Views of the Month: November
Lloyd Banks ft Tony Yayo: Work Hard
Being one third of the most revered rap groups of the mid 2000’s – G-Unit, Lloyd Banks was one of the more successful members, with a multitude of mainstream solo hits. Lloyd Banks recently released his latest project “All or Nothing: Live It Up” the album has a total of 15 tracks, with banks recruiting some of New York’s top rappers (Joe Budden, Prodigy, Tony Yayo, and Styles P).
One of the more mainstream tracks which should gain Lloyd Banks some attention is “Work Hard” which features another original G-Unit member, Tony Yayo. Banks rapping ability is on point; there are multiple layers, and inventive wordplay within his bars. I find Lloyd Banks to be one of those rappers who easily switch between a mainstream hit, and creating certain music purely for hip-hop fans; unfortunately the same cannot be said for his G-unit counterpart Tony Yayo.
"Work Hard" blends a traditional heavy bass hip-hop instrumental, with classic Lloyd Banks raspy vocals. In regards to musicality, the track highlights the sacrifices that were made to become successful within the music industry, and the reality of growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood. It’s great to see the return of one of the more prominent modern hip-hop figures; I hope there are more hits to come.
Daniel Skye: As Good As It Gets
Daniel Skye looks set to be the next big mainstream artist. The 16-year-old Florida Native’s style of soulful pop music, paired with his charismatic personality has gained him thousands of fans through various social media networks. What sets Skye apart from many other young singers, is that all the music he has released is original content; which highlights the artists ability to both sing, and write his own material.
Daniel Skye’s latest release “As Good As It Gets” combines an acoustic guitar with a slow bass to create a pop/R&B vibe. The tracks lyrical content suggests the complications of a long distance relationship (which may be in reference to the singer’s recent move from Florida to LA, as he pursues his music career). As Daniel Skye is only 16, the track still harnesses a certain amount of innocents; but is definitely a catchy tune.
I look forward to hearing more music from Daniel Skye, he has the voice and overall authenticity to have a long and successful career. Watch this space!
Check out the official music video- As Good As It Gets
Eric Bellinger- Drive By
Eric Bellinger has been on the hip-hop/R&B scene for a fair while. As well as produce his own music, the 30 year old Los Angeles local, also writes songs for some of the world’s biggest artist’s such as Chris Brown and Rhiannia. I’ve personally followed Eric Bellinger’s musical career from his inception in early 2013; the blending of classic R&B vocals with modern instrumentals definitely highlights Bellinger’s musical creativity. I’ve found the R&B singer always injects a new style of musicality into each project he releases; which is something many artists’ try, but very few successfully pull-off.
Eric Bellinger’s latest project “Eric B for President” offers a collection of 8 tracks, which seem to be directed at a mainstream market. A stand out track would have to be “Drive By”; the song features a sample of Frank Ocean’s 2012 hit “Thinkin Bout You” incorporated into the instrumental. The upbeat R&B/pop tune sees Bellinger express his fondness for a certain lady, and how together they can overcome any obstacle.
I personally think this is Eric Bellenger’s best work to date; the smooth pop/R&B sound make for a very solid release.
James Arthur- I Won’t let You Go
Currently number 1 on the Australian ITunes charts, is the new release from 2012 UK X-Factor winner James Arthur; “I Wont Let You Go” is a slow pop acoustic balled which details feelings of being passionately in love (so if your single, you will probably want to give this one a miss). The acoustic style of the track compliments Arthur’s gravely vocal style; I also found the 28-year-old British singer really puts his all into this track, by expressing a roller-coaster of emotion through his lyrical delivery. James Arthur’s latest release is quite similar to something you would hear from Ed Sheeran, so it looks like everyone’s favorite ginger has some competition on his hands.
It seems James Arthur has worked hard to distance himself from the stigma which is attached to winning such talent shows as X-Factor, I’m sure fans will be able to see a more genuine and authentic side of the UK singer with this new album.
Big Sean: No More Interviews & Bounce Back
One of Detroit favorite new school rappers Big Sean, surprised fans recently by dropping two brand new tracks "No More Interviews" and "Bounce Back".
I was really intrigued by Sean’s track, "No More Interviews"; he seems to take lyrical aim at Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. Lines such as “I’m not impressed with you n…. rapping fast, who sound like one big asthma attack but trash when I’m rapping back. Who you put in your top 5, and claim they the savior of rap”.
Although Sean never mentions Kendrick Lamar by name, this is squarely aimed at Kendrick, as many people are claiming he is the savior of rap, and is seen as one of the top 5 greatest rappers. I like the rivalry, although Big Sean is not the most in-depth lyricist, I do think he has enough mainstream attention to gain some sort of notoriety; I also think Kendrick Lamar will have to respond, as Big Sean is a fairly well established rapper, so this is certainly something that will be on Kendrick Lamar’s radar. Only time will tell how this plays out, the whole issue may just stay at industry competition, or we may see it escalate into a rap feud. Watch this space!
Big Sean’s second release “Bounce Back” is a more upbeat track. This single really highlights Sean’s ability to easily change his vocal delivery. Sean brings the heat with "Bounce Back", his rapid delivery flows well with the heavy bass instrumental. Based on the song content, Sean has really lifted his game, with lyrics such as “I heard ya new shit, it’s pathetic, ya contracts should be shredded. Took my dogs on a private jet from public housing; I kept it G, yeah, one thousand clique star-studded like the paramount mountain”.
There have been numerous comments about "Bounce Back", and how Big Sean has stolen Drake’s style of vocal delivery; what many do not know is Big Sean was actually rapping before Drake; Drake just brought the particular style of rap, into the mainstream.