The GIF above is a perfect representation of how I’ve felt due to the crazy amount of new music that’s dropped this month. We had Drake start the wave with his latest album ‘For All The Dogs’ followed by Bad Bunny’s surprise album ‘Nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana’, Offset from the Migos ‘Set It Off’ and Griselda’s WestSide Gunn’s ‘And Then You Pray For Me.’ Let’s take a closer look at each project and what I rated them.
Drake- For All The Dogs
If you know me, you know I’m not an actual fan of Drake’s music. I like a few songs by the OVO boss, but I don’t revisit his music on a regular basis. I do, however, listen to his albums when they drop, and I try to be as fair and unbiased as possible with my reviews. I’ll spare you the painful deep dive of each track, and instead, I’ll just highlight the songs I enjoyed.
Right away, what turned me away from taking “FATD” serious was the rollout he had for his latest project. I’m guessing he was trying to cater to the younger generation with the posts he was making on Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with trying to include the younger generation, by the way. To me, it just seemed weird for a 37-year-old man to be painting his nails and wearing colorful pins in his hair.
I was not a fan of the way the album started. It was way too slow and the songs weren’t captivating enough to have started the project that way. I liked 21 Savage’s verse in Calling For You, but I’m not waiting for 3:18 to hear it again.
Fear Of Heights- Many are speculating that these lyrics were aimed at Rihanna:
“Why they make it sound like I’m still hung up on you?
That could never be
Gyal can’t ruin me
Better him than me
Better it’s not me
I’m anti, I’m anti
Yeah, and the sex was average with you
Yeah, I’m anti ’cause I had it with you…”
I’ll let y’all do your “Googles” and find out. The beat is insane. Produced by: OZ, Nik D, Pooh Beatz, xynothing, BNYX.
Daylight- Once again, the energy of this beat drew me in right away. Produced by: Southside, Smatt, T9C, Lil Esso. IT randomly but wholesomely goes into Drake’s son Adonis rapping at 2:04 point of the song over a boom bap beat. There’s even a music video for it. Great marketing, Drizzy.
First Person Shooter- J. Cole and Drake on a track. Nuff said. This was J. Cole’s first Billboard #1 song. I was shocked when I heard about that. He’s had a lot of great songs. Could it prove he’s not really an “industry guy?” The beat switch at 2:20 was was a great transition. It made me want to put on a ski mask. Produced by: Vinylz, Boi-1da, OZ, Tay Keith, Coleman, FNZ.
IDGAF (Feat. Yeat)- I don’t know any Yeat songs. I don’t have an opinion of him aside from his feature on this song. Sonically, it sounds really good. Produced by: BNYX, Sebastian Shah.
Screw The World-Interlude- I don’t know why this track got so much hate. The track was appropriately, a “chopped and screwed” sample of Nas’s ‘If I Ruled The World’ by the late legendary ‘Dj Screw.’ It’s also DJ Screw on the mic. Drake said DJ Screw’s music helped him get through some tough times. The chopped and screwed sound that DJ Screw invented will always be a major staple in Houston’s music history.
His music video for 8AM in Charlotte was interesting. I found it enjoyable due to the quality of the lyrical content. What I noticed in this album, was a greater love than usual for Houston’s musical contribution. It was also wholesome that he included his son Adonis in the music video, hanging out with dad and his crew.
The Bad Bunny feature on ‘Gently’ was probably one of the worse Bad Bunny songs I’ve ever heard. It was produced by OZ, Nik D and Gordo (formerly known as Carnage.) Not even Carnage who heavily produced on ‘Her Loss’ was able to save this song. Definitely a disappointment since ‘MIA.’
Away From Home- There is so much nostalgia about growing up in Toronto in this song that it actually takes me back, every single time I’ve heard this song. I know I went to high school with at least one of the Jason he mentioned in this song. When Drake made it onto 106th & Park with Trey Songz for the song ‘Replacement Girl,’ I think everyone in Toronto lost their minds that one of our own made it on there. He mentions the famous SPC card (Student Price Card) and Yorkdale mall. Kids today will never know how it felt to get a dope discount using the card.
Overall, the album was not for me. This sounds like an arena album, especially the first 3 songs. Check out the album and decide for yourselves.
OFFSET- Set It Off
I’m not going to lie; I was pleasantly impressed with this project. I went in with no expectations and I think with today’s music, that’s the best route to take. Offset (1/3 of Migos) has never been a lyrical artist or someone who’s words you could understand. In his latest project, he was actually annunciating his words very well and shared a lot about himself.
ON THE RIVER- High energy song, excellent way to start an Offset album. The Migos were always known for their high energy songs. Produced by: Southside
WORTH IT (feat. Don Toliver)- Right away, the first thing that stood out for me was the sample flip of Busta Rhyme’s ‘Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.” Don Toliver was great on this track. Produced by: CHASETHEMONEY, Heavy Mellow.
FAN- I enjoyed this track a lot. I heard touches of Juicy J’s (Three Six Mafia) cadence and a bit of UGK’s flow as well. If it was meant to be a tribute to one or both groups, he did well.
Produced by: Aaron Bow, FNZ, Teddy Walton, Thank You Fizzle, Thurdi.
HOP OUT THE VAN- The bassline to this song is very unique. Lots of pleasant distortion was added to it to give it a grimey feel. Produced by: OZ.
DON’T YOU LIE- Offset rapped his ass off on this track. The vocal sample in the background gave me back in the day Kanye West vibes.
Produced by: Bobby Raps, Offset, Ojivolta, Southside, TooDope!.
I’M ON- This reminded me of a Drake type beat. It’s a good song and Offset made it his own. Of course, it has that Drake type vibe. Check out who produced it. Produced by: Boi-1da, Peter Risk.
SKYAMI (feat. Mango Foo)- Once again, I enjoyed this song due to the unique sound of the bass. It has distortion and it’s a nice touch that the distortion added to it does not play throughout the entire song. Produced by: Boi-1da.
DISSOLVE, JEALOUSY, UPSIDE DOWN, HEALTHY, are worthy mentions.
If you’re a fan of Griselda, then that means we share similar taste in music and grew up in the same era. Griselda is a rap group from Buffalo, NY consisting of members Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher and Westside Gunn. This is allegedly Westside Gunn’s final album. All rappers say this.
Mamas PrimeTime (feat. JID, Conway The Machine, Cartier A Williams.) – Westside Gunn is a true wordsmith and my favourite member of the collective. This track features JID who is part of J. Cole’s camp. Loving the boom bap.
Produced by: Beat Butcha, Mr Green.
Kostas (feat. Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher)- Bars for days with this track. So many punchlines. Lyrical assault is what this is. Produced by: Tay Keith, Deats.
1989(feat. Stove God Cooks)- The heavy bassline that starts the song was a good touch. There are vocal chops with Lil Jon’s voice. The song has a chopped and screwed sound to it. DJ Drama is randomly in this track. It still worked, regardless. Produced by: Miguel The Plug
FLYGOD 2x- Once again, loving the boom bap beat and insane lyrical content.
Produced by: Dxpe mikie beats.
DunnHill (feat. Rick Ross)- I’m not sure if they’ve collaborated in the past, but this feature makes a lot of sense. Both Westside and Rick Ross unleashed great bars. Produced by: Miguel The Plug.
Disgusting (feat. Giggs)- Infectious trap beat accompanied by Westside Gunn’s cadence. Great beat. Great song. Produced by: Miguel The Plug.
Chloe (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)- Not too many artists can start a supposed romantic song saying “Yeah, come, here, b***h, Let me change your life…” Produced by: Denny LAflare.
Ultra GriZelda (feat. Denzel Curry)-
Denzel is one of my favourite rappers who came up during the 21 Savage, Migos era. He’s always delivered with the bars. Excellent feature. Produced by: Miguel The Plug.
MR EVERYTHING (feat. DJ Swamp Izzo, Jeezy)- Dope boy music isn’t truly that without a Jeezy feature. A very grown-up track about real wealth building. Jeezy delivered. Produced by: Forever Rollin, NFE Paris, Juko.
And Then You Pray For Me (feat. KayCyy)- Great track to conclude the project. Reflection songs are great ways to end albums. GO check this one out in it’s entirety. Produced by: Brother Tom Sos, Johan Lenox, MikeWavvs, RyderOnCrack.
Bad Bunny- Nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana.
Left To Right: De La Ghetto, Bad Bunny, Arcangel, Ñengo Flow.
Here’s the review that some of you have been waiting for. I truly appreciate all of you who take the time out to listen to the Woke Up A Rebel Playlist and read the Blog/Newsletter. Some of you may be surprised that I gave ‘Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana’ such a high rating. Here are my top songs of the album:
Monaco- The first song that catapulted me back to 2016 when Bad Bunny was beginning to dominate the new wave of Latin urban music which was Latin Trap. An insane sample of Charles Aznavour’s 1964 song “Hier Encore.” Geniusly produced by: MAG, Smash David, Edsclusive, ARGEL, La Paciencia.
Fina (feat. Young Miko)- He has a reference to Caillou in this song. If you know Bad Bunny’s music, you can imagine it’s nothing appropriate for kids to be listening to. Young Miko is an artist who’s music has been growing on me. Feid’s song with her called ‘Classy 101’ is played at least once a day. It’s catchy. Anyway, this one is a banger. Produced by: MAG, Smash David, Edsclusive, ARGEL, La Paciencia, Patron, Nico Baran, Foreign Teck, Dj Joe, Mauro.
Hibiki (feat. MORA)- Unique choice of beat. You’ll be hearing a lot more Latin artists making songs in this realm because of Bad Bunny. The blend of Dance music with Trap was weaved together nicely.
Produced by: Tainy, Hassi, La Paciencia, Machael, Tob, Twobitmario, MAG.
Mr. October- Bad Bunny is flexing on everyone in this song. “Fumando piccoro?” I’ve never heard that term before. Beat is simple but the lyrics are enxt level. He’s straight up saying he changed the game. The braggadocious lyrics have also been a part of reggaeton and Latin hip hop since it’s birth.
Produced by: Hydro, MAG, La Paciencia, Stats, Sauceman36.
VOU 787- This beat took me on a plane ride immediately. Such a mesmerizing instrumental. This track reminds me of ‘Thinkin- Spiff TV, Future, Anuel AA and Bad Bunny.’ That was the first time I realized Bad Bunny made it. Benito’s vocals carried this track. VOU 787 is my second favourite track on this album. Produced by: MAG, La Paciencia.
Gracias Por Nada- This is definitely a song meant to potentially chart. It has all of the components for a catchy song that will be stuck in people’s heads. Easily “memeable.” Well done Benito and team. If you see the team responsible for this track, you’ll get it.
Produced by: MAG, Chris Jedi, Gaby Music, La Paciencia.
Telefono Nuevo (feat Luar La L)- This song grew on me after a few listens. The lyrical content is not what I indulge in these days so I have to admit, it was fire regardless of the flaws I found. The wordplay was insane from both artists.
Baby Nueva- The fellas hardly ever get a song about moving on. This is an anthem for us. I love the 80s synths in the song. Definitely my favourite era of music. Produced by: Tainy, La Paciencia, Albert Hype, MAG.
Mercedes Carota (feat. YOVNGCHIMI)- Braggadocious to the maximum. The octave switches that happen in the beat create a gloomy and mysterious vibe to the song. I’m just not a fan of the satanic lyrics from YVNGCHIMI. Produced by: Tainy, MAG, Smash David, BYRD.
Baticano- I’ve been enjoying the 80s synths in this album. This track switches up a few times and it’s always done seamlessly. It goes from a four on the floor tempo to a trap loop. I think they sampled the radicalized preachers Felipe y Soporte (Los Rabakukos) who are radicalized preachers from Dominican Republic towards the end of the song. Produced by: Tainy, MAG, La Paciencia.
Thunder Y Lightning (feat. Eladio Carrion)- Benito and Eladio have a unique friendship. Check out this clip from the Chente Ydrach podcast:
“…it all happened one day in Puerto Rico when Eladio was on his way to enroll in college classes. He was giving it one more shot at becoming an “engineer, or something,” he says, before giving up on the whole university thing altogether. But then he ran into Benito.
Benito recognized the up-and-coming trapero and jokingly offered, “Don’t study here. Don’t [bother] paying for it. I wasted my time here.” Eladio didn’t take the hint right then and there (he admits he only ended up staying enrolled for another two weeks), but he did stick around to talk with Bad Bunny just long enough for the young Soundcloud star to plug his music.
“He showed me his song,” Eladio explains, “It was only on Soundcloud for maybe 30, 25 days,” yet it had a ton of views. Add that to the fact that when Eladio finally heard an early, self-produced version of Bad Bunny’s “Diles,” he really knew Benito was on to something. “This is the hardest song I’ve heard this year,” he remembers thinking.
So much so, the rapper — who at that point was already working with Rimas Entertainment’s Noah Assad — couldn’t let it go without showing the track to Noah himself. Once he got to the studio, he put his manager on to Bad Bunny. And well, the rest is history…”
To say the least, this track is amazing. Produced by: MAG, La Paciencia.
Perro Negro (feat. Feid)- Feid’s music has grown on me. He did well on this feature. I was starting to think we weren’t getting any reggaeton on this album. Produced by: MAG, La Paciencia, Smash David, ARGEL, Jon Mili, Frankie, Digital Jet.
ACHO PR(feat. Arcangel, De La Ghetto, Ñengo Flow)
I actually almost shed a tear when I heard the sample of this song. I paused it and took a deep breath. Chevere is my favourite Tainy beat. That song is from circa 2006 featuring Julio Voltio and dancehall artist Notch followed by a remix with Lloyd Banks. That song always takes me back to a good time in my life and motivates me to create more moments that made me feel like that everytime I listen to it.
Now, we have Acho PR featuring some of the heavyweights in the reggaeton game who carried the torch after the main veterans and thanks to their influence, we have artists like Rauw Alejandro, Bad Bunny, and Anuel today.
The song was sampled and produced by Tainy which means he had all rights to the beat and to flip it however he wanted. I learned a new word from Ñengo Flow’s verse. If you understand Spanish, you’ll catch it. Produced by: Tainy, Mvsis, MAG, La Paciencia.
Un Preview- Last but not least, we have Un preview. It’s an upbeat perreo track that truly is a great way to conclude this project. Produced by: Tainy, MAG, La Paciencia.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my review of the three albums mentioned above. As always, do not take my word for it, go listen to the albums yourself and give it your own rating. Stay tuned for more album, EPc and single reviews!
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Kudos to all of you who are dedicated fans and are willing to pay the outrageous ticket price for his new tour. Make sure to pay your rent before you buy your tickets.
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Written By: Mario Funes
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