Ouija Macc – “Stalewind” review

Ouija Macc is a 36 year old MC from Las Vegas, Nevada who started to turn heads in the fall of 2017 after the Insane Clown Posse signed him to Psychopathic Records shortly after putting out his debut EP Trashfire independently. Ouija has since proven himself as one of the most consistent & hard working dudes in the underground by dropping 2 full-lengths, 2 greatest hits compilations, 6 mixtapes & 4 EPs all in the span of 5 years. He just dropped Fallen Angelic this past spring & is now commemorating the Gathering of Dreams this weekend by delivering his 3rd album.

After the “Portal” intro, the first song “Wake Up” is blaring trap opener produced by Devereaux talking about being baptized in the gutter whereas “6 Foot Hatchet” manically promises to put a nightmare on that movie screen. “Fill the Space” works in some bells to deliver a weed smoking anthem just before “9MM Suppository” shoots for a more morbid aesthetic talking about detailing his shooter-mentality with an excellent chopped & screwed hook.

Meanwhile on “Boiler Room”, we have Gizmo accompanying Ouija to talk about stomping out their competition over a sickly trap beat leading into “Return of the Murder Go Round”, which is a catchy yet wicked sequel to “Murder Go Round” off the Wicked Clowns’ sophomore album Ringmaster down to the sample during the hook. Chapter 17 Records’ very 1st signee HEXXX comes into the picture for “Beast in Dior” to display some great back & forth chemistry with 1 another calling out those who’ve never surrounded themselves with demons over some hi-hats & retro video game-like synths, but then “Killa Like” talks about what he woke up feeling like with a bass-heavy instrumental with some rock undertones to it.

“Massacre” has a more frightful sound to it with co-production from DJ Chunk warning that nobody’s walking out their bitch alive on Ouija’s watch while “Mo Murda” ghoulishly talks about pulling up to a murder scene to make a scene. “F.U.R.N. (Fucked Up Right Now)” is a sweet trap/rock fusion detailing being under the influence even though F.J. Outlaw’s verse is respectfully one of the weaker features on the album with “In the Ha” serving as a cloudy sequel to “In the Haughhh!” off my favorite EP that ICP has ever put out: Beverly Kills 50187.

Continuing from there: “Go Head On” encourages not to hold back on shit over an occult bet while “Christian Mingle” continues to mix trap & rock together to talk about walking up in that bitch with a glock & a hatchet. “You’re Dead” with the Duke of Wicked himself Violent J has a futuristic yet grimy flare to quench for blood while the song “Do It Like This” talks about how he gets it done over a somber Shaggytheairhead beat. The closer “Take Me Home” comes through with a vulnerable message to those who feel like they have nothing going for them which is fitting considering his story of the Stillwind/Stalewind shift along with how hard these past few months have been for this reviewer personally & the bonus cut “Juggalo Radio” ends the album with an electronic/trap infused banger promoting JUGG FM.

If you’ve been following Ouija for as long as I have, then you should know how important this final element is & this conclusion to a 5-year long saga happens to be the most important album of his career yet in my personal opinion. I’ve noted that some his more recents efforts have shown that quite the artistic evolution from Ouija’s pen-game to the projection but on Stalewind, it all comes full circle so excellently.

Score: 4.5/5

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Karlae – “Enter” review

Karlae is a 28 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who happens to be the fiancée of trap pioneer Young Thug. She eventually got into making music when YSL Records put out their very 1st showcase compilation Slime Language a day before their founder’s 27th birthday & considering that Strick just dropped his 6th mixtape The Machine 3 a little over a month ago, Karlae’s finally stepping up to the plate next with a debut tape of her very own.

“Chit Chat” is a cutthroat opener talking about not being with the bullshit whereas “Gotta Get Touched” with the late Lil Keed takes a cloudier route getting raunchy. Dess Dior tags along for the bell-infused “Cap Ain’t Nothing” to remind everyone that they know how they come, but then “Respect” with Gunna shoots for a cloudier aesthetic talking about coming out the mud.

Meanwhile on “My Type”, we have Karlae & Yung Mal on top of an acoustic trap instrumental describing their preferences in partners leading into the jangly “Someone Like Me” pondering what others think when they see her. “Ballet” has an industrial trap flare to it as she & Yak Gotti talk about dancing on bitches, but then “Wishful Thinking” comes through with a decent 2-minute R&B ballad.

“Last Goodbye” weaves some rock influences to confess that she feels lonely after being broken up while “Bad” mixes some horns & handclaps talking about going bad because she’s bad as fuck herself. “Boondocks” has to be my least favorite cut in the album from the uneventful production to the award chemistry between Karlae & Bhad Bhabie, but the Sonyae-assisted “Left” picks it up with it’s cloudy beat & the subject matter of everything being litty.

Following that, “I Like” with Coi Leray was a decent cut off YSL’s final showcase compilation to date Slime Language II that makes it’s way onto here while the song “Blind” with Lil Yachty embraces a more playful tone talking about being blinded by love. The penultimate track “Did That” samples Kool & the Gang showing off her wealthy & “On You” ends the album on a cavernous note as she & Thugger profess their love for one another.

I’ve been wanting this chick to put out a project from the moment I first heard her spitting on “U Ain’t Slime Enough” off Slime Language & now that we finally got it, I’m a little torn on the finished product. She’s not a bad songwriter or performer by any means, but a couple of the features underperformed & a good portion of the production doesn’t really have that many interesting ideas to me.

Score: 2.5/5

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ShittyBoyz – “Trifecta 2” review

The ShittyBoyz are a trio from Detroit, Michigan consisting of BabyTron alongside Stanwill & T.R. Dee. Since putting out their debut mixtape 3-Peat in the summer of 2019, they would take the motor city by storm & following it up with another tape & 2 full-lengths with the last one being Trifecta during the first quarter of the year. But now with the PunchGod himself Babytron landing a spot on this year’s XXL Freshman Class & his performance at the Gathering of the Juggalos this weekend along with the rap metal band Motown Rage fronted by his father Mr. Sadistic (who were also once signed to Psychopathic Records in the late 2000s), the Boyz are back in town for album #3.

“Win or Lose” is an atmospheric hyphy opener talking about how you either take Ws or Ls in life leading into Tae Retro tagging along for “Zeke & Luther” to stay on the grind over a quasi-tropical beat. “WWE” works in some hi-hats & horns to show off some clever wrestling wordplay whereas “V8’s & V12’s” has a more West Coast flare to it cautioning that you may catch them speeding.

Meanwhile on “Senzu Bean”, what’ve the ShittyBoyz over a symphonic trap instrumental calling out some shooters who said they’d pop them similar to the object in Dragon Ball Z that recoups a fighter’s strength & help them recover from incredibly from severe injuries just before “Video Games” samples a wide range of classic from San Andreas to the startup sound of a GameCube to flaunt their lifestyles. “Lion-Hearted” incorporates a muffled sample & hi-hats so then can ball, but then “Going Hyphy” is self-explanatory as far as sound goes except the braggadocious lyricism.

“Slam Dunk Contestants” weaves some keyboards into the fold comparing themselves to the Avengers while the TRL-assisted “Turnt Shit 2” is a decent sequel to a loosie the quartet put out couple years back. “Cheers B!tch” revives the Hi-NRG sound with a chilling switch-up during the last 50 seconds talking about having double cups while the song “Getaway” is a jazz/trap hybrid boasting yet again.

The penultimate track “Most Wanted” mixes some guitar plucks, trumpets, synths & hi-hats together confessing that they feel like they’re on the run with “GGG” finishing off the album with another Hi-NRG hit talking about punching shit online similar to that of Gennady Golovkin.

I’ve made it pretty clear that the ShittyBoyz & Babyface Ray both have Detroit in a chokehold at the moment & Trifecta 2 is just another example of that. The bars that they come up together never fail to grab me in an amusing way & with the production continuing to redefine the group by going with completely different sounds.

Score 3.5/5

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Jay Worthy – “You Take the Credit, We’ll Take the Check” review

Jay Worthy is a 36 year old MC from Vancouver, Canada who caught my attention in 2017 after The Alchemist produced his debut EP Fantasy Island from top to bottom. He would go onto drop 5 more EPs & just put out a fantastic collab album with Larry June back in March called 2 P’z in a Pod even though initial plans of putting it out through Griselda Records fell through for whatever reason, but is now reuniting with Harry Fraud for his full-length debut.

“Believe” is a classy opener talking about how he did it whereas the soulful “Pacific Coast Highway” with Larry June confessing that they’re married to the hustle. “Good Lookin’” takes a funkier route as Kamaiyah tags along to talk about how you have to pay for their time just before the Conway the Machine-assisted “Helicopter Homicide” works in some lush guitar licks so both MCs can kill shit lyrically.

Meanwhile on “Tonight”, we have Harry taking back to the 80s instrumentally with Jay verbally harassing all the peons out there leading into Curren$y coming into the picture for “Editorials” talking about the rebirth of Max Julien & gunning your spot over a well-flipped sample. “Daytons” with Ramirez layers a harmonica on some crooning vocals expressing their desire to take trips & break hoes, but then “Almighty” returns to soulful turf talking about how he been through it.

The vibraphone/boom bap combo throughout “Stickup Kids” is a nice touch with Detroit’s very own BandGang Lonnie Bands joining Jay in recalling them knocking people down before getting involved with hip hop while “Earth Sky” with MadeinTYO talking about all their homies who’re not here with them anymore. “Monday Motivation” has a funkier flare to it providing words of wisdom going into the new week while the song “Winnipeg Winters” with A$AP 12vy brings in a harmonious loop talking about being them dudes. The penultimate track “6 Figure Strolls” with $ha Hef brags that they made $100k off 1 hoe over a shimmery instrumental & to finish off the album, the sound of “St. Nick the P” is more guitar-heavy talking about being worldwide.

Anticipation for this album was very high for me personally considering that Eat When You’re Hungry, Sleep When You’re Tired has to be one of my favorite EPs that Jay has put out & I think his full-length debut over here is yet another example of a sequel that living up to or surpassing the expectations set by the original. Harry Fraud’s production is more varied compared to the mobb-inspired 2 P’z in a Pod, the features are fantastically consistent & Jay himself comes through with some of his hardest verses he’s ever laid.

Score: 4/5

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Calvin Harris – “Funk Wav Bounces 2” review

Calvin Harris is a 38 year old DJ, producer & singer/songwriter from Dumfries, Scotland who came in 2007 off his decent full-length debut I Created Disco. Ready for the Weekend & 18 Months both went on to receive moderate reception as well, but his 4th album Motion was easily his worst. However, the last album we got from Calvin was Funk Wav Bounces in the summer of 2017 & is widely acknowledged as his best one yet. So here we are 5 years later with a sequel & was anticipating it considering the singles leading up to it.

After the 40 second intro, the first song “New Money” is a disco/rap opener with 21 Savage flexing on the mic whereas “Potion” by Dua Lipa & Young Thug fuses contemporary R&B with dance-pop & synth funk to deliver an enticing slow jam. “Woman of the Year” by Chlöe & Coi Leray keeps the funk alive declaring themselves as such, but then “Obsessed” by Charlie Puth & Shenseea works in some cheery piano chords as they talk about missing 1 another.

“New to You” by Offset & Tinashe goes full-blown boogie confessing they want each other just before “Ready or Not” by Busta Rhymes brings back the keys to talk about taking this shit to the galaxy. “Stay with Me” by Justin Timberlake takes the nu disco route encouraging his lady to stick by him the whole night leading into the sequel which has a funky groove to it, but feels a bit redundant in the track listing.

Meanwhile on “Somebody Else”, we have these incredible bass-guitar licks as Jorja Smith & Lil Durk confess that both of them are in love with another person while “Nothing More to Say” by 6LACK is a groovy slow jam talking about getting the feeling right. The song “Live My Best Life” by Latto & Snoop Dogg has a more tropical aesthetic to it describing a place where the people have a good time while the penultimate track “Lean on Me” by Swae Lee is more synth-based talking about money following. “Day 1” by Pharrell & Pusha T ends the album with a warm ode to loyalty.

Like I said at the beginning of this review: I wasn’t really the biggest fan of Calvin prior to Funk Wav Bounces, but I’ve been wanting a sequel every since it initially came out & it’s just as much of a solid listen as the predecessor if you ask me. The production is colorful & the performances from the guests are pretty consistent for a good portion of the album.

Score: 3.5/5

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Pasto Flocco – “Walking Glitch” review

Pasto Flocco is a 18 year old rapper from Queens, New York notable for being formerly being associated with Lil Tecca. However since their falling out, he’s seen quite the success off his own dropping his first 2 albums March Madness & Dreams 2 Reality along with a debut mixtape Surf to Kill (SGBSTK) as a member of the now defunct Surf Gang collective. This was all followed up back in the spring with his sophomore tape R.O.A.M. (Rich Off A Mic) but considering how much I liked March Madness 2 in the spring, I was still optimistic going into Pasto’s 5th EP over here nonetheless.

“3Hunna” is an rage-inducing opener talking about stacking them Benjamins whereas the “Murder She Wrote” remix takes the sample drill route calling out those who tried to play him like a pussy. “FA$TER THAN YOU!” works in some synths bragging that he’s getting richer faster than everyone, but then “All Blacc” shoots for a more futuristic aesthetic talking about how he prefers his outfit.

Meanwhile on “GLiTCH”, we have Pasto over a plugg/drill fusion describing going from nothing to rich while “GLiTCH 2” turns into intergalactic territory airing out those moving like hoes & bragging that GLE gets it poppin’. The song “Send Him 2 God” addresses his desire to run up $100M over a hypertrap beat while the penultimate track “HunnitBandzUp” keeps the rage going talking about stacking his bread. “Heartstop!” though ends the EP with some synths & bells saying this bitch is so hot, that she’ll give him a heart attack.

Since Walking Glitch’s here in it’s entirety, I’m gonna conclude this review by letting everyone know that it’s much of a consistent listen as March Madness 2 was a few months ago. Pasto’s hunger & knack for catchy songwriting only continues to grow stronger with the production continuing the tradition of evolving with each project that he puts out more.

Score: 3.5/5

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Doechii – “she / her / black bitch” review

Doechii is a 23 year old MC from Tampa, Florida who broke out in the spring of 2019 off her debut EP Coven Music Session. Then following her next 2 EPs Oh the Places You’ll Go & Braless, she went on to sign to Top Dawg Entertainment/Capitol Records this past March & earned a spot in this yearly XXL Freshman Class earlier this summer given that her latest singles have shown some impressive artistic evolution. So considering that & having one of the best verses during this year’s Freshman Cypher, I was very intrigued to her hear her 4th EP over here.

“Swamp Bitches” is a dark trap opener featuring Rico Nasty with the pair attacking their opposition whereas “Bitch I’m Nice” takes a Miami Bass route talking about being the biggest threat to your spouse. The song “Bitches Be” works in a guitar advising her lover to take it slow while the penultimate track “This Bitch Matters” goes into boom bap territory confessing that depression made her realize she had something to prove. “Persuasive” with SZA ends the EP contemporary R&B/pop rap fusion with some deep house undertones asking how it feels to be yourself.

If you’re still sleeping on Doechii, then I think now’s the time for you to wake up because this EP has me very intrigued for her full-length debut that is when or if TDE & Capitol put it out at some point down the road. The amount of versatility that she shows throughout is impressive & her performances have so much character to them.

Score: 3.5/5

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Insane Clown Posse – “Pug Ugly the Stink Bud” review

This is the 18th EP from Detroit horrorcore duo the Insane Clown Posse. Consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope, but very few know that 3 other members came & went during the first 5 years of the group’s inception. Not only would The Duke of the Wicked & the Southside Strangla go on to create seminal wicked shit albums like The First 6, but they gained an extremely loyal fanbase in the process & their self-owned Psychopathic Records became an independent hip hop powerhouse as the label’s roster continued to grow. I was a bit worried about their latest album Yum Yum Bedlam given that the prelude EP Yum Yum’s Lure was panned by fans when it came out last Juggalo Day but when Halloween came around, they proved me wrong with what I believe to be my 3rd favorite card in the 2nd deck. Last we heard from them was Wicked Vic the Weed during the first quarter of the year & are now continuing the Seeds of Yum Yum trilogy in the form of Pug Ugly the Stink Bud.

“I’m Ugly” kicks off the EP with a horn-laced instrumental & Violent J describing how unattractive Pug Ugly the Stink Bud truly is whereas “Abbracadabbra” has a more carnivalesque sound to it as 2 Dope joins the Duke talking about making hoes disappear. “Pug Ugly” takes a funkier route so the Wicked Clowns can vividly describe how gross the world is just before “Scrub Gang” is a piano/hi-hat infused ballad out to all the scrubs out there. The spooky atmosphere of “I’m Afraid” is pretty cool with J & Shaggs confess their fears while the 80’s Rock Ballad” is a country rock jam that’s slightly better than their “After Murder Sunrise” loosie that came out back in March & the Mike P. remix of “Queens” is inferior to the O.G. with it’s more electronic-centered sound.

As decent of a beginning to the Seeds of Yum Yum trilogy that Wicked Vic the Weed was, I think I might like Pug Ugly the Stink Bud over here a tad bit more. The production is a refinement of the Carnival sound that the predecessor had brought back & the duo sound as focused as they did at the beginning of the year. Here’s to WOH the Weepin’ Weirdo being a potentially dark conclusion to the Yum Yum era this Halloween.

Score: 3.5/5

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Zitro – “Nain Rouge” review

Zitro is a 33 year old MC from Detroit, Michigan who started making music when he was in the 7th grade. But it wasn’t until February 2020 where he would put out his full-length debut A New Beginning & followed it up last summer with the debut EP Black Diamondz + Long Islandz following a set at the Gathering of the Juggalos, which eventually led the Insane Clown Posse signing him to Psychopathic Records a couple months later as announced the booklet of the 5th Joker’s Card in the 2nd deck Yum Yum Bedlam. So considering that the Gathering of Dreams is going down this week, it’s only fitting for Zitro to put out a sophomore album.

After the “Who or What is Nain Rogue?” intro, “The Arrival” is a bombastic trap opener threatening his opposition whereas the Bake Lo-assisted “God StatuZ” grimly finds the 2 declaring themselves as Gods. “Monster” shoots for a more demonic aesthetic talking about being a killer, but then “Thuggalo” is a sprightly ode to every single juggalo that grew up in the hood.

Meanwhile on “Becoming a Problem”, we have Zitro over a bell-infused trap beat calling out the haters who wanna be just like him just before “Here to Kill (I Ain’t Trick-R-Treatin’)” is a pop rap cut getting on his serial killer shit. “Look in My EyeZ” is a spacey trap banger talking about seeing the pain inside him just before “Long Dark Road” comes through as a favorite of mine on the album from Godsynth’s production to Zitro’s lyrics deciding whether or not to head into the light.

“Loco (Because of You)” takes a rubberier route talking about how deranged he is prior to Histio coming into the picture for “I’m Good” to chillingly describe the only way for them to cope with their depression is. “With the Tint” has a more cloudier vibe to it talking about everything being black while the keyboard-laced “Wicked Whippin’” with Tierre Diaz to get whatever’s on their minds.

The song “Nightmare Walkin’” with Geno Live & R.U.C.K.I.S.S. sees the trio over a sinister trap instrumental talking about their violent urges while the penultimate track “Move It” follows that up with an off-the-wall club banger. “Who You Want?” however ends the album with a Middle Eastern-influenced jam bringing the Demon out.

Compared to Black Diamondz + Long Islandz & A New Beginning, the amount of creative growth provided throughout Nain Rouge is pretty impressive. I really like how the production happens to be more versatile in terms of overall sound & the whole concept of Zitro being the Demon of the Strait in the living flesh is well-detailed.

Score: 3.5/5

$uicideboy$ – “Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from New Orleans duo $uicideboy$. Consisting of Ruby da Cherry & $crim, the released a plethora of projects within the last 8 years whether it be the Kill Your$elf saga & Eternal Grey or even I WANNA DIE IN NEW ORLEANS & the Travis Barker-produced Live Fast, Die Whenever. The boy$’ just dropped their last album Long Term Effects of Suffering last summer & are ringing in another one in the form of Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation.

“Genesis” kicks off the album sampling the greatest Mario game of all-time Super Mario World with Ruby & $crim talking about reinventing themselves whereas “Matte Black” takes a cloudier route to rep the ever-growing G*59 Record$ that they founded from their inception. Fucking Your Culture” shoots for a darker aesthetic to flex just before “1,000 Blunts” works in a vocal sample talking about not giving in & relapsing on drugs.

Meanwhile on “In Constant Sorrow”, have the boy$ over some jazzy production tackling their depression leading into “Escape from BABYLON” returning to cloudier territory talking about finding love in the wrong places. “Ashes of Luxury” comes through with a mellow weed-smoking anthem, but then “Resistance is Useless” flips the late Koopsta Knicca talking about stacking up addictions & the only thing that’s changed is that they cut off one of their homies.

“Eulogy” has a mystical feel to it asking to play this song at their funerals while “No Matter Which Direction I’m Going In, I Never Chase These Hoes” atmospherically opens up about troubled relationships. The song “$uicideboy$ Were Better in 2015” is a piano-laced diss towards those who preferred their music when they were on drugs while the penultimate track “Unlucky Me” is an impressive sequel to “Lucky Me” down to the SWV sample. “THE_EVIL_THAT_MEN_DO” ends the album on a boom bap note addressing trust issues & being away from the public eye.

For the people who keep complaining that the $uicideboy$ sound the same every time they put a project out together, this is another reminder for them to shut the fuck up. The production that $crim cooks up is some of his most versatile that he’s ever made with him & Ruby giving the listeners a wide range of emotions from braggadocio to heartbreak, anger & even anticipation about their reinvention.

Score: 4/5