Mini Music Reviews: D’Angelo, J. Cole and Ghostface Killah
I’m no fancy music critic, just a regular dude, who is a consumer and I like what I like. Of course a review is the reviewer’s personal opinion and we all know opinions vary. So understand that I’m not trying to bash the artist you may happen to be a fan of. Also understand I’m not about to do a track by track back down of each album. As the title states these are mini reviews. That being said I absolutely welcome your feedback and opinions but no STANS.
D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah
True to form, which would be psychedelic neo-soul funk, D’Angelo is back with Black Messiah. After listening to the first released track Sugah Daddy, I was not impressed. It seemed a bit chaotic. I still decided to give Messiah a try and I will say I enjoyed the listen. One thought that I had over and over is “what the hell is D’Angelo saying?” It’s hard for me to understand his lyrics. It’s all good because this album comes off more to me as a jazz infused instrumental album versus an actual R&B album…which is still cool because I like jazz. For me Messiah is more Voodoo than Brown Sugar. On Brown Sugar, I could actually understand what he was singing compared to this album. Nonetheless; Messiah is and nice listen and I could easily see myself enjoying it on a road trip.
Stand Out Tracks
Really Love The Latin flare and D’Angelo’s sweet voice over the track is very nice.
Till It’s Done (tutu)
Betray My Heart
J.Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive
For me this is not a true rap album. It’s a rap-r&b album. If there are almost equal parts of the artist singing as there is rapping how is this a rap album? Maybe it’s not. Sometimes even when Cole is rapping he still kinda sounds like he is singing. Don’t most characterize Nicki Minaj as a rapper and singer? How is Cole different…I’m just saying. I do feel it’s okay to have a sample or a singer singing the hook on a song but when the rapper is doing most of the singing…Nah Son. On top of that, DUDE CANT SING. Need proof, just check out his performance on David Letterman.
In my opinion Drake has mastered the sing-rapping and everyone else seems like imitations or as Drake would put it “all these rappers sound like all my children.” I feel the other exception beside Dreezy is Kanye of course. Could I see myself listening to Forest Hills Drive again? Not in its entirety; because of some heavy lyrical content which I think Cole has lots of, I would absolutely bump a couple of tracks. For instance Fire Squad GOES HARD! Cole spits;
History repeats itself and that’s just how it goes
Same way that these rappers always bite each others flows
Same thing that my nigga Elvis did with Rock n Roll
Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and then Macklemore
While silly niggas argue over who gon’ snatch the crown
Look around, my nigga, white people have snatched the sound
This year I’ll prolly go to the awards dappered down
Watch Iggy win a Grammy as I try to crack a smile
I’m just playin’, but all good jokes contain true shit
Same rope you climb up on, they’ll hang you with
But not Jermaine, my aim too sick
I bang nigga, I came to bring the pain my brain too quick
You see how I maneuver this game, I ain’t stupid
I recognize that life is a dream, and I dream lucid
And break the chains and change minds, one verse at a time
And claim 2-6, and fuck it, if the shoe fits
Who’s the king?
Nice! The majority of this album feels to me as a harder version of a PM Dawn album. I’m just not really that into this type of new-age-r&b-rap music of today. Here comes the hate.
Stand Out Tracks
Ghostface Killa: 36 Seasons
See…a RAP album. I knew they still existed. Street soldiers feel love and emotions too. As NPR stated about 36 Seasons, “Would you look at that: a real life love story disguised as an action movie. From this cast I’d expect nothing less.” Is there anything unique or new about 36 Seasons? Not really but that’s okay because same ole Ghostface. In addition to nice ass beats, production and a story (although basic) that flows smoothly throughout, makes Seasons a banger.
With tracks like Love Don’t Live Here No More and It’s A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, the old school feel speaks to some of Ghost’s musical influences and upbringing. But wait’a minute here, we got’s Kook G Rap and AZ…Whuutttt? And by the way, more AZ please! Where in the hell has this kat been hiding? If you want to feel a little grim in your rap and a throwback to Iron Man or Supreme Clientele, cop this instead of abomination that is Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow. Ghost fans will not be disappointed with this one.
Stand Out Tracks
Love Don’t Live Here No More
Pieces to the Puzzle
After listening to D’Angelo and J. Cole, for some strange reason both albums had me feening for some new Erykah Badu.
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