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[Words By: K1ng Eljay]
I haven’t personally given out a perfect score since Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap. We’ve had a couple of perfects awarded, but they were from other writers on the site, and the only one I feel was truly deserving in the past was Don Trip and Starlito’s Stepbrothers 2 project from former site writer Joe Hova. As for me…
I’ve made a couple of mistakes in the past concerning reviews. I do my best to try to give objectionable reviews and make viewpoints that everyone can relate to, and then I make a stand with the said logic I’ve reasoned out in the review. It’s a pretty simple thing, but when you get in the area of high rankings for those projects, it’s easy to misstep a bit. The best thing you can do is put it out, make a stand, and hope that your scores aren’t swayed by something you notice a month or two later.
That’s one of the issues that I have with rushed reviews to begin with. I understand it’s meant to be a timely thing, but it’s hard for you to convince me that you’ve dissected a project and let it soak in enough for a review when it’s been out less than a few days, much less a day for certain sites. It makes no sense. Even still, there’s two projects we’ve reviewed a while back that I wish I could change; I wanted to give Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly a perfect score, but I held off due to density, and I wish that I could change that now.
The second one is actually a change from a perfect downwards, so I won’t put that one on blast (but if you ask me, I’ll reveal it). Long story short, it’s one of the reasons I’ve slowed down the review process a little more for the site; we’re focusing on quality over quantity, and the last thing that I want is for opinions here to feel as if they could be swayed over time.
That’s why it’s ridiculous to write this Music Journal for an artist that’s never been posted on the site before outside of a recent video drop. Boogie’s a Westside native that popped onto the scene recently with his last two projects, the first being Thirst 48. I actually was put on to it by Melvin Burch, and when I heard it, there were definitely dope moments there, and it showed a bunch of promise. “Bitter Raps” was one of the highlights of it, and it stayed on my iPod.
As you may have guessed, this Music Journal isn’t about Thirst 48. Boogie’s latest project, The Reach, is arguably one of the the greatest leaps in musical development I’ve seen an artist go through, and it righteously compares to J. Cole’s jump to The Warm Up, and Kendrick Lamar’s jump to Section.80 as far as quality. That’s not hyperbole or any type of exaggeration. I’ve listened to this as a fan repeatedly, and then switched ears to try and nitpick the flaws here, and there’s so minute that it’s not even worth mentioning in detail.
Boogie’s The Reach is one of the year’s best projects you’ve never heard, point blank, and you need to rectify that at the end of this review. … Continue Reading
- Words By | Leon Sullen, Jr.
- Pen Name | K1ng Eljay
- Twitter | @K1ngEljay
Donnie Trumpet seems like a lowkey type of person from the outside looking in. He didn’t say much publicly when Kids Next Door dissolved back in the day, but he’s always vocal concerning supporting his friends at every juncture. From the interviews to the behind-the-scenes movements, everything about Donnie seems unassuming, except his ideas.
The concept behind making a project like this isn’t strange at all. DJs use the collaboration concept all the time to make their street-tapes, and even other instrumentalists have pulled something similar (such as Miri Ben-Ari). Not too many people, however, have bought into the anonymous idea before now. So many artists are big into building their brand, so to attempt something of this nature – and to agree to it uncredited – is almost unheard of. However, it works due to the approach; nothing’s quite as rewarding as giving listeners that fresh, surprised feeling. … Continue Reading
- Words By | Leon Sullen, Jr.
- Pen Name | K1ng Eljay
- Twitter | @K1ngEljay
Kanye West has this habit of purposefully going against the grain when creating music. It seems like each of his albums has a different vibe to it at some point, and although there’s a bit of familiarity sprinkled within, he tends to leave only a trace of it as he branches off to the next. College Dropout was heavy on soul samples. Late Registration had a ton of live instrumentation, but only a little of the sampling we were familiar with. Graduation shifted the tone to mood music, but still retained a bit of the bar work we were familiar with in the previous two. 808s and Heartbreak took that to a whole different level… and the process continued until now. Kanye initially was criticized for his efforts, but after a while, that turned into appreciation as music began to morph around what he was doing. And, as a note, whether his trailblazing is a result of him leeching ideas from the lesser known people around him is a completely different story, for the record.
You could make an argument that only two other people in music have that type of influence right now. Drake, obviously, and Kendrick Lamar, quietly. Of course we hear the Drake effect on almost every song now, to the point it sounds normal and cliché (hence, the average review given by Joe Hova concerning If You’re Reading This)… but if you look closer, you see the sudden stamp of what Kendrick Lamar’s revitalized as well. Section.80 started it, and good kid, m.A.A.d city stamped home the re-introduction of story LPs to mainstream media (you can argue Mickey Factz did it first with Mickey MauSe, but that didn’t pop on a mainstream level, so the argument doesn’t hold any weight). It used to be an underground Hip-Hop type of thing, but it’s not anymore. You see several artists using it successfully and making it their own (YG, QuESt’s Searching Sylvan) and some that can’t quite pull it all together as they desired for whatever reason (Logic’s Under Pressure). So for the ones that were truly expecting this Kendrick Lamar project to sound like something you’ve heard before?
It shows you really weren’t paying attention… and that’s okay. Seriously.
you know how brave it is to be standing at the front of the rap game & make music that completely contradicts its current pace/flow/sound?—
UPNORTHTRIP$ (@evboogie) March 17, 2015
Now’s the time to change that, however. There’s not a lot of artists that willfully stand in the current of the flow of music and redirects himself. To be fair, only Kanye has done it in recent memory (Drake had a chance to, but then put out a project of songs that all sound similar to something he’s done in the past). Kendrick’s attempting to do it here, but not with the focus group that Kanye may or may not have had around him. K. Dot laced himself into a bubble and was the executive producer / engine behind it all, so the success and failure of it could be placed all on his grandiose idea and how ready most are to at least TRY to digest it. It’s dense. It’s complicated. It takes way more than one play to fully get what’s going on.
But, more importantly, it’s Kendrick Lamar’s second mainstream album release, To Pimp A Butterfly. … Continue Reading
- Words By | Alicia Jackson
- Pen Name | Yori
- Twitter | @AnAmazingFeat
- “My Way”
- “‘Bout It”
Music is an auditory mood enhancer, it is the only means of escape that can reflect a somber state of being or support a natural euphoria perfectly. For the most part, we gravitate to a genre or song based on our emotional ebb and flow, with hopes of either amplifying those feelings or totally turning them off. Many artists do this well because they create from the same place and allow their listeners the chance to engage. However, there are those few artists that can enter your being, take over, and lead you through their journey, regardless of where you started. It is too early to speak on JMSN’s category of artist, but The Blue Album is constructed in such a manner that hijacks your current emotional state and leads you by design. … Continue Reading
- Words By | Joe Coad II
- Pen Name | Joe Hova
- Twitter | @JoeHovasMF
- “One In A Million”
- “Gimmie Mo (Remix)” (feat. Sasha Go Hard)
- “Good Karma”
I’ve talked about this on my site before but there has been such a dynamic shift in R&B music over the last few years. Just ten years ago we had songs like “Let Me Love You” from Mario topping the charts and even Trey Songz began his career on songs similar to that sound. Then things began to shift, courtesy of Pretty Ricky mainly, to become more raunchy and ratchet. Now it seems like that is the mainstream of R&B music, while the more finessed sound of the 90’s and late 2000’s has become the alternative. Personally, I think the one artist that is doing his best to keep that classic style afloat is BJ The Chicago Kid. He’s no rookie either as his Pineapple Now-Laters is revered by many as an excellent album. Recently, he dropped this freebie titled The M.A.F.E. Project and it has been praised highly since then. … Continue Reading