Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap

Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap:

Rick Ross is the rap cliché of going on about money, drugs, and bitches. He is the embodiment of what your parents think rap is. Yet Ross does this shtick well. His rhymes are passable and has some enjoyable wordplay. Plus he has charisma which keeps the fourteen tracks from becoming boring. Also helping are the numerous quest stars like T-Pain, Kayne West, Lil Wayne (not shocking since this blog could probably get Wayne to write a few reviews if we offered him some crushed up Vicodin.), and Nas. Ross was smart and bought some of the best beats he could, which help hide his weaknesses as an MC. Not a classic for the genre, but an enjoyable listen.

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DOOM – Born Like This

DOOM Born Like This:

I’ve made my feelings about DOOM well known before. So the time has come for me to pass judgment. It’s a mixed bag. Many of the tracks are typical DOOM, which means they are boring. The guests stars are pretty good, especially when Wu-Tang’s Raekwon and Ghostface Killah show up. IT’s kinda weird having Ghostface on here since I usually think of DOOM as lesser version of Killah. The beats on here are mixed. Some are simple but effective, others just sorta fall flat. DOOM’s rapping again sometimes works, but mostly is just boring and outshone by his guests. Also many of the tracks are less than have this annoying announcer talking about being a super villain. So if you’re a DOOM fan, you’ve already bought this. If you’re curious about listening to DOOM just get a Ghostface Killah CD instead.

Gorilla Zoe – Don’t Feed Da Animals

Gorilla Zoe Don’t Feed Da Animals:

I won’t lie, Gorilla Zoe sounds like some obscure racists epithet. But it’s actually Atlanta’s next rapper poised to break out into the mainstream. So what does he talk rap about? Drugs and hoes mostly. While most rap albums these days are like that, Zoe has the charisma to stand out. Zoe has also made one of the best rap song about mental illness since Ghetto Boys “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” Gorilla does fall trap to using that Auto-Tuner bullshit that’s infecting rap, but he does so somewhat tastefully. He also has some blazing beats to back him up. Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, and even Diddy himself show up here. Over all one of the better rap albums to come out in 2009 so far.

Harmonic 313-When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

Harmonic 313 When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence:

An album of synthesizer heavy beats and cool guest singers and MCs. Musically similar to El-P, but less jarring, and more prone to epic synth washes. The guest vocals range from vocoder drenched rants about a dystopian future to MC brag tracks. The balance between instrumentals and vocal tracks is pretty much perfect, giving listeners about as much as they want of either. Though not explicit throughout the entirety of the album the theme of machines conquering mankind is expressed throughout by the foreboding synthesizer sounds, and general fear and tension expressed through the beats. A really cool disk filled with good beats and cool vocals.

Rating: 13/15 cyborgs

Mike Posner & The Brain Trust – A Matter of Time

Mike Posner & The Brain Trust A Matter of Time:

This really should be worse than it is. Most of these songs are like reading some lame dude’s blog about love. But there is great production and also the songs are catchy. So it’s not super bad, but you may feel embarrassed if you friends catch you listening to this even if you are a girl.

Rating: 9/15 Justin Timberlake clones

Aesop Rock-None Shall Pass

Aesop Rock None Shall Pass:

Lame beats and  lame lyrics seem to be Aesop’s new forte. I prefer his old forte, which was making classic albums, and breaking new ground in hip hop lyricism.

Rating: 3/15 Labor Days

cLOUDDEAD – Ten

cLOUDDEAD Ten:

Here is a rare album: an experimental rap album that’s good. It’s tough describing this album since it’s constantly changing through out. What I’m going to say is that it is well through out and executed. The beats are at first very minimalist, but upon further listens reveal more depth. The songs change scope from what seems to be pure abstractive poetry to then very direct political or personal messages and then back to the abstract. The vocals are delivered in a variety of styles, from what sound like sound collages to spoken wor to even legitimate rapping. While many albums like this are challenges to listen to, this one flows so well that one can hear the whole album over and over without becoming bored.

Rating: 15/15 not enough songs about hoes