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Strictly Hip Hop & Grime (Vol.4)

Album Reviews

Maverick Sabre – Lonely Are The Brave

Maverick Sabre first came to our attention when he featured with Professor Green on the aggressive yet captivating single ‘Jungle’. Yet did we really think back then he’d make the strides he’s made to get where he is now? With one of the most anticipated albums for a long time, last month Maverick finally released his long awaited debut. It really is no disappointment at all.

Soul pumps through his blood and is released into our ears with every word sung, from the off he delivers his heartfelt talent with ‘I Need’, a track that clearly expresses his Irish influences and really does touch a nerve. After that its clear that Maverick is so versatile, collaborating with Chipmunk, Benny Banks and Footsie of the Newham Generals to name a few. Track 2 jumps straight into a different angle and shows a Jazz side to Sabre’s music, the powerfully delivered ‘Let Me Go’ is bursting with almost every brass instrument you can think of, passing through your body like a surge of happiness.

As the album progresses and it takes major steps forward with each track that passes he expresses a different style. The melodic ‘Memories’ keeps your head bobbing with the monotonous beat and silky lyrics. This is a high quality album and it will do well to match it on his second release.

If he hadn’t already made a masterpiece, Maverick adds the final nail to the coffin with a cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. The only way to describe this gem would be beautiful. Out of all the covers he could have chosen, he reached perfection with this choice. It seems a talent has been found here that could succeed in the UK, the US, and, to be honest, anywhere in the world. With a faultless voice, a versatile style and one of the most impressive covers I’ve heard in years this really is one album that is a must to add to the collection.

Check out the tracks: I Need, Memories & A Change Is Gonna Come.

Tyga – Careless World: Rise Of The Last King

This album really couldn’t be more of a new release if it tried. Released at midnight tonight (Tuesday) it packs a punch before you’ve even listened to it with the quality of collaborations you read on the track listing (Robin Thicke, Nas, Pharell Williams, Wale, Lil Wayne, Nicky Minaj, Busta Rhymes, Chris Brown and T – Pain to name a collection). That isn’t even the whole list, its captivating that an artist can lure that calibre of artists on his debut release.

The first single ‘Careless World’ drops hard and Tyga shows his talent without the needing the help of any collaborator. Straight after this we burst into ‘Lil Homie’ with Pharrell Williams, the vibes of The Neptunes and N.E.R.D are completely evident, the high voice on the chorus and smooth lyrics takes you back years and they’re very reminiscent of the features you used to hear with Justin Timberlake. The first collaboration is an instant success.

Tyga shows a real maturity throughout this album and projects the confidence of an artist releasing his 3rd album never mind his 1st. But what would you expect when he addresses himself as ‘The Last King’? He might not be exactly accurate in the sense that he’s the last successful US rapper but it’s very obvious he’s going to be at the top of the game for years to come.

The catchy and very present lately ‘Rack City’ is the stand out single with everyone and their daughter having a go at a cover, and for this Tyga deserves a lot of respect for putting the instrumental on the map. For me the standout track has to be ‘King and Queens’, with Nas and Wale featuring it really does show how the rap game has progressed. Nas a man who would have been at the same position as Tyga when releasing ‘Illmatic’ in the early 90′s is now a pioneer collaborating on this young man’s debut. And that’s where the difference lies; in the time that Nas was making a name for himself a cameo from one of the biggest names in rap was very unlikely. It shows the giant steps YMCMB have made (Young Money/Cash Money Billionaires) with their artists and in actual fact their power within the industry.

One of the most impressive tracks on display is ‘Love Game’, an emotional heartfelt Hip-Hop ballad develops into a Dubstep inspired instrumental, this really is a favourite of mine and really does show Tyga’s talent in a new light. A very strong debut album with a collection of fantastic tracks expressing talent not only within the lyricism or production but with the impressive work gone into making an album full of cameos of this pedigree. They don’t just show up to help Tyga name drop, but perform to a level that Tyga himself sets on every single song. We may only be two months into 2012 but this could be one of the albums of the year, the potential of successful singles from this tracklist is infinite.

Check out the tracks: Lil Home Ft. Pharrell Williams, Black Crowns, Kings and Queens, Let It Show Ft. J.Cole & Love Game.

Featured Artist

Kendrick Lamar

If you listen to Kendrick’s music it will instantly tell you more about the man than I ever could. He represents a new breed of MCs who make up the Black Hippy collective, a group comprising of past featured artist ScHoolboy Q as well as the equally impressive A$AP Rocky. This, however is Kendrick’s moment and he definitely deserves singular recognition.

Like so many top notch rappers before him, Kendrick hails from Compton, California. A place so rich in talent that to emerge you have to be a cut above the rest and Lamar most definitely is. At the age of just 16, and known at that point as K. Dot he released the mix tape ‘Youngest Head Nigga In Charge’, an early demonstration of his talent which gained him attention and ultimately got him signed to Top Dawg Entertainment. More mix tapes followed including the brilliant ‘C4′ which due to being co-signed by Lil’ Wayne centre mainly around the fantastic album ‘Tha Carter III’.

A change of heart saw Lamar drop K. Dot in favour of his birth name announcing the switch by releasing the ‘Kendrick Lamar EP’. In 2010 he dropped another mixtape, this time titled O(verly) D(edicated) which contained the brilliant ‘Ignorance is Bliss’. The mixtape was hugely popular and upon hearing it legendary hip hop producer Dr.Dre immediately wanted to work with the promising young artist. With such a wealth of experience around him in Dre as well as drawing inspiration from other artists he started working with including Snoop Dogg and The Game; Kendrick released his first solo album. 2011′s ‘Section 80′ is just pure class.

Not often can you listen to a whole album through without skipping at least one song, this however is unmissable. An album so full of conviction and meaning that every single moment is unmissable. Rarely are concept albums so deep and understandable, it highlights the issues of youth and life of ‘generation y’ with  the track ‘A.D.H.D’ being the best of a brilliant bunch.

Recent single ‘Cartoons and Cereal’ shows no sign that he’s peaked and leaves a huge sense of anticipation for new album ‘Good Kid in A Mad City’ which is due for release at some point this year.

To get a feel for Lamars music check out the tracks, ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’, ‘A.D.H.D’, ‘Kush and Corinthians’ and ‘I Hate You’ which brilliantly samples Sigur Ros’.



Author: david

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