Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Rap with an alt pop lean

Moods
Headphones on and taking in nu-NYC

Thoughts
I don’t know why, call it a natural curiosity, but growing-up I loved the radio and would spend hours taking in anything I could hear. I find pleasure discovering sounds and appreciate art that maintains this same dynamism. It’s reflected in a broader cultural awareness with my generation, whose been raised with the internet and the power of having humanity’s entire cultural output instantly available. So what do you do with it? You take your favorite parts and begin creating something new, sampling in other words.

I find this to be a representative album for today’s sample based culture as Banks, a versatile MC, floats effortlessly between pop and rap on this impressive set of alt-electro productions (think sampling today rather than the past). I appreciate rappers who are able to carve distinct sounds for themselves and feel this is a classic in the marriage of rap and electro.

Listening notes on specific time:
* 212 – immediately and undeniably great
* Idlest delilah / soda is glitchy greatness and a personal favorite
* ‘Gimme a chance’ succeeds as an OK pop song before switching into a gripping latin bit (maybe corny but I genuinely like it).
* BBD, ice princess, Yung Rapunxel take a turn into harder boomy beats that sound a little dated after the edm boom.
* Things drift off towards the end, but she soars on miss camaraderie. Not sure I’ve heard someone flow over edm so well.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Azealia-Banks-Broke-With-Expensive-Taste/release/6728221

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Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

Description: Album Review of Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

AZ – Doe Or Die

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Golden age queensbridge

Moods
NY State of mind

Thoughts
I consider this a companion piece to early Nas, stylistically it’s cut from the same cloth; when Nas guests on ‘gimme yours’ and ‘homicide’ it’s clear they’ve got history.

Ultimately I find this to be an uneven listen, AZ feels like a bootleg Nas and the creative vision isn’t as clear as Nas’ early classics. Does have it’s quality moments with ‘Sugar Hill’ and the title track featuring a hot and hazy funk.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/AZ-Doe-Or-Die/release/8887261

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Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2L47XLmdAk




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AZ – Doe Or Die

Description: Album Review of AZ – Doe Or Die


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

High-Klassified – Kanvaz

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Electro hip hop

Moods

Big Boomy

Thoughts
Meh, nothing very interesting here.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/High-Klassified-Kanvaz/release/11953128

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High-Klassified – Kanvaz

Description: Album Review of High-Klassified – Kanvaz


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Modern jazz with a strong hip hop bend

Moods
Evening warehouse jam

Thoughts
A fine example of jazz that successfully incorporates hip hop elements, typically these hybrids are reversed (eg Kendricks backing band). This has a dynamic energy to it, making good use of effects and electronics to keep things fresh. While it plays like a live album this was stitched together in post production which benefits the experience as something that’s just one big highlight. Exploratory playful, energetic, progressive: what jazz is all about.

Recommended tracks: ox tales, repetitive drumline pushes things forward with a soulful keys solo on top, King drive utilizes a James Blake pitched down vocal to extreme effectiveness on a track already utilizing off-time signatures.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Makaya-McCraven-Where-We-Come-From-CHICAGOxLONDON-Mixtape/release/12364402

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Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

Description: Album Review of Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Low-key R&B

Moods
Babe we got this

Thoughts
This EP is not without flaws, and takes a few tracks to get into swing, but I find it to be a charming set of songs. The easy going and intimate productions anchored by simple guitar and percussion fits her limited range perfectly, putting some memorable lyrical adages front and center.

‘Issues’ and ‘Hurry’ are modern r&b gems.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Teyana-Taylor-KTSE/release/12173407

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Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

Description: Album Review of Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Cudi and Kanye rapping over Kanye productions that fit like a glove

Moods
Feeling a little older but still feel young

Thoughts
Really like this, a collaboration that works; feels like a relevant addition to Cudi’s catalog and not just a detour featuring Kanye. The productions in particular seem really well suited to Cudi. Stylistically similar to Cudi’s previous catalogs but with a fresh update courteous of Kanye.

Tight, memorable, overall great release for any Kid Cudi fan.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kids-See-Ghosts-Kids-See-Ghosts/release/12167505

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Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

Description: Album Review of Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

DJ Esco, Future – 56 Nights

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Future’s ATL trap style at his darkest and highest

Moods
Nocturnal, top of the world and nothing to lose

Thoughts
Future at his best: exploring dark escapist thoughts over gritty heavy booming Southside productions.

One of his better mixtapes.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/DJ-Esco-Hosted-By-Future-56-Nights/release/6808379

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Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FH7IC-AK-s

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DJ Esco, Future – 56 Nights

Description: Album Review of DJ Esco, Future – 56 Nights


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Choice indie favorites reimagined through Atraks tight, energetic turntablist approach

Moods
Active urban pulse, perfect for sound tracking busy moments in the city.

Thoughts
I think A-trak is one the best electro dudes out there, mostly for his remix work on things like dirty south dance 1 and 2 (note to self: revisit these). Always fresh, he’s got a great ear for modern electro and incorporating a variety of tastes into his turntablism approach. Solid collection here.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/A-Trak-In-The-Loop-A-Decade-Of-Remixes/release/9466928

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A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes

Description: Album Review of A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Future – Beast Mode

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Future’s trademark flow over Zaytovens piano focused production

Moods
ATL nodding

Thoughts
Some standout tracks from Future’s prolific years. Zaytovens production works though is a little too happy for Future’s sadness.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Future-4-Zaytoven-Beast-Mode/release/6533917

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Future – Beast Mode

Description: Album Review of Future – Beast Mode


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Folamour – Umami

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Fun house with a positive vibe and featuring classic r&b samples

Moods

Hip DJ at a trendy lounge

Thoughts
I like this. Obvious samples like ‘get into the party’ integrate well with his brand of house. I could picture this as background music at a hip party.

I prefer the instrumental and more rhythmic ‘look at me or I’ll steal your eyes’ utilizing a rich drumline that reminds me of an accessible moodymann.

Planning to check out more by this dude.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Folamour-Umami/release/12416120

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Folamour – Umami

Description: Album Review of Folamour – Umami


Rating: 3 out of 5