Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (Review)

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Image from twitter.com/kendricklamar

I got, I got, I got, I got stumped during the first listen itself and I was traveling in a crowded Delhi metro. The stories Kendrick tells on this one captivates you, captures your imagination to the extent that the crowd of a metro doesn’t really exist for you. Take a note, this isn’t a “Butterfly” or a “GKMC”, this is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth’s own piece of work about himself and his perception. Perception is a very important concept of the album. A lot of it is open to perception for the listener. Kendrick doesn’t really force all the issues on you but gives a personal opinion on them.

Another concept or should I have said feature of this album is the inconsistency. Not only we see it in the tracklist, we see it in the placing of beats, his choice of flows and topics throughout the album. The first take away after the first listen I had (like many would have had) was how he completes the circle with the end of the song “DUCKWORTH” and his first lines on “BLOOD”. Definitely a goosebump inducing moment. The album shines in many such subtleties, nooks and corners that keep one hooked till a really good number of listens.

There are points that reminisce me of his previous work like his “need for water” on “LUST” takes me back to “Sing about me, Dying of thirst” from “GKMC” even though his thirst atleast on the face value is for something very different. Other than such simple points its a very different album with a very different sound. The beats here are served to us by a very interesting range of producers that give the album it’s Sonic appeal and structure. We have Kendrick’s frequent producer Sounwave on a number of tracks, Mike Will Made It on “DNA”, “HUMBLE” and “XXX”, DJ dahi, The Alchemist, Bekon among others. The Sonic structure of this one not at all clearly defined and consistent which is very unlike his previous works. But it’s in these inconsistencies that this one revels as a experience. The energy in beats like the ones in “DNA” make for a really lovely experience. The features are less but all leave their Mark on the album. Rihanna for me was the better part of the song on “LOYALTY” which to me is one of the weaker tracks on this one. Bono plays a very interesting part on the ever changing, aggressive and brooding “XXX” on which Kendrick goes into various cadences to express his emotions which range from a threat “Let somebody touch my mama, touch my sister, touch my woman, touch my daddy, touch my niece, touch my nephew, touch my niece” or “I’ll chip a nigga little bitbof nothing” to concerned and reflective “The great American flag, is wrapped and dragged with explosives”.

He is also insecure on this one, accepting his shortcomings. On “FEAR” he takes us through his mind and how he was afraid of various things and also of his perception in the society. This track comes out as a stand out moment in an already outstanding project. This opens us to Kendrick’s world like some of his best tracks have. Storytelling is the strong point of this album. Storytelling is the aspect that makes this album a memorable project.

Yes, this album has some moments which might not be as outstanding or a bit of lull. I am talking about “LUST”, “LOVE” and “LOYALTY”. The 3 Ls this album takes. Well the tracks aren’t bad. I just felt Kendrick could have added more on the topic Menton the tracks. Other thing that takes a little back from the album is his singing on some places for example on “GOD”. At other points this album shocks you, gives you chill out tracks, bangers, stories you never expected to hear and all this by creating a commendable listening experience.

It’s tracks like “DNA” that we will remember this for where he points out everything from his strengths to shortcomings as part of his “DNA” for tracks like “FEAR” and most importantly for “DUCKWORTH”, the closing track that ends up defining the album and makes us familiar with a new chapter of Kendrick’s life. After all it’s his experiences that gave him the fire to come out as probably the greatest rapper of this generation. He has nothing left to prove. Not at all. After the projects he has released till now he has a firm grip on the throne. He even sold 600k first week.

Overall this is a very strong album, an experience to behold. It might end up being the best album of the year and is surely going to be a highlight of the year when we come to the end of this year.

“I was taking a walk the other day”

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The Chainsmokers: Memories…Do Not Open Review

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Image from Wikimedia.org

At first I wanted to start with a joke on the album title. Why would you put “Do not open” in your album title? Do you not want people to listen to it? Oh wait, no, no, no. I get you. This is your way to play with psyche of your listeners to propel them to open the album, your way of attracting listeners. Oh shit! I decided not to talk about the title I still did. Goddamn! these guys are good at getting people to talk about their stuff.

Moving on to the album, I heard their singles “Paris” and “Something Just Like This” at that time I wasn’t very happy with what I heard even though I totally adore Coldplay I thought that the song was too dumbed down lyrically and recently The Chainsmokers did say that Chris Martin free-styled his lyrics for the song so that explains a few things. The drop for me was the worst part of the song particularly because I was disappointed in the choice of sounds chosen for the drop. Paris felt like an attempt to milk the cash cow that the sounds of their previous hits have been for them. Now an album is what generally defines the career of an artist. An album is the complete body of work and the defining moment of someones artistic style and approach. The success pushed them to make an album and they do talk about the success and its effect on their lives during the course of the album, they talk about the problems in their life but the “problems” wouldn’t really and shouldn’t really bother a grown up. The other topics are break-ups (because when you’re famous you do get to have a lot of them) and betrayals. Not saying that these topics aren’t supposed to be on an album the problem is that the lyrics that describe the aforementioned subjects have the same panache and enigma that the last text message sent by any person anywhere on the might have.

The album holds up its style i.e. commercial EDM inspired by the sounds of The Chainsmokers songs that one has already heard in last few months or so. I am not really going to point out the originality of the album because I don’t think anyone expects it to be a ground breaking piece of art. I didn’t expect it to be an experimental project too because The Chainsmokers and moreover, not everything needs to be experimental. You can make an album full of generic sounds that turns out to be enjoyable. A good commercial album. But is this good commercial music? Well it fails to do so. Yes, it would sell, it would lead the streaming charts worldwide but its all too forgettable. I didn’t really enjoy the singles but upon their release but after listening the album those were the songs that stood out. Well not everything here is bad. I do enjoy the song “It won’t kill ya” it has an enjoyable beat, a nice drop that entertains and actually feels like serving a purpose. The drops aren’t the major part of this album or should I say the drops aren’t meant to be the stand out points (according to their use and placements) but the choice of sounds for these album only makes them irritating.

The sound choice throughout the album is bland and drab. I mean, this is probably as uninteresting an album can get. There isn’t much to decipher or look out for in further listens and most of the songs feel really long in the second listen itself. The opens with a fine song but even song that reaches a bad climax, the album closing track, “Last Day Alive” feels like an awkward end. Its like the album wasn’t meant to end with it and the Florida Georgia Line feature offers nothing notable too. Jhene Aiko is wasted on a bland and tasteless beat that the song isn’t able ooze out any emotion at all. Some of the songs over here do start well but become tiring at the half way point.

Overall, I would say with better lyrics, sharper topics and better vocal performance this could have been a much better album. Its not pointless, the album has a point, the problem is that the lyrics don’t help it execute any of those points. Even adding better vocal effects to Taggart’s voice would have helped the cause. The album fails to generate any experience and I personally wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. If I gotta give a rating it would be 4/10.

That’s it guys and have you given this one a listen? What do you feel about it? And what else have you been bumping the past few days?

Bling and Sling 2: Drake, Oddisee, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz.

Hello Everyone, it has been quite a while now since the last time I talked about any thing over here. Well life happens and there are somethings that one wishes to avoid but those things still do happen. Moving on, over this period we have had a lot of released during this period and as always some of it pulls me towards it everyday since its release the rest I try to avoid or have been indifferent towards it.

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Starting with Drake. Drake o Drake, this guy comes out with album calls it a playlist a fucking 22 track playlist and still has bigger first week numbers than any other artist who released an album (and called it an album too). Well, him calling “More Life” a playlist was one of the reasons that kept me away from the whole thing, I saw the track-list and felt like well that’s a huge number of tracks, is he not confident enough to call it an album? Or is this just another marketing strategy from him? But then finally I stopped being a sceptic and put this on. He starts is well and beats are enjoyable overall. “Passion fruit” is good, “Free Smoke” is good, “Skepta Interlude”, “4422”, “Ice Melts” are among some of the good tracks over here. The biggest thing that I took away or should I say enjoyed the most are the features. This has a nice array of features woven together throughout the album be it Young Thug, Travi$ Scott, Quavo, Sampha, Giggs or Black Coffee none of them sound wasted. But one must say how much this album needed these features to be actually listenable given how long this was because personally I don’t feel Drake does that good of a job over here. He doesn’t really hold the album together. I have heard that this is called as “Better than Views” by many but what I felt that this is Drake just skimming whatever he can from this particular sound. Not the most interesting piece of music to get your head and ears into. I do believe that had this been released as a proper album the ratings would have fallen down. I initially wanted to write a complete review for this but it being a playlist kept me from doing that.

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Next up is Oddisee. Well, actually I heard this album, The Iceberg, before I heard Drake’s and let this be told that both are very different in their approach towards Hip Hop. This was first album I heard from Oddisee and I am very happy that I gave this album a spin. I heard this for the first time when I was travelling and I think it is good to explore the unknowns when you travel and also that I would preferred the window seat instead of the aisle for listening this. I liked it as an introduction to this guy. I love the instrumentals here, the sounds are recorded by a live band for this album and it gives a very rich feel to it.  The features are very limited but to the point. The album is short, concise and to the point as it is just 12 tracks long and has interesting topics. The important take away is how smoothly this guy raps. This is his 11th studio album and for sure I am gonna hear his earlier work and look out for whatever he comes up with in the future.

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Kendrick Lamar!!! Well guess what now this guy who considered as being underground a few years ago now has a Billboard top 5 hit single. The only reason one must step in the game is to be the greatest and Kendrick is hopping no running towards the crown of being the Greatest of All Time (The GOAT). Will he run out of breathe? No one knows. But he made a point with the release of “The Heart Part IV” that he is not gonna hold back. He is going to reach for it. Kendrick is important because he keeps the things interesting, he tries new things, now that he is famous he can give a platform to others like him, he can be a platform himself and most importantly he never fails to astonish us. Just as he says that there are astonishment and accomplishment. The one I started this post with, Drake, has accomplished a lot, probably more than any active rapper has but how many times has he astonished you, probably never and maybe he isn’t even aiming for that he knows the guns in his arsenal and he knows how to use them to full capacity but he ain’t got no tanks or bombs to drop on us. But this guy Kendrick, he does. With “Humble” he did it again. The first single from his album that drops in a couple of days he seems to be going for a different direction than before, a weird kind of pop rap it sounds like but I am sure that this won’t be the signature sound of the whole album. “Humble” is as pop as Kendrick gets and he has everything in the right place over there. So sit down and be ready for April 14th.

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I still play Blonde regularly, when its night, I am on a ride to some place and a cool breeze is swaying past me, this is my go to album. I didn’t expect Frank Ocean to drop much stuff this year but he has already dropped two tracks. First was “Chanel” which is among my favourite singles from this year. “Chanel” is a track that will hold its own when put up against the best tracks on “Blonde”. On this Frank again showcases his ability to connect emotionally to the listener on a level that the song feels tailor-made for one’s soul. He knows how to peel layers of his soul to reach ours as he sings over the slow piano on this track. It’s always good to hear an artist try something new and still sound very comfortable on it and Frank achieves exactly that on this track that grows a lot on further listens. A similar feat is achieved by him on the track “Biking” which features Jay-Z and Tyler, the Creator. The song features a very unorthodox verse from Jay-Z, in-fact everything about this song is unorthodox. The structure is so different from what makes a everyday song that it surprises the listener. It’s very easy to make a mess out of such a song but they use the chaos over here as a ladder and come out with a very enjoyable product that puts one’s mind to comfort. Simple pianos, guitars and percussion are very reminiscent of Blonde and the verses over here are an extension to his emotions on Blonde. I didn’t enjoy the song that much on first listen but now its a good one to vibe too. “When’s the last time I asked for some help that I couldn’t get from nobody else” this is true for everyone who lives.

Gorillaz!!. Yeah this has been an enjoyable period of music. March and April gave me a lot to enjoy to musically. “Andromeda” was the first track I heard. The song is minimalist but also very colourful. The song feels exactly like a galaxy, a galaxy with vibrant textures. The moment it starts it puts it puts you in the centre of a club, where everyone is dancing but there is strange vibe to the club that you feel the need to explore and D.R.A.M with his vocals adds a lot of emotion and feel to the theme of the song. The second track I heard was “Let me out” featuring Pusha T and Mavis Staples. The strange collab feels like a puzzle piece fixed to perfection on this track with hard drums and minor pianos. The vibe is anxious, dramatic and yet puts you in the club yet again. In the meantime, I am also enjoying the Lorde singles a lot, on “Liability” Lorde has come out with a very definitive and creative piece of songwriting that puts me in my excited shoes when it comes to her next album.

There was a lot of music released in the last few weeks but there’s only so much one can write about. So tell me how you felt about these tracks and what are your favourite tracks from the recent past.

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Bling and Sling : The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, La La Land, Future Lana Del Ray

Oscars 2017 have come to an end and they ended with a fiasco. Anyhow, I haven’t seen a lot of movies nominated this year so my excitement was a tad low. Anyhow, even though I haven’t seen the movie I gave the soundtrack of La la land a couple of spins and my god what a record it is. This is the kind of music I would love to paint my walls with. The record gives me a good idea of what the movie holds and Justin Hurwitz has done a brilliant job with it. I totally get all the love it’s been getting now.
Next up is Future. The Atlanta rapper came out with two albums FUTURE and HNDRXX. I haven’t given the latter a listen yet but the first one, the first one sounds almost like everything else Future has done till now. I felt like he isn’t moving anywhere artistically. Although there are songs here that good beats and some nice flows and some songs that I might listen for a while but nothing here stands out as amazing and timeless. Moreover after listening this I felt like I have had enough of FUTURE for a month and that’s what kept me from listening HNDRXX.

Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room, the track that got the internet buzzing and one of my friends worried about one of his favorite artists choosing a path not meant for them. It’s time to address the new Chainsmokers song “Something Just Like This” for which they do a collaboration with Coldplay. People who know Coldplay would suggest that it was more a collaboration with Chris Martin than Coldplay because I absolutely didn’t see any musical influence of Coldplay barring the end and then again just when Martin says “I want something just like this” comes the abomination of the song which makes me feel I would never something like this. I was skeptical of this collab but I wasn’t against it. Now after hearing this all I wanna say is if both the groups wanted to collab they should have done it much better. They can. I mean anyone can make music less bland than Chainsmokers but they can at least try to make something different than what they already have over and over and over again. Because what they are doing right now makes them feel more like a product of great market research than a product of inspired music. Not everyone makes great technical music but at least those artist try to do something different Everytime but groups like these run a formula to the ground. Just stop it. I expected lyrics to be good this time but even they felt a bit dumbed down compared to what Coldplay generally come up with. This song is the perfect example of the least essential kind of music. 

Well right after that track came a Calvin Harris track and it featured Frank fucking Ocean and Migos. Well if the above track was an example of taking a step back this one is an example of taking a step ahead. The beat here is good it’s the kind of beat that popular dance music should have. It instantly makes you feel the groove and dance to it. Frank does what one expects him to do and delivers his vocals very efficiently. The Migos are good here too. They seem to have found a place for themselves a groove to fit in and are doing well in what they are good at. They are “bad and boujee” (pun intended). See the thing is I am not always in the mood for the lyrical content of this song but the beat drives me in. The “Slide” is a ride that I enjoy.

Next is Lana Del Ray, who is back with “Love”. I would say that the song is surely enough to “make her fans go crazy”. Subject wise we see the same topics being covered as we have seen her address in her previous work. Her delivery is moody, and her slightly sexualy charged voice helps sets the mood. The track isn’t something out of ordinary but has enough quality to get one excited for new material. She knows her forte and is ready to use it on us. 

Well this was my week when it comes to listening new music. If you have heard the above tracks tell me how you feel about them.

 

The Past few Days: Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran, Sampha, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and more.

The Grammys are done and there were some really bright moments the brightest of them all probably (apart from Cee Lo Green’s clothing) was Adele’s walk of triumph after triumph. Many would argue a better scenario would have been Bey taking home the coveted Album of the year but I wouldn’t go that far and say Adele didn’t deserve it, after all she had a good album and the biggest album of the last few years. But now the world of music moves forward and we have had new releases in the meanwhile.

So, let’s get started with Sampha. I happened to stumble upon his album actually. I was tuning into Beats 1 Radio stream expecting to hear Big Sean’s “I Decided” but was too late and by the time I tuned in they were finished with Sean and had Sampha on, the song “Under” was playing and I loved it straight away. I gave the album “Process” a listen and man oh man it was brilliant. In fact it is right now my favorite album released in 2017. The British singer’s efforts on this Alternative R&B, electronic record are very commendable and this being his debut album gives me a lot of hope for the what the future holds. And now as I used the word future it reminds me of another song I heard today, Maroon 5 feat. Future “Cold“. I must say that I wasn’t as disappointed by the as I was by the music video. It was a pain in the ass. The song however was again nothing special heck even Adam didn’t look excited for it in the beginning.

Then there’s also the Linkin Park track “Heavy” that got released today. The song is something very different than what one may expect from the band specially after how their last album sounded like. The song features vocals from Chester Bennington and guest vocals from Kiiara. Chester might seem unrecognizable at first when the song starts “I don’t like my mind right now” and goes on to talk about how he is handling the problems andhow the weight of the stuff he has to handle might be getting too much to handle for him and so does Kiiara. The vocals here are done well and the production on “Heavy” is light but enjoyable and fits the theme well the problem here is that this song sounds just like many other songs one may hear on the radio and even though it’s a comparatively new territory for the seasoned band I personally think it’s playing safe as I expected bands like LP to push the barriers a little more and go past the defined boundaries but maybe that’s just me. Anyhow, it is a good track to bump from time to time and I am excited to listen what they do with “One More Light” which comes out in May.

There’s also Ed Sheeran who released a new song (not a single he says) “How would you feel (Paean)”. I enjoyed his previous songs both “Castle on the hill” and “Shape of you“. This one here is song that is very reminiscent of “Thinking out loud” as he sings soulfully while playing his guitar in the background. He sings mostly in the mid and higher vocal range. It’s a very enjoyable song for those who have enjoyed his previous stuff. It’s very well written and increases my expectations with the upcoming album of his (Divide).

I’ll also like to shout out Jens Lekman for his album “Life will see you now“. The project is multi-colored in structure and has references to disco, funk, and soul among other genres. It has the potential to be one of the highlights among the Indie Pop genre music released this year. Oh and now the word highlight reminds of another album that’s Lupe Fiasco‘s “DROGAS light“. Well to be fair to Lupe I didn’t like this record. It was just too safe and almost none of the tracks here stand out to me and promise to be the one’s that I’ll keep on bumping in the future. I was very disappointed in the album. Disappointment reminds of another artist, Katy Perry. Well the new song “Chained to the rhythm” which features Skip Marley is just kind of trashy to me. I don’t really like calling people’s music trashy but that gave me a headache on the first listen itself (I have heard it more than once though). I hope it grows on me but right now I could have better done without it. 

There was a lot of stuff released recently and difficult to talk about it all but yeah NAV has released a song featuring The Weeknd it’s called “Some way” wasn’t exactly head over heels for it but yeah it’s a cool track to listen to and it grows on you. Probably The Weeknd takes shots at Justin Bieber in this one and believe me those lines are burn inducing. Which reminds me of Selena Gomez. She also released new music with Kygo. The song is titled “It Aint me” and has all the ingredients to be a hit but it’s largely a track that will be forgotten as soon as a new hit hits the market. 

So yeah, that’s pretty much it from me. Keep listening and do tell me what and who you are looking out for and what you feel about the above tracks and albums.
 

Grammy 2017 – Predictions and Expectations

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The Grammys are here (Again). We all have favorite songs, albums and artists and them getting or not getting awards doesn’t really affect the extent to which we like but it’s feels good to see some of favorite take home prized trophies back home and get the deserved recognition. So today, I am going to list down my predictions and expectations for this year. Well, this year the award will be awarded in a whooping 84 categories so I’ll be predicting only some of the major ones here. Let’s go.

Album of the Year

Already, I have talked about it in detail in the previous post so I’ll be just listing it down.

  • Should win – Lemonade (Beyonce)
  • Would win – Lemonade (Beyonce)

Record of the Year

What we have here is one great song, one huge song, one good but too cheesy song, one average song and one somehow a song (You all figure out which one is which). On a serious note the deserving candidates are Formation and Hello.

  • Hello – Adele
  • Formation – Beyonce (Would and Should Win)
  • 7 Years – Lukas Graham
  • Work – Rihanna feat. Drake
  • Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

Song of the Year

This can be an interesting category but I think it will down to the two heavy weights (Adele and Beyonce it is).

  • Hello – Adele (Would and Should Win)
  • Formation – Beyonce
  • I Took a Pill in Ibiza – Mike Posner
  • Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
  • 7 Years – Lukas Graham

Best New Artist

Interesting category this one mostly because an artist (or two) may be bereft-ed  for a very deserved acknowledgement of their talent and astounding potential their work has had this past year and the years before.

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Chainsmokers (Would win)
  • Chance the Rapper (Should win)
  • Maren Morris
  • Anderson .Paak

Pop

Best Pop Solo Performance

This year has the possibility of being a very big one for either Beyonce or Adele. They come head to head on this one again alongside some other good nominees.

  • Hello – Adele (Would and Should win)
  • Hold Up – Beyonce
  • Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
  • Piece by Piece (Idol Version) – Kelly Clarkson
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

Best Pop Vocal Album

A very underwhelming category full of sort of underwhelming albums. This one seems to be a clear cut victory for the British songstress Adele (until and unless the Academy have a surprise set for the night).

  • 25 – Adele (Would and Should win)
  • Purpose – Justin Bieber
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
  • Confident – Demi Lovato
  • This is Acting – Sia

Alternative

Best Alternative Music Album

This is the tightest category, a really tight one and I believe the Academy voters will be having a really torrid time voting the winner purely based on quality of the product. My favorite album among the nominees is Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool but all the artists have an awesome album here. But, David Bowie (RIP) might be the one bagging it home not just because of his death but as a tribute for his contribution to the genre and music in general and it’ll be very deserved.

  • 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  • Blackstar – David Bowie (Would and Should win)
  • The Hope Six Demolition Project – PJ Harvey
  • Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop
  • A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead

Rock

Best Rock Performance

  • Joe (Live from Austin City Limits) – Alabama Shakes
  • Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyonce Feat. Jack White
  • Blackstar – David Bowie (Would and Should win)
  • The Sound of Silence – Disturbed
  • Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

R&B

Best R&B Performance

  • Turnin’ Me Up – BJ The Chicago Kid
  • Permission – Ro James
  • I Do – Musiq Soulchild
  • Needed Me – Rihanna (Would win)
  • Cranes in the Sky – Solange (Should win)

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Personally, I would love if Anderson .Paak gets to walk away with this as Beyonce might very well scoop the bigger ones but yeah she deserves this. Gallant had a good album too was very disappointed with Rihanna’s album.

  • Lemonade – Beyonce (Would and Should win)
  • Ology – Gallant
  • We are King – KING
  • Malibu – Anderson .Paak
  • Anti – Rihanna

Rap

Best Rap Performance

Will like to express my opinion on the songs nominated here. I really love No Problem so I’ll be very happy to see it win this. Panda on the other is the biggest rap song among the nominees so it has a chance of its own and it isn’t a bad track just not good enough to me. I can’t see the merit in Pop Style that academy does. All The Way Up is just meh and That Part is a fine track not too great. Academy can give it to Panda but hoping Chance is rewarded

  • No Problem – Chance The Rapper Feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz (Should Win)
  • Panda – Desiigner (Would Win)
  • Pop Style – Drake feat. The Throne
  • All the way up – Fat Joe &Remyy Ma feat. French Montana & Infrared
  • That Part – Schoolboy Q feat. Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Here, in this category we have some really tight competition and great songs. Beyonce comes up with a great song and Kendrick has a very notable feature on it. “Hotline Bling” is a really good song to chill out to and is the most popular song in this category. “Broccoli” even though it isn’t exactly my type of song is still an interesting one and I really loved “Ultralight Beam”, can’t say the same about “Famous” though.

  • Freedom – Beyonce feat. Kendrick Lamar
  • Hotline Bling – Drake (Would win)
  • Broccoli – D.R.A.M feat Lil Yatchy
  • Ultralight Beam – Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream (Should Win)
  • Famous – Kanye West feat. Rihanna

Best Rap Album

God, Grammys please don’t give it to Drake, not that Views is a very terrible album it’s just it isn’t that much of a Rap record. I think there’s a chance that they may award it to Drake as it’s also nominated for the Best Album category but please Grammy let it be a more sensible night and give it to Chance the Rapper or Schoolboy Q. I think this category is meant to be Chance’s.

  • Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper (Would and Should win)
  • And The Anonymous Nobody – De La Soul
  • Major Key – DJ Khaled
  • Views – Drake
  • Blank Face LP – Schoolboy Q
  • The Life of Pablo – Knaye West

Well, that’s pretty much it. These are all the categories that I am going to express my views upon and let’s gear up and see what the award envelopes hold for the artists and the fans.

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Big Sean – I Decided Review

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Detroit rapper Big Sean aka Sean Don or whatever you may like to him is back again with his 4th studio album and he calls it “I Decided”. To be fair to Big Sean I think he receives too much backlash (more than he deserves). At least to me he has been improving with each and every album and to sum it up the trend very much continues with this one. Until now all of his albums have had hit or miss tracks for my taste (more miss than hit). I used to like a few tracks here and there on them but this one had me all optimistic largely because of the singles that dropped before its release. So I decided (No pun intended) to give this album a listen the day it dropped.

The album starts off just fine with the “Intro” then it reaches a three track run that I liked here and made me feel even more hopeful for what’s in store. I like the Jeremih featuring tracks “Light” and “Bounce Back” might be one of my favorite Big Sean tracks to date, Metro Boomin does a great job on this one with the production. “No Favors” was fine although the verses by both Eminem and Sean are good on their own they just don’t fit together that well on this particular song and I believe Eminem could have done much better with his verse and contributed more to the song and album substance wise. There are tracks on this album that I would have cropped out and will probably skip on further listens like “Jump out of Window” (probably made Lady Gaga jump during her performance too (just joking) ) but there are other tracks that I really love, like the song “Sacrifices” featuring Migos. Other tracks like “Sunday Morning Jetpack, “Voices in my head” and “Moves” are some notable tracks over here.

The album receives executive production from Kanye West and production wise is a well put together album though at times the production may sound a bit tiring. It has trap elements throughout the album and a very modern sound. It’s true the album gains in production and content but still lacks long term replay-ability and Big Sean still needs to improve his delivery. One of his major problem is his voice which might sound very boring to a lot of listens and takes away the overall a affect a song might have had if it had been delivered by a more potent vocalist. Other problem is the lack of originality and inventiveness that Sean’s project have always had to actually portray him as the biggest superstar that he aims to be.

Overall, I will say this is my favorite Big Sean album to date but still it leaves a lot to be desired from a top tier artist who hails from a top tier music label with Kanye in it. It will be interesting to see where Big Sean goes after this in his career.

I give this album a 6.5/10. If you already heard do tell me what do you feel about it and if not then tell me what keeps you from listening to Big Sean or artists like him.