Review Roundup (August 2022)

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Here we will discuss some tight albums that dropped in recent weeks which we might not have gotten a chance to review in full.

JID – The Forever Story

JID was anointed as the next big thing in hiphop from the moment his debut album The Never Story dropped. Displaying unrivaled flows, energy and songwriting, he had nearly unreasonable hype to live up to; And five years later, he has surpassed it. The Forever Story takes all of his technical talents and fills in the gaps with deeply personal and conscious themes that set it over the top. Tales of family, poverty, and his rise to stardom make for a dense, powerful listen, which never gets boring thanks to flawless production and big name features (notably Lil Wayne, Yasiin Bey, 21 Savage, and more).

You’d be hard pressed to find a hiphop head who doesn’t love this album. Frankly, it’s got the makings of an instant classic and sets JID in the pantheon of essential figures in the genre. Expect a full review with our end of year writeups!

Listen to The Forever Story on Spotify

Lil Zay Osama – Trench Baby 3

While Chicago drill isn’t quite what it used to be, Lil Zay Osama is one at the forefront of the scene today. His Trench Baby series is essential, and the latest installment is certainly his best. Showing improvement on every project, he was really able to hone his sound on this one and make for a well paced listen. Full of big name features like G Herbo, Lil Durk, and Icewear Vezzo, he is carrying the mantle well. Straightforward but full of bangers, earworms, and heart, Zay has plenty worth replaying even if this is the peak.

Listen to Trench Baby 3 on Spotify

Meyhem Lauren & Daringer – Black Vladimir

Far too often written off as an Action Bronson sidekick, Meyhem Lauren is one of the flyest and toughest rappers in the New York renaissance. Delivering in particular on projects with a single producer (notably the Glass series with Harry Fraud and Gems From the Equinox with DJ Muggs), the long awaited Black Vladimir sees him linking with in-house Griselda producer Daringer for what might be their best work ever. The energy on this album brings you back to Tana Talk 3 and that peak of hungry underground spitters; Laurenivici brings hilarious, cold quotable on every single bar while Daringer is cut loose from the Beat Butcha style. It’s a pleasant surprise that constantly draws you back in, from stank face to stupid grin.

Hopefully we can hear more of Daringer in this bag, especially with the rumored Sauce Walka collab on the way.

Listen to Black Vladimir on Spotify

Larry June – Spaceships on the Blade

While Larry June is lauded for his unique brand of modern West Coast funk and health conscious pimping, Spaceships on the Blade immediately jumps out as one of his best full projects. Following up on last year’s Orange Print, he does a great job of fleshing his sound out for a full project, loaded with hot producers and fun features. Ranging from mellow melodic cuts to upbeat funk and even some more mainstream sounds, Spaceships never gets boring despite Larry being a pretty straightforward artist. As always, it embodies a day of cruising on the coast, honing all of his best aspects into a tight package. Larry’s growth from his trap days is amazing and we’re looking forward to his collab album with The Alchemist.

Listen to Spaceships on the Blade on Spotify

Mach Hommy & Tha God Fahim – Dollar Menu 4

The latest installment in Mach-Hommy and Tha God Fahim’s Dollar Menu series shows marked improvement, even from some of their most essential projects. While Mach is one of the most esoteric and clever MC’s out of the New York underground, the Dollar Menu‘s are an opportunity for him to just have fun with his bars (often circling back to food themes, this time with Ratatouille samples).

Some might see Fahim’s inclusion as a distraction from Mach, the main attraction, but he has actually stepped up his game quite a bit on Menu 4, floating nicely by his standards. The whole album builds such an ostentatious atmosphere, furthered by a barrage of dense raps, all making for an album which feels a lot longer than its 25 minute runtime would suggest – and that’s a good thing, even from the Dump Gawds.

Listen to Dollar Menu 4 on Spotify

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