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Mixtape & Album Review

Mixtape & Album Review

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So, we decided to peep out Kembe X's new joint titled SELF RULE for a 2nd Round review. Most times, artists have a hard enough time getting just a few good songs in ONE project; much less a group of successive projects that show TRUE growth.

Artist(s): Kembe X
Mixtape: Self Rule Mixtape (2011)

Overall Rating:

So, we decided to peep out Kembe X's new joint titled SELF RULE for a 2nd Round review. Most times, artists have a hard enough time getting just a few good songs in ONE project; much less a group of successive projects that show TRUE growth. As usual, his ability to create intricate wordplay is probably the most ingenious part of his delivery.

He starts off the project with an inspiring Malcolm X speech for the intro. Their mix and choice of background music was definitely well done. This is actually something that could be said about a lot of the project, overall. The choice in production matched the lyrics extremely well throughout the project.

From "Introlude" with its smooth delivery and laid back production, to "Quarter and a Nightmare" with its odd use of melodies over smooth lines of rhythm; Kembe's ability to weave a story that pulls in the listener is undeniable. Any listener will notice, right away, that not only is Kembe X able to adapt easily to various rhythms; but his choice of production is phenomenal.

Some tracks worth a DEFINITE mention are, "Patience," which helped bring the project back into perspective and made it come alive midway when the track tempos starting blurring together. This track is a definite REPEAT BUTTON CULPRIT! The only thing it could have used was less saturation on the distortion of the vocals of the hook. It was a bit heavy and could have balanced out a bit better to sound less gritty.

Between "Backwards" with its old school "Midnight Marauder's" feel, and smooth bass riffs and woodwinds of "Don't Quit;" it's clear his influences are not just constrained to recent music. Kembe X seems to be rooted in MUCH MORE than today's superficial digi-songs. His music reaches back out to the listener and incites that old warm feel Chi-Town artists are known well for.

While we have a lot of good to say about this project, and the ratings speak the same; there were some slight downsides to the project that could have used some work. "Cold Summer" loses a little momentum, which he makes up with his ability to paint a picture with lyrics. "Don't Quite" could have used a little more work on the bridge and the feature artist, Alex Wiley, could have had better breath control in his delivery.

Despite the very minute flaws on this project; the quality, wordplay, production and overall mix puts Kembe X on a different playing field than many indie artists who are still trying to mature their sound. Peep out the download and HEAR HIP HOP REVIVING FIRST HAND!

ALBUM RATINGS
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Lyrics:
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OVERALL:
 
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

So, MB4 was sent to us for review; and initially, we had the usual, "Oh, here goes another white boy anthem rapper." We were definitely NOT expecting what we heard.

 
Artist(s): MB4
 
Overall Rating:
 
So, MB4 was sent to us for review; and initially, we had the usual, "Oh, here goes another white boy anthem rapper." We were definitely NOT expecting what we heard. What we found was a talented emcee that's gritty vocal sound most of these so-called "rappers" should take heed to.
 
With an album called, "White Boy Wasted," you would expect the usual regurgitated Beastie Boys swag, but MB4 presents his own brand of poetic fluidity with quality production that will definitely make some serious noise in the Hip Hop community. With features from the renowned Wyclef Jean, this artist has raised the bar and provided this game some QUALITY MUSIC that is worth more than just a simple pass through listen.
 
The track Wyclef features on called, "Grind" definitely gives us one of those update sing-song hooks, but the mixture of their vocals, delivery, and production make this a DEFINITE REPLAY TRACK. The progressions of, both, the music and wordplay work perfectly in this composition.
 
"Poison Dartz" has more of a Slaughterhouse feel, and MB4's lyrics are definitely not any less impressive. The only downside to this track is that it lacks some very important lower frequencies on the mix that make it lack some strength on the production end.
 
If there is any kind of artist that exemplifies what we here call BOOT SLAP RAP, this is it! Peep the tracks out below and watch out for this one!
 
ALBUM RATINGS
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Lyrics:
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OVERALL:
 
Monday, April 11, 2011

OK, so we came across this submission this week and thought it was DEFINITELY worth a good mention. This was probably one of the better finds we have had in a while, and aspiring Emcee, Kembe X

Artist(s): Kembe X
 
Overall Rating:
 
OK, so we came across this submission this week and thought it was DEFINITELY worth a good mention. This was probably one of the better finds we have had in a while, and aspiring Emcee, Kembe X, hailing from the South Suburbs of Chicago exemplifies the very nature of a poetic emcee. His wordplay is ridiculously talented, and his ability to deliver accurately on beat is undeniable in every sense of the word!
 
From the first track we heard titled, "Balla Shit Till," it immediately became clear this was no average rapper or simple artist. His wordplay and ability to deliver what seems to be tongue twisting adventures without any issue make it apparent this artist is definitely hungry enough to make some serious damage given the right tools.
 
Throughout all the tracks sent to us, we noticed 3 very glaring issues that needed work; but these were (quite honestly) the ONLY issues with the tracks submitted.
  1. Mixing was very poor. It did not match the quality of his lyrics, and it almost took away from the punch of the song overall, leaving the listener almost wanting more of his lyrics with new beats.
  2. The usage of effects, especially in the initial track "Balla Shit Till," was a bit unbalanced with the final mix. It was almost as if they went back and did this over the master or something.
  3. Too many mid range frequencies (500-700mhz) in the EQ and not enough 120mhz, 2khz and 10khz frequencies in the final output.
If these mixing issues were corrected, Kembe X may have gotten an additional point, and we are looking forward to hearing more of him in the future with some QUALITY PRODUCTION and QUALITY MIXES. Once he has this, we definitely think Kembe X will be quite a force to contend with in the game.
 
ALBUM RATINGS
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Lyrics:
Mix:
OVERALL:
 

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