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

@legendswill_never_die on Instagram for the best music reviews weekly!

World Tour Mafia – “Tourmania” review

These guys are a group from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Dae Money, Milt, Miles & Solid. They originally formed in 2019 as a quintet & dropped their debut mixtape World Tour Mafia or Die last summer to positive reception. But with the Mafia’s popularity continuing to grow as well as Scoob departing the group not too long ago & even the 1-year anniversary of their collective debut passing by a few weeks back, they’re continuing to move forward by putting out a sophomore tape.

“Gang Gang Gang” is a suspenseful opener talking about taking over your city & “running through them thangs like Reggie Bush” whereas “This It Right Here” detailing the lifestyles that they live on top of some gnarly piano chords, snares & a hi-hat. “Final 4” works in some strings & bells talking about making money instead of chasing it prior to the formidable “Backdoor Open” warning to extort anyone who even thinks about fucking with them.

Continuing from there with “Stamped on Me”, we have the Mafia over a horn-laced instrumental talking about how turnt they are leading into “Halloween” samples the main title theme of the iconic 1978 horror masterpiece of the same name spitting some vivid gangsta raps. GT comes into the picture for “Demon” blending some keys & hi-hats together to deliver braggodio for a couple minutes just before the thunderous “Or Die” talks about representing ‘til the casket drops.

“Good Game” has a more angelic tone to the beat explaining that not being afraid of taking risks is the reason why they’re loaded on paper while “Re Birthday” with Lucki weaves some synthesizers to declare themselves as the chosen ones. “Oink Girl (Tour Girl)” is basically a hoe anthem with a blaring instrumental, but then Veeze tags along for “Construction” returning to daunting territory talking about dropping $700 on a hoodie with paint on it.

Meanwhile on “Erotic City”, the Mafia & Babyface Ray manages to sample one of my all-time favorite Prince songs boasting that they “really doing it” with the ambitious “For the Kids” strives to be rich for their families over some pianos & the hi-hats here are just rattling off like machine guns. The hypnotizing vibes of “Money Power Respect” are a nice touch expressing the amount of all 3 of the titular things to be increased while “No Timeouts” brings a more fraughting tone talking about how everyone wants the style now.

“Welcome to the Vault” has a bit of a rickety quality to the drums fused with some piano chords promising to change bitches’ lives while the song “Get Influenced” confesses over a wavy Carlo beat that they don’t even sweat about those taking inspiration from them. The rubbery penultimate track “Lethal Weapon” finds the crew cautioning to lay out anyone who dares to step up to them & “Backend” is a gripping closer talking about being the fuckin’ mob.

Now if Tourmania proves anything to me, it’s that the World Tour Mafia is amongst one of the best groups in the city right now. Their chemistry as a unit remains as strong as it’s ever been even with Scoob’s departure, the production compared to the last tape being more distinct & the performances from the very few features that they bring with them for the ride are more consistent.

Score: 3.5/5

@legendswill_never_die on Instagram for the best music reviews weekly!

Young Nudy – “EA Monster” review

This is the 9th mixtape from Atlanta rapper Young Nudy. Despite being cousins with 21 Savage, he eventually carved a lane of his own in the last 8 years with his last 8 mixtapes (the most notable one being the Pi’erre Bourne-produced Sli’merre) & 2 full-lengths. Rich Shooter just celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary a few days ago & Nudy’s re-emerging in the form of EA Monster.

“Nun to Do” is a bassy opener describing being spaced the fuck out whereas “KitKat” works in some quirky synths thanks to Pi’erre talking about having deadly assassins. “Impala” takes a ghoulish route for him & his homie to creep in his whip, but then “Fresh as Fuck” brings back the synths warning that you don’t want no smoke with him.

Meanwhile on “Lunch Meat”, we have Nudy over a cloudy instrumental talking about being a stepper leading into the solemn yet rubbery 4L anthem “My Gang”. The delicate synths throughout “No Chaser” are a nice touch talking about itching for a body just before “Ready” shoots for a moodier aesthetic to deliver an ode for all of those who like to get high.

The song “Sick of Slime” lividly calls out every single dick rider he knows while the penultimate track “Duntsane” wasn’t the best choice for a single in my personal opinion despite the gangsta rap themes & the beat that Coupe brings to the table. Primarily because I personally felt that Baby Drill’s performances compared to Nudy’s was underwhelming. “Project X” however sends the tape with a rowdy fight anthem not for the bitch made.

Nudy had always been consistent throughout the course of his career & EA Monster further cements his status as such in my eyes. He delivers some animated performances/sticky songwriting throughout, I like how he toned it down with the features compared to Rich Shooter & the production is a healthy mix of Coupe & Pi’erre’s respectively unique sounds much like his last tape was.

Score: 3.5/5

@legendswill_never_die on Instagram for the best music reviews weekly!

Karlae – “Enter” review

Karlae is a 28 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who happens to be the fiancée of trap pioneer Young Thug. She eventually got into making music when YSL Records put out their very 1st showcase compilation Slime Language a day before their founder’s 27th birthday & considering that Strick just dropped his 6th mixtape The Machine 3 a little over a month ago, Karlae’s finally stepping up to the plate next with a debut tape of her very own.

“Chit Chat” is a cutthroat opener talking about not being with the bullshit whereas “Gotta Get Touched” with the late Lil Keed takes a cloudier route getting raunchy. Dess Dior tags along for the bell-infused “Cap Ain’t Nothing” to remind everyone that they know how they come, but then “Respect” with Gunna shoots for a cloudier aesthetic talking about coming out the mud.

Meanwhile on “My Type”, we have Karlae & Yung Mal on top of an acoustic trap instrumental describing their preferences in partners leading into the jangly “Someone Like Me” pondering what others think when they see her. “Ballet” has an industrial trap flare to it as she & Yak Gotti talk about dancing on bitches, but then “Wishful Thinking” comes through with a decent 2-minute R&B ballad.

“Last Goodbye” weaves some rock influences to confess that she feels lonely after being broken up while “Bad” mixes some horns & handclaps talking about going bad because she’s bad as fuck herself. “Boondocks” has to be my least favorite cut in the album from the uneventful production to the award chemistry between Karlae & Bhad Bhabie, but the Sonyae-assisted “Left” picks it up with it’s cloudy beat & the subject matter of everything being litty.

Following that, “I Like” with Coi Leray was a decent cut off YSL’s final showcase compilation to date Slime Language II that makes it’s way onto here while the song “Blind” with Lil Yachty embraces a more playful tone talking about being blinded by love. The penultimate track “Did That” samples Kool & the Gang showing off her wealthy & “On You” ends the album on a cavernous note as she & Thugger profess their love for one another.

I’ve been wanting this chick to put out a project from the moment I first heard her spitting on “U Ain’t Slime Enough” off Slime Language & now that we finally got it, I’m a little torn on the finished product. She’s not a bad songwriter or performer by any means, but a couple of the features underperformed & a good portion of the production doesn’t really have that many interesting ideas to me.

Score: 2.5/5

@legendswill_never_die on Instagram for the best music reviews weekly!

Rico Nasty – “Las Ruinas” review

Rico Nasty is a 25 year old rapper & singer/songwriter from Palmer Park, Maryland who caught my attention in 2018 off her 6th mixtape Nasty. Even though I found it to be decent, I was still very much impressed by her unique personality & her eclecticism. However the next spring, she got Kenny Beats to produce her debut EP Anger Management in it’s entirety & that ended up being my favorite body of work of hers even to this day. Nightmare Vacation was a bit of a step down from Anger Management even though it has a good share of bangers like ”iPhone” & “10Fo”, but was still excited for her 7th mixtape.

“Intrusive” is an industrial-laced opener with Rico talking about going at her competition whereas “Vaderz” takes a more hardcore/trap route as Bktherula tags along to go back & forth with one another comparing themselves to Invader Zim. “Black Punk” fuses trap metal with witch house to declare herself as such, but then Bk returns for the drum & bass-infused “Messy” asking how one can be organized yet disorderly.

Meanwhile on “Phuckin’ Lady”, we have Rico on top of a trippy instrumental expressing no remorse whatsoever just before “1 on 5” goes full-blown hip house warning that you’ll get jumped twice if her bitch jump first. “Gotsta Get Paid” works in a funky bass-line co-produced by 100 gecs to express her to desire to make paper leading into the Marshmello-backed “Watch Your Man” embracing neurofunk to rightfully boast her status in the game.

“Blow Me” comes through with a trappy pop rap ballad talking slick shit while the remix of “Jungle” by Elley Duhé is one of the more redundant cuts on the tape with all respect to both Fred again.. & Elley. “Dance Scream” on the other end takes a turn into electropop territory to plead for someone’s love while “Skullflower” dives into hyperpop talking about LSD.

Following that, “Focus on Me” embraces a more synthpop sound telling her lover she wants to be with them for the rest of her life while “Always” is less of a skit & more of a repetitive interlude. The song “Easy” is an acoustic ballad admitting that she letting someone make her feel her ashamed while the penultimate track “Into the Dark” brings back the drum & bass thanks to Charlie Heat promising to do better. As for “Chicken Nugget”, it’s a moody closer to the tape thanking her mother for making her strong.

If anyone reading this was a little disappointed as I was with Nightmare Vacation, then you’re gonna enjoy Las Ruinas much more because I think it continues to reveal herself to be the best female hip hop artist that the mainstream has to offer right behind the Hot Girl Queen herself: Megan Thee Stallion. I admire that the production is a lot more experimental in comparison to her full-length debut sticking to Rico’s trap/pop rap guns with the lyrics being more vulnerable this time around.

Score: 3.5/5

Westside Gunn – “Peace FLYGOD” review

Westside Gunn is a 39 year old emcee, songwriter & entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who’s already proven his legend status at this point whether it running one of the hottest hip hop labels in recent memory to his first 2 full-lengths FLYGOD & Supreme Blientele. Last we heard from him was almost a year ago by now with the double disc conclusion to the Hitler Wears Hermes mixtape series with Side B being superior to Side A but with his 40th birthday coming up at the end of the month, he’s celebrating a little early by dropping his 9th mixtape.

After the titular intro, “Jesus Crack” with Estee Nack & Stove God Cook$ sets off the album with drumless yet soulful & jazzy instrumental talking about making cake by the thousands whereas the Estee-assisted “Ritz Barlton” takes a lo-fi boom bap route comparing the halfway house to that of the titular hotel. “Big Ass Bracelet” with Stovey works in a bare soul sample to get on their fly shit, but then “Bobby Rhude” is basically an Estee solo cut talking about glory over more beautiful vocal chops.

Meanwhile on “Derrick Boleman”, we have Gunnlib & Stove God Cooks on top of a classy loop spitting that street shit leading into “Horses on Sunset” incorporates a smoky boom bap beat talking about how someone should’ve shot someone 7 times instead of 6. The song “Open Praise” details love turning to envy ’cause Westside’s success over some pianos while the penultimate “Danhausen” has a jazzy boom bap banger produced by Conductor Williams with West rightfully bragging. “Flip v. Phil” by Stove God ends the album with a sample provided by Daringer reminding that he’ll put his competition to sleep.

I know he’s been teasing Michelle Records for a while now & for him to give us this as a prelude to warm everyone up for the main course, I’ll definitely take it. Stovey & Estee continue to take their lyrically chemistry with Westside to new heights with the production giving off some abstract undertones this time around.

Score: 3.5/5

Juicy J & Pi’erre Bourne – “Space Age Pimpin’” review

This is the brand new collaborative mixtape between Juicy J & Pi’erre Bourne. One is a founding member of the groundbreaking Memphis outfit Three 6 Mafia & the other being a South Carolina recording artist who quickly became one of the most in-demand producers in hip hop today due his one of a kind sound. Juicy just did a verse for “Bubble Gum” off of Jelly’s latest album The Wolf of Peachtree 2 fully produced by Pi’erre, so they’re coming together for some Space Age Pimpin’.

“You Want It” kicks off the album with a grim trap banger that finds Juicy & Pi’erre bragging that they got all the shit others desire whereas “Smokin’ Out” works in some chopped & screwed influences talking about the lifestyles they both live. “This Fronto” returns to a more darker trap sound describing both parties being under the influence just before “Bring Them Out” reveals itself as a fun anthem to all the hoes out there.

Meanwhile on “Uhh Huh”, we have Juicy & Pi’erre delivering a symphonic trap banger getting materialistic leading into “B.B.L. (Brazilian Butt Lift)” comes through with a trumpet-laced ass-shaker’s ode. “Who Get High” shoots for a hazier aesthetic talking about being blowed, but then “Can’t Get Her” mixes a guitar with some hi-hats calling out dudes getting in their feelings because they stole their bitches.

“The Deep In” explains how bad they’re tweakin’ over a triumphant instrumental & even though I love the soul sample throughout the penultimate track “NFT”, the subject matter about the biggest scam in the world is just tiresome at this point. “Unsolved Mystery” ends the tape with a rugged banger reminding everyone not to bring any bullshit to them & that they don’t fuck around.

Compared to the Stoner’s Night tape that Juicy dropped with Wiz Khalifa at the beginning of the year, I happen to like Space Age Pimpin’ a tad bit more. That’s no disrespect to Wiz either because he & Juicy have always had a dope chemistry, but I really find it fascinating how a style as unique as Pi’erre’s collided with Da Juice Man’s in terms of overall sound.

Score: 3.5/5

PsiloSage – “HillzHavEyez” review

This is the 5th mixtape from Inland Empire emcee PsiloSage. Coming up in 2013 of his debut EP Spore, he would go on to drop a total of 4 mixtapes & another EP PianoScribblez throughout the last 9 years. He just dropped his last tape Sirius C back in the spring & is kicking off summer in the form of HillzHavEyez

“Welcome 2 da Hillz” is a trap-influenced opener talking about where he comes from whereas “On Errrything” takes a more mystic route looking back on when he was underneath the scene. “Pasinogna” is a dark ode to the city of the same name leading into “Aerojet” incorporating some bells talking about how you might lose your mind.

Meanwhile on “SwayLikeTree”, we have PsiloSage on top of a vocal sample advising to keep the page just before the nocturnal title track talking about how he stays alive. “imEnligtebed” weaves some eerie pianos into the mix explaining that this is his last chance, but then “MshhKa!” is a futuristic trap banger describing himself as an angel & a devil.

“Vibe Lii Thaat” shoots for a more minimal sound talking about being blowed while “ZombieZ” brings back the pianos talking about being chased by the undead. “Ready2Bite” details coming out during the evening on top of a preternatural instrumental while “Feelin’ Like da Devil” turns into gloomier territory comparing himself to Satan.

Following that, “DigitizeMuyLife” brings back the pianos saying he don’t need that vibe anymore while “2RealBro” dives into bassier turf talking about bubbling up. “DifferentWayz” is a dark yet cloudier cut flexing his lyricism while “HappyHallowzEve comes through with a Devil’s Night ode even though the beat is very stripped back.

“Wingz & Hornz” goes into occult territory talking about going for the glory while “imLikeHelium” has a more vibrant tone to it comparing himself to that of the chemical element. “Hello!” takes it back to a bass-heavy sound talking about pulling up on your bitch while the piano/hi-hat infused “RackItUp” continues to deliver more braggadocious lyrics.

As for “Evrywhre”, things return to a cloudier aesthetic talking about moving all over the place while “Testament” drearily declares this as a attestation to his development. “Gettin’ Blurry” mixes some blobby bass & hi-hats to chef it up while “FckFakeBased” is a hazier joint talking about being the zone.

“MP3s2NPCs” is a more guitar-driven track talking about how life isn’t fair while “Speak2Treez” surprisingly pulls from some ambient influences feeling like he can talk to nature. “ByDaWavz” layers some icy synths over some snares talking about chilling near the waters while the hazy “HardTimez” profoundly opens up about mental health.

Moving on from there, “AsleepAsWell” is a menacing shot at those who don’t honor him while “ThousandEyez” is just an interlude. “imBased” goes for a moodier vibe & the subject matter pretty much speaks for itself while “SpaceBoyz” is a cavernous trap anthem talks about riding through the void.

The song “Ready2Release” brings a chaotic beat to the table letting us know he’s ready to show & grow while the penultimate track “Ghosta” probably has the weakest performances on the tape in my opinion despite the abrasiveness in the instrumental. “WeAreDaHillz” ends the album with a grunge/trap fusion talking about feeling too real.

Coming away from this mixtape, I think it’s a good place to start for those of you who’re new to PsiloSage’s music. It’s a little bloated running at 35 tracks & 94 minutes long which is a reoccurring critique with some of his previous material, but his style would most definitely appeal to those who like $uicideboy$ or even Lil B.

Score: 3.5/5

redveil – “learn 2 swim” review

redveil is an 18 year old MC/producer from PG County, Maryland who came up at the tail-end of 2019 off his debut mixtape Bittersweet Cry. But I wouldn’t get introduced to his music until 8 months after when a short-lived Twitter beef between him & the internet’s busiest music nerd himself Anthony Fantano broke out merely days after dropping Niagara. It prompted me to check the tape out & I was actually pretty impressed with the amount of potential he was showing as an artist. So for his 18th birthday, he’s celebrating by dropping his 3rd mixtape.

“together” opens up the tape with some keys & saxes talking about running it whereas “diving board” takes a jazzier route addressing his come up. “pg baby” works in a soul sample talking about what growing up in Maryland was like for him just before “new info” incorporates a crooning vocal loop declaring his energy as his biggest weapon.

Meanwhile on “shoulder”, we have Mekdelawit & Renaissance Mic accompanying redveil on top of a euphoric boom bap instrumental talking about watching their youth wash away leading into Sam Truth tagging along for the melodic “better” advising that shit gets better when you give it time. “sky” lusciously talks about being a star, but then “morphine (da ways)” returns to soulful territory expressing his desire to win.

Fly Anakin & ovrkast. come into the picture for the trap-tinged “automatic” talking about how you can’t break them while the song “home” vents everything that’s been on his mind these days. The penultimate track “mars” mixes some background vocals, pianos & even a guitar solo talking about seeing the light a mile away & “working on it” ends the tape with a powerful ballad confessing that he doesn’t wanna run anymore.

If anyone liked Niagara as much as I did, then you’re gonna love learn 2 swim just as much if not more & I recommend all of those who’re still not up in redveil to check this tape out because it’s just most mature body of work thus far. On top of that, I admire how much he demonstrates his artistic growth with his refined lyrics & production game.

Score: 4/5

Ouija Macc – “Fallen Angelic” review

This is the 7th mixtape from from Las Vegas rapper Ouija Macc. Originally breaking out in the fall of 2017 off his debut EP Trashfire, this would result in the Insane Clown Posse signed him to Psychopathic Records almost immediately & he has since proven himself as one of the most consistent & hard working dudes in the underground by dropping 2 full-length albums, 2 greatest hits compilations, 6 mixtapes & 4 EPs all in the span of 5 years. Last we heard from Ouija was back in November when he dropped PRETTY/UGLY 2 which is much superior to the predecessor but to kick off the 2nd quarter of the year, he’s preluding his upcoming 3rd album Stalewind with Fallen Angelic.

After the “Prophecy” intro, the first song “Rory Mercury” is an eerie trap opener comparing himself to the Gate character of the same name whereas “Playalo” will go down as one of the best Ouija songs ever made taking a symphonic trap route thanks to Devereaux coming through with an ode to the juggalos. “Hellcat” goes into cloudier territory talking about how we should be proud of him just before Whitney Peyton tags along for the bassy “Big Step” talking about not wanting shit.

Meanwhile on “17 Blunts”, we have Ouija on top of a hazy beat delivering theme music for the smokers leading into the pillowy trap cut “Get It Like” talking about being all in his zone. “Did It on Purpose” goes into darker territory calling out those who don’t wanna see him winning, but then “Ain’t No Fun” has a more entrancing vibe talking about how everyone wants to hate someone.

“Hatchet Up” of course comes through with yet another Psychopathic ode except this one’s more rowdier while “La Flama Blanca” returns to the cloud rap sound talking about how this is more than just two. Kid Bookie’s verse on “Moonlight” doesn’t do much for me even though I like Devereaux’s production & the whole idea of too much shit going on to be on their dicks while “Crawl” gets raunchy as fuck & will definitely get all the Lettes going wild at future shows.

Following that, “Replay” incorporates some synthesizers telling the DJ to run it back while “Brandishin’ That” with a fun ass-shaker’s dedication. The song “Swang 2” with Ricky Hil finds the 2 on some acoustic trap shit delivering a decent sequel to a joint on Waterdamage while the penultimate track “Hate Myself” keeps things in acoustic territory talking about his self-hatred being for nothing. “Roadmap” ends the tape on a grungier encouraging to follow him at your own risk.

Chapter 17 Records is definitely gonna have a big 2022 & I think Fallen Angelic is a stellar way to kick it all off. The features are a tad bit better than PRETTY/UGLY 2, Ouija’s songwriting continuously gets better at getting stuck in your head & I really hope he continues to dabble with new sounds going forward because he’s been doing it excellently as of late.

Score: 4/5