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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Deeper Than Rap - Rick Ross

(((Rating: 3)))

Bangers: Maybach Music 2, Magnificent, Usual Suspects, Rich Off Cocaine, Bossy Lady, Face

This may be a bit tardy but better late than never right? Anyhow, Rick Ross is one of those artists where he catches you off guard and you find yourself wanting to hear more and more of what he does. However, let's be honest, is it his content or is it merely the music he selects? Most will either love his style or hate it...but does it get any deeper than this? Let's see...

Mafia Music - Dramatic and dark but laid-back. Ross raps with finesse and ease as if he has a glass of cognac and a cigar burning in an ashtray. Very nice introduction to a luxurious hood story.

Maybach Music 2 - Justice League does it again with this one and believe it or not T-Pain doesn't sound half bad on this as he sings the hook, "Listen to my Maybach mussiiicc...". Kanye and Lil' Wayne are also featured on this track. However, nothing beats the original song Maybach Music feat Jay-Z.

Magnificient - If you can picture women, champagne, yachts, and luxury, this song completely embodies that essence. It's the epitome of grown and yes, sexy. Drop the tops on this one as John Legend croons, "Swimming in women, champagne sipping..."! YES!

Yacht Club - I'm starting to feel Justice League has definitely been on to something with their use of samples and production. While this isn't a favorite, it's definitely a song you may play all the way thru. Magazeen is also featured here on the hook!

Usual Suspects - "Getting rich in a rush...usual suspects..." Rick and Nas take this finger-snapping/head-bobbing song to good heights.

All I Really Want - Another sexually charged Dream production that can be skipped with the slight techno-ish beat. Not bad but definitely not a favorite.

Rich Off Cocaine - Roll down your windows. Light whatever it is you smoke. Recline your seats...YES! "All that living fast, it aint got to last....cause I'm sitting on top of the world and I'm not coming down." Ross releases alot of steam here when you listen closely. Me likey alot! Rewind this one.

Lay Back - "If you came to get the party started, girl just say...", Robin Thicke sings over a highly synthed, heavy bassed track. A fresh kinda sexy look for Rick and Robin.

Murda Mami - Foxy B. is back on the track with Ricky Ross in a track that makes me think of Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek circa Jay-Z Vol. 2/3 era. Definitely something for hip-hop heads who appreciates vintage Fox.

Gunplay - Rick opens this one up and channels a bit of Jeezy and Jay-Z's Blueprint here although the only guest appearance is Gunplay. Very nice track and Rick's lyrics are very aggressive here as he rides the beat pretty easy.

Bossy Lady - If the lyrics and Ne-Yo's voice doesn't capture your ear, the heavy bass and seductive chimes surely will. This song is the also the epitome of sexy! Repeat x3! "Baby you, you shine just like I do..."!

Face - Trina is raunchy, raw and real! She holds not a punch here as she opens the equally aggressive and hard-hitting track with, "I fuck em once, I fuck em twice, I fuck em three times, then I change ur life..." Ross takes charge here too which balances Trina's in your face persona. One of my favs! "I'm gettin faced..." YES!

Valley of Death - Very laid-back and classic as Rick raps as though he is writing in a musical diary. "If I could leave this place, with a smile on my face..." Wonderful.

In Cold Blood - Pretty dramatic track laced with horns and a nice drum beat. Ross raps about hits and women and Louis Vuitton and of course money but most importantly the man who has underestimated and also embarassed Ross, 50 Cent. He sends a strong message here. We're listening Ross but is 50?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Epiphany - Chrisette Michele

(((Rating: 4.5)))

Bangers: Epiphany, What You Do, Blame It On Me, Another One, I'm Okay, All I Ever Think About

Fresh on the scene in 2007 with her unique vocals and beautifully written words and harmonies, Chrisette Michele is back and better than ever. Epiphany shows Chrisette in a different but welcome tune, leaning towards more urban melodies and expanding her production to the likes of fellow pop star and genius producer Ne-Yo. Could this be an epiphany?...

Epiphany - Hard-hitting with pleading piano keys. "It's over, it's over." Excellent choice for a first single. This is the anthem for every young lady who has ever been hurt or cheated on, dissed or forgotten.

Notebook - Any girl who has ever kept a journal or doodled in her lifetime can relate to this one. "Write in my notebook, x's and o's beside your name...only my notebook knows how I feel, my heart is on every page". Nice r&b melodies and Chrisette sings as though she has surely been here.

What You Do - "Say it with ur actions..." Yes! This rhythm and its harmonies has Ne-Yo's charm written all over it but in a good way. Chrisette's voice mixes very well. A definite summer hit! :)

Blame It On Me - Begins with a simple kick drum and synth that leads into a progressive and looped piano backing. "You can say whatever you'd likeeee, as long as we just say goodbyeeee...." Extremely heartfelt and the type of song that helps you get past a certain exhaustion in love. Very triumphant and sincere.

All I Ever Think About - Thumping with intermittent piano and guitar winds throughout the song. While the hooks aren't my fav, Chrisette sings the shit out of the verses in a sultry, woman loves her man type of way. Repeat.

Playing Our Song - Definitely not a favourite, as the beat sounds as if it had been recycled or is very random. Very poppish. Next.

Another One - Looped guitars, Ne-Yo-esque feel, nice drum beats... it will put you in the mind of "Irreplaceable" but in a good way actually. A fresher way. "I'm so over wondering what you've done, 'bout to be on to another one..." Very well done.

On My Own - Very mellow as though you are floating thru rooms in a house. This is a fresher, crisper Chrisette and much needed.

Fragile - Mechanical and unique beat and almost Amy Winehouse-ish. Anyone who knows Amy knows, she has some of the best production. Chrisette hollers and sings here..."boy don't tell me noooo, ooh my heart is fragile..."! Me likey.

Mr. Right - The intro here is beautiful and leads into a very classic, Motown feel. "You are my Mr. Right...(I can't move, I can't think, I can't speak)." Classic in a Lauryn Hill kinda way.

Porcelain Doll - Very triumphant and progressive piano and drum beat. "If you wanna cradle me like a little girl and lock me down, I'm not your possession, I'm a full grown woman. I am not your porcelain doll." Another anthem for the ladies.

I'm Okay - "Time don't stop and wait for pain, pain does fade away in time..." Very dramatic and dark and heartfelt and will bring you to tears if you're unstable. Should be the backing to a scene in a movie. She is singing "I'm okay" but clearly trying to convince herself as she sings the snot out of this one as well. Awesome song! Damn, Chrisette!

If you are looking for real music, look no further! :)