Posts Tagged rap

Random Yarns: My 2013 Songs and Some Extra

Here goes nothing…

Wizkid and uncle Femi Kuti

Jaiye Jaiye – Wizkid ft Femi Kuti
Wizkid became the Akon of Nigerian music in 2013, absolutely slaying every song he was featured while churning even better songs of his own and this song with Femi Kuti was perfection for me.

It is lively, it is sort of thoughtful and it has Femi Kuti on it. If Wizkid is a type of act who can’t go wrong on a song, no song can go if it has Femi Kuti on it. No? Go listen to Eedris Abdulkarim’s ”Fela” for proof.

Uhm… I really like Caro too, the song.

New York Times – J. Cole ft. Bas, 50 Cent
For a long time after J. Cole released his Born Sinner album, ”Niggaz Know” was the only song I had because there was a fear the album would fall short of how good Cole World: The Sideline Story was.

But fear – if it’s not of the Lord – is a basic deception of the fearing person’s imaginations. So, I got the song with rave of the moment Kendrick Lamar and ”Forbidden Fruit” turned out quite cool.

Then I got this song with Bas and 50Cent and was absolutely convinced Born Sinner would be a very good album. Soulful instrumemtal, well delivered rap of a well beaten story (admittedly) and a very nice touch having the once golden boy of New York do the chorus.

Open Letter – Jay-Z
Been a while Jay-Z tried to go hard and actually did, I think. Magna Carter would definitely have been holier if this Open Letter was written on it too.

But hey… his album, his songs, his money [facts only]. Speaking of, $5 a pop for a million of them days before the album dropped? Ching! [his laugh] ♪ Ya’ll gon’ learn today… ♪

Young and Beautiful [DH Orchestral version] – Lana Del Rey
From the movie ”The Great Gatsby”, which I would have tried not to see if I knew it was based on a romantic plot but would budge anyway because it’s executive produced by Jay-Z and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, his buddy Tobey geeky spidey Maguire and others.


But Lana Del Rey stole the shine from the allstar cast and crew of the film with this song. I didn’t go past the minute in the film her voice sang this song for 10 minutes. Oshey Shazam for the hook up!

”All that grace. All that body. All that face. Makes me wanna party. [She’s] my sun. [She] makes me shine… like dia-monds… ” *adds to marriage playlist*

Mental note: Marriage playlist, not wedding playlist. Be guided.

Born Sinner – J. Cole ft James Fauntleroy
”Sometimes she hate the way she raised me but she love [who] she raised. Can’t wait to hand her these house keys with nothing to say.”

Main Theme [Pacific Rim OST] – Ramin Djawani
I remain loyal to uncle Hans Zimmer’s surreal compositions yeah, but whoever Ramin Djawani is, he absolutely nailed the main theme of the Pacific Rim movie, so well… Zimmer probably may not have most likely made, for the movie… nah I remain loyal to Zimmer but Djawani did really great on this.

Take Back Tomorrow – Goldfish
Stumbled on Goldfish on one of the scarce occasions I watch other channels not showing football or comedy (Married to Jonas is quite comic, depending on what point you view from) and was liking their vibe so, looked them up and got a random song.

This is the ‘motivational’ song that I got from my random choice.

Let Us Move On – Dido ft. Kendrick Lamar
Dido is to me what Rihanna is to her navy babies or Amber Rose is to her… rosebuds was it? No, Dido fans are not called dil-… whoa look at the time!

Yes, the song. It’s Dido, automatic love for it and with K-dot featuring… you just may like it too, if you haven’t heard it.

Soundsultan – Natural Something
Soundsultan always comes up with a great vibe each time after going behind the music industry’s curtain for a while. Never necessarily going with fad yet always managing to steer the mainstream to his lane for the moment he shows up.

Till next time then.

Khona – I don’t even know her name
… and I have no idea what in the world the song is about. Was she cursing those who listen to the song? Was she reminiscing on stuff that’s neither here nor there?

I don’t know but my head nods when the song comes on. One time, saw the video and it was subtitled. Who is the blessed soul that went through the trouble?

Memories Back Then – T.I. ft. B.o.B. and Kendrick Lamar
Nice song about very ‘unnice’ deeds from days of mischief past. Cliff Harris jr. is quite evil, to the point where he kept himself from name dropping at the end. One divorce averted.

Pour It Up [remix] – Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Juicy J, T.I.
Seeing as I don’t go out much (yes, keyboard warrior here. 5,000 virtual benchpresses per day. What do you know? :|) this is my ’50 Cent – In Da Club’ party track.

Durosoke – Olamide
Because it’s my oldest niece’s first favourite song, or so we believe at home. Now all she recites is the Hail Mary, followed by Alleluia shouts. So wonderful being one of her role models, I think.

Skelewu – Davido
Obviously, the instrumental. I can’t dance to save your life. The whole business on the video shoots for it though… mighty unnecessary.

Dangote's god son.

Cash Flow – D’banj ft K-Switch
We miss the Mo’Hits D’banj yes, but his album this year wasn’t so bad unlike Not/North’s dad’s album which we’ll get to in a moment.

For now, ”I’m the god son of Dangote… owo tun wa! Ola tun wa! Iyi tun wa! Mo gbona fẹli fẹli mo tun po-pu-lar. A ni mo l’ẹnu mo le p’aṣẹ bi Mandela. Kẹ le gbo mi daada bi vuvuzela!”

La La La – Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith
It’s the perfect song when you’re in the ”can’t tell me nuffin” mood, the perfect for the minority who actually listen to the Yeezus album and try to convince you to… ”what was that? Jesus is what? Gimme a moment mate!”

”♪ La. La la. La-la-la La-la La-la-la-la La… ♪”

I’d written a bit more about how we who hate Yeezus love Kanye but can’t take the ‘creative direction’ he took to make the album, how it sucked that the album was compared with Jay-Z’s over-valued mixtape, why Justin Timberlake, Jesse Jagz and some others didn’t catch my ears and something about I should like Burna Boy’s album more but I haven’t listened to it enough.

Then there was a little bit more about how the bonus tracks of the Marshall Mathers LP 2 alone will kill the entire albums of pretty much every rap album put out in the last… let me think about it… three years, arguably. Not just sure what Eminem and Rubin were smoking when making Berzerk but it definitely was not premium, or perhaps that’s what it was. I don’t know.

All that intended to be written, it’s a wrap. Christmas is in the area and Arsenal may well be top of the league still when Christ is born. No? ”♪ La. La la. La-la-la La-la La-la-la-la La… ♪”

Have a great week anyway!

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Album Review: E.L.I.

Never has my first listen of an album seem not so lightbulb an idea thanks, or no thanks, to the overwhelming backlash Panshak ‘Ice Prince’ Zamani received upon the release of his debut album ‘Everybody Loves Ice Prince’ just over a month ago.

Yes, the outpouring of emotions concerning an album tagged the rap book of bars to not spit for upcoming rappers kept me from bothering to get E.L.I. soon as it dropped. Same backlash I honestly had to find out for myself and concur with or otherwise, so here goes….

Following a string of successful guest appearances on tracks by his fellow Choc City mates and other Nigerian as well as some foreign artistes, expectation for Ice Prince’s maiden album consequently touched the clouds.

The former Jos resident decided to try pleasing everybody by putting together one too many sounds for our listening (dis)pleasure and this here’s my first grouse with E.L.I. Being a debut album, it would have been a whole lot better he stuck to the rap and hip hop genre rather than exploring what other talents lay inate. Such should only come after at least two highly successful albums in my opinion; Lagbaja a prime example and even he did so after six albums (I’m open to correction).

Next is the album’s title. Ever Lyrical Ice Prince is what I thought E.L.I. meant when the label let it be known that’s what the album’s title would be. Should’ve kept the original title he had in mind; the street he grew up in at Jos… understandable though, switching to E.L.I. following the messages he received when his mother died.

Then are the materials that made #IcePrinceBars a hashtag that stands for very lame bars. Truly, Ice spat a few here and there on the 17 track album that weren’t quite… *sigh*

“Can’t even ball cos these haters tryna deflate”… -__-. Some other ‘-_-‘ lines on the album include “I’m too big and my file never compress” -_-, “I spit too much I feel like I’m tongue-less.” -__- and the track, Magician I think, where I hear stuff about a she being ‘Inter Milan’?-___- but to all that, “Hate me? Watch my finger pop, no wicklow”.

Some other lines I’m willing to stand in the line of verbal bullets for though; meaning I like ’em, include “cos even when rain de fall we still drop sweat” just to emphasise on the hustle, “I’m balling like oh yea, homie call me la liga” and as if he knew what was coming, “If you fly too much they turn terrorists. If you try to shine too bright they turn eclipse”.

In all, la Liga disappointed as regards dabbling into other genres when I’d have preferred hearing him rather what he feels he ‘also’ can offer. Then those bars… -______-.

Ignoring that this is an album by a rap artiste however, a few of the sounds (excluding vocals) are enjoyable. Jesse Jagz went bonkers on the beat of ‘That Ni**a’. Pimple face (couldn’t help it) also delivered the goods on ‘Juju’ and of course ‘Superstar’ and definitely on ‘Oleku’ which, like it or really like it, is the biggest single of 2011 in Africa and that’s without taking to account the many remixes of it by ‘freestyle’ champions.

Samklef did good on the beat of ‘End of Story’ as did WizBoyy on ‘By This Time’ and to my utter surprise, M.I. on ‘Olofofo’ as well as ‘Remember’ and ‘Thank You’, which was co-produced with Chopstix.

Songs I can allow to take up megabytes on the system are Remember, Juju, Small Small, That Ni**a and Thank You. Of course, Oleku and Superstar have grown on a brother.

Rating: 2.8/5

1: Remember
2: Juju
3: Superstar
4: Magician ft Yung L & J Milla
5: Baby
6: Olofofo ft Wizkid
7: See Myself
8: Wassup Wassup ft 2face
9: Oleku ft Brymo
10: Find You
11: By This Time ft WizBoyy
12: Somebody Lied
13: Small Small ft Sean Tero
14: That Ni**a ft Morell
15: End of Story ft Samklef
16: Raindrops [It’s All Good]
17: Thank You ft Choc Boiz

, , , , , , , , ,


Teflon Don Album Review

The latest studio album of Dade County rapper William D. Roberts, better known as Rick Ross and fast becoming known also as Ricky Rozay, is one very expensive piece of music that sees him collaborate quite a number of artistes as well as sample the exclusive-sounding works of producers as J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Kanye West, No. ID, Lex Luger and the Runners on the iTunes bonus track.

Teflon Don album cover - the catch is in the scenery captured in the shades

Teflon Don has Rick Ross rap for most parts about the usual we’d expect from him; life on the fast lane, title tracks of a couple of his favourite automobiles apparently but in tracks as “Free Mason”, “Tears of Joy” and “Maybach Music III”, the self proclaimed boss somewhat put to rest any doubts of his, pulling off cheeky lines like “We’re the lost symbols speakin’ cryptic code/ancient wisdom valuable like gifts of gold” and “My top back like JFK/they wanna push my top back like JFK!/so…so I JFK, Join Forces with the Kings and we ate our day” from “Free Mason”, “Everybody know I’m alotta people threat/biggie smalls in the flesh, I’m living my life after death” from “Tears of Joy” and “I came alive like a morph in summertime/Japanese wheels, blades all samurai” from “Maybach Music III”.

It is on “Free Mason”, featuring RocNation mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and John Legend, that Rozay in my view pulls off one of his better verses ever; a necessary thing to do when you’re rapping alongside a proven wordsmith as Hova who, on the track, explicitly debunked claims of him being a part of the church of Satan, “Rumours of Lucifer, I don’t know who to trust… he without sin cast the first stone, so y’all should look in the mirror and double check with your parents… b***h I’m red hot/I’m on my third six but a devil I’m not”.

On the No. ID and Kanye West produced “Tears of Joy”; both of whom I feel should produce more beats together more often, Rick Ross raps over the old school vibe from the genius duo about rising out of the ghetto to living the life only black American Express cards can afford, such as a “quarter million for the…” track’s production apparently.

Such is the theme that runs through the album with self proclaimed king of the south T.I. and Erykah Badu featured on “Maybach Music III” along with Jadakiss, Diddy on “No. 1” following the success of their collaboration on Diddy’s “Hello, Good Morning”. Other artistes featured on Teflon Don include Raekwon on the bonus track “Audio Meth”, Gucci Mane on MC Hammer, Styles P on B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast) and Chrisette Michelle on “Aston Martin Music” alongside Drake whose debut album “Thank Me Later” came at a very wrong time with Eminem and Ross coming strong and T.I. to follow suit come September.

All that collaboration left Ross not doing much of spitting bars on his album, something that leaves much to desire and affirms my view of the rapper as a second grade one only capable of just about getting it wrapped up in the studio; the only glaring downside on the album of an otherwise well produced album that makes for good listening overall and my top picks from it are Free Mason, I’m Not A Star, Audio Meth, Tears of Joy and Maybach Music III.

The album was released under the Def Jam Records and Maybach Music labels on July 20 and debuted at second place with just under two hundred thousand copies sold in its first week, right behind Eminem’s platinum certified Recovery album by sales of just a thousand copies less and the latter has held the number one spot for four weeks.

Super High has a remix that features Ace Hood.

Rating: 6.5/10
If the album was made only of Free Mason and Audio Meth, it’d probably score a 7.5 on here but… it is what it is!

Track listing
1. “I’m Not a Star”
2. “Free Mason” (feat. Jay-Z & John Legend)
3. “Tears of Joy” (feat. Cee-Lo)
4. “Maybach Music III” (feat. T.I., Jadakiss & Erykah Badu)
5. “Live Fast, Die Young” (feat. Kanye West)
6. “Super High” (feat. Ne-Yo)
7. “No. 1” (feat. Trey Songz & Diddy)
8. “MC Hammer” (feat. Gucci Mane)
9. “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” (feat. Styles P)
10. “Aston Martin Music” (feat. Drake & Chrisette Michele)
11. “All the Money in the World” (feat. Raphael Saadiq)

iTunes Bonus Track
12. “Audio Meth” (feat. Raekwon)

©δ.õÁ 26/07/2010 ™

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


…having a Recovery: A Review of the Recovery Album

There are very few musicians, and even fewer rappers capable of reviving a dwindling career up to or very close to the point of their peak and I feel Detroit rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III, much better known as Eminem, just added himself to that category having listened to his latest (6th) studio album aptly titled Recovery.

Official cover for Recovery

Official cover for Recovery

Recovery is being a commercial success, selling 741,000 copies in its first week to claim the best opening week for an album in 2010 (so far) and currently topping most notable country charts (about 20 countries); such is the album’s success so far its least position on a country chart is 8th.

Recovery’s success makes me wonder, if “that last album…in the trash” was able to pick up Best Rap Album at the last Grammy Awards; ahead of overwhelming favourite The Blueprint 3 by Jay-Z, it has to be a matter of how many awards Recovery will pick up when the awards season arrive.

Relapse cover

Relapse cover

Yes, Eminem still is (unrepentantly) as verbally vulgar as ever but his use of metaphor, sarcasm and phenomenal vocal strenght (most evident in No Love featuring Lil Wayne) sets the album to be Eminem’s best effort since The Marshall Mathers LP of a decade ago, if not slightly better.

What I particularly like about Recovery, strangely enough, is the sparse use of long time collaborator Dr. Dre on it. The ace producer, unlike in last year’s Relapse, produced only two of the 16+1 tracks in the album (which by the way has no skits) and in my view, Eminem produces better than the normal best when working outside the good doctor and the proof is in songs as Beautiful (Relapse), Marshall Mathers (The Marshall Mathers LP), Not Afraid and No Love (Recovery), Lose Yourself (8 Mile OST), When I’m Gone (Curtain Call: The Hits), Cleanin’ Out My Closet and ‘Till I Collapse (The Eminem Show), Like Toy Soldiers, Spend Some Time and Mockingbird (Encore Disc 1), 97’ Bonny & Clyde (The Slim Shady LP), Infinite and Tonite (Infinite) and oh, Stan with the magnificent Dido Armstrong.

Infinite cover

Infinite cover. Only a few hundred copies of the album were sold and in vinyl by the artiste himself.

So what else makes Recovery tick? Eminem avoided, as much as he could, using an accent while at it. He also had some out-of-the-box collaborations with Lil Wayne (a collabo I bet we’ll see much more of), P¡nk (which isn’t much of a surprise since she and him kinda have a character fit) and most surprisingly, Rihanna on a song aimed at Kim (Love the Way You Lie). And, he made use of unorthodox productions – the sound for most parts wasn’t what I’d become used to from Eminem.

The tracks that propel the album? No Love (featuring Lil Wayne) for me is the best track on the album with Wayne at his metaphorical best – “…my gun’s semiCartermatic” (sic). Eminem then comes in with 40bars of pure genius (the standard rap verse is 16bars, equivalent to 40seconds) and the hook was cool.

Not Afraid comes a very close second as firstly, you’d hear Eminem’s true voice on it as with in No Love. Secondly, he mentioned a few truths – “…in fact let’s be honest, the last relapse CD was ehhhh/perhaps I ran ’em accents into the ground” and “it was my decision to get clean/I did it for me/admittedly I probably did it subliminally for you…” and finally, the song was aimed at the fans.

Other songs that have me clicking the repeat symbol are You’re Never Over (dedicated to Proof), Untitled (the +1 track you could also call it Here We Go), Almost Famous (which has an ill hook), Seduction (where he murders the second verse with genius, mimicking Jay-Z’s ‘ahw’ from BP3), W.T.P. (White Trash Party), Cold Wind Blows (where, in the second verse, he does a quite hilarious thing with lightning) and Won’t Back Down (featuring P¡nk).

In all, I’ll rate Recovery 4.5/5 from a bias view and 3.8/5 from a critique view. Indeed, Recovery will make you throw that Relapse CD into the trash, I guarantee it!

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: