THREE MORE REVIEWS WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!
Okay here we go
It’s no secret that Kid Cudi’s last couple of projects have been… disappointing to say the least… While artists are expected to grow over time and expand their horizons, Cudi tended to expand a bit too much. Personally, I liked some of his last efforts. The WZRD album was dope, and Indicud wasn’t too bad. Mother Moon wasn’t that great though and Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven, while creative and fun, just wasn’t good. That was partly due to Kid Cudi’s abandonment of rap and hip-hop elements to focus on more of a punk rock sound. Which is a great concept, as his personal aesthetic lines up more with punk than hip-hop, but in reality did not end up sounding pleasant. So it goes without saying that listeners were a bit wary when Cudi announced that he was releasing Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. Well I can confidently say that all of our worries were for naught. PP&DS is a return to form for Cudders. He brings back his emotive hums and synth laden sounds recreating the mood spaces of his mind and presenting them for us. Similar to both of his Man on The Moon projects, this album looks introspectively to his struggles with mental illness, addictions, self-doubt, and relationships and displays them in a way that is both telling and groovy. Also Cudi comes back spittin just as hard as he did in the old days. My one qualm with this album is that it’s super long, clocking in at an hour and a half. Also because it deals with such heavy subjects, it can get a bit dreary at times(Okay so two qualms, sue me).
Overall Rating: 7/10 (It’s soooooo loooooong)
Standout Tracks: Frequency, By Design, Rose Golden (Willow kills it), Baptized In Fire
Favorite Line: Spread love to all my sisters and brothers, lets do better/ stop judging a nigga cause their different
Going from Cudi to his biggest disciple, Travis Scott dropped his sophomore album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, in September and I have been listening to it ever since. Like most of Scott’s discography, this album is tightly woven audio experience. Each song flirts with the next and teases your ear with its melodies and rhythms. One thing that strikes me about this album is just how jammable it is. None of these songs would be out of place playing at a club or party of some sort. And even with that, none of them are watered down content wise. You won’t find braggadocios songs about how much wealth Scott has or his love for strippers or anything like that on this album. Instead you get eerie love songs, stories depicting his rise to the place he’s at now, and odes to his group of close knit friends. All delivered in a gritty, but fun manner. As he’s done before, Scott managed to blow me away with the features on this project. La Flame had everyone from Andre 3000 to 21 Savage on this album( he even found Cassie!), and it all sounded amazing. Once again, he had me rooting for artists I’ve openly hated before ( looking at you Bryson Tiller). Plus he got to collaborate with his hero, Kid Cudi, on not one but two tracks. This album is one of my absolute favorites from 2016 and if you haven’t already, I suggest you check it out.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Standout Tracks: beibs in the trap, goosebumps, guidance, first take
Favorite Line: Hope you had a mattress when you sleepin on me/ hope you got some back up if you creepin on me/ cause just last week I rest in peace’d a homie
Kendrick Lamar released an album full of B-sides and it was better than half of the finished albums that rappers put out this year. How? HOW?! I was actually really grateful for this album because I loved the funkiness of To Pimp A Butterfly and I needed more of it. Also before Stephen Colbert took over for David Letterman he had his own show:The Colbert Report. On one of his final episodes, he had Kendrick as his final musical guest and Kendrick performed one of the coolest songs I had ever heard. It was a look at racism/descrimination from the perspective of multiple races. That song was Track 03 on Untitled Unmastered and I am forever grateful that I have a studio version of this to listen to and analyze as well as pass down to others. I begrudgingly thank LeBron James for playing such a crucial part in getting this album released.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Standout Tracks: untitled 03, untitled 02, untitled 05, untitled 07
Favorite Line: Just know the mechanics of making of making your choice and writing your bars/ before you poke out your chest, loosen up your bra/ before you step out of line and dance with the star/ I could never end a career if it never start
So there ya go, Tres mas. Enjoy, check these projects out, and let me know what you think.
There’s Some Flava For Your Ear