Ramirez – “The Tragedy of a Clown” review

This is the 8th mixtape from San Francisco emcee Ramirez. Coming up in 2014 as a longtime affiliate of the $uicideboy$, he would go on to co-found to the New Orleans-based indie label G*59 Record$ with them & build himself as an artist by dropping his last 7 tapes, 10 EPs & 4 full-lengths in the span of nearly a decade. The last album Tha Playa$ Manual was his best yet with it’s g-funk production from Rocci & the gangsta rap lyricism, so that definitely intrigued me to check out The Tragedy of a Clown over here.

After the intro, the first song “Return of the Corpse” kicks off the tape with some heavy bass & a plucky loop asking if there’s a problem whereas the Pouya-assisted “Bacon, Eggs & Grits” finds the 2 over trap beat with a violin sample belittling everyone who be on their balls. “The Dungeon” dives into boom bap territory declaring himself to be the motherfucker you better run from, but then Germ tags along for the quirky yet alien-like trap banger “Carthart Vest” spitting aggressive braggadocio.

Meanwhile on “What the Hook Gon’ Be?”, we have Shakewell & Fat Nick joining Ramirez for an energetic Memphis gangsta rap heater just before “6 Feet Under” shoots for a more haunting aesthetic talking about being in rehab. “The Root of Demise” follows it up with a twangy trap ballad detailing depression leading into the misty yet rowdy “Murdered Out Vehicles” spitting some wicked shit.

“The Gallows Wait” has a more psychedelic quality to the production especially with the chopped & the screwed sample at the start & finish talking about being 1 gangsta ass ghost with Shakewell returning for the closer “Shameless Gorilla” boasting that there’s no shame in their game” with some morbid production from Mikey the Magician.

For him to give us this coming off his most critically acclaimed work to date, I think G*59 fans like myself are gonna be more than satisfied with it considering how consistent they’ve been. Ramirez takes it back to a more Memphis rap emphasis as far as sound goes with the lyricism being a bit more darker 2 & a half years later.

Score: 3.5/5

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$uicideboy$ – “Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from New Orleans duo $uicideboy$. Consisting of Ruby da Cherry & $crim, the released a plethora of projects within the last 8 years whether it be the Kill Your$elf saga & Eternal Grey or even I WANNA DIE IN NEW ORLEANS & the Travis Barker-produced Live Fast, Die Whenever. The boy$’ just dropped their last album Long Term Effects of Suffering last summer & are ringing in another one in the form of Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation.

“Genesis” kicks off the album sampling the greatest Mario game of all-time Super Mario World with Ruby & $crim talking about reinventing themselves whereas “Matte Black” takes a cloudier route to rep the ever-growing G*59 Record$ that they founded from their inception. Fucking Your Culture” shoots for a darker aesthetic to flex just before “1,000 Blunts” works in a vocal sample talking about not giving in & relapsing on drugs.

Meanwhile on “In Constant Sorrow”, have the boy$ over some jazzy production tackling their depression leading into “Escape from BABYLON” returning to cloudier territory talking about finding love in the wrong places. “Ashes of Luxury” comes through with a mellow weed-smoking anthem, but then “Resistance is Useless” flips the late Koopsta Knicca talking about stacking up addictions & the only thing that’s changed is that they cut off one of their homies.

“Eulogy” has a mystical feel to it asking to play this song at their funerals while “No Matter Which Direction I’m Going In, I Never Chase These Hoes” atmospherically opens up about troubled relationships. The song “$uicideboy$ Were Better in 2015” is a piano-laced diss towards those who preferred their music when they were on drugs while the penultimate track “Unlucky Me” is an impressive sequel to “Lucky Me” down to the SWV sample. “THE_EVIL_THAT_MEN_DO” ends the album on a boom bap note addressing trust issues & being away from the public eye.

For the people who keep complaining that the $uicideboy$ sound the same every time they put a project out together, this is another reminder for them to shut the fuck up. The production that $crim cooks up is some of his most versatile that he’s ever made with him & Ruby giving the listeners a wide range of emotions from braggadocio to heartbreak, anger & even anticipation about their reinvention.

Score: 4/5

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Chetta – “Been Here Forever” review

Chetta is a 31 year old rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana who came up in the spring of 2014 off his debut mixtape Nino White. This was followed up with 18 EPs as well as 11 more tapes & a full-length debut but now after signing to G*59 Record$ last spring, he’s returning in the form of a sophomore album that he himself has claimed to have waited a long time to give the world.

“Blair Witch” is a grim trap opener produced by none other than $crim with Chetta talking about how it pays to be a boss whereas “Heaven Ain’t Free” sinisterly admits that he’s just doing him. The $uicideboy$ tag along for the hyphy-laced “Poydras” talking about re-upping on these hoes just before “All Thug No Love” solemnly detailing how bad the ecstasy got him geekin’.

Meanwhile on “Dracula”, we have Chetta over a cloudy trap instrumental declaring himself as a real rockstar leading into the ghoulish “Hiroshima!” talking about how he hates himself too. “Take You Out This World” shoots for a wavier approach to the beat getting in his murder bag, but then $crim comes into the picture for “Murder He Wrote” to talk about hittin’ the road when it’s frozen & going ghost.

“Save Me the Rain” however fuses a guitar & some hi-hats telling a hoe he don’t need her anymore while “(Killers Cry Too)” is an impressive spiritual successor to “Thug Cry” off his last EP Major Pain. The song “Spend My Whole Life Getting High” returns to a cloudier sound talking about putting his money on him while the penultimate track “Drugs in Her Gut” telling a bitch he can’t stop now over a surprisingly elated instrumental. “When Life Hands You Nothing” ends the album by disturbingly confessing he feels like he’s drowning & sinking.

Now for those of you who’re new to Chetta & his music, then I’d say Been Here Forever is a good place to start because it happens to be my favorite that he’s ever done so far. He takes the listener through where he’s at now in his life & $crim also happens to do a really great job behind the boards as well.

Score: 4/5

Shakewell – “Pray 4 Shakewell” review

Shakewell is a 30 year old MC from Los Angeles, California who came up in the spring of 2017 off his debut EP Keystone Prince. This was followed up a year later with his 2nd EP Big Juice tha Sip but in light of him signing to G*59 Record$ right when the pandemic started & the 5 year anniversary of Keystone Prince approaching this weekend, Shakewell is finally dropping his long-awaited full-length debut.

“Symphony No. 1” is a quirky yet fun opener talking about getting a new phone whereas “Take the Field” has a earlier tone to it asking why he’s still depressed despite his success. “The Foil & The Damage Done” takes a cloudier route melodically saying that you don’t wanna feel the pain he’s lived just before “Felonious” declares himself as a prodigy over some eerie trap production.

Meanwhile on “Nuestra Señora”, we have Shakewell talks about his ride or die bitch accompanied by a beat with a vintage west coast flare to it leading into the aggressive “Biscuit” confessing that he always rides strapped. “20/20 Vision” incorporates some organs talking about seeing shit clearly, but then Fat Nick tags along for “Survival” to passionately express their hatred for the pigs.

“Late Night” returns to more atmospheric trap territory talking about serving packs to get his change while Boobie Lootaveli comes into the picture with one of the weaker features on “Woke Up” despite the piano instrumental & concept of what kind of man he wants to be today. The $uicideboy$ themselves make up for this on the tropical “Solutions” talking about using drugs to solve their problems while the song “Voodoo Walked” shoots for a more pillowy aesthetic bragging about the famous life.

The penultimate track “5 Ways” returns to a more quirkier yet bassy sound asking his opposition to choose 5 ways he can kill you & last but not at least, “Branzino” ends the album with some ghoulish trap talking about how he’s the type to pull up on you with the sticks.

Coming from someone who got introduced to Shakewell prior to his performance at the 20th annual Gathering of Juggalos the summer before COVID hit, I’ve been waiting eagerly for this full-length debut of his & it just goes to show that he fits right in with G*59. He comes through with some raw pen-game & the production is really interesting from the poppy & trappier cuts to the more hardcore & vintage west coast shit.

Score: 4/5

Night Lovell – “Just Say You Don’t Care” review

Night Lovell is a 23 year old rapper, songwriter & producer from Ottawa, Canada originally emerging in 2014 when he dropped his debut EP I’ll Be Back & then following it up 4 months later with his debut mixtape Concept Vague. Heads continued to turn in 2016 off the sophomore tape Red Teenage Melody & the 2019 full-length debut Goodnight Lovell, but his biggest break came just a few months ago when the $uicideboy$ signed him to their Virgin Music imprint G*59 Record$. And with his born day coming up later this month, it’s only right for Night to drop his sophomore album.

“Trying to Float” is a stellar way to kick off the album with it’s jangly trap beat as well as Night Lovell telling a story of him in the position to change everything about his life whereas the next song “Smoke Screen” is a cloud rap banger telling those to mind their business. The instrumental on “Bandage” is somewhat similar to the opener except dude goes into detail about fake people & then piano-trap infused “I Know Your Ways” serves as an expansion of this theme lyrically.

Meanwhile on “You Motherfucker”, we have Night Lovell jumping on top of a cacophonous beat to brush of those who’re envious of him before leading up to the depraving sex song “Call Me Water” & a melancholy-filled breakup anthem “Sadly I Can’t Control”. The song “10 Wishes” is a distorted description of what he would do if he had such while “Bottom Top” goes into psychedelic territory to talk about getting head.

“Puppet” has a more industrial-edge to it with lyrics detailing a woman controlling him before thinking about his life on the airy “On the Hill”. The song “Crawl” is a woozier cut about living in 2029 & then the penultimate track “Counting Down the List” is a cloud rap tune about knowing this woman was a demon. To finish the album off, we have Night Lovell detailing his loneliness on the atmospheric “Alone”.

I can totally see why Ruby da Cherry & $crim took this kid under their wing because is a pretty solid album. He sticks to his typically dark sound in terms of production & the songwriting is at it’s best. Looking forward to keep watching him evolve from hereon out.

Score: 3.5/5