Album Review: Tee Grizzley & Lil Durk Bloodas

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Rappers Tee Grizzley and Lil Durk just dropped another collab project to add to a stream of collaboration albums and mixtapes that have dropped this year. Going into this project I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, as I was familiar with a few of Tee Grizzley’s singles (primarily the song “First Day Out”) and was indifferent on them for the most part. I saw Grizzley as a rapper who had potential but was unsure if it would ever be reached. I had not heard anything by Lil Durk, as I hardly recognized his name.

When I began listening to this album I was instantly surprised. The beats hit hard and Grizzley brought a huge amount of energy to the tracks. The production was good as well. Nothing special as much of it fit the mainstream trap wave. The only beats I felt were a little flat were some of the later cuts on the project, primarily the song “Melody” which features some R&B influence and sounds very cliche in my opinion.

The lyrics on this album aren’t great, but they are serviceable. Neither Grizzley nor Durk said anything I recall being wack or corny. The hooks, lyrically, are catchy enough and serve their purpose well.

The main gripe I have with this album is Lil Durk. His voice is extremely annoying to me. He sounds like a cheap version of Nav (who is really a cheap version of the Weeknd/Quavo). His verses and hooks completely ruin this project for me. I found myself enjoying tracks until Lil Durk made his appearance, which would often turn me off from the entire song. If you enjoy, or can at least deal with, Lil Durk’s voice and inflection, you probably enjoyed this project much more than I did.

Coming away from this project I look forward to Tee Grizzley’s next solo venture as he seems to be progressing as a rapper. On this project, he brought more aggression than I had heard on his other material. His flow also improved, as he sounds a little off beat on some of his older stuff (an example would be “From the D to the A”with Lil Yatchy”). I will probably never listen to a solo Lil Durk project, as I feel that his music is just not for me.

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Album Review: Big Sean & Metro Boomin Double or Nothing

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Detroit MC Big Sean and Atlanta based trap producer Metro Boomin recently dropped a surprise collab-album called Double or Nothing. This is Sean’s second release of the year following his recent album release I Decided that dropped in early 2017. Metro has stayed busy as well dropping his recent well-received collab-tape with Offset and 21 Savage titled Without Warning.

I thought I Decided was a decent album, with strong songs here and there but it didn’t come together well for me, which seems to be a constant issue for Sean. Although I didn’t love I Decided, I did enjoy Sean’s single he dropped prior to the album “Living Single,” which features Jeremih and Chance the Rapper. I’m also a big proponent of Big Sean’s mixtape Detroit which dropped back in 2012.

 

I’m a pretty big fan of Metro Boomin and I find him to be one of the more skilled and unique trap producers in the game. I really enjoyed his work on the Without Warning tape and tend to enjoy most of his beats.

Metro is by far the star of Double or Nothing. Sean, while his flow is great, his lyrics are consistently corny and at times even cringe-worthy. Like in the track “Big Bidness” when he makes a reference to fidget spinners saying, “Yeah, what goes around comes around, faster than fidgets.” Or on the intro track “Go Legend” when he raps “In my castle like Mario, I gave this s*** my heart and soul.”

I enjoyed most of the beats on this album, especially on “Pull Up N Wreck” and “Savage Time.” “Pull Up N Wreck” features these deep and dark choir vocals. The hook is catchy as well and Sean does well on the track. I also enjoyed 21 Savage’s verse on the song. I also really liked the beat for “In Tune.” The Lori Perri sample on this track is dope and I liked to see Metro change it up and use samples more often than normal on this project.

There are a few beats I wasn’t a fan of. For instance, the horns sampled on the track “Reason” sound goofy. Swae Lee, who is featured on the track, also sounds out of place. Most of the features on this album, outside of 21 Savage, were pretty run-of-the-mill and didn’t offer anything special to me.

Metro Bommin channels DJ Mustard on the track “So Good.” The beat, which is a little too drum and bass heavy and lacks a strong melody, is a nice change of pace. But the song itself is not very enjoyable, at least for me personally. I’m not sure if it’s the content or Big Sean’s lyrics, but something about the song just totally turns me off.

While I liked the piano melody sampled on “No Hearts, No Love,” I wasn’t a big fan of the baseline. The track “Even the Odds” has a nice beat but I felt the track would’ve benefited if the tempo was a bit faster to fit the feel of the song.

Overall, I was pretty mixed on this album. I was indifferent on most of the songs while I enjoyed others. The project really suffers from Sean’s lyrics and the lack of compelling features. Add the fact that a few of beats weren’t all the way there and you have a pretty average mainstream rap album in 2017.

The hype online for this project may have affected my judgment a bit as I was hoping to see Sean finally get his writing together and was expecting a bit more from Metro Boomin as well.