Music Recommendation – Single – Jeremih ft. J. Cole, “Planes”

jeremihSince we are skipping the intro, let’s just act like the song starts at about 17 seconds in. The song’s lyricism takes quality over quantity and shoves it down Jeremih’s throat as he spits it back out. The music is catchy and could be fun to play back and enjoy after retaining the words. J. Cole’s role, however, is definitely the highlight of this track.

The song just released early this week, and if you have not kept track, lately I have written about J. Cole quite a lot. His verse has a sing-songy but rhythmatic tone to it and feels more on-subject than Jeremih’s lyrics. The song is mostly interesting due to his feature, but I can find the appeal in both roles.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

6.75/10

You can check out the new song and hear it first below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – J. Cole, “Wet Dreamz”

j-cole-forest-hills-driveAfter I finished listening to 2014 Forest Hills Drive, I realized two things: First, that J. Cole may be my favorite rapper and one of the best currently performing, and that “Wet Dreamz” was my favorite song on the album. The song was honest and relatable, and has a sort-of twist ending. It is a humorous but personal Hip-Hop track that tells a story, which J. Cole has admitted he is best at.

The song has incredible, though slightly cringeworthy bars and a consistent flow. The beat is a bit lazy but sets the mood well. Production was mostly the biggest concern on the album anyways. The chorus repeats the same line annoyingly, but it fits into transitioning the stanzas and telling the story.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

You can view the song below, and I suggest checking out Cole’s album, as it is one of the best Rap albums of 2014:

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Favorites Friday – J. Cole ft. Trey Songz, “Can’t Get Enough”

j-coleSince I finished Forest Hill Drive today, I thought I would give J. Cole a nod in an article by citing one of my favorite Coleworld song. I would say this is slightly ahead of Work Out and that amazing Intro for favorite J. Cole songs all-time. Can’t Get Enough was full of excellent bars and Trey Songz’s chorus is different but something new and interesting.

The beat always slightly annoyed me, though it does it right on the chorus. Otherwise, it just felt overbearing. J. Cole just has a bit of trouble with production, but if he can get that together, his music will be unstoppably powerful.

Let it be said that I love J. Cole and his music. Now that I’m done being that guy who comments under every J. Cole post saying “Coleworld” and riding certain genitalia, I have to say that this song is hardly perfect. It may be one of Cole’s more unfocused tracks lyrically (at least compared to his other works), but it is one of his catchiest and is always a fun listen.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

Go ahead and enjoy one of my favorite songs below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – J. Cole, Apparently

j-coleI have only heard a couple of songs off J. Cole’s new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, but this is definitely my favorite so far. The song is complex and features both sung and rapped vocals by Coleworld. It is deep and emotional, but also has that aura of tough Hip-Hop that J. Cole is great at balancing.

J. Cole reminds me of Eminem in his lyricism and balance, but seems to have a better grip on his morals and finds success in speaking complete truth about his life. Everything he says feels so raw and straight from his mouth. As you get deeper into the song, it becomes tougher and more like the stereo-type Hip-Hop sound most people listen for.

This song’s appeal is how entertaining it is throughout and, while there is a chorus that catches on, the song’s pace and sound switches up in a convincing way that makes it stand out from other Rap music. In a year of such awful Hip-Hop music, J. Cole definitely provides some warmth while Rap fans freeze their balls off.

Overall, I would rate this track at:

9.5/10

I wish I could give it a perfect 10, I really do, but the voice cracks on the intro and slighly less meaningful lyricism as the song begins to cap knock it down a bit. Otherwise, this is a truly remarkable Hip-Hop/Rap song. I want to hear J. Cole’s new album in full, which does feature Apparently on it. In the meantime, you can hear the song and watch its music video below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Waka Flocka Flame, Fire Squad (Remix)

waka-flocka-flameThe “remix” of Fire Squad by the guy famous for hiring a blunt-roller (benefits and everything) is actually not half bad. I have been partial towards a couple of Flocka songs, but this is definitely his strongest verse. The flow is solid and and whole piece stays on focus and feels personal.

Taking a song by J. Cole and attempting to make it better is usually near impossible, but Waka Flocka Flame puts a tough spin on the already dope beat and makes this a mean verse. I am a big J. Cole fanboy, so to take one of his beats and put your own taste onto it can be dangerous. However, despite being quiet for a while, Flocka came back strong.

The “remix” is hardly that, and features no real hook. If something to go back to had been included, I might find this song a bit more appealing. The verse is still his best though, and its over two and a half minutes straight. So overall, I would rate it at:

9.75/10

Flocka still needs a blunt-roller by the way, as he states so at the end of the track. This verse is rather impressive, and while a hook is not really needed, it could have added some extra appeal and made this a perfect Hip-Hop track. This is gangster without being overly-intimidating and unrelateable.

You can stream the Fire Squad “flocmix” below:

-Austin Heath

Album Review – Logic, Under Pressure

Whoa, look at me going all mainstream and posting about one of the best-selling albums of the year. How about those who have not had the time to listen to a whole album though, is it worth the buy? On my last album review, I was pretty extensive; but this time, I do not think I will have to break down the album that hard.

“Wait, so you’re saying this will be a brief review?” Hell no, in fact, I have a lot to say about the Maryland-based rapper and his debut album (though not his first release, quite a few mixtapes before this). However I can say with confidence that this review will not have to be too extensive unless I want to get excessive. The album has a similar sound in every song, therefore making each song description short, as I cannot use the same synonyms for every track on Under Pressure.

I consider Logic the child of J. Cole’s rhymes and rap style and Kendrick’s flow after their first honeymoon. It is really hard to say anything bad about his rapping skills, and there is some evident talent. Calling this album of the year is a bit much though, but let’s save it for the track by track breakdown:

1. Intro – The highlight of this album, believe it or not. Samples the album’s sound and features some hard verses by Logic in his introduction. These subjects of the raps though will appear again soon. Reflective start though, really pulled me in. 9.75/10

2. Soul Food – I love the original beat of this song, and the soul-vibe. Of course we should expect that with a name like Soul Food. Right away Logic breaks out, and really drops some of the strongest lines on the album. Definitely one of the more stand-out products of the LP. 9.5/10

3. I’m Gone – A bit similar to Soul Food except this song tells more of a story. This is where Logic begins to really open up, and I like the life breakdown of I’m Gone. The hook is subtle, though repetitive, and it sticks with you. The raps are not as hard and impressive as the previous tracks, but they still show his skill in verse. I also really like the supporting vocals by whoever that woman is. 9.25/10

4. Gang Related – This song is, you guessed it, gang related. I do appreciate the honesty of Logic’s verses, and more of the story-telling I started to like in I’m Gone. This song does what I’m Gone could not and spits strong rhymes while still informing the listener of growing up in the hood. The beat is very original as well, though it almost stands out so much it takes away from taking in the lines of Logic. Regardless, this is one of the best tracks on the album. 9.75/10

5. Buried Alive – This is the first time we actually get a glimpse of the singing voice of Logic. I wish we could get it more, as this is where he reminds me most of J. Cole (who sounded golden on Work Out and Can’t Get Enough). The editing over the verses to emphasize phrases also channels Kendrick Lamar, so this song really appeals to me. Another favorite on the album, though the rap verses is similar to the previous songs (especially Soul Food and Gang Related). Still feels perfect in my eyes, best song on the album to me. 10/10

6. Bounce – Right away I was terrified that this song would have a sexual tone that would throw the album into wack. However the song is true to the album’s focus, the story and upbringing of Logic. Definitely one of the most upbeat tracks on the album, which I definitely like. It does feel like the song gets lost in the chaos towards the end, but catches itself by the end with a smooth ride out. 9.25/10

7. Growing Pains III – More opening up of Logic, but wow I felt like it was forever until we could actually hear Logic start. I don’t mind snippets of conversation, but this just lasted a long time. When it starts, there are some incredible rapping going on. Almost reminds me of Eminem, and the sounds actually add to the song’s atmosphere. However I use my similar sound complaint, with some serious Gang Related material and subject matter applied. Also saddening when there is a lack of hook. 9/10

8. Never Enough – A huge shoutout to production on this track, golden work. The opening hook was not very appealing, however. These were some of my favorite Logic verses and the added-in sampling from the woman singer (I cannot place the song though) along with the nod to Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness (One of my favorite Cudi songs) were superb. The song really improves and end up becoming one of my favorites after a minute in. 9.5/10

9. Metropolis – More storytelling, which I do not mind. The song does sound like previous works though, and does not seem to attempt at creating a hook. Good story and an enjoyable listen but perhaps my least favorite song on the track, despite quick and hard raps by Logic. The dialogue feels uncalled for as well towards the end of the song. 8.25/10

10. Nikki – Named after his child’s mother is the track Nikki. I do hear a lot of emotion in the words of Logic and is refreshing to see the love from a rapper to who they are with. While the song’s lyricism is incredible, the song itself is not as enjoyable of a listen as some of the preceding tracks. 8.5/10

11. Under Pressure – The song named after the album is usually given the most attention, unless there is a strong collaboration (stay tuned). This track is over nine minutes, and if you’ve liked listening to Logic’s verses in the last few songs, you will enjoy this. More of the same sound and raps it feels, but I have to give him credit for rapping hard for so long. 8.75/10

12. Till The End – Interesting production, though I was not very amused. Logic stays on focus while telling his struggles of entering the music business, which is a heavy story. The hook is also really catchy. Decent song but the beat almost weighs it down. 9/10

13. Driving Ms. Daisy ft. Childish Gambino – Here is one of the most listened to songs on the album, Driving Ms. Daisy. Now that we are beginning the deluxe version songs, we have to keep in mind that these songs cost some extra, so they will have a lot more pressure on them. I liked Gambino’s verse, almost sounding like classic T.I. Logic sounds similar as before, but this is actually one of the best songs on the album for the low-key production and emphasis on rapping. 9.5/10

14. Now – Now featured some heavy production from big names, including 6ix and Arthur McArthur. The hook is hard, and most Hip-Hop fans will immediately like it. These are strong raps by Logic, and seem more original than the others. I found it hard to keep up with this song, and the track overall was very impressive. 9.75/10

15. Alright ft. Big Sean – This song includes some of my favorite lines on the album, especially with his mention of Danny Devito, which gave me a good laugh. Of course Big Sean will help make this the most-listened-to song on Under Pressure, but Big Sean was a bit disappointing. The verse was solid but unfocused, though the whole song feels like that. 9/10

So that averages out to exactly 9.25. It was hard to keep it brief, in fact I could not. However my point of lying in the beginning was the emphasize that the same sound is used often, and if you’ve heard one you’ve heard the next four or five. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Hopefully Logic has more up his sleeve for his next project, as he will run out of ideas if he uses the same technique over and over again. I would love to hear more singing and vocal-work from him.

In essence, this album is complete Hip-Hop. It channels some of the best rappers and gives Logic the potential for a right future. So go ahead and ignore my rant on the whole thing and give the album a listen below (At the very least, I recommend the songs rated 9.5 or more):

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Trae Tha Truth, I’m On 2.0

There is honestly no point of listing all of the rappers in this song. I just wrote about I’m On earlier, which is the original Trae song. The “remix” (even though it hardly sounds like the original, so I just call it a sequel) is actually quite good. Any rapper who you may call “crap” or “not good” could prove you wrong with this song, as the verses are rather good, if not unfocused.

I said my complaint in the last one and I will say it again, what is this song trying to convey? You are on what, exactly? The verses sound excellent and the music is good but it feels empty. Even though the second I’m On is the same length as the first, 2.0 features several more appearances.

So now I go through that thing where I rank the verses, though this one is a bit easier than the first I’m On because there are actually some not-so-great parts in this song here and there:

1. Kendrick Lamar (who else did you expect me to pick?)

2. B.o.B

3. Bun B

4. J. Cole

5. Jadakiss

6. Big K.R.I.T.

7. Gudda Gudda (actually not bad)

8. Tyga

When I say rapfest about these songs, it is not only because of the amount of popular rappers on two tracks, but also how many are in the music videos (a lot, by the way). So overall, I would rate the song at 9.5/10. Some very solid verses and a great song, but no chorus sadly and a couple of a disappointing Tyga verse (but then again, what did you expect?).

Give it a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Maroon 5 ft. J. Cole, Animals (Remix)

I will admit that I don’t hate on Maroon 5 like most people do. I find quite a few of their songs very good. Animals is definitely one of them, but with J. Cole hopping on the remix yesterday (the first song with him in a long while) I had to give this one a listen.

The song itself is similar to most Maroon 5 songs, and Adam Levine sings as he normally does. However, J. Cole goes hard in the second half of his verse and really gives the song something to look forward to. Song is everything you’d expect from Maroon 5 but the J. Cole remix is absolutely the best version of it.

This remix gets a rating of 8.75/10. The song itself isn’t much different from the usual but it still is pretty catchy, and J. Cole sounds excellent. I can see a lot of people really liking this song, so go ahead and hear it below:

-Austin Heath