Kirko Bangz – Procrastination Kills 4 (PK4)

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Procrastination Kills 4 (PK4) lands as a project slightly better than mediocre. Kirko adequately illustrates his major strengths, songs of pain and others with exceptional hooks, while simultaneously showing that limited concepts and delivery bobbles need a little improvement.

Kirko’s strongest suit derives from painting pictures of pain and narrating tales of transforming tragedy to triumph. There’s something about his struggle that allows him to captivate listeners even when they don’t relate to his struggles. The effect of “Use to Be” is one of the most impactful tracks. The story of Kirko’s aunt filling the role of his mother and best friend, before being murdered by her husband, provides glimpses into his trialing childhood.

“Have a auntie like your mom and she was your best friend/ She helped you get your first car, helped you furnish ya crib/ Get ya girlfriend a job, helped yal through s**t/ Dress your sister up for prom, helped you manage ya chips/ And you turn around and lose her in the same damn year.”

“Vent,” “On My Own” and “Help Me Out” further Kirko’s message and portraits of pain.

Another major strength of PK4 rests in musical versatility. Far too many rappers rely on bass-overloaded beats to fight half their battle of acquiring fans. It’s obvious that Kirko understands the importance of appealing beats because his previous singles – “What Yo Name Iz” and “Drank in my Cup” – garnered most of their attention from their bombastic bass lines and catchy hooks. On this project, Kirko doesn’t allow that same pattern to restrict or define his identity.

PK4’s song order works as a huge asset. Instead of placing the biggest hits within the first seven songs in typical fashion, Kirko groups the songs by type, which allows for smoother transitions. Bombastic hits come first followed by songs catered to sex and strippers. He then proceeds with narratives of struggle, heartache and pain, before ultimately finishing with a selection of smoother tunes that ride.

Houston, Kirko’s birthplace, flies under the radar for the majority of PK4 before its musical influences break through. It’s not until the last three tracks – especially “Lettin Them Know” featuring Paul Wall and “Laid Back” – where slower, riding beats or chopped and screwed hooks materialize.

Yet, Kirko demonstrates weakness. “Nasty N***a” could have been left off PK4 altogether. It doesn’t do much to improve the project, and the presentation of the song comes off a bit weak.

“Stop B*****n” follows suit. The song wasn’t well planned.  Kirko removed intensity from his voice, but the instrumentation of Drake’s interlude of “Good One’s Go” didn’t mesh with Kirko’s intended theme. Kirko has to consider his delivery prior to choosing beats. Sure, it’s supposed to be an emotional song where he airs out complaints, but his brash delivery was harsher than what the instrumentation could support, resulting in a clash.

Limited topics also work against Kirko. Every rapper has a comfort zone of subjects in which they operate, but Kirko’s potential promises better works in the near future.

Overall, Procrastination Kills 4’s semisolid effort serves as a promising platform for 23-year-old Kirko Bangz. His weaknesses are easily addressable. After a little maturation as a rapper and improved subject matter, Kirko’s potential could give birth to a consistent hit maker.

7.0/10

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

Tyga – Well Done 3

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Young Money Cash Money Billionaire’s (YMCMB) artist Tyga adds another project to his “Well Done” series of mixtapes with his recently released, 16-track, Well Done 3. Well done overstates the quality of this mixtape. Reality shows that only a few tracks were actually well done. Tyga never consistently brought the heat to insure that, and left many tracks medium rare.

For instance, the track “Designer” borrows the beat of “Mercy,” one of hip-hop’s most popular and thorough tracks, and Tyga delivers a verse that says much of nothing about fashion or designer clothes. Apart from a brief and simple chorus, Tyga spirals on a tangent that ends with a topic completely different than the one intended.  That’s typical of Tyga though, and ironically enough he closed the song with this quote.

“One verse, one hearse.”

He definitely didn’t murder the song, so a hearse is far from necessary. If anything he needed an ambulance to doctor his flow.

Although many of the tracks were mediocre, Tyga’s rhymes often provoke those listening to bob their head in classic west coast fashion. It’s known that Tyga isn’t the most versatile rapper, but sometimes it’s less about what he says, and more about how he chooses to say it. Listen to the songs “King Company,” “Ratchet,” and “No Luck” produced by DJ Mustard for examples.

Fortunately, Well Done 3 had moments where it displayed the potential that initially got Tyga signed to hip-hop dynasty YMCMB. “Diced Pineapples” dials down Tyga’s erratic, aggressive flow as he narrates a situation between himself and a past love. More impressively, he remained on topic for the entire song.

“Switch Lanes,” featuring The Game, also continued displaying Tyga’s potential. Each Rapper takes turns delivering eight bars before passing the track back to the other. Apart from switching lanes rapping with The Game, Tyga showed how to switch flows. Stylistically, internal rhyme plays a heavy role in Tyga’s rap identity, but on “Switch Lanes” he starts his first verse a tad before the beat measure, which accentuates his style by placing rhymes before bass drops.

“Switch How I do it/my new b***h a nudist/ piece like a Budhist/ cooler than cool whip/ get brain don’t be stupid…”

Normally, featured guests don’t play much of a role in reviews, but half of the features on Well Done 3 were atrocious. Most were really bad, some were average; and apart from The Game, and Kirko Bangz, nobody else deserves honorable mention.

Houston native, Kirko Bangz, left his stamp. He appeared on two of the best tracks, “Girls and Guitars” as well as “Out this B***h.” Addtionally his recent single, “Drank in my Cup,” provided the framework for Tyga’s rendition “Ready to F**k.”

In his Well Done mixtape chain, Tyga takes the beat-snatching mixtape approach made popular by Lil Wayne.  To actually be “well done” Tyga’s work needs a little more cooking.  His style is ready, especially when rhyming internally, but his content and delivery could use some additional ingredients.

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