**WARNING: EXPLETIVES WILL BE USED IN THE FOLLOWING ROUND-UP AS THEY ARE LYRICS TO THE SONGS BEING REVIEWED. THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THESE SONGS MAY ALSO BE OFFENSIVE. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TOPICS I’VE MENTIONED ABOVE DO NOT READ. THANK YOU.**
Harverd Dropout – Album – Lil Pump
After the highly anticipated album was delayed following its announcement, many were left wondering if the project would ever come to fruition. After Lil Pump posted images of him and Kanye West working together on his birthday, fan’s interest in Pump skyrocketed as a collaboration of this level necessitates some sort of hype song. Following the release of “I Love It,” at the Pornhub Awards, Pump was arrested and sent to jail. The album was again delayed as any promise of release from prison was up in the air. After his inevitable release from imprisonment, kudos to the American legal system, Lil Pump announced the album, and fans were yet again drawn into a frenzy. The night came for release, and no album came out. Pump posted videos on social media announcing that he had, “lost the album.” Now, we stand here on the night of the 21st, “Harverd Dropout” finally a released project. The album, personally, delivered exactly what my expectations had been. Tracks such as “Be Like Me (feat. Lil Wayne)” demonstrate Pump’s talent for creating building blocks for, arguably, more lyrically talented artists to craft a feature than makes the track shine. Overall, the album is a fun escape from the normal competitiveness of rap.
Favorite Bar: I’m a millionaire but I don’t know how to read (Nope)
Jack R. Connolly
Father of 4 – Album – Offset
With his first solo project, Offset firmly cements himself as the Beyonce of the Migos rap group. Each song features catchy hooks, the track “Don’t Lose Me” opens softly and catchy bongos lead into the main beat of the actual track. Alongside the actual hook, the following content is unique in that when do a full listen, the end of each song is distinct enough to realize. A problem with modern hip hop, especially mumble rap, is the monotony of beats and the lack of any individuality between each track. Offset however, offers the listener a unique beat and flow each song, proving to be one of the more iconic of the Migos members. When compared to the absolute dumpster fire that was “The Last Rocket” and the monotony of “Quavo Huncho,” “Father of 4” delivers sonically pleasing cuts from track to track as Offset delivers his most well produced project yet. With the emergence of Migos’ space in what some consider the “mumble rap” genre, Offset does not chain himself to the precedent set by the rap trio.
Favorite Bar: Drippin’ too clean like a napkin (Drip-drip-drip)
Jack R. Connolly
Drip or Drown 2 – Album – Gunna
With 2018 undoubtedly being Gunna’s breakout year, the artist had the attention he had long desired with the release of his delayed solo album Drip or Drown 2. With a heavy reliance on supporting artists throughout last year, Gunna found his way onto the top charts numerous times with songs such as “Yosemite” and “Drip Too Hard,” however Gunna was given the chance to further secure his spot as a solo artist this week. With the production of Wheezy and Turbo, and features coming from Lil Baby, Young Thug, and Playboi Carti, the familiarity was entirely present. However, with a tracklist of 16 songs, the Atlanta rapper was able to showcase his personal identity as an artist. Gunna’s failure to deliver lyrically was of no surprise, and most likely no disappointment to his returning fans. The flow was noticeably unique to Gunna’s style, and distinctly separated this album from his previous work with Baby and Thug on Drip Harder. Overall, the album met, but did not exceed, all expectations I had for this project. Going forward we should expect to see Gunna stray further from the constant collaborations, and continue to establish himself as a stand-alone artist.
Favorite Bar: If I put on White, then it’s gotta be Off
Cade M. Caballero
Five Stars – Album – Higher Brothers
Seemingly slipping off my radar, Higher Brothers drops a star studded project sporting features from JID, Soulja Boy, Ski Mask the Slump God and Denzel Curry. Mixing English with Mandarin, and even hints of the group’s local dialect, the super group creates a fusion that caters to both niche fan groups, yet tracks with features allow Higher Brothers to tap into the mainstream. The track “One Punch Man” has piqued the interest of Denzel Curry fans as the possibility of a Ski x Curry collaboration seems to have entered the minds of many. JID yet again delivers an amazing feature as his rise to the top of hip hop continues forward. JID’s flow is then imitated by the Brothers and the backend of the track carries on the high paced energy that JID never fails to deliver. Overall, the album delivers an insight into Chinese hip hop that some in western society may find to be an impenetrable scene. However the inclusion of American artists being featured on the track, a larger audience is able to enjoy their creative vision.
Favorite Bar: Look at the diamonds we’re Benihana. Whippin it up like Hibachi
Jack R. Connolly
“Spy Kid” – Single – Chief Keef & Zaytoven
The first single released off of Chief Keef & Zaytoven’s GloToven album shows great promise for the upcoming collaboration, as well as draws immediate attention to the fact that “Spy Kid” is an exponentially better title than Kyle’s “iSpy.” Following Zaytoven’s “BEASTMODE 2,” the producer regards his next project with the 23 year old rapper as “one of [his] favorite albums yet,” and this release shows no reason to believe otherwise. The song lyrically falls short of what Sosa fans have heard in the past, but through an execution that highlights his diversity as an artist. With a beat resembling that of a future album, and Chief Keef’s entire alteration of flow, I found tremendous surprise with how impressively the song was pulled off. If the full length album reflects that of this week’s single, fans should be more than pleased come March 15th.
Favorite Bar: I changed the forecast I be Icy-cy
Cade M. Caballero