Tech N9ne – “FEAR EXODUS” (EP Review)

Tech N9ne is a Kansas City, Missouri veteran who’s music I’ve covered countless times up to this point. From founding the independent powerhouse Strange Music alongside his manager Travis O’Guin to his insane work ethic & an incredibly lengthy discography, the man really has done a lot to the culture to solidify himself as one of the all-time greats. He just put out his 22nd album ENTERFEAR back in April, which was followed up by a great outtakes EP MORE FEAR just a couple months ago. However with the Halloween season approaching quickly, Tech is finishing the FEAR trilogy by releasing his 8th EP.

After the “Rally the Troops” intro, the first song “EPOD” with JL sees the 2 talking about being the illest over a woozy trap beat from Seven whereas the next track “I Think” is a fresh showcase of the current Strange Music roster over a grimy instrumental. The song “Sprocket” with Krizz Kaliko is yet another addition to Tech’s long list of club bangers backed by a vigorous beat from N4 while the track “Tech’s Mex” talks about his originality over a spacious instrumental.

The penultimate song “Becoming Too Famous“ talks about the crazy amount of press coverage he’s received recent years over a settle trap beat & after the “Exodus” skit, the closer “Making a Killin’ (I Ain’t Scared of Shit)” talks about moving on from the FEAR trilogy as he announces his upcoming 23rd album Asin9ne dropping next year over a ghostly instrumental.

Man, what a good way to segway into the next chapter of Tech’s career. He gives listeners an introspective look at where’s at currently whereas Seven & N4 both continue to prove both of their own sounds compliment Tech the best. Beyond excited to hear where he takes things next year.

Score: 7/10

NOLAN Releases New Album “TALK SOON” & Drops New Video “LAH”

With the release of TALK SOON, Detroit artist NOLAN (a/k/a Nolan The Ninja) is finally trusting instincts. He has a renewed focus on taking full artistic liberties and believing in his art. And now that he’s grown and proudly doing what he truly feels, we’re getting the real NOLAN on TALK SOON, a sonically vivid project that pairs banging minimalist beats with some of his sharpest raps to date.

As for the lo-fi, boom-bap-leaning music NOLAN released previously, don’t worry, because the “ninja death” doesn’t mean no more hip-hop. “That’s gonna be with me forever. I can do that sound with two hands tied behind my back,” he says with a laugh. “But NOLAN is gonna give you more, stuff that the ninja couldn’t. That’s why TALK SOON is special!”

Another favorite of NOLAN’s is “LAH,” a fuzzy, laid-back slapper that he’s bringing to life in a new video with director DDIDDYDOTMPEG. Check out the visuals here where NOLAN enjoys a recent trip out to L.A. As NOLAN himself says, “I name-dropped Kobe & Staples Center in the raps so it was only right I headed West.”

Head over to your preferred digital retailer or streaming platform to support TALK SOON, available now through NOLAN’s SPORT CAST imprint. The 14 track LP is due out soon on limited purple vinyl and cassette.

Papoose – “Endangered Species” (Album Review)

Papoose is a 42 year old MC from New York City who rose to fame by dropping a slew of mixtapes throughout the 2000s. His full-length debut The Nacirema Dream finally saw the light of day in 2013, which was followed up with You Can’t Stop Destiny in 2015 & then Underrated at the beginning of last year. However, Papoose has decided to enlist Brady Watt to produce a bulk of his 4th full-length album over here.

The album kicks off with “Billionaire”, where Papoose talks about getting a big bag out of this rap shit before time runs out over some keyboards & organs with the drums popping in midway through while the next track “Boxcutter” talks about having the deadliest pen of them all over a deadly boom bap beat. The song “Cobra Scale” brags about how he’s living over a harp loop while the track “Kickback” with Conway the Machine & French Montana sees the 3 spitting battle bars over a luxurious instrumental.

“The Human Body (The Brain)” is a full-blown science lesson with a dystopian beat while the song “COVID-19” gives a run-down of the ongoing pandemic backed by a ghostly instrumental. The track “Maturity” pays tribute to his wife Remy Ma over some piano chords while the song “Hate Be Real” talks about those who’re envious of him over a rock inspired beat.

The following track is a killer sequel to Numerical Slaughter” accompanied by some strings while the song “Antidote” compares his raps to just that over a whimsical beat. The penultimate track “Workin’” over an creepy instrumental from DJ Premier & then the closer “Tribute” pretty much freestyles over 50 Cent’s “Many Men (Wish) Death” paying homage to those who were murdered by corrupt cops.

This dude’s last 3 albums have been either hit or miss with me personally, but I think this might be his best one to date. The production on here is a lot more consistent to my surprise & Papoose’s lyrical talents are still as off the way as they were when he first came up.

Score: 7/10

Danny Twelvetree – “What a Life” (Album Review)

Danny Twelvetree is a rising hip-hop artist from Chicago, Illinois. Putting out a series of singles this year, they have lead up to the release his brand new album “What a Life”, which is available now on all streaming services. With 12 songs that have been crafted with his blood, sweat, and tears, will Danny’s offering be able to make an impact on the world?

With intuitive flows, personal lyricism, and well-structured songs, Danny Twelvetree shows he can be an acclaimed accessible MC. Starting things off with his pain-filled “Intro”, listeners feel who Danny is through a series of stringed together heartfelt bars. One of the rarest abilities in a rapper is hit-making, yet Danny already seems to have a few under his belt with “Wolves” and “Back in My Bag”. Complementing these songs, “Every Night”, “Bad Idea”, and “Who Are You” continue to develop the sound and character of Twelvetree as he recites some of his most personal stories. “Hit Me Up” is one of the best examples of the Chicago mc’s versatility as his intoxicating melodic hook is followed up by a comprehensible verse about his current fame and well being. Overall, Danny Twelvetree’s multifacetedness will keep him around for a long time in the rap game as he keeps building and expanding on an exceptional foundation.

Behind the boards, the production accompanying Twelvetree’s vocals gets the job done. While cuts like “Wolves” and “Back in My Bag” contain dynamic and ever-morphing instrumentals, the record tends to suffer at times due to lack of sonic diversity. There are no pinpoint moments that fully crumble because of this, but the overall soundscape doesn’t resemble Danny’s talent at all times. With that said, “Chess” and “Intro” show the best of the records sounds on polar opposite sides of the spectrum. As a whole, the soundtrack of “What a Life” is undoubtedly formidable but fails to reach the level of greatness.

In conclusion, “What a Life” is a major step in the right direction for one of the most talented rappers in Chicago’s underground scene. Danny Twelvetree is an all-around threat who can nearly do anything on the microphone, and the only thing he needs to blow up is time. In the future, if you want to stay up to date with this one of a kind artist, be sure to follow @tw3lvie

Rating: 7/10

Highlights: Versatility, Style, Relatability