Tag Archives: rap

EPIC: Every Play Is Crucial by B.o.B

I didn’t realize how expansive the world of hip-hop was until I discovered DatPiff.com a few days ago. The sheer number of artists releasing free material to get exposure is huge, which opens up a world of possibilities for music lovers like myself. The first mixtape that caught my eye was the new B.o.B release, EPIC: Every Play Is Crucial.

I love B.o.B and consider his style a new breed of hip-hop. He’s a young, intelligent guy with an appreciation for many genres of music, and this shines through in his work. His albums and mixtapes are heavily influenced by the parallel worlds of rock, pop, alternative, R&B, and hip-hop. I like to think of B.o.B as a cross between Outkast, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West. He has the swagger of an Atlanta rapper, the open-mindedness of a Kid Cudi, and the clever and humorous lyricism of a Kanye. Regardless of his influences, B.o.B is a talented artist all his own.

I’ve probably listened through Every Play Is Crucial five times or so, and I really like what I hear. While a few of the tracks aren’t on par with most of the others (Welcome To The Jungle and Boom Bap featuring T.I. & Mos Def) in terms of beats, production, and sampling, this does not in any way impact the overall flow of the album. The quality of the tracks is really impressive. A majority of the songs feature a guest producer or artist, including Eminem, Ryan Tedder, Jim Jonsin, and Lil C. With all of these big names involved in the mix, the EPIC vibe of this tape is undeniable.

Fans of B.o.B and quality hip-hop should definitely check out this mixtape!

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Camp by Childish Gambino

Alright, so the verdict is in, and Childish Gambino is officially the shit! After listening through his first commercial release Camp (November 15) a few times, I’m absolutely hooked. His talent is undeniable. As a rapper, there are few out there that can compete with his brand of clever lyricism (in my opinion, Gambino is nearly at Kanye’s level). When a hip hop album can sustain my attention solely through the magic of its words, I consider that a special record. ‘Camp’ definitely does that for me. Several of the songs on this album are Glover sharing his experiences from childhood, and the honesty is refreshing. The content definitely reminds me of Kanye West’s early work (à la ‘College Dropout’ or ‘Late Registration’), before his ego exploded.

The composition of the music and beats is wonderful. Songs were produced by Glover himself and Ludwig Gorannson, a Swedish composer. Some of the songs stick to club beats, whereas others use a variety of instruments such as (but not limited to) guitar, violin, piano, and xylophone. Gambino’s voice as an R&B singer is impressive. The fact that he can carry the verses as a rapper and the choruses as a singer is proof of his versatility.

Donald Glover is a triple threat. He can act, do stand-up, and put together a very solid hip-hop album. Two of the songs from my previous post on Childish Gambino are also off of ‘Camp.’ Enjoy!

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Childish Gambino

I have been familiar with Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) since the debut of Community, but I was not aware of his talent as a rapper, singer, and producer (beyond the goofy raps he delivers with Danny Pudi on the show). Considering the fact that I just started listening to Childish Gambino today, some might consider a post premature. I have already come across a number of tracks that I really enjoy, so I figure why not share and continue to research.

Childish Gambino holds an arsenal of weapons to slay beats, namely a strong lyrical sense (e.g. Kanye) and the ability to sing R&B (e.g. Drake). The beat on ‘Bonfire’ reminds me a bit of the production on Kanye’s ‘Power’ (tba: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), but Gambino’s raspy delivery is all his own. ‘Got This Money’ uses a variety of instruments and sounds, including a nice guitar riff, what sounds like a xylophone, and a dance-worthy electronic beat. Because I am just getting to know this artist, I would love to hear some more opinions about how you think he compares to other rappers.

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