Stevie Stone & JL – “Kontra-Band” review

With the release of Stevie Stone‘s 5th album Level Up & JL‘s Strange Music debut DIBKIS last summer, the 2 are now coming together for a full-length collab album. Things start off with “Groomed by the Block”, where the duo talk about their come up over an eerie instrumental. However, the PHresher verse at the tail-end was pretty generic to me. The next song “Lessons” talks about learning from all their losses in life over a laidback trap beat while the track “Trappin’ On the Hill” reflects on their drug dealing days over a gritty instrumental. The song “Too High Today” is a weed anthem with a gloomy trap beat from Seven & the track “She’s So Fly” is a decent love tune with a reggae-inspired instrumental.

The song “I Was Ready” sees the 2 going back & forth about being prepared for the feds over a piano instrumental while the track “Envy” is a message to their haters over some a cloudy backdrop with some rattling hi-hats. The song “Not One of Them” with Tech N9ne sees the 3 talking about hoes over a gloomy beat & the track “Boss Sauce” gets braggadocious over some monstrous bass. The song “Miles Davis” with Joey Cool sees the 3 ambitiously talking about success & the Seven instrumental is ok too, but the hook is too repetitive for me.

The track “Pluto” talks about realizing someone wasn’t who they thought they were over a spacey beat from Suli4Q & while the song “Cautious” is an aggressive & rapidly delivered message to the haters, the Flawless Real Talk verse is just average. The track “Bad Habits” with Krizz Kaliko talks about how everything will be ok in the end over some bass with a piano in the background & the Navé Monjo hook isn’t too bad either. The standard edition closer “Only a Man” is a reflection of where the duo are at now with a beautiful Adrian Truth hook & Suli4Q instrumental while the pre-order track “What You Gon’ Do” gets braggadocious over an haunting instrumental.

While I wasn’t expecting this, I did enjoy the album at the end of the day.  Some of the features could’ve been better but the production mostly bangs, the song topics are delivered passionately & there’s quite a bit of chemistry between Stevie Stone’s huskiness & JL’s charismatic yet sharp lyricism. If they ever decide to make a follow-up in the future, then I’d be all for it

Score: 3.5/5

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