A Few Hidden Gems

The best thing about music these days is the fact that you’re no longer limited to only hear the “popular songs” (by popular I mostly mean songs that get tons of radio play). There are tons of artists these days and plenty of platforms to hear whatever it is that you want to hear. While that in many ways is a blessing, it is also a curse because of the fact that many talented artists don’t get to shine as bright because the pool of artists is so big.

So today I’ve decided to give a shout out to a few of my favorite songs from artists who should be a lot more famous than they are.

I’ll start with the most recent single from my favorite R&B songstress, NAO.  Her song “Another Lifetime” is just an example of the great voice along with the powerful songwriting ability combined the amazing production that all her songs possess which makes her a force to be reckoned with. And its only a matter of time before the world gets hip to it.

Another song people should know about is a little older, because it dropped last year but its never too late to listen to some fire music. “Nvm What I Was Saying” by Donte Jackson is a song that when I heard it, it reminded me of “Marvin’s Room” by Drake. A great song from a great artist that I know is flying under the radar.

 

And the last gem I’ll bestow upon the people will be in the form of a rap song. ATL native, Nick Grant is incredibly underrated, and I believe its because he’s a rapper who prefers to rap over boom-bap beats as opposed to the heavy bassed trap beats that are popular today. He’s a vintage style emcee who is trying to shine in this new generation of rap, and I admire him for valuing his craft. Here’s “Lincoln Apts.” off his latest LP “Dreamin Out Loud:

 

 

“SCORPION” Album Review: Did it Live Up to the Hype?

It’s been 3 days since the release of Drake’s 5th studio album, “Scorpion”, and after sitting with it for the weekend with about 5 or 6 listens throughout, I’m ready to give my review on the project.

With every Drake project, there are always a few things that you can always expect; He’s going to rap on some songs, he’s going to sing on others, and there will be at least 1 or 2 smash hits on there. Known for being a dual talented artist, Drake and his camp decided to take this to a whole new level by delivering a 2-disc album (One dedicated to rap, the other focused on R&B); a move that shows a lot of confidence in the artist’s song making ability. But how effective was it?

Honestly, when hearing about the idea of the 2 discs, I was excited, but after hearing the album, I realized it was kinda unnecessary. Of course I understand the thinking of it, Drake is such huge star these days he has all kinds of fans, many who may not like him rapping, so to basically make 2 albums for his two kinds of fans is marketing genius. But as a fan of both sides of Drake, the album just seems to drag on.

Not to say that the album was bad, but there are definitely “skip-worthy” tracks on both albums. So on a 25-track album, I found myself keeping about 18 of them. A lot of these tracks are the songs where you can tell Drake is trying to appeal to the younger generation of music listeners, songs like “Nonstop”, “I’m Upset”, and “Ratchet Happy Birthday”. Then some tracks aren’t necessarily horrible, but they just seemed to be forgettable, and on such a long project, I don’t need to sit through a song I’m not in love with; some of these songs included “Peak”, “That’s How You Feel”, & “Mob Ties”.

Then you had the songs where you read the tracklist and saw the features and became extremely interested, these songs would be “Don’t Matter to Me” (ft. Michael Jackson) and “Talk Up” (ft. Jay-Z). And while both songs were good, they definitely didn’t meet my initial expectations, so that was kinda disappointing. Especially because these are two of the greatest of all time, I was expecting to be blown away by these songs and after hearing them they were really nothing special.

But even with that being said, there were still high upsides on this album. Great rapping tracks like “Emotionless” (which featured a beautiful sample of Mariah Carey), and “Sandra’s Rose” reminded me of how great Drake can be when he decides to rap seriously. And on the R&B side, songs like “After Dark” and “Jaded” were definitely some of my favorites, and seemed to be the same for the listening public.

If you listened to this album, you’ll notice on huge thing, Drake’s references to his child. It seems that on at least more than half of this album, Drake is talking about his son or his baby mom or making subtle references to his recent beef with Pusha T, which left me thinking one thing, Pusha T won their beef and his raps really stuck with Drake. Lines like ‘The only deadbeats, are the beats I’m rapping on” and “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid” are obvious attempts of Drake to save his image, and honestly, they’re failed attempts. Possibly the worst of them is “March 14th” where Drake basically dedicates a whole song to his child, and honestly, listening to it is cringe-worthy. It sounds as though Drake wrote it up in an hour and nothing about it sounds genuine, just a lazy song and it shouldn’t have been on the album, especially not the last song.

Overall though, SCORPION is a solid Drake project. Definitely not his best, but far from his worst. One of the most intriguing takes I saw on this album was that Drake no longer makes cohesive albums, now it just seems as he though he makes large compilation projects, and I’m inclined to agree. Drake’s album haven’t felt cohesive since maybe Nothing Was The Same, now does that mean that’s a bad thing? No, but its definitely something to think about. What did you think about the album?

SCORPION is available on all music streaming services.