Thursday, January 20, 2011

[ALBUM REVIEW] Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids

Any fan of Wu-tang is probably more than pleased with the releases the old-school crew has given us. Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II was amazing. Wu-Massacre gave us a refreshing taste of three key members of the crew. This year is suppose to continue with Raekwon's highly anticipated Shaolin Vs. Wu Tang. But back to the album at hand, Ghostface Killah's newest effort Apollo Kids.

King Vic - Fantasy Man & Like This

These tracks are not off 'The Gauntlet' but definitely serve as hype music. Show some love!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

[ALBUM REVIEW] Diddy Dirty Money - Last Train To Paris

Alright as soon as you pop in this CD (or download the entire album; depending on your preference) and you hear the first couple of tracks and you develop your opinion, it most likely wont change listening to the rest of it. It's not to hate on the album but I found that once I got to track 5, I thought it was all just one track.

The album starts off with a somewhat pointless intro. If anything allow the beat and production of the first track to give you an idea of what you're in for (now I know that's the point, but it's always not a good indication). Diddy has been around for quite some time now and he is an example of the changes found in the genre of music. Not to be bias because different song types attract different people but if you're not feeling the whole "club love" thing, just understand that 5 of the tracks have the word love in it.

So this review is going to be based on what the albums trying to do, think about love. The production found in this album may be enough to get you to move (As On The Floor) but don't expect much lyrically. Many of the verses consist of simple words and well probably aren't even rapping (in Diddy's case).

I'm going to avoid going track to track on this review so I'll continue on the overall effort. The features range from most of today's "stars". However, the features weren't enough to get over the fact that I didn't believe Diddy really brought it to the project, the two girls pretty much did what they were there to do, sing.

I'm going to cut this one short simply because there's not much more to say. If you know what you want out of music and what you listen to then it's all your personal preference. This album however is far from ground breaking. It falls short from previous efforts from Diddy and more importantly Bad Boy. Last Train To Paris has pretty much one sound from beginning to end. If that's what your into then that's what your into.

FINAL RATING: 4.5/10 On To The Next One

Keep That Shit On Replay (sort of):

-Angels (Featuring Notorious B.I.G. & Rick Ross)

[ALBUM REVIEW] T.I. - No Mercy

Alright so this is our first album review over here @ Crown Squad Music, and we have chosen none other then the self-proclaimed "King of The South" T.I.'s latest effort 'No Mercy'. Before we begin, we rate the albums on a scale of 1-10 (simply because people may feel that a rating of say 2.5 out of 5 is neither good or bad where as 5 out of 10 is well for lack of better terms leaning more towards the 'bad' category). Feel free to comment, post your own opinions, etc. 

T.I. has most definitely established himself as a hip-hop heavyweight. So when reviewing an album from him, you generally compare it to his previous efforts (there’s no competition like yourself). Although No Mercy will probably not reach the likes of TIP’s previous effort 2008’s Paper Trail, it is still a relatively solid listen and will keep the ball rolling for T.I. (if he can manage to stay out of jail). 

Right off the bat the intro track featuring Kayne & Cudi ‘Welcome To The World’ delivers a satisfying listen. Now it’s not the track you’d hope to hear given the talent but it does serve the purpose of getting the ball rolling.

‘How Life Changed’ & ‘Get Back Up’ both follow up with T.I. revisiting roots and sharing his thoughts with fans on the whole jail ordeal (whether or not you want to hear about that is your choice). Neither track is disappointing, but may not deliver much replay value to listeners (Get Back Up of course already making much radio rotation).

I’m going to chose to skip over ‘I Can’t Help It’ simply because given T.I.’s previous hit-makers, this lacks that same feeling we received from previous singles. Which takes us to the Eminem assisted ‘All She Wrote’. Being two fan-favorites, there is a high expectation found for TIP & Shady especially after ‘Touchdown’ (The collab from 2007’s T.I. Vs. T.I.P), which failed to meet fan expectations. Much different can be said about this collab however. Both Slim & T.I. go in and deliver a solid track. This track stands out as one of the better listens.

The title track off the album featuring The Dream also serves as a high point of the album. “Could it be possibly, the second coming of Pac is me?” Whether or not you choose to agree or disagree, it’s a solid listen.

The next little bit of the album ranges from satisfactory to same old album fillers. ‘Strip’ featuring a very simple hook from Trey Songz, is enough to get a music video and radio airplay given its direction to please the female listeners. ‘Amazing’ featuring Pharrell may not be what fans hoped for, however I will admit that Pharrell’s hook sticks in the mind. ‘Everything On Me’ feels like he’s attempting to recycle formula’s used in pervious tracks.

‘Poppin Bottles’ featuring Drake is another enjoyable track for the club. Nothing spectacular but deserves a few listens. I am going to again choose to skip another track seeing how ‘Lay Me Down’ does not go with the concept the album has given us to this point (ironically it’s the second last track). ‘Castle Walls’ gives us a unique collab between T.I. and Christina Aguilera and another solid track. It fits as a finale to the album and allows T.I. to give us his final thoughts on all he’s been through with the media and jail time.

So, is No Mercy a step up for the ‘King of The South’? Die hard fans might not think so. The album is still a good listen delivering both satisfactory and great tracks. Not as good as his previous album but is enough to keep us through the wait until he’s out and ready for another album.

FINAL RATE: 7.5/10 Good

Keep That Shit On Replay:

-All She Wrote (Feat. Eminem)
-No Mercy (Feat. The Dream)
-Castle Walls (Feat. Christina Aguilera)