This is a brand new collaborative effort between Atlanta superstar Lil Baby & Chicago rapper Lil Durk. The pair have come together on a handful of instances throughout the last few years whether it be “How I Know” off the latter’s 2016 mixtape Just Cause Y’all Waited or even a little over a month ago with “EVERY CHANCE I GET” on the latest DJ Khaled album Khaled Khaled but given their documented history with one another, they’ve decided to take it to the next level by declaring themselves as The Voice of the Heroes.
The title track is a cloudy kickstarter to the album & even though I appreciate the message “2040” being about balling forever, the instrumental is just middle of the road. Travis Scott tags along for the synth-heavy “Hats Off” as the trio shout out those who be keeping it real whereas the Wheezy-produced “Who I Want” brings in some rich piano melodies as they talk about running trains on bitches.
Meanwhile on “Still Hood”, we have Baby & Durk reminding listeners of where they came from backed by a mellow beat from London on da Track before incorporating strings on the loyalty themed “Man of My Word”. We have Nick Papz working in some flutes for the duo as they link up with Meek Mill for the braggaodious “Still Runnin’”, but then “Medical” is easily the saddest joint on the whole thing as they’re crying for help from drug addiction.
“How I Feel” doesn’t have much going on instrumentally despite the lyrics saying you’re not alone on feeling a certain way in certain situations while “Lying” angrily calls out wankstas on their bluff. The rapid keyboards on “Okay” are really cool as both parties talk about being stuck in their ways whereas the horn-inflicted “That’s Facts” finds them speaking their truths. The song “Please” is a more romantic cut down to the airy production from Turbo, but then Durk & Baby bring in Young Thug for the celebratory wealth anthem “Up the Side”.
They later acknowledge the fact that people look up to them on “If You Want To” & even though the guitars come in on occasion, they’re a really awesome touch. The song “Rich Off Pain” is a summery cut saying they became successful due to expressing their struggles while the penultimate track “Make It Out” expresses their desire to “rid this curse” over a dejected Murda Beatz instrumental. To round it out, “Bruised Up” is an emotional finisher pondering what they’d do if they got locked up.
A lot of mainstream collab albums this day in age tend to be hit or miss, but I think it’s safe to say The Voice of the Heroes is leagues better than Drip Harder was. Not just because the chemistry has improved, but the production choices are more refined too.
This is the 5th mixtape from Mableton rapper & songwriter Lil Yachty. Skyrocketing to fame in 2016 by bringing a unique sound & personality to the trap subgenre on his debut mixtape Lil Boat, his subsequent pretty much took a nosedive from there. Why? Because he made a song on that breakout tape about never switching up & that’s EXACTLY what he did. But to pay homage to this reviewer’s home state, Yachty has amassed together some of the hottest rappers Detroit has to offer currently for Michigan Boy Boat.
“Final Form” is a ruthless opener with a hyphy instrumental from Helluva, but then Tee Grizzley tags along for the airy “Dynamic Duo” to talk about how his chemistry with Yachty is unmatched. The harp on “Concrete Goonies” shortly after is pretty cool except the fact that it’s a tad bit offputting hearing him start it off by saying he wants to fuck Kali Uchis. Meanwhile, we have Veeze & Baby Smoove jumping on a piano instrumental to brush off those who wanna fight for a print on “Don’t Even Bother” whereas the song “G.I. Joe” with Louie Ray finds the 2 talking about being young cats who got it over a colorful beat from Buddah Bless.
“Never Did Coke” is one of my favorites on the project with it’s bongo & string-laced instrumental as well as Yachty’s chemistry with Swae Lee, but that same back-&-forth magic on the RMC Mike-featured “Ghetto Boy Shit” falls flat for me even though I like the grubby instrumental. Icewear Vezzo & Rio da Yung OG help him go into gangsta rap territory for “Plastic” while the track “Fight Night Round 3” with Babyface Ray & Veeze does it’s title justice by providing a lethal moshpit joint.
Sada Baby’s feature on the braggadocious “SB 2021” is cool, but his performances on the 30 Roc-produced “SB5” are much better if you ask me. Rio comes back into the fold for the glassily-produced “Stunt Double”, except his feature on here doesn’t stick the landing like it did on “Plastic”. The penultimate track “Hybrid” has these inauspicious keyboard melodies Yachty & Babytron both give flashy performances before bringing in some bells for the “This That One” cypher to finish things off.
Coming from someone who’s lived in The Mitten his entire life, I’m a bit torn coming away from this. Even though Yachty doesn’t do the modern Detroit style all that much justice, I still admire the fact he took some of the hottest rappers the city currently has to offer & brought them all together.
Lil Baby is a rapper from Atlanta, Georgia that rose to stardom in 2018 with his debut album Harder Than Ever. This was followed up with a collab project with Gunna entitled Drip Harder & his 4th solo mixtape Street Gossip, both of which didn’t match the quality of Harder Than Ever in my opinion. But after spending the last year doing features, he’s back with his sophomore album.
The opener “Get Ugly” talks about how life can be rough over a trap beat with some synths while the next song “Heatin’ Up” seems like a boring Drip Harder leftover. The song “How” takes aim it people ridin’ his wave over a bassy Murda Beatz instrumental while the track “Grace” with 42 Dugg sees the 2 flexing over an ominous instrumental. The song “Woah” continues to show off over a dull instrumental while the track “Live Off My Closet” with Future sees the 2 talking about their fancy possessions over a beat with some haunting keyboards.
The song “Same Thing” describes a day in the life of Lil Baby over a Tay Keith beat with an awesome acoustic sample while the track “Emotionally Scarred” talks about an ex over a bland beat. The song “Commercial” with Lil Uzi Vert sees the 2 talking about not looking back over a skeletal beat while the track “Forever” finds Baby getting with Lil Wayne to remind their listeners to be themselves over a demented beat. The song “Can’t Explain” talks about acting the same despite his new lifestyle over a trap beat with a quiet piano lead while the track “No Sucker” with Moneybagg Yo is pretty much both of them bragging over an airy beat.
The song “Sum 2 Prove” lyrically needs no further explanation backed with some strings & hi-hats while the track “We Should” with Young Thug finds both of them boasting about going from broke to rich & I love the ghostly melody in the beat. The song “Catch the Sun” gets more personal over a [Hit-Boy] beat with a mellow guitar lead while the track “Consistent” talks about his grind over a woozy beat.
The song “Gang Signs” is essentially about reppin’ your set over a surprising yet vicious DJ Paul instrumental with a vintage Three 6 Mafia sample while the track “Hurtin’” vents about his pain over a spacious beat. The song “Forget That” with Rylo Rodriguez is them both of them trippin’ on wax over a somber beat & then the closer “Solid” continues to spit from the heart over an uneventful instrumental.
Wasn’t expecting a whole lot & walking away from it, I didn’t get much. There are a small handful of catchy bangers on here, but I find both the production & rapping to be subpar for a good portion cod it. Just another mediocre trap album.
ИF is a 28 year old rapper from Gladwin, Michigan who started out in 2010 with his debut mixtape Moments. 4 years later, he signed to Capitol Records & made his full-length debut the following year with Mansion. This was followed up in 2016 with Therapy Session, but it wouldn’t be until 2017 where ИF would finally achieve mainstream success with Perception. He’s been laying low since then but now, he’s returning with his 4th full-length album.
It all kicks off with the title track, where ИF rambles about his newfound fame over an apocalyptic trap beat. The next song “Leave Me Alone” talks about his mental heath over an orchestral instrumental while the track “Change” simplistically talks about just that over a minimalist trap beat. The track “My Stress” pretty much sees him whining over a moody trap beat while the song “Nate” looks back on his younger self over a bland beat.
The next track is a pointlessly extended version of the closer while the song “Returns” hilariously tries to get confrontational over a dark beat. The track “When I Grow Up” talks about hip hop being his #1 passion over some plinky keys & strings while “Only” is a sappy love tune heavy revolving around the Sasha Sloan song with the same name.
The track “Let Me Go” moans about someone who won’t accept him over a nocturnal beat & after the interlude, the track “Hate Myself” talks about depression over some militant drums with a piano in the background. The song “I Miss the Days” reflects on his childhood over some keyboards while the track “No Excuses” is another attempt at being edgy with a generic trap beat.
The song “Like This” talks about going through the motions over an atmospheric beat while the track “Options” talks about how he has to make it over an eerily dime a dozen trap beat. The song “WHY?” is pretty much the same as the opener while the track “Thinking” gets reflective over a cavernous trap beat.
The song “Trauma” cries about someone who won’t love him back over a bare piano instrumental & then the torture finally ends with “Time”, which pays tribute to ИF’s wife over a nondescript beat.
There’s not much else for me to say beyond that, this was truly a painful listening experience. It sounds a bit more passionate than his previous work but the lyrics are cornier than ever, the production is uneventful, it’s 1-dimensional & it REALLY did not need to be 80 minutes long.
Offset is a 27 year old rapper who came up at the beginning of the decade as 1/3 of the Migos. He released a fantastic collab album with 21 Savage & Metro Boomin’ on Halloween 2017 called Without Warning but now just a few months after his cousins Quavo & Takeoff made their solo debuts with QUAVO HUNCHO & The Last Rocket respectively, Offset is the final Migo at bat.
The album kicks off with the title track, which is a heartwarming dedication to his children over a somber beat from Metro. The next track “How Did I Get Here?” with J. Cole sees the 2 talking about fame over an atmospheric beat while the song “Lick” talks about his rags to riches over a bland woodwind-infused beat with some rubbery bass. The track “Tats on My Face” gets boastful over a nocturnal trap beat from the So Icey Boyz while the song “Made Men” talks about how he’s just that over a grimy trap beat from Southside. The track “Wild Wild West” with Gunna gets back on the boastful tip over an eerie Metro beat while the song “North Star” talks about the stresses of fame over a beautifully stripped back beat.
The track “After Dark” is pays tribute to Paris Brown over a luscious trap beat while the song “Don’t Lose Me” addresses his split-up with Cardi B over a spacious beat. The track “Underrated” talks about how he feels just that over another nocturnal trap beat from the So Icey Boyz while the song “Legacy” with Travis Scott & 21 Savage talks about their success over a dreary beat. The track “Clout” with Cardi B attack people who‘ll do anything to be famous over a keyboard-inflicted trap beat while the song “On Fleek” with Quavo is a sex tune with an moody beat. The track “Quarter Milli” with Gucci Mane sees the 2 bragging about their wealth over a bass-heavy beat while the song “Red Room” talks about how crazy his life has been over a pretty trap beat. The album then finishes with “Came a Long Way”, where Offset pulls a pretty heart wrenching performance over a gloomy trap beat.
We all know the Migos’ material since C U L T U R E II has been very lackluster, but this is easily the best of the 3 solo debuts & it actually gives me hope for C U L T U R E III. The lyrics are a lot more personal surprisingly, it’s more well-produced & it seems like they actually focused more on quality over quantity.
Takeoff is a 24 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who rose to prominence in 2013 as 1/3 of the Migos with his nephew quavo & his cousin Offset. The first of whom Quavo is arguably the most notable member & he actually happened to drop his solo debut QUAVO HUNCHO just 3 weeks prior. Now if that wasn’t enough for you, Takeoff here is now next at bat.
The album kicks off with “Martian”, where Takeoff talks about his success throughout the years over some prominent hi-hats from DJ Durel. The next track “She Gon’ Wink” with Quavo sees the 2 getting boastful over a spacey trap instrumental while the song “None to Me” introspectively talks about the famous life over a gloomy beat from 808 Mafia members DY, Gezin & TM88. The track “Vacation” pretty much speaks for itself over a trap beat from Murda Beatz & Cubeatz with some faint keyboards while the song “Last Memory” is a painfully bland braggadocious tune. The track “I Remember” vividly recalls drug dealing days over an eerie Murda Beatz instrumental while the song “Lead the Wave” talks about being a leader over a vibrant trap beat from DJ Durel.
The track “Casper” talks about him & his girl cruising down in a wraith over a somber Nonstop da Hitman instrumental while the song “Insomnia” is a boring freestyle over the beat from the latest Juicy J & Travis Scott song “Neighbor”. The track “Infatuation” is an awkwardly buttery love story while the song “Soul Plane” marks a returns to the braggadocious lyrics over a bass-heavy trap beat. The album then ends with “Bruce Wayne”, where Takeoff tells the audience to picture him rolling over an atmospheric beat from Cassius Jay & Wheezy.
This was better than I had anticipated, but it’s still decent. I can appreciate Takeoff for handling a good chunk of it on his own, but it really weighs it down because it tends to get monotonous after a while.
Quavo is a 27 year old rapper, singer, songwriter & producer from Atlanta, Georgia who rose to prominence in 2013 as 1/3 of the Migos with his nephew Takeoff & his cousin Offset. He also formed the duo Huncho Jack in late 2016 with one of the most creative minds in hip hop today: Travis Scott, dropping their debut album Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho at the very end of last year. He then got back with Takeoff & Offset at the beginning of THIS year to drop the Migos’ 3rd full length album C U L T U R E II, which is easily one of the most disappointing hip hop albums of 2018. However, they aren’t stopping there as Quavo is now the very 1st member of the trio to put out a full-length solo effort.
The album kicks off triumphantly with “BIGGEST ALLEY OOP”, where Quavo talks about his place in hip hop over a 30 Roc instrumental with a chilling flute & some female background vocals. The next track “PASS OUT” with 21 Savage sees the 2 getting boastful over a druggy instrumental, but the post-chorus where Quavo repeats his “skrr” ad-lib constantly is very tedious. The song “HUNCHO DREAMS” is a pretty solid response to “Barbie Dreams” off of Nicki Minaj’s latest album Queen backed with an atmospheric Murda Beatz instrumental while the track “FLIP THE SWITCH” with Drake sees the 2 talking about a bad bitch over a vibrant trap beat from Wheezy. The song “GIVE IT TO ‘EM” gets cold blooded over an eerie piano lead while the track “SHINE” is a club anthem with a spacey Tay Keith instrumental.
The song “WORKIN’ ME” talks about his relationship with his girlfriend Saweetie over an airy instrumental from Murda Beatz while the track “HOW ‘BOUT THAT?” talks about how the Migos are running the trap scene over a nondescript instrumental. The song “CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ” with Cardi B is an alcohol anthem over a relaxing woodwind instrumental from Murda Beatz & the Madonna hook was a nice surprise as well. The track “KEEP THAT SHIT” with Takeoff is about how they’re rich & your broke over a murky Dun Deal instrumental while the song “FUCK 12” with Offset disses corrupt cops over a gloomy instrumental.
The track “LOSE IT” with Lil Baby is a mediocre tune about how hot this woman is & the song “RERUN” is an obvious & unfortunately structureless Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho leftover with a beautifully spacious WondaGurl instrumental. The track “GO ALL THE WAY” is very repetitive lyrically,but the electronic instrumental that Pharrell brings to the table kinda reminds me of some of the better cuts that he & his Neptunes cohort Chad Hugo produced together on Common’s Universal Mind Control a decade prior. The song “LAMB TALK” is of course Quavo bragging about his lifestyle over an airy beat while the track “BIG BRO” is a more mature cut as he talks about taking this person under his wing over a cloudy beat. However, that one line at the very beginning about Lil Peep was in horribly bad taste. The song “SWING” is an awkward attempt at going dancehall while the penultimate track “BUBBLE GUM” talks about how this chick has it over a generic instrumental. The album ends with “LOST”, where Quavo & KiD CuDi talk about rising above over a settle beat.
I’ve been waiting on a Quavo solo album & overall, it’s pretty solid. There are a small handful of boring & run of the mill joints but outside of that, the production is more consistent than C U L T U R E II‘s & Quavo himself sounds a lot more focused than he did on that album with his charisma shining brighter even on his own.
Gunna is a 25 year old rapper from College Park, Georgia who signed to Young Thug’s 300 Entertainment imprint YSL Records in 2016. He’s released his Drip Season trilogy of mixtapes over the course of those 2 years, with the first 2 from 2016 & 2017 respectively being average & the latest installment Drip Season 3 that came out at the beginning the year easily becoming Gunna’s best work yet.
Lil Baby on the other hand is a 23 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who signed to Quality Control Music, Motown Records & Capitol Records while releasing 3 mediocre mixtapes just last year: Perfect Timing, Harder Than Hard & Too Hard. He even released his surprisingly consistent full-length debut Harder Than Ever just this past May & after a handful of collabs with Gunna over the past year, the 2 have decided to take it to the next level with a full-length collab mixtape.
The tape opens with “Off White VLONE”, where the duo link up with Lil Durk & NAV to deliver a boring sequel to “Chanel (Go Get It)“ off the recent YSL compilation Slime Language. The next track “Business is Business” sees the 2 talking about how they better get paid an eerie trap beat while the song “Belly” talks about how they have women like Taral Hicks’ character in the titular movie over an instrumental kin to Young Thug’s BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS. The track “Deep End” is a Lil Baby solo cut talking about how he has a gang feeling in him over a nondescript instrumental that doesn’t enhance the vibe at all while the song “World is Yours” is a Gunna solo cut talks about being a rockstar over a slow, laidback trap beat from Wheezy.
The track “Underdog” sees Gunna & Lil Baby reuniting to talk about how they feel like the titular idiom in today’s hip hop landscape over a spacey trap beat while the song “I Am” talks about they’re stuck in their own lanes over some piano keys & skittering snares. The track “Seals Pills” is a moody drug anthem while the song “My Jeans” talks about money over a bland Wheezy beat & I’m actually REALLY disappointed that Thugger only handles the hook on here.
The track “Style Stealer” is another Gunna solo cut albeit being about biters over a trap beat with an alluring woodwind in the background while the song “Close Friends” is a Lil Baby solo cut about how this woman became her girlfriend over a mellow beat. The penultimate track “Drip Too Hard” gets braggadocious over a moody, bass-heavy trap beat & then the closer “Never Recover” with Drake continues the vibe of the previous joint except with a more sinister atmosphere to the Tay Keith production.
There are some highlights on here, but it just comes off as a poor man’s SUPER SLIMEY. The production, the duo’s chemistry, their similar styles, nearly everything just comes off as VERY average at the end of the day.
To commemorate the 2 year anniversary of his breakout mixtape Lil Boat, Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty is celebrating by giving a sequel as his sophomore full-length album. The opener “Self Made” talks about his success over a spacey, booming trap beat while next song “Boom!” with Ugly God sees the 2 talking to their haters over a bouncy beat, but the hook is annoying as fuck. The track Oops with 2 Chainz gets braggadocious over some bass while “Talk to Me Nice” with Quavo is yet another humble brag over an airy beat.
The track “Get Money Bros.” with T Grizzley pretty much speaks for itself over an eerie beat while the song “Count Me In” gets charismatic over a banging instrumental from Pi’erre Bourne. The song “She Ready” gets sexual & the beat is pretty playful, but the PnB Rock feature doesn’t do much for me. The track “Love Me Forever” is pretty much the same thing except with a more moody instrumental & the song “Das Cap” gets in your face over a haunting Southside beat. The track “Pop Out” is another redundant bragging tune with a weird, electro-trap beat from Digital Nas & a terrible verse from JBan$ while the song “NBAYOUNGBOAT” is basically a showcase of decent chemistry between Yachty & YoungBoy Never Broke Again.
The track “Mickey” is an eerie tune about snitches, but the Offset feature at the beginning is the only highlight about it for me. The song “FWM” might have over a bass-heavy beat, but Yachty’s monotonous delivery will doesn’t get me excited at all. The track “Flex” is another in your face braggadocious banger with annoying ass delivery while the song “Whole Lotta Guap” talks about what he has now & over another bouncy beat from Pi’erre. The penultimate track “Baby Daddy” with Lil Pump & Offset basically tells this woman that his man is a sucka another over an eerie beat I’m pretty sure I similarly heard while the closer “66” talks about how he’s allegedly gonna flex until he’s old over an atmospheric DY beat with a decent Trippie Redd feature.
Personally, this thing did not live up to the hype that was set out for it. While I‘ve never been a fan of Lil Yachty’s music to begin with, at least I can commend the first Lil Boat for having a blissful vibe to it. This however, is filled with a bunch of club bangers in a shorter & feature heavy way than Teenage Emotions was
Just the day before the 1 year anniversary of their sophomore album C U L T U R E, Atlanta trap trio Migos is celebrating by putting out the long-awaited sequel album to their last one. The album starts off pretty well with “Higher We Go”, which sees the trio talking about their staying power over a wavy trap beat from Metro Boomin’. The next song The next song “Supastars” talks about their lives now over a futuristic trap beat from Honorable C.N.O.T.E. & while the track “Narcos” does reflect on their drug dealing days, the production is so mediocre. The song “B.B.O. (Bad Bitches Only)” pretty much speaks for itself & the jazzy horns on here were a pretty nice touch.
The track “Auto Pilot (Huncho on the Beat)” brags about the lavish life over a video gamey trap beat from the trio’s standout member Quavo & while the song “Walk It Talk It” with Drake sends a message to all of their haters, the hook is super lazy. The track “Emoji a Chain” talks about being all decked out over a decent Metro Boomin’ beat & while the song “CC” with Gucci Mane is a futuristic sex tune, it deadass sounds like an unreleased Travi$ Scott song down to Quavo’s auto-tuned delivery. The song “Stir Fry” touch down on about their success over an infectious funk/trap fused instrumental from Pharrell & despite “Too Much Jewelry” having a nice verse from Takeoff & the Zaytoven production is pretty atmospheric, it’s not structured all that well. We should’ve gotten verses from Offset & Quavo right after because when Takeoff’s sole verse ends, we’re then lead into the hook alongside a robotic bridge from Quavo that’s hilariously bad & then a short interlude before going back to the hook to end the track.
The song “Gang Gang” is an ode to themselves with a settle trap beat from Murda Beatz while the track “White Sand” with Big Sean & Ty$ talks about the celebrity life over a mediocre video gamey beat from Wheezy. The song “Crown the Kings” talks about how they’re living the dream, but the only distinct characteristics about the instrumental is the faint “ Get Up, Stand Up” sample that’s buried in the mix along with piano that comes in around the second half. The track “Flooded” sounds like a murkier, better structured version of “Too Much Jewelry” & the song “Beast” is pretty much a better version of “CC”.
The Cardo produced “Open It Up” is a sinister-sounding banger about their drug dealing past & despite “Motor Sport” being a pretty decent tune to cruise around to from all 3 members’ flows to the laidback beat from Murda Beatz & Cubeatz, the guest verses from Cardi B & Nicki Minaj ruin it for me. The track “Movin’ Too Fast” talks about their drug dealing lives over a gloomy Quavo instrumental isn’t too bad & the song “Work Hard” talks about their work ethics over a moody beat.
The track “Notice Me” talks about their new lives yet again over a laidback beat & the song “Too Playa” with 2 Chainz is a boastful look into the celebrity lifestyle over a somewhat jazzy trap beat. The song “Made Men” talks about their success over a mellow instrumental & the penultimate track “Top Down on da NAWF” reflects on their younger days in Northside Atlanta over an atmospheric beat. The album then closes with “Culture National Anthem”, which surprisingly gets conscious over a piano-trap beat.
To be quite honest, I’m pretty disappointed in this. There are definitely highlights on here but the final product here is so bloated, that the album becomes an inconsistent listen from start to finish. It’s definitely more listenable than the new Chris Brown album Heartbreak on a Full Moon or even the Control the Streets compilation that Quality Control Music (to which Migos are signed to) dropped last month but if they kept 12 tracks for the album & saved the other 12 in the vault, then I’d enjoy it a lot more than what we really got