + the machine songs [we don’t really care]. He doesn’t disappoint when he steps up to the plate with vivid lyrics. I won’t say he was deep on this but it’s a good start to the mixtape anyway.

Breaking News

I had already jammed this song before the mixtape came out and I didn’t like it then but on a second listen, I’ve realized it’s not that bad. Although, I won’t be putting this on “my playlist right next to Jay” like he reccommended. [didn’t really get any “breaking news” ]

Pe$o ft Pusha T, Meek Mill

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The production team on this should be applauded.[milo clap]

This mixtape sounds like an album so far. This is another strong track. The timing of the sample is perfect and the verses aren’t bad at all. Most importantly, Meek Mill kept his voice below 120 decibels [they lowered the volume].

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Black Tuxedo ft Tezo

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This one is mellow but it’s still alright [it’s slow and I mean that as a state of mind and also not very creative]. It’s a good step down from the hyper feel of the previous 3 tracks. There’s a spaced out feel to this. The Tezo dude isn’t extraordinary [sounds a bit like a junkie] but he holds his own mainly cos Kells offers little in form of competition.

Mind of a Stoner ft Wiz Khalifa

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Another spaced out track but this one is a step up from the previous track with the king of the stoned on the hook. An okay track dedicated to the thoughts that pop up when you’re stoned. [It has a great mood to it, now roll one].

D & G ft Sean McGee

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I’ve always doubted if MGK could do well on a track where he has to slow down and this song is actually proof that he can. McGee sings a chorus that’s laced with “diamonds and gold” and Kells spits some shii that’s a bit close to gold [bronze]. [Pretty good beat on here to].

Skate Cans

First things first, I have a couple of issues with the song:

1. The stevie wondere reference. Are we still doing those? Dem “I’m stevie wonder in the morning. I can’t find my towel” lines (note: he didn’t actually say that)

2. He said he’s “the only great white”

3. And that he’s the best rapper alive

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Apart from those 3 lines, this song is solid. It has this Beastie boys + RUN DMC feel. [yeah, the whole park kinda vibe to it, probably for the skaters, sadly we can’t relate].

50 ft French Montana

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The skit tho!

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The whole time I was jamming this song, I was waiting for Trinidad James to jump in. This song sounds so Trinidad-esque. That being said, this is not a good track [yeah that’s why it’s an interlude(or comedy interlude), probably just did it for the fun of it, pimpin shii]. Seeing as this is a mixtape, MGK is allowed to get away with this but he’s not allowed to get away with the fact that Montana was better than him on this. That cannot be forgiven.

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Baddest

In a twisted way, this is a love song/ romantic song. I fail to see how calling a girl the baddest bitch in the world is romantic. [you know too many good girls, poor you]. But apart from that, the track is okay.

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Next.

 

Miss Me? Ft Dub O

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This samples Drake’s Miss Me. This DubO dude is not bad at all. All he needs to do is change his rap name to something that doesn’t sound so One-hit-wonderish. Just saying. This track is an autobiography of the two artistes. MGK tells the story of his life before the BadBoy deal and Dub-O is rapping about how being a local champion (cleveland) can get really old, really fast. Solid track.

Street Dreams

For a song that’s supposed to detail his dreams, this track is sorta weak. He coulda done a lot better. I’m not saying it’s terrible but based on how he showed his emotions on “Miss Me?”, this is pretty sub-standard.[but I like how the track plays out with the arrangement and all]

Swing Life away ft Kellin Quinn

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Immediately I heard the guitar on the intro, I thought I was going to like the song. I was wrong. I love this. Kells is just outstanding on this plus Quinn is perfect with the chorus (I’ve never heard of him before but I’m now going to DL his band’s album. Just because)[that sounds gay]. The violins in the second verse? That was an awesome touch. The rock feel to the beat just awesomes the song up (yes, awesome is now a verb on this site). [this is some dope white boy shii]

Home Soon

This is an appreciation track for the MGK fans. All those that have been a part of the Lace Up movement since the beginning. The first verse was alright but the second verse almost had me dozing off. [the second verse ain’t that bad yo, added completeness to the thought of the track].

Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd!!!!!

Oh! I thought the song would sample something from Dark side of the moon.

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But no worries, the song is still G regardless. A solemn track about 2 different kids. Pick a verse/story you identify with and get lost in it. [and if you can’t identify, enjoy the dopeness of the beat]

In conclusion

This is a pretty good mixtape and it’s easy to forget it’s not an album. It’s an even stronger offering than his actual album. Even though there are some sub-standard tracks on this, they still add to the overall value of the mixtape. There are no filler tracks and every track is worth it’s spot.

The mixtape feels sincere and it sounds like a throwback to the pre-Bad Boy Kell. He hammers on his life experiences and his struggle but he does it so much that it starts to sound like a gimmick and almost unbelievable.

All in all, I’m going to have to rate this as 3 and a half stars

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