Category Archives: Albums

El Cannon: New Freedom

El Cannon ReviewEl Cannon’s “New Freedom” is a masterful hip hop record worth your time. The record starts with “Lord Knows” and there’s a slow build up to it but once it starts, it’s great. It’s a very easygoing tone of voice. He’s got compassion intertwined with a realness. Come “Real Niggas” it’s clear that El Cannon doesn’t play around. He’s about keeping it straight with his rhymes. When it comes to “Outkast,” he has a winner on his hands. You don’t really hear a lot of songs like this in hip hop. It’s more a subject matter for pop punk and rock, but this idea of the outsider – it’s beautifully done here. It’s pretty chill when it comes to this record but we get a little pep in the step as we get into “Ridin Low.” What I appreciate about this record is that it sounds well done. Things are crisp and clear and you don’t ever feel like you’re listening to an underground artist. El Cannon has his bases loaded and this one is hitting it out of the park. Check out “New Freedom,” out now.

Phase Aka: Table’z Turne’d

Phase Aka ReviewPhase Aka’s latest “Table’z Turne’d” dropped this past January and if you haven’t got a chance to listen yet – where have you been? With a slick intro that then leads into “I Will Neva Change,” Phase Aka takes things in a chill manner and doesn’t overdo it when he laments that he’ll be the same, forever and always for he’s true to himself. Now that you know he’ll always stay who he is, he deals with some “Pressure” and tells more of a story here in an offbeat manner. Something learned in “Mean Girls,” we enter “Frenimes” with an interesting musical composition that takes this song to a new level throughout. In “How We Live” we get a more traditional, modern take on hip hop while we hit the club with “Thot Juice.” If you’re a fan of Brooklyn hip hop, check out Phase Aka’s “Table’z Turne’d,” out now. (http://phaseaka.bandcamp.com/album/tablez-turnd)

Ceo Carter: iCeo

Ceo Carter ReviewMichigan’s Ceo Carter is dishing out something quite different on his latest, “iCeo.” Starting out with the title track, he doesn’t miss a beat as he approaches the mic with an intensity and a fervor. Right after that “F**k Ya Mean” comes through with a drama building intro that finally comes through with a lot of attitude and a fine line paying homage to Gary Coleman’s best. Flint Po hops on “My Mind” and together they give that same attitude as the last but are more raw with it. Towards the end if “iCeo” we hear that familiar drama as “Come Up” starts, as things come to a close with a piano driven “Confessions.” This record is solid if you’re a fan of hip  hop that takes an alternative route, check out Ceo Carter’s “iCeo,” now. It just dropped, so it’s hot off the presses and ready to go. (http://ceocarter.bandcamp.com/)

Big Pure: Respect The Plug

Big Pure ReviewBig Pure’s “Respect The Plug” comes at you like a delicious, balanced meal. Opening up with “Sandlot Gang,” Big comes out swinging and it’s a homerun. The hook is sick and continues to live on long after the song is done. It’s one of those songs you could hear as a theme or on a commercial for a brand. It’s got staying power. In “We Waxx” we slow it down and it’s a whole different story coming through. It’s more a story than a catchy mixtape creation. Moving onto “FMJ!” the energy level is brought back up and Big gets a little fierce with the delivery, but what remains is what we heard from the start, that hook. It’s a back and forth dance as we then lighten up with “Diamond Girl” and here I want to shout out the sweet music in the background. Over everything, that’s the star of this track. Closing out this record is “Maybe(M)” and it does so with some R&B notes and a lot of heart as things smooth over. For an album that has good variety of styles, look no further than Big Pure’s “Respect The Plug,” out now. (http://www.datpiff.com/BIG-PURE-Respect-The-Plug-mixtape.706145.html)

MALLG: Definition of a Hustler

MALLGStraight out of the Southside, MALLG is dropping his anticipated “Definition of a Hustler.” The record starts off with “The Definition” and it creates a mood that can’t be denied. If you’re into rap that doesn’t play well with others, this is for you. It’s not the rap you’d hear at the end of a happy go lucky movie, this is for those who like it raw. He continues with the hard edge in “Brand New” but here the music eases things a bit but the bite is still has harsh as the last. We couldn’t move forward without talking about “The Hustler.” We just mentioned ease and this one throws you for a loop because it has a definite soulful feel. He shows a whole different side of what he can do here. He sounds a little cinematic in “Woop Dee Woop” with a Nicki Minaj-like fellow emcee helping him on on this joint. If you’re a fan of rap that comes with a huge dose of high powered grit, check out “Definition of a Hustler” by MALLG, out now. (http://www.datpiff.com/MALLG-Definition-Of-A-Huslter-mixtape.758457.html)

Sunspinnaz: Stream Of Thoughts

Sunspinnaz ReviewYou don’t hear from too many rappers from up north. Yes, there’s Drake – but who else do they got? To answer that right away, Sunspinnaz. More than one voices make up this rap group and last year they came together to drop “Stream Of Thought.” Opening with “Dreamscape,” we hear what could be compared to a LA rap feel with a modern twist because you could hear this cruising down the Venice Beach boulevard. We get some rock inspired riffs as “Sleeping With The Wolves” comes into play, while “The Seductress” comes through with a seductive manner. When you dive deeper into the record, what it rounds out to be is a playful album that is well performed and crafted that you’d find on the playlists of college kids from Canada to LA to back east. It has this youthful spirit without that’s undeniable. If you’re into artists like Wiz Khalifa and Shwayze, check out “Stream Of Thought” by Sunspinnaz, out now. (http://sunspinnaz.bandcamp.com/album/stream-of-thought)

Shawty Wee: Da Re-Up

SHAWTY_WEE_Da_Re-up-frontWhen you want things to start and never stop, dive into Shawty Wee’s latest mixtape, “Da Re-Up.” It comes at you fast with the first track, “Just Cooling.” There’s nothing chill about this track. It’s an intense look at the emcee’s start and what he’s all about today. Speaking about what he’s all about…”All Bout Money” is a throwback to when rap started to be about the Benjamins, but it has this modern sound to it. In “Dice Game” Shawty sets things up for a party vibe, but it actually remains a laid back trip through the end. Rolling into “My Dayz” we hear a maturation of the rhymes. It goes from the money and the streets to something with a little more substance. If you’re a fan of artists like Lil Wayne and Tyga, check out Shawty Wee’s latest, “Da Re-Up,” out now. (http://www.datpiff.com/SHAWTY-WEE-Da-Re-up-mixtape.744956.html)

Era Tha Kidd: G.R.I.N.D

Era Tha Kidd ReviewEra Tha Kidd’s “G.R.I.N.D” is his latest and it’s making some waves in the hip hop scene. The intro goes for longer than expected, but it sets the tone for the rest of the record. We then head into “Nothing Was The Same” and it’s a little slow at first with a skit but then Era Tha Kidd comes in and he tells his tale in a chilled manner. We keep that laid back demeanor going strong with “Like Me.” In which it sounds a little like if Akon went into actual rap and not mainstream hip-pop. We then head into something that has more bite with “I’m On It.” If you’re a fan of hip hop that’s on the same level as the likes of Tyga and Wiz Khalifa, check out Era Tha Kidd’s “G.R.I.N.D,” out now. (http://www.datpiff.com/Era-Tha-Kidd-GRIND-mixtape.598244.html)

Fred J: Addicts Like ME

fred j reviewFred J’s “Addicts Like ME” is perfect from start to finish. Kicking off with “Cleantime Celebration,” we get this hype beat that sounds like it could kick off any night down at the club. The title track takes it down a notch, with clean lines – this one sounds like something you’d hear on the radio today. We get some inspiration with “Be Somebody” and “Nobody Like Jesus,” while get a sense of romance in “My Girl” and find a little of an Ice Cube sound towards the end of “Gotta Find My Way Out.” Fred J has a well-rounded record on his hands with “Addicts Like ME.” He brings modern day hip hop and intertwines it with some throwback west coast sounds, while building and creating a reality with his lyrics. Check out Fred J’s “Addicts Like ME,” out now. (http://www.cleantimerecords.com/)

Smoke: Kendall Jenner – Who Am Eye?

Smoke ReviewSmoke’s latest “Kendall Jenner – Who Am Eye?” is out now and we’re getting into it. It starts off with a slow jam, “Root Of All Evil,” and then picks up with a what sounds like a radio favorite, “Letter 2 God.” As we roll along, “Pu$$y Game” starts off kind of rocky, but finds its footing in the end. It’s definitely a song that would make someone blush. As soon as that one ends and we think this is all about being a player, but then “I Need You” comes through and showcases some heart. In “Music Industry” I expected to hear more digs at the realm, but it was a little light. In the end Smoke has a great set of tracks in his bag on “Kendall Jenner – Who Am Eye?” out now! (www.datpiff.com/SMOKE-Kendall-Jenner-Who-Am-Eye-mixtape.741856.html?utm_campaign=piff.me&utm_source=&utm_medium=piff.me)