Ever since the beginning of this blog on the 12th of December 2012, the members of www.rap-royalty.com have been unsurprisingly supportive and regular readers. I have reviewed mixtapes for members such as co-owner, Second Hand King in addition to KeL iLL, Rishi P, Loose Logic, Danchise and Sleep among others, with more on the way. Enickma actually created the “TheRootMusic” logo.
So it is with a huge grin on my face that I am delighted to be able to announce an official partnership with the home to the best emcees on the internet. On paper this means simply that we will help promote one another, with Rap-Royalty having a link to this blog above the sites chat box and each post on The Root Music will have the rap-royalty banner seen above and a link to the website at the bottom.
In order to give this post some relativity other than an announcement which may not mean as much to the reader as it does this writer, I have compiled a list of the top five mixtapes/albums that I have reviewed from http://www.rap-royalty.com.
1. Loose Logic – Loosid Dreams Vol. 2: Awoken Orbits
When I first started this blog, I hoped I would never give a 5/5, because in truth nothing is perfect. However this is pretty much as close as it can get. If you ever give any underground Hip-Hop mixtape a listen, make sure this is it. It may not be justifiable to compare Loose with Jay-Z or Eminem but in the future, I truly believe it will. There is not one song where Loose Logic’s flow faltered, the lyricism was sublime and always related to the topic, the tracklist was ordered perfectly and the topics were varied and interesting enough to keep me hooked throughout. At first I made comparisons to King Of The Underground in Tech N9ne and King Of The South in T.I and it’s only fitting to name my current king of Rap-Royalty: Loose Logic.
2. Sleep – Lockland95
Overall there is no debate that Sleeps is a phenomenal artist with a tremendous talent of story telling with his marvelous mic presence, devastating delivery and perfect poly syllabic rhyme schemes. When it comes to creating music there is a problem however. Way too many samples. I don’t mind one or two tracks with introductory samples but when every track has a sample before and after it, its becomes boring and tedious. I know it is seen as a sin to “go pop” in Hip Hop but there is nothing wrong with making music more accessible by a mainstream audience for at least one track on a tape and I felt “Lockland 95” lacked that. This tape is enough for me to become a fan of Sleep and will be looking forward to future projects by him and 2ManCypher for my ears to enjoy.
3. Shadowless – Shadowless
Overall I found “Shadowless” a very enjoyable album. Reminiscent of the golden era of hip-hop mixed with some truly talented producers, my personal favourite being ‘badmind’. A true lyrical showcase of Shadowless’ story telling ability with a couple of songs from out of left field. Only some awful hooks let the album down, an excellent effort for a debut. As the first Rap Royalty project I reviewed, this album set the standard.
4. L Oquence – Judgement Day
On a whole I enjoyed the majority of the individual tracks of “Judgement Day” and can see a considerable improvement from “Lyrical Apocalypse”. However, L Oquence promised a politics orientated mixtape and then delivered less than half the amount of tracks on the mixtape with a political message embedded. On “Lyrical Apocalypse” I criticised L-O’s lack of conscious themes in favour of self-hype, now for “Judgement Day” there were too many inconsistent themes. I have no doubt that L Oquence will be the first big artist from Nebraska and it is important to remember the young emcee is not even eighteen yet. The third mixtape will be telling if my faith is well placed or not. L Oquence had the essentials covered in “Lyrical Apocalypse”, he has improved them and cemented distinguished views in “Judgement Day”, next he has to make sure he outshines all features and retain some consistency into the thematic content of his songs.
5. KeL iLL – The Comic Book Hero Chronicles
It’s hard to offer a summarising conclusion of a tape pioneering a new sub-genre of Hip Hop due to the lack of ready comparisons. The best I could offer would be the Jay-Z/Linkin Park collaborations but even those fall short of the mark, because “The Comic Book Hero Chronicles” is such a unique project, and KeL iLL is likewise a unique artist. Like I have previously mentioned however, unique doesn’t necessarily mean better, and in this case, I’m not sure whether it is or not. In the tracks in which KeL showcased a distinguishable “emocore” style, he flourished but there were too many tracks which confused exactly what the sub-genre is. Hopefully the next mixtape or album will consist of more direction, less tagged beats but the same emotion filled, thought provoking lyricism. Every sub-genre needs a pioneer; Gangsta Rap has NWA, White Hop has Eminem, Grime has Dizzee Rascal and now KeL iLL has brought to us Emocore. My ears are finely tuned to see how far he can take it.
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