Rocko – Gift of Gab 2

RoyalT Rating: 8 Crowns

GOG 2 cover

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Gift of Gab 2 seemingly emerged from nowhere because most major hip-hop websites anticipated Ignant or Seeing is Believing as Rocko’s next project. Nevertheless GOG2 dropped just in time to keep Rocko fans from assuming he took another lengthy hiatus, suspending their wishes for new music.

If you’re unfamiliar with his musical background, Rocko has a unique and identifiable style. Not only is his music filled with “integrity, ethics, morals, values, and principles” taught to him by “Da Streets,” but he has sentimental ideas on songs like “YU and I”, and insight that trap rappers typically wouldn’t show nor garner respect through. Rocko hardly ever deviates from topic, literally driving the point home until it’s exhausted– normally by using the the first half of his bars to establish repetition, emphasis and to create uniformity. It’s evident he “Prepared” for this project.

Rocko relays part of his preparation through  experimental concepts.  The countdown style hook of  “One Two” is understood, as in addition to– anything you can have, Rock has one too. “Slow Down” offsets the entire pace of the project. A slightly chopped-and-screwed voice doesn’t sound much different from normal, but offers very heartfelt lyrics.

“I’m too fast for the slowpokes/ Inspiration to the poor folks/ They live through me, they ride to me/ I love you, I hope you know what you are to me/My ar-tery-ty, blood I bleed, the air I breath/ I feed the streets, they help me eat.”

Great basslines flood the project. The captivating bass ripple of “Feels Good,” the eurogate based, spatial reverbs of “Stoooopid,” and the segmented chops of “Luv4 Life”  are sure to excite bass lovers.

Another strength of the opus is the proper use of features. An energized Gucci Mane brought the wild style, absent from Trap God 2on “You Can Tell,” and Lloyd brings the industry sound that could  elevate “ShiiKno” to a smash radio single.

Not all the features enhanced the project; Rick Ross offers some stale bars “U.O.E.N.O.” and Future sings a less than admirable hook. The chill vibe and idea of the song shows promise, but execution completely lacks.

Overall, Gift of Gab 2 is really solid. Elaborate metaphors, proper thematic scheming, booming beats and a unique style make this project worth a listen. There are a couple of mediocre songs like “Y” and “Imagine Dat,” but the overpowering strength of good songs greatly outweigh them.

Favorite tracks:

ShiiKno, Feels Good, You Can Tell

Least favorite tracks:

U.O.E.N.O. and Y

GOG 2 cover

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B.o.b – F*ck Em We Ball

RoyalTy Rating: 8 Crowns

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Undoubtedly, B.o.B is one of rap’s most versatile artists. He possesses capacity that transcends rap borders and delivers hits in multiple genres. His tolerable singing and ability to play guitar coupled with pop, industry appeal grants exploration of many musical avenues, yet F*ck Em We Ball caters directly to his rap fan base.

Apparently, B.o.B notices the current trends of rap. He hasn’t ratcheted down his energetic bars. Instead, he’s pared them with heavy, booming, rap-ready professional beats–a change that makes provisions for B.o.B to experiment. Super producers Mike Will, Sonny Digital and others help B.o.B evolve his sound. Metaphors, similes and smoothly transitioning punch lines solidify F*ck Em We Ball as it delivers exactly what fans anticipated.

B.o.B starts by paying homage to recently reelected Barack Obama, on the opening skit, before doing some campaigning of his own. “Champaign” aggressively asserts B.o.B’s new sound as he develops a metaphor comparing his rap grind to an election campaign while toying with the reference of presidential kush.

“Dynomite,” “Still In This Bitch” and “F*ck Em We Ball” continue establishing B.o.B’s newly incorporated facets. Fortunately, B.o.B hasn’t completely fallen into the allure of trap beats. He still incorporates eurogate laced, spatial sounding song qualities often associated with smoking on the project. “Be There” and “Roll One Up” have very chill vibes and show B.o.b’s range. He doesn’t always have to bombard listeners with “Beast Mode” like flows, and gives listeners music they can feel while he paints visual pictures. At times he seems less like a rapper and more like narrator relaying a sequence of events, especially on songs directed towards women like ”Greedy Love” and “Spend It.”

“Swagger on infinity/If you feelin it, get with it bitch/I’m doin that thing so diligent/I’ll go dumb on that pussy, make that clitoris go illiterate/How inconsiderate?” B.o.B threads a cleverly woven internal rhyme to close verse one before piano strokes introduce the hook on “Spend It.”

“Hell of a Night” might be the sleeper track of F*ck Em We Ball. It’s fusion of characteristics and extravagant production fulfills every requirement of a quality song. An  anthem style hook, uptemto bombastic party beat, a smooth flow make for a lethal combination. B.o.B playfully initiates the track with DJ scratching before he rocks the beat.

B.o.B creates a variety of music, but little caters to the club scene. “Best Friend” is a mediocre attempt. The components of success of are in place but weren’t packaged correctly as the hook lacks cohesion. It didn’t glue twerk music’s signature handclap to the dance motivated beat, but shows promise towards immediate improvement.

Although he experiments rapping over heavy beats, he didn’t allow these endeavors to overload and sour F*ck Em We Ball. B.o.B ‘s intangibles keep his projects from sounding monotonous because he balances savage bars against vibe music.  It would have been nice to hear B.o.B. do a story track, as he’s done in the past, or show listeners diversity displayed on his album, but F*ck Em We Ball is defined by B.o.B’s progress. He’s no longer allowing pop beats to diminish the wordplay of entertaining bars.

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Louis Williams Returning to Georgia

Louis Williams

Louis “Lou” Williams and the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a multiyear contract, according to reports.

Last season Lou Williams averaged a shade less than 15 points and 3.5 assists while primarily coming off the bench for the Philadelphia 76ers, which led to Williams finishing runner up for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Williams, a Georgia native, was drafted in 2005 as standout high school athlete in Gwinnett County. As a member of South Gwinnett High School, Williams averaged 27.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.

Many believed Williams should have been starting last season, and he will probably get that opportunity while playing for the Hawks, who traded former starting guard Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this offseason. Williams has the skill set to play both point guard and shooting guard and should add some much needed flexibility to the hawks rotation.