Tag Archives: Atlantic

PnB Rock – Catch These Vibes

Catch These Vibes is an applicable title, as it really is a compilation of vibes, with some vibes however standouting more than the others..

whilst the first four tracks are cool, it’s the A Boogie featured Lovin’ that really sticks out initially, it certainly is a better representation of PnB and his sound, and he continues that with Issues, his collaboration with Russ. There are influences throughout the project of the likes of the Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign, it’s much like Tory Lanez in the versatility, and while tracks like Lowkey (ft. Roy Woods & 24hrs) or iRun with Lil Yachty showcase him able to create with others and even have them step their game up, it’s (probably my favourite track) TTM (Talk Too Much) where the “trapstar turnt popstar” truly certifies himself and his talent.

(Produced by NGHTMRE) Yes the production is a big part of the song, but the way PnB Rock is able to dictate the track with his melody and even the concept (outside of his comfort zone), has to be applauded. The track has a lot more potential than it’s seeming to show at present, including the Wiz feature, which Khalifa-man done well with and really helps accentuate the record, I’d be surprised if a decent visual was not in the works, someone from the camp or label has to get behind it, because it has crossover potential. It’s sat right in the middle of the tape, which shows it’s ability to hold the project together. This review was initially going to be of just TTM, but in speaking on the project as a whole, even upon listening, the same sentiments stand.

Another standout, is the Smokepurpp featured X3, a different sound again, but PnB will definitely a have a good live show with these variations of sounds vibes. VOICEMEMOWAV.4 might have one of the best names of a track in recent, and it’s one of the better tracks, it’s rawness works and offers a completely different but catchy element, and contrasts well for Pressure, the more open, “I gotta stay strong through it all, and act like I ain’t going through it all”, and introspective cut, it might the more relatable, as PnB delivers more substance, creating a track that blends the realism of the struggle with the glimpses of success. Tracks like Confide which features the legendary Juicy J serve as more examples of his ability to not only pen a catchy song but the delivery which you cannot help but sing along to. It’s incredibly rare for an artist to have such diverse standouts, but it goes in his favour, as he closes out with Rewind, the more R&B of the tracks, with odes to Usher, a somewhat thug love song, but it really works and helps define PnB’s lane. I was not checking for him as much prior to this, so it has most definitely worked, and as he continues to define himself..he is for sure one to watch, but I’d still be disappointed if they don’t capitalise on the hits they currently possess (TTM!).

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Have to commend the cover, it’s a favourite, reminiscent of Pac’s classic Strictly album, and it expresses the project well, with the choice of colours, use of tone and most all abstract interpretation, much like the music.

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Ty Dolla $ign – Love U Better ft. The Dream & Lil Wayne

Despite his major success, Ty Dolla $ign is still not as praised as I believe he deserves. The man behind some of your favourite songs (Chris Brown – Loyal, for one), he has maintained his relevancy through an onslaught of features and appearances, albeit with two studio albums under his belt, unfortunately they had not connected as well as his mixtapes. Campaign was a step forward from his debut Free TC, however it was his Beach House series which really raised his profile, and so fittingly the third instalment to the series is set to be his third album also.

Maybe there is a disconnect between the mixtapes and the albums, we’re aware of the various constraints that can occur, which can affect the music, but this move clearly highlights what to expect, and with the unveiling of this new single, it might just be the album we’ve been waiting to hear from him.

Produced by longtime friend and collaborator, DJ Mustard, with the Peabo Bryson – Feel The Fire sample, which you may recognise from The Game’s (Drizzy featured) track 100. it’s not anything spectacular, but it’s definitely fitting to the Beach House collection, and serves as a good introductory single for the album. Now, I do not think this is the best we have got from Ty, in some ways, I wish it did not have the features, but commercially the inclusion of The Dream adds a particular contrast to the record, not to mention the compliment of singing alongside a fellow singer/songwriter of such high acclaim. Weezy F Baby does what we’ve come to expect, for some reason however, (not taking anything away from the song) it does sound like an old record out the stash, but it could just be that I’ve become so expectant of Ty to innovate (like his Ed Sheeran interlude) or maybe I just really want to hear the song Wiz has been previewing on Social Media.

The visuals are crisp and add some depth that the single might have lacked, amongst the cameos from Sevyn Streeter, YG, Jeremih & Trae Tha Truth, it’s always great to see Weezy, with his Lollipop-esque mirror performance, there are tones of seriousness, as what is depicted as a young Ty, sat on the stairs, as a domestic audio is played over, it does open up some narrative and for me at least makes the song (and it’s visuals) stronger.

I’m definitely going to listen to it more, as Love U Better will gain momentum on radio, hopefully it picks up on this side too, and will for sure play it’s part in setting up for the release of Beach House 3.

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The Article About Nothing: Wale, the underrated

After news that his newly released album, Shine, which has not been so prominent within the realms of the internet, was projected to sell under 30,000 copies in it’s first week, in comparison to Kendrick’s 500,000, the term ‘flop’ began to surface.

Most recently, Joe Budden highlighted the lack of support Wale received (being a major recording artist), citing the disconnect of the radio hit as a factor, and with the release of this effort unlike that of his 2011, Ambition (arguably his biggest album). It featured the street anthem of the same name, a personal favourite, That Way, and the massive (Miguel featured) single Lotus Flower Bomb. His 2013 release Gifted had a similar aesthetic, boasting the hits LoveHate Thing, Bad (and the Remix ft. Rihanna). And then once again, his 2015 Seinfeld concept, The Album About Nothing, the third instalment to his Seinfeld-themed mixtapes, The Mixtape About Nothing (2008) and More About Nothing (2010), The Album About Nothing featured two giant singles, Matrimony featuring Usher, and (the Jeremih assisted) Body. The point being that Joe Budden might be onto something, as there has been a formula and roll out, for his albums, lead with a distinct radio hit. Shine for some reason goes against that, rather than the obvious single choices, they started with PYT, a song which I was listening to the other day, and wondering if it would have been even bigger if say Chris Brown was on the hook? and it felt like an assertive decision from Folarin to push forth with DJ Sam Sneak. It did good, well over 100million plays overall on all platforms, yet still feels like it had more potential. Even the second single, now relying on the feature somewhat, linking with Lil’ Wayne for Runnin’ Back. Definitely an underrated single, it just shows that for some reason, the hype or demand is not there the same way, the moment is coming and going without impacting the masses. I still can go back to his 2009 debut, Attention Deficit, and listen to tracks like Shades, Chillin’, Contemplate, Diary, Beautiful Bliss, or Prescription and be reminded of that time.

The album release was put forward, and the press runs ensue, which was great for me, I wanted to hear the album, but My PYT peaked about 6 to 7 months ago, and so unlike Kendrick’s release with the lyrical warning (which did get air time for the alleged Big Sean diss), but then he gave us Humble, and everyone got behind it, 100 million+ views in a month, then an impressive Coachella set, before the video for DNA, which has only pushed the run further. Yes I know, K Dot is technically a bigger artist than Wale, but here’s the thing, whilst physical sales may be low, Shine has done well on streaming services. Kendrick’s streams are a lot higher, but I tribute a lot of that to not only the sound, but the execution of the roll out.

Bringing me back to My PYT, and the time in which the album was released. The fact that Rozay’s album came before, though it helped the brand, I don’t think it helped Shine.

Wale has been overlooked throughout, from the fact that he had been uplifting the people musically from the get go, even Nike Boots was more for soul than the sole.

A modern-day pioneer for the kick game, you were not checking for foamposites ’til him, even the shoes that followed, he was a big influence. All this is great, but is his name bigger than his artistry?! Has his personality transcended the music, to where, people feel they can speak on him as if he is not one of the most talented poets of his generation?! Is MMG no longer the force it was?! Or are people just not ready for Go-Go music?!

I once thought that it was because his vocals were not as clear as they used to be, but feels more like most media are too busy sucking up to those at the top, to actually pay attention.

Shine will definitely garner more listens over time, just not at the same rapid rate as the more popular names. I was disappointed to see the image of someone not of the culture, accusing Wale of capitalising on the current caribbean trend, for his WizKid, Dua Lipa and Major Lazer collab. Sounds more like Wale once again, pushing the culture forward.

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Wale, who recently became a father, he’s obviously sharing his time, and so maybe the process of it all suffered a bit, but regardless..he’s blessed, and that’s present in the music. As we have seen with Drake’s Views, and Kendrick Lamar’s TPAB, great projects, but still received criticism, leading to More Life, and DAMN. Similarly I hope Wale follows suit with his next project.

I believe in the album, it’s a quality project (might be up there as one of his best), and it will grow on you, so I realise, in reality, Wale’s discography is ahead of it’s time. As a fan, I do believe that him as a person has a part to play with things. He’s a real one. Generally, in working environments, university and so forth, some of us at times struggle with the lack of sincerity, the flakiness, leeching and so forth, for someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, not only do they tend to be introvert or anti-social, but it intimidates and only encourages the fakes to segregate further. You know the saying, “people fear what they do not understand”. 

Remaining positive either way, as the music is undeniable. I am definitely looking forward to more new visuals. I’m unaware of the budget etc, My Love obviously, deserves something special, but to be honest, each song could benefit with a video. Fine Girl has so much potential too, it just shows you the spectrum that the album is.

Big up Wale on a solid body of work, I’m definitely enjoying listening to it.

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