Joyner Lucas – “ADHD” review

This is the full-length debut from Worcester, Massachusetts rapper & singer/songwriter Joyner Lucas. A man who first came to my attention in late 2016 with an incredible verse on “Sriracha” off of Tech N9ne’s 17th album The Storm. His exposure would increase the following year with the single “I’m Not Racist” along with a verse on “Lucky You” off of Eminem’s 10th album KAMIKAZƎ the year after that. But after spending 2019 dropping singles, he’s now giving fans the main course with ADHD.

After the “Screening Evaluation” intro, we get into the first song “I Lied”. Where Joyner admits that money has changed him over a demented instrumental. The next track “ISIS” with Logic sees the 2 getting into a contest to see who‘s cornier while “The War” with Young Thug sees the 2 talking about hoes over an instrumental kin to Beautiful Thugger Girls.

After a cringey Chris Rock skit, the song “I Love” talks about his passion for hip hop over an airy trap beat & an annoying ass hook. The track “Devil’s Work” is probably the best off the entire album as he pays tribute to famous celebrities that’ve lost their lives over a psychedelic rock beat & while the song “Lotto” insipidly boasts over a bland beat.

After the Kevin Hart skit which isn’t any better than Chris Rock’s, the track “Gold Mine” finds Joyner doing a shockingly dead on impression of Gunna on the hook & the acoustic trap beat adds to that while the song “Finally” with Chris Brown is a gross & pillowy expression about freedom. The track “10 Bands” gets materialistic over the worst Timbaland beat I’ve ever heard while the track “Revenge” talks about getting back over a decently hypnotic trap beat.

After the “Comprehensive Evaluation” skit, the title track tries to hop on the emo rap bandwagon over some piano chords that later transitions into a generically cloudy beat while the song “Still Can’t Love” whines about being single alongside King OSF & Fabolous over an instrumental that could’ve landed on any Lil Uzi Vert project. The penultimate track “Will” is a redundant tribute to Will Smith as much as I & everyone else loves him over a flute & some punchy ass drums whereas the closer “Broke & Stupid” is a fake woke reiteration or a Jim Rohn speech over a very classy Weldon Irvine sample.

For waiting a little over 3 years, it’s really sad for me to see him squandering his potential like this. The man certainly has lyrical talent don’t get me wrong at all, but the topics he chose to touch base on really doesn’t resonate with me & it’s sound as a whole is so directionless.

Score: 1/5

Estee Nack – “Balandas” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from Massachusetts emcee Estee Nack. A member of Tragic Allies, his 2015 solo debut 14 Forms: The Book of Estee Nack would reveal himself as the group’s breakout member & he has released a plethora of projects since then including Surfinongold.wav & Papitas. But after starting off his 2020 with #MiniMansion4, he’s now teaming up with Superior for Baladas.

The album kicks off with “Sammy Sosa Clean Coca”, where Estee gives some brief street knowledge over some strings & a vocal sample. The next song “Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil” talks about being a God over an instrumental with a prominent organ lead while the track “A Rock & a Hard Place” with Eto sees the 2 getting murderous over a cool saxophone sample. The song “Pop Rock Classics” with Daniel Son sees the 2 getting mafioso over an atmospheric instrumental while the track “Infinite Black Mind” gets in the faces of his competition over a psychedelic beat. The song “Ballads for the Brilliant” with Ice Lord sees the 3 getting on the five-percenter tip over a symphonic instrumental.

The track “Mango Marmalade” continues to belittle those who try to oppose him over a pretty woodwind instrumental while the song “Launch the Boat Off a Key West” over a boom bap beat. The track “Wisdom” definitely lives up to it’s name lyrically & the dream-like instrumental is great, but the Codenine feature is just ok. The song “Plegaria a un Sicario” with Ice Lord is straight up homicidal & the orchestral sample in the instrumental is a nice touch also. The album then finishes with “Yola”, where Estee talks about cocaine & the guitar instrumental on here is killer!

Dude’s discography is nothing short of consistent & this is a fine addition to it. Couple of the features were a bit spotty, but Estee’s lyricism has continuously progressed over time & Superior’s production fits him in pretty nicely.

Score: 3.5/5

Lil Wayne – “Funeral” review

This is the long-awaited 13th full-length album from New Orleans veteran Lil Wayne. Who signed to Cash Money Records at the age of 9; becoming 1/2 of The B.G.’z, 1/4 of the Hot Boy$ & 1/6 of the Cash Money Millionaires. His first 3 solo albums Tha Block is HotLights Out & 500 Degreez were average at best but we then found him improving in the mid 2000’s with Tha CarterTha Carter IIDedicationDedication 2Da Drought 3 & my personal favorite Tha Carter III. He then started his own label Young Money Entertainment & followed his magnum opus up with a God awful “rock” album Rebirth along with the mediocre I Am Not a Human Being. He was able to bounce back in 2011 with Tha Carter IV, but things looked rough once again with the horrendous I Am Not a Human Being II in 2013 & then being entangled in legal issues with Cash Money from 2014-2018. Wayne eventually broke free from Birdman & was able to release Tha Carter V in 2018 to celebrate his 36th birthday. But to end the first month of 2020, Weezy is coming back with Funeral.

The title track that kicks the album off is a proper introduction as Wayne makes numerous references to death over some strings, but then it transitions into a grimy trap beat. The next song “Mahogany” gets braggadocious over a soulful trap beat from Mannie Fresh while the track “Mama Mia” continues to flex over an abrasive beat. The song “I Do It” with Big Sean & Lil Baby sees the 3 describing their work ethics over a bland instrumental while the track “Dreams” talks about his fear of losing it all over an atmospheric instrumental.

The song “Stop Playin’ with Me” speaks for itself over a weary instrumental while the track “Clap for ‘Em” is an ass-shaking anthem with a Jahlil Beats instrumental that sounds vaguely similar to T.I.’s “Ball”, on which he was featured on. The song “Bing James” with Jay Rock sees the 2 showing off over an eerie instrumental as well as a 24-second tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at the start while the track “Not Me” talks about his haters over a somewhat-cloudy StreetRunner beat. The song “Trust Nobody” has a great message about backstabbers & the guitar instrumental is pretty, but Adam Levine’s hook is just ok.

The track “Know You Know” sees ColleGrove getting together to talk about this hoe over a keyboard-inflicted trap beat while the song “Wild Dogs” talks about how much of a savage he is over a luxurious instrumental. The track “Harden” talks about how he isn’t the perfect lover over a grand instrumental while the song “I Don’t Sleep” with Takeoff sees the 2 talks about their grind & I really like the woodwinds in the production.

The track “Sights & Silencers” is an awkward love ballad with The-Dream & a buttery Mike WiLL Made-It instrumental while the song “Ball Hard” with Lil Twist sees the 2 talking about their hustle over an ominous trap beat. The track “Bastard (Satan’s Kid)” reflects about his childhood over a cavernous beat while the song “Get Outta My Head” with the late XXXTENTACION sees the 2 talking about fighting their inner demons & the instrumental has this horror-esque feel that fits in pretty great. Although Wayne’s lyricism gets more annoyingly repetitive on “Piano Trap”, I do like how it lives up to the title as he’s delivering these bars over a trap beat that later switches into a piano instrumental.

The song “Line ‘Em Up” gets confrontational over a Murda Beatz instrumental with an organ & a sample that gets so played out once the joint ends whereas the track “Darkside” talks about going to war over a grim instrumental. The song “Never Mind” compares himself to that of a pimp over a mellow acoustic instrumental & while the penultimate track “T.O. (Terrell Owens)” talks about selling coke over this lifeless trap beat, the O.T. Genesis feature is the most awkward part about it easily. Then the album ends with “Wayne’s World”, where Weezy talks about partying hard over a rubbery instrumental.

I thought Lil Wayne redeemed himself with Dedication 6 & Tha Carter V, but this was SUPER disappointing. He still has his passionate & witty moments on here, but it’s overloaded with filler & the production choices are pretty weak as well. If this is the way he’s going out, then I’d say it’s a mediocre one.

Score: 2/5

Post Malone – “Hollywood’s Bleeding” review


This is the 3rd full-length album from New York born & Texas raised rapper, singer, songwriter & producer Post Malone. Who rose to stardom in 2015 with the single “White Iverson”, which landed on his subpar debut album stoney at the tail-end of 2016. He took the following year off, but his sophomore album beerbongs & bentleys last spring showed a little bit of improvement as the songs were a lot catchier than last time around. And a little over a year later, here we are.

The title track essentially finds Post going on about some woman over a dull instrumental while the next song “Saint-Tropez” is a by the numbers club banger. The track “Enemies” with DaBaby sees the 2 talking about people who’ve turned against them over a moody instrumental while the song “Allergic” is a trite & obnoxious ballad.

The track “1,000 Bad Times” talking about how crazy this chick is over an airy instrumental while the song “Circles” is a whiny attempt at going indie pop. The track “Die for Me” with Future talks about scandalous women with Halsey providing a terrible verse from the ladies’ perspectives at the end over a drab beat while the song “On the Road” with Meek Mill & Lil Baby finds the 3 bragging over a generically atmospheric beat.

The track “Take What You Want” with Travis Scott sees the 2 diving into more romantic melodrama & not only is the instrumental equally uneventful, but the Ozzy Osbourne hook on here has to be one of the worst features I’ve heard all year. The song “I’m Gonna Be” is essentially the trap equivalent to Logic’s “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different” minus the awful Will Smith verse while the track “Staring at the Sun” with SZA is an awkward duet about their past romances over an instrumental that’s blatantly similar to the playful “Sunflower” joint that he did with Swae Lee for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And funny enough too, that’s the VERY next song on the album.

The track “Internet” is basically him moaning about the things people say about him online & the song “Goodbyes” talks about leaving a girl whereas Young Thug is talking about working it out with her over a bleak instrumental. The track “Myself” sounds like a total Tame Impala ripoff while the song “I Know” talks about how his love with this woman will never be duplicated over a skeletal instrumental. The torture finally ends with “Wow.”, which is a boring sequel to “Congratulations”.

I didn’t like this. Not even a little bit. With the last album I felt like Post actually came through with writing & delivering some catchy radio hits, but this feels WAY more cumbersome. Maybe even more so than [i]stoney[/i] was almost 3 years ago. Another thing is too that it seems like him hopping on the emo rap bandwagon & failing miserably. By far the worst thing he’s done to date.

Score: 1.5/5

Chance the Rapper – “The Big Day” review

Chance the Rapper is a 26 year old rapper, singer, songwriter, actor & activist from Chicago, Illinois that became an overnight sensation in 2012 with his debut mixtape 10 Day & he would eventually follow it up the next year with one of the best mixtapes of this decade: Acid Rap. Last time we heard from Chance was in 2016 with Coloring Book which had an more admirably Christian message to his music, but was weighed down by an abundance of features. 3 years have passed & he’s now making his return with his full-length debut.

The album kicks off with “All Day Long”, where Chance talks about feeling grateful over a blissful instrumental from none other than The Social Experiment. The next song “Do You Remember?” gets nostalgic over a buttery instrumental while the track “Eternal” with Smino sees the 2 talking about wanting a lifetime relationship over a funky beat. The song “Hot Shower” with DaBaby & MadeinTYO sees the 3 rambling about this chick over a nondescript trap beat while the track “We Go High” pays tribute to his wife over a J Dilla inspired instrumental.

The song “I Got You (Always & Forever)” is a hideous 1-night stand anthem & after the “Photo Ops” skit, the song “Roo” with Taylor Bennett sees the 2 getting motivational over a cavernous beat. The title track talks about his wedding over a beautiful acoustic instrumental while the song “Let’s Go on the Run” with Knox Fortune sees the 2 pretty much simping over a sunny beat.

The track “Handsome” with aMegan thee Stallion] sees the 2 boasting about how beautiful they are over an simplistic trap beat while the song “Big Fish” with Gucci Mane sees the 2 charismatically bragging over a settle trap beat. The track “Ballin’ Flossin’” is basically a Christianized version of Drake’s “Ratchet Happy Birthday” & after the “4 Quarters in the Black” skit, the song “5 Year Plan” talks about his goals over a bare piano instrumental.

The track “Get a Bag” with CalBoy pretty much speaks for itself over a tropical instrumental while the song “Slide Around” with Nicki Minaj & Lil Durk sees the 3 flaunting over an ambient/trap beat from Pi’erre Bourne. The track “Sun Come Down” vents about his insecurities over an atmospheric beat while the song “Found a Good One (Single No More)” is of course another dedication to his wife over an upbeat instrumental. The track “Town on the Hill” gets spiritual over a moody beat & after the “Our House” skit, the closer “Zanies & Fools” with Nicki Minaj is an annoying love song with a tribal-esque instrumental..

As a fan of Chance’s early work, this was a huge disappointment for me. There are a few cuts that sound like they come from the heart, but then there are many others that’re just straight up generic. Hopefully, his next project will be at a respectable length

Score: 2/5

Erick Sermon – “Vernia” review

cover-18-768x768.jpgErick Sermon is a legendary MC & producer from Brentwood, New York known for being a member of EPMD & the Def Squad. He made a flawed yet solid comeback in 2015 with E.S.P. (Erick Sermon’s Perception) but now 4 years later, he’s at it again with his 8th full-length album.

After the “Payne Intro”, the first song “Wake Up (No Fear)” brags about his skills over a futuristic instrumental. “Da Wave” continues the lyrical themes of the previous joint over a vintage instrumental from Rockwilder while while the track “Tha Game” with AZ & Styles P sees the 3 dissing people only out for the fame over a bass-line & a soul sample. The song “Go” with No Malice talks about life in the streets over a luscious boom bap beat while the song “My Style” with N.O.R.E. & Raekwon sees the 3 showing all of their unique styles over a laidback soul sample.

The song “That Girl” with Big K.R.I.T. is a smooth dedication to Southern women while “Cabinet” shouts out a plethora of legendary MCs over yet another funky instrumental. The track “Stay Real, Pt. 2” with Keith Murray & Nature is a fantastic sequel to a highlight off of Erick’s underrated 1993 debut No Pressure while the song “Zion”with Xzibit alongside David Banner & even Shaquille O’Neal spit battle bars over a boom bap beat with a sinister piano-lead. The track “May Sound Crazy” with Devin the Dude & Too $hort sees the 3 getting romantic over a g-funk beat from Battlecat while the song 300 E is essentially E-Dub charismatically boasting over a beautifully futuristic instrumental from Rockwilder. The album then finishes with the Apathy produced title track, which is a heartwarming dedication to his grandmother.

All & all, this is a fantastic comeback for The Green-Eyed Bandit. Could’ve done without a couple tracks but this late into his career, Erick really sticks to his guns lyrically with the features mostly adding into the equation & the production is absolutely top notch.

Score: 4/5

Juice WRLD – “Too Soon..” review

Juice WRLD is a 19 year old rapper from Chicago, Illinois who started blowing up just recently due to the release of his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance just last month. I personally thought it was just average, because I feel like he’s pretty much Post Malone making Lil Uzi Vert & Trippie Redd songs. However, he’s now giving us a 2-track EP in the light of the surprising & devastating murder of XXXTENTACION earlier this week.

The first track “legends :(” is a heartwarming tribute to X & even Lil Peep (who passed away last November) over a somber trap beat & the other one “rich & blind :(” is basically a message to everyone who’s recently lost someone over a moody beat.

I still don’t care for Juice WRLD’s recent album admittedly, but I gotta give credit where it’s due. Not just because he sounds less like Post on here, but I think he refines the emo rap style a little bit on here in the terms of lyrics & production. However, I would’ve loved to hear 3 more tracks from it

Score: 3.5/5

Bumpy Knuckles – “Pop Duke” review


After dropping the Statik Selektah produced Lyrical Workout in 2011 & the DJ Premier produced KoleXXXion in 2012, Long Island underground veteran Bumpy Knuckles is returning with his 8th full-length album & he has enlisted Nottz to produce it in it’s entirety. Things start off with the title track, where Freddie talks about his longevity over a triumphant beat. The next song “Flow Temperament” brags about his skills over a boom bap beat with some bass guitar while the track “Head Count” with Kool G Rap & Lil’ Fame gets confrontational over some horns. The song “In Love with the Game” is about the current state of hip hop, but the features don’t really do anything for me. Especially the hook.

The track “Grumpy Ol’ Man” continues the theme of a previous track albeit in a more intriguing way over a funky beat & the song “Check It Out Y’all” with Biz Markie talk about how they’re in their prime over an eerie boom bap beat. The track “Motivation” gets conscious a tropical beat while the song “Ol Morning” talks about his skills over a somber beat. The track “New Enemy” is about shady people mixed with some battle bars over a keyboard boom bap beat & the closer “Legends” recalls first getting into hip hop over a flute.

Despite it’s short length, this is still a very solid return for Bumpy. The production is just as hard hitting as his last 2 as is his ever so gritty lyricism. I assume we’re getting a follow-up anytime soon given that this is labeled as “Vol. 1” & whether Nottz will be back for it or not, I’ll definitely be anticipating it

Score: 4/5

Desiigner – “L.o.D. (Life of Desiigner)” review


Ever since appearing on the 2016 XXL Freshman Class & rushing his New English mixtape shortly after, New York rapper Desiigner has been laying low ever since. However, it was announced out of the blue Thursday night that he had returned with with his 1st EP.

The EP starts off with “Priice Tag”, where he gets braggadocious over a video gamey trap beat from Ronny J. The next song “Tonka” has an instrumental with an eerie atmosphere to it, but the songwriting is lazy. Especially during the hook & the 2nd verse. The track “After Party” is a generic club banger while the song “Pop iiT” is pretty much a poor man’s “Mask Off” albeit with a spacey beat. The song “Destiination” sounds like a leftover from Future’s last album HNDRXX while the track “LA to New York” does sound charismatic & fun, the songwriting is yet again lazy. The EP finally finishes with “HOOD”, where he talks about seeing another day over a moody beat

This is definitely better than New English, but it’s still pretty bad. Not only did it take way too long to come out but even 2 years after he blew up, the production is generic trap & Desiigner himself still sounds like a poor man’s Future

Score: 1/5

August Greene – Self-titled review


August Greene is a newly formed supergroup consisting of Chicago MC Common, Detroit producer Karriem Riggins & Houston jazz pianist Robert Glasper. The 3 have worked extensively on Common’s last album Black America Again in Late 2016, but now they are coming together for an official full-length album.

The opener “Meditation” talks about how the trio can’t fall over a mellow instrumental & the next song “Black Kennedy” is a vivid description of just that over a jazzy piano instrumental. The track “Let’s Go” gets spiritual over a soothing beat while the song “Practice” insightfully talks about life itself over a piano & punchy drums. The track “Fly Away” talks about relationships over a tribal beat while “Aya” is a soothing 4 minute instrumental with a piano & beautiful background vocals.

After the “Piano” interlude, we go into the track “No Apologies”. Here, Com gets conscious over a super funky beat. The song “The Time” sees Common reflecting on his entire career with an instrumental that has a soothing atmosphere to it while the penultimate track “Optimistic” with Brandy is a decent cover of the Sounds of Blackness song with the same name. The album closes with “Swisha Suite”, which is a relaxing 12 minute jam session.

While I wasn’t expecting this, it’s still a great album. The production from Karriem & Robert is just as jazzy & laidback as Black America Again & Common’s lyricism is as insightful as ever before. However, I wish there were about 3 more tracks on here if possible. I’d definitely love to hear a follow-up from them in the future

Score: 4/5