J Stone teams up with DJ Drama to give us another great look into his life and times. On the mic, J Stone is dope. One of his best attributes is his consistency. Song after song, he is delivering an unwavering level of quality that doesn’t let up. His bars are real and showcases what life is like on the West Coast. On this album he has features from Juicy J, Daz Dillinger, Currensy, Chevy Woods, Stalley, and more. The production on this album is pretty strong overall as well. It definitely has a West Coast slant to it and sounds like it would be great to ride to in your car. All in all, J Stone does a great job with constructing great songs and shows us that with the lessons learned from Nipsey, that he will be here for a long time to come.
French Montana teams up with DJ Drama to bring us a massive wheelbarrow full of horse shit for the most part. There are a few songs that try to shine through, but the majority of this can be thrown away. First of all, there are 29 tracks on here. That is way too many especially when a lot of the songs are trash. French Montana uses autotune to change his voice which sounds annoying. His rhymes aren’t very good overall. You won’t find any verses where you have to hear it again to get the punchlines. It’s very simple rap for simple minds. Some of the features on here are dope while others are not. You get to hear from Stove God Cooks, Chinx, Max B, Benny, Jeremih, EST Gee, and many more. The production on here is mostly the same recycled songs you have heard before. As a fan, you gotta wonder how many times you can hear the same beats over and over again before they stop putting them out. Please stop with the madness. We can only hear the same Fivio Foreign style beats with the little revved up sound effect so many times. There are a few beats on here that are actually pretty decent. “RZA” has a fantastic Wu-Tang sample and adding Benny The Butcher to it just raises it to another level. “Addicted To You” is another song that really has a dope beat. Even with these few glimpses of hope, this enormous album falls pretty flat. French Montana stays true to brand by giving us 1 or 2 songs that are dope, and a lot of other trash to be thrown out.
Dave East and DJ Drama give us a new mixtape that fans should love. This is Dave East at his best. He’s spitting those Harlem bars with that classic New York cadence. He is definitely one of the MCs that is keeping the city alive nowadays. His flow is fantastic and he never runs out of slick lines to say. He doesn’t really have any features on here aside from some vocalists who sound great like Katt Rockell. The beats on here are fire. He really has some nice boom bap sounds with some soulful samples in there to give them breath. All in all, this is a solid record that Dave East almost handled on his own back. Fans will definitely love this one.
Snoop Dogg teams up with DJ Drama to deliver another Gangsta Grillz album entitled: I Still Got It. Whether Snoop still “has it” or not might be debatable, but the one thing that is for sure, he is easily the most recognizable and most marketable rapper out there. He’s a legend and has been around forever and every undertaking he takes on he succeeds at. On this project, he spits the same old kind of bars that you are used to hearing by now. He does get some features from Daz, Kurupt, Dave East, Juicy J, and more. As far as the production goes, this album definitely has more of a West Coast slant to it. It is good to hear Snoop over more of a classic West Coast sound anyway. All in all, this is not Snoop’s best work to date, but it’s also not his worst. This is hitting for par for both Snoop and DJ Drama.
Jim Jones and DJ Drama join forces to drop a pretty crappy mixtape. This is littered with below average artists and a ton of beats that sound the same. There is a good stretch in the middle of the project that just sounds like the same song over and over again. I got tons of respect for Jim Jones. He is usually pretty dope with the rhymes and he is on this one. It’s just that all of these other artists and terrible beats is just way too much. With this album being 25 tracks long, it goes way over what it should have been. A lot of these so-called rappers on here sound like everyone else out there. The only songs that are salvageable are the ones like “Fit Lit (Betty White)” featuring Dave East, Maino, and Fabolous and “Barz” featuring Dave East. When you get veteran East Coast rappers that know what they are doing on the mic, it produces better results. These are the kinds of projects that drag down the excellence of hip-hop music. It’s a quick money grab with no regard for the art. I’m hoping for a better project next time Jim.
Fat Joe teams up with DJ Drama to drop a hot joint before summer is out. On the mic, Joe sounds pretty decent. His delivery sounds just as good as it has ever been. He might have chilled out on the gangster/shoot em up lyrics quite a bit. There may even be a bit of a rushed feeling to this album. But nonetheless, it sounds pretty decent overall. The production on here is definitely slamming. They take some of the smoothest old school R&B joints and turn them into some dope songs. With a few reworkings of some classics, they really refresh the old sound and make it sound new again. Albums like these are definitely needed every now and then. The far and away highlight of this project is without a doubt “Sunshine (The Light).” They flip the old Luther Vandross beat for “Never Too Much” and turn it into a fantastic summer anthem. All in all, Fat Joe does a great job and definitely gives us something for the culture with this one.
DJ Drama releases an album on us that I have some mixed feelings for. This project seems to be a mix of artists WITH talent and artists with absolutely no talent. The ones with talent seem to deliver the better material on here (obviously) while the other newcomers fall horribly short. When this album is good, it’s very good. When it is bad, it is disgustingly bad. Performances from Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Dave East, Ty Dolla Sign, Trey Songz, and August Alsina seem to shine. The remainder is awful. These other new rappers like Lil Uzi Vert and Rich Homie Quan make me wish I was Helen Keller. It does make me wonder how you can call an album “Quality Street Music” but then half of it is terrible. I don’t care if this new generation thinks that some of these artists are good or not, they simply are not talented. That is fact. So for DJ Drama on this one, it was a good attempt, but next time, let’s leave the talentless garbage off.