Larry June – “Into the Late Night” review

Larry June is a 30 year old MC from Vallejo, California who’s been grinding his ass off for the last 15 years. My favorites of his ever-growing discography include the Lex Luger-produced Trap Larry, the Cardo-produced Cruise USA, the Harry Fraud-produced Keep Going & even his last album Orange Print got some notable buzz over the summer. But now that he has a Griselda Records-backed collab tape with Jay Worthy on the way, Cardo & Larry are getting back together for the latter’s 14th EP.

“Gas Station Run” is a flawless late night cruiser with a g-funk flare to it whereas “Either Way” works in a synth-heavy instrumental talking about a lot of shit going down in the late night. “Don’t Try It” has a more hypnotizing sound advising not to fuck with him just before “Friday Activities” serves as a slick party starter for the weekends.

The song “Bigger Risk” has some jazz undertones to the production saying he’s thinking a decade ahead while the penultimate track “Red Book Chronicles” gets back into that vintage west coast sound asking where his boys were when he was taking a lot of risks. “Saturday Night Interview” is an odd choice for a closer, but it’s still a decent romance ballad nonetheless.

Although it’s only an EP, I’d actually say that Into the Late Night is a bit better than Orange Print. Cardo’s production style on here is a lot similar to that of Payroll Giovanni’s latest album Another Day Another Dollar which is perfect given Larry’s geographical background & his chilled out flow.

Score: 4/5

Payroll Giovanni – “Another Day, Another Dollar” review

Payroll Giovanni is a 32 year old rapper from Detroit, Michigan who came up about a decade ago as a member of the Doughboyz Cashout collective. He’s also released a total of 8 solo albums, most notable being the Cardo-produced Big Bossin’ & Big Bossin’ 2. But just a month after the 3 year anniversary of the latter, the pair are reuniting for the 4th time to put out Payroll’s 9th full-length effort.

The album kicks off with “Previously”, where Payroll recaps everything that’s happened to him in the past 3 years over a West Coast-flavored beat. The next song “It’s Around” talks about making himself a boss over a nightly instrumental while the track “Eyez Closed” talks about counting money like it’s nothing over a beat with a more Bay Area influence to it. The song “Always Hustling” talks about never slowing down over a smooth instrumental while the track “Mob $hit” with Larry June sees the 2 talking about what they be on over a ritzy beat.

The song “Everyday” talks about grinding nonstop over a straight up g-funk instrumental while the track “Make It Look Easy” talks about going from rags to riches over a delicate beat. The song “Game Showed Me” talks about dudes being iffy to him over a keyboard-heavy instrumental while the penultimate track “Pay & Cardo” talks about giving the listeners what they want over an atmospheric beat. The closer “Forever Flow” then talks about how his grandma used to give him money to flip over a synth-heavy beat.

Payroll always puts out his best material whenever he hooks up with Cardo & this is a great follow-up to Big Bossin’ 2. I really dig how both parties took it back to the 90’s West Coast gangsta rap era from the overall sound of the album to the lyrics & for those who aren’t familiar with Payroll, it’s almost like you’d think he’s actually from Southern California.

Score: 4/5

Pi’erre Bourne – “Pi’erre & Cardo’s Wild Adventure” review

Pi’erre Bourne is a 25 year old producer, rapper, songwriter & audio engineer from South Carolina who became one of the most in demand beatsmiths in hip hop today due to the viral success of Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia”. The year before though, he released a trilogy of mixtapes in 2016 called The Life of Pi’erre & is expected to make his full-length commercial debut by following these tapes up at the beginning of 2019. However, he’s giving fans his 4th mixtape to lead us up to the album & he has enlisted Cardo to produce it in it’s entirety.

The tape begins with “Ah Ah Ah”, where Pi’erre talks about how his life is great now over a chilled out trap beat. The next song “Home Improvement” talks about finding a better woman over some synthesizers & heavy bass while the track “Fiji” talks about a friend shooting up his own party over an spacey beat. The song “My Shooter” gets boastful over a cloudy beat while the track “Bearbrick” is filled with clever Justin Timberlake references over a druggy trap beat. The song “For the 2000” talks about blowing money over an atmospheric beat while the track “Death of a Funeral” charismatically brags over a laidback beat.

The song “Kevin Durant” is a moody love tune while the track “Quicksand” continues the vibes of the previous joint. The song “My Calendar” is an airy, unfinished boast while the track “Flex Washington” gets back to the sex themes over a dreamy beat. The song “Backseat” about living in the fast lane over a chilled out beat & while the penultimate track “Motorola” has a decent beat, the auto-tune is slathered to the point where it’s annoying. The tape ends with “Civil Rights”, where Pi’erre boasts over a sample from the previous cut itself.

Overall, this was a pretty solid prelude to The Life of Pi’erre 4. Even though Pi’erre himself is an immensely talented producer, he & Cardo chemistry is more on point than their loose singles in the past. However, I just wish it was longer than 34 minutes & the lack of features unfortunately make it monotonous after a while.

Score: 3.5/5