Trizz – “Black Suburban Music” (Album)

L.A.’s very own Trizz drops his new album, “Black Suburban Music”, featuring Brotha Lynch Hung, Kokane, X-Raided, Knoc-Turn’al, Cal-E-Clipz & Roc$tedy.

It’s been a over a year since my last solo album. This one feels different. Everything from the lyrics to the beats are the real deal. Even the skits are real life scenarios that I captured when people weren’t aware so it’s authentic. I’m just a black kid from the suburbs and this sh*t sounds like you’re riding around in a black suburban… hence “Black Suburban Music”.

Choco Valens – “Kill Politics” EP

Remember the days when dope artwork made you want to listen to the album? New or old! With the current state of the country, we came across a album cover for the 2018 release of “Kill Politics”, the first EP by Miami lyricist Choco Valens. Make sure to stream the project!!

Global Octopus – “Animal Sounds” (Album)

Up and coming underground Hip Hop duo based out of Denton Texas, Global Octopus releases their new highly anticipated album titled “Animal Sounds“.  Make sure to follow them on Instagram @globaloctopus17.

 

DJ Black – “Scorpio Season” (EP Review)

DJ Black is a rapper and guitarist from Stockton, California. Starting as a guitarist in the group HED .P.E., Black has quickly grown as a solo artist. After rolling out many successful singles, including “Blood on My Adidas” and “Remember November”, fans have been waiting for a full-length project from the up and comer. “Scorpio Season” is the name of his debut ep, and it captures every element of what makes DJ Black such a unique individual compared to his peers.

DJ Black compiles his emotion, pain, and personal differences to create a compelling and distinct performance. The intro track “3:33 A.M.” sets the tone for the album as Black goes on a radical rant discussing subjects such as depression, grief, corruption, and white supremacy in America. After this hard thinking piece, the second track “Dead Beat” settles in the mood as the Cali mc continues to rant about his gripes and issues with society. The next few songs continue DJ Black’s aggressive thought train as he pours out even more of his criticisms towards various groups, ideas, and organizations. The album closes on the more personal side of things with the cuts “Homies” and “I.I.W.I.I.”. In addition to the shift in subject matter, Black shows off a softer melodic side to his arsenal, which is a refreshing change of pace. With an array of skills and an extensive lyrical arsenal, DJ Black keeps listeners engaged for the entire 18-minute duration of the tracklist. 

Sonically, DJ Black fuses rock with hip hop in a cohesive manner. From “Dead Beat” to “Stupid N Young”, Black shows how to influence rock into rap music properly. He also lets his guitaring talent shine as there are a plethora of times where the young mc supplements his lyricism for a guitar solo. The track “Homies” displays the best culmination of everything due to its sample-based instrumental and guitar infused baseline. Overall, DJ Black is exceptionally creative with the sonic direction on Scorpio Season.

In conclusion, Scorpio Season is a phenomenal debut ep from DJ Black. The blend of rock and rap is usually something that fails, but this young mc manages to defy the odds and master the two sounds. On top of his intricate and comprehensive rapping ability, Black’s guitaring ability adds even more layers to this already profound project. The only complaint I have with the ep is that clocking in with an 18 minutes run time, it can feel a little short to some. Going forward, I’m super excited to see what direction this talented artist decides to move in, and if you are too, be sure to follow @theofficaldjblack on Instagram!

Rating: 9/10

Highlights: Lyricism, Production, Guartaring 

El Stacko – “Based On A True Story” (Album Review)

El Stacko is an up and coming rapper from Chicago, Illinois. After years of work, the mc has released his anticipated debut album, “Based On A True Story“. The record captures the hardships Stack faced growing up on the Westside of the Chi. While it is not always beautiful, the project is a gritty and unfiltered perspective into a life not everyone can make it out of.

El Stacko’s moving lyricism and delivery make the album feel super genuine and thought-provoking. The intro track “Honest” sets the tone for what to expect going forward as Stacko uses his struggles to allude to his come-up story. For the next few records, Stacko continues to rap about the trauma he has endured throughout his life. The cuts “Stay Strong” and “Keep Moving” are my favorite songs on the project as the Chicago rapper uses chilling vocals and dark imagery to paint a tear-jerking story. The rest of the album builds upon the previously addressed topics.”Got It Going” with Needlz knievel is another standout song due to its intense lyricism and hardcore flows. Overall, El Stacko does a great job of painting his roots on the tape.

Sonically, the production on the record matches El Stacko’s abrasive style. While none of the instrumentals are mind-blowing by any means, they fulfill their job of holding the project together. Cuts such as “Realer Than You” and “Vamonos” exemplify this with their straightforward yet hard-hitting trap and drill fused beats. An instrumental which stuck out to me was “Stay Strong”, which contains a sappy piano beat for Stacko to reminisce over. All and all, El Stacko picked the soundtrack of this album well, as each instrumental helps convey the message the rapper is trying to get across.

In conclusion, Based On A True Story showcases what to expect from El Stacko going forward. Putting so much emotion into his songwriting, each track feels like a roller coaster. In the future, I’m super excited to see what this gifted mc will accomplish and if you are too, be sure to follow @elstacko4 on Instagram!

Rating: 7/10

Highlights: Emotion, Flow, Vocals

T.R.3 – “Black Nirvana” EP

Atlanta-based Hip Hop artist T.R.3 drops his new highly-anticipated EP titled “Black Nirvana“.  Releasing a barrage of music over the last few years, he proves once again that he is far more than “just” a rapper; he’s a truly an all-around artist with an activist’s soul whose verses speak truth to power and find the light in the darkness. Black Nirvana is a guitar-driven project harnessing that light and shining it on the world.  Follow him on Instagram @tr3world.

Don Jones – “Hurricane Season III” (Album Review)

Don Jones is an upcoming rapper from the UK. He has built up a cult following due to the success of his Hurricane Season mixtape trilogy. His newest album, “Hurricane Season III” is the final installment of Don’s signature series. Jones says the tape is supposed to describe the good bad and confusing parts of his life, and despite his vision getting clouded along the way, it certainly accomplishes this task.

While he can fall flat lyrically and vocally at times, Don Jones’s raw hunger makes the record feel compelling and enjoyable. The intro track “Freebandz” showcases the British rapper at his best as he addresses his gripes and complaints with society and himself. Furthering these ideas, the songs “Till I Fall” and “Potent Winds” sell you on the introspective side of Jones’s character. On the contrary, cuts like “Max Bass” and “Oh Yeah” demonstrate the rapper’s ability to make popping club hits. Lyrically, Don Jones doesn’t blow me away as his subject matter, and wordplay is pretty basic but, he redeems himself with his vast array of skills. He can rap in many different pockets while also being able to sing at times. With that being said, Jones hasn’t come into his own vocally yet, so it can be an earful to listen to at times. Overall, Don Jones’s performance is not perfect, but it is tolerable on Hurricane Season III.

Sonically, the production on Hurricane Season III gets the job done. Mainly consisting of standard trap beats, the instrumentals are fun but lack any depth. Tracks like “Too Drip” and “Shady” exemplify this. Some beats which stood out to me were “Blame” and “Max Bass” due to there unique drum patterns and sample placement. The final three songs, “Skirt Off”, “Burnt One”, and “Again Again”, all contain intricate and powerful instrumentals. While having its moments, the production on Hurrican Season III is nothing to write home about. 

In conclusion, Hurricane Season III is a solid project, but Don Jones still has a long way to go before reaching greatness. His flow and aesthetics are pleasing, but he still lacks the full artistic arsenal that most successful rappers need in this day and age. With that said, I’m looking forward to seeing how this talented mc progresses and grows over time, and if you are too, be sure to follow @donjones.uk on Instagram!

Rating: 5/10

Highlights: Flow, Versatility, Catchiness

Damo the Great – “Sacred Geometry” (Album Review)

Damo the Great is an MC from Dearborn Heights, Michigan who debuted in 2018 with Order Out of Chaos. He had also put out an instrumental album called Now You Know the year prior but as we approach the 2nd half of this hectic year, he’s starting off the new decade with his sophomore effort entirely produced by Invectrum.

After the unsettling “Poison the Toad” intro, the first song “Shoot 1st” talks about how he don’t fuck with haters over a gloomy boom bap beat whereas the track “Valaryian Steel” with Aztek the Barfly & Guilty Simpson finds the 3 coming through with vicious battle bars over a rugged instrumental. The song “Evil Kanevil” with DZK & Green Children sees the 4 talking about how they’re all demonic on the mid over an spine-tingling beat & after the “Ouroboros” interlude, the song “Eloise” talks about insanity over a bleak instrumental

After the “Intro to Geometry 101” interlude, the the title track comes through with some good for the mind over a clever violin loop while the song “Murderers Row” with Diabolic sees the 2 proclaiming themselves as lyrical assassins over a demented beat. The track “Dream” with Sankofa finds the 2 pondering about life over a forlorn instrumental while the song “It Ain’t Over” with Mastamind sees the 2 challenging their opponents over a suspenseful instrumental. The album finishes off with “Wetwork”, where Damo is pretty much saying he could care less about a number of things over a supernatural instrumental.

As much as I liked Order Out of Chaos, I think I enjoy this new album just a little bit more. There are a couple features I could’ve done without, but Foul Mouth did a great job on the mixing & I really dig how Sacred Geometry is a lot more darker from Damo’s lyrical topics to Invectrum’s production

Score: 7/10

Cxld – “Quarantine” EP

Brooklyn’s very own Cxld drops his new EP, “Quarantine”. A 5-track project telling a story of a man with a free soul expressing all of his emotions through the love found within.