Music Recommendation – Single – DJ Carisma ft. Tory Lanez, Sage The Gemini, Eric Bellinger, and Mishon, “Anyway”

anywayThe biggest reason I listened to this song, besides the success of DJ Carisma’s last collaboration (which you can check out here), was how this song managed to take three of my favorite underrated RnB singers and put them together on a track. While Tory Lanez sounds a bit too much like Jeremih for my taste, this song is gold for any modern RnB fan.

DJ Carisma does a great job of combining a unique sound with the signature DJ Mustard beat (you know what I’m talking about). It may stick out at first, but it adapts to the vocals very well. All three sung portions sound solid, if not slightly over-autotuned and the hook is almost too catchy (at least for a white boy like myself). Sage The Gemini’s verse is timed right, as I don’t think I would enjoy the song as much if it were any longer. It’s a nasty stanza, but in comparison to the other artists on the “Anyway” Team, I needed it to be quick.

Overall, I would rate this song at:

8.25/10

If you don’t like autotuned vocals, I would keep scrolling. DJ Carisma has proven now, however, that she is an expert at putting together a perfect group for a song. I love RnB, so this may be biased, but her contributions so far has been impressive.

You can check out the song below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Don Benjamin ft. Eric Bellinger, Jealous

Eric Bellinger is the new Ne-Yo of AMP. In other words, it feels like all this site is for is to post about Eric Bellinger’s music. Well, he has been on features promoting his upcoming album Cuffing Season, which is due sometime in January of next year. So here he jumps on a track by Don Benjamin to perform the hook for the song Jealous.

Jealous premiered not too long ago, and it was my first encounter with Don Benjamin. The song is brief, ever so slightly over 3:00. Bellinger introduces it with the hook, but the whole “That’s a no-no” thing is slightly annoying. Otherwise, I thought Don Benjamin’s flow was solid. The rap lines were consistent and on focus, and overall the song is a catchy Hip-Hop track.

There is no real bridge, just a repetition of the chorus. The song has two rap verses, but it is short enough where it does not overstay its welcome and long enough to make it a viable piece of music. Overall, I would rate it at 8.75/10. You can listen to the song below and see what you think:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Eric Bellinger ft. Sasha Jones, Instafamous

Eric Bellinger took a brief hiatus after releasing Choose Up Season, but has returned for his upcoming debut album Cuffing Season. He brings on Sasha Jones to drop his first single, Instafamous, released just yesterday. The song conveys both sides of sentiments relating to women attempting fame via everyone’s favorite ego-boosting photo-based site, Instagram.

The song is excellent in its story and argument, and Eric Bellinger has proved both through his writing and released music that he can tell a story well. I appreciate the honesty out of Bellinger and adding an opposing side to make the track almost a reverse-duet. Eric Bellinger is really taking the RnB front by storm, and I do not mind it. His voice, especially in this song, resembles that of Chris Brown.

The flow is solid, but the auto-tune is a bit more prominent than before. The words can be a bit untranslatable, but otherwise the song is sound. Sasha Jones uses her chance to showcase her beautiful voice, a sound I want to hear more in the future.

Overall I would rate the song at 9.25/10. You can stream the song below and see what you think:

-Austin Heath

Album Review – Eric Bellinger, Choose Up Season

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Eric Bellinger brings us his new mixtape, Choose Up Season, to explain the process of going from single life to a relationship and then back to being single. However, what I love about this is that he numbers the songs chronologically to make a story. Here is his comment on the story of Choose Up Season:

“The single life in LA is wild. And the ‘CHOOSE UP’ can get very real. After you choose up, it’s time to leave the club and get your car from ‘VALET’ before continuing the turn up with a ‘HOUSE PARTY’ at the crib. If things go right, you know she’ll pulling out the ‘NIGHT BAG’ and talking to ‘THE PILLOW’ while the two of you become ‘NIGHT OWLS.’ However, it’s usually agreed upon in the beginning that the two of you will ‘NEVER BE TOGETHER’ and that things are just ‘CASUAL’ until one of them catches feeling and things instantly get ‘AWKWARD.’”

I think this is a cool concept, you get to experience the journey with the artist. Statement courtesy of ThisIsRnB.com. Choose Up Season is only a preview for Cuffin Season, Bellinger’s next project due for release early next year. Did we mention the mixtape was mixed by Swift, member of MIDI Mafia (featuring 50 Cent and Frank Ocean). Now let’s break this mixtape down track by track:

1. Choose Up – Eric Bellinger starts of his mixtape with some a great song featuring a solid beat produced by John $K and A-Major. The introduction is only a couple of minutes but has some sick bars from Bellinger’s singing. The end samples a conversation, not sure from where though. Still a decent track except for the odd finale. 9/10.

2. Valet ft. Pleasure P and Teeflii – Valet is the first real song on the track, and it makes an immediate impression. Bellinger’s vocals are impressive and Pleasure P also sings nicely. Unfortunately his verse seems a little misplaced with the beat. Definitely one of the better songs on the tape, has a lot of catchy parts to it, including the hook. 9.25/10.

3. House Party – While the beginning statement is a bit uncalled for, this song reminds me of a single released by Trey Songz. Sounds very similar to his RnB sound, and I mean that as a huge compliment. The hook is excellent and the voice-overs are beautiful. Probably my favorite song on the mixtape, seriously recommend a listen. Though the end is a bit annoying and vocals can sound a bit auto-tuned, but still great. 9.5/10.

4. Night Bag – This song is a bit fast for me, the lyrics seem crammed into the track. However it is still catchy and the beat is pretty original. Bellinger brought an all-star group of producers to help with the whole mixtape, which is evident on this one. The hook is a little weak but the song is still interesting. 8.25/10.

5. The Pillow – The start is oddly similar to Frank Ocean’s Thinking Bout You, but this song is the climax (no pun intended) of the night, as obvious from the lyrics. While the song is decent, it has an annoyingly repetitive hook and some over-editing. The beat is actually really nice though, and the bridge is definitely enjoyable. I still definitely like the song as a whole. 7.75/10.

6. Night Owls – Night Owls is a bit slower and smoother than the others, and features superb vocals from Bellinger. Has a very sick RnB flow and sound to it. The beat really goes with the mood of the song, and his voice is, though slightly over-edited, solid overall. 8.75/10.

7. Never Be Together – I really enjoy this song, except for the “Aye” every couple of seconds on the hook. Has a serious Chris Brown vibe to it. Good song overall except for some small nitpicking, such as the crammed lyrics (again) in the stanzas. Still a decent track. 9.25/10.

8. Casual ft. Teyana Taylor – I really love this song. No seriously, this is an incredible song. The impressive combination of his voice and the acoustic beat is pretty sick. Teyana Taylor sounds good with Bellinger, and though the repetitive hook can get to you, his sound can easily be compared to Usher. The phone call at the bridge and finale is a little annoying, but does not ruin the song. There is some serious talent provided throughout. 9.5/10.

9. Awkward – Already wrote about it.

So that averages to approximately 9/10, which is very good for a whole album. A mixtape no less! I seriously recommend a listen, time flies by when you’re enjoying quality work like this. All I can say is that I am pumped for Cuffin Season. Get a taste of Eric Bellinger below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Eric Bellinger ft. The Game, Awkward

Eric Bellinger isn’t very popular yet in the music industry, at least solo. His work with  is very underappreciated though, after helping write songs for several prominent celebrities and artists. Along with his writing team, The Writing Camp, he helped create songs including HaloRight Here (Departed), Think Like A Man and Lemme See.

Awkward is his second single preparing for his sophomore album, though this coming LP will be his first alone. The Grammy winner teams up with The Game to deliver the message to a not-so-subtle girl that he’s not interested. The song is a bit explicit but a very good listen, and though the beat is chaotic it gives it the hip-hop vibe it needs. The Game’s verse is nothing memorable but goes well with the song.

Overall I give it a 8.75/10. A decent song but I want to see something big from Eric Bellinger, he definitely has the potential to go far. We’ll see how his next few songs sound, in the meantime give it a listen below:

-Austin Heath