DJ Drama – “I’m Really Like That” review

DJ Drama is a 44 year old DJ, record executive & music promoter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who got his start by founding Aphilliates Music Group alongside Don Cannon a decade ago. His profile would grow exponentially shortly after by beginning his iconic Gangsta Grillz mixtape series that’s still going 19 years strong today & becoming one of the most in-demand mixtape DJs ever by hosting some of the hungriest tapes from a wide range of already established artists including T.I., Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne & Fabolous. Dude even has 5 solo albums under his belt also, starting with Gangsta Grillz: The Album at the end of 2007 & the previous being a sequel to Quality Street Music the year after founding the Atlantic Records imprint Generation Now Entertainment with Don that initially discovered one of the biggest names the 215 has seen in recent memory: Lil Uzi Vert. Fast forward 5 years later, Drama would see a resurgence in his career after narrating Tyler, The Creator’s 6th album Call Me If You Get Lost fittingly enough since that itself was a homage to the Gangsta Grillz series. So coincidentally as T drops The Estate Sale to hold everyone off until his upcoming 7th album drops later this summer, DJ Drama is coming off hosting the recent mixtapes from the likes of G Perico & Kash Doll to name only a couple to drop HIS 6th album.

“Legendary” by Tyler sets off the album with Yung T detailing the influence that the Dedication mixtape series had on him during his adolescence over a rich, drumless instrumental from the Cannon whereas “Ho4me” by A Boogie wit da Hoodie is a disappointingly mediocre trap/pop rap ballad about taking it slow. “Raised Different” by Jeezy & the late Nipsey Hu$$le has a more somber approach touching on being made in the streets just before “F.M.F.U. (Fuck Me Fuck U)” by Gucci & Wayne find the 2 over some twinkling keys & hi-hats courtesy of CashMoneyAP paying homage to Keyshia Ka’oir Davis & Denise Bidot respectively.

Moving onto “Free Game”, we have Uzi & 42 Dugg joining forces to get in their bag over a Detroit trap beat from Helluva just before “350” by Rick Ross & Westside Gunn deliver some fly braggadocio with some pianos & hi-hats backing them. “Been a While” by G Herbo & Mozzy is a lavish trap banger that Nick Papz & Pooh Beatz laced about how they ain’t going nowhere leading into “No Weakness” by Symba, T.I. & Wiz Khalifa having a more cinematic groove to the instrumental as they remind y’all that no one built like them.

“Mockingbird Valley” by Jack Harlow is one of the weakest cuts on the album despite Don Cannon’s smooth production & that’s primarily because I personally found Jack’s performances to be mediocre until “Forever” by Benny the Butcher, Fab & Jim Jones makes up for it with it’s victorious trap beat & the razor sharp lyricism from all 3 MCs respectively about the lives they live. “Andale” by Moneybagg Yo & Offset is a decently aggressive cut quenching for blood while the song “Iron Right” by Boosie Badazz, OMB Peezy & the late Trouble is another dull moment from the annoying bed-squeaking sounds throughout the slick instrumental given by the late Traxamillion to the lyrics about not being the one to fuck with.

The penultimate track “I Ain’t Gon’ Hold Ya” by Jeezy was originally first heard on the Snoman’s latest effort Snofall that dropped about 5 months ago by now & there’s nothing wrong with hearing it again at the backend of I’m Really Like That since not only was Snofall amongst the trap pioneer’s best in recent memory, but this very song from it that makes it’s way over here just so happened to be amongst my favorites on it. “We Made It” by CyHi the Prynce wrapping things up with a heartwarmingly melodic trap song about success.

As someone who also grew up on the iconic Gangsta Grillz series much like Tyler, I personally found Drama’s last 3 solo albums to be subpar at worst & mediocre at best. That however is not the case with I’m Really Like That, as I consider it to be his best full-length in a while & a solid one to make a comeback on. The performances from the guests are more consistent as are the production choices & the theme reflecting on his journey in the game as well as the relationships he’s built over the years further reminds us of his legacy as one of the greatest mixtape hosts ever.

Score: 3.5/5

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Lil Uzi Vert – “Red + White” review

Lil Uzi Vert is a 26 year old rapper & singer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that became a household name in the trap scene with their 2015 mixtape LUV is Rage & then Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World the following year. Since the release of their 2017 debut album LUV is Rage 2, Uzi has been entangled with a nasty legal battle with Generation Now Entertainment/Atlantic Records until Eternal Atake came out in March of 2020 to moderate reception & followed it up a week later with the far superior Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2 that spawned the deluxe version trend where artists would drop a “deluxe version” of their newest project that’s basically an entirely new album. But after dropping a bunch of singles on SoundCloud thought the past week, Uzi is warming everyone up for The Pink Tape by dropping their 3rd EP.

“Space Cadet” is an pluggy opener produced by Brandon Finessin’ that’s a bit all over the place if I’m being honest with Uzi talking about not being used to stallin’ & used to cake whereas “I Know” taking a cloudier route thanks to Sonny Digital being aware of what their lover is really like. “Flex Up” reunites with Maaly Raw for a mellow trap banger talking about being the next & best one, but then “Hittin’ My Shoulder” has a more abstract approach thanks to Dun Deal calling out people on their fake love & biters.

Meanwhile on “For Fun”, we have Uzi over an airy instrumental taking about counting ranks solely for his pleasure leading into the vibrant “Believe Me” continuing to brag lyrically. The song “Issa Hit” shoots for a more abrasive aesthetic asking if it’s lit just before the penultimate track “Glock in My Purse” advises to look at it like a bag with DJ Mustard providing a synth-heavy sound. “Final Fantasy” on the other end finishes the EP with a rage beat bragging that they have the strategy.

It’s been over a little over 2 years since we last heard from Uzi on their own & for them to give us Red + White in advance, I think it’ll definitely hold us over until The Pink Tape whenever it comes out. It sounds laser-focused & I appreciate that production experiments with the plugg/hypertrap sounds that’ve been becoming more popular in recent memory.

Score: 3.5/5

Jack Harlow – “Come Home the Kids Miss You” review

Jack Harlow is a 24 year old rapper & songwriter from Louisville, Kentucky who broke through when the pandemic started off the single “What’s Poppin’?”. This resulted in DJ Drama & Don Cannon signing him to their Atlantic Records imprint Generation Now Entertainment as well as them putting out his full-length debut That’s What They All Say that same winter, which was pretty mediocre in my opinion. However, I still went into this sophomore effort of his with an open mind given some of the features that were revealed earlier this week.

“Talk of the Town” kicks off the album with a sample of “No No No” by Destiny’s Child so Jack can speak on coming a long way from Bardstown whereas “Young Harleezy” is a generic trap cut with braggadocious lyrics. “I’d Do Anything to Make You Smile” follows it up with a corny romance ballad produced by Boi-1da, but then “1st Class” is no better as he pretty much bastardizes the classic single “Glamorous” by Fergie & Ludacris.

Meanwhile on “Dua Lipa”, we have Jack simping over the titular singer accompanied by a bland trap beat just before “Side Piece” butchers “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg talking about wanting to bring DeJ Loaf home to meet his family. “Movie Star” is one of the better cuts on the album thanks to Pharrell’s bassy instrumental & his verse at the back end declaring themselves as such, but then “Lil Secret” gets back to the tepid lovey dovey bullshit even though the GoldLink sample is impressive.

“I Got a Shot” is such a pathetic attempt at him hitting on any bitch he wants over a tropical beat while “Churchill Downs” has a more skeletal approach talking about where he’s at now & Drake just phones his verse the fuck in down to the cringy Pusha T jabs. “Like a Blade of Grass” shoots for a moodier vibe with uneventful storytelling about a woman he met in the dark & “Parent Trap” picks it up with cold trap production from Timbaland talking about his lover holding him down.

The song “Poison” with Lil Wayne sees the 2 comparing their significant others to such over a cloudy trap instrumental sampling “Mrs. Officer” while the penultimate track “Nail Tech” is a decently victorious ballad about the “king” if you can even call him that being back in his hometown. “State Fair” on the other end closes out the album with some hi-hats & a mellow atmosphere reflecting on fame.

What else do y’all want me to say beyond that? I still don’t see what’s so appealing about Jack because this album to me is even worse than That’s What They All Say was. Not that I have anything against pop rap since I’ve made that clear as day if you look at some of my past reviews in the subgenre, but Jack’s performances/songwriting are primarily mediocre mixing that with some decent features & annoying production.

Score: 1.5/5

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