Late Rundown: May-June

I’m gonna try something new here.

While the typical trend in the world of music journalism is to review albums as timely as possible, I personally feel that approach doesn’t always result in high-quality reviews. Often, timely reviews appear to be rushed and narrow-minded. Often, timely reviews appear to be just a step above clickbait.

Fuck that. The readers and artists deserve better journalism.

That being said, I’m gonna try something new- a late rundown. I’m gonna review four projects from the past month or so that have stood out to me, serving as staples of my summer rotation.

Not only is this approach more respectful to the artists and their creative processes, but in my opinion, more reader-friendly as well. If you don’t follow music religiously and want to get caught up real quick, this article is perfect for you.

Sli’merre - Young Nudy & Pierre Bourne

Released May 8

Young Nudy and Pierre Bourne make for quite the power duo. As Pierre had already produced a sizeable chunk of Nudy’s discography, most notably his Slimeball trilogy, a collab project between the two was long overdue.

Sli’merre really proved the chemistry between Nudy and Pierre, showcasing their versatility together on unique tracks such as “Sunflower Seeds”. Nudy also branched out his own stylistic versatility, linking up with Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Uzi Vert, DaBaby, and his UK cousin 21 Savage.

More than anything, Sli’merre showcases Pierre’s versatility as a producer. According to Nudy, Pierre sent him roughly 200 beats for Sli’merre:

“Keeping it real, that n***a sent me probably like 200 beats. I’m a fast picker, I can hear the first five to ten seconds of a beat—I ain’t even gotta hear the bass. Once I hear the little sounds, and it’s a sound I like, I want that.”

What’s more impressive is that they worked remotely; Nudy recorded the project in Miami while Pierre was elsewhere. If that doesn’t sum up their natural chemistry, I don’t know what does.

Top 3 Tracks: “Sunflower Seeds”, “Long Ride”, “Extendo” (ft. Lil Uzi Vert)

Skippable Tracks: “Call Dat Bitch Homicide”, “Swisher Backwood”

Rating: 8.2/10

Ignorance is Bliss - Skepta

Released May 31

Three years after the release of his last project, Konnichiwa, the face of grime has returned with another high-energy installment of UK’s finest.

When an artist takes 3+ years to release their next project, it is inevitable that they will showcase growth and experimentation on said project. Ignorance is Bliss is further proof of that theory; Skepta branched out sonically more than ever- fusing pop, R&B, and electronic into his aggressive rap style. It makes for an entertaining display; Ignorance is Bliss flows together in wonderful fashion, leaving the listener sonically satisfied and impressed.

It’s also worth noting that Skepta produced 12 of the album’s 13 tracks.

After delivering such a well-rounded album almost entirely self-produced, Skepta is ascending to legend status. Skepta’s already been a legend in the UK, so I hope that he continues to make worldwide waves. Boy better know.

Top 3 Tracks: “Redrum” (ft. Key), “Greaze Mode” (ft. Nafe Smallz), “You Wish”

Skippable Tracks: “Love Me Not” (ft. Cheb Rabi & B Live)

Rating: 8.4/10

Standing on Satan’s Chest - Nessly

Released June 5

Nessly, a rising Soundcloud star with close ties to Lil Yachty, played around with some new sounds and concepts on his newest, pride-and-joy album - Standing on Satan’s Chest.

Nessly has become a beloved underground artist, building a small but loyal cult following. Nessly is known for the vibe that his music often emanates; Nessly beautifully utilizes autotune to deliver a laidback and futuristic sound that can’t be matched. Standing on Satan’s Chest is further proof of Nessly’s autotune greatness, laced with imagery and emotion.

Standing on Satan’s Chest sees Nessly at his most mature and poised yet, truly establishing the trajectory he is aiming for as a creative. While Standing on Satan’s Chest may have missed its mark as a true concept album, there are many glimpses of talent and potential that shine through the album’s 12 songs. Nessly is well on his way to becoming a superstar; in a few years, I can see him topping charts.

Top 3 Tracks: “Hairdye” (ft. GASHI), “Foreign Sheets” (ft. Lil Keed & Lil Yachty), “See Me in Your Dreams”

Skippable Tracks: “Love You More”

Rating: 7.8/10

Escape From New York - Beast Coast

Released May 24

For those who aren’t familiar, Beast Coast is a supergroup comprised of Pro Era (Joey Badass, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, CJ Fly & Powers Pleasant), Flatbush Zombies (Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice & Erick Arc Elliot), and The Underachievers (Issa Gold & AK).

Yeah, that’s a monstrous squad. With 10 members, everyone brings something to the table. While Joey Badass and the Flatbush Zombies are the stars of the group, they play point and make sure that everyone gets shine. While this group of NYC superstars have collaborated many times over the past decade, this is their debut group album.

Escape From New York is smooth yet rugged; energetic yet nonchalant. With so many talented creatives working in harmony, each song is something special. No track on this album is like another; Escape From New York provides a uniquely enjoyable listening experience and proves a bright future for the newly-official supergroup.

Top 3 Tracks: “One More Round”, “Snow in the Stadium”, “Desperado”

Skippable Tracks: N/A

Rating: 8.5/10

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