Ski Mask the Slump God – “Sin City” review

This is the 4th mixtape from Orlando rapper Ski Mask the Slump God. Coming up as the co-founder of Members Only alongside the late XXXTENTACION, he then dropped a couple EPs & a great mixtape called Drown in Designer in 2016 before signing to Republic Records the following year with his 2nd tape called YouWillRegret being his first outing on a major label. This was followed up with Beware the Book of Eli & the full-length debut Stokeley in 2018 but after a 3-year hiatus, Ski is making his comeback by dropping Sin City.

The intro starts off as a spoken word piece, but busts into an industrial beat from Ronny J & a short verse about how humanity’s been dead. The next song “Dr. Seuss” goes on to brag about his unique flow despite the instrumental being kinda plain before “Admit It” works on a xylophone to say he’s fucking up the stats. Meanwhile on “The Matrix”, we have Ski jumping on some bass & hi-hats to make a bunch of pop culture references whereas “Ya!” is a half-assed & skeletal cut describing “real n***a paradise”.

Kenny Beats comes in to sample Missy Elliott’s “Work It” for the braggadocious “Merlin’s Staff” before taking the acoustic route on the emotional “Lost in Time”. The penultimate track “Fire Hazard” is a bass-heavy riot starter & then the closer “Mental Magneto” is a grungy look at being conflicted.

I’m pretty indifferent towards Sin City at the end of the day. Half of these cuts are straight heat, but then the other half is just uneventful & boring. I really wish he would flesh his joints out more fully then making a 9-track, 20 minute EP & calling it a “mixtape”.

Score: 2.5/5

XXXTENTACION – “Bad Vibes Forever” review

This is the 2nd posthumous outing yet 4th & final album from Floridian rapper, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist & Members Only co-founder XXXTENTACION. The kid became an overnight sensation in 2017, making onto the XXL Freshman Class & came out with his debut “album” if you wanna call it that 17 that same year. A record that saw X departing from his signature hardcore sound for a more lo-fi acoustic emo direction & failing miserably. X’s sophomore album ? last March while still not all that good was a bit more longer & showed a lot more musical variety. But sadly, X was murdered 3 months after that album’s release. His estate then released his first posthumous effort Skins last winter, which is a horrifically cobbled together cash grab. Almost 365 days have passed since then & X’s mother is putting out what’s left of his unreleased material.

After the intro, the first song “Ex Bitch” directs itself towards Geneva Ayala over an acoustic instrumental. The next track “UGLY” talks about it being out of it over a grungy instrumental while the titular song feels like a leftover from Trippie Redd’s latest album ! since X only handles the hook. The Wheezy-produced “School Shooters” sounds as if it could be a Carter V outtake as Lil Wayne pretty much dominates it whereas the song “I Changed Her Life” is literally a demo with an underwritten Rick Ross verse overtaking it.

The track “Triumph” gets annoyingly repetitive lyrically while the song “LIMBO” with Killstation actually sounds like a finished trap banger. The track “before i realize” sounds like a bad 17 outtake but then on the song “Ecstasy”, X sounds barely awake over this cavernous beat & the Noah Cyrus feature doesn’t help at all. The track “Kill My Vibe” by Tom G talks about haters over a generically cloudy trap beat while the song “Hot Gyal” with Mavado & Tory Lanez is an outdated dancehall joint.

“THE ONLY TIME I FEEL ALIVE” with Craig Xen sees the 2 getting vicious over a bassy-trap beat & then after the tedious piano-lead “interlude that never ends”, the song “Dæmons” with Joey Bada$$ & Kemba sees the 3 getting spiritual over some drums & keyboards. It’s ok though, because at least Joey isn’t talking about “catching all diseases in the world so the world don’t have no more diseases” again. The track “ATTENTION!” sees X flexing over a bland beat while the song “Eat It Up” gets raunchy over a distorted Ronny J beat. The track “Voss” by Sauce Walka sees him flexing over a trap rock fusion from Carnage while the song “Royalty” with Stefflon Don & Vybz Kartel another boring dancehall cut.

The track “wanna grow old (i won’t let go)” by Jimmy Levy is comatose on all musical fronts while the song “HEARTEATER” is a mediocre, melodramatic pop rock cut. The track “NorthStar” with Joyner Lucas sees the 2 boasting over a rubbery trap beat while the song “CHASE (glass shards)” with ikabodVEINS sees the 2 talking about death over a demented beat. The penultimate track “numb the pain” is yet another terrible 17 demo & then the album ends with “IT’S ALL FADING TO BLACK”, which is pretty much a sappy blink-182 song with an X hook.

Not much for me to say about it beyond that, this was dreadful. Sure this is the longest body of work that’s ever had X’s name, but it’s just as sloppily cobbled together as Skins.

Score: 1/5

Meyhem Lauren – “Members Only” review

7713637.jpeg

Meyhem Lauren is a 36 year old MC from Queens, New York that came up as the leader of the Smart Crew graffiti team. He eventually started rapping in the mid-2000s, but it wouldn’t be until this decade that he saw success. Most notably with Mandatory Brunch Meetings, the Buckwild produced Silk PyramidsPiatto D’oro & most notably the DJ Muggs produced Gems from the Equinox. The latter was followed up with Frozen Angels last year, but it seems like now that the 2 are getting back together for Meyhem’s 9th EP.

The EP kicks off with “Aztec Snowflakes”, where Meyhem gets at his competition’s throats over an old school instrumental. The next song “GT3” gets lavish over a grimy boom bap beat while the penultimate track “Wavy” brags & the drums on here are thunderous. The EP then finishes off with “Blue Chinese”, where Meyhem gets mafioso over a morbid instrumental.

This is a dope continuation of Meyhem & Muggs’ partership. They continue to compliment each other’s own raw styles very well. Definitely looking forward to their next full-length album together whenever it comes out.

Score: 3.5/5

XXXTENTACION – “Skins” review

XXXTENTACION was a 20 year old rapper, singer, songwriter & producer from Plantation, Florida who rose to prominence last year with a handful of singles. He landed a spot in the 2017 XXL Freshman Class & put out his debut album 17 just a few months after. Then he dropped his sophomore album ? at the beginning of this year, which was slightly better & equally rushed as 17 was. But unfortunately, he was murdered over the summer & now his estate is issuing his 1st posthumous album.

After the fake deep intro, we go into the first song with “guardian angel”. Here, X reflects on Jocelyn Flores & the way he reverses the instrumental from the 17 song that was dedicated to her & slaps it on the cut was lazy. The track “train food” reflects on his rough past over some sinister acoustic guitar strings while the song “whoa (mind in awe)” has a pretty spacious instrumental, but X’s moaning is annoying as fuck. The track “BAD!” truly lives up to it’s title as it’s a corny & moody relationship ballad while the song “STARING AT THE SKY” sees X badly singing about running from pain over an acoustic guitar. The track “1 Minute” feels more like a Kanye West joint since he takes up a bulk of it & after the structureless “difference” interlude, we go into the penultimate track “I don’t let go” where X gets raunchy over a laidback instrumental. The album then closes with “what are you so afraid of?”, which is an unfinished acoustic cut.

And that’s the thing, this thing is such a mess from front to back. I’m not trying to disrespect the dead, but the “album” sounds like it was cobbled together just to make money & that’s a huge reason why posthumous albums in general are hit or miss with me

Score: 1/5

Ski Mask the Slump God – “Stokeley” review

1280x1280.jpg

Ski Mask the Slump God is a 22 year old rapper from Orlando, Florida who came up as the co-founder of Members Only alongside XXXTENTACION. He then dropped a couple EPs & a great mixtape called Drown in Designer in 2016 before signing to Republic Records the following year with his 2nd mixtape called YouWillRegret being his first outing on a major label. He then put out his 3rd tape Beware the Book of Eli earlier this year but now, he’s putting out his long-awaited debut album.

Things kick off with “So High”, where he’s crooning over this generically moody beat. The next track “Nuketown” gets viciously boastful over a murky trap beat with Juice WRLD unexpectedly screaming his brains out on the hook while the song “Foot Fungus” charismatically talks about the famous life over a bouncy Kenny Beats instrumental with a clever interpolation of the classic Snoop Dogg joint “Drop It Like It’s Hot” during the hook. The track “LA LA” talks about his sexual exploits over a sinister trap beat from Ronny J while the song “Unbothered” talks about how he doesn’t give a fuck about taking L’s over a druggy trap instrumental. The track “Save Me, Pt. 2” is a mediocre sequel to the song off of X’s debut album 17 & while the song “Adults Swim” gets more insightful over some bass & hand claps, I wish it was longer.

The track “Far Gone” with Lil Baby sees the 2 talking about being trapped in their mind on a date over an atmospheric Murda Beatz instrumental while the song “Get Geeked” is a unfinished joint for the clubs. The track “Reborn to Rebel” talks about revolution over a banger beat while the song “Faucet Failure” gets braggadocious over an infectious instrumental. The penultimate track “U & I” is a heartfelt tribute to XXXTENTACION over a decent beat & then the closer “Cat Piss” with Lil Yachty sees the 2 talking about how they’re better than their competition over a somber beat.

For a full-length debut, this was ok. Ski Mask definitely has one of the most interesting flows in hip hop today, but the production on this album kinda bland & many songs on here are short to the point where it becomes annoying. I’ll say it again like I did in my Beware the Book of Eli review: If Ski Mask takes more time into his songs & gets better production, I truly think it’ll show his true potential a lot more because this barely does it.

Score: 3/5

XXXTENTACION – “A GHETTO CHRISTMAS CAROL!” review

With his trial coming up this Friday, Floridian 2017 XXL Freshman XXXTENTACION is giving his fans his 7th EP. The opener is the title track, where X getting braggadocious over an eerie trap beat from Ronny J. However, he doesn’t sound exciting & the “Day ‘n’ Nite” reference during the hook is corny. The next song “Hate Will Never Win” gets conscious over the instrumental of “Life” by the Funky Cowboys, but he’s just mumbling atonally. Also the Donald Trump samples X incorporates at the beginning & the end were nice, but they didn’t need to be there during the verse as well. The “Up Like an Insomiac” freestyle actually feels like a finished track, but the beat is bland & his delivery is annoying as Hell. The 1-minute “Red Light!” has a mediocre beat & X’s angrily delivered lyrics are substance-less. The closer “Indecision” might be 2 minutes, but it’s super underwritten. Honestly, this is almost as bad as X’s 17. The production is subpar & almost every track still sounds as unfinished as before

Score: 1/5

$ki Mask “The $lump God” – “YouWillRegret” review

img_1364-1
In light of fellow Members Only co-founder XXXTENTACION exploding into stardom, $ki Mask “The $lump God” is releasing his 2nd mixtape with Republic Records. The opener “Rambo” has an obnoxious hook, but the way he gets braggadocious over this abrasive trap beat is so animated. The next song “JustLikeMyPiss” with MadeinTYO sees the 2 talking about how attractive their ladies are & the trap instrumental here compared to the opener is much more eerie. The track “Bird is the Word” is a sinister gangster anthem & the Surfin’ Bird reference during the hook was unexpected, yet cool. The song “BabyWipe” could very well be $ki Mask’s best song yet, as it has an energetic instrumental & the way he flows over it is just deadly! The track “Gone” talks about getting intoxicated, but it just overall sounds unfinished. The song “Adventure Time” has a decent beat, but the verses don’t really do anything for me. The track “EverTookATab?” talks about drugs & the bass is THUNDEROUS! The song “Winnie” has a great rapid-delivery, but the hook is super corny hook & he’s just repeating himself. The penultimate track “Energy” has a guitar-tinged trap beat that’s actually pretty cool, but the hook is bitten off of “Pornography” by Travi$ Scott & it sounds underwritten. The tape then closes out with the hard hatting almost chopper-like XXXTENTACION duet “H2O”, which was taken from the Members Only 3 mixtape. As his first release with a major label, this was a decent mixtape. $ki Mask’s energy & flow are definitely there, but a lot of the tracks seem unfinished. I definitely hope his upcoming tape with Timbaland will be much more superior

Score: 3/5

XXXTENTACION – “17” review

269334ded6d2264af8cae3fb9a171be8.1000x1000x1
If you’ve been living under a rock all year, XXXTENTACION is a reasonably polarizing Floridian rapper & this is his debut studio album. He’s been having a huge 2017 from his 2015 debut single “Look at Me!” receiving a newfound popularity to being apart of this year’s XXL Freshman Class. The album opens up with “The Explanation”, which is just a nearly 1-minute spoken word piece where X is telling us that we’re about to enter his mind & thanking us for listening. The first song “Jocelyn Flores” is a tribute to a friend that X’s with the same name who committed suicide a few months back & you can just hear how hurt he was about it over this cloudy instrumental. The next track “Depression & Obsession” sees X singing while playing an acoustic guitar & while I do like the vibe of it, the vocals & the lyrics don’t really captivate me at all. The song “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares” has an druggy instrumental & the delivery is actually pretty nice, but the songwriting doesn’t really progress all that much. The track “Revenge” is another dedication to Jocelyn Flores except with a folky tone to it & while he does sound emotionless on here, I do like the track quite a bit. The song “Save Me” has an eerie instrumental, but the lyrics are just angsty. Also as the song goes on, his vocals go from being badly mixed to the point of inaudibility to being absolutely cringey. The next track “Dead Inside” has a decent piano throughout, but X’s singing is yet again buried in the mix & it sounds underwritten. The song “Fuck Love” is a message to X’s pregnant ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala over a trap beat & for some reason, the hook from Trippie Redd painfully reminds me of Lil Uzi Vert. The next song “Carry On” is self-explanatory, as X speaks about moving on despite all the bullshit he’s been through while mentioning Geneva yet again over a decent boom bap instrumental. The penultimate track “Orlando” yet again features X singing over a piano, but the songwriting is so hilariously corny. The album then closes out with “Ayala”, where X sings about making a list of regrets & Geneva (which is obvious given her last name is used as the song title) being the first on it over a dreary guitar. Although I do think there is SOME potential in XXXTENTACION, this “album” doesn’t showcase it all that well. The production is decent, but the tracks mostly feel unfinished & rushed from the songwriting to it’s 22 minute runtime. And on top of that, the depressed content just comes off as angsty rather than deep

Score: 1.5/5