Tag Archives: Album Review

Album Review: Pi’erre and Cardo’s Wild Adventure

by Nnamdi Chugbo

On December 26th, 2018, producer and rapper Pi’erre Bourne joined vapor trap producer CardoGotWings to surprise fans with an upbeat, 14 track mixtape to end off an insane 2018 for the two artists.

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Pi’erre Bourne is most widely known for his production and work with Atlanta-based rappers Playboi Carti and Young Nudy, however many listeners are unaware of his lyrical and rapping talents. He decided to focus on rapping in this project and left the production to Texas-based producer, CardoGotWings.

Pi’erre Bourne stuck to his usual rapping style and topics, a mix of rapping and singing with a light autotune over happy, upbeat trap beats. While Pi’erre is widely regarded to be the best trap producer in the game as of now, he chose to use exclusively CardoGotWings’ beats for this project.

He rapped about love in songs such as “Quicksand,” and heartbreak in songs like “Kevin Durant.” This song name came about due to Kevin Durant commenting his praises on a preview of the song that Pi’erre Bourne posted to his Instagram account. Pi’erre even talks about the oppression and problems that African Americans face in the tracks “My Calendar” and “Civil Rights.”

The mixtape did a great job of keeping listeners engaged due to having a consistent vibe with each track, while also making sure every song has a new feel to it. This discouraged repetition, which is often seen with many rappers. It seems that Bourne is making a great case to prove to the general public that he is more than just a producer and can in fact be great behind the microphone, too.

The project also serves as a preview and teaser for Pi’erre Bourne’s well anticipated new project, TLOP4. The Life of Pi’erre 4 is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2019 and will continue to strengthen Pi’erre’s campaign as a studio rapper and not just a producer.

Overall, Pi’erre and Cardo’s Wild Adventure was a greatly timed project for Pi’erre Bourne to build hype for his next major project, The Life of Pierre 4. Pi’erre paired great, cheery beats with smooth vocals and clever lyrics to deliver a smooth project for his fans. This ends off a strong 2018 campaign as a producer and rapper.

The sky’s the limit for this young artist, who has often been compared to a young and fresh Kanye West in terms of talent and skill when it comes to production and rapping. Pi’erre’s fanbase should be excited to see what he has in store for 2019 and beyond.

 

Album Review: XXXTENTACION Presents: Members Only, Vol 4

by Joshua Lucero

Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy – also known as XXXTentacion – was born in Florida and became a worldwide-known musician in 2017.

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Tentacion has influenced many young people with his albums that are a true touching of the inner feelings of one’s heart. XXX – in the beginning of his career – was troubled with charges of domestic violence and facing prison time. In this part of his life, there were many fans who believed he was a lost cause, but in many ways XXX proved to the world that he was changing.

Look at me, which was released on Soundcloud in December 2015, was his rising start to the top. People fell in love with the energetic Broward County rapper and watched him evolve to take on several different aspects of music.

XXX would later die on June 18th, 2018 in Florida from a horrific shooting that would shock many. During his life, XXX released many well known albums, such as Revenge released in 2017, 17 released in 2017, and ? released in 2018. After his death, we were given two more albums, one titled Skins that was later released after his death.

Most recently, we were given XXXTENTACION Presents: Members Only, Vol 4 released on January 23rd, 2019, which would have been XXX’s 21st birthday.

Members Only, Vol. 4 is filled with lesser-known talent. The project has Tentacion working with a collaboration of artists, such as Ski Mask the Slump God, Rawhool Mane, Cooliecut, Craig Xen, Kin$soul, Bass Santana and more.

This album consists of 24 songs that last for an hour and five minutes. Out of 24 songs, XXX has one solo song titled Sauce! which reminds us of who he was with the line “Huh, do not be alarmed, this is just for fun.”

XXX has four other songs that he has collaborated with other artist. We are given a reminder of who Tentacion was, rather than remembering the negative aspects surrounding his name. Our remembrance of him is of an uplifting and happy person, which is implied within these songs.

The final song in Members Only, Vol 4 is titled Rebirth (2016) which is a snippet from XXX’s many words speaking on what life is to him.

Speaking on what people do in their life, there is always a reason behind the actions that create your life story. Tentacion goes on to say “the people who struggle the most or get it the hardest will succeed in the end, I promise you.”

People like X have came from a hard beginning, but the barriers that he had encountered are obstacles that are possible to overcome. This interpretation can go further into saying to never give up no matter the situation, because life will take care of you as long as you don’t give up on yourself.

Lastly, XXX unfortunately predicts his own death with the line “And if I end up getting shot and killed for what the f**k I’m doing, it’s ’cause I deserve it” in the album. This is one part of XXX that is known for being a touching artist who did more than make music, but connected to his fans on a personal level.

A+E: Top Five Albums of 2018

by Elijah Ramos

If you came looking to find someone talking about your favorite “Lil” rapper, well you’re out of luck.maxresdefault

5. Whack World – Tierra Whack

If you haven’t heard this entire album or even gave it a chance – oh man – you’re missing out. There’s something really special about this album – it’s artsy, weird, and cute. Whack can spit bar after bar. Whack World is unique in so many ways, and if you haven’t listened there are so many unique aspects to this album. For example, it’s an album that consists of 15 songs that are all one minute long and each song is different in it’s own way.

It’s hard to really dig deep Whack’s songs because of how short they are, which is why it comes in at number five on this list. I would love for it to be higher on my list but this year is packed with so many great albums that I fell in love with. I would have to say my favorite song on this album is Bug Life, because she gets down to it and shows us her rapping ability on this song with a trap beat to go along with it. This album is a must listen, in my opinion it’s the most unique album of the year and there’s nothing like it that I have heard. Big props to Tierra Whack, and I hope to hear more from her in the future.

4. My Dear Melancholy – The Weeknd

Going into this album – at first – I was worried thinking that The Weeknd would drop something like Starboy, which for me I didn’t like at all. But, a couple days before the drop, I saw Travis Scott tweet “This is giving me trilogy vibes,” and I knew I had to give the project a listen.

This album is The Weeknd that we fell in love with. He came out with an instant classic that I listen to on repeat in Call Out My Name. When I heard this song, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed in the rest of the album. In this album, we go back to hearing The Weeknd talk about not really caring about feelings and is here for one night but he will “come back if it’s good enough,” basically back to baby-making music. Gesaffelstein makes an appearance on two tracks and really brings back that Starboy feel, but I like this more then anything. This album is one of my favorites of all time, mainly because I am a big fan of The Weekend and this album is a classic of his.

3. ASTROWORLD – Travis Scott

I had to have this album on my list, and it even makes a real case for the top album of the year spot. This album took over this year with so much anticipation and hype, as not only did it reach its potential, but surpassed it. Travis Scott and his spectacular feature list are something that you read out of the bible. This album has reached top-notch status for me, from songs like CAROUSEL that feature my favorite artist of all-time in Frank Ocean, who really makes the song. Sicko Mode is basically three different songs in one, featureing Drake who is spectacular on all aspects. This album will be on repeat forever. I am absolutely obsessed with Astroworld and want to say thank you to Travis Scott for this legendary project.

2.  YE – Kanye West

The year of 2018 was a very busy one for from a musical and social media standpoint from Kanye. Mr. West dropped two albums and produced several others. We are still waiting on Yhandi, but this takes the plate for Kanye. Every one of the seven songs on YE the world sang at one point. This album is Kanye at his finest, and there’s real debate over this potentially being Kanye’s best album.

Kid Cudi also came out of the shadows to help work on a lot of Kanye’s work this year. Cudi and Kanye together on a track is something to witness. This duo dropped an album together and Kid Cudi was on many of the songs on YE. Each of these seven songs are amazing and each one beats the other in different aspects, but the one that takes home the gold medal is Ghost Town in my opinion. I absolutely adore this album and hope Yhandi drops soon. Kanye single handedly took this year over, so props to Kanye for all the amazing projects and songs he worked on this year.   

1. Kids See Ghosts – Kid Cudi

This duo project with Kanye West and Kid Cudi is pure greatness. Two creative minds collided to make this masterpiece. Coming into this album, I was very excited because we got a taste of these two on YE. The production and time that Kanye put into this album is what made it so great. Every beat is better than the next. Kanye really out did himself on this album. Kid Cudi held his end up as well, with great rap verses and intoxicating hooks.

The first song on this album is Feel The Love, and right off the jump you hear Pusha T come in with his aggressive rap style and make sure he is heard. However, Pusha T’s verse doesn’t make the song great to me. Kanye mimicking the drums towards the end of the song is what makes this song hit. In the majority of Kid Cudi’s verses he talks about his mental health and the things he’s been through. He makes you feel what he is rapping about. In “Fire” Kid Cudi says, “It’s so many days I prayed to God, All this pain I couldn’t seem to find a way… On this road I find these scars I left behind” showing his pain and asking God for help.

In “Ghost Town 2,” – Kanye and Cudi are yelling free – making you want to join in and yell with them and rage. It’s a thing of beauty. This entire album is full of passion and pain, it’s hard not to love. Cudi and Kanye are two of my favorite artists and to watch them put together my favorite album of the year and maybe even All-Time was special. 2018 was a special year in music.

Album Review: Life’s a Trip vs. Astroworld vs. Stay Dangerous

by Nikolas Molina & Elliston Ospina

Recently in the hip-hop industry, three albums dropped by mainstream artists in a span of three weeks. Life’s A Trip by Trippie Redd, Astroworld by Travis Scott, and Stay Dangerous by YG all have unique sounds differing from one another. 

Life’s a Trip – Trippie Redd

Trippie Redd’s debut album, Life’s A Tripdid not live up to hype and anticipation that was received before its release.  

Trippie differentiated from his traditional music style, which was his strength and what people listened to him for. He did not stick to his emo or sad style of music usually mixed with a lot of bass, as seen in songs such as “Dark Knight Dummo” featuring Travis Scott.

However on this album, he did show some new-age flare in songs like “Oomps Revenge.” Five of Trippie Redd’s fourteen songs were singles that had already been published, much to the dismay of his listeners.

“Dark Knight Dummo,” “UKA UKA”, “Taking a Walk,” and “Wish” are four of the five songs he had previously released prior to the album’s drop. Listening to this album as a whole, it was disappointing to find it comprised of so many songs that he had already given his listeners to hear and experience.

When you anticipate a new album, you hope for new sounds and new music, but that was not the case for Life’s A Trip.

In this album, he tended to use guitar samples and noises which is more consistent of the rock genre. In the song “How you feel,” Trippie really pushed for the guitar samples which ended up being a main sound he used throughout the album.

In reflection, Trippie probably would’ve been better off sticking to what he does best. His initial catchy sounds and beats are what he is most famous for and what his fans are expecting from him, which is shown best in his mixtape titled A Love Letter To You.

Astroworld – Travis Scott

Astroworld is Travis Scott’s third official album and his strongest and most popular to date. This album was undoubtedly the most hyped project of the year.

The creation and hype around Astroworld was announced and started all the way back in 2016. Finally, fans were able to hear the officially over-hyped project on August 8th, 2018, when Scott released his work to the public.

The album as a whole did not live up to most people’s expectations. All of Scott’s songs were incredibly similar. Most had the same exact type of beats and similar to same sounds. But, he did stay safe and stuck to his traditional sound unlike Trippie. This was probably a smart move, as he gave his fans what they are craving for and branded himself at the same time.

Props are due to Travis however for the amount of new songs and unheard tracks he produced on the album, unlike Trippie. There are a few catchy songs on the album but not the “bangers” we have truly come to expect from him.

The songs produced did not live up to the very high expectations that the album was given, especially after the long 2 years he had die-hard fans wait for. Nonetheless, it topped the charts and is Travis Scott’s most popular album to date in terms of streaming and numbers.

Stay Dangerous – YG

Stay Dangerous is YG’s third studio album. There was some anticipation around this album, especially from California natives, but nowhere in the same ballpark as Astroworld.

His lyricism was very lazy in comparison to previous works, literally throwing out nursery rhymes such as “Duck Duck Goose” and being extremely repetitive. YG rapped about his usual topics and thoughts: women and his gang, which is to be expected from the West Coast rapper.

The beats in this album were very consistent with those of his older albums as well. Nonetheless, he did produce a couple of catchy songs such as “Big Bank” and “Bulletproof.” Overall, the veteran rapper clearly didn’t put maximum effort into this album.

Stay Dangerous was neither special nor terrible. It was under par compared to YG’s previous special and highly-listened to works.

Ultimately, in the world of music this album is just another project from another artist. It truly was a cash-grab and a stretch for money from YG when all is said and done.