New Music Quick Reactions Oct 29

Anything not covered in this article is either in the process of review or we haven’t thought of it… if what you want reviewed becomes the latter please let us know.

Singles

  • Evil Twin by Powers Pleasant ft Denzel Curry and ZillaKami: A new track from a rising heavy rap personality featuring two equally promising guests. The beat drops hard, the mixing is amazing, the features are seamless. This song is a straight-up banger. (B+)
  • I’m Cool With That by T Pain: Like fine wine, T Pain is aging well in the young-man’s R&B industry. This new track is just a simple guitar and beat with layered vocals and its fire. It’s also not cliché, which is something T Pain’s songs have suffered with. (B+)
  • Green Juice by A$ap Ferg ft Pharell Williams: Ferg’s most recent output has been disappointing considering his immense potential. This song is a callback to his original singles (ex. Shabba) but also adds the hit-and-miss musings of Pharell. Although an odd combo, Green Juice holds its own if a little murky and lacking drive. (B)
  • Sign Language by YG: On this track the massive rap hit, YG, raps over an early-2000’s west coast beat. The finished product works really well and his bars are effortless. (B)
  • Cartier Lens by Bobby Shmurda: Refreshing to hear him release his first single since being released from prison. Production is nothing special but his rapping has become more versatile. Comes off a little bland and might be best served in a workout mix. (B-)
  • I Will by Gregory Porter: Classic R & B singer Gregory Porter drops another new signal, his second since his last album All Rise. This track adds a backing choir, something he has not done previously, but other than this it feels similar to many of his previous tracks and never really takes off. (B-)
  • Demon High by Lil Uzi Vert: Hopefully this signals a new project in the making. What’s odd about this track is that it’s a pop beat but Uzi does not keep up with its energy. The finished product is forced and the best part is when he reverts to rapping. (C+)
  • Enemy by Imagine Dragons ft. JID: At this point, Imagine Dragons have not put out a good song since their Evolve album and this song does not break that streak. This track is barely held together and is only saved from a “D” grade by the JID feature. (C)

Albums

  • Sorry I’m Late by Buju: This EP, by Nigerian afro-pop singer Buju, is a bright, if somewhat formulaic, collection of songs. A couple of the songs are catchy, Daniel Benson and Never Stopped, but the more interesting tracks are on the back half of the project and implement more traditional vocals. This is a really refreshing project and is worth a listen. My initial impression= B+
  • Elephant in the Room by Mick Jenkins: The South Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins is somewhat of a phenom but his projects to date have been lethargic and unwieldy. With Elephant in the Room, Jenkins makes a series of tight tracks that blend well and are consistently good. Technically, Jenkins drops some of his best bars yet and his performance is complemented by mostly good features. As far as production, the tracks aren’t mixed very well but the beats are fair to good. My initial impression = B
  • Intra-1 by Theon Cross: This new LP from tubist Theon Cross, member of the band Sons of Kemet, carves out a space between jazz, electronica, hip-hop, afro-pop and funk. This project is almost impossible to evaluate in a short time but, at first glance, it is technically brilliant and flows well from track to track. The genre hopping is a little odd but Cross owns it well and most songs land. My initial impression = B (but definitely not for everyone)
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