MR WONDERFUL: A REVIEW

By Jon P

Action_Bronson_Mr._Wonderful

This album is from the chef himself (not Raekwon) but a chef in his own right repping that new school era hip-hop from New York. He is Action Bronson (“The fat chef”). This happens to be his third studio album, so you should know he has been around for a while now. He named this one Mr Wonderful because that according to him is the way he feels about himself right now. Let us see if he delivers.

Brand New Car

It’s the first time ever
Yo fuck this jacket, I turn this shit to 85 napkins
Since Jeter’s done I’m now the captain
Trust you me, Gotham’s safer now
But there’s always a new joker in town
Ready to smoke you with that pound
But when he shoots it, the flag says “BANG!” and everybody laughs

This is just one of those really good intros though it’s short, it gives an idea of what to expect on this album. It’s not about anything in particular, he was just showing off a bit of who he is on this.

The Rising (ft. Big Body Des)

But I’m gorgeous, got money in the pouch just like a tourist
Swerve in a Skylark, big piece of the pie chart
Bitch this is fine art, I gets my shine on
You lyin’, dog, you never even put the iron on

Now this is a good example of who Bronson is, the food references were good, I must say. The beat is very instrumental, it’s on some Jazz/Blues kinda vibe and he just flows so well on this. I didn’t particularly like the mix, I thought the beat kinda overshadowed his voice, still a good jam regardless.

Terry

I’m in a hurry, dumb jewelry
The verdict read from a hung jury
The doctor said that I was hung early
Skull curly, Larry, and Moe, I’ll marry a ho
Only if the bitch look like Mari’ Monroe

This is one of those relationship songs or songs relating to the heart, you can sort of tell from the tone of his voice. There is some really nice word play on this one and the beat was done by Alchemist. This happens to be his favorite off the album. It’s a good one but definitely not my favorite.

Actin’ Crazy

All my life I was a fuck-up, now I pull the truck up
Same bitch stuck up, now she wanna suck us
See me hangin’ out the window, screamin’, “What, what?!”
No more tough luck, a different cloth is what I’m cut from

Drake’s producer produced this track and when is started out, it almost felt like a drake moment about to happen (the horror mhen!).

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But that didn’t happen (thank goodness). The beat does actually sound like something Drake would rap to but Bronson seized this one and made it his. From the first few lines of this track, you just knew he had it.

Falconry (ft. Meyhem Lauren & Big Body Des)

Dog, I was born with Allah’s vision
I learned quick I couldn’t follow suit
Cause the Devil put the pork inside the dollar soup

This right here feels like a really dope freestyle, almost like he just jumped on a beat that he liked and just went for it. I wouldn’t say he went H.A.M on this but he murked the beat and this track has a really nice feature on it as well.

 

Thug Love Story 2017 the Musical (Interlude)

She can never be yours, a housewife. you see
She belongs to the ghetto, my friend
She doesn’t belong to you or me”

Yeah it says “interlude” so I’ll skip this and plus he didn’t rap on this, it was just some homeless dude singing basically.

City Boy Blues (ft. Chauncy Sherod)

I’ve given my life to a stranger, that sleeps by my side at night
Look in her eyes, I see danger, and man is this shinning bright

The first time I heard this track, I would have forgiven him if he didn’t say a single word on this. The music on this is just pure bliss. It has this whole upbeat blues thing going on. This track is solely about the music to me because the music clearly overshadows his voice on this. He sang on this one because this kinda track is not something that you would rap to.

A Light in the Addict (ft. Party Supplies & Black Atlass)

Have a fuckin’ sleepover with my weapons
My Rambo knife is eatin’ nuggets with my Smith and Wesson
Shit, I made this out of nothin’
Damn, these ladies love me out in London
Laurenivici served the granulated onion
My mind is locked in a contaminated dungeon

This track right here was almost a snooze, it took over a minute for it to kick off. But then I think that was the plan because it’s a sort of drastic transition from the previous track. This one is a more slow laid back track. This has a more slow downbeat blues vibe to it. It’s still about the music here as well but he might not quite get away with it as with the previous track.

Baby Blue (ft. Chance the Rapper)

Girl, we grown, stop playing on my phone, baby
All your childish attempts to make me angry fall short
Which only fuels the rage you have, because you have nothing
Understandable, I’m shining brilliant with 5 Brazilians
There were times I used to hide my feelings
Now I’m butt naked in the Lamborghini
And motherfuckers can’t see me

Matters of the heart once again. I do have to say that his approach to the issues is epic. The best part of this is Chance the rapper’s verse on this. It was blunt as hell and so comedic.

Only in America (ft. Party Supplies)

Anywhere I go, you know you’re goin’ with me
Bobby and Whitney without the sniffin’
Dog your bitch look like Eddie Griffin
I’m three wheelin’, keep the Chevy tippin’
Big bearded Buddha bangin’ bitches in Bermuda

The sound on this seems like some reference to a time when I wasn’t born or some TV show that I missed out on (probably the former). Another one where I didn’t enjoy the mix. But it still is a good addition on the album. I feel it would have been a good outro instead.

 

Galactic Love

Roy Rogers bathroom, sniffin’ coke with a model
Told her to Google me, shit I might paint the Cougar green
All this lechuga in my jeans
I still see Freddy Kruger in my dreams
Ain’t nothin’ moving but the cream
Shit, know I do it for team

I’m just gonna quote Action Bronson on this he almost took the words out of my mouth. ” This is a cool down. I’ve sent you through this crazy trip and we’re cooling down now. We’re cooling down for a magnificent ending. So I hit you with the [Action pantomimes a bass guitar]. You know, the crazy, beautiful, jazz bass line with the very light drums in the background and just hit you with the bars. I got my mother on the hook.”

 

The Passage (Live from Prague)

Oh Mr. Wonderful

This right here shouldn’t even be a track. It’s basically a live performance recording that has the crowd really chanting and anticipated for him to get on stage or after he just finished performing. “Oh Mr Wonderful”

Easy Rider

Live from the Expo, it’s me
I wear the wolf in the winter, steer the coupe from the center
Who gives a fuck, I’m a sinner
I had dreams of fuckin’ Keri Hilson in my Duncans
Woke up naked at the Hilton with a bitch that look like Seal’s cousin

Okay, I’ll admit, I was wrong. This deserves to be the outro easily. This sounds like the end of a western movie (by western I mean like a cow-boy movie). It’s just bars on bars on a really great sound. It’s a glorious end to a good album.

CONCLUSION

@OluwaJonpee: I’m going to be brief, this is one of those really good albums that you just know a lot of people will miss out on and not even bother to listen to it. If you’re reading this, don’t be one of them. This is a really good album. A- from me.

SlkLouis: i’m going to have to agree with Jon P on this one cos this is one of the few albums we’ve reviewed recently that i actually enjoyed after the first listen and one that i still enjoy till now. Bronsolino doesn’t even bother trying to change his formula at all as he uses the flow that made him famous along with the lines that are there just for you to laugh. The album feels like a live performance and while jamming it, i was just waiting for Bronson to throw a TV at me (if you have no idea what i’m talking about then look for a video of an Action Bronson performance).

2014-12-31 12.54.40

THE ALBUM ABOUT NOTHING: A REVIEW

By Ladi

Cover

Mr. Wale Folarin has dropped another beautiful album. This is the fourth album from this artist. click here for a review of his previous album.  It features a few good artists.  The album about nothing should not be confused with his breakout mixtape about nothing which dropped in 2008.  The title of this album is in homage to Seinfeld which was referred to as the show about nothing because there was no end goal for the characters and stories were sometimes unconnected. The major difference between the mixtape and this is that while he had to use clips from the show on the mixtape, the album has Jerry Seinfeld live in the studio dropping words of wisdom (sometimes) to introduce the tracks.

  The intro about nothing

This here track has the usual wale instrumental on it. The fingers snapping, tambourine and the keyboard mainly reminiscent of the DMV go-go sound which he used when he first started. Also, the flow he uses here is that churchy flow.  The song talks about him being stressed about so many things.  The churchy flow like we mentioned before with the rhyming of consonant sounds.  The song didn’t have a very vivid imagery neither was it accessible.

The helium balloon

Here wale uses the balloon to describe artists in general and the listeners as the strings tied to dem balloons.   The rapper talks about how the string can be a fan and a proverbial hater at the same time. “They like you stuck with us, don’t let him fly…”  “..  Cos the same hand held you might cut you… “. He should know that the fans are a necessary evil tho. Without fans he’s not a musician, he can as well be a bathroom musician like every other Jon.

  The white shoes

This track talks about flossing at whatever cost; wearing the best, sneakers in this case.  “Say we can’t always be fly but we gon be good as long as we sneaker wise. “ the right flow with reasonable content.  We see him rhyming consonant sounds here again.

  The pessimist ft. J.Cole  

The word hopeless kept on coming up and here’s why.  The talks about a context where one is molded to build sturdy hope on a day to day meanwhile this hope can’t pay the bills so it’s rather useless. So why be so hopeful.  Hopefully, this is what Wale meant to share.  J. Cole did well on the hook and the song carries weight content wise.  Mature content.  Quite accessible with reasonably vivid imagery.

  The middle finger  

This track centers on all the unnecessary publicity stunts being pulled in the music industry and how he’s usually not interested in all that.  Fuck you, leave me alone… His words not mine.  Sincere lyrics.

  The one time in Houston    

This is a supposed love song.  Love these days is all shades of fucked up btw.  We hear wale here talking about how he loves and isn’t loved right back.

  The girls on drugs  

Almost self-explanatory.  It talks about our generation now really. Drugs and alcohol.  The ‘turn up’ generation. With specific fingers been pointed to the females “girls on drugs they still need love“.  “Let me tell you about the women I’ve been chilling with…  she ain’t shy when the liquor spill.. “ he describes the lot of them as void until filled with drugs.  Real content and is quite accessible. Wonderful imagery portrayed here too

The God smile

Briefly talks about how the hustle gon pay one day and Wale and his “niggas” will be are the top of the game.  We see the same creative play with consonants here “girls kissing me all out, Christian dior’d out“. . More importantly he’s saying hard work pays.  “Cos this game aint based on sympathy.”

  The need to know Ft SZA

Cool track right here. Sza did me proud here. She managed the hook properly.  Wale comes in to show us that rapping aint bout anger and mic wetting sessions.  Smooth flow, wonderful delivery and lovely concept for a song.  The song takes its concept from the way most long lasting relationships stay that way,  keep on the low as much as possible. I’m no Dr Phil but Ladi knows it works

  The success

This song talks about the hustle and how it distinguishes him from the rest. The song talks about how people are pushed to do wrong all to survive yo! Nothing more.

The glass egg

My newest of hobbies, collecting calls…. “. We’ve been seeing the consonant rhyme kinda rap since the beginning of this album and this song isn’t lacking.   This song majorly talks about friends keeping friends and staying true cos real friends are quite valuable.  “Although beautiful matrimony is a rap of balancing your women, your riches and at least half your hommies.”

The next three songs all talk about women and they are all beautiful songs.  If arranged right they kinda tell a story

The body ft. Jeremih

This is the courtship stage. Awesome track that appreciates the woman’s body by comparing to cars and stuff.  Jeremih probably entered the studio with a machete that day like I’m gonna murda this track with his rendition of R.Kelly’s you remind me of something“..You can tell I’m outta line like DUI.”

  The bloom (Ambitious Girls 3)

This song describes the “meet my parents phase”.

   The matrimony ft. Usher

The matrimony is the marriage stage.  Engagement in sight and stuff.  So he describes how he feels about weddings and promises a “happily ever after”.

CONCLUSION

Ladi:   The album about nothing features Jerry Seinfeld in these skits that were pretty fun to listen to.  Plus we see the usual Wale on here as the smooth and suave nigga. Compared to the last album this album is less playful with a lot of precise and mature content.  The collaborations were bomb too. Wonderful stuff.

Ladi gives it b-

Slklouis: This album sees Wale scrapping the formula of his recent albums and going back to the beginning to reconnect with his core fan base. He does this by cutting down on the club anthems, dialing back the thug talk, bringing back the go0go sound, getting more introspective and cutting out the unnecessary features. The Seinfeld intros became annoying to me at some point and it started to look like Wale was trying to force the song to fit the skit even where they had no business been with one another.

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The inconsistency in tone of this album can be forgiven cos this is the album about nothing. Also, Wale is famous for his need for acceptance from others and this album is peppered with instances of him trying to find out why he isn’t as accepted as he thinks he should be. Even when he seems to say that he doesn’t seem to care what people think about him (e.g. The Middle Finger), he forgets that stance by the time the next track comes around. While this distracted me from really enjoying the album at times, I have gotten so used to it by now that it didn’t really matter in the end, I’ll have to agree with Ladi’s rating of B-.

2014-12-31 12.51.13

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