Busta Rhymes – “The Fuse is Lit” review

This is the debut EP from Brooklyn emcee, songwriter, producer & actor Busta Rhymes. Coming up as a member of the Leaders of the New School, he would go on to turn heads in the spring of ‘92 off the strength of his verse on “Scenario” off of A Tribe Called Quest’s iconic sophomore album The Low End Theory. The dragon would see greater success as a solo artist with full-lengths like The Coming, When Disaster Strikes…, E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front, Anarchy, Genesis & The Big Bang. However when E.L.E. 2 (Extinction Level Event 2): The Wrath of God dropped a couple Devil’s Nights back, it would find Busta returning to form considering the mixed to subpar reception of B.O.M.B.S. (Back On My Bullshit & the Cash Money Records-backed Year of the Dragon. But to warm everyone up for his upcoming 11th album, Busta’s coming together with The Fuse is Lit.

“Break This Bitch Up” kicks off the album with a Middle Eastern instrumental from Swizz Beatz talking about how he can’t be stopped whereas “Slap” is a vintage boom bap cut produced by Marley Marl as Big Daddy Kane & Conway the Machine come into the picture to spit some hardcore bars tremendously. The song “Hot Sex, Pt. 2” has a more electronic quality to it courtesy of Aftermath Entertainment in-house producer Focus… with the lyrical themes being reminiscent of the Tribe Called Quest joint “Hot Sex” while the penultimate track “Bulletproof Skin” with Skillibeng is a decent dancehall/hip hop crossover. “Run It Up” though is a jazzy closer with Busta showing motherfuckers how it’s done.

E.L.E. 2 was an incredible return to form for the Dragon & for him to give us this as of way of holding people off until the next full-length, I wouldn’t say it’s as great but the high points on this EP are most definitely worth your time. The overall sound of it is eclectic from boom bap to dancehall & jazz rap with Busta remaining to be strong with the pen.

Score: 3.5/5

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Babytron – “Bin Reaper 3: Old Testament” review

Babytron is a 22 year old MC from Detroit, Michigan who came up as a member of the trio ShittyBoyz along with his childhood friends Stanwill & TR Dee. He also branched out on impressive solo career for himself as well as the side groups Lewis & Clark and the Dookie Brothers, but it seems like last year was probably his biggest year yet landing interviews ranging from No Jumper to even Rolling Stone following the release of Luka Trončić last summer prior to signing with EMPIRE Distribution later that same month & then Bin Reaper 2: The 2nd Coming last fall. But now coming off Megatron this past spring & a spot in the 2022 XXL Freshman Class a couple months later, he’s ending the Bin Reaper trilogy in the form of his 7th mixtape.

“Genesis 1:1” opens the tape with Babytron reflecting on his life within the last 5 years over a trap instrumental with some bells whereas “Top 2 Not 2” taking a more futuristic yet triumphant turn talking about being flier than a martian. “Myspace” dives into an airier direction acknowledging that he been had a status leading into “Silly Me”, which works in some synthesizers & a sample of the Tag Team hit “Whoomp! (There It Is)” talking about sliding in that Dawn until it’s dusk.

Continuing with “Wake the Fuck Up”, we have Tron bursting the bubbles of everyone who thought they were up with the beat flipping “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell just before Dougie B tags along for the string/trap-laced “Drake & Josh” talking about pulling out the strap out his BAPE & putting these goofies in their place. “‘15-‘16 Curry” returns a more synth-woven sound comparing himself to Stephen Curry during the mid-2010s, but then “8th Wonder of the World” has a more darker approach in sound declaring himself as such.

Icewear Vezzo comes into the picture for the Helluva-produced “Can You Swim?” to call out those who be burning a lot of bridges like it ain’t shit while “Awful Lot Yeah” talking about been heavy on the lean as of late even though the Enrgy beat is just ok. “1 Side of Things” blends electro/hyphy together saying he’s gonna bounce back from a tape flopping by scamming while “Rage Quit” is a well-sequenced 2-parter with a beat switch during the last 47 seconds talking about making his competition give up if they check the scoreboard.

The song “Dog $hit Militia Cypher 2” by the ShittyBoyz, $camaurion, JuSleaze, MJPAID, ScrumbleMan, Fordio, J3 & Donnie Bands is a decent little gangsta posse cut with some robotic trap production while the penultimate track “AirTron” makes a shit-ton of basketball references down to the producer sampling the Kurtis Blow single paying tribute to his favorite sport. “365 Day Grind” however finishes the tape wonderfully with a dedication to the never-ending hustle.

Now if Babytron is in fact closing the book on the Bin Reaper trilogy here, then I think it’s one that fans will certainly be satisfied with. I’m glad he didn’t overload the tracklisting like with his last couple tapes as he spits some incredibly witty punchlines accompanied by production with some more pluggier undertones than a lot of the stuff he’s given us in the past.

Score: 3.5/5

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Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes X” review

This is the 11th mixtape from Buffalo emcee, songwriter & entrepreneur Westside Gunn. Whether it running one of the hottest hip hop labels in recent memory to his first 2 full-lengths FLYGOD & Supreme Blientele, he truly has proven his legend status & that he’s to be a force to be reckoned with all in only the span of 7 years. just put out his last tape PEACE FLYGOD over the summer & with in tradition to the Halloween season, West is dropping the true conclusion of the decade long Hitler Wears Hermes mixtape series after originally dropping the 8th & 9th installments last fall.

After the intro, Doe Boy tags along for the trap opener “FLYGOD Jr.” produced by West’s son hence the title to spit some gangsta-laced braggadocio whereas “Super Kick Party” works in a sample-based boom bap instrumental courtesy of Conductor Williams talking about being athletes & running this shit even from behind bars. A$AP Rocky & Stove God Cook$ both come into the picture for the uncanny yet dusty “Shootouts in Soho” getting on their hustler shit, but then Black Star tags along for the soulful “Peppas” to blend their conscious styles with Westside’s flexing & him using an excerpt of his appearance on AEW Rampage last month for the outro is the ultimate flex.

Meanwhile on “Nigo Louis”, we have West over a drumless yet groovy beat with a guitar talking about hitting shit in broad daylight leading into the Rome Streetz-assisted “BDP” spitting that fly gangsta shit accompanied by a crooning boom bap instrumental. The Margo Guryan flip from Swizz Beatz throughout “Science Class” with Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon & Stovey is remarkable as the 5 talk about being the plug just before “God is Love” weaves a drumless sample into the fold prior to a beat switch during the last minute & a half as Estee Nack & Stove God talking about how they done made this work.

The song “Switches on Everything” with Run the Jewels has a jazzier sound to it thanks to Mike Shabb admitting the only way to get them to leave the crib while the penultimate track “Mac Don’t Stop” turns the jazz levels up to 11 with the help of Pete Rock spitting that gun talk. “Red Death” however ends the tape with an epically grimy 10-minute Griselda cut produced by none other than The Alchemist showcasing the unique styles of everyone who laid & killed their verses.

Now as solid was Hitler VIII & IX both were in their own rights, X to me is a great note to end the iconic Halloween mixtape series on & I wanna thank West for all the memories that it’s given me along the way. It’s more focused than PEACE FLYGOD as expected, the features all compliment him in their own respective fashion & the production throughout is just absolutely stellar.

Score: 4.5/5

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Armani Caesar – “The Liz 2” review

This is the 1st official full-length debut album from Buffalo emcee Armani Caesar. Coming up in 2011 by dropping her debut mixtape Hand Bag Addict under Buff City Records, she would go on to follow it up with her sophomore tape Caesar’s Palace in the fall of 2015 & her debut EP Pretty Girls Get Played Too a few years later. Then when the whole world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, she signed to Griselda Records & totally refined her style on her last project The Liz that same fall. But as the 2-year anniversary of that EP approaches this weekend, Mani’s back in the cut for a sequel.

After the intro, Westside Gunn comes into the picture for the guitar-woven boom bap opener “Paula Deen” produced by Camoflauge Monk getting in their battle rap bags whereas “Diana” takes a more lavish route to spit that raunchy shit & the Kodak Black verse was completely unexpected yet I don’t mind it at all much like both of his appearances on Kendrick’s latest album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers this past spring. After the skit, “Mel Gibson” dives into dustier turf thanks to Daringer so Mani can charismatically flex just before Benny the Butcher & Stove God Cook$ come into the picture for the grimy “$100 Hiccup” reminding everyone how nice all 3 of them are in their own rights.

Continuing from there with “Survival of the Littest”, we have Mani over some boom bap production from Denny LaFlare justifiably explaining why she’s different than these other bitches in the game right now since a lot of females in the mainstream get a lot of unjust hate this day in age prior to the cloudy yet organ-laced “Queen City” admiring that she’s all about money this year. “Liz Claiborne Jr.” is a remarkably well structured 2 parter comparing herself to the late fashion designer, but then “Meth & Mary” picks it up from there with a sumptuous ballad about wanting a love like Method Man & Mary J. Blige in “I’ll Be There for You (You’re All I Need to Get By”.

“Ice Age” has a more colder tone to the instrumental fittingly expressing her love for all the finer things in this life while “1st Wives Club” brings a more jazzy boom bap flare as Mani’s just singing her ass off telling her man that he doesn’t own her. “Big Mood” talks about having stacks on deck over a more groovier instrumental while the symphonic “El Puro” links up with Conway the Machine so that they can both warn everyone to stay the fuck out of their lines.

The song “That Money Maka” speaks on using what she gots over a bare loop that’s calming to the ear while the penultimate track “Snowfall” resurrects the R&B sounds of “1st Wives Club” except this time she’s singing on top of some piano chords singing that she’s in beast mode & counting her Ms. However, I find “Sike” with Queendom Come to be a bit of a mediocre closer to the album as it’s basically a generically mediocre ass-shaker’s anthem.

The Liz was an impressive departure from the styles of Mani’s pre-Griselda work, but I recommend that those who’re still sleeping on her better wake the fuck up because this sequel right here as a full-length debut sees the 1st Lady of the Buffalo empire coming into her own stylistically. She‘s becoming versatile than before from the strip-club hit at the end to the more R&B & hardcore boom bap cuts on here with the lyricism coming from a more personal place.

Score: 4/5

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Rome Streetz – “Kiss the Ring” review

This is the official 7th full-length album New York emcee Rome Streetz. Breaking out in 2016 off his debut mixtape I Been Thru Mad Shit, was followed up by a plethora of project with the most notable being the Noise Kandy tetralogy & Headcrack. Last year however was probably his biggest one yet, as he dropped some of the best work of his career from the DJ Muggs-produced Death & the Magician or the Futurewave-produced Razor’s Edge to the Ransom-assisted collab effort Coup de Grâce & the Griselda Records deal that followed. But after Pyrex Pot Poetry dropped out of nowhere earlier this summer only for Rome to reveal it was released without his permission, the Buffalo label that has had the culture in a chokehold for the past 6-7 years is making it right with the fans by making ‘em Kiss the Ring.

“Big Steppa” is a piano/boom bap opener produced by Camoflauge Monk with Rome declaring himself as such whereas “Heart on Froze” works in a unhinged instrumental from Conductor Williams talking about belittling his competition. “In Too Deep” incorporates some vibraphones confessing that he was drowning before he was swimming, but then Conway the Machine tags along for the rugged “Soulja Boy” talking about their boys wyling like Big Draco himself.

Meanwhile on “Tyson Beckford”, we have Rome on top of some dusty drums & synths from Daringer advising that experience will really teach you about the game leading into the vibraphone/boom bap laced “Destiny Child” produced by Denny LaFlare wanting you to watch him cook since he got the recipe. Benny the Butcher& Stove God Cook$ both come into the picture for the flute-tinged “Blow 4 Blow” talking about coke just before “Ugly Balenciagas” blends a sax & vocal loop to call his competition trap.

“1000 Ecstasy” returns to the boom bap with some psychedelic chords declaring the world to be theirs while “Armed & Dangerous” with Armani Caesar finds the 2 over a crooning DJ Green Lantern beat asking what love is without trust. “Cry Champagne” returns to a more richer aesthetic with Rome confessing that shit’s gotta change while the Westside Gunn-assisted “Non Factor” goes into drumless turf talking about how we know what they need.

Continuing from there, The Alchemist hooks up a piano/boom bap instrumental on “Long Story Short” telling the story of someone who needs to change for his daughter while “Serving” with Boldy James returns to spit some gangsta bars on top of some chords firing off like machine guns. The track “Reversible” has a bit of an abstract groove to it calling out those who’re washed while the Sadhugold-produced penultimate song “Fashion Rebel” refers to himself as such on top of a vintage loop. The title track though ends the album on a jazzy note talking about prospering now.

As a Griselda mark since 2016 & someone who’s been following Rome since the pandemic, I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a nearly a year & it’s the the GxFR debut that I could’ve ever dreamed of. His intricate gangsta rap bars accompanied by the unique styles of basically most of the roster & the label’s signature sound really is a match made in Heaven.

Score: 4.5/5

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KanKan – “WAY2GEEKED” review

KanKan is a 22 year old artist & producer from Dallas, Texas who emerged in 2019 as a member of Slayworld & by landing production credits for a wide range of artists from Summrs to even Little Pimp. He’s also dropped an eponymous debut mixtape, 20 EPs & a full-length debut all in that short amount of time with the last offering being ##B4W2G this past summer. But as we enter the final quarter of the year, Kan’s returning in the form of a sophomore album.

“Groupiez” kicks things off with a rubbery, bell-laced trap instrumental talking about his life being a movie whereas “hat4hat” takes a grimmer route admitting that he’s way too geeked. “Over 200” has a more glistening quality to the beat showing off how fast his new whip goes leading into the intoxicating “Go Sit” confessing that one of my twins got caught for that body.

Meanwhile on the title track, we have Kan bragging that he got the racks on him over some minimal production just before the rowdy “No Photos” admits that he doesn’t like taking pics. “Off Roxy” has a cloudier sound to it talking about playing his cards right, but then “Richer Than Him” brings a rage beat into the cut warning that he isn’t afraid to whack a motherfucker.

Lucki tags along for the electronic tinged “##RR##EFG” to spit some some braggadocio while the airy “Fall On” promises that everyone he loves is gonna win. “Livefastdieslay ##4Kaine” is an incredibly profound tribute to Kan’s homie Kaine who passed away of a drug overdose while “New Seal” returns to the hypertrap zone continuing to boast.

Moving on from there, “Playin’ It Cool” blends some hi-hats & vibraphones together talking about maintaining while “X ‘Em Out” shoots for a more futuristic aesthetic reminding everyone that he got rich with no gimmicks. “Ok Kool” is a moodier cut expressing how a lot of these cats get zo’ed while “Can’t Cap” goes into a more materialistic bag lyrically.m with some plugg undertones to the instrumental.

“Figure It Out” has a more orchestral trap flare to it telling the cappers to go make some bread of their own prior to the rage-inducing “OMG” admitting that he doesn’t even give a fuck about the racks. The song “Stay to Myself (Schedule II)” blends acoustic with trap saying these rap motherfuckers ain’t his twin while the penultimate track “Fake 0pps” is a well-sequenced 2 parter about haters being mad ’cause he’s well off & dissing those pretending to be the feds. “High Tech” though ends the album by spitting some gangsta raps on top of some more hypertrap beats.

A lot of artists in this new wave of trap have been making big waves in 2022 ranging from Yeat to Autumn! & Summrs, so it was only a matter of time before Kan did so with WAY2GEEKED & that’s exactly what he does here. His performances are more hedonistic than they were on the debut & the production refines the rage/plugg sound with elements of pop rap & cloud rap.

Score: 3.5/5

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Lucki – “Flawless Like Me” review

This is the highly anticipated full-length debut from Chicago rapper & occasional producer Lucki. Beginning to turn heads in the summer of 2013 when he released his debut mixtape Alternative Trap to critical acclaim, he would later go on to give his fans 6 more tapes & a dozen EPs with the last one being the F1LTHY-produced Wake Up Lucki a week before my 25th birthday. But after nearly 4 years in the making, Lucki’s finally giving the world Flawless Like Me.

“Made My Day” is a psychedelic yet bassy opener confessing that he’s been looking for this bitch all over Chiraq over whereas “Geeked n Blessed” takes a more triumphant route talking about how he’s feeling exactly. “Kapitol Denim” on the other hand dives into cloudier territory boasting the lifestyle that he lives over a just before “Coincidence” is an airier ballad reconnecting with a significant other.

Meanwhile on “Been a Minute”, we have Lucki over some woozy yet rubbery Tay Keith production advising not to hit up his phone whatsoever leading into Babyface Ray tagging along for the euphoric trap hit “White House” talking about being them dudes. “13” on the other end embraces a wavier sound bragging that he’ll “drop a 50 on that bitch like old Harden”, but then “Archive Celine” has a more uptempo vibe talking about a hoe out in Berlin with the same name.

“How Tf?” weaves some quirky synth leads & hi-hats into the fold opening up on his drug problems while “DNA” spaciously expands on the subject of the last cut, comparing himself to his aunt who also abuses drugs. The synthesizers throughout “Goodfellas” have a more chilled out feeling to them talking about having bodies in the trunk while the horn-laced “I Get It, Twin” confessing that he can’t help but love this pricy ass bitch. 

Following that, “VVS Keyski” has a more cavernous tone to the instrumental describing the life of a rockstar while “Brazy Weekend” calling out a hoe for stalking everyone he’s around on top of a mystic trap beat. “Droughtski” however returns to a more mind-altering sound talking about being rich off stubbornness while the synth-based “Life Mocks Art” confesses that he raps what he lives. 

“Noticed Ya” acknowledges that this person doesn’t want to change as much as he does on top of a glossy trap instrumental with the vibrant “10pm in London” calling out a gold digger for not actually loving him & using him for his wealth. “Out of Lve” has to be my least favorite cut on the album with it’s underwritten lyricism despite the synth-based beat & “On Point” basically suffers from the same problems even though the production here is more high-spirited. 

The penultimate track “Free Sex!” throws some organs into the mix talking about being fucked up off ecstasy & lean whilst paying tribute to Atlanta trap trailblazer Young Thug while “My Way / Codeine Cowboy” starts off with an otherworldly banger of a 2-Peter being on space time & then going on to discuss codeine usage yet again. The first bonus cut “Super Urus” is a solid trap/cloud rap hybrid admitting that he misses some hoe & the other “Y Not?” officially sends off the album with some plugg undertones talking about getting it out the mud.

Although I’d have to say Watch My Back & Freewave 3 are still my favorite projects from Lucki but nonetheless, Flawless Like Me still serves as a great full-length debut for Lucki & one that fans whether you’ve been with him since 2013 or now would both enjoy. I think the production is more varied than F1LTHY’s was as much as I enjoyed Wake Up Lucki last winter on top of some animated performances from the man himself. Curious to hear 2Neptune&Back whenever the time comes.

Score: 4/5

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Roc Marciano – “The Elephant Man’s Bones” review

This is the 10th full-length album from Long Island emcee/producer Roc Marciano. Starting out in the very late 90’s as a member of the Flipmode Squad, he then went solo in 2008 to drop classic albums that would pave the way for those like Griselda such as Marcberg & Reloaded. However after focusing on producing projects for other artists like Flee Lord & Bronze Nazareth following Mt. Marci a couple years ago, Marci’s enlisting The Alchemist to produce The Elephant Man’s Bones.

“Rubber Band Grip” is a spaciously suspenseful opener talking about having the pump on him whereas the Action Bronson-assisted “Daddy Kane” works in synths to deliver bars like ”I been gettin’ off that soft white long before shorties was rockin’ Off-White. Water color ice, I call it Walter White” or “Know the in and outs, they want dinner? We get ’em In-N-Out”. The lead single “Deja Vu” takes a more drumless route with it’s bare piano instrumental confessing he had a breakthrough, but then “Quantum Leap” has some jazzy undertones to it talking about how your favorite rapper send him fan mail & your album ain’t worth 12 pennies to him.

Meanwhile on the title track, we have Marci brings back the luxurious keyboards providing food for the spirit just before “Bubble Bath” has a more glistening yet dusty quality to it talking about being rich for real. “Liquid Coke” shoots for a more symphonic aesthetic saying that’s exactly what he’ll leave when he slits ya throat leading into Boldy James tagging along for “Trillion Cut” getting in their hustle bag on top of a flute & some pianos. Stand-out bars being “Me & G on Stockwell, filthy as Rockwell. Turn an eye on high fresh out a dry spell” & ”My pops had tracks in his arms from heroin, this is rap meets Gil Scott-Heron”.

“The Horns of Abraxas” however has these chilling organ harmonies throughout talking about the road to success being Hell sandwiched in the middle of a great spoken word intro/outro from the O.G. himself Ice-T while “JJ Flash” returns to soulful territory spitting that kingpin shit. “Zig Zag Zig” is dramatic boom bap ballad about his life being a fantasy & you getting no pussy while “Stigmata” takes it back to the soul samples as Marci gives free game. Favorite bar is definitely “Like 2 teens playin’ Call of Duty, but all of these is real toolies”.

Following that, the sinister” Zip Guns” with Knowledge the Pirate intimidatingly paints some vivid gangsta rap imagery while the song “Think Big” has a more summery vibe to it talking about taking destiny in his own hands. The penultimate track “Macaroni” returns to a synth-based sound encouraging his competition to hang up the mic & get a job with “Momma Love” sends it off with fireworks as Marci hops on top of a on operatic loop putting it all on Ma Dukes.

From the moment I first heard “Flash Gordon” alongside “Pistolier” & “Paradise Pimps” during my sophomore year of high school a decade ago, I’ve been screaming for Marci & Uncle Al to do an album together. Now that it’s here, it’s the masterpiece that I could’ve ever dreamed from them. There is not a single moment from the beginning of The Elephant Man’s Bones to the end that I genuinely dislike from the smooth & witty gangsta rap lyricism from the New York veteran to the perfectly crafted production pulling from drumless, boom bap & jazz rap.

Score: 5/5

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Drego & Beno – “Sorry We Was Trapping” review

Drego & Beno are a duo from Detroit, Michigan who started to blow up in the summer of 2018 off their debut mixtape Sorry for the Get Off followed by Meet Us Outer Space & Sorry for the Auto-Tune. But after taking a 3 year break, the pair are getting back together for a full-length debut.

The title track is a hyphy-laced opened apologizing for disappearing from the scene whereas the 5th installment of the “Slatt Season” series works in some strings & a rubbery bass-line tossing the mic back & forth with one another talking about getting the money. “Provolone” takes a more suspenseful route to spit some gangsta raps, but then “RTA” returns to a more Bay Area sound talking about running through anything with their new straps. 

We get some synths & bells for the “Tuck & Duck” sequel basically continuing the themes of the predecessor while “Palm Angels” is Drego solo cut over some woodwinds paying tribute to the titular brand. Lil Yachty, Sada Baby & Tee Grizzley all tag along for the heinous “Wit It” talking about thuggin’ in public just before “Dope Game” shoots for a more tenser aesthetic to describe life as hustlers.

“Xelinage” is the bombastic Beno solo cut talking about having hoes on the weekend while one of the 2 biggest rappers in the city right now BabyTron comes into the picture for the song “Vaxuum Seal” brings some Hi-NRG to admit they ain’t shit without such. The penultimate track “You Hip?” almost has a tropical quality to it asking listeners know what the deal is & “Bhrome Hearts” is a rich closer to the album getting materialistic.

I was genuinely curious to hear where both these dudes would go after 3 years off & I think that they gave us their best since Sorry for the Get Off. Both halves never lost their step as far as their chemistry goes & the production stays true to the Detroit trap sound even though there are points where they don’t come off as repetitive like most artists in that style do.

Score: 3.5/5

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Larry June – “Spaceships on the Blade” review

This is the 8th full-length album from Vallejo emcee Larry June. Since dropping out of high school, this dude has been steadily grinding his ass off with his last 7 studio efforts along with a total 14 EPs & 7 mixtapes. My favorites of his ever-growing discography include the Lex Luger-produced Trap Larry, the Cardo-produced Cruise USA & it’s sequel Into the Late Night, the Harry Fraud-produced Keep Going & more recently the mobb music-influenced Jay Worthy collab effort 2 P’z in a Pod that came out this past spring. So considering that Jay just dropped his full-length debut a couple weeks ago, it’s only fitting for Larry to follow suit in the form of Spaceships on the Blade.

After the “Free Uncle Herm IV” intro, the first song “Private Valet” is a symphonic opener produced by Jake One to the album talking about how nobody has love for you when the sky gets cold whereas “I’m Him” takes a more spacey yet funkier route thanks to Cardo to boast. “Things You Do” has a more luscious tone to it featuring co-production from DJ Khalil telling this woman he knows she’s trying to make that move, but then the DJ Fresh-laced “Don’t Check Me” mixes some pianos & synths to advise to check a bitch before him.

The sequel to “Another Day in SF” is pretty cool from the lyrics picking up where the predecessor left off to the 80s-inspired instrumental & after the “Tools of the Game” interlude, “Corte Madera, CA” comes through with a jazzy tribute to the titular city in Marin County. 2 Chainz tags along for “Still Boomin’” to get back in their mobb shit just before “Brand New Machinery” has a more melodic flare to it over a synth-heavy beat from Chuck Inglish talking about the whip he just copped.

Meanwhile on “I’ll Make Time”, we have Larry over more sensual production acknowledging this chick wants to get to know him more while “For Tonight” refines the romance vibes of the last cut from Syd’s hook to the verses & instrumental. “In My Pockets” weaves the synthesizers back in to talk about the bread while the Curren$y-assisted “5.0 Chronicles” has a more syrupy feel to it delivering a late night cruiser’s anthem.

“Breakfast in Monoco” is a string-laced prelude to Larry’s upcoming album with The Alchemist spitting that fly shit while “Larry’s Diner” goes full-blown drumless thanks to Sean House delivering some vivid storytelling. “Organic Adjustments” dives into funkier turf talking about wanting to be with this chick even when he’s on the road while the song “Spaceships & Orange Juice” is atmospheric trap ballad rightfully flexing that he’s been doing numbers.

The penultimate track “Extra of Um” with one of the 2 hottest artists in Detroit right now Babyface Ray amalgamates some pianos, synths & even a couple strings so the pair can talk about have extras of everything pretty much with the Turbo-produced “Appreciate It All” ending the album with a genuine open letter to the public expressing his gratitude.

Although I don’t think it’s as great as Into the Late Night, I’m not gonna sit here & deny that I enjoyed a good portion of what I heard throughout Spaceships on the Blade. The overall sound of the album is admirably diverse, the feature list is pretty consistent & Larry is stepping up his pen-game tremendously. At this rate, his album with Uncle Al could be a future classic.

Score: 3.5/5

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