Big K.R.I.T. @Forecastle Festival 7/17/15 Live Review

Big K.R.I.T. is truly one of the best rap artists out right now. He showed that last night at Forecastle Festival. Putting his heart and soul into every lyric he uttered and truly speaking his mind through his music. You can’t find that at too many rap shows nowadays. He even came out a few minutes early which that has NEVER happened at a rap show I’ve been at.

You could see the fire in his eyes from the start. He drove through his whole catalog of music from old hits such as “Rotation” and “Country Shit” to new hits such as “Mt. Olympus” and “My Sub Pt.3”. With the audience jumping and flailing around and shouting the lyrics right back at him you could tell it was influencing K.R.I.T. to go harder. You could see the sweat pouring off his face and flying off of him as he jolted around the stage. I’m not for sure if it was because he was rapping his ass off or if that it was in the mid eighties with very high humidity.

Touching on every album/mixtape he has out right now, Big K.R.I.T. even added an amorous vibe to the audience with “Let Me Fuck Your Brains Out” and “Pay Attention”. Saying “I’m just trying to help y’all fellas out right now”. Over all he just seemed really comfortable on stage and delighted to be performing in the South.

There was also a guest appearance. Big K.R.I.T. brought out one the rappers he listened to growing up, Talib Kweli. Talib performed his classic song “Get By”. He was in Louisville because he was performing later that night at the Mercury Ballroom as a part of Forecastle’s late night series.

K.R.I.T. broke down near the end of the concert into “The Vent”, dedicating it to “Whoever knows someone who is going through a struggle”. He has to be one of the most humble rappers. He continuously mentioned throughout his show how grateful he was to all the fans that support him and his music. At the end of the show he ran down to the end of the gate by the stage, then walked down the entire row of metal gates and thanked everyone that was lined up, shook their hands, and took pictures with them. You could just tell how sincere the man was.



Free Weezy Album by Lil’ Wayne- Review

Weezy is back and this time with his Free Weezy Album. It’s a 15 track cut with a total of 10 features. Some of the bigger rap features include ATL’s own Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, and Corey Gunz. The album comes at an interesting time during Weezy’s career with the label drama between him and his parent label Cash Money. Hence the album title, Free Weezy Album.

The album starts out somewhat strong. The first track has Wayne rapping his ass off for five minutes straight setting up what you think is going to be a pretty good album, maybe even his best since Tha Carter III, but it just goes downhill from there unfortunately. The album lacks a clear focus and meaningful lyricism.

You can’t really get a feel of where the album is going because it is being ripped in two opposite directions. You go from a pretty ghetto track “Murda” to what sounds like a pop rap track in “London Roads”. The album really puts you in the mindset of Drake mixed with Ed Sheeran. The Drake portion coming from Wayne heavily discussing his girl issues. Not that discussing woman issues is a bad thing. Drake does a good job with it, but that just isn’t Wayne. If I posted this lyric from “Without you”, “If you find your way home you know that porch light is on, I lay in bed wishing your side was warm”, and asked whether Wayne or Drake said it I bet ninety percent of you all, myself included, would guess drake.

As for the Ed Sheeran comparison I hear that in the production. I noticed on some of the tracks if you tune out the high hats you can hear how similar some of the instrumentation sounds to X by Ed Sheeran. The best example would be “My Heart Races On”. I can already hear Ed Sheeran singing over it a little bit but if you listen to it then listen to “Afire Love” I think they sound so similar. The album is just filled with to many pop influences which is why I think it fell flat on its face. Pop isn’t Lil’ Wayne.

There really isn’t any lyrical content to this album at all. It is all somewhat witty punchlines followed by how much money he has or how much he loves money. Which at this point in Wayne’s career I guess he has touched on all of the topics of his life, especially with Tha Carter series, but I feel he can do better than this. Surely he has more left in his arsenal than punchlines about pussy and money. Just a few years ago if you listened to a Wayne song you would have at least 3 moments where you were thinking “How the hell did he think to rhyme that?” Now you have 3 moments where you think “Why the hell did he just say that?”. With lines off this album such as “I turn into a piranha and eat it like tilapia” and “Lord knows I drive fast in my driveway” you can tell Wayne is in steep decline.

I would say this is one of the worst Lil Wayne albums I have heard. Just too much pop and not enough lyricism. I give this album a 4 out of 10. Poor showing from Wayne. Better luck next time.

Touch Down 2 Cause Hell- Boosie Badazz Review

Touch Down 2 Cause Hell marks Boosie Badazz’s first album since his release from prison in the march of 2014. This is the first album from Boosie Badazz I have listened to and I can tell you that I am very pleased.

The album surpassed my expectations by far, granted my expectations for the album weren’t all that high. I thought this album was going to be a typical new era trap cut with no depth to it all. I found myself wrong. This album is riddled with true stories of Boosie’s trials and tribulations. Including growing up poor, struggles with gang life, and his infamous five-year stint in the penitentiary for miscellaneous drug charges.

Boosie also touches on the racial tensions that are near an all time high right now on the tracks “Black Heaven” and “Hands Up”. “Black Heaven” transcends black culture by creating a black heaven, in which Boosie comments what major black figure heads from the past are doing in heaven right now. “Hands Up” addresses police brutality against unarmed civilians and the bias of the judicial system when it comes to cases like that, more specifically the Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin cases.

The album features Rick Ross, J. Cole, Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, and more. Boosie found just the right mix of underground and mainstream sound for this album. He delivers witty lyrics that have meaning behind them while recruiting some of his features to bring the mainstream sound to his album. It’s a good formula for commercial success in my opinion, spit some real bars over a great beat then have a Rick Ross type rapper come on the track and spit a good verse with no substance to it.

This album does have its downfalls though. Some of the features I think Boosie is just to good for. Such as Young Thug on the track “On Deck”, I feel like Young Thug brings the song down. He doesn’t bring anything to the table, just his shrieking voice over the hook that Booise would’ve done better himself. On a couple of tracks Boosie finds himself falling into the dreaded clichéd mainstream sound, only rapping about molly, women, and money. You can hear this sound the most on the track  “On That Level”.

For having nineteen songs this album manages to minimize filler songs, the only two in my opinion being “On That Level” and “How She Got Her Name”. If this album was a couple of songs shorter I would rank it a tad higher, but I am giving this album a 7 out of 10. The harsh realness of this album really propels it. Boosie has turned me into a fan. I look forward to what he has next

YelaWolf @The International Knoxville, Tn 6/23/15

Yelawolf is just one of those special artists to see live. It is crazy how many music genres he can fit into one performance. I feel like anyone could go to one if his shows and bring away something they liked about it. Whether its rap, rock, or country he blends it into one big backwoods block party.

Opening with the intro track on his latest album “Love story” he immediately caught the audience hook, line, and sinker. From then on he controlled the tempo of the building, which he kept at maximum for the majority of the show. He played a majority of old hits for the first half of the show, playing tracks such as “Pop the Trunk”, “Good to Go”, and “Throw it up”. In the middle of all this Yelawolf manages to sneak in the first half of “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks, having the audience waving their hands in the air while he belted the chorus.

The only lull moment was when he talked about the nine people who were murdered in Charleston, North Carolina. He ordered lighters up and a moment of silence for them. Then continued on to condemn the actions of the shooter, Dylann Roof, but he insisted that the rebel flag was a sign of southern heritage saying “I’m not going to let some asshole represent my flag like this”.

After that things got right back to action. While performing “I Wish” off of “Trunk Muzik” Yelawolf and his guitarist, Bones Owens, broke down into “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. It was crazy to hear such a sound. Two sounds 45 years apart, coming together and sounding so smooth and flawless.Adding the fact he plays with a live band at his shows just enhances the effect of the rock and country influences in his shows.

As the show progressed on Yelawolf began to break out more of his newer tracks including “Box Chevy 5”, “Heart Break”, “Best Friend”, and “Whiskey In a Bottle. In all he was on stage for a good two hours. In those two hours he gave it all he had, going through four microphones and two microphone stands. May those mics rest in peace.

The only negative thing I would have to mention about the show is that there were four fights I witnessed, two of which were right beside me. That made it a lot harder to pay attention the show at a couple of points. I will say that during “Box Chevy 5” one of the fights happened and with Yelawolf playing in the background it made the fight pretty epic. It looked like a movie scene almost.

For anyone who hasn’t seen this man on concert you need to. He will not leave you disappointed. I have seen him three times and none of those times I ever left disappointed.

Album Review: Next to Nothing- Rittz

As promised we are back for todays artist of the week post. Today we are going to be reviewing Rittz’s latest album “Next to Nothing”.

First off this is the best album from Rittz yet, period. He FINALLY switches up his flow and I think that has taken him to the next level as a rapper. On his previous two cuts he has used the same mind warping, supersonic flow. It is great but only to a certain extent. When you begin to use the same flow in every song it tends to make the album run together a little bit and when the album runs together thats when listeners get lost and think they have been listening to the same track for thirty minutes.

The track “Blow” is a perfect example of this switch up Rittz shows on this album. The two of his verses are thirteen bars a piece with two hooks and the song clocks in at 3:43. The track “Turn Down” which has three verses that have fifteen, eighteen, and sixteen bars respectively, and four hooks clocks in at 4:11. Blow is pretty long to have that much less content, so this just shows Rittz can slow his flow down and glide over beats effortlessly.

Rittz also showcases his ability to story rap at blazing speeds. This characteristic stands out on the track “911”. The song has nothing to do with his life at all but it was a must have on the album I assume for him just based on how technical he raps on it. He throws down an 18 bar verse then a 19 bar verse respectively with two pre-hooks and two hooks in 3:23. Pretty damn quick if you ask me.

The variety of beats on this album also helps it out a lot. On his previous two albums Rittz’s instrumentals were all 808’s and bass, which there is nothing wrong with that because thats the kind of beats Rittz kills, but at the same time hearing him slaughter an acoustic beat like on “Going Through Changes” featuring Mike Posner is music to my ears (pun intended).

The album has a much smoother sound to it than his last two albums. “Crown Royal” and “Bounce” featuring Twista are both great examples of this sound i’m trying to describe. Think of the rich, mellow sound of a Ugk instrumental then sprinkle in bits of trap and you have the sound of this album.

I only have one problem with this album. It is a tad to long. I found myself losing a little interest near the end of the album, only to have my energy revitalized by the personal track “White Rapper”. If Rittz omits “In my Zone” featuring Mike Posner and B.o.B, “Wish You Could”, and “Turning up the Bottle” then puts “White Rapper” as the last track as sort of a “drop the mic” kind of thing, I think that would take this album from good to great. I feel like those songs don’t really bring much to the table. They aren’t necessarily fillers, but they just don’t fit with the album in my opinion.

This album puts you in the mind of Rittz. It is filled with stories of his struggles, past and present, how he lives his life, and what is important to him right now. So with a great set of features, good production, his chilling story telling ability, and some very clever and witty lyrics, Rittz is climbing up the list of up and coming rappers. He hasn’t had to be anything but himself to put him and that position and that is one huge thing i respect about the man. I give this album an 8/10

Below I have linked in a few songs from “Next to Nothing”. Hope you all enjoy!

Album Review: Cadallactica- Big K.r.i.t

I figured since this was the inaugural review for The Trill Times I would review an album that is personally enjoy a lot… Cadillactica by Big K.R.I.T.

This album sends you on a lengthy musical and spiritual journey through space. Whether it’s the hard hitting bass found in none other than “My sub, Pt. 3” or the glossy synths found in “Do you love me” I think there is something on this album every hip hop fan can enjoy.

There are two very distinct sounds I found on this album, such a difference I believe Krit could’ve split the album into two sides. The first eight songs would be the hip-hop side and the last 7 would be the R&B side. Some will argue that the album fizzles out a little after the interlude, which is where I think the album splits but I don’t believe that. I think the R&B sound he infuses in the last half of the album is great, although hardcore hip hop heads may not appreciate it as much.

Its uncharted territory for him, all of his previous albums have had that hard distinctive southern sound to it. I’m not saying this album doesn’t, it’s just overshadowed a bit by a soulful bluesy sound. He still includes all the fixins’ of a Krit album, candy coated whips, wood grain interior, some smoke and lean, and of course the subs. He even goes deeper than that on this album, giving you some introspects about the world and him on the tracks “Life”, “King of the South”, and “Lost Generation”.

Overall I would give this album an 8.5 out of 10. It is a couple of more solid tracks away from being a classic. Still a very solid release for Big K.R.I.T.