Bizarre – “He Got a Gun 2” review

This is the 6th full-length album from Detroit emcee Bizarre. Emerging as an original member of the now defunct D12 led by the late Proof, he was also among the first in the crew to put out solo efforts with his 1998 debut EP Attack of the Weirdos being a hometown classic in my eyes. Fast forward 7 years later, Biz followed it up with a worthy full-length debut Hannicap Circus & has continued to put out music on his own since, with the last time we heard him being his 11th mixtape 18159 Stout during the first quarter of the year. But to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the Foul Mouth-produced He Got a Gun last weekend, they’re reuniting for the sequel.

“Outlaw” is a boom bap opener declaring himself as such whereas “Security” works in some more kicks & snares with a chilling loop talking about pulling up to the spot with bats & guns. “Doing Drive By’s” gives off a more subdued boom bap tone so he can portray images of driving around spraying the gats prior to Rah Digga coming into the picture for “Eastern Market” hooking up these kicks & snares with some harmonious vocals hanging in the background to remind y’all that this is hip hop at it’s purest.

Meanwhile, “Show in Phoenix” gives off a desponding feeling so the idiotic kid can tell everyone a crazy story that occurred in 2018 just before 3 Shooters” featuring Fat Ray & Piff James continues with a gully boom bap ballad firing shots at their opposition. “80 Shots” featuring J-Classic gives off an uncannier sound as both MCs display an fascinating back & forth chemistry with one another aggressively thirsting for blood, but then “Tube Socks” returns to the boom bap with a cloudier edge to it this time around figuring out why he even bothers at this point.

“1-800-Suicide” is a rugged dedication to all the misfits & drug addicts out there leading into “Cafe Mahogany” featuring Boog Brown, Dango Forlaine & Nick Speed finds the 4 motown lyricists over a dreary boom bap beat talking about getting blowed at night. “Blow Your Head Off” featuring NEMS hooks up a grungy instrumental with some kicks & snares talking about shooting heads off bodies while “Checkmate” featuring RJ Payne is an organ/boom bap hybrid referring to themselves as the next greats.

Moving on from there, “Sumpter” featuring Kain Cole gives off a jazzier vibe saying if you don’t know, you really don’t need to while “Piece of Shit” details his personality a bit over a boom bap beat with a catchy loop. The song “Show in Phoenix, Pt. 2” reuses the instrumental from the predecessor so Biz can expand on the story that he told earlier on the album while the penultimate track “Show Off” featuring Nature gives off a more colder sound as both of them boast on the lyrical end. The outro ties everything up with a gritty boom bap joint saying fuck a ghostwriter because he writes for the ghost.

I still maintain that He Got a Gun is on par with Attack of the Weirdos & Hannicap Circus as Bizarre’s best solo efforts, but He Got a Gun 2 could be a tad bit better than the predecessor we got last summer. He & Foul continue to expand on the hardcore lyricism & boom bap production that made their previous album so great with every feature knocking out of the park as opposed to a couple missing the landing a year ago.

Score: 4.5/5

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Kura – “Born Seditionary” review

Kura is a 20 year old recording artist from Detroit, Michigan who originally got started under the moniker Blockboy K & even went to high school with my younger brother UnreleasedSnip during their freshman year. Not only has he gone on to drop a title of 3 EPs & a mixtape since 2018, but he’s also caught the attention of South Carolina recording artist/producer Pi’erre Bourne after signing to his Interscope Records imprint SossHouse Records a year & a half ago. Frazier Trill just dropped his sophomore album Still Trapp’n last month as did Chavo & Sharc with Chavo’s World 3 & Sharc Wave respectively, but Kura’s next in line for a full-length debut only a week after J Billz made his case as the Streetz Hottest Young’n last Friday.

“Arriving” is a cloudy trap opener to the album addressing his arrival to the rap game whereas “Bapes” featuring Chavo goes into more pluggier territory as both of them encourage y’all to simply hop out of bed & do the shit that you want to achieve. “Donations” continues from there in the form of a vibrant pop rap ballad laced with braggadocio, but then “Hold It Up” fuses elements of trap & rock together so he can talk about breaking out of the box they tried to keep him in.

Meanwhile, “Bachelor” comes through with a wavier flare to the instrumental as K flexes that it’s like he loses weight every single time he goes out to shop just before “U Ain’t It” works in some horns & hi-hats so he can talk about the way he’s living these days. “Nightmares” gives off a moodier trap sound comparing his significant other to a movie scene that he can watch all day leading into “Widebody Kit” hooks up a bass-line & more hi-hats talking about making waves even though everyone thought he was a joke when he was 15.

“Switch” goes into a more synth-based direction so he can tackle themes of romance while “Waves” returns to cloud rap territory talking about shaking up the game every time he drops. The beat on “No Rules” is kinda trippy as he discusses living life feeling fine while the song “Born Dis Way” brings back the hi-hats & synthesizers saying everything he does is big. The penultimate track “Saving Grace” has a more peppier tone instrumentally putting all bullshit to the side prior to “PunkParty” wraps things up by pulling from plugg music 1 last time declaring that the young & rich are in the party.

Being a Detroit native myself, it makes me really happy to watch one of the best producers in the modern era like Pi’erre take a local artist like Kura under his wing & I’ll even argue that it’s better than all of those earlier projects he gave us to get to this point. Much like Streetz Hottest Young’n, we have a better look at who the Blockboy is both personally & artistically backed by production that humbly blows his previous work out of the water.

Score: 3.5/5

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7xvethegenius – “The Genius Tape” review

7xvethegenius is a 33 year old MC from Buffalo, New York emerging off her first 2 EPs The Calm Before & Self 7xve as well as the full-length debut 7xve is Love. However, it wasn’t until she & Jae Skeese both became the first artists to sign with Conway the Machine’s very own EMPIRE Distribution imprint Drumwork Music Group where 7xve got her biggest break yet. She has since preluded her sophomore album albeit Drumwork debut Death of Deuce with Thy Will Be Done & Self 7xve 2, but is teaming up with DJ Green Lantern for her debut mixtape.

“Meditation” is a spacious opener to the tape reminding that she’s the illest bitch out here today whereas “Biddy Mason” goes into shimmery boom bap turf talking about being right here with this army behind her for those trying to disarm her. “Back End Developer” gives off an uncannier vibe saying it’s time for her to talk her shit on these records that is until “Brainstorming” featuring Conway the Machine finds the pair strategizing on top of some chilling background vocals.

After the “AA Speaks” interlude, “Brain Food” dives into quirkier turf sonically so 7xve can tell everyone to look at who she was then & who she is now today just before “The Feel” gives off an atmospheric edge this time around talking about trying to show love. The song “Lost on Mars” is a desponding ballad of a man that loves the streets more than her while the penultimate track “Moon Walk” featuring T.F. returns to the boom bap pulling up as if they were surfing, but then “Neck Protected” featuring Che Noir & Rome Streetz ends the tape some pianos hooked up to kicks & snares as all 3 of them can deliver lyrical annihilation.

For a mixtape preluding her upcoming sophomore full-length effort, The Genius Tape has to be my favorite 7xve project to date & I can only imagine Death of Deuce taking it up a few levels whenever the time comes. She’s already proven to be one of the most skilled females in recent memory, but DJ Green Lantern’s production is more consistent than her last 2 EPs with all respect & the features are all well picked out.

Score: 4.5/5

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Dillon – “Uncut Gems” review

This is the 6th full-length album from Atlanta based emcee, producer & engineer Dillon. Coming up under the original moniker Intellekt, he would properly introduce himself in ‘07 with his debut mixtape Uncut & enlist Paten Locke for the debut Studies in Hunger a couple years later. Dillon would go on to follow this up with a sophomore effort Food Chain alongside On Their Way & The Tails of Lobsterdamus respectively, but is looking to come off the J57-produced ‘83 Kids by unearthing some Uncut Gems with Diamond D of D.I.T.C. behind the boards.

The title track is a smooth, luscious opener as he & Diamond declare the return of the prophet & the prince picking back up where they left off whereas “Pick Up the Pace” delves into jazzier turf encouraging everyone to begin moving/working faster with an energizing hook. “Comin’ Out Swingin’” featuring eLZhi continues to being in the jazz calling themselves the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world prior to “Turn the Heat Up” blends these kicks & snares with a bass guitar so dude can apply pressure lyrically.

“Pardon Our Dust” featuring Planet Asia & Ras Kass expands on the boom bap vibes of the predecessor swapping out the bass licks in favor of some pianos talking about some adjustments that’re required to be made leading into “Just Breathe” featuring Slimkid3 goes for a more synth-based direction reminding to simply take a breath whenever you’re feeling stressed. The song “Devil in a Blue Dress” pulls together a hi-hat & some horns talking about a deal he made while the penultimate track “Overtime” gives off a more old school sound trying to be the first one in & the first one out. “Permanent Scars” though closes the album in the for of a mellow boom bap talking about the exact impression left.

Considering that Black Tie Affair wound up being my favorite Dillon EP in the fall of 2017 & of course Diamond D’s verse on “Come Up”, it only makes sense for them reunite throughout Uncut Gems as the end results quite possibly make it the Full Plate Records founder’s strongest album yet. His pen-game is a cut above ’83 Kids as the production from the Diggin’ in the Crates co-founder slickly meshes some old & new aesthetics together.

Score: 3.5/5

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J Billz – “Streetz Hottest Young’n” review

J Billz is a 23 year old rapper from Spartanburg, South Carolina who came up at the beginning of 2020 off the strength of his debut mixtape Home Detention. He also happens to be a protege of local recording artist, songwriter, producer & engineer Pi’erre Bourne by signing to SossHouse Records prior to that previous tape coming out. However, he’s enlisting Pi’erre to make a bigger breakthrough on his debut full-length album following the sophomore efforts of his 3 labelmates last month Frazier Trill alongside Chavo & Sharc respectively.

“Trappin’ Like a Fool” is a piano-trap opener to the album talking about riding around with the toolies whereas “Onion” has a more peppier flare to it calling himself a trap junkie going hard 25 hours & 8 days a week. “Pick Today” returns to a more ominous groove so he can reminisce of all the shit that he didn’t say that is until “War with Us” aggressively airs out those who want beef with the Sosshouse crew with a cloudy instrumental backing him.

Meanwhile, “Steppas” keeps things hazy as Billz makes it clear that he sees all the fuck shit just before “Fuck Dat” talking about feeling like DJ Khaled since all he does is win & stomping a bitch boy out in public on sight. “Megan Thee Stallion” gives off a more playful sound comparing his bitch to the queen of the hot girls herself, but then “Kreepin’” weaves some pianos & hi-hats advising everyone to lock their doors since the young homies out here.

“Tony Jeff Story” gives off a somber trap tone as he tells the story of both Tony & Jeff being deep in the streets while “Depend on Me” pulls from plugg music a big asking how things are gonna work out if she claims she hates him. The song “Back to Trappin’” returns to a cloudier vibe talking about never forgetting where he came from even though he can’t stay away from the trenches while the penultimate track “Best of Me” brings in more keys & hi-hats wanting everyone to be up front about any smoke with him. “Opp N****z” however ties the album up with a booming trap closer saying he drops people instead of dissing them.

It was only a matter of time until J Billz got an album produced by Pi’erre & now that we got Streetz Hottest Young’n, I consider it to most certainly be a cut above Home Detention & a solid introduction to his mentor’s fanbase. It’s more well-produced than that previous mixtape which is kinda what I expected so Billz can improve both his songwriting & performances by giving more introspective content without needing any guest verses.

Score: 3.5/5

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X-Raided – “A Prayer in Hell” review

X-Raided is a 48 year old veteran from Sacramento, California exploding onto the scene in 1992 off the strength of his full-length debut Psycho Active. He was shortly after sentenced to 31 years in prison on murder charges, only to be granted parole in the fall of 2018 & continued to build his discography by dropping 13 more albums whilst incarcerated. Following his last 2 since being a free man California Dreamin’ & There Will Be a Storm however, the Nefarious Loc surprisingly signed to Strange Music last spring & his making his 17th full-length his official debut through the Kansas City independent powerhouse.

The title track is a chilling opener produced by 7 praying for everything that’s holy to give him strength from slaying this child that only feels disdain whereas “Return of the Living Dead” goes into trap territory talking about having a heart full of pain & dread. “Life Sentences” gives off a more shimmering flare to it telling y’all what his life like just before “To Whom It May Concern” talks about ending it all over a morbid instrumental.

Tech N9ne comes into the picture for “Stratus Fear” to hop on a booming trap beat from Wyshmaster claiming that they fear the ascension of the lyricists leading into “Any Challenger” featuring Ras Kass hop on top of some strings courtesy of Robert Rebeck so both of them can talk about taking on anybody. “Legendary” featuring King Iso on the other hand fuses these horns & hi-hats making it known what the mission is, but then “Knoccin’” has some of the weaker feature performances from Bleezo & Playboi Prada despite the heinous instrumental & lyrics comparing themselves to Michael Myers on Halloween.

“No1 is Safe” was a cold choice for a lead single talking about carry the Heat like Mourning with a fittingly depressing atmosphere to the beat while “Celebration” featuring A-Wax dives into soulful turf as both MCs find themselves in a more commemorative mood. “Blaxploitation” hooks the strings back up comparing his music to the soundtrack of the titular genre of films while “Villains in the Field” has another mundane feature performance except this time it’s from Yowda even though I like the piano instrumental & the concept of who he’s with these days.

Continuing from there, “Parasitic” begins the final leg of the album gives off a more traditional west coast sound talking about not giving a fuck about anyone or anything while “The Bridge” featuring Joey Cool returns to the boom bap looking back on childhood memories. The penultimate track & 2nd single “Kal-El” gives off an eerier trap feel declaring he cannot be brought down no matter how hard you try & “Many Apologies” closes out the album some pianos talking about embracing the dichotomy.

As someone who considers Psycho Active to be a west coast classic & a Strange Music fan since high school, my anticipation was very high for these 2 parties to crossover & I can argue that it’s X’s 2nd best album right behind his debut. The production is incredibly consistent as are a good majority of the features & the tale of his dysmorphic relationship with time itself is profoundly well-told.

Score: 4/5

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Elevated Focusion – Self-Titled review

Elevated Focusion is a producer from Queens, New York who initially emerged in the underground under the moniker Jonny Rythmns dropping a handful of beat tapes such as Slow & Steady or The Sinthmeister. But after changing his name earlier this year, he’s looking to further introduce the new him to the underground by cooking up a full-length debut album of his own that’s primarily instrumental even though it’s most certainly worth pointing out the small handful of vocal performances from a few featured recording artists.

“Elevation” by Brigid Bites is a trippy opener to the album as she raps about climbing to the top of the mountain whereas the beat on “Stolen Time” by Bassiedee & Larissa Almeida feels like something out of an acid trip in a good way as both of them give off a more melodic delivery clarifying it’s not the end as they will find love again. “Yoko Loko” is a fresh little instrumental cut pulling from electronic dance music & after the “Amplifeyed” interlude, “Mind Frames” blends these chopped up operatic vocal samples with kicks & snares.

Continuing from there, “Waltz into the Wilderness” dabbles a bit with spoken word a bit over a hair-raising backdrop taking you through the jungle that is until “Late Night Dive” gives off a groovier feel & Katie Burke’s singing here is are provocatively passionate talking about needing to look out for herself. “Trypnotica” perfectly lives up to its name as a 105 second instrumental piece pulling from trap & psychedelia prior to “Natural Born Scumbags” pulling from dance once more.

“Tabla Tea Party” by EIMAS & Vincenzo Nocerino mixes some tablas with synthesizers declaring to be both the bullet AND the gun while “Stained in the Zone” delves further into a more futuristic sound. “About Today” by Day Vision resurrects the dance vibes singing about gazing in the mirror expecting to find herself & looking for help while the song “Psychodelicate” by Brigid Bites turns into trap turf bracing herself for a bad trip. The penultimate track “Trance Bender” gives us 1 last EDM joint & “Lost Time” ties things up entrancingly.

He’s come a long way from those early beat tapes & this eponymous debut album takes his career to the next stage in an impressive fashion. His production here is more genre-bending as he combines his love for New York culture & all genres of music but at the same time providing a place where the outsiders & insiders can meet through music & clothing representing creativity, originality, counterculture, passion, and the moment of change.

Score: 3.5/5

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Metro Boomin’ – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Music from & Inspired by the Motion Picture)” review

This is a brand new soundtrack album curated by St. Louis producer, DJ & record executive Metro Boomin’. Gaining notoriety in the middle of the previous decade as one of the most in-demand beatsmiths in hip hop today, he’s gone on to produce some of the best trap projects of the decade in their entireties including Future’s 3rd album D.S. 2 (Dirty Sprite 2) as well as Gucci Mane’s 53rd mixtape Droptopwop and the Offset/21 Savage collab tape Without Warning. It was until after Halloween 2018 when he put out his solo debut Not All Heroes Wear Capes & returned last winter with the superior sophomore effort Heroes & Villains widely & rightfully earning him more respect as a beatsmith, but is now being recruited to do the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

“Annihilate” by Lil Wayne, Offset & Swae Lee kicks off the soundtrack talking about being in another universe with a bit of an electronic trap flare to the instrumental with co-production from Mike Dean whereas “Am I Dreamin’?” by A$AP Rocky & Roisee finds the pair triumphantly admits to feeling beaten yet refusing to give up. “All the Way Live” by Future & Lil Uzi Vert works in some synths & hi-hats so both of them can discuss the type of time they on just before “Danger (Spider)” by JID & Offset gives off a smoother sound despite the fact that it was solely produced nby Honorable C.N.O.T.E. as they both demonstrate being made for this dangerous life.

Young Metro returns behind the boards for the colorfully laced “Hummingbird” with beautifully sung vocals performed by James Blake realizing that his lover might be all he needs leading into “Calling” by ΠΔV & Swae Lee providing y’all a syrupy pop rap anthem with the Brown Boy continuing to improve as a performer like he previously showed on Demons Protected by Angels. “Silk & Cologne” by Ei8ht & Offset is essentially a dancehall remix of a Fortnite lobby track that Ei8ht recently did, but then “Link Up” by Don Toliver & Wizkid is easily the worst cut on the entire soundtrack as they get on the more melodic side pulling from afrobeats alongside pop rap & pop reggae talking about syncing up.

“Self Love” has to be one of Coi Leray’s best songs to date with a poppy, futuristic cut detailing a man that doesn’t even love himself trying to love on her while “Home” by Donny Womack & Uzi dives into more atmospheric trap turf talking about being alone this evening. The song “Nonviolent Communication” by James Blake, Pretty Flacko & 21 Savage is a somber acoustic trap ballad caught up in the whip with Mary Jane Watson in his head explaining their bond is misunderstood while the penultimate track “Givin’ Up” by Don Toliver, 21 & 2 Chainz come together for 1 last Honorable C.N.O.T.E. banger psychedelically talking about refusing to lose. “Nas Morales” however ends the album with Metro going drumless so Nas can cleverly compare himself to Miles Morales.

Now I really don’t review soundtrack albums unless it has something going for them since a lot of movie soundtracks these days are generally trash, but there was no doubt in my mind that this would live up to the expectations set by the respective Black Panther and Judas & the Black Messiah soundtracks especially given the growth Metro shown this past winter on Heroes & Villains. Lo & behold: I stand corrected. Metro continues to expand on his evolution as a producer with a primarily consistent guest list joining him.

Score: 3.5/5

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3-Headed Monster – “Obliteration” review

The 3-Headed Monster is a horrorcore supergroup consisting of Esham, Violent J & Ouija Macc. One of them being the unholy godfather of the wicked shit founding Reel Life Productions, the other co-founded Psychopathic Records as 1/2 of the Insane Clown Posse whom the Boogey Man was once signed to from 2002-2005 & the other has become the hatchet’s biggest artist since Twiztid departed over a decade ago to form Majik Ninja Entertainment now continuing to gradually build Chapter 17 Records as a subsidiary of the label that runs beneath the streets as he’s been their only current artist other than the wicked clowns themselves since the pandemic. But as they head out on the road earlier this week fresh off Bloody Sunday & Detritus alongside the preparation of Purgatory next month, they’re announcing the formation of the trio & even unleashing a full-length debut.

After the intro, the first song “Fire Breathin’” opens things up with a hardcore hip hop anthem produced by Dead Heat advising to run from the 3-Headed Monster itself whereas “Crushin’” blends trap with rock & these grueling bells during the hook talking about squashing on all y’all motherfuckers. “Clownzilla” gives off a more suspenseful trap groove courtesy of Shaggytheairhead so J can himself the Godzilla of juggalos just before “Juggalos 4 Jesus” gives off a cloudier route thanks to Devereaux with Ouija heavily calling back to “24/7” off 4th album Closed Casket which is widely considered by suicidalists to be his best even though I’d put KKKill the Fetus above it personally.

“Don’t Sell Your Soul” switches things up with a jazzy boom bap ballad as Esham solely reminds the world to never sellout leading into “The Biggest” weaves these chilling horn melodies likening themselves to 30 gorillas. “Leave That Dope Alone” is another Esham solo cut works in a soul sample with these kicks, snares & twinkling keys so he can get on his hustler shit à la Dead Flowerz that is until Violent J singlehandedly covers “Possum Kingdom” by The Toadies which really isn’t a surprise to me considering the Duke’s love for rock music. Especially with Zug Izland’s debut album Cracked Tiles turning 20 this year & that being one of the most underrated Psychopathic albums of all-time in my humble juggalo opinion.

Meanwhile, “Kiccin’ the Bass” dives into the wavy trap territory including a chopped & screwed samples of “What’s a Juggalo?” off their 1997 wicked shit masterpiece as well as this reviewer’s personal favorite Joker’s Card The Great Milenko & even “Dead Body Man” off my 2nd favorite Card Riddle Box for the hook so Ouija can shine with his own solo cut talking about being born as a corpse that they called a disgrace that is until “Shaggy Shit” pops up as a brief Shaggy 2 Dope interlude. The final song ends the album “Rubble” finds Obliteration reuniting once more with monster movie soundtrack flips spitting that hardcore shit one more time & the Mike E. Clark remix of “Fire Breathin’” is most certainly on par with the original.

If you call yourself a fan of the wicked shit, then you’d know how much of a big deal this album is considering Esham’s influence on ICP & eventually ICP’s on Ouija. We knew they were going on tour together too, but the formation of 3-Headed Monster & Obliteration as their debut is on par with the Quest for the Ultimate Groove that Shaggs went on last weekend. Each member’s generationally distinctive styles are all well displayed & to hear their chemistry together is quite fascinating.

Score: 4/5

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Lil Durk – “Almost Healed” review

This is the 4th full-length album from Chicago rapper Lil Durk. Rising to prominence a little over a decade ago off his debut mixtape I’m a Hitta, he would go on to follow this up with Life Ain’t No Joke & the first 2 installments of the Signed to the Streets trilogy until signing to Def Jam Recordings for his full-length debut Remember My Name & the sophomore effort Lil Durk 2X. Since then, Durk has made himself home at Alamo Records by 9 more mixtapes & is looking to bounce back from the mixed reception of 7220 due to it’s weak production yet admirably more personal subject matter in the form of Almost Healed.

After the “Therapy Session” intro, the first song “Pelle Coat” starts off the album with an mellow trap instrumental from Chopsquad DJ explaining why everyone’s scared to come outside this day in age whereas “All My Life” featuring J. Cole despite the positive message of people always trying to bring them down was a disappointing choice for a single largely due to Dr. Luke’s sanitary production. “Never Again” works in some pianos & hi-hats talking about not helping others ever again prior to “Put ‘Em on Ice” telling everyone that nobody is safe over a rich trap beat.

Chief Wuk delivers one of the weaker feature performances on “Big Dawg” as they discuss only hating it when their bitches are on lil girl shit on top of a distorted instrumental just before “Never Imagined” featuring Future makes up for it with a more colorful trap vibe talking about the way they’re living now. The beat throughout “Sad Songs” is a bit of a nonstarter for me personally addressing a pretty lil liar, but then “Before Fajr” talks about people hating him for being more famous & Southside’s production here has a lot more going for it this time.

“War ‘Bout It” featuring 21 Savage make it known that you can’t discuss any criminal activity that you’ve ever been involved with as Metro Boomin’ supplies more keys & hi-hats while “You Got ‘Em” talks about perc poppers not being his friends except we have one of the weakest instrumentals on the album yet again. “Grandson” featuring Kodak Black has a hazier flare sonically courtesy of both Metro & Zaytoven as they discuss the lifestyles they live while “300 Urus” making it clear there’s a reason some ain’t with him no more over an atmospheric trap beat from Wheezt

Rob49’s verses throughout “Same Side” are underwhelming compared to Durk’s although I appreciate the back-&-forth delivery as well as the morbid Lil Ju instrumental while “B12” weaves some hi-hats & quirky synth patterns talking about being fucked up off ecstasy. “At This Point We Stuck” moodily asks why everyone’s mad at him while “Cross the Globe” featuring the late Juice WRLD is an acoustic trap hybrid with both of them tackling themes of love.

“Dru Hill” is an melodramatically piano trap crossover wanting to be shown something new & what love feels like while the song “Belt2Ass” declares himself to be a rockstar from the trenches & the instrumental here has more of a symphonic flare to it. The penultimate track “Stand By Me” returns to a cleaner sound so he can desire his girl’s honesty asking if she’d stand by him if he lost it all & “Moment of Truth” closes the album with a trap/rock fusion produced by Alicia Keys talking about being out all night getting the bread.

As admirably introspective as 7220 was, the production on that previous album was lacking quite a bit & it makes me relieved that Almost Healed revealed itself to be a step in the right direction for Durk because it could possibly be the best full-length he’s ever dropped. Some of the features underperformed but most of them stick the landing, it’s more well produced for the most part & it really does feels like a therapy session on wax as the personal themes of the predecessor are expanded here.

Score: 3.5/5

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