Westside Boogie – “Everything’s for Sale” review

Westside Boogie is a 29 year old MC from Compton, California who first broke out onto the scene in 2014 with his 1st mixtape Thirst 48, eventually following it up with The Reach exactly a year later as well as Thirst 48, Pt. II the year after that. This would eventually catch the attention of Detroit icon Eminem, who signed Boogie to his Interscope Records imprint Shady Records in late 2017. He then gained even more exposure with a pretty great feature on “Dumb” off of Royce da 5’9”’s latest album Book of Ryan but now almost 9 months later, he’s ready to deliver to his full-length debut.

Things kick off with “Tired (Reflections)”, where Westside Boogie talks about what he’s sick of over a mellow beat. The next track “Silent Ride” talks about being detached over a flute-heavy instrumental while the song “Swapmeet” is an pretty, acoustic love ballad. The track “LOL SMH” talks about his baby momma over a smooth beat with a nice switch-up during the 2nd half while the song “Soho” with J.I.D. sees the 2 talking about being sick of people tryin’ to be cool with them now that they’re famous over a banger beat. The track “Skydive” is another acoustic love tune while the song “Live 95” talks about being broke & the beat has a great vintage West Coast vibe to it.

The track “Rainy Days” with Eminem sees the 2 talking about not wanting to be forgotten over a monstrous trap beat from S1 & STREETRUNNER that kinda sounds like it was made during the sessions of Em’s latest album KAMIKAZƎ, but it’s still enjoyable. The song “Skydive II” is pretty much a reprise of the predecessor & while it’s not bad, but it should’ve been merged together with the first one because it seems so out of place standing by itself. The track “Whose Fault” reflects on the arguments he’s had with his baby mama over a somber beat while the song “No Warning” talks about his toxic attitude over a minimalist beat with some gloomy piano chords. The penultimate track “Self Destruction” talks about his ignorance over a nocturnal trap beat & then the closer “Time” with Snoh Aalegra is a corny duet about Boogie treating Snoh like a side-chick

Overall, this is Westside Boogie’s best work yet. The production’s more refined in comparison to his mixtapes & I feel like we get a greater glimpse of who he is. Definitely a solid beginning for Shady Records’ next big star.

Score: 3.5/5

Eminem – “KAMIKAZƎ” review

It’s been merely 8 months since the critically panned RƎVIVAL was released but earlier this weekend out of nowhere, Detroit hip hop icon Eminem is returning with his 10th full-length album.

The album begins “The Ringer”, where he says “fuck you” to everyone who trashed his last album over a gloomy beat. He also takes shots at Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, Lil Xan & Vince Staples. I found the disses at all 3 Lil’s to be pretty funny, but I can’t say the same for the one about Vince. The next song “Greatest” serves as a sequel to “Rap God” with a Mike WiLL-Made It instrumental while the track “Lucky You” with Joyner Lucas sees the 2 talking about being underlooked & overlooked despite their success over a trap beat with some chimes. After the Paul skit, we go into the song “Normal”. Em on here talks about an ex over a instrumental that starts off grimy, but switches into a trap beat with plinky keys. However, the hook & the delivery when the beat switches is trash. After the “Em Calls Paul” skit, we go into the song “Stepping Stone”. Here, Em pretty much confirms that D12 is done over a punchy instrumental. The song “Not Alike” by Bad Meets Ǝvil literally starts off as a parody of “Look Alive” by BlocBoy JB & Drake down to the Tay Keith instrumental, but it does a complete 180 as an original instrumental with a futuristic bass-heavy vibe comes in halfway through the track. I also liked the MGK diss at the halfway point of Em’s verse.

The title track sees Em pretty much calling RƎVIVAL the “FACK” of his albums over a Mike WiLL-Made It instrumental kin to ƎNCORE & while I don’t care for the instrumental or the hook on “Fall”, Eminem responds to his critics very well. I also found the one line at the beginning of the 2nd verse dissing Everyday Struggle creators DJ Akademiks & Joe Budden (the latter of whom was once signed to Shady Records as 1/4 of the now defunct supergroup Slaughterhouse)  to be pretty unapologetically lethal. However, the jab at Charlemagne Tha God was just ok & the ones towards both Tyler, The Creator & Earl Sweatshirt were my least favorites on the entire album. It’s not even because he called Tyler a “faggot”, because Eminem has literally calling people that throughout his entire career. It’s because I found it to be unnecessary. However, I did find it interesting that he ends the final verse by taking a jab at Lord Jamar as well as owning up to influencing Hopsin & Logic, both of whom’s latest material has been pretty awful in my personal opinion. The next 2 songs “Nice Guy” & “Good Guy” with Jessie Reyez on both tracks Segway into each other very well sonically & lyrically, as they each talk about a failing relationship. The instrumental on “Nice Guy” has some pretty piano chords during the awkward Melanie Martinez sounding hook, but during the verses it switches into a gritty baseline. As for the beat on “Good Guy”, it has a WAY more classier tone to it. Both of them are just ok, but I just wish they were fused into 1 single track. The album ends oddly with “Venom”, which is commissioned for the upcoming Marvel movie with the same name. It’s a good theme song for it, but the hook is hilariously awful.

To be quite honest, I enjoyed this album quite a bit. A couple of the beats & hooks are weak but for the most part, Eminem manages to come out of the dark with a vengeance. The production is much better than RƎVIVAL’s down to the mixing & Em lights a fire under his ass, both lyrically & delivery-wise.

Score: 3.5/5

Conway – “G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All-Time)” review

Conway is an MC from Buffalo, New York who has been making a name with himself alongside his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records. They even signed to Eminem’s Interscope imprint Shady Records back in March of this year & after a long wait, he’s releasing his full-length debut (which is an abbreviation for Grimiest Of All-Time) & he has enlisted Griselda’s in-house producer Daringer to produce all but 1 track. The album starts off with the title track, where he’s bragging about his rapping prowess over a killer guitar. The next song “Trump” gets murderous & the production from The Alchemist fits the vibe perfectly. The track “TH3RD F” gets mafioso over a prominent soul sample & the Raekwon verse fits like a glove. The song “Die on X-Mas” with Benny sees the 2 getting confrontational over a super eerie instrumental & the track “Rodney Little” with Prodigy sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a haunting boom bap beat.

The song “XXXTRAS” vividly reflects on his days as a hustler over some horns & militant drums while the track “Bishop Shot Steel” takes a shot at the snakes over a gloomy beat. The track “Mandatory” with Royce da 5’9” sees the 2 taking a jab at their haters over a somber yet menacing beat while the penultimate track “Arabian Sam’s” with Styles P gets murderous over a grimy boom bap beat. The album then closes with “Bullet Klub”, where Conway gets with Benny & Lloyd Banks to tell the studio gangsters what life’s really like in the streets over an ominous instrumental.

Personally, this is Conway’s magnum opus. His lyricism is grittier than ever as is the production & the features are all on point. Griselda is one of my favorite labels right now & this is yet another example of why that is

Score: 4.5/5

Eminem – “RƎVIVAL” review

After cleverly promoting it for the past month or so with the fake-drug ads, renown Detroit hip hop superstar Eminem is finally giving fans with his 9th full-length album. The opener “Walk on Water” vents about the struggles he’s had for the best decade or so over a gospel like-piano instrumental from Rick Rubin. The song “Believe” pretty much asks the listeners if they would turn their backs on him over a piano & some awkward snares. The flow is pretty uninteresting as well.

The track “Chloraspetic” gets braggadocious about his rapping prowess over a trap beat from mR. pOrTeR, but the parts where he bites Migos flow is absolutely embarrassing. The song “Untouchable” intelligently talks about racial injustice, but the production on here was just ok & it didn’t need to be 6 minutes long. And on top of that, the “white boy white boy, you’re a rock star” hook is God awful. However, the second half of this is much better than the rap rock-tinged first half. The track “River” talks about a failing relationship over a guitar & after an unnecessary skit preluding the next song “Remind Me”, we get the actual song & it’s sickeningly lovey dovey. Especially with the cheesy “I Love Rock & Roll” sample that’s used throughout a bulk of the track & the corny ass lines like “Your booty is heavy duty like diarrhea” & “you’re smoking like Snoop Dogg”.

After the “Revival” interlude, we then go into the next song “Like Home”. Here, Eminem is dissing Donald Trump over an uplifting instrumental & the Alicia Keys hook is just ok. The track “Bad Husband” is an open apology letter to Em’s ex-wife Kim Mathers over a somber beat & the X Ambasadors hook is mediocre. The track “Tragic Endings” sees Em being pushed around by a manipulative lover over an abrasive beat & while “Framed” goes back to his horrorcore roots with an eerie beat, the hook is annoying.

The song “Nowhere Fast” gets reflective about the younger days over string-induced trap beat & the Kehlani hook doesn’t help at all. The track “Heat” talks about this chick who he thinks is as vile as his RELAPSƎ album from 2009 & the beat is almost the same as “So Far…” off his last album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song “Offended” takes a jab at all the naysayers & while the verses & the beat aren’t too bad, the interpolation of “The Knife Game Song” is drab. The track “Need Me” feels more like a P!nk song than an Eminem song given that Em only appears at the end & almost as unbearably sappy as “Revenge” off of P!nk’s latest album Beautiful Drama.

The song “In Your Head” talks about his famous alter ego Slim Shady & The Cranberries sample actually works well. The penultimate track “Castle” sees Em writing 3 different letters to his daughter Hailie in 1995, 1996 & 2007 respectively & it’s absolutely touching. The closer “Arose” talks about his overdose in 2008 & his output since then over an ambitious instrumental, but he literally “rewinds it” to the final verse from the previous song “Castle” during the last minute & a half & it ruins the vibe.

Overall, this is Eminem’s worst album yet. He still has it lyrically, but he needs better features. He needs better production. He needs to stop making some tracks drag on longer than they should’ve. I really had hope that this would be a consistently great album, but I‘m gonna have to accept that poppy Eminem is here to stay forever

Score: 1/5

Yelawolf – “Trial by Fire” review


Exactly 5 months after the release of his previous album Love Story back in 2015, Alabama rapper/singer & Eminem protégé Yelawolf did not hesitate to announce plans for this new album over here. He spent last year dropping 2 singles, a prelude EP & then he went on a headlining tour all to promote it. However, he ended up cancelling the last 6 dates of the tour & was admitted into a psychiatric ward by his manager Jeremy Jones after an onstage mental breakdown that was resulted by the death of his childhood friend Shawty Fatt. He then re-emerged a month later under his government name stating that he lost nearly every friend & everything he had, gave his Slumerican Records label to his mother & was now making a fresh start as a new member of the renown Oakland-based alternative hip hop collective Hieroglyphics rather than staying with Shady Records & Interscope. Despite this statement, it wouldn’t be until early June of this year when he officially made his comeback with a music video along with the confirmation that he was keeping the Yelawolf name & staying with Shady/Interscope. Fast forward almost 5 months later, he’s finally releasing & surprisingly self-producing it.

The album opens up with the title track, where he’s talking about the day he was born as well as warning the listener to watch out whenever you’re around him & being back in the saddle after his recent personal issues over a killer hard rock-esque guitar. The next song “Shadows” tells the listener of how he went from going from being a vulnerable kid to becoming a criminal & the instrumental is fittingly ominous as he’s passionately venting his story to the audience. The track “Get Mine” angrily raps about getting yours over a country rock instrumental & not only does the Kid Rock hook fit like a glove, but I can also appreciate the scratches from DJ Klever as it pays tribute to all the DJs out there. The song “Son of a Gun” reflects on how his career began over some chimes with a decent guitar & some awesomely militant drums. The track “Ride or Die” is a dedication to Shawty over some perfectly gloomy piano keys & then a spoken word interlude from Slumerican signee Struggle Jennings over a twangy guitar, we are then treated to the next track “Daylight”. Here, Yela raps about his alcoholism over a country guitar & the fact that he uses the same rhyme scheme for nearly the whole first verse just proves how lyrical Catfish Billy can be.

The song “Do for Love” talks about a dad who eventually decides to rob a store as well as a mother who strips & sells drugs over a dramatic instrumental. The track “Punk” spits about feelin’ at home over a fast-tempo rap rock instrumental & the Juicy J hook makes me a little disappointed that he doesn’t have a verse on here. The song “Row Your Boat” has a somber instrumental & I definitely appreciate Yelawolf getting conscious in his fully sung lyrics, but the hook is actually super corny to me. The track “True to Yourself” passionately talks about living for the moment pretty much over an Western sounding instrumental with some background choir vocals & horns. The song “Sabrina” is a heartfelt dedication to his daughter with the same name & while the instrumental is ok, you can truly hear the pain in Yela’s voice as he’s remembering her. Especially when he’s screaming at the end. The penultimate track “Violin” cleverly compares a soldier & the country he’s fighting for to a man with an unfaithful woman over an acoustic guitar with some beautiful string sections & background vocals. The album then closes out with “Keep Me Alive”, where he explains his come up about his over a twangy guitar & settle drums. Also, the Wyonna Judd hook is probably the best on the entire album.

And as a whole, I think it’s his best full-length album yet. The country & rock elements are being fused in a lot better, Yelawolf sounds his most focused, most inspired & he’s starting to rap a lot more than he did on the last album. I‘ve heard some people say that he’s full-blown corny, but I think this is a prime example of how much of a dedicated artist he is

Score: 4/5

Ca$his – “The County Hound” review

Ca$his is a Chicago born/Irving, California raised rapper who first gained prominence as a member of The Renegadez. They sent a demo tape to Shady Records & Interscope in Early 2006 in hopes of getting signed. However, the labels ended up signing Ca$his as a solo act. He would then be introduced to wider audiences by appearing on 6 tracks off of Shady’s Re-Up compilation & now he’s releasing an 8 track EP to promote his full-length debut. After the opening 55 second skit where Ca$his is talking to a drug dealer, we are then treated to the EP’s first song “That Nigga a Gangsta”. Here, Ca$his is getting braggadocious over a menacing instrumental from his longtime collaborator/high school friend Rikinatti. The next track “Gun Rule” talks about being strapped & the production from Ca$his’ mentor Eminem is just EXPLOSIVE! The song “Ms. Jenkins” is a vividly told story of Ca$his murdering someone over a somber Eminem instrumental & the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sample he uses is perfect. The track “Just Like Me” is a sincere dedication to his kids & the Rikinatti beat enhances the overall emotion of it very well. The song “Pistol Poppin’” is yet another menacing gun tune but this time, we also get the EP’s sole feature from Eminem & his verse doesn’t disappoint. The track “Thoughts of Suicide” is similar to the classic Biggie track “Suicidal Thoughts” or even “Kurt Kobain” by D12 member Proof, who was unfortunately murdered the year before the release of this EP. As Ca$his is venting about his suicidal thoughts over a gloomy instrumental from Ron Browz. The bonus track “Lac Motion” is the last in the track listing & given the title, it’s about cruisin’ down the street in a Cadillac over a smooth instrumental from Eminem. Despite this being Ca$his’ only release with Shady/Interscope, I think it would also be his best. I understand how some would find the gangsta content to be derivative, but he sounds authentic about it & also hungry as Hell. And on top of that, the gritty production suits these rhymes fantastically

Score: 4/5

Yelawolf – “Black Fall” review


Almost 8 months after releasing his 6th mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns, Alabama rapper & Shady Records signee Yelawolf is now releasing his 4th EP & he has enlisted DJ Paul of 3 6 Mafia fame to produce it in it’s entirety. The EP opens with “Get Straight”, which has an hard hitting trap beat & not only are Catfish Billy’s rhyme schemes just batshit insane, but the yelled hook makes you wanna sock someone in the face. The track “Mastermind” talks about being just that & the Pink Floyd sample that Paul uses gives it a super creepy atmosphere. The song “Bowties” with former Slumerican now Strange Music signee Rittz talking about Chevys over another dark yet abrasive instrumental complete with a sample of the classic Metallica song “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. The penultimate track “Party Prophet” if you couldn’t tell is a club banger & this is actually the only song on the entire EP where Paul spits a verse. Needless to say, it was a great fit. The EP closes out with Light Switch, which describes Alabaman life from his perspective over a rap rock/trap fused instrumental. Honestly, I think this is one of Yelawolf’s best releases. His delivery is super energetic on every single song & DJ Paul’s dark abrasive instrumentals compliments these energetic performances fantastically

Score: 4/5

Yelawolf – “Love Story” review

With the release of his major label debut Radioctive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks being 4 years prior & releasing a couple EPs & mixtapes afterwards, Alabama rapper Yelawolf is finally delivering his 3rd full-length album. This is also his first commercial release under his own label Slumerican Records, yet his 2nd with Shady Records & Interscope.

The album kicks off with “Outer Space” which has this fun rap rock vibe to it thanks to WLPWR & Catfish Billy himself sounds hyped to finally be back. The next song “Change” tells the listener about him finally finding himself, but Malay’s guitar-tinged production was just ok to me here. The track “American You” sees Yelawolf singing about an average American man & sonically, it is a full-blown country rock song. The song “Whiskey in a Bottle” raps about coming of age & I was surprised to hear that they used the same sample that Madvillain used for “Supervillain Theme” off their must-have 2004 album Madvillainy. The track “Ball & Chain” sees Yelawolf singing about going from a prisoner to a well known rapper over an acoustic guitar, but it really shouldn’t have been an interlude.

The song “‘Til It’s Gone” sings then raps about not being taken advantage of & I absolutely love the country vibes of it. It was also perfect that it appeared in one of the final Sons of Anarchy episodes. Similar to “American You” being a full blown rock song, the track “Devil in My Veins” is a full blown country song from the instrumental to Yelawolf’s vocals & it’s just ok. The song “Best Friend” is another full-blown rock song with Yelawolf singing about his religious beliefs & the album’s sole feature from mentor Eminem is just angry as Hell. The track “Empty Bottles” has a few corny shot-glass lines near the end of the first 2 verses, but I do like the guitar & the passionate delivery as he discusses his alcoholism. The song “Heartbreak” is a rapped message to his ex-wife Sonora Rosario & while it’s the only song on the entire album to be produced by Eminem, it doesn’t disappoint. Especially since he surprisingly got back with Dr. Dre production underwings Mark Batson & Mike Elizondo to play keys & guitar on it to give the beat that late 90s/early 2000s Dre vibe.

The track “Tennessee Love” is a solid love tune taken from Yelawolf’s last mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns & as for “Box Chevy V”, it’s yet another great tune of his to cruise to & the record scratches weren’t too bad either. The title track raps about not wanting to be forgotten & the beat has an ambitious tone to it. The song “Johnny Cash” sees Yela using one of his idols to talk about stage fright & the sample used in the beat gives it a gloomy atmosphere to it that’s actually pretty nice. The track “Have a Great Flight” is another fully sung yet beautiful tribute to great-grandmother over a some lovely guitar & string sections.

The song “Sky’s the Limit” raps about the American dream over some somber piano chords with some guitars later thrown in & the way he vents about his step-father abusing him on the acoustic penultimate track “Disappear” was very personal. The rapped closer “Fiddle Me This” tells the audiences a few more things he wants to get off his chest before the album ends & while I didn’t expect the fiddle solos & DJ scratches near the end of it, it definitely fits in given the title.

I’m not surprised that this was more country/rock influenced AT ALL, but it does work. I really didn’t have to be 18 tracks/75 minutes long & his prominent singing was ok, but he sounds a lot more comfortable & passionate than he did on Radioactive

Score: 3.5/5

Yelawolf – “Radioactive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks” review


After signing to Shady Records alongside Slaughterhouse earlier this year, Alabama rapper Yelawolf is not hesitating with putting out his major label debut yet his 1st studio album since 2005’s Creekwater. The intro has this decent beat from WLPWR, but Yelawolf’s is going IN both lyrically & delivery-wise. The next song “Get Away” talks about getting drunk over a sample of The Brothers Johnson’s cover of “Strawberry Letter 23” & despite Catfish Billy recycling his verse from the 2011 XXL Freestyle, it still sounds great. Also, the Shawty Fatt verse was decent & Mystikal shows us that he still has it after being locked up for 7 years. The track “Let’s Roll” & the crunk-infused “Hard White (Up in the Club)” definitely sound like party anthems meant for the clubs & radio, but I find them to be pretty fun. The hooks from Kid Rock & Lil Jon respectively fit right in, too. The track “Growin’ Up in the Gutter” with Rittz sees the 2 talking about their rough upbringings & the instrumental sounds chaotic as Hell. The song “Throw It Up” has some nice piano keys & while I did like the guest verse from former 3 6 Mafia member Gangsta Boo in the middle of the track, it’s really the insanely fast verse from Eminem that takes the spotlight. The track “Good Girl” sees Yela telling this girl how good he’ll treat her & the instrumental kinda reminds me of Crush from Warren G’s last album The G Files. The song “Made in the U.S.A.” gets conscious over some pianos & some string sections & the Priscilla Renea hook is pretty nice as well. The song “Animal” gets celebratory over an instrumental from Diplo that sounds like an 80s/90s video game, but the hook from his then-girlfriend Fefe Dobson was actually kinda disappointing. “The Hardest Love Song in the World” is basically Yela talking to a woman who comes from a similar background & while I do like the guitar-instrumental, it doesn’t really make it live up to it’s title. The song “Write Your Name” tells the story of an elderly man & a 16 year old mother before sending endearing message to the people of his homestate over a radio-friendly instrumental from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League & I thought it was really cool that he got a fan to do the hook after she missed out on one of his shows. The track “Everything I Love the Most” has a depressing tone lyrically over a decent rap rock instrumental & the acoustic “Radio” gratefully expresses Yelawolf’s happiness of finally making it as a successful rapper along with being taking a jab at mainstream hip hop of today. The song “Slumerican Shitizen” lashes back at all the people who’ve called Yela white trash & the Killer Mike verse at the tail-end of it enhances the grit & aggression of the track. “The Last Song” is literally just that standard edition-wise & Yela makes good use of it by passionately reflecting on what it was like being raised by a single mother over a set some somber piano chords. The first bonus track “Whip It” talks about him & a chick who likes to party wilding out & the beat will make you wanna do just that. The song “I See You” tells 3 different scenarios in which Yelawolf finds the real you over some pianos & the final bonus track “In This World” is about how there’s no other like him over a decent rap rock instrumental. It’s definitely not better than than Trunk Muzik, but this was still a solid album. I can appreciate that many styles were used on here & Yelawolf is just as much of an entertaining rapper as he was before he got signed. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a classic like The Source did, but it is a fun album & it’s definitely a solid way to introduce Yelawolf to wider audiences

Score: 3.5/5

Yelawolf – “H.O.T.E.L. (House Of The Endless Life)” review


Just about a year & a half after the release of his latest album Love Story, Alabama rapper/singer Yelawolf is now delivering his 5th EP in promotion of launching the new website for his own label Slumerican Records. The EP opens with “Supersonic Alley Cat”, which is mostly a country instrumental up until a hook during the last 30 seconds. The next track “You Should’ve Known” is possibly about his ex-fiancé Fefe Dobson over a spacey piano instrumental & while the first verse is decently sung, the rapid-fire delivered rap verse that follows is just the Catfish Billy that I know & love. The song “Renegades” is pretty much Yela singing about living life like a rebel along with addressing his haters over some guitars & the Royal Blood sample is just ok. The track “Someday” samples the Bob Seger song with the same name & you can truly hear the real frustration in Yela’s voice while he’s rapping the verses on here. The song “In Love Tonight” could very well be the weakest track on here, mainly because I find it to sound unfinished as it just has a hook with a guitar in the background. The penultimate track “Be Yourself” with Slumerican’s latest signee Bubba Sparxxx sees the 2 rapping about not being fake & the instrumental is probably the hardest hitting on the entire EP. The EP then closes out with “Good Love”, which about being in love with this chick he invites to his hotel room over some guitars. Once again, the sung verse is decent but the rapped verse is really where it’s at. While I didn’t see this coming, I found this EP to be a solid prelude to his upcoming 4th album Trial by Fire. It’s very similar to Love Story, but this is way more shorter in contrast to it’s predecessor being nearly 75 minutes

Score: 3.5/5