The Good, The Average & The Ugly (9/30-10/7)

Every Tuesday, I review what I thought was good, average and bad from the week in music. This week, we'll be taking a look at releases from Anderson .Paak & Kendrick Lamar, Southern King T.I., and compilation of less than impressive snippets from various releases.



Anderson .Paak & Kendrick Lamar - Tints

In all honesty, was there anything that could've ruined this collaboration?

These two California natives are a match made in heaven, and their newest collaboration is a true testament to the power of two largely different styles blending seamlessly, as "Tints" brings out the best in both artists.

On this upbeat, pop-rap/ska fusion, Anderson .Paak showcases his incredible range with a handful of flows, pitch changes and style-swaps. Paak's soothing, raspy voice compliments the accompanying beat, with the result being a larger than life anthem that will induce the urge to hop in your car and cruise in any circumstance.

Anderson .Paak enlists rap philosopher Kendrick Lamar for a perfectly balanced, addicting feature verse. While K-Dot's flow on "Tints" is true-to-form, the message he conveys is less conventional. Veering away from the heavy-hitting, politically driven lyricism he's known for, On this record, Kendrick raps about doubters, critics, posers and a fresh new whip with... you guessed it, tinted windows. At one point, Kendrick raps:

Bitch, I'm Kendrick Lamar, respect me from afar

I was made in His image, you can call me a God

Everybody in attendance, I'm about to perform

Everybody get offended by the shit I got on

Kendrick sees the haters and critics, but in typical superstar fashion, he cruises past the negativity in his tinted car. At it's core, Kendrick's verse on "Tints" is by no means a verse he needed to do, but is instead a verse he deserves. In simpler terms, it's a breath of fresh air from the heavy, powerful bars King Kendrick has made a staple.

"Tints", in essence, is a fun loving, boogie-inducing record from two industry geniuses. The moment I saw this song was releasing, I knew it was going to be a piece of art, and upon listening, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it delivers in every way possible.

Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar,

What's not to love?



T.I. - Dime Trap

This summer, my friends and I had a debate about which albums we played most in grade school and middle school, and while the two through five spots were argued extensively, we all unanimously agreed on the top spot: Paper Trail.

I cannot emphasize this enough,

I love T.I.

I remember riding my bike to my friends house in 5th grade and plugging my iPod Nano into their speaker, bumping tracks like "Whatever You Like", "Swagga Like Us", "Live your Life" and "Dead and Gone" to no end.

I remember listening to southern rap landmarks King and Trap Muzik, entranced by the grimy, real-life accounts T.I. spit through the microphone and into my adolescent ears.

T.I. was essentially a piece of my childhood, so when I saw that he was releasing Dime Trap, I was equally caught off guard and intrigued.

I don't think I'm being overly bold when I say that T.I. is at the end of his career, so my expectations going into Dime Trap were comparable to when I heard Adrian Peterson was joining the Washington Redskins this season - I was excited, but I kept my expectations low.

Maybe this is my personal bias talking, but honestly, Dime Trap is pretty good. The features from Meek Mill, Jeezy, Yo Gotti and Young Thug are great compliments to T.I.'s nostalgic flow, and the album is filled with gems,

My personal highlight is "Jefe", a latin-inspired beat ripped to shreds by T.I. and Meek Mill. When I listened to this song for the first time, T.I.'s incredible wordplay and flow gave me chills like I was listening to "Top Back" or "24's" for the first time again.

Admittedly, Dime Trap lands in the average spot not because it's "average", but because in all my power, I couldn't shake the memories I had of his earlier releases from the back of my brain.

I don't want to shake these memories though. T.I. 2000's work is where I draw much of my love for rap, and while Dime Trap will never size up to the likes of Paper Trail, King or Trap Muzik, this review serves less as a critique and more as a brief but refreshing trip back down Sleight and Wright street (if you know, you know).

Am I mad T.I. is still putting out music? Not a chance. Dime Trap, in its purest form, is a closure of sorts for my eight year-old mind. Go give this album a listen, it's a formidable release and is enjoyable throughout.

Oh, and shoutout Central Highlands.

* cue "Whatever You Like" *



Nothing? Kind of?

In truth, I really did search through each and every release from this past Friday, but honestly, I couldn't find one standout shit-stain worth dedicating my time to.

Was 6ix9ine's "STOOPID" mediocre at best? Sure, but the feature from Bobby Schmurda was creative to say the least.

Was Drip Harder kind of a dud? Yea, buried in the borefest is a few pretty rock-solid tracks worth playing more than once.

Other than that, I really have nothing, which is rare in today's rap world. Maybe I'll find something later in the week that fits the bill of "ugly", but for now, I'm still searching.

So... sorry?

Not really though.

- Carter Ferryman -