CyHi The Prynce – Ivy League Kickback

RoyalTy Rating: 7 Crowns

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It’s hard to pinpoint why Cyhi hasn’t garnered much fame outside of Georgia. People respect his lyrics, but up to this point, he doesn’t have a smash radio single or a track that sets the club on fire. So, instead of placing his fate in the hands of radio personnel and DJ’s, Cyhi attempts to get his music directly into people’s home the by catering the Ivy League Kickback to laid back party atmospheres.

“Kick Back Music” initiates the festivity appropriately. The aura emitted from deep, nonchalant bass tones completely encompasses kickback vibes. Cyhi’s slew of if-then statements makes for an entertaining listen as he quickly relays some components of a kickback. The rest of the picture is further developed on “Kick Back,” where Cyhi addresses any questions. In summary, a kickback is music, mingling, alcohol and drugs.

“Mary Jane” serves as a personification of Cyhi’s relationship with marijuana. Personifying marijuana allows Cyhi to relay a few weed tales that reinforces his love of marijuana. After all, he’s apparently not “Far Removed” from trafficking grams in his trap “Round the Corner.”

“Start a War” possibly is the best track. Fans grossly underrate Cyhi’s story rapping ability. His lyrics paint a panoramic view depicting how his friend was murdered for serving a dummy brick. Cyhi feels as if he could start a war while failing to cope with his loss.

Apart from trap tales, Cyhi hasn’t lost witty lines. “Big Head B*tches” is loaded with wordplay embedded in his reminder to all the boujee girls with overblown confidence.

“I told her I’d give her the world if she’d take off her clothes/So I went to Office Depot and bought that b*tch a globe.

The middle section of the Ivy League Kickback attempts to ratchet up the atmosphere before the rear end attempts to throttle down activity.

Granted the ratio of guys and girls is relatively balanced, every kickback has a song with potential to elevate kickbacks into a full blown party. “Whoa,” featuring a hook sampled from Big Sean’s verse on “Mercy,” serves as this song. Its healthy bass tone combined with lyrics that promote ass shaking just might cause a kickback to transform into a house party.

“Pillow Talking” and “Occupy Your Mind” slowly kills off commotion to signify an end of the kickback.

Although the vibe is adequately encompassed, the Ivy League Kickback doesn’t come without a few glaring faults. Cyhi’s experimental “I’m Catching Feelings” urgently needs a feature for the hook. Prefacing the song saying “I ain’t really no good singer” doesn’t excuse his lack of vocals and utter waste of a smooth beat.

“Sexy” is a wasteful filler song, a slightly remixed “A-Town” fails to enhance the opus, and

Cyhi should deviate the quirky tendency to structure cliché, elementary sounding songs as exhibited on “Favorite Things”.  Lastly, “We Drink, We Smoke” should have been omitted from the Ivy League Kickback because it appeared on his previous mixtape the Ivy League Club.

Overall, The Ivy League Kickback, is a solid project. It strengths outnumber it’s weaknesses and the kickback themed songs have plenty of replay value. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear one or two of these songs at your next kickback.

Favorite Tracks: Start a War, Whoa, Far Removed

Least Favorite Tracks” Sexy, I’m Catching Feelings

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2 Chainz – Based on a T.R.U. Story

Based On a T.R.U. Story album artwork

2 Chainz released his highly anticipated debut solo project, Based on a T.R.U. Story, as a G.O.O.D. Music member. This album succeeds his previous mixtape, T.R.U. Realigion, which garnered huge buzz and propelled 2 Chainz into rap’s spotlight. Since then, he has become a feature animal appearing on many major artists’ singles, mixtapes and albums.

Many wonder how 2 Chainz became relevant in rap. He may not have content that fans require from a lyricist, but the answer is pretty simple. He just doesn’t care! 2 Chainz’ delivery is more comical, bolder and more reckless than any rapper out, as seen on the brief intermission on “Yuck!”. He isn’t afraid to take a chance with his bars. Regardless of whether his punch lines register a direct hit, he delivers each line with confidence, style and vitality. If his energy doesn’t enhance punch lines, his adlibs definitely will. 2 Chainz’ “truuu,” “yeaaaauuhh” and “word” are commonly duplicated in speech amongst hip-hop fans.

The question he poses on the album’s second single, “Birthday Song,” is completely fitting.

“They ask me what I do and who I do it for/ and how it come up with this s**t up in the studio?”

Not only does that question allude to his recent success, but it also provides an example of the style and confidence previously stated. After all, he did rhyme “do it for” with “studio”, which at best could classify as a slant rhyme. 2 Chainz fearlessly stretches words, mispronounces them, and uses his southern dialect to appropriate rhyme scheme, as displayed on “Crack.”

2 Chainz even displayed boldness by stepping out of his bass heavy, southern, comfort zone. The song “I’m Different,” produced by DJ Mustard, takes a trip to the west coast and brings the jerky, groove style that has surged to the forefront of California music. Like the name of his song, “No Lie,” 2 Chainz is different, and very different at that. There isn’t another rapper that could say some of the oulandish things 2 Chainz does and maintain respect as a hit-maker.

“Extremely Blessed” highlights where 2 Chainz difference displays weakness. This smooth song features The Dream and directs attention to beautiful girls with banging bodies that guys would consider extremely blessed. 2 Chainz’ flow needs to be ratcheted down to parallel the song.

He may not have a smooth flow in his repertoire, but he did display a relaxed delivery on the track “Stop Me Now.” 2 Chainz successfully dialed down intensity while maintaining style and matching the sound of this more subtle, ol’ school sounding song.

“In Town,” featuring Mike Posner, fills the role of a sleeper track. As track 11 out of 13, it’s disguised in the back end of the album where average tracks tend to dwell. Once again 2 Chainz effectively allowed the instrumentation and tone emitted by Posner to dictate his energy level. This song has single potential.

Based on T.R.U. Story, definitely highlights all of 2 Chainz strong points. His hooks are catchy, he places adlibs in appropriate places, and he consistently delivered the erratic style that his fans have grown accustomed to. Although 2 Chainz constantly talks about Louis Vuitton/True Religion, big booty girls, and foreign cars, the albums’ sound displays an increased bit of versatility, which will be necessary for 2 Chainz to remain relevant as his solo career progresses.

The album also has well balanced feature selections: Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, The Dream, Mike Posner, John Legend and Playaz Circle’s Dollar Boy all make appearances.

Beat productions follow suit with contributions from: Drumma Boy, Mike Will, Bangladesh, Sonny Digital, Streetrunner, and Southside.

*Review also hosted at http://www.pefferreviews.com/ and http://rapruler.com/

Cyhi The Prynce – Ivy League Club

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Cyhi The Prynce may have just taken the hip-hop crown as the king of word play on his most recent mixtape Ivy League Club. He absolutely abuses tracks with interminable references that pile one behind the other.  This G.O.O.D Music member lives up to the name of his clique, and considering rap bars, he makes good music.

On “Food Savers & Scissors,” easily one of the most thorough topical tracks on this tape, Cyhi proceeds to deliver a set of instructions for trappers in the dope game. He makes it clear that by using food savers and scissors an individual can conceal the smell of drugs and transport them to desired destinations.  This track works well with the theme of the Ivy League Club because Cyhi assumes roles as rapper and professor while simultaneously delivering a message/lesson and bragging about his success moving weight.

“Im the man with them O-Z’s my plug call me wizard. Shawty I got some purp, and I got some killer. To you it smell like gas, but to me it smell like vanilla. And all my bud light cuz I don’t f**k with Miller. Not liquor… Reggie, I keep a bag of them veggies”

That’s a reference any smoker will instantly understand. Cyhi saturates his mixtape with exceptionally metaphorical smoking references using any vernacular commonly associated with marijuana.

Anytime you hear Cyhi say “like _________” whatever simile fills the blank as a punch line is a direct hit. Not only are his hooks catchy, but he literally beats the track up with punch lines. Hooks, jabs and uppercuts all connect as he bobs and weaves on the beat.

Yet, his composition is more than a punch line rapper. Songs like “Ivy League” and “Real Talk” exhibit how Cyhi elaborately paints pictures by allowing his references to link two unrelated topics into one cohesive idea.

Songs like “Tomorrow” and “Lives” exhibit charisma illustrating how Cyhi can curb the street edge and cater his flow to charm women.

Although Ivy League Club shines in lyrics and many other facets, there are some drawbacks.

Cyhi quickly tacks on lots of samples. “Lives,” which samples instrumentation from “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang, and “Entourage,” which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” made famous by Marvin Gaye, are two examples of sampled beats. Illusive Orchestra, producer of the two beats, masterfully composed the instrumentations, but the industry wants new material, and that’s more Cyhi’s fault than the producer, especially given that the songs “Tool” and “Feet Up” sample the pattern of two other well-known songs.

“100 Bottles,” the only song that shows need for improvement, features Chris Brown and fellow label mate Big Sean. The hook’s redundancy lacks cohesion and is slightly annoying. Furthermore Cyhi’s flow didn’t uphold the standards asserted on the 16 previous tracks.

Apart from those few bobbles, the rest of Ivy League Club is masterful. Cyhi presents fans and haters with the dilemma of deciding whether he is a rapper or lyricist. His clever wordplay is just short of genius and possesses very distinctive qualities. There isn’t another rapper that has the ability to lace bars the way Cyhi does. His unpredictable combination of punch lines, similes, internal rhyme, irony, and relentless references makes him a truly unique artist.

*Review also hosted at http://www.pefferreviews.com/ and http://rapruler.com/