[This is for Free] presents Rap Albums of 2012

2012 was good year for rap music, and I got a top 12. How? I have no clue, I just went through the best of the best and it came out to ten, very random. I won’t hold y’all up w/ the introduction, let jump to the list.

12. ROYALTY – Childish Gambino
3.5/5

A bit of a detour from Camp, but still a very enjoyable mixtape overall from Childish Gambino. To me, this was more of a showcase for him and his independent success, more fun, nowhere near as deep and introspective as some of his older work but the result was still solid music. He now has shown that he has the ability to not only produce very good beats and to work with some very talented people and keep pace. The problem with this mixtape though is that even though he was able to keep pace, he was still out done by most of his features such as Bun B, Schoolboy Q, Ab Soul, Nipsy Hussle. The production on the album was great, but some tracks lyrically didn’t work and was lacked replay value because of it.

11. K.O.N.Y – Smoke DZA
3.5/5

DZA is another one of those rapper, like Curren$y and Dom Kennedy, that will never WOW you lyrically, nor will they stray from that lane and try to, but there is something to be said when you can make consistently good music. DZA gives us solid lyrics and great production, but like Curren$y and Dom, he can come off flat, uninspired and repetitive. That happened more on Rugby Thompson, but on K.O.NY, lyrically, he was solid all the way through, just don’t expect to remember after you listen, he does have beats though, you can never say that.

10. Taylor Allderdice – Wiz Khalifa
3.5/5

This mixtape is the reason I get mad at this pot smoking asshole, right after he releases Kush & Orange Juice, which was his best work to date, he drops Cabin Fever…which was straight ass….and Rolling Papers…..recycle bin classic…..He regained some of my faith with this mixtape though, which was perfect for the summer. The production was great, props to whoever used that chrono trigger sample and getting Jake One to produce “The Grinder”. When Wiz shows enough focus, he can make some very good music. Now, he still has moments of lyrically redundancy, which is expected at this point and he’s never been great lyrically, but he can make more music like this, but of course, he’s either inconsistent or just putting out any ol’ thing just cause he knows he has enough fans that will support him and his weed habit. But at least he gave us this because O.N.I.F.C was trash.

9. Habits and Contradictions – Schoolboy Q
3.5/5

The rise of TDE [commercially and critically] started with Schoolboy Q’s second album early in 2012. He set the tone for the label but solidified himself as an individual. Solid production mixed with good to great lyricism and the ability to create catchy ass songs. He can also work well with others, but the best chemistry was between him and A$AP Rocky on one of the best tracks of 2012 “Hands on The Wheel”. The setback is that Q’s lyrics, every once in a while, range from decent to eh. Next, the album it’s self, was all over the place, even for the album’s title. Like, you can see what he was doing, but he misses wildly in the process.


8. Mic Tyson – Sean Price
4/5

Sean Price has always made music to slap your rude neighbor to, and nothing’s changed here, no reinventing the wheel, just a really gruff & tough album that had no filler tracks, just tracks that wasn’t as good as others, which as you can see, was its biggest downfall. Otherwise, good production, great to good lyrics, a good album from a man I just started listening to.

7. Reloaded – Roc Marciano
4/5

Roc sticks to what he knows and what he’s good at, grimy street tales about guns n’ shit delivered with a cold delivery with the production to match [even though sonically different from Marcberg since he had outside production this album]. This album feels like everything that could have occurred midnight or later because everyone’s voice is never raised beyond regular talking levels, and the beats have some knock to it, but it meshes perfectly, think “Quiet Storm” from Mobb Deep. He could have found some better features for the album though, they were nowhere near as good as Roc, plus they sounded the same. Also, lyrically, he gets redundant at times and at times I can miss what he’s saying and still not miss much.

6. Rare Chandlers – Action Bronson & Alchemist
4/5

First off, Alchemist is easily one of the best producers of the year, up there with Hit-Boy, this mixtape was just another example of production skills and added chemistry with one of the best underground acts around and one of the best NY rappers under the age of 35. Lyrically, Bronson was his usual stream of conscious self, only this time, it was sharper than usual, probably because of the build up from his first release until now, progression. Some of the tracks wasn’t as good as the next, but they were never bad, like “Mike Vick”, just lack the reply values as say “ Randy the Musical”.

5. Control Systems – Ab Soul
4/5

Ab Soul is the Russell Westbrook of TDE, this album proves that he’s a real force to be reckoned with, especially with this album. Lyrically sharp and very good production until the end, Great features as well, everyone that contributed added to the value of the album that was filled with social commentary, political views, fun w/ ho’s, drugs and drinks, stories about his life and a lost love of his girlfriend. This was a very good album that had a few flaws and a couple of tracks that wasn’t as strong, but all of that will ultimately not hold back the replay value of the album

4. Yellow Album – Dom Kennedy
4/5

Great bounce back album from Dom, because From the Westside with Love 2 was deleted of my MP3 with the quickness.  Another rapper who won’t come with some fancy wordplay or nothing like that, but will offer up some great music, difference here is that this album along with the smooth tracks, he had very strong, upbeat tracks that matched his flow, the best example of that was another 2012 standout track “Hangin” w/ Freddie Gibbs. The biggest drawback to this otherwise strong album was his lyrics got a lil too laid back or just wasn’t good at all, but this was an album to remember in 2012.

3. Life is Good – Nas
4.5/5

‘Bout damn time Nas released an album that was finally worth talking about for all the good reasons. Except for 2 ear scathing tracks, this was an album that was lyrically strong, filled with more of his patent nostalgic  storytelling, FINALLY some good beats to work with and a sense of focus from the 40-year-old.

2. A Dream Deferred – Skyzoo
4.5/5

Yet another piece of work form an artist that still doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, especially with a near perfect album, but that’s how it goes sometimes in the underground scene of rap. Skyzoo released an album full of dense lyrics, great production and great features. His last 4 tracks of the album was one of the strongest of the year, especially since it was towards the end, where things usually tailor off a bit for most artists. Just 2 tracks that I didn’t think were that good but were not bad at the very least.

1. Good Kid M.A.A.D city – Kendrick Lamar
5/5

This was a classic album, I’m not saying this off hype either, I really do believe it is. The amount of detail in this album is crazy, great production from start to finish, great features, great execution of the story of a teenage Kendrick Lamar. This was the album that further proves that he is one of the top artist is rap period and at age 25, he has a long career ahead of him, and after Section .80 and this album, eyes will be on him.

Welp, That’s my list, questions, comments etc etc [points down at comments box]

[This is for Free] presents: Let me review this music real quick

So much music, so little time y’all, but I won’t complain though, it’s been a good couple of months for music and we really can’t complain too much. If you still are AND you have internet access, then it’s your fault at this point and no one feels sorry for you or your headphones. Anyways man, let’s get to the music, I’m gonna run through 4 albums, mixtapes, whatever they are, rate em, etc, etc. Let’s jump into it.

Shyzoo
A Dream Deferred

Skyzoo, funny name and all, will be one of those underground heroes that people will always feel like he deserves more praise and recognition but will never get it. Why? Extremely intricate rhymes that a lot of people will not take the time to digest? Not enough star power? No major label support, etc. Either way, he’s EXTREMELY underrated, it’s not sad, but that’s kinda how the ball bounces sometimes.  If this is your introduction to the man, this is a damn good one. As one of the few New Yorkers that NY hip hop can actually point to as a true example of what it can be in 2012 & beyond, Skyzoo easily released one of the best albums of 2012, 95% fire. There’s only 2 tracks I really wasn’t rockin w/ too much, mostly because I thought they were boring, something that gets to me when I listen to Skyzoo, every once in a while, he bores me, they’re not weak at all though. Seriously though, check this album out, he’s worth your undivided attention, you don’t get a lot of albums you don’t feel the need to  keep your thumb near the skip button

Highs: Dream in a Basement, Jansport Strings, Pockets Full, Range Rover Rhythm, How to Make it Through Hysteria, Steel’s Apartment, Spike Lee Was My Hero

Lows: The Knowing, Realization

4.5/5

Sean Price
Mic Tyson

Another underground legend and had been around since the 90′s, Sean Price ain’t changing, and if you tell him to, he’ll slap the fuck out of you, especially since he’s over 40, and old niggas don’t give a shit man. Anyways, man he finally released an album after about 4 years [I think] and he’s still sharp as ever. Problem w/ Sean Price, he’s a but redundant, like he will always have the skill and the talent, but topically, same shit you’ll hear everyday with no real advancement creatively. All things considered though, this is a good ass album, he’s very entertaining and this is the first time I’ve ever heard an entire album of his and I see what the hype if about.

Highs: Remember, Bar-Barian, Pyrex, Straight Music, STFU 2, Frankenberry, Battering Bars, The Hardest Nigga Out

Lows: Solomon Grundy, Title Track

4/5

Meek Mill
Dreams & Nightmares

I like Meek, ignorance can be entertaining as hell when you have the right people doing it, Meek is one of those people. That being said, after Dreamchasers 2, it wasn’t looking that great for this upcoming album and well, it finally came out and kinda what I expected, a mixed result. Sure, he had some tracks that were great, some ranged from ‘eh’ to ‘fuck no’, but it is his first real album and we’ll see how he does in the future.

Highs: Dreams & Nightmares, In God We Trust, Traumatized, Real Niggas Come First

Lows: Young & Gettin it, Who You Around, Lay Up

3/5

Action Bronson & Alchemist
Rare Chandeliers

Another reason NY has a reason to smile for once when the topic of hip hop comes up, Action Bronson is back with another album full of stream of conscious fly talk.  Alchemist is on a hot streak and it doesn’t end here, he supplied plenty of ammo for Bronson to talk his shit. This isn’t some next level music, this is just high quality music that you can listen to more than twice.

Highs: The Symbol, Sylvester Lundgren, Randy the Musical, Demolition Man, Eggs on the Floor, Gateway to Wizardry, Blood of the Goat

Lows: Rare Chandeliers, Mike Vick

4/5

That’s pretty much it, questions, comments, lack of spotify links? I know, they didn’t help this time. [points down to comments box]

[This is For Free] presents A Kinda Late Album Review

Kendrick Lamar
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City….Classic though?

Damn this took forever to type this out, but whatever, I did it y’all *fist pump*…..

So most of us waited a good deal of time for K. Dot to drop his first real commercial release of his album entitled Good Kid M.A.A.D City and the reaction to it was nothing but positivity, one of the few albums that came out that was universally given all types of props and not one review of it was negative. Now comes the question, is it a classic? An album that is this good warranted this kind of discussion, it’s deserved, but at some point you have to answer the question, is it a classic? I came to the conclusion that it is, you’ll see why through this review.

Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter
- Hear that prayer? Put a pin on that for later, you’ll need that part. First off, surprised that Tha Bizness made a beat like this, they’re more of the party type with young money/cash money and ‘em.  Kendrick is telling the story of himself during his teenage years and he was ready to get with this girl he met at a party, grabbed his parent’s car and took the trip, and ends up getting jumped. Kendrick was always good at meticulous storytelling, and this track is nothing different, it’s a good intro to the album and sets the stage. The end of the track with his parents talkin on his phone was hilarious, one of the few skits that stick and you will actually sit through and listen to.
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe
- The title explains it all, lyrically as well, in so many words, bitches don’t kill his vibe. I don’t think it’s a part of the story, this is about him right now, but at the end of the song, his friends pick him up and we jump right back into the story.

Backseat Freestyle
- This is Kendrick just rappin, ‘bout nothing cause you know, he’s a teenager in this song, but damn good rappin none the less. The beat is great and does the right job, be visceral, that along w/ Kendrick doing the same, means a straight heat, even if you didn’t know this was a part of the story, it can live on its own.

The Art of Peer Pressure
- I loved both beats, but the one at the beginning of the song was my favorite, but it get it, it was used as a transition because at some point, he was going to be burnt out and completely stressed n’ shit, but that’s much later into the album. Now to the actual song, this is Kendrick doing a bunch of this is doesn’t normally do, but since he’s with the homies today, he’ll do it. Clearly, the guy is fuckin up, and he knows that he’s fuckin up, but like the average teenager, he just does it and hopes for a lucky outcome and get home to his parents place.

Money Trees
- First off, can we all say that Jay Rock came on this track to remind y’all that he is a part of TDE and not to be forgotten? He probably feels like Inspectah Deck and shit, he drops a very good verse here, damn near stole the show from Kendrick, damn near y’all, this is a rare moment, cherish it. Now to the overall song, the general premise is about money and having lots of it, eventually, so that he doesn’t have to resort to robbin’ people for it and live like rappers do. The hook is says more than most 4 minute songs, one part pick your poison, one part alluding to his dead uncle, money being his escape the pain of life, and the dollar will make you do strange things in the process of obtaining it.

Poetic Justice
- Great use of a Janet Jackson sample. Now this the track that leads him into the moment he is ready to see Sherane, you know, before he gets jumped and shit. I feel bad for him at the end of the track, he was not expecting to get his ass whooped and asked all these questions, just Sherane, but naaaaaawwwwww, he gets stomped out by multiple pairs of Nike’s. Drake did a good job on this track as well, I’m just glad he didn’t fuck it up for me by being all extra about it, cause we all know he could have done something real Marvin’s Room-ish and ruin all the fun. But he didn’t, he just a good verse.

Good Kid
- Red and Blue, Bloods and Crips, cop lights, it’s all the same for him really, they both make his life stressful for him and others. At one end, he’s getting questioned by both sides even though he doesn’t bang at all, even if he looks like someone, or wear the wrong colors, he risks getting killed for gang reasons. On the other side, he’s getting questioned by cops because they are looking for people in gangs they don’t have time to separate and ask questions, just action.

m.A.A.d city
- Best track on the entire album, shit was perfect. My favorite part was the second half of the track with one of the oldest west coast beats ever used, homage at its finest.

Swimming Pools [Drank]
- Now on the surface, it’s just a song about getting fucked up and if you’re not paying attention, you just gonna jam to it, but take a deeper listen, and shit is depressing and sobering. It’s really about peer pressure and alcohol abuse. I actually didn’t know this was the extended version, I didn’t hear any single from the album, I wanted to hear the whole thing, but good job extending the song because a shorter version of it would have just killed the momentum it had, like you wanted to hear a lil more to feel complete.

Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst
- Sing about me is the 1A of the songs on this album, like m.A.A.d city was top dog, but this came so close to being the best track. So much detail, one of his friend asked him to tell his story, even if he doesn’t live long enough to hear it, and that’s some sad shit, cause he knew he wasn’t going to make it. The woman of the story hated the attention that was gained from her sister from his last album Section .80. She was determined to live the life she wants and don’t want anyone to say a damn thing about to her cause she really don’t give a fuck about your opinions. Then she fades away, Kendrick is ignoring her at this point, nothing that he says will change her mind, that’s up to her. He wraps up this track by examining himself, and why he wrote what he wrote and just wanted to tell a good story and to be remembered for what left long after he is gone.

Now on to dying of thirst, remember when his mom said one day it’s gonna burn you out? Yeah, it’s getting to that point now. It’s everything coming back to haunt him and he needs something to ease his nerves and I’m not sure who this is, but some old woman calms everyone down, says a prayer and hopes that this sets them, specifically Kendrick, on the right path to a decent life and live past the age of 21. Religion was tool and it work, it gave them peace.

Real
- This was the weakest track on the entire album, and I hated I tell ya, hated the hook, he really could have done a better job with the hook, it was u-turning into corny quickly if it wasn’t for the lyrics in-between. I really liked his Dad’s part of the song when he left a message, it was funny, but it was…..real…..[no pun intended]….

Compton
- Great closing credits song, it was celebratory, he made it, he’s alive, he still loves Compton even if it stresses him out to no end. Dr. Dre shows up and raps a very good ghostwritten Kendrick verse. Now to the real star of the song, Just Blaze, this beat man, the end of it..son…I mean….*throws up Westside symbol even though I’m from Maryland and live in Pittsburgh never been close to California in my life*

There you have it, this is why it’s a classic, great story that was detail and explored to the end, great production, fantastic lyrics, the features all came with their A game, primarily Jay Rock, the replay values of this album is extremely high. You can either play this album in parts or play it separately, it won’t change in quality. Now, besides the one glaring issue with this album, the one thing that could hold this album back is that the sum is greater than its parts, but I think it overcomes that and has earned classic status. Now if you disagree, that’s cool, we can discuss it if you want, but it’s a dope album no matter what.

5/5

Questions, Comments, *throws Westside symbol one mo’time  pointing towards the comments box*

[This is For Free] presents: Another Album Review


Lupe Fiasco
Food & Liquor II: The Good American Rap Album With The Long Title pt. 1

I’m so glad Lupe got back on track with this album cause I pretty much forgot that other album that I refuse to name existed and would like to keep it that way, so thank you Lupe for making a far superior album. Now, with that being said, this album is nowhere near his two best previous commercial works, it’s also not even touching Enemy of the State either, cause that was better than this album. What this album is ultimately, is a good album, it’s not trash and it has some replay value, but his miscues where not minor at all and the album overall was missing something that his three projects had that had me pressing the replay button. Enough of this, let’s get to the music.

Ayesha Says [intro]
…..Eh, it’s cool, but *presses skip button*

Strange Fruition
….. Sets the tone for the entire album. Big fan of this song right out of the gate. One of his best produced songs on the album and lyrically he’s ginsu sharp, I could go on and tell you what he’s talkin about, but the song is dope so just listen to it.

ITAL [Roses]
….. Serious question, does anyone know what this title mean? Anyway, another good song, the topics about personal and social improvement, fiscal responsibility, politics at home and abroad and he lets you know why he’s so heavy-handed and repetitive on those issues and more because “well…that’s cause aint shit change bitch” and don’t excuse his language either….Bitch…..Weakest point of the song that held it back, the hook, it wasn’t that good.

Around My Way [Freedom Ain’t Free]
…..The fact that the T.R.O.Y beat/sample was used counts as a win in my opinion. Now you can say that there was nothing special done with this beat beside some minor changes and what not, but beats like this need to breathe on its own because it is that damn good. Now lyrically, he is on point, he is all over the place topically, but he does a really good job of keeping it all tightly wrapped together to the central theme of the song, limiting confusion and keeping things interesting.

Audubon Ballroom
…..This song is just not that good honestly. First off, this beat is not good at all, it’s like a song that was on that album that I refuse to speak into existence. Second, the chorus, don’t know what he was trying to carry out. I mean, I know what he’s saying but the first thought that I get is “So what’s the point here?”.  Lyrically, he was flat and it really didn’t make much sense, until the last verse. He should have left this track die off somewhere and never to be found on the cutting room floor forreal.

Bitch Bad
…..Aight, so the message of this song is great and he does a very good job explaining the entire concept, getting every detail that he can fit into a 4 minute song and format it into a coming of age story tale, so lyrically, he’s there. My problem with the song is that 1. The hook is annoying, straight up, like I was done w/ that hook by the second verse. 2. The beat was TOO simple, like boring as hell simple which in turn made this song boring as hell and that’s a huge problem. Now, take what you want from this song, he has plenty of insight for days, even if you don’t agree with the approach, the song to me merits respect for not sounding lame in the process, but I won’t act like I wasn’t bored when listening to this song.

Lamborghini Angels
…..I really don’t care that the title don’t make sense [and if you need help on trying to figure it out, click here], I like it and this is one of the best songs on the album and it’s my favorite. This song is surreal as hell man, like reading a graphic novel and you can hear the pages turn with each verse a true 3 minute ride. Lupe was able wrap an exorcism, a brainwashing and a child being sexually abused from priest or pastor or whoever that nasty bastard was into 3 parts of a crazy world and a cohesive song.

Put Em Up
…..Honestly, don’t know what he’s talkin about, but it’s an entertaining song.

Heart Donor
…..I like the beat a lot, and it’s catchy as hell, but overall, it’s just a good song. It’s not particularly special, not a lot of replay value, but for now, it’s a solid song.

How Dare you
….. Remember how good “Paris, Tokyo” was? Not gonna find it here folks. This was really cheesy man. For what it’s worth, Bilal was aight in this song, but that’s it.

Battle Scars
…..Why are you so off beat at the beginning of each verse? You know what, never mind….*presses skip button*

Brave Heart
…..The beat is great, but this song came off flat right after the first verse and the chorus/hook/whatever y’all call it didn’t help the cause much at all either, which sucks cause it could have been a great song, but turned out to be aight.

Form Follows Function
…..Another great beat, which Lupe could have destroyed with a dictionary atom bottom full of lyrics, but he just cruises the beat, which is cool, but it lacked anything special, especially that second verse. Speaking of that second verse, all I could do was shake my head, cause it was bad, especially that line about dogs not woofing at all, I almost booed that nigga and got Sandman to sweep him off the stage for that.

Cold War
…..AGAIN, the a great beat, but this time, Lupe was just boring, and you can’t try to push your brand of music and come of boring, that’s like me typing all of these fancy lil words and not being able to keep your attention.

Unforgivable Youth
…..It’s aight, borderline skip button music.

Hood Now [Outro]
…..I get what it’s about, I like the beat a lot, it’s very simple [for Lupe’s standard] but I like it, but if you don’t like this outro, I fully understand why you don’t.

Thing We Must Do for Others
…..Nigga, why you gotta be all difficult and no duh, where else would it be.

So, what do we have after all of this? A good album, with some song that is worth cherry picking into a Lupe mix, but as a complete work, it has many flaws that range from “the fuck are you talkin ‘bout” to “naw” and everything in-between. He still has the ability to inform and speak on things and not be overly preachy or boring, but he was a lil heavy-handed, but those moments came on his better tracks. His biggest flaw, it’s truly missing that essential “something” that made his best work stands out among the rest. Food & Liquor was his intro to the world into the mind of Lupe. The Cool was part concept, part next level artist wizardry; Enemy of the State was one of the best and lyrically dense mixtapes ever recorded. Those three pieces of music stood out, this album does not, it’s just better than most.  Now when the year is over, will it end up being one of the best albums out? Yup, but this could have been so much better.  I am looking forward to part 2, and he’s back on the right track after that album that I will not speak into existence, hopefully the outcome is in the same vein of the three things I mentioned.

3.5/5

Questions? Comments? How long will he keep his dreads? *points down to comments box*

[This is for Free] presents Another not so late, but still kinda late Album Review

Nas
Life is Good

…..Can we all just agree that Nas just release a very good album? Not a classic, not complete utter trash, but a very good album. Why start a review like this, because There are, in fact, super Nas fans that think everything he has release up to this date made the world stop & changed life as we know it. Then there’s some who still hold him to the standard of Illmatic, something he will never relive, ever. But after 2 decades in the game and still being able to be somewhat relevant, he won by simply releasing good music. He’s a legend that released some bad to average music, it’s cool to be honest about, but recognize that ever since Hip Hop is Dead, he has been more consistent and more listenable, but it’s safe to say that Nas released a album that contains some of his better-best work and has instant replay value, matter of fact, it’s one of the best releases of the year. It’s up there with Yellow Album, Control Systems and [to be continued]. Now that we got that out the way, let’s get to the music.

No Introduction
…..Dope intro, plain and simple. He let us know there was no disappointments this time and we appreciate it. Especially since this truly is the most exciting & elegant thing he’s made since It Was Written [Big Ghostfase said elegant first, but that's the best word for it honestly]. Nas chronicled his whole life from childhood to adulthood, broke to rich, single to divorce, you get the point. Plus he spawn one of the greatest lines ever man…..”Don’t applaud me, I’m exhausted G”.

Loco-Motive
…..This song made you wanna bench press somethin heavy. Don’t let the polished production fool you, this beat is grimy. Nas nailed it right on the head for the “trapped in the 90′s niggas” cause dude sounded like he went back in time, snatched mid 90′s version of himself off the couch & threw him in the studio, but in a good way. Large Professor plays the background role on this track, he enhanced the song in the process. Now would it have been cool to have him do more, yeah, but for all intents and purposes of the song, he was a great feature.

A Queens Story
…..Another good thing Nas is good at is being nostalgic & that’s what we got on this track. He took us on a journey through his old stomping grounds, filled withe trips through the city, dead friends, fun, drugs, music. There’s a lot going on, you gotta soak it all in, that plus great production makes for another great song on this album….next is the interlude, it’s random as hell w/ the piano sample, but I loved it, he’s someone who can pull that kind of stuff off and not come off wack.

Accident Murderers
…..Nas & Ross make a good pair, and you see why on this track. Ross drops one if his better verses, something he needed more of for GFID. Nas did a good job as well, talkin about a shooter who was never a real killer, just someone who has no aim
, killin innocent people in the process. Similar to “I Gave You Power” where the point view is through the gun, now it’s through the shooter, one who doesn’t know how to shoot apparently.

Daughters
…..Another great song by Nas, and it all revolves him being a father to his now teenage daughter. He air out some shit that would make any parent pissed about their child, especially about their daughters, but he puts some of the blame upon himself. He realizes how hard it is to raise a daughter by himself, even if he has doubts if he gave her enough wisdom and spent enough time with her, but he soon realizes that he can improve in many areas and far from perfect but is still learning.

Reach Out
…..Okay, the first real misstep on this album, lyrically, Nas wasn’t that bad at all, it was solid really, but the beat sounded way too dated and that Mary J Blige feature was straight struggle, so yeah, I skipped it.

World’s An Addiction
…..Anthony Hamilton sings to make you cry man, he can’t keep hittin’ people’s souls like that. I mean, he enhances the song and all that, and he’s perfect for a track like this, buy damn man, you probably had someone pause the song and shedding the saddest of tears. This is “What Goes Around” Nas if that makes sense, topically, he’s just listing off a bunch of vices that people succumb to for various reasons and the outcomes of the people affected.

Summer On Smash

You Wouldn’t Understand
…..Overall, the song is good, but this is one of those times where a R & B hook should have not been used here. I think he should have opted for a AZ feature instead, somebody to add some more edge to the song, but overall a good song that could have been better.

Back When
…..This song is a true sleeper, like it was a good track when I first heard it, but after repeat listens, it just got better and better, a true highlight of the album. I mean he dropped one of the best lines on the album:

The ill reminisce and think about the fly days/Nothing like them 80′s summer NY days
Hop on the NB5 days/ Mopeds, Pro KedsCity split five ways

It wasn’t deep or nothin like that, but it was a hard ass line. Other than that, it was another nostalgia to present times track for Nas and it was executed greatly.
The Don
- Front-Free author Brick James pointed about that the beat to this song sounds very similar to Cam’ron & Vado’s “Speaking In Tungz” and I agree, but I think that this track is superior overall. Nas just sounded invigorated on this track, which is a little more hype than usual, but it made for another good track.

Stay
- The best track on the album, plain and simple.

Cherry Wine
- This song sounds like the best 40-year-old Nas ever, very adult, just enjoying life and the company of his female companion. This track stands out as well because of the subject and the Amy Winehouse feature, which didn’t feel forced at all, sounded like a track she would sing on her own album.

Bye Baby
…..Don’t get me wrong, this track was great and all, but he was huuuuuurrrrrttttt and it had some real unintentionally funny gems in the last verse. I won’t get into the details of the track, you already know, so I’ll point out the funny stuff instead:

“Listen, could you imagine writing your deposition?
Divorce Lawyer telling you how this thing gonna be ending?
With you paying out the ass, and I’m talking half
Not some but half. No serious, half”

“And all I seen was selfish cowards, under they breath
Saying “why did Nas trust her?”, but look at yourself, speak louder bruh”

“fake bitch you ain’t even alive”

I know he’s serious, and it was sad moment, but damn those three lines where funny as hell, straight disbelief and anger at her and everyone who felt like talkin’ about his divorce. But like I said earlier, great track.

…..2 notes about this album, bout damn time Nas decided to get some top notch production on the album. Next, this could have been an entirely different album if certain tracks were left out or made bonus tracks. I think you know which tracks I’m talkin about, but I’ll say them anyway: [Accident Murderers, Reach Out, Summer On Smash, The Don]. Leave the rest and it would have been an entirely different album, but this is his finished product and that product is a one that adds to a rappers legacy, hopefully a more consistent one, let this be an example of  a man that can still crank out a great album.

4.5/5

Questions? Comment?  Y’all need to stop giving Swizz Beatz features man……..[Point's down to comments box]

[This is for Free] presents Another late as hell, what took you so long Album Review

Big K.R.I.T
Live from the Underground

…..I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t expect “Live from the Underground” to be special, classic even, but expectations can be a muthafucka. That being said, for me, it’s better to judge an artist’s album for what it is cause classics are hard to come by & dude already gave us  K.R.I.T Wuz Here & Return of 4eva for free, we just need one in the form of a proper commercial release. Now with this album, it’s a good album & that’s it. Don’t be the super fan & blindly call it something more than what it is but don’t call it trash either cause it didn’t meet some unrealistic standard. K.R.I.T had some good stuff on this album, but a lot of it is not up to par w/ his other releases, but you know what, that happens. Artist come up short all the time, it’s just different for him because he [along with Kendrick Lamar & others] are held as the leaders of the new school and the bar was set high. Now that we got all that introductory stuff out the way, let’s focus on the review shall we.

LFU300MA – Intro
…..It was cool, I liked it. The beat was the best part though

Live From the Underground
…..As much as I liked this song, one of my favorites on the album, I always felt like there was something missing this entire track. Can’t really put my finger on it. K.R.I.T is really good at opening tracks, like Return of 4eva and Rise & Shine/ R4 Theme Song. With this song, you can hear it, but I guess you can’t feel it the same way you can with those two. Whatever it is, it doesn’t hurt the album at all, it just feels like you’re finishing a drawing but you’re racking your brain trying to figure out what’s missing from the picture.

Cool 2 Be Southern
…..A proper southern song that reps where & how he group up. Doesn’t feel forced at all while not coming off overly proud, just making you realize the south is cool and if you don’t recognize then that’s on you. Great rhymes, great beat, great start to his album as usual.

I Got This
…..You know what, it’s a great single & he’s just talkin on people who have a problem w/ him & his growing success, which if done right makes a good song. The real highlight of this song though was the beat, done to the subtle chimes in the background gave the song instant replay for me. No need to dig any deeper into this song, its real self-explanatory.

Money On The Floor
…..Great song, made better by great features. One of the best beats on the album, K.R.I.T made a song that had people throwing money and emptying account w/ this one. I always appreciate a solid 8 Ball & MJG guest spot, mainly cause they know this topic very, very well, so why not get them on this track. Lastly, 2 chainz, don’t act like you wasn’t rockin to his verse, dude is on hot right now, too bad he can’t do that for an entire album…well……I’ll save that for a different review.

What U Mean
…..This was another favorite for a two verse, I love the way he says “what you meeeeaaannn you ain’t nasty”, he sounds so disgusted and disrespected by her lack of….well, ya know…..and the beat was perfect, minimalistic but it banged…..then this nigga luda almost fucked up the song for me. He sounded so lazy and dated, damn shame, I mean K.R.I.T changed up the beat for you man.

My Sub [pt.2: The Jackin’]
….. Liked the beat, the lyrics was cool, just wasn’t that good overall man. It’s a solid song about his sub & getting’ set up for a jackin’. He executed the concept, which is good, but it just wasn’t that good of a song, I won’t be listening to it that much.

Don’t Let Me Down
…..Man this song was boring. K.R.I.T never sounded boring but this was a boring ass song for real. This was the point where I truly considered K.R.I.T was burnt out and needed a break from music.

Porchlight
…..A solid song overall, nothing special, but 1. K.R.I.T did something like this better on Red Eye and 2. Anthony Hamilton shinned the brightest on this track, but that tends to happen when you sing w/ the soul of a thousand slaves that finally got their freedom & killed massa Reynolds before they dipped out. What I do appreciate about this song is the subject, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a girlfriend but preoccupied to spend time w/ her, it sucks for both people and complicated at the same time. You want success but you want your woman to be happy as well.

Pull Up
….. I’ll keep it simple here, K.R.I.T & Bun B dropped solid verses but Big Sant was the star of the show.

Yeah Dats Me
…..This song is annoying as hell man, I really hate this hook, I can safely say that this is the worst song of the album and best believe I pressed the skip button w/ the quickness after I heard it for the 3rd time.

Hydroplaning
…..Another thing I appreciate, I well placed Devin the Dude feature, why? Because he rarely disappoints. Good song, clearly if it is raining & you’re driving, on the bus, chillin’ at home etc, this is the best kind of song to listen to, it just fits.

If I Fall
…..Great song, one of the standout tracks on the album, the production is a bit different than the usual heavy bass & funky sound, but the piano and drum on this song is top-notch. Lyrically, one of his better efforts on this album, and along with Melanie Fiona, present us w/ good mixture of sad, inspirational, hopefully & optimism in less than 3 minutes.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad
…..Liked this song a lot, it’s a very mature & honest song that didn’t come off as preachy, gloom or depressing, just filled w/ life lessons and wisdom that a younger K.R.I.T carries to this day as a 26-year-old. A song that I can say I appreciate more the more I listen to it, it’s deep & introspective, something you can feel in your chest.

Praying Man
…..The fact that he got BB King on the album is a win in its own right, but it was a good tracks. Very heavy thematically, deals with racism, slavery w/ a religious figure [a praying man] at the center viewing what was going on and lending a helping hand to salvation. All of this includes a man jumping off a boat to escape a life a free person doesn’t want to live, a man hanging from a tree and a runaway doing his best to get as far away as possible.

Live From The Underground [Reprise]
- Simply Dope

As you can see, this album is far from classic status and far from perfect, but this is still a good album that is worth the wait. Let’s not forget, this is still a début album, and he has the talent to make some timeless music and is a legit highlight from the slew of new MC’s that have come out w/ some of the best music we have heard in a while. But he has hit a wall, and some of the stuff on this album shows a man who needs a break, and the proof lays between My Sub pt. 2 and Yeah Dats Me. There’s also the argument that he may have peaked, I’ll respect it, but I disagree with it too, I think his catalog will be great when it’s all said and done, but for his first commercial release, this was a solid start.

4/5

Questions, Comments, WHAT YOU MEEEEEAAAAANNNNNNN…well you know the rest…[points to comments box]