Whatsup everyone! New beat mixtape entitled “Boom Bap” is now available for free download (although donations are appreciated)! I do this for my fans and for the music! Check it out!
If you didn’t know, I submitted 2 tracks to the Coast2Coast mixtape contest! One track is going to be featured on an upcoming Coast2Coast Instrumentals mixtape! The other one got selected as Next Up! Here’s the one that got selected as the Next Up! I’m excited to announce the first Coast2Coast mixtape that I’m on! Listen, enjoy, share!
This is the track that made it on this mixtape:
– Spoken Thought
GO TO WWW.COAST2COASTSUBMISSIONS.COM
TO GET YOUR SONG ON THE NEXT COAST 2 COAST MIXTAPE!
All the hard work is starting to pay off! Because of your votes, I am the runner up in the Coast2Coast Instrumentals contest! That means I’ve secured a spot for Coast2Coast Instrumentals Vol. 63! Thanks for your continuing support! You guys are the best! I’ll let you know when Vol. 63 drops!
Here’s the track that got runner up! Enjoy:
What can you say about Common? The dude has always been pushing the envelope for Hip-Hop. Think about it, this is a dude whose early Hip-Hop career was more pinned as a fast paced, “scatty” rhythmic emcee with Can I Borrow A Dollar. Throughout the years, he has changed his style up, made moves to more of a commercialized image, but still highly regarded among the Hip-Hop community as the rappers rapper. He has won Grammy’s, performed in both movies and television, and even written a book. For many, the multi-faceted talent of some emcees doesn’t translate well for Hip-Hop. As the artist starts to move away from music, fans often find that the emcee’s lyrics, music, and even their image becomes dumbed down, insincere, and in some cases, even irrelevant. Common is the rare exception. There have been times where you wonder where he’s going. However, Common has created his own lane and it seems like Common and his fans don’t seem to mind whatsoever.
Common left Kanye Wests G.O.O.D Music label a couple of years back and signed to No I.D.’s Atrium/Def Jam label. Common has worked with long time producer/collaborator No I.D. quite frequently, and their chemistry is apparent throughout the years (remember the classic album Resurrection, One Day It Will All Make Sense, and The Dreamer/The Believer). And with the new Common album Nobody’s Smiling, it’s apparent that they’re back at it again! This time with an underlining theme that they could both get behind: making people aware of the violence in Chicago while also bringing hope and positivity to the streets.
1) The Neighborhood – featuring Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s – This is a great idea for opening up an album. Two emcee’s growing up at different times in the south side of Chicago but both can illustrate what it was like for them. Common has the ability to tell stories when he emcee’s:
“Have you ever heard of Black Stone around Black Stones | And Four CHs, Vice Lords, Stony Island on Aces
The concrete matrix, street organizations | they gave violations, hood public relations”
Lil Herb is just as vividly clear with his past:
“Can’t Nobody stop the violence, why my city keep lying | Niggas throw up peace signs but everybody dying”
This beat has a soulful vibe to it but isn’t really up to par with some of the bangers we’ve heard out of No I.D. And I’m not the biggest fan of Cocaine 80’s. There’s nothing amazing about his voice and it seems a little too auto-tune for me. However, lyrical content is more important than the beat or the singing on this track!
2) No Fear – Common is coming in hard on this track! Again, he’s telling a story, but the purpose is to connect the problems of ongoing violence with the image of black people. The track is dirty and the 808 are hit hard! The way No I.D. sampled this too is subtle but nice! However, I really can’t get into the distorted guitar at the end of this song. Not a really big deal however, because overall this is a CRAZY track.
3) Diamonds – featuring Big Sean – This is a smooth track. Big Sean is all right on the hook, but again Common is spitting straight knowledge!
“In the Benz leaning like we biased | I’ve seen Len Bias, that shit scared me |
You can go pro and blow everything you have in a flash | The moment is to live it like your last |
Moments that we have never living in the last”
And No I.D. is so good with the filters on this track. The pianos, synths, and 808’s are always going somewhere and it just feels like energy!
4) Black Majik – feat. Jhene Aiko – This is a very electronic beat. I didn’t know what to think about it first. The beat bumps and with the title of the track, you know he’s talking about drugs. However, it goes deeper, and somehow he connects the idea of a drug to how good it feels to be black. Common is one of the best emcees of finding themes that seem to be contradictory and connecting them to each other.
5) Speak My Piece – Man, this is a nice track. And a good sample flip too! No I.D. could have just let the Biggie Sample ride, but the way he puts it through filters and flips it is nasty! And that beat is so HARD! You can tell that No I.D. loves his 808’s and the low frequencies on this album. At first, Common is reminiscing about coming up in the music industry. Again though, you don’t think Common is just going to give you a straightforward track about partying in the music industry. I can’t be sure, but it feels like he’s talking about the type of image that the music industry expected of him, the routine of the grind, and how partying got to be too much. Or, maybe I’m just reading too far into it. Anyway, great beat, good lyrics, DOPE!
6) Hustle Harder – feat. Snoh Aalegra & Dreezy – WOW! This is Hip-Hop at it’s finest! I have never heard this type of beat before and it goes SO HARD! It’s so refreshing to know No I.D. is going to bring something you have truly never heard before! The HOOK is nasty too! But really, Common is just dropping some serious gems:
“Shots of ciroc she can out drink a nigga | Niggas dig her think they can take her to the crib and break her |
mover her shake her you can’t fake her | she knows time is paper | Glaciers on her neck-uh|”
And Dreezy is straight spitting. Hadn’t heard much of her before listening to this track, but DAMN. This girl can flow!
7) Nobody’s Smiling – feat. Malik Yusef – This track is pretty good. Common did his thing but not really up to par with the rest of the album. However, Malik Yusef Spoken Word at the end is NICE! How many times you hear Spoken Word in Hip-Hop these days. The beat is nothing too crazy, but that’s okay. Again, sometimes lyrical content needs to trump the beat.
8) Real – feat. Elijah Blake – Man, I’m digging this hook! Hadn’t heard of Elijah Blake, but it’s nice to hear this type of voice on a Hip-Hop track. Common seems to be looking at himself on this track and telling everyone what it takes to be REAL. Seems like Common has had to do a lot of things to live a healthier lifestyle for him and you can tell he’s in a better place. The lyrics are nice and the beat is a smooth R&B type track.
9) Kingdom – feat. Vince Staples – WOW! This isn’t fair! No I.D. again is giving us a type of beat we’ve never heard in Hip-Hop before! This is DOPE! Nothing better than a gritty gospel type beat, but No I.D. is straight flipping it with filters, a choir, strings, and 808’s! The HOOK is just ridiculous and on point. Even Vince Staples is able to keep up with where Common is going on this song! Speaking of which, Common:
“Second row of the church with my hood on | My homie used to rap, he was about to get put on |
At his funeral, listening to this church song | His family yelling and screaming, I hurt for ’em |”
This right here is sincerity and realness at it’s core. Thank you Common for the breath of fresh air!
10) Rewind That – You’ve got to hand it to No I.D.! When he needs to come up with just a simple sample flip beat, he can! But he does it so smooth! It’s also the little effects he puts in the background too. This sounds like a freestyle beat and so much more! As for Common, you can honestly tell that he misses his friend Dilla! And, Dilla is still thought of as one of the best producers to ever do it! So, for Common to give him nothing but praise and dedicate a verse to him, that’s understandable. The first verse is dedicated to his come-up in the music industry and his own regrets. Great track, very reminiscent of the 90’s!
11) Out On Bond – This is a nice rock influenced beat. And those background guitars are killing it. And Vince Staples is ON POINT! I think he is actually better than Common over this beat:
“Known for C-notes, the feds confiscatin’ | back to that black with brains on the pavement |
Paid restitution, O from the lootin’ enter | cause they did it, you was influenced |”
12) 7 Deadly Sins – Looks like Common is taking some notes out of BIGGIE’s book (10 Crack Commandments). This is a good concept and it’s one of Common’s finest on the whole album!
“No the myth about the fifth: it only happens when we eat | it’s gluttony, this is how it happens on the street |
It’s a dude that’s getting paid in full, cars and jewels | so his plate is full, but the way this nigga move |
he is never full and he gon eat your food”
And the beat is so dirty! Seriously, the way No I.D. flips this is so nice! Great concept, great beat, what more yall want!
13) Young Heart Run Free – featuring Cocaine 80s – I want to like this track, but I’m not really a big fan of Cocaine 80s. The beat isn’t the best either, and the only saving grace I think is Common. But, you can’t have every track be a banger, right?
Overall this album is dope! I always thought that his last album The Dreamer, The Believer was a great idea and a pretty good album. However, it packed too many themes and ideas onto one album. That made that album sporadic, confusing, and at times too much. By focusing on one general theme of violence Common is able to stay more focused lyrically. Common also sounds hungrier over this album. I also think No I.D. stepped his game up a little on this album! I haven’t heard these types of style beats before, and that’s pushing the envelope for Hip-Hop! Definitely worth more than just listen! Buy this album and rock it!
This album gets a 4.8/5!
YES! After much anticipation we finally have that posthumous album we’ve been awaiting! After all, Michael Jackson is that dude: Mr. Pop himself! You can’t get much better than Michael. One of the first records I ever owned was Thriller and it changed my life! After his death, I was just waiting for something, especially because I knew he had plenty of music that hadn’t come out. Even though I grew up on Michael, I don’t think I really listened to him much after Blood on The Dance Floor. It’s not that I stopped listening entirely, it’s just I started getting into other trends and such. I still listened to every single of his though, and it’s still that classic Jackson feel in one way or another.
I can’t deny L.A. Reid when it comes to finding talent. And this is the guy that had the honor of having full access to Michael Jacksons archive and pulling out what he thinks are those “gems”. Of course, there’s reason why Michael Jackson shelved a lot of his material. He is a perfectionist anyway, right? But some of these tracks were because of studio pressure and others were because it just wasn’t that strong of a track. And yet, L.A. Reid decided to dust off those old tracks and add some shine to them by hiring Timbaland! In turn, Timbaland got to choose his producers: J-Roc, StarGate, John Mclain, and Rodney Jenkins to name a few. And so, this review begins.
Love Never Felt So Good would have been good on his Off the Wall album. Everything is there: Signature Disco sounding pop vocals, piano, and strings. Here’s the deal though, it’s not 1970. Even after they remixed and remastered this, it’s not anything you would expect on the radio today. It’s dated obviously, and even though I love nostalgia tracks, not really feeling this. Has nothing to do with what Jackson was able to do with it, because you know it’s classic Jackson, but it’s classic 70’s Jackson.
Chicago is smooth! I mean, it has the ability to really get you within the first couple of seconds just with that bass line! This is a Michael Jackson putting game on a girl kind of track. Jackson has the ability to really set the mood so well and this track is a great example! The production of this track is perfection! It just sounds so good dynamically and there’s plenty of peaks and valleys to make it a great ride. it might sound a little dated, but I really don’t care this time. This is my favorite tracks on the whole album!
Loving You is like they took the time machine back again. And although I hear what they did by putting a strong brass and drum beat behind Jackson, it still sounds old school. Although the song feels smooth, there’s nothing really unique about this song. Michael doesn’t really do anything amazing on this song besides the usual harmonizations. It’s okay but if L.A. Reid is calling this a gem, I don’t know what he was going for.
A Place With No Name has a funky bass line with some primitive (almost African like) sounding drums. This track is probably one of the more modern sounding tracks off of this album. Reminds me of something he would put on Blood on The Dance Floor. His singing is more dirty on this song and it’s much needed. That raspy Jackson voice is great on this track. The beat itself continues to push the song forward and it’s arranged so nice! Only thing is that this song could have been up to a minute and a half shorter.
You know I want to like Slave To The Rhythm. I mean, it’s all there! It’s easily a dance song and I can tell what Jackson was trying to do. But I can also tell what the producers were trying to do to make this song more “modern”, and it just didn’t work for me. This song sounds to beat machine to me. And those synths aren’t helping it at all either. The original track is better than this remake to me. Timbaland didn’t need to add a beat to this, at least not this type of beat.
Do You Know Where Your Children Are is a nice synth track. And the beat isn’t overbearing at all. Jacksons in the pocket and the arrangement feels good. Different variations of the melody help in making it not so repetitive too! The harmonizations are nice. The subject matter is a good idea but I don’t really know why he would make this song so upbeat. Sometimes we must hide depressing subject matter in a energetic song though so it doesn’t sound too depressing.
Blue Gangsta sounds strange at first. The harmonization is nice but the orchestration in the background doesn’t sound like it should be there. Once the beat drops though, it makes you want to forget about the beginning because that beat is so funky! It’s also nice to see how they play with the dynamics of this song. This track is the most modern of the tracks off this album! In fact, you could almost call it crunk or dirty south. It’s nice to hear this sound on a Jackson track! Those harmonizations though are killing it. Almost makes you wonder what Jackson could have done over some newer Hip-Hop style beats.
Xscape should have been that track! I mean, that’s what the album title is, right? And yet, I really wasn’t feeling this track. It’s just too much clutter, too much going on. Love the strings and brass on this song but it’s just too much vocally. Which brings us to the end, right?
I mean, 8 tracks ought to be enough for an album, right? I think not! In fact, that’s what really pissed me off about this offering of Jackson goodies. I was expecting an album by todays terms: at least 14 to 15 new tracks I’d never heard before. Instead, L.A. Reid would rather give us the original versions of these songs to lengthen the album. Some of the original tracks are completed but others are just sparse scratch tracks. Which makes you wonder, why even put the original versions on the album? And the surprise track for you: Love Never Felt So Good again! This time we’ll have Justin Timberlake singing a verse.
So, here’s what I’m thinking happened. And this is all speculation, but I think it’s enough to get the general gist of what happened. We all know that Jacksons archive is extensive, right? I mean, he was in the studio a lot during his prime perfecting his sound. And his death put his catalogue under enormous attention. But, what good is a catalogue if you can’t sell it in spurts, right? You want to be able to sell as many albums after his death as possible. And I hate to say this, but I think that’s what is ultimately going to happen with the catalogue. We’ll get probably another 4 to 5 albums of original works like this in spurts. They’ll add some producers and features to make it sound newer. They’ll P-Diddy it and remix it to put another 2 or 3 albums out. By the time their done, Sony Music Entertainment will have raped this catalogue for all it’s worth and some. Which is why it’s so hard to listen to a new Jackson album after his death and why I think I’m just going to stop buying a new Jackson album from here on out! Let the man rest and leave the tracks alone.
With that said, I was really disappointed in this album. I’m giving it 2.5/5!