Big Scarr – “Big Grim Reaper” review

Big Scarr is a 21 year old rapper from Memphis, Tennessee that broke out in 2019 off his debut single “Make a Play”. This would catch the attention of Atlanta trap pioneer Gucci Mane, who signed Scarr to his revived Atlantic Records imprint 1017 Worldwide last year. The kid has gone on to release 6 singles since being taken under Wop’s wing & with the commercial success of Pooh Shiesty’s debut tape Shiesty Season that came out a couple months back, Scarr is next up at bat.

“Grim Reaper” is a to-the-point opener as Scarr hops on some sinister piano melodies & hi-hats to spit about being a murder, but then the next song “Get It In” is a violin-heavy follow-up about being a young legend. “Poppin’” is a doomy ode to his newfound fame whereas the braggadocio-induced “Frozone” goes into a more wintry direction sonically.

The track “Ballin’ in LA” links up with Gucci Mane & Pooh Shiesty to deliver a dark yet infectious dedication to the sunshine state while “Joe Dirt” goes into a more uptempo direction beat-wide as the lyrics detail going from the apartments to the mansion. “SoIcyBoyz3” re-enlists Shiesty & Wop alongside Foogiano to send a warning to their detractors over a glistening Tay Keith instrumental & the Baby K-featured “No Ball” literally has nothing going for it other than the Middle Eastern-inspired production.

Scarr returns to a more darker sound on the track “Don’t Stop” as he raps about beef, but then “IDL” showcases a cool lil chemistry between him & Enchanting as they paint an oxymoronic love story. The woefully produced “Pay Me” details being crossed so many times & on the contrary, “Traphouse” is a stern look-back on his days before rapping.

Meanwhile on “I Would Keep Goin’”, we have have Big Scarr detailing how heartless he is in a petrifying fashion before he & Gucci Mane detail how they live life on the Zaytoven-produced “In Color”. The track “From the Jump” details about his greatness over a plentiful instrumental & the tape ends with the first 2 installments of the “SoIcyBoyz” series. The first one is kinda underwhelming & the 2nd one is much more improved.

Even though I came away from Big Grim Reaper with mixed feelings, I’m still very much looking forward to hearing what Big Scarr has to offer. The overall sound is middle-of-the-road, but I’m not gonna deny the ambition in his voice throughout a good bulk of the tape.

Score: 2.5/5

YBN Nahmir – “Visionland” review

YBN Nahmir is a 21 year old rapper from Birmingham, Alabama most notable for being the de facto leader of the now defunct YBN collective. We all know Cordae has proven to be the most successful member of the crew given how well The Lost Boy & it wasn’t until earlier this month that Almighty Jay dropped his painfully boring debut EP Battling My Spirit. However, Nahmir is the last one stepping to plate & is dropping his long-delayed debut album.

“Still (Family)” is actually a good way to kick off the album as Nahmir speaks on doing this rap shit for his family with a guitar & harmonious vocal harmonies backing him. However, the next song “Regardless” sounds like he’s vocally riffing for 2 minutes despite the tranquilizing trap beat whereas the rowdy “Politics” links up with DaBoii & G Herbo to take shots at people talking shit on the internet. The “Opp Stoppa” remix with 21 Savage is better than the original, even though it’s weird how Nahmir puts the OG version of it as the closer later on.

“Get It Crackin’” samples “Chaos” by TekraBeats as Nahmir goes on about nothing & then “Fast Car Music (Stain)” serves as a half-baked ode to Lamborghinis. The track “Prison” is pretty much a 2-minute, abrasive self-defense anthem & then “Lamb Truck” is an underwritten cut about wetting up those who cross him with an aquatic beat. The twangy, bass-heavy “Fast Car Ending” is another short & off-the-cuff freestyle that could’ve easily been left on the cutting room floor, but then “Wake Up” goes into a more orchestral direction as he talks about getting his dick sucked in the morning.

“Belgium” is a 2-minute diatribe about how Nahmir been “thuggin’ since a youngin’” over a skeletal piano instrumental while the cumbersomely-produced “Make a Wish” literally says in the hook that he’ll kill the children of his enemies. The electronic-tinged “Homework” opens up about the snakes in his life & even though the classy instrumental on “Streets” is ok, it once again sounds like a barely written song. The soul/trap fusion “WooWAM” goes on about wanting bitches at his mansion, but then “Soul Train” is even worse with it’s funk-influenced production & the gross lyrics about giving his girl everything.

The rubbery, Hitmaka-produced “2-Seater” with G-Eazy & Offset continues to go on about their love for luxury cars over a rubbery instrumental from Hitmaka while “Ca$hland” is a money anthem with a hyphy beat along as well as stellar features from E-40 & Too $hort. The final song on the album (excluding the original “Opp Stoppa” like I mentioned earlier) “Over Now” is a touching sequel to the opening cut.

I said it in my review for Battling My Spirit a few weeks ago & I’ll say it again right now: this is just another reminder that Cordae carried the whole YBN crew. I’ll even say this is even worse than the latest Almighty Jay EP. It didn’t need to be 20 tracks long, the songwriting is vapid, his performances don’t have any “oomph” to them & the production is uneventful.

Score: 1/5

YBN Almighty Jay – “Battling My Spirit” review

YBN Almighty Jay is a 21 year old rapper from Houston, Texas who came up as a founding member of the now defunct YBN collective. Dude has dropped a handful of singles in the span of 6 years & has now whipped up a 20 minute EP as his first official project.

The opener “Get Rich in the Hood” talks about going out like Suge before going out like Pac over an acoustic guitar & a dizzying backdrop whereas the next track “Big Check” shows off his wealth over a drab beat. The song “Murder in My Eyes” talks about how all his homies balling over an instrumental trying to rip off the aesthetics of Travis Scott’s previous album ASTROWORLD while the title track is easily the best off the entire EP, as Jay confesses that he looks at his family different & the dejecting tone of the beat is perfect.

The song “Drank Sealed” talks about going from a futon to a mansion over a guitar & some hi-hats while the track “Bring Out the Hoochies” is a mediocre attempt at making a strip club anthem. The song “Shoutout to My Dentist” talks about being flashy over a buoyant instrumental & then the closer “Red Light Special” talks about not having time for affairs over a syrupy beat.

Other than the title track, I hardly got anything out of this EP at the end of the day & I really don’t see what makes YBN Almighty Jay an appealing artist. His songwriting is insipid, the flows are pretty basic & the production is incredibly generic.

Score: 1/5

Pooh Shiesty – “Slime Season” review

Pooh Shiesty is a 21 year old rapper from Memphis, Tennessee who broke out just last year off his viral single “Main Slime”. This resulted in Gucci Mane signing him to his Atlantic Records imprint 1017 Worldwide & after multiple appearances on the label’s recent showcase compilations, he’s now being granted a full-length debut.

The intro talks about seeing through fake shit over an icy trap beat whereas the next song “Back in Blood” with Lil Durk finds the 2 talking about murder over an instrumental with some foreboding piano melodies. The track “Guard Up” talks about fucking up anyone in his way over an acoustic guitar along with some rubbery bass while the song “Ugly” with Gucci Mane sees the duo talking about how everyone with them is thuggin’ over a trap beat with some distressing keyboards.

The track “Neighbors” with Big30 finds the 2 talking about being real g’s over a wintry instrumental while the song “50 Shots” talks about getting it in at the trap over an elegiac beat. The track “No Chorus” talks about death over a pessimistic instrumental while the song “Box of Churches” with 21 Savage sees the duo talking about bringing the smoke to ‘em over a spectral beat.

The track “Making a Mess” with Big30 & Veeze finds the trio talking about romance & guns over a bassy instrumental with this horn section occasionally popping in & out while the song “Choppa Way” talks about staying the same despite being rich now over an ominous beat. The track “Take a Life” with Foogiano sees the 2 talking about how people don’t know what it’s like to kill someone over an instrumental with a prominent woodwind sample while the song “Gone MIA” talks about all the pussies out there over a triumphant beat.

The track “Big 13 Gang” with Choppa Wop & Lil Hank finds the 3 talking about being a threat over a cinematic instrumental while the song “Drop Some Shit” talks about trying to make it out before he gets locked up over a cloudy beat. The track “See Red” talks about blood being around him over a trap/rock fusion while the song “Master P” compares himself to the No Limit mogul of the same name over a heady beat from Tay Keith. The album ends with the strip club anthem “Twerksum”, which originally appeared on the So Icy Gang compilation back in October.

Of all the recent 1017 signings, Pooh Shiesty has stood out to me the most. However, this album is just decent at best. He has a great presence on the mic & his songwriting is definitely ear-grabbing, but the production is just middle of the road & most of the features kinda weigh it down.

Score: 3/5

Lil Skies – “Unbothered” review

Lil Skies is a 22 year old rapper from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania who came onto my radar in 2018 off his 4th mixtape Life of a Dark Rose. This was followed up the next year with his full-length debut Shelby & with the 2 year anniversary of that album approaching in a couple of months, Lil Skies is celebrating by dropping a sophomore effort.

The album kicks off with “Fade Away”, where Skies spends his time impersonating NAV for God knows what reason & even the beat is generic as Hell. The next song “Take 5” talks about having real money over a nondescript instrumental while the track “Excite Me” with Wiz Khalifa sees the 2 talking about freaky hoes over a euphoric beat. The song “Havin’ My Way” with Lil Durk finds the 2 talking about flexin’ & stuntin’ over an acoustic trap instrumental we’ve heard a million times already while the track “OK” proclaims himself as a big boss over a paranormal beat from Buddah Bless.

The song “Dead Broke” talks about a woman he had to let go over a rubbery beat while the track “On Sight” talks about having 30 shooters over a bland beat. The song “Think Deep Don’t Sink” talks about being iced out over a cavernous instrumental while the track “Red Wine & [JoDeCi]” talks about a manipulative ex over a skeletal beat.

The song “Locked Up” talks about being that dude over another acoustic/trap flavored instrumental while the track “Trust Nobody” talks about the fear of being set up over a dull beat. The song “Riot” compares himself to Freddy Krueger over a hyphy instrumental while the penultimate track “Sky High” talks about the love he has for this woman over an atmospheric beat from Danny Wolf. The album ends with “Mhmmm”, where Lil Skies talks about a down bad thotty over a T-Minus instrumental that almost has a Middle Eastern flare to it.

Outside of a couple flashes in the pan, I personally didn’t get that much enjoyment out of this album. Lil Skies’ music continues to decline further as the lyrics are vapid, the flows are subpar, the production is dime a dozen for a good majority of the time.

Score: 1.5/5

Rico Nasty – “Nightmare Vacation” review

This is the long awaited full-length debut album from New York City’s very own Rico Nasty. Coming onto my radar a couple years ago off her Nasty mixtape, I was pretty impressed by her unique personality & her eclecticism. The last project Rico had put out prior was a phenomenal EP produced entirely by Kenny Beats last April titled Anger Management but as this turbulent year draws to a close, it’s only right for her to finally drop Nightmare Vacation.

The opener “Candy” talks about never changing the way she acts over a bombastic instrumental whereas the next song “Don’t Like Me” with Gucci Mane sees the 2 talking about haters over a cloudy beat from Buddah Bless. The track “Check Me Out” gets boastful over a piano & some hi-hats while song “iPhone” talks about relationships over a hyper pop instrumental from Dylan Brady.

The track “STFU” continues to brag over a blobby instrumental from Take a Daytrip while the song “Back & Forth” with Aminé finds the 2 showing off their chemistry with one another over a flute-tinged trap beat. The track “Girl Scouts” talks about pulling up with a chopper over a ghostly instrumental while the song “Let It Out” vents all of her frustrations over a trap metal beat from 100 gecs.

The track “Losers” with Trippie Redd sees the 2 talking about those trying to fit in over an uptempo instrumental from Brandon Finessin’ while the song “No Debate” talks about how to make a bitch lose it. The track “Pussy Poppin’” gets raunchy over a quirky instrumental while the song “OHFR?” talks about not giving a fuck over an industrial-sounding beat.

The track “10 Fo” talks about leaving the last behind over a trap instrumental with a horn buried in the mix while the song “Own It” advises listeners to own up to themselves for everything over a rubbery beat. The penultimate track is a terrible remix to the Kenny Beats-produced “Smack a Bitch” & then the closer is actually the original “Smack a Bitch”, which I think is a brutal Asian Doll diss.

Coming away from this album, my feelings towards it are mixed at the end of the day. I commend Rico for being one of the most exciting performers in hip hop today & that absolutely applies here, but the production is just so hit or miss.

Score: 3/5

Meek Mill – “Quarantine Pack” review

This is the 6th EP from Philly’s very own Meek Mill. Starting out as a battle rapper, he later became a protege of Rick Ross & signed to Maybach Music Group in the 2010s. We’ve all watched this man have a series of ups & downs throughout his career from his critically acclaimed Dreamchasers mixtapes to his beef with Drake. However a couple years ago, he was freed from prison after a corrupt judge sentenced him to 6 years in November of 2017 & made a triumphant return with his 4th album Championships. But with a new full-length in the works, Meek is preluding it by dropping a Quarantine Pack.

The opener “Middle of It” compares himself to Richard Porter over a trap beat with some heavy bass & a flute while the next song “Pain Away” with Lil Durk sees the 2 talking about money relieving them of their stresses over a slow instrumental from S1. The penultimate track “GTA” with 42 Dugg finds the 2 talking about how there’s certain things that don’t need to be said over a hyphy beat & then the closer “Think It’s a Game” talks about a homie who turned his back on him over a spacious instrumental.

Personally, this is a decent collection of songs & I’m curious to hear how all 4 of them play out in the context of Meek’s next album whenever he puts it out. I mean he definitely took is time with these joints & I appreciate that to the highest degree, but there’s not much else to it beyond that.

Score: 3/5

Future & Lil Uzi Vert – “PLUTO X BABY PLUTO” review

This is the new collaborative effort from 2 household names in the trap subgenre of hip hop, Future & Lil Uzi Vert. The 2 have come together a handful of times throughout the last few years with songs like “Too Much Sauce” or Wassup” but after dropping a couple singles this past summer, they have seen fit to take things to the next level on PLUTO X BABY PLUTO.

The opener “Stripes Like Burberry” sees the 2 talking about wanting to make their mother’s proud over a energizing instrumental from DJ Esco whereas the next song “Marni on Me” pays tribute to the Italian clothing company Marni over a bland beat. The track “Sleeping on the Floor” talks about partying over an instrumental with some rubbery bass while the song “Real Baby Pluto” talks about their alter egos over a banger beat from Zaytoven.

The track “Drankin’ n’ Smokin’” talks about women over a calming instrumental while the song “$1M Play” talks about shooting it up over a woodwind-infused beat. The track “Plastic” talks about their Cartiers over an instrumental with some strings while the song “That’s It” talks about their woadies being coyotes over an hypnotic beat from Wheezy.

The track “Bought a Bad Bitch” talks about how fine their girls are over a nondescript instrumental while the song “Rockstar Chainz” is a solo Future cut about feeing like autopilot over an uneventful beat. The track “Lullaby” right after is of course an Uzi solo cut about doing wrong over a DY instrumental with an AMAZING vocal sample while the song “She Never Been to Pluto” is the duo getting back together to talk about kicking hoes out like Kudos over an EDM/trap fusion.

The track “F-Off Dat” talks about smoking a good pack over a plain instrumental while the next song “I Don’t Wanna Break Up” talks about wanting to stay with their significant others over a moody beat. The penultimate track “Bankroll” talks about their money over a triumphant instrumental & then the closer “Moment of Clarity” talks about everyday being a movie premiere over a luxurious Turbo beat.

For the 4 month wait, the end result is pretty mid. Not only is Uzi carrying a good portion of the tape, but I wish he & Future took more risks because on the production on here is just so mediocre & safely played. Would’ve been a much better EP if you ask me.

Score: 2.5/5

YoungBoy Never Broke Again – “Top” review

YoungBoy Never Broke Again is a 20 year old rapper from Baton Rogue, Louisiana with a plethora of mixtapes under his belt throughout the last 5 years of his career. However it wouldn’t be until 2017 when he dropped his full-length debut Until Death Called My Name which was not only pretty decent, but arguably his best work. But after a 6 month hiatus, YoungBoy is back with his sophomore effort.

The album starts off with “Drug Addiction”, where YoungBoy talks about being the life of the party over a bassy instrumental with some keyboards. The next song “Cross Roads” talks about being too rich for drama over a trap rock beat while “The Last Backyard…” talks about catching his haters in person over a menacing instrumental. The track “Right Foot Creep” talks about how he walks with a gun over an instrumental that doesn’t really have anything to it with an genuinely catchy bass-line while the song “Dirty Stick” talks about passing hollows to dudes over an dramatic instrumental.

The track “Kacey Talks” is actually a profound dedication to YoungBoy’s 1-year old daughter while the song “My Window” with Lil Wayne sees the 2 talking about collectin’ them dollars over a bouncy beat. The track “I’m Up” talks about how he’s still thuggin’ despite his fame that over an acoustic trap instrumental from Wheezy while the song “Off Season” is a painful love ballad with a buttery beat.

The track “All In” talks about making it out of the dirt pile over another acoustic guitar-tinged instrumental while the song “Dead Trollz” talks about catchin’ a body over an abrasive instrumental. The track “Fuck Ya!” talks about him shining over an uneventful instrumental while the song “Big Bankroll” redundantly flexes his wealth over a bland beat.

The track “Boom” boasts about how he gets places poppin’ over a dull instrumental the song “Reaper’s Child” pretty much says fuck how people be feel towards him over a dreary instrumental. The track “Murder Business” of course talks about killing people over a shadowy instrumental while the song “Sticks with Me” talks about all he ever needs over a mundane beat.

The track “House Arrest Tingz” talks about being damaged over a completely unexpected Buckethead sample while the song “To My Lowest” tries so hard to impersonate Young Thug down to the hook. The penultimate track “Peace Hardly” talks about his recent mental struggles over a beat with a slick guitar passage & then the album ends with “Callin’”, where YoungBoy gets on his gangsta shit with Snoop Dogg & they both coast on top of the instrumental finely.

If anyone has paid attention to my reviews in the past, then you should already know that I’m very accepting of trap music. That being said: Top is just as boring as almost every other project I’ve ever heard from NBA YoungBoy. I wish him well in his ongoing mental health struggles, but absolutely nothing about this dude’s music interests me whether it be the basic production or his lowbrow presence on the mic

Score: 1/5

Lil Uzi Vert – “Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2” review

This is the surprise 5th mixtape from Philadelphia sensation Lil Uzi Vert, who solidified himself as a forefront in the modern trap scene with his 2015 mixtape LUV is Rage & then Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World the year after. Since the release of his 2017 debut album LUV is Rage 2, Uzi had been entangled with a nasty legal battle with his label & it was just earlier this month that he was able to put out his sophomore effort Eternal Atake with the help of Roc Nation. Fast forward to a week & here we are with Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2.

The album kicks off with “Myron”, where Uzi talks about biters over a joyous beat. The next song “Lotus” shows off over a trap beat from Don Cannon with what sounds like an old video game sample while the track “Bean (Kobe)” with Chief Keef sees the 2 of course paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant over a signature instrumental from Pi’erre Bourne. The song “Yesssirskii” with 21 Savage sees the 2 charismatically getting materialistic over a blissful instrumental while the track “Wassup” with Future sees the 2 talking about winning over an atmospheric instrumental.

The song “Strawberry Peels” with Gunna & Young Thug sees the 3 talking about partying over an abrasive Wheezy beat while the track “I Can Show You” energetically flexing over an orchestral trap beat. The song “Moon Relate” talks about how women are all the same over a cavernous instrumental from Danny Wolf while the track “Come This Way” talks about how fly he is over a calming beat.

The song “Trap This Way (This Way)” talks about his crew over a cloudy instrumental while the track “No Auto” with Durkio Krazy sees the 3 getting confrontational over a grimy instrumental from none other than DY. The song “Money Spread” with Young Nudy talks about their current lifestyles over a Pi’erre beat that sounds like it was made in the year 3020. The song “Got the Guap” with Young Thug sees the 2 talking about being rich over a ethereal instrumental & then there’s the closer “Leaders”, where Uzi & NAV of all people compare themselves to Jim Jones of the People’s Temple over a psychedelic trap beat.

Honestly, this is better than Eternal Atake. It sounds more focused, the songwriting has improved as have the performances & production choices have improved, almost all the features really come together & Uzi recaptures the aura that made the first Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World so special.

Score: 4/5