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.
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.
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.
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.
What a great collaboration this turned out to be!! Dave East and Styles P are two fantastic MCs and they really showed that the whole was better than the sum of it’s parts on this project. This one is definitely up there as one of the best ones of the year. Dave East has always been able to spit and he raises the bar on this one when he has competition from Styles P. Both rappers feed off of each other and try to outdo the other throughout the whole project. The beats on here are dope as well. You definitely get some hard hitting East Coast tracks that both rappers sound great over top of. There really isn’t a whack song on this whole project. You get street songs like “For All My Niggas” or “Shout Out My Hood” and then you also get something a little more commercial with “Don’t Cross Me.” This is the definition of a cohesive and quality project here. Both MCs did a fantastic job on this and they should be commended for their contribution.
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.
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.
This project was a little different. Just like the title suggests, it certainly has a “vibe” to it. I pictured myself laidback with the seat reclined in a car all smoked out just vibing to the music. This is the best way I can describe this record. Lyrically I think Styles steals the show. The LOX veteran is clearly better on the mic. Berner is an MC whol sort of falls flat. His rhymes and his flow definitely need work. I’ve heard a lot worse though. The beats are cosmic and set you in a smoked out mood. This is something to chill to, not something that will get you real hype. If you are looking for bars, this is definitely not the project for you. It’s different and there are some strong points but I think this record really needed some more work.
These two rappers together make a good pairing for this quick EP. They are both seasoned veterans and have been in the game for quite some time. It was good to hear them together to create something. I feel like when you get two very good rappers on the same project, they sort of up their game a little bit. They bring out the best in each other. That is exactly what happened on this project. I’d say lyrically, I think Talib kind of edged out Styles by a little bit so if it was a battle, I’d probably have to give the crown to Talib on this one. He just seemed to put in the extra effort on this project. Not to say Styles was bad, because he definitely did his thing as well. The beats are very good on this project as well. At the end, it feels like you want more as the listener so I think they did an excellent job on this offering.
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.