Sheek Louch drops a new EP just in time for Halloween with his fourth installment of his Gorillaween series. At only 6 tracks, there wasn’t much room for errors. Sheek is decent on the mic and spits some dope bars as an older artist. He still has that brazen and forward disposition that makes him a good member of The LOX. He gets features from Cory Gunz, Whispers, and more. The production on this project is pretty decent and is a little more reminiscent of the classic New York sound which is always a good thing. That desperately needs to come back. The best track on here is “Morse Code.” It is an ominous and frightening-sounding track that features Snype Life and Bucky. This is the perfect song for Halloween at this moment. All in all, not a bad look for Sheek Louch. We only wish this had been a longer project.
Two legendary NY artists link up to give us a strong new project. Styles P teams up with Havoc and they just sound so good together. It’s really two fantastic sounds put together and it just sounds right. Styles has his aggressive and straight forward raps and Havoc gives us those hard-hitting gritty beats that he always has. It’s just a winning combination anyway you look at it. You get what you expect in great fashion from Styles P. Havoc definitely delivers beats that will make your head nod on the production side of things. This is definitely a cohesive and strong project through and through.
Styles P of the LOX gives us another new project called Ghosting. This one seems very timely coming out about a month before the LOX and Dipset Verzuz battle in which the LOX slayed Dipset. Styles tries to show fans once again that he is a writer’s writer. He loves hip hop and he tries to pen verses as clever as he can. He delivers street bars that are very focused and concise. He’s a very “to the point” kind of rapper so he doesn’t waste time saying what he needs to say. The production on this album is average. The highlight of this project is “Order In The Court” which is a short song that has a strong beat with hard drums. Styles P goes in on the beat and definitely does his thing. All in all, this is about what we would expect from Styles. He is continuing his legacy nicely.
As a continuation of that first one, this new deluxe version features five new songs tacked onto the end. Sheek still sticks with the same formula and the five new tracks still sound New York to the heart. He actually did a fairly good job overall with this whole project. The features on the new tracks include Cory Gunz, Chris Rivers, and Oswin Benjamin. The standout track is “Late 80s” as it gives you that old school feel and paints quite a vivid picture of how life was back then. Sheek continues to be a staple in East Coast New York hip hop and he is a veteran that deserves all the respect he gets.
Sheek drops another new project for Halloween. This one is pretty short at only 6 tracks but Sheek keeps it New York through and through. He definitely delivers that classic sound. His bars are decent. I wouldn’t say they are out of this world but he is definitely hitting for par. The beats range from average to above average. You definitely get those hard, gritty New York beats with this one. The highlights are “Clear My Mind” featuring Dave East. This one is a definite banger. Also “Redrum” is another one on here that has that old classic sound. Sheek did a good job on this one. I wish the project would have been a bit longer, but we will take what we can get.
Sheek drops the fourth installment of his Beast Mode series and this one has a New York feel to its core. On the mic, you can definitely tell Sheek has matured. He still keeps it gutter, but definitely more so as a grown man than a young kid as he was when he first started. The production on here is straight NY. You definitely get that feel of listening to a walkman while walking to the Tunnel club. There may not be a standout single on here, but it still plays through pretty decently. You also get some decent features from Styles, Jadakiss, Ghostface Killah, Benny, and more. East Coast rap fans won’t be disappointed with this one.
The LOX release their 4th studio album and this one is pretty well put together overall. As far as the bars, I think all three of them have come a long way. This is definitely a more mature LOX. Everyone has to advance at some point. They still have hard bars though. It’s like an updated formula. The production on here is decent. I wanted more of a street album and I think most people want to hear the LOX like that in their glory days. It always has seemed like fans never quite got that hard album they wanted from the LOX. Not since We Are The Streets, have we gotten a fantastic follow-up to that album. They always seem to go for more of the single than the street anthem. I really wish they would cater to the streets a bit more. All in all, this was a well put-together album, I just don’t think it has the staying power. This is more of one of those albums that you will listen to once or twice, and then throw on the back burner. I know they got it in them, it’s just that they didn’t deliver as hard as they should have here.
Styles releases a brand new project that is pretty hard overall. This was a well put together album from front to back. The consistency on this one is very, very apparent. Styles does a great job on the mic showing us why he is the hardest MC out. He flips a lot of different themes on this one as well. You will get some features from Sheek, Dyce Payne, Whispers, and even some quick acapella bars from Jadakiss. The production is very good from front to back. There are a lot of very well-produced songs on here and even though some of them may be a bit shorter than others, I think they really went into this one with a studio mentality of making great songs. This one turned out really well and Styles should definitely be thanked for this one.
Jadakiss offers a new album and although it is definitely created at a high level, I think that this album suffers from the same thing that every other Jadakiss solo has suffered from. The fans want him to just go there and give us a street album. He has yet to do that. I remember the hype around his first album Kiss The Game Goodbye. Everyone wanted that hardcore Jada. He’s definitely already there with the rhymes. That was no question then and there is no question now. You can’t coach perfection. This guy is rapping so far ahead of so many others in the game and it is definitely evidenced on this new album. I think the problem is more the content and the production. There are lighter and more laidback songs on here. Now granted, I understand that this album had a bit of a theme to it. This was more or less a kind of tribute to Icepick Jay. It was a lot of elements that he wanted to see Jada do with songs. He fulfilled a lot of his wishes which is a great thing. The problem is it definitely feels like the label pushed him to do more softer, radio-friendly songs, yet again, as they have done so since the beginning. We all want We Are The Streets Jadakiss again, but are we ever going to get that on a solo Jadakiss album?? I wish Kiss would just make the fans happy and give us all what we have wanted from day one. At least give us one joint that we can remember forever.
This was a decent release from Styles. He is always working and always dropping off projects so sometimes it gets hard to rate them based on his extensive catalog. He somehow finds a way to still be poignant and straightforward in his rhymes. He can also create those special moments through the beats that he selects. Although this isn’t a perfect album, there are some great highlights on here. “Blam, Blam, Blam” is a great lyrical showcase of Styles, Conway, and Benny. It’s always great when New York artists get on a dope track to make a posse cut. “Blood, Sweat, & Tears” is a deep and introspective look at his own pain and loss in his life. The beat is very soulful and beautiful. “Brand New” is another track that has great production. It is laid back and very powerful-the kind that you can feel in your soul. While this might not be a homerun, Styles does a decent job at times and it is always good to get one of his albums because he bears a lot.
For Father’s Day, Styles P drops off a quick 6 track project along with his son Noah. All respect due to Styles, but this is not one of his better projects. His rhymes are dope as always but I think his son has got to leave the rapping to his old man. He just doesn’t sound too good on the mic. He doesn’t have the same quality level of bars as his pops. His voice is a little weaker as well. The beats on here are nothing crazy either. There really isn’t anything whack, but at the same time, there is nothing that is rewind-worthy on here either. Although Styles is dope, I’d think twice about getting this project for your pops for Father’s Day.
The Ghost hits us with another great project. This MC is the definition of consistency. You never have to wonder if you are going to get a good project from SP, because it is certain that he is always delivering. It might not be a classic album every time, but you are guaranteed to get a banging project. He hits us with the hardest bars out once again and is consistent on every verse. He’s got features from Jadakiss, Sheek, Nino Man, Whispers, Lil Fame, and more. The beats on this album are sure to keep your head nodding. The boom bap lovers out there should be pleased with this one. The highlights are “The Professionals” which features Lil Fame and “What’s Up Boy.” Both of these songs have slamming beats and you already know the lyrics are handled properly on here. This is a dope album and should please all LOX and D-Block fans out there.
Sheek drops off his third installment of the Beast Mode series. Although this is a quick EP, it is pretty dope. He gives fans what they want on this project. You get the rhymes you want and expect from Sheek. He gives you that straight-forward, D-Block talk with no frills that we have come to love from Sheek. There are good features from Uncle Murda on the nasty song “Good Good.” “Alone” is another dope track with a good beat on there. Overall, the beats on here are pretty good as they sound more close to that classic New York sound that we have all been wanting to come back. It’s definitely a good thing that vets like Sheek are keeping the movement alive. Would have rather had a longer, full length project, but we will take what we can get.
Styles drops off an album here that is pretty average for him. You definitely get what you expect with this release. Lyrically Styles is hitting for par and delivers his signature hard bars. There’s no extra frills on the mic side. He’s definitely not whack at all. You get straight forward bars from the Ghost. On the production side, you get a pretty decent collection of beats. These are right in the middle with nothing too crazy, but nothing too whack either. I’d say the standout track is “Marie Antoinette.” This hard track definitely showcases how awesome the Ghost can be when he raps. If you are a fan, I’d say to check this one out, but if you are just a casual rap fan, this one might not do anything for ya.
Sheek is back with his second volume of his Beast Mode series. This one is very quick and pretty decent. At only 5 tracks, he didn’t have much room for error so he tried to cram as much heat in here as he could. For the most part, it paid off. His lyrics are what you would expect throughout-nothing crazy but nothing whack. The only song I really wasn’t feeling was “Salsa Confuego.” His flow on here is really sub standard. The rhymes are crazy basic. The beats on this project are pretty good all around. You definitely get something to nod your head to with this one. The highlight of this quick project has to be “In Close Range” assisted by Snype Life, Conway, & Nino Man. All of these MCs do their thing and flow great over a slamming beat. This one really gets you going. I’d definitely check this one out.
This was a quick EP at only 5 tracks, but I was very eager to hear it since the rap game has been pretty slow recently. I expected a lot more from Sheek, but sadly, he didn’t really deliver with this quick offering. The EP starts off strong with hard bars and dope beats but definitely trails off quick and almost sounds like he is selling out. He switches up his classic NY sound to try to sound like this new wave of trap rappers and it doesn’t sound good. Sheek needs to stick to what he does best and that is provide those hard bars that he has always done with the LOX. Let’s get some better beats while we are at it as well. I wasn’t too impressed with this offering.
The hardest out, Styles P comes back with a new album and this new album is exactly what we would expect from the Ghost. I think he definitely put in some solid work and came up with some good, quality work here. Lyrically, you get the hard and gritty bars that you have come to appreciate from him. He gives it to you directly with no filler, like a lot of other MCs do. That is what has always been his strong point. The beats are slightly above average on here. You definitely don’t get any of that trap music garbage. Just some dope East coast beats that even sometimes try to explore new sounds on the sampling tip. The highlights for me included “For This Occasion” and “Curb The Lames.” The beats on these two songs were the best and give you a clear indication of how Styles is punching right through all you whack rappers. This is a must have for LOX fans and a definite score for rap music in general.
The Ghost drops off a quick EP that is 5 tracks just as the title would suggest. There really isn’t too much to say about this one. It has some really dope lyrics to it. I feel like Styles went a little harder than he normally would on here. The effort definitely shows lyrically. The beats are decent. There are some hard tracks on here with some good samples. This is definitely a quick listen that should delight any LOX fans out there. I’d definitely give it a listen. I wish it was longer but EPs seem to be a staple today.
This was a quick offering from 2 decent MCs. They came together for a quick EP of some hard bars. With only 8 tracks, there really isn’t a whole lot that can be said about it. Lyrically, they both do their thing on here. It is what you would expect. The beats are okay. I think they picked some decent beats. It was cool hearing Styles over the “Story Of OJ” beat. I’d rather hear him over classic beats and not newer trap beats of today. But it is what it is. Bottom line is if you like Styles P, you will dig this project at least on some level. Check it out.
Two of the best to ever do it in hip hop team up for this collaboration which should have produced fantastic results. I don’t think this one went as planned though. Overall, it is not a bad album. First of all, the marketing was totally off. They should have released this at Halloween based on the theme of the album but they missed that mark by a month. Lyrically, I think both MCs are fantastic. They can both hold their weight on their own and also together so there is definitely not a problem in that department at all. The beats were lacking a little bit on this one. There were a few tracks that I definitely could have done without. I think that Jada and Fab both have tried to keep up with times and sound like these new rappers on some tracks throughout their careers instead of doing what they do best. So you have some of those trap beat sounding instances on this album. The songs “Stand Up” with Future and “All About It” with French Montana I could have definitely done without. Then you have the “F vs J Intro” to the album which Jada spits possibly the best verse he has ever spit over a super dope track that kind of makes up for it a little bit. I’ll give an honorable mention to the track “Soul Food” also. All in all, I think they did a decent job, but just the marketing was off and the sound was a little off too for what this was supposed to be.
The Yonkers homeys drop off a surprise EP and as expected, it is super dope. The biggest fault that I have with it is that it is not long enough. When I hear the LOX have a project, I want to hear a whole album. This project is only 4 songs and leaves the listeners wanting more. They come out of the gate hard with the best song on here first, “Break It Down.” This is a hard-hitting beat with fantastic lyrics from the LOX trio. Over all 4 songs, they definitely bring the heat lyrically and they have dope beats to back them up. This is a must listen and we definitely look to hear more from the LOX.
It’s about time that these cats got back at it as a collective. Talk about being hyped to hear a project. I think they did a good job with coming back out as a group and delivering a solid record. It feels like The LOX have been chasing a classic their whole career and just can’t seem to create one. They often get close both as a collective and as solo artists but just can’t seem to fully deliver. I think their main problem is they try to chase trends. With this new record, they have songs that sound like the old hardcore LOX sound that we love them for. They also try to have these new trap records and new flows and new artists featured that take away from what they are good at. Stop trying to chase trends and sound relevant to today’s sound. Stick to what you are great at. The hottest track on here has to be the DJ Premier produced “Move Forward.” The LOX over Premier? There really isn’t much more that needs to be said other than that. Some other stand out tracks include “The Omen,” “The Family,” and “What Else You Need To Know.” If we trimmed off some of the horrible tracks like “Secure The Bag,” this project would be what it should be, hardcore criminal rap.