Rap

Childish Gambino – This Is America

Everything this man does right now becomes gold!

I have to admit that I’m perhaps a bit biased when it comes to Childish Gambino/Donald Glover. I was sold on him from the first moment I heard and saw the music video for Freaks and Geeks As soon as I finished it, I had to find out who this guy was. Soon after, I discovered the tv-show Community where he plays one of the characters, his standup comedy special Weirdo, 30 Rock where he was a writer. Everything Donald Glover chose to put his heart into, he did succesfully.

Or did he?

Even though I was absolutely loved his earlier music, he had a hard time getting respect from some fans of hiphop. Being nerdy and coming from comedy doesn’t mesh well with the usual rap-image. He wasn’t rapping about lambo’s and champagne. He wasn’t rapping about growing up in the trap. He wasn’t rapping about how he had to sell drugs to get by. He was simply telling a different story – his story! And I loved that. Authenticity has always been a major theme in Childish Gambino’s music, and I feel like him staying true to himself and his work has finally paid off in every way possible – I like to believe he is one of the most respected artists alive right now. Who else can say they are on top of their music career, star in the next Star Wars movie Solo (pun intended), and be the voice of Simba in the upcoming remake of Disney’s Lion King, all while you have created one of the most succesful tv-shows in Atlanta (You have to watch Atlanta if you haven’t yet!).

I know this became more about Childish Gambino or Donald Glover as a person than the song, but he is truly one of my greatest inspirations. This song shows why he is the best doing it right now. The social commentary can’t be escaped with everything happening in the US right – talks about Donald Trump, gun control, racism, identity and patrionism. The music video itself is a piece of art and fits the song perfectly as it helps expand on some of these topics I mentioned earlier.

I aspire to one day be half as talented as Donald Glover. Stop whatever you are doing right now and watch the video – you won’t regret it! (I’m already working on learning the dance moves right now).

Spotify link: Childish Gambino – This Is America

J. Cole – Kevin’s Heart

I’ve had some time to digest J. Cole’s (almost) surprise release KOD. His previous project, 4 Your Eyez Only, wasn’t close to being my favorite, but I think people are being way too harsh on it. This could be because 2014 Forest Hills Drive was such a good album that people expected 4YEO to be as good or better, but I believe 4YEO has some really great moments. This time, J. Cole came back with a new sound though, and it sounds like a mixture of the melodic beats from 2014 FHD and the more simple beats from 4YEO. 

The first song that really grabbed my attention was Kevin’s Heart. I liked the songs up until then, but I believe that Cole shines in songs like this. The message is easily understood as Cole builds up the perfect story of how temptation is always lurking. I think J. Cole’s storytelling is one of his main strengths – just how easy it is for him to paint a picture of a situation using metaphors and word plays.

The song got a well deserved video that stunned me the first time I saw it. He actually got Kevin Hart to star in it, which is crazy considering Kevin Hart’s recent cheating-situation (look it up on google if you want details). I can honestly respect that Kevin Hart agreed to do the part and it made me realise that the song is touching upon some very human things – ego stroking, temptations, lust, regrets, adultery, love, addiction. But the video showed me a different side to all these things that I wasn’t considering before: Forgiveness. J. Cole wants us to understand that we are only human – not good nor bad, just alive with feelings in whatever way they come.

Give the song a listen (watch the video as well) and get addicted to the song just like I am. I’ve been humming it for the past couple of days and It’s definitely going on my J. Cole playlist!

 

 

Vince Staples – Get The Fuck Off My Dick

Vince Staples is back with a new song and he announced it in the best way possible: A GoFundMe campaign where he promises that he’ll never be heard from again in media or with songs if he manages to raise 2 million dollars.

Check out the campaign for yourself here!

I really enjoy Vince Staples’ personality and it makes me like his music even more when you can feel that he’s stays true to himself which makes it authentic (or at least it feels authentic) – especially when he’s operating in a world where many artists feel pressured to act a certain way to sell records and sign record deals.

In the song, Vince Staples addresses stuff such as how he feels he was snubbed at the Grammys, how people don’t like the direction of his music and other similar topics – I guess this is his way to get something of his chest, which is very welcomed by me as new Vince Staples never disappoints. Just keep this stuff up Vince and you’ll get a Grammy soon enough!

Oh, and what a cover picture for a single – I love it!

 

 

Denzel Curry – Zeltron 6 Billion (feat. Lil Ugly Mane)

Denzel Curry released a new EP this weekend and it’s really awesome! The project is short, concise and to the point (all meaning the same thing actually) and that makes the project highly enjoyable.

I honestly think Denzel Curry has one of the best flows right now as he can just flow on whatever beat is thrown at him. His wordplay is  entertaining and the way he combines the two things make him standout as one of the most interesting upcoming artists.

Check the EP out as well as his other projects. He is really talented.

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music

Noah Carter – City of Sin

Danish artist, Noah Carter, has released his debut album and I was honestly surprised by the quality of it. I have never listened to any of his music before this album, but I decided to check it out because Google Play Music suggested it and I’m glad I did.

The song that stood out to me was City of Sin. He does sound a bit like Drake, but that’s not a bad thing. The instrumental sets the perfect mood for Noah’s voice and lyrics and it makes the whole song elevate to a different level compared to the other songs on the album.

Give his music a chance and listen down below and make sure to check out his album Couch Dreams as well!

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music

Bryson Tiller – Before You Judge

I’m back with another post after a couple of days off. I have to admit my “one-post-per-day”-mission was, despite being a fun goal, pretty optimistic and I probably won’t go back to that. I will instead only post songs when I really feel like sharing them – that usually means that the songs does such an impression that I have to share it with everyone!

“Now back to the good part” – Michael Bolton

Bryson Tiller dropped his album a whole month before it was supposed to be released. His debut Trap Soul was really enjoyable and this came as a pleasant surprise. Before You Judge reminds me so much of his song Rambo and I love how hard he goes on both of those songs.

Be sure to check out the song and if you like it, check out the album as well!

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music

Eminem – Guilty Conscience (Feat. Dr. Dre)

It’s Monday and that means I’m getting all nostalgic. The post today features one of the first rappers I ever listened to and what a legendary one!

Eminem has had a really long career and I would still argue that he is one of the best technical rappers there has ever been in the game. His ability to act out stories in his songs while using convoluted and complex rhyme schemes is one of the most admirable skills he has and I don’t believe anyone else has even come close to this (Earl Sweatshirt has this ability as well, so he is arguably the closest one).

This song is one of the first I ever heard from Eminem (together with My Name Is) and I still remember watching the music video. The whole concept is as awesome as it gets. It’s a rap battle on morals as the two sides go against each other with Eminem (Slim Shady) acting as the evil side and Dr. Dre being the good one.

My favorite part is the third verse where Eminem just snaps and brings Dr. Dre down with him:

“You gonna take advice
From somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?
(What you say?) What’s wrong? Didn’t think I’d remember?
(I’ma kill you, mothafucka!) Uhh-ahh, temper, temper
Mr. Dre, Mr. N.W.A, Mr. AK
Coming straight outta Compton, y’all better make way” – (Lyrics from Genius)

The way he flows here is the reason he is one of the best in my opinion!

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music
Youtube

Kweku Collins – Oasis2: Maps

Kweku Collins released a new album called grey the other day and it’s pretty dope overall.

Ever since I heard him for the first time on Vanilla Skies, he has been on my radar and now he finally came through with new music.

Kweku got everything going for him – an unique sound, he can both rap and sing, great ear for melodies. I honestly believe he can get big if he plays his cards right and I hope this will help him get some exposure.

So check out the song as well as his album – I bet you will find something worth listening to!

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music
Soundcloud

D.R.A.M. – Gilligan (Feat. Juicy J & A$AP Rocky)

Big Baby D.R.A.M. released a new banger with some help from Juicy J and A$AP Rocky! The song is a lot harder than what D.R.A.M. usually brings, but the style actually suits him.

Both Juicy J and Rocky has great verses and they fit perfectly on the beat – and D.R.A.M. kills the chorus! It’s becomes catchy after a few listens and I have had the chorus stuck in my head for a while now.

It will be exciting to see where D.R.A.M. takes his sound next. After Cha Cha and Broccoli he seemed really to have found and stuck with a positive vibe, but this song is totally a different approach, so I’m really excited for his next move. There’s nothing to do but wait it out (and enjoy this track while you wait).

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music
Soundcloud
Youtube

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN (Album Review)

I hope everyone have had a great Easter! I’m back after a small break and I’ve decided to dedicate this Monday to special post. I usually do Nostalgic Mondays, but I will past the nostalgia today to focus on the brand-new album released by my favorite rapper Kendrick Lamar!

First off all, I want to say that this album is the only music I have listened to ever since it was released Friday. I have probably already listened to it 10 times – while also listening to some of the songs individually.

I will leave a small review of every song with a score from 1 – 5 with 5 being the best score. I won’t go into details with every part of the song, but I will focus on what caught my attention the most.

Let’s get this started!

1. BLOOD: This is a short intro to the album and it starts with Kendrick trying to help a blind lady, but ends up being shot! WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON?

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

2. DNA: The seamless transition from the intro to DNA is crazy! The beat goes hard from the beginning and made me think of his song m.A.A.d. City right away – later in the song there is beat switch and Kendrick just switches to beast mode. I honestly felt like destroying stuff when I heard this the first time and that’s unusual for me. What a way to start of the album

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

3. YAH: After the crazy beat on DNA, Kendrick switches it up and take you for a walk on a much slower, calmer beat and the whole song feels like taking a walk on a cloud. I like the vibe of the song and it never gets boring even though the chorus is a bit repetitive. He makes up for this in the verses, where he talks about his struggles with being known for his socially conscious rap, but at the same being limited by only being an artist. Overall a pretty chill song.

SCORE: 4 out of 5!

4. ELEMENT: “New Kung Fu Kenny!” is the perfect introduction to this song. Kung Fu Kenny is indeed back with a great flow and hard hitting bars! This song is one of the harder songs without having the same “in-your-face”-production such as DNA. The verses are crazy and the chorus is so catchy even though it did take some time for me to appreciate it.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5!

5. FEEL: This song is one of the reasons why I feel like Kendrick is one of the best rappers (if not the best) right now. You can honestly feel his feelings through the song – the whole vibe of the song makes you feel for him. And his flow on this song is beyond crazy! I honestly don’t have any words for it – it just captivates you and makes you want to listen.

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

6. ROYALTY (feat. Rihanna): When I saw the feature with Rihanna, I kind of feared the worst. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t see the two of them make anything other than a generic pop song. Luckily, my fear was put to shame when I heard it. The two of them complement each other really well and Rihanna has a pretty great verse in this – something I didn’t expect at all. The song is radio-friendly, but it doesn’t feel like a typical radio song and the message of the song is really strong – they talk about loyalty in different ways and it’s pretty interesting overall.

SCORE: 4 out of 5!

7. PRIDE: When I first heard this song, I didn’t know what to make of it. It just sounds so different – I would never have guessed Kendrick to make a song like this. To be honest, this may be my favorite track on the album right now. Everything about it is just soothing to the ears. The beat is simple, but abstract – if the beat of YAH was like taking out a walk on a cloud, this is like floating just above the world and being able to make out what every action of every single person. The whole song is one of the most beautiful songs Kendrick has ever made and my ears just love it!

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

8. HUMBLE: The first single of the album – and what a single to have! It didn’t give any idea of what to expect from the album, but it fits the album perfectly. This is another banger on the album and it’s impossible to sit still to this song – even my mom and grandma starts moving (true story) when they hear the beat. The chorus is perfect, simple and effective – everything about the song goes hard!

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5!

9. LUST: This song make me feel kind of eerie. I don’t know what it is, I guess it’s a combination of the beat and the different voices Kendrick uses throughout the song, but it doesn’t make me feel comfortable… AND I love it! I think it’s intentionally made this way. If you listen to the lyrics, he touches upon how every person lust for something whether it be materialistic things or feelings and how it can feel monotonous chasing this. It’s one of the songs that directly makes me reflect on my vices and my actions in life – good job Kendrick!

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5!

10. LOVE (feat. Zacari): The instant I heard this song, I was hoping it would be the next big radio hit. It’s just such a good song – a bit more popish compared to other Kendrick songs (reminding me a bit of Poetic Justice), but this song is a perfect song for the radio. This is mostly Kendrick talking about his love for his fiancé and how he loves her. But I think the big surprise on this song is Zacari. He is perfect on the chorus and the seamless transitions between these two voices is what makes the song one of the best on the album.

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

11. XXX (feat. U2): This song just comes at you with brute force and doesn’t care that you were day dreaming about the love of your life in the previous song. Especially when the beat switches and the siren starts – I feel like doing a drive-by or something like that! It’s so aggressive and abrasive that you don’t know what to do with your body. And then the beat switches again, slows down and Bono does his thing on the chorus. In the first half Kendrick sounds a bit like Vince Staples and the style suits him – this song feel like three songs in one, but there’s good cohesion between the three parts and it makes this one of the most interesting songs on the album.

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

12. FEAR: The longest track on the album and the most intriguing by far. The beat samples the part that was used in The Heart Part 4 and Kendrick goes through 3 verses with 3 different types of fear. The first verse being about when he was 7 years old, the second verse when he was 17 years old and lastly when he was 27 years old (present time). I love the concept of how your fears evolve throughout time and Kendrick ask how much fear controls his life. This is just straight out storytelling rap and Kendrick shows how good he is at that as well as exploring complex emotions.

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

13. GOD: So, at this point, I honestly don’t know what to say about this song. I love it! I don’t know what it is – it’s hard for me to point to what makes me enjoy this song so much. I know the chorus is one of the things that does it – but I can’t pinpoint exactly what about the chorus is good. Maybe it’s because I find the song so unique and different from what Kendrick normally does, but at this point in the album it’s hard to be surprised.

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

14. DUCKWORTH: This song is the perfect ending song as it wraps up the whole thing and brings it back to the beginning. The beat on the song is great and it becomes even better when the beat switches around later in the song. Kendrick spits his heart out telling an interesting story of how he became who he is today – I won’t go into detail about what the song is about as it will spoil the story, but this song is the perfect ending to a great album.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5!

Final Verdict: This concludes the individual song reviews – as you can see it is quite highly rated and I honestly feel this album is just as good as both Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and To Pimp A Butterfly. I didn’t feel this in my initial listening and it took about 3-4 listening sessions before I came this conclusion. There is not a bad song on the album -there are no fillers which I also find important and together with the diverse songs, this make it one of the least boring albums that I have ever heard…

AND then there is the best thing:

There is still much more to be explored with the album – and it will be in my music rotation for a very long time!

SCORE: 5 out of 5!

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music