Juicy J – Stay Trippy Review

WE TRIPPY MANE! Yes, it’s that time. Roll one up, ‘pop a bean’ as Juicy would say or just get ready to TURN UP.

Juicy J is an OG in the rap game from being a founding member of the legendary Hip-Hop/Horrorcore group, Three 6 Mafia with other rappers such as DJ Paul, Project Pat, Gangsta Boo and Crunchy Black.

Although Juicy had released two other studio albums before ‘Stay Trippy‘; ‘Chronicles of the Juice Man‘ and ‘Hustle Till I Die‘, there was still only a very small group of fans who were interested in the ratchet lifestyle Juicy proclaimed.
However, Juicy towards the end of 2011, signed a deal with the Taylor Gang emcee, Wiz Khalifa. Although on wax it doesn’t look like a great deal, to say the least, Juicy has remained the same and being signed to a major still hasn’t affected or disallowed Juicy to make the most ratchet, turnt-up and hysterical songs he is known for.

Proceeded by a few mixtapes, most notably, ‘Blue Dream & Lean‘, which is one of Juicy’s most consistent and wildest projects to date, ‘Stay Trippy’, released in the summer of 2013 was a perfect time for the Juice Man to showcase himself as not a demanded featured guest on other people’s records, but also as a solo artist and his diversity of production.

The opening track, ‘Stop It‘, which Mike WiLL Made-It is behind the boards of, provides thunderous production with alien synthesizers, heavy bass and wicked hi-hats. Juicy in this song is declaring his relevance to today’s Hip-Hop industry. Not only was he 38 when ‘Stay Trippy’ dropped, but he showcased to the industry and his haters that he is not like the majority of rappers who have no influence over their competition and peers, but he is their competition.

“Still rich and ain’t gon stop getting rich
Told you niggas I ain’t gon’ never gonna stop getting money” – Juicy J

The second track, ‘Smokin’, Rollin’‘ which features the late-great UGK rapper Pimp C for an unheard verse and sampling The Weeknd’s High For This‘ is a highlight off the album. Not only does Juicy and his second-in-charge, Crazy Mike, re-work Abel’s smooth track into a ratchet trap-track, it shows that Juicy is one of few Hip-Hop artists who works behind the boards as well as being a writer.
One of the best tracks on Juicy’s major studio album is the Young Chop produced and Project PATTTTTAAAA featured banger ‘No Heart No Love‘. First off, out of all the features on this album, Pat’s is one of the best. Anyway, Chop produces a heavy Drill instrumental layered with flattering hi-hats, heavy keys and the love/hate DJ tags of a gunshot and screams. Juicy however, provides verses of the gangster-ific actions he’ll take to keep his enemies in their place. He even goes to the extent of comparing himself of that of a guns’ trigger.

“The trigger ain’t got no heart, the nigga behind it ain’t got no love” – Juicy J

The tracks that come after it, ‘So Much Money‘ and the radio single ‘Bounce It‘ featuring MMG signee Wale and devious Trey Songz, are a waste for the project. Although the latter came out a mere two months before the albums release, like always, radio stations just overplay songs and eventually are the death of them. Coming back to my point, these two on the albums tracklist are two of the weakest. Although they follow J’s typical yet always appealing song-making-formula, there’s something about them that doesn’t give off the same amount of volume as others.

The solo banger, ‘Wax‘, which has Freda Payne‘s ‘I Get High (On Your Memory)‘ vocals pitched to that of a chipmunk and used throughout as a sample to create this wicked smoke-up tune, which you can’t help but smile and think back to all the joints you’ve smoked or have waiting for you back at home. If any rapper could make a love song about weed, it would always be Juicy. Although, New Orleans spitta, Curren$y could with ease do the exact same.

The next track and collaboration is still one of my favourite’s off the album. ‘Gun Plus a Mask‘ is a terrific Trap/psychedelic/gangster inspired bumper. Juicy and Crazy Mike return with subtle hi-hats and a minimal drum-kit that creates an atmosphere of fear. Yelawolf provides one of the best featured verses of his career as well as double-time flow that fits perfectly well with Juicy’s lazy-smokey verse.

“But I’ll get dirty if I gotta get dirtier then a mothafuckin piranha up in a Alabama creek
I’m hotter than you in the middle of the summer
Sitting in a sauna under the sun up in a Alabama street” – Yelawolf

Another pop-inspired like track that shows up on the album and is the first feature from TGOD boss, Wiz Khalifa. ‘Smoke a Nigga‘ is a wavy track which Mike WiLL Made-It produces perfectly with beautiful synths and a sample of vocal harmonies which fit incredibly into the beat. While I’m not one of Wiz’s biggest fans, he still comes through for a sort-of-memorable verse.

Another highlight off the album is the Timbaland produced and forever sexy Justin Timberlake on ‘The Woods‘. Timbaland produces a mellow-lovesick beat, which has Timbo’s signature beat-boxing and drum kit on it as well as keys that sound like they were meant for the first instillation of ‘The 20/20 Experience‘. Although J.T. is only the chorus and would’ve been amazing hearing him doing a verse, Juicy holds the track down by himself well. I couldn’t imagine Juicy doing a track like this before hearing it, but afterwards, an EP or collaborative tape with either Timbo or J.T. (BOTH) would be a nice addition to Juicy’s building discography of a solo artist as well as his ability to move throughout Hip-Hop, Trap and R&B.

Money a Do It“, the following track, is the best solo Juicy track on the album as well as a contestant for the best track on the album. The beat has a dark melody supported by the keys, wild hi-hats and a bass so addictive and irresistible, it’s impossible to not bang your head to and there are incredible Juicy quotes throughout. The breakdown of the beat after the second chorus, which Juicy details extreme gang activity and the lengths he’d or the

modern gangster would go to get the money.

“I got partners that smoke, I got bitches that sniff
I got killers and goons, and they all with the shit”

“Buy that bitch a bag, buy that bitch some beans
I keep her caked up nigga that’s a happy meal
Full of codeine in my Styrofoam cup
I can turn a church girl into a stone cold slut
Bad red bone, puttin’ on the show
No I’m not gon’ wife her cuz she errbody ho”

“And Juicy J throw with some killas on the boat
Best believe I’m a pimp, nigga ain’t goin broke
Ride in the car with a body in the trunk
Three niggas deep, and we rollin’ up a blunt”

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Although the majority of the better songs on the album have already come and gone, alike most studio albums, the last couple tracks are either hit or miss. ‘Bandz a Make Her Dance‘ originally showed up on the bonus track EP of ‘Blue Dream and Lean‘, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne turn up for some ratchet-inspired-bars about the type of action they get up to in the club, and Tity Boi’s opening bar just leaves you speechless.

A$AP Rocky also appears on ‘Scholarship‘ however, the track is another lackluster. Although the beat is banging, both rappers provide some pretty unmemorable verses and is not a track I would show a Juicy J virgin.

To conclude, it is a strong debut project for Juicy entering into the mainstream. Although he’d never not been part of it, it was a great solo debut from distancing himself from Three 6 Mafia and if anything, hopefully ‘Rubberband Business: The Album’ will follow and provide the rest of Juicy’s fans with a project alike to his most recent tapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weeknd – Trilogy Review

Although I could review this project as three different tapes, instead I’m going to break it down into one review focusing on all three mixtapes that The Weeknd initially released before releasing it as a commercial studio debut LP.

House of Balloons‘ (‘High For This‘ till ‘The Knowing‘)

Firstly, the opening track, which has Abel crooning over a thumping bass and singing heavenly over the intense drum background accompanying bass, it is a perfect introductory track for The Weeknd fans who are looking for something not as commercially appetising as his most recent Pop efforts.

The second track, ‘What You Need‘, The Weeknd’s vocals are pitched slightly quieter than the beat, however, this is not a problem. The monotonous sound with dreamy keys, a shaker-like instrument in the chorus and a House like bass shows that not only is The Weeknd a listener and fan of R&B but adds a darker and druggier sound than that of other artists alike to him.

Moving on, a highlight off this section of ‘House of Balloons’ as well as the entire of ‘Trilogy’ is the self-titled intense double house party track, ‘House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls‘. He talks about the extensive drug-use him and his crew would get up to as well as their influence over friends, particularly females, who would come to the parties he would host before the fame. However, at around the 3:32 mark of the track, the beat switches up to a darker and more Hip-Hop inspired instrumental, which has Abel harmonising as well as showcasing a rap-like flow, depicting how cocaine, a continuous popularising drug in todays culture. Sadly, he doesn’t showcase this diversity as much since getting picked up by Republic Records.

“But when the stars shine back to the crib
Superstar lines back at the crib
And we can test out the tables
Got some brand new tables
All glass and it’s four feet wide
But it’s a must to get us ten feet high” – The Weeknd, ‘Glass Table Girls’

One of the slower yet more pop-sounding tracks on the mixtape, ‘The Morning‘ is a definite standout. It’s a sexy ode to recovering from the night before and a follow up to the previous track. The beat has looped guitar strings, a funky bassline, distorted ad-libs of The Weeknd’s vocals on the chorus and a smooth drum pattern. Abel flows effortlessly on the track and depicts a party lifestyle only he knows and could be a part of.

Other songs that stand out on the ‘House of Balloons’ part of the ‘Trilogy’ is ‘Loft Music‘, which Abel tells the explicit story of taking a girl he knows up to his loft to “Play with keys all day”.

Thursday (‘Lonely Star’ – ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’)

Progressing towards the second part of the album, ‘Thursday‘, immediately from the first track of the new section, it is obvious there is a slightly darker, sadder and more aggressive tone. The following track from ‘The Knowing’ is ‘Lonely Star‘, the other main character in Abel’s story revolving around drugs, sex, depression and loneliness. Although Abel tries to emotionally connect with the mysterious ‘Thursday Girl’, the only way to get her attention is through “the cars, the clothes, the jewels, the sex, and the house”.

Progressing from the previous ominous and depressing ‘Lonely Star’, the track straight after is another dark and niche Weeknd song. ‘Life of The Party‘ contains muffled vocals, a thumping drum backing track with hazy hi-hats and gritty guitars. The track describes The Weeknd’s ambition to influence women to come out with him and take drugs by disguising his cruel intentions through the use of drugs.

Out of all three mixtapes, only two guest features pop up. The first one is from previous XOVO collaborator, Drake. On ‘The ZoneIllangelo and Doc McKinney provide emotional keys over a heartbeat of a bass. The Weeknd, sings on the dark yet fearless track about his relationships between multiple girls, yet only thinking of ‘Thursday Girl’. A standout lyric is the exceptionally visually yet heart-wrenching “I’ll be making love to her through you
So let me keep my eyes closed”. Drake provides a cool verse for the track, rapping in his typical sad and lonely tone, adding the same dimension of themes The Weeknd does.

“She said make enough so I can try some
I thought taking drugs just ain’t you, be you
Yeah girl, just be you” – Drake

The Birds (Part 1)‘ and ‘The Birds (Part 2)‘ are also incredible solo standouts from The Weeknd’s discography as well as on the ‘Thursday’ project. He tells the ‘Thursday Girl’ “Don’t make me make you fall in love with a nigga like me, Nobody needs to fall in love”. Straight after that, he say’s he’s just “another bird”. Saying that he won’t be around her forever and provide her with the lavish and experimental lifestyle as he begins reaching fame. On ‘The Birds (Part 2)’, it is a complete switch up of tone as well as pace. It begins with the crying continued from ‘Lonely Star’ and a sudden gunshot. ‘Thursday Girl’ is angered by the nihilistic actions of The Weeknd and begs him to stay with her by offering him pills to keep up their emotionless-based relationship. However, she instead has killed one of the girls he has been seeing. The song is told through the perspective of The Weeknd yet as an eagles-eye view aura. This would make sense in regards to the idea of him being a bird and he will eventually just ‘fly away’ and find other women to interact with.

Other highlights off this section of the album is the electronic ballad ‘Gone‘, an 8-minute freestyle, according to Abel, which showcases his talent in a light different to that on his more commercial releases. He describes the effects drugs and alcohol have on him and how the only interaction he is interested in taking part of is using women for their sexuality and taking enough drugs to “feel gone”. The beat is supplied with panning keyboard keys, glitchy synths and an unorthodox bassline. In the final verse, primarily supported by heavy drum kicks, The Weeknd details his activities with women while under the influence of medicated narcotics, in this case, lean.

“And you’ll never fuckin’ know
I’ll never fuckin’ show it
Except when I be wheezy from another cup of potion
Dirty Sprite toastin’
Fast life, fuck slow
Low life for life” – The Weeknd

To conclude, ‘Thursday’ is a darker, leaner and more ferocious sound than ‘House of Balloons’. The songs are weighed up by The Weeknd’s intense vocal delivery and his ability to sing over experimental production, that at the time, only he could perform over.

Finally, we move on to ‘Echoes of Silence‘, the darkest and strongest part of ‘Trilogy’.

The opening track to the final part of ‘Trilogy’ is a cover of The King of Pop, Michael Jackson‘s, ‘Dirty Diana‘, which I assume for copyright reasons and the recreation of the beat, it was titled ‘D.D.‘. On the first verse alone, there is an uncanny resemblance to the voice of one of the greatest to ever live. Although the track is only a cover, it is still a great inclusion of Abel’s forever building discography.

The following up track, ‘Montreal‘ is a slight change in perception of how The Weeknd will be affected by the women who he meets in his life. In this instance, instead of him being the one who leaves them, it’ll be them leaving him. As well as this, he makes a reference back to his previous mixtape and concept of ‘Thursday Girl’.

“‘Cuz ain’t nobody feels the way that I feel when I’m alone
So if I said that I won’t call
The lying comes natural to me
You probably could have had it all
You could have been that lonely star” – The Weeknd

The track contains interpolations of “Laisse Tomber Les Filles” performed by France Gall and is a consistent theme throughout not just ‘Montreal’ but throughout all of his mixtapes.

Outside‘ is another fabulous and melancholy solo track from Abel. The beat is supported by a crunching bass and erratic drum pattern and African-like symbols. He describes the sexual encounter he would have with women if they have sex with him and enforces the metaphor that once his listeners start becoming enticed by his music, they won’t want to “go outside” as you’d just be too obsessed with the idea of him (If he had stayed like this, with this sound, then I definitely would’ve just stayed inside all the time).

The fourth track ‘XO/The Host‘ is by far one of, the most impressive Weeknd tracks ever. This double sided track begins with strings panning across your headphones before being taken over by drums and faint guitar rips. Abel details that ‘XO’ is his clique and what his crew get up to on the regular.

“I love it when your eyes are red
Ah yea, are you on my cloud yet?
Cause I got a brand new cam, can we video feed, can we POV
Why? I wanna catch you at your best” – The Weeknd.

However, as the second side of the song starts to transition in, Abel talks to one of the girls he’s supposedly with about wanting to her to be part of him. Throughout his mixtapes, he keeps the theme of him being this narcissistic individual who only wants benefits for himself.  ‘The Host’ is one of the darkest tracks he has recorded and over the electronic synths and his harmonies, he beats the track  with boisterous vocals and intense lyrics.

“You said you want me
But I remember who you are
And girl, it wasn’t long ago
Didn’t think I’d go this far” – The Weeknd

The last five tracks of the album and ‘Echoes of Silence’ mixtape are some of Abel’s greatest tracks. The particularly druggy ‘Initiation‘, distorts The Weeknd’s vocals to multiple pitches as to that of him being under the influence of multiple drugs. Specifically cocaine and codeine. If DJ Screw were still about, I’d have loved to hear him give his own Chopped & Screwed version of the track.
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The next song ‘Same Old Song‘ which features the always ‘trippy mane’, Juicy J, is another great addition to Trilogy. The Weeknd sings of a relationship or a girl who uses him for his drugs and to gain something out of his wealth and fame. However, Abel has met numerous women like this and sings of them frequently throughout all three mixtapes. In this instance, he knows what she’s like and too him, she’s not that special but just the ‘Same Old Song’. Sadly, although Juicy is credited as a feature on the track, his brief appearance it a waste as he only adds a short but hilarious interlude at the end. Obviously, he does his typical ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP MANE’ / ‘ WE TRIPPY MANE’ ad-libs and chats shit regardlessly. However, this and ‘One of Those Nights‘ are the only two official tracks the two have come together to do. Yet, Juicy is never scared to show his appreciation for the Canadian superstar and has sampled him for multiple records; one of which is off his major debut album ‘Stay Trippy‘ as well as most recently, ‘Road to Sri Lanka‘ off his ‘Lit in Ceylon‘ tape.

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The final song and self-titled, ‘Echoes of Silence‘ is Abel’s most minimalist and vocally outstanding track. Singing heartbrokenly over luscious synths and deep emotional keys, it is a perfect outroduction to the ‘Trilogy’.

Not only throughout each project does The Weeknd show off his diverse ability to sing, rap or croon over a variety of instrumentals ranging from Techno-House, Hip-Hop, R&B and Rock, he shows that at this point in time, he was truly a musical force to not be screwed with.

If it were only bliss if The Weeknd hadn’t been found and picked up by the majors.

FKA Twigs – EP2

Never listening to the Electronic/Soul/R&B singer, FKA Twigs before, I was hesitant as it isn’t a genre or artist, that I am normally drifted towards. However, after a group of friends played me her and being (slightly) under the influence, I was receptive to the idea of her and her music.

Released towards the end of summer 2013, listening to this extended play the first time does send shock waves of times reminiscent back then.

Anyway, the first track, ‘How’s That‘ is supported by a distorted bassline with deep synths and sporadic hi-hats. Yet, although the beat is all over the place and has an unethical Electronic/Techno/R&B sound to it, supported minimally at the beginning by Twig harmonizing around the beat as it gets more technical and odd with weird video-game sound effects throughout. Although Twigs isn’t singing throughout the entire song, her displaced vocals and distortion of them pave her own little niche genre of Psychedelic R&B.

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The second song, ‘Papi Pacify‘ has a slow instrumental. Twigs sings elegantly over the beat in multiple tones with high-pitched harmonies and monotone verses. It may be to early to say, but maybe the crazy beat-genius Flying Lotus and FKA need to hook up for a creepy, electronic dance track? It’s not like FlyLo hasn’t done it before. FKA doesn’t necessarily need to rely on her voice throughout the whole song, like the majority of pop artists today, yet instead uses short, sweet yet moody vocals and intense beats to carry her sound that sounds like a mixture of Lana Del Rey, Flying Lotus and High Klassified.

The third song on the EP, ‘Water Me‘, starts off with distorted vocals, a Drum and Bass like drum pattern and a once in a while bass kick. FKA sings on the track about a past or present relationship, which she compares her lover to water and that she wants them to ‘water her’. The idea of an individual who is in love or has feelings for someone being compared to the fluidity of water and the essential of it for us humans, is actually, just thinking about it, quite upsetting and I can totally relate to the emotions she projects on the track.

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Finally, the last track on the album, ‘Ultraviolet‘ is probably the most minimalist song on the EP. The beat only contains drum-stick hits, a unorthodox breakdown around a minute in with her vocals mixed into the beat to create a synth-like effect and psychedelic hi-hats.

On a first listen of the female superstar, I was not disappointed, but too be even more brutally honest, I’m disappointed in myself for not listening to her sooner. It was more than a pleasurable listen and I can’t wait to listen to more of her projects and listen to whatever she puts out next.

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Ab-Soul – Control System Review

Not a day goes past that I don’t think about Ab-Soul being one of, if not the most underrated rapper in the Rap game, right now.

He is signed to the powerhouse of a label, TDE, which is home to the rest of the Black Hippy’s, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and ScHoolBoy Q. As well as R&B mistress, SZAIsaiah Rashad and Lance Skiiiwalker.

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Before Ab-Soul released his best project to date, filled with comparing governments to terrorists, religion, empowering oneself through psychedelic drugs and demanding appreciation for his intellect, Ab released three projects all under the name ‘Longterm‘.

However, his 2012 album, ‘Control System‘ couldn’t have been any better and shouldn’t be missed by an Hip-Hop fan; whatever preference of the genre you have.abFrom the start with ‘Soulo Ho3‘ featuring Ab’s closest friend and partner Alori Joh, Ab shows off his lyrical capability as well as how much he is invested into dominating a rap game predominately focused around who has more money, wasteless beefing and a lack of lyricism. It is safe to say that Ab-Soul may not have the media and commercial attention his label partners, ScHoolBoy Q and Kendrick Lamar have, but does he have the same potential to garner that success? No. However, is he a better lyricist/rapper? In my opinion; yes.

“I stopped praying, and I started planning,
I stopped playing, and I made it happen
We mapped it out, and now the map is ours” – Ab-Soul

In these bars extracted from the ‘Soulo Ho3’, Ab is declaring his motives of snatching the rap game and how him and the rest of the Black Hippy collective have all independently (before signing a major deal), came into the industry and how they put themselves out there without the help of a commercialist and back-stabbing industry.

As the tracklist continues and Soulo (HOE!) provides aggressive tracks such as ‘Track Two‘ which Ab calls out anyone to test him and his lyrical competence (I wouldn’t), it is fair to say, only two tracks in and Ab has probably released a better album than the majority of rap albums that came out that year.

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Standouts on the album include the nocturnal ‘Terrorist Threats‘ featuring R&B singer, Jhene Aiko and Detroit’s Danny Brown. Not only do the two talk about how drugs, violence and other dehumanising interventions can ruin and destroy an individuals life, but also affluent areas can be affected by these connotations.

“Peep the concept
You’ve got progress, you’ve got congress
We protest in hopes they confess
Just proceed on your conquest” – Ab-Soul

“Got a nigga stressed, depressed
Got a feeling in his chest and the world’s stripped of happiness” – Danny Brown

Moving on, another lyrically visual track is ‘Pineal Gland‘, a track that is just bars on top of bars on top of more bars. Ab really pushes the boundaries of what makes a lyricist on this track as he makes references to drug-use, gang culture and trying to see the truth of situations. As well as this track, which definitely should have had a music video or some sort of visual treatment is the club-like banger ‘Mixed Emotions‘. The beat is chilled with floating synths, thumping drum toms and a unforgettable lines from the GOAT.

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“They ask me what I like to drink and I say I’m alright
Then all you see is my purple sprite, glistening off of the strobe light
No jolly ranchers please, this Ac’ is all I need
I hope it ain’t cliché to shoot Pimp C a RIP
As well as DJ Screw since I made up this tune about lean” – Ab Soul

Towards the end of the track, we’re also blessed by uncredited BJ the Chicago Kid vocals that shoutout Ab “loves the po'”.

ScHoolBoy Q also makes an incredible guest appearance on ‘SOPA‘, which is one of the heavier tracks on the album, but as the previous tracks depict, it is not one to miss out as both Black Hippies go for a verse each before going back and forth for a pretty LiT back-and-forth outro.

The main and most important track on this album has to be Ab’s 5 minute autobiography ‘The Book of Soul‘. Not only does the rapper compare his life to the story of Job, but also uses it to dedicate his love and overall project to his ex/deceased partner, Alori Joh. The track is filled jazzy drums, beautiful keys and heartbreaking lyrics. There’s not a time when I’m not listening to the song and I actually feel something for the man. This song alone tops the majority of rap songs released between 2012 and now.

“So now I’m so doped up, I think I’m flyin’
I hope the spliff will never finish
I guess the Mayans wasn’t lyin’
2012, my world ended
You used to say that I could see the future
You was wrong, cause you was in it” – Ab-Soul

It is safe to say (in my opinion) that Ab-Soul’s first major studio LP really shows off his talent as a lyrical champ and deserves more recognition than more of the rappers out today. Not saying I’m not a fan of them, but give the people who really shine the light they deserve.

 

 

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib -Piñata REVIEW

 

The first couple of listens of ‘Piñata‘ were difficult.The production is heavily samples, which I have no problem with, but in regards to mastering and mixes, it was very Lo-Fi and reminiscent of the still underrated and under-appreciated Three 6 Mafia debut ‘Mystic Stylez‘. However, the real struggle was trying to listen to the incredibly vocal Freddie Gibbs over production which didn’t (at that point in time) make sense to me. His vocals didn’t sound mixed well over the beats and at times, figuring out what he was saying was a nightmare.

However, after two years and intensely listening to the album multiple times back-to-back, I was finally able to see the pixelated but vivid story that the Indiana gangster-rapper was producing.

The first thing Freddie did right in the come-up to the release of ‘Piñata’ was enlist legendary producer and part time rapper, Madlib. A name in Hip-Hop production that should always be praised for his unique production style and the alter-ego that has also allowed him to be recognised without even seeing him.

Anyway, features on this album are nearly as important as Freddie’s partner in crime; Madlib, for this instance. Detroit native, Danny Brown, shows up on the wavy looped instrumental of Freda Payne’s ‘I Get High (On Your Memory)‘. Odd Future members Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis provide incredible smoked-out verses to the chilled out ‘Robes’ and FLATBUSH ZOMBiE, Meechy Darko appears on the posse-cut and final track of the album for a verse that is not to be missed.
From the start with the grizzly ‘Scarface‘, which quote, Gangsta Gibbs “was the most difficult track [to rap on].” It sets the atmosphere of the album. An album that will testify as an ode to Gangsta-Rap still being a credible sub-genre of Hip-Hop.

The second track, ‘Deeper‘, which has a looped sample of strings or a high-pitched synth and ‘screwed up’ vocals on the hook show a story that only Freddie could tell of a destructive environment he is a product of while still attempting to be an honourable role model and be a man.

Another track that also stands out amongst the rest is ‘Real‘, a subliminal but blatantly obvious dig at the ATLien, Young Jeezy. The first minute of the beat is filled with intense drums, xylophon-like keys quietly in the background and quick guitar strums and a quick-2Pac-like-flow from Freddie, that sounds inspired from ‘Me Against The World‘. However, when the beat switches up to a laid-back instrumental and Freddie provides vigorous bars towards his ex-label mate without sounding remorseful or sorry to air out one of the most successful rappers from the south.
“Don’t make me expose you to those that don’t know ya
Man you said you the realest nigga in this motherfucker, check it
But Ross had you scared to drop a diss record” – Freddie Gibbs.

Although Ross and Jeezy squashed the beef, there’s no doubt that Freddie’s bars are ‘Real’.

Before we (w)rap this up, one of the finest tracks on the album that makes me just wanna kick back, roll a joint and just slow dance in front of a cabin fire is the smooth and sexy BJ The Chicago Kid collaboration on ‘Shame‘. The drum pattern sample is jazzy, the strings are luxurious and as always and consistently throughout the album, Madlib provides some of the best instrumentals to Hip-Hop.

As always, Madlib will provide extremely experimental instrumentals, crafted specifically for that particular rapper. In this case, Madlib’s test subject was Freddie Gibbs. He provided Freddie with a variety of instrumentals which Freddie tackles with raspy flows and vivid storytelling that makes you wonder where the visuals for this movies soundtrack?

P.S. SHOUTOUT MADLIB FOR RELEASING ‘Piñata‘ AS AN INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM AS WELL. ONLY BLESSINGS FROM THIS G.

 

 

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