TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY: A REVIEW

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by Ladi

This is a review of the third studio album  of Kendrick Lamar. Click here for a review of his previous album which was the first ever review on this site.

Wesley’s theory Ft George Clinton & Thundercat

First song on the LP has Kendrick fantasizing about all the awesome stuff he’s gonna do when he gets guap.  He mentioned a whole lotta stuff…  go listen -__- .  The song also features a call from Dr Dre advising Kendrick on staying relevant and Uncle Sam making him proposition of the good life.   The beginning of his journey as a caterpillar.

For free?  (Interlude)

Energetic and up beat jazz that will keep you wanting more.  The caterpillar’s journey continues and this section talks about bottom of the food chain nigga.  Also exploitation of a rising talent. References Made to Uncle Sam and Lucy.

King Kunta

The journey moves further with the acquisition of more fame and money.  k. dot makes references to the story of Kunta Kinte who had his leg cut off as a slave but went on from  slave to scholar so also  k. dot.  from bottom of the food chain to stardom “ bitch where were you when i was working,  now i run the game,  got the whole world talking KING KUNTA,  everybody wanna cut the legs off  ya”…

Institutionalized ft. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg 

Moving on, he’s got the fame and money and talks about the influence of this new acquired lifestyle on his person. “So many rolllys around you and you want all of em”…   standard nigga behaviour confounded on him cos of the cocoon he’s in.

These walls…  Ft Bilal, Anna wise & Thundercat 

Still under the influence of fame, this song starts with moan sounds and has Kendrick describing the vagina like he’s describing a well painted portrait or intricate work of art.  “these walls are vulnerable,  exclamation,  interior  pink,  colour co-ordinated,  I interrogate  it,  every nook and cranny “…   the last verse,  k. dot takes us back to sing about me off GKMC as he mentions that these walls belong to the baby mama of the gangbanger that killed his friend from sing about me.

U

After all the random escapades it seems the caterpillar is going through a period of self-loathing and self-disappointment.  Here we hear what seems like a conversation with himself.  Emotional stuff. Hence the screams at the beginning of the track followed by the intro “loving you is complicated “…   Disappointed because his preaching didn’t get to his sister (she still got pregnant) and also for leaving his friend’s brother whom he promised to watch over.  We also see tendencies of suicide towards the end of the song.

Alright

” reaping everything   I sow so my karma coming heavy  no preliminary hearing “…  coming out of the depressed  state,  he comes out to say things gon be alright as long as he’s right with  God.  The second verse has Lucy offering him the goodies of the world.  “I’m at the preacher’s door my knees getting weak and my gun might blow but we gon be alright “…  You have to admit it, the flow sounds like something you can nae nae too.  Listen!

For sale?  (Interlude)

The song starts with the sound of someone panting like he’s been running from something.  With references to Lucy again here we hear Lucy introducing herself and further offering Kendrick big things “Lucy gon fill your pockets, Lucy gon move your momma outta Compton inside the gigantic mansion like I promise “… 

Momma

Still in the development phase, nostalgic now.  Kendrick raps about going back to ones roots, keeping culture alive in all we do. That as much as we want to acquire knowledge/gain fame we shouldn’t forget our roots.

Hood politics

Started with such a smooth flow, why’d it have to end?  😥

lol-sad-music

Back home (the cocoon ) the caterpillar continues to survive,  with particular reference to the fight for power in the ghetto  “From Compton to Congress, Set trippin’ all around,  Ain’t nothin new but a flow of new DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans,  Red state versus a blue state, which one you governin? “

How much a dollar cost Ft James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley

This has the scenery set at a gas station where a homeless crack addict asking for some money with the excuse that he wants to eat and k.dot refused with the excuse  that he has also been in that state and he worked his way to the top so why can’t he do the same?  Hard work pays.

Complexion (Zulu love) ft. Rapsody

Talks basically about racism at large.  Talks about the fact that colour shouldn’t make people rivals at all.  We should all unite.

The blacker the berry

Blacker the berry is actually a book whose contents had to do with the Negro lifestyle then. And equally the song also has gist relating profiling that occurs as a result of thick, dark racism.      Kendrick Lamar used himself in the place of the entire black race and how it suffers the deep stares of racism.  The imagery here was very clear and vivid.  The delivery was on fire yo. And there was this part where he kept on  repeating  the fact that he’s an hypocrite,  and we’ll soon figure out : this part actually says blacks engage  in gang banging,  killing unnecessarily  and they were suffering  the  same from the opposing race…  so we all hypocrites in  The end.   Funny how this song drops 2 or 3 days immediately after “the great” Grammy awards…

You ain’t gotta lie (momma said)

The song talks about the usual lies niggas will tell gain stats or feel important.  Seeing that the song’s title reads “momma said” it’s possible these words of advice came from his mom.  Smooth tempo alongside awesome production.

I

This song dropped as a single months before the album though.  The song represents the completed development of thee caterpillar.  Now a butterfly, he claims self-love.  Insinuating that all the trials and tribulations made him who he is, and he is very satisfied with his current state of being.  The end part of the song has Kendrick talking to a group of listeners.  He takes the chance to preach unity, pride and self-love.  He enlightens the crowd on the word NEGUS (meaning – Ethiopian royalty.) which we all are.

The version on the album is a welcome alternative to the jingly version that was the single version of this.

Mortal man

this here track is KING!  Here Kendrick tells is that he’s trying to walk Nelson Mandela’s shoes. “The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it”…  “Want you to love me like Nelson, want you to hug me like Nelson I freed you from being a slave in your mind, you’re very welcome” he’s tryna preach unity and sameness in his songs.  He also makes references to some powerful names the likes of JFK and Malcolm X.   He also questions our commitment to the movement on this song.  He went ahead to blow our minds with this awesome interview with Tupac Shakur and a lovely piece at the very end of this song.

This has Kendrick giving a sort of condensed analysis of the themes touched on during the course of the album so far and he does this over a sample of a Fela song “I no get eye for back” . An oft repeated line in the hook refers to the fact that most heroes have had to deal with their followers/fans abandoning them in their hours of need so tell me “when the sh*t hits the fan, is you still a fan?”

CONCLUSION

THL: “but most of y’all sharing bars like you got the bottom bunk in a two man cell”..   The general idea of the album is the process it takes for a caterpillar to grow into a colourful butterfly.  Yeah, something like that.  So Kendrick uses this to describe his journey to stardom.  You dig?   Awesome concept.

Some keywords were used in the album, including   Uncle Sam the pimp. (U. S. A)  Cocoon (Compton/his climb to stardom) Lucy (Lucifer -I’m guessing cos this person kept on coming with tempting offers and stuff). The album also has this jazz flow to it.

In conclusion, this album isn’t just an album it is rap, poetry and a celebration/reminder of black history all in one.  It is creativity at its finest. The album had the same jazz flow almost throughout the album with good producers like Sounwave and Boi-1da.  The punchlines weren’t so much compared to the vivid imagery painted or awesome stories told. To end with, this album was rich as fxck.

i’ll give this album an A.

Thank you.

Ladi out.

@slklouis:  This album is so unlike anything he has ever released before; yet, this is the Kendrick we all expected to hear based on “i”. This album kicks at the box of hip hop just like Andre 3 stacks,The Roots, De la Soul, ATCQ and Common have done before but this time it is not presented to us in a manner that is at once too preachy/high-minded/condescending (even though there are moments sprinkled throughout the album where one of these occurs in isolation, they never occur together). The emotion her is so real that it goes past been heard and begs to be felt (and unless you are built of rock or have been turned to stone by Medusa, you will feel it.) i would like to note tho that this album should not be pumped up to be more than it is: an adventure or tour that paid off. this album took several listens to stick for me and i wasnt swooning after my first listening unlike most of the people on the internet who were rushing to be the first to say that they understood the concept of the album. in fact, it took this review from Ladi to help me figure out certain aspects of the album which helped me find out even more about the album. This album is a step towards proving that This poet transcends rap. He is a poet, the voice of our generation. He discusses topics no other rapper has the balls to talk about. He condemns the drug and liquor culture where others seek to endorse it (even Swimming Pools is not an ode to the drink but rather a parody of other odes to the bottle). He talks about gang violence in a manner that both rebukes the gang members for indulging in violence against their fellow me and at the same time praises them for finding strength in self to bond with people with whom they share similar ambitions and at the same time calls attention to the strength they have in numbers. He speaks about the gang life as an outsider looking in but seems to be even more of an insider than those who pay to be affiliated. He speaks about Depression, self loathing, personal growth, personal responsibility and acceptance. As much as i have now grown to like this album, i still haven’t gotten fully used to hearing the Thundercat and Flying Lotus sounds here as it takes me out of the moment and leaves me unprepared to hear Kendrick speak but on the plus side, the feel good and dreamy instrumentals cloak the fact that K.Dot is speaking some deep truths on this record. Bearing all these in mind, i’m going to agree with THL and give this an A.

a-400

THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP 2: A REVIEW

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The return of one of the Greatest of all time.

Why did this review take so long to be published? Well, we’re prolly not worthy enough to review this

Anyway, all Stans can drop their complaints in the comment section.

Bad Guy ft Sarah Jaffe

SarahJaffe

Well I never recovered but tonight I bet  ya that what ya

’bout to go through’s tougher than  anything I ever have suffered

Can’t think of a better way to define  poetic justice

Can I hold grudges, mind is saying: “let  it go, fuck this”

Heart is saying: “I will, once I bury this  bitch alive

Hide the shovel and then drive off in the sunset”

This song has 4 verses and not a single line is unnecessary or wasted. Every single line goes to tell the continuation of the Stan story (the voice speaking on this song is the voice of Stan’s now grown up little brother). A great way to start the album by providing the end to a story from the first MMLP.

As much as I hate music videos, I’d love to see a video of this one.

Parking Lot Skit

Slim Shady gets killed in this skit

Rhyme or Reason

Michelangelo with a paint gun in a  tantrum

Bout to explode all over the canvas

Back with the Yoda of rap in a spasm

Your music usually has them

But waned for the game your  enthusiasm it hasn’t

Follow you must, Rick Rubin my little  Padawan

A Jedi in training, colossal brain and,  thoughts are entertainin’

But docile and impossible to explain  and, I’m also vain and

Probably find a way to complain about a Picasso painting

Puke Skywalker, but sound like  Chewbacca when I talk

The beat on this one sounds all “boy band snapping fingers and dancing”-like (but it actually samples a classic rock song) and Em plays that off so well with Pop culture references (Star Wars,Die Hard, Charles Manson) delivered in a way that just goes to show that he was having fun with this beat.

So Much Better

Bitch, where the fuck were you Tuesday

With who you say

I wasn’t at the studio bitch

What’cha do screw Dre

You went there looking for me

Boo, that excuse is too lame

Keep playing me you’re gonna end up  with a huge goose egg

You fake, lying slut you never told me  you knew Drake

And Lupe, you want to lose two legs

Verse one had me like: OH MY GAWD!!! Who is this girl? She has banged everybody who breathes. Don’t her legs ever close?

But then I jammed it again and realized that he was talking about the rap industry as a woman and how she treats him. 4 tracks in and no weak joint yet.

Only problem, I wish he’d stop saying “relapse” and “recovery”. I’m trying my best to forget that those albums were ever released.

Survival ft Liz Rodrigues

liz rodrigues

I can see the finish line with each line  that I finish

I’m so close to my goals I can almost  pole vault over the goal post

And if I don’t got enough in the tank,  maybe I can just siphon enough

To fill up this last can, man will I survive  in this climate or what

They said I was washed up, and got a  blood bath

I’m not a rapper, I’m an adapter, I can  adjust

Plus I can just walk up to a mic and just  bust

The opening hook already had me like

wow-face

And the rest of the song just made me want to fist pump and jump around but I didn’t want to get kicked off the bus so I just did cartwheels instead…in my head. This sounds like war music ( It was even used for the Call of Duty trailer) and has Em talking about how he has stuck with the game and always come out on top even with the odds stacked against him.

Legacy

And I don’t need no goddamn  psychologist

Tryna diagnose why I have all these  underlying problems

Thinking he can try and solve ’em, I’m  outside chalking up

Drawings on the sidewalk and in the  front drive talking to myself

Either that or inside hiding off in

The corner somewhere quiet, tryin’ not  to be noticed

Cause I’m crying and sobbing

I had a bad day at school so I ain’t  talkin’

Some cocksucker shoved me into a  fuckin’ locker

Cause he said that I eye-balled him

I’m not so sure about this one. Ahmean, I’d prolly like it if the mood was right and shii (this is prolly a good time to say “no homo”). It is not weak by any stretch but it just feels like going into cruise mode in the middle of an F1 race.

Asshole ft Skylar Grey

Performer Skylar Grey appears backstage at the 53rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

Quit actin’ salty

I was countin’ on you to count me out

Ask Asher Roth when he round-a-bout  dissed me to shout me out

Thought I was history

But goddamn honkey, that  compliment’s like backhanding a  donkey

Good way to get your ass socked in the  mouth

Lay ’em off it, but what the fuck is all  this thrash talking about

Woooooooo! This is some Ric Flair body slam shii. Em collaborates with Skylar again to create another sure banger. While this one prolly won’t get played on Radios, it is really awesome music with war drums and even more furious lyrics from Slim about how he has always been,is and will always be an asshole.

Bezerk

Let’s bring it back to that vintage Slim,  bitch

The art of MCing mixed with da Vinci  and MC Ren

And I don’t mean Stimpy’s friend, bitch

Been Public Enemy since you thought  PE was gym, bitch

The Beastie boys tribute sounds like exactly that with Rick Rubin working the production on this. This song just sounds like an Eminem joke reel despite the fact that he was shouting thru out. Okay track, I guess.

Rap God

Eminem_Rap_God

MC’s get taken to school with this music

Cause I use it as a vehicle to ‘bus the  rhyme’

Now I lead a new school full of students

Me, I’m a product of Rakim, Lakim  Shabazz, 2Pac N-

-W.A, Cube, Hey Doc, Ren Yella, Eazy,  thank you, they got Slim

Inspired enough to one day grow up,  blow up and be in a position

To meet Run DMC, induct them into the  motherfuckin’ Rock n’

Roll Hall of Fame

Even though I’ll walk in the church and  burst in a ball of flames

Only Hall of Fame I’ll be inducted in is  the alcohol of fame

On the wall of shame

“6 minute Slim Shady, you’re on”

This is a 6 minute song. I repeat, this is a 6 minute song that has Em destroying a DVLP beat with dated references(Monica Lewinsky,Kneel before Zod,Columbine) and some surprisingly weak lines. This song just goes to show why Em is one of the greats.

Jammed this again and Fxck!!! Length aside, this is one of the best Em tracks in a while

Brainless

I look like a freakin’ wuss, a pussy

This kid just took my stick of licorice

And threw my sticker books in a pricker  bush

I wanna kick his tush, but I was six and  shook

This fucker was twelve and was six foot,  with a vicious hook

He hit me, I fell; I got back up, all I did  was book

Now there’s using your head, Momma  always said

This one has Em spitting about how dangerous he’d be if he actually tried to put his brains to use (he’d prolly be a Mad scientist or some shii) over a dark beat that he made himself.

Stronger than I was

Felt like I was in for a long bus ride

I’d rather die than you not be by my side

Can’t count how many times I vomited,  cried

Go to my room, turn the radio on and  hide

Uh, we were Bonnie and Clyde

No, on the inside you were Jekyll and  Hyde

I, felt like my whole relationship with  you was a lie

It was you and I, why did I think it was  ride or die

If you’ve heard Kim from the first MMLP then you’ll notice how this song is a couple of worlds far away from the gritty and violent nature of that track. This song is a reply by Kim to Em’s accusations against her. Even though it is mostly singing I actually like this one.

The Monster ft Rihanna

eminem-rihanna-monster-video-650-430

Now, I ain’t much of a poet but I know  somebody

Once told me to seize the moment and  don’t squander it

Cause you never know when it all could  be over tomorrow

So I keep conjuring, sometimes I wonder

Where these thoughts spawn from

(Yeah, pondering’ll do you wonders

No wonder you’re losing your mind, the  way it wanders)

I don’t even have to tell you that this is a sure jam! This is their fourth collab and you can almost feel the emotion reaching out thru the speakers as Em spits about trying to save himself from himself. This is the Em vs Slim Shady battle all over again.

If you’re some sort of music snob, at least download this one and jam it to the end when the instrumentals take over.

So Far…

In a public stall droppin’ a football

So every time someone walks in the  john I get maddened

“Shady, what up?” What? Come on,  man, I’m crapping

And you’re asking me for my goddamn  autograph on a napkin

Oh that’s odd, I just happened to run  out of tissue

Yeah, hand me that, on second thought  I’d be glad then

“Thanks dawg, name’s Todd, a big fan”

I wiped my ass with it, crumbled it up in a wad and threw it back and

Told him “Todd, you’re the shit”; when  does all of this crap end?

I swear I thought this was Asher Roth at first cos of the intro singing.

This is one of the things that made me an Eminem fan in the first place. Tracks like this where he talks about his troubles (here, he is talking about fame) in a way that makes it sound so so funny. Another good one.

Love Game ft Kendrick Lamar

kendrick-lamar-tde

I’ll say it, you can suck a softball  through a straw, used to be my fiance

‘Til you sucked on Wayne, Andre, and  Kanye

Lebron, Akon, Jay, Lil Jon, Raekwon,  Ma$e

Polow Tha Don, Dre, Dante Ross, James  Conway, Kwame

Guess I’m gettin’ my g-god dang Jigga  on eh

Cause your name, I’m beyond sayin’

But fuck it, I’m movin’ on, you women  are all cray

– Eminem

And Kendrick don’t forget to buy two  pair of those

Expensive heels, you little fuckin’ ferris  wheel

Fuckin’ spinnin’ on me, fuck you think  we gon’ get married still

Fuckin’ Mary had a little lamb, this ain’t  no fairy tale

Fairy godmomma better tell you how I  fuckin’ feel

Like you should fuckin’ beat it or fuckin’  eat it while I’m on my period

Now have a blessed day”

– Kendrick Lamar

Before I actually jam this let me just say that I’m not expecting this to be any good. Ahmean, Zeus and Buddha shouldn’t be in the same skies.

Ok, this isn’t actually that bad. It sounds funny like a 1960 commercial but it is not a hardcore rap track tho. This is probably the strangest track on this.

Headlights ft Nate Reuss

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But I’m sorry Mama for Cleaning Out My  Closet, at the time I was angry

Rightfully maybe so, never meant that  far to take it though, cause

Now I know it’s not your fault, and I’m  not making jokes

That song I no longer play at shows and  I cringe every time it’s on the radio

Wait. No. WTF?! Wow.

Is Em actually apologizing to his mom here? Fxck how strange the previous track sounded, this one is weirder. Ahmean, this is an awesome track that has Em going extremely personal and apologizing to his mom for all he has said about her. Even the Nate Ruess chorus didn’t suck as much as I thought it would but hearing Eminem apologize to the same woman he destroyed on “Kill You” is as weird as hearing Marilyn Manson sing gospel or seeing Ice Cube dance.

You can almost feel the emotion coming thru the speakers as he gets really personal on this.

Evil Twin

eviltwin

I believe people can change, but only for the worse

I could’ve changed the world if it wasn’t  for this verse

So Satanic, K-Mart chains panic, cause  they can’t even spin back

The curse words, cause they’re worse  when they’re reversed, motherfucker

[Shit, motherfucker] (rape your mother,  kill your parents)

And these kids are like parrots, they run around the house just like terrorists

Screamin’, “fuck, shit, fuck”

Adult with a childish-like arrogance

Wild ever since the day I came out I was like “merits, fuck that”

I’d rather be loud and I like swearing

From the first album even the gals were like “tight lyrics, dreamy eyes”

But my fuckin’ mouth was  nightmare-ish

This is prolly the hardest jam on here and it has Em trying to draw lines between Eminem and Slim Shady. This shit is hard as liquid swords. He even talks about not having any boy bands to diss anymore.

Dope way to end the album. You need to pay close attention to this to get it.

CONCLUSION

To say the truth, I was expecting this album to be kinda crappy like his last 2 comeback albums. Infact, just naming the album as a sequel to one of his greatest ever was a ballsy move in itself [though it’s not an actual sequel]. I can’t imagine Guns n’ Roses releasing Appetite for Destruction 2 and we can all remember how badly Hov’s Blueprint sequels paled in comparison to the original. That said, this album is a success. A big success infact judging by album sales (which actually don’t mean shit. Nelly went Plat and it took Illmatic years to go Plat. So numbers don’t mean shit.

This album has Em finally realizing that he is older now. His subject matter no more comes from the perspective of a teenager stuck in a 30-something year old’s body. He even apologizes to old foes and makes peace without stooping too low. This album is not as emotional or personal as his previous efforts. This album doesn’t just have him evolving as an artiste, it also shows how much he has evolved as a person.

There are no complete fails on the album. Ahmean, the production falls a bit short at times but Em’s lyrical powers save most of the tracks on the album. Also, it takes a particular mood to enjoy most of the songs on here and this album prolly won’t win him a lot of new fans but it also won’t alienate old fans too.

I’m going to have to rate this an A-

A-_2 Eminem

MY NAME IS MY NAME: A REVIEW

In a year that promised albums from Justin Timberlake, JayZ, Kanye West, Drake, J Cole, Wale, Eminem, A$ap Rocky, SchoolBoy Q, Childish Gambino and Jay Electronica (let’s keep the faith. Jay Elec’s album might drop on the 31st of December. Keep the faith), this was actually the album that I was really really waiting for. Ahmean, not even a Wu-Tang album could have reduced my level of expectation. At the moment, there are very few rappers that actually walk the talk and vice versa but I can remember only 2 right now and while it would be G to see a Gunplay album this year, a Pusha album (or better still, a Clipse album) is really what I need. So let’s take a dive into the album from King Push.

KING PUSH

Motivation is misguided if it hit the mark, then it’s  not needed

Carry on like a carry on, and my side bitch I let tag  along

Call me “daddy” from a complex

Cause her mother’s fucker wouldn’t marry mom

This one has that marching band majestic feel to it. add that to Push’s opening lines and you get the feel of a king walking into the room. I felt the jab at Drake and the rest of the Young Money Mafia. This is a good one that serves as an intro to the general mood and feel of the album. The beat even pulls punches on its own.

NUMBERS ON THE BOARDS

Ballers, I put numbers on the boards

Hard to get a handle on this double-edged sword

Whether rappin’ or I’m rappin’ to a whore

Might reach back and relapse to wrappin’ up this  raw

This shii sounds like a Jay Electronica jam cos it has Push rapping over a beat that is not even really a beat. Ahmean, it’s just garbage bin drums and xylophone pops but Push still gets it to work with cocky verses. This is one of those tracks that is so good mainly cos of the quotables packed in. Nice.

SWEET SERENADE ft Chris Brown

Chris-Brown-1900068

Supreme ballers, all my niggas got ESPY’s

Triple doubles, both wrist and neck freeze

Triple doubles, two bricks and tech squeeze

Triple doubles, two hoes and check please (Wooo!)

They love me on my Ric Flair shit (Wooo!)

Do I like this one? I’m not even sure..it’s actually obvious that this track was made for the single purpose of being a charting single and it hasn’t failed in that regard so that’s pretty good. By the way, apparently there are some people who download songs based on their appearance on the billboard. That is just wrong seeing as songs get there in the first place beacause other people are jamming it. All I’m saying is: find your own songs and don’t rely on a list that has Justin Bieber/One Direction/Taylor Swift on it.

HOLD ON ft Rick Ross

Rick-Ross-Promo-486x650-e1346111022240

I sold more dope than I sold records

You niggas sold records, never sold dope

So I ain’t hearing none of that street shit

Cause in my mind, you mothafuckas sold soap

– Pusha T

Crack dealer living like a hoop star

Black marble, white walls in my new spot

Four chains, big studs, a nigga too fly

Top down, tank top, I think I’m 2Pac

– Rick Ross

This one has the two rappers spitting introspective and soul-searching bars over piano keys that build up and become more powerful. Not super dope for me, just good. Ross didn’t really try here. Ahmean, we all know he is fake, ja? So why is he still trying to form like he is harder than liquid swords? FOH with that saturday night behaviour J: (His name gives him the right to speak on the issue tho)

SUICIDE ft Ab-Liva

pusha-t2

I’m still feeding divas like I feed the meter

Holy father to em, I ain’t talking Jesus neither

Balance on the scale, I ain’t a Libra either

I’m just a name and a number with the means to  reach ya

Grim Reaper, him cheaper, him chief of

His army, MCM on gym sneakers

– Pusha T

Nothing but cash here, this sweater is cashmere

The roof is a translucent, it’s nothing but glass there

The car is a concept, what’s next is my last year

My future is bright hot, you never can last here

– Ab-Liva

This beat right here is just crazy! Not like I doubted him but this is proof that Pharrell really knows his stuff. And do you know the best thing about this? The beat on this one just pops and the emcees on this one spit some laid back rhymes. I understand that every rapper feels the need to declare he is the best but for Ab-Liva to claim top 5? I’ve never even heard an Ab-liva tape (by the way, I’m dropping my mixtape soon: The Life and Times of Jim Coker Vol 1)

J: HahaHa. Then you’ll release Reasonable Mouth and The BlueFilm 1-3

L: and I’ll prolly look for a rapper named Nasir to pick a beef with then I’ll “retire” with the almost-Black album

J: Hahahahaha. Next song

40 Acres ft the Dream

ZAEH_DREAM_SHOT04-48gold

This cocaine cowboy pushed it to the limit

You thought Tony in that cell would’ve made us  timid

We found his old cell, bitch, we searchin’ through  the digits

This is one of the few tracks, if not the only track, where the chorus overshadows the verses. Remember how Justin Timberlake’s quasi-accapella intro on Holy Grail was and how everything sorta went down from that point on that song? Yeah, that’s just how this one is. I had chills based on the instrumentals at the start of the song already and when the Dream started singing at the start of the song, it was some scaringly soothing ish. Now imagine if the Dream’s version of the Holy grail had been used.

h2A12A280

NO REGRETS ft Kevin Cossom, Jeezy

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Got a call from my jail niggas, said I’m doing my  damn thing

(Woo!) They see I’m doing my damn thing

Magazines, videos, they ain’t missing a damn thing

Nowadays I sell hope, what you rather I sell dope?

What I sell is a lifestyle, naked bitches on sailboats

– Pusha T

Momma had me in the ghetto, I was raised in the  slums

Every hero got theme music, guess I need me some  drums

– Jeezy

FXCK!!! You might hate hearing Pusha rap for some weird reason known to just you and you alone but you can’t deny the fact that he only works prime beats. There is no Push tape without near-perfect production and this is no different. Every single instrumental on point so far but this one takes the trophy. The beat arguably killed Pusha’s verses and even tho Jeezy tried resisting, he got it too.

LET ME LOVE YOU ft Kelly Rowland

Kelly-Rowland

A ball player sold you a dream, ain’t do nothing

A couple rappers under your belt, but who’s judging

I ain’t tryna guide you, hand on bible

But Instagram pics show more than side views

30 dollar nude catsuits is not cute

And 50 comments on ass is not fluke

Meh. That is what I can describe this track as. The song is a convo between Pusha and his side chick with Kelly Rowland playing the part of the side piece.  The coolest part of this one is when PushaTon uses the Ma$e flow+voice starting with the 2nd verse. Itz still sort of Meh to me

meh

WHO I AM ft 2chainz and Big Sean

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Entrepenuer, strip club connoisseur

Hot fudge sundae, pour it on you hallelujah

Pour it on you hallelujah, pour it on you hallelujah

And I be on my own dick, ain’t that much room for  you, ah

– 2chainz

And I’m going ’til I K.O

Eyes closed, I’m OK

All my bitches know they roll

Even when we role-play

– Big Sean

I have to confess that prior to writing this review, I hadn’t jammed this one at all based purely on the featured artistes so here goes nothing.

Yup, I was right. The features almost destroyed this. The beat is almost as cool as the Fonz but the featured artistes are just terrible on this especially Big Sean J: (Big Sean wasn’t all that terrible).

NOSETALGIA ft Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

Black Ferris Bueller, cutting school with his jewels  on

Couldn’t do wrong with a chest full of chains and a  arm full of watches

What I sell for pain in the hood, I’m a doctor

Zhivago tried to fight the urge like Ivan Drago

If he dies he dies, like Doughboy to Tre

If he rides he rides, Throwing punches in his room

If he cries he cries, we don’t drink away the pain

When a nigga die we add a link to the chain

Inscribe a nigga name in your flesh

– Pusha T

He said “son, how come you think you be my  connect?”

Said “pops, your ass is washed up with all due  respect”

He said “well nigga, then show me how it all makes  sense”

Go figure, motherfucker, every verse is a brick

Your son dope, nigga

– Kendrick Lamar

L: Yes, you in the audience. What is your question? Someone hand him the mic

RandomRapFan: Your Highness, I just want to know who killed who?

L: well, it is not hard to spot this one. He started by asking if you wanted to see a dead body and ended by calling his verses (and himself) dope. Kendrick killed this, he built his verse up from that first question to the final declaration

Random: so you’re saying Pusha Ton didn’t show up at all?

L: who said that? I’m saying if Pusha featured someone else and spat the same bars, it would have been a bloody massacre but K.Dot doesn’t let him. Instead, he comes here to renegade him. Solid jam

PAIN ft Future

future-bio

18 wheeler gorillas

Black with gold chains, pitch bird like steelers

Hines Ward of the crime lords

Running through this money screaming “Encore”

Spending nights with the prime whore

But that’s the bitch that you’re blind for

Celebrating on a whim, nigga

Pain is Pac above the rim, nigga

I know some people don’t like this song mainly cos of Future’s chorus and the way it sounds so mainstream but I actually like this one so much that I’ve created a video for it in my mind, all artistic and shii (Push, holla at your boy if you want the video concept). This is actually one of my favorite jams on the whole album.

S.N.I.T.C.H ft Pharrell

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We used to steal dirt bikes, dodge raindrops

So close niggas thought we had the same pops

Graduated, gettin’ money on the same blocks

But things changed and we ain’t end up in the same box

First off, this is a really creative use of backronyms and shii.

Secondly, Pharrell against drops a beast of a beat and once again Push stands his ground and doesn’t get swayed as he drops lines a!out friends turned turncoats.

Another good one from the prodigal brother.

Oh wait! This is the end of the album? Fxck! I was just getting into it but all in all, this is the best way he could have ended this album. Short album? Yes. Dope end? Yes.

CONCLUSION

There is no beating around the bush for this one. It is a dope album. The production on this was first class with Pharrell and Kanye combining to replicate and modernize the classic Clipse sound.

The bars were as Pusha Ton as ever. He rarely veered away from the subjects which he is known for but when he does, he does not disappoint. What does disappoint is the quality of the features: the PAIN chorus could have been done by someone else, Big Sean didn’t need to be here, (No) Malice could have been there. The arrangement of the tracks was also sort of off. It sounds more like a indie street tape than a boardroom approved tape which is a good thing considering who and what Push represents.

Another problem is the length of this one. It could have been 2 or 3 tracks longer. It just ended too damn soon.

J: Here’s the thing, this album is pretty much in a class of its own simply because you have an artiste talking about a topic that most rappers only brag about but are rarely into it but he on the other knows it in and out. This album has Pusha just inviting you into his own house and showing you all the different things about it like on MTV cribs (hope that’s a solid analogy for you guys) even though this is more of a dark ghetto crib than an a mansion on the hill. Truth is if you really get into the element of this album, you can only but appreciate it. This is definitely one of the best solo debut albums out this year. This album is simply “audio dope” All hail king Push for this one.

With all that said, I’m going to have to give this album an A-

A-minus-grade pusha_100113