“F*ckin’ Problem” Song Review: A$AP Rocky (ft. 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, & Drake)

I began writing some sort of weird farcical review for A$AP Rocky’s upcoming album, LongLiveA$AP.  The premise was the album has already been delayed twice (the first time for a month until October 31, and most recently to early 2013), and I was ultimately going to bitch and complain a lot about delayed albums and how that typically doesn’t bode well for the album.  In particular, it doesn’t bode well for an artist who hasn’t released a studio album yet and is the musical equivalent to a rookie quarterback in the NFL.  Sure, you saw him dominate in the lower ranks, but the jury’s out until we see where the big label influx of production money lands our Fabergé egg talent.

I decided to scrap above premise because I couldn’t exactly figure out what track to take with the whole thing.  Instead, I decided to do a big ole’ boring song review of a track that gives me hope that LongLiveA$AP  still has a legitimate chance to propel my favorite young unestablished hip-hop prospect into superstardom.
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St. Louis Cardinals Walk-Up Music: Year End Review

picture of busch stadium neon light sign at night

I probably saw my last Cardinals game in-person last Friday, unless of course I am gifted with the holy sacrament of playoff tickets.  So it is appropriate after seeing about 12 or so games this year to evaluate the players’ choices for the music playing when they walk up to the plate.  What makes a great walk-up tune, you ask?  There are two main factors.  First, the song must be good, which is pretty self-explanatory.  If a player ever walks up to a Dashboard Confessional song, that is not good.  Second, the song should be appropriate to the player’s general demeanor and on-the field persona, and to some extent performance.  Bonus points can also be given if the track is somewhat humorous and obviously clashes with the player’s persona, but this territory should be tread carefully, much like trying to shoot the moon while playing Hearts.  In no particular order, here are seven notable walk-ups.
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G.O.O.D. Music Review Royale: Cruel Expectations

G.O.O.D. Music

Cruel Summer

Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer Album Cover Art

Arguably the most anticipated release of the summer releases with one of the most unfitting times – who releases an album called Cruel Summer with four days left in summer? Kanye does, a man with clearly no regard for the seasons, and an ever-increasing ego to boot. People often get driven wild by Kanye’s egomaniacal antics and proclamations about being the greatest thing since Jesus Christ or sliced bread, but what goes wrong with Kanye’s G.O.O.D. music  compilation album, Cruel Summer, is Ye passing his ego onto his friends and believing if they hang with him, they must be great enough to stunt as well. What results is an album as inconsistent as the rappers Kanye has accrued.
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2 Chainz Review: Based on a T.R.U. Story

2 Chainz

Based on a T.R.U. Story

2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story, true story, album, cover, art, two chainz, chains

This is about as money, drugs, and hoes as it gets people.  There are two tracks called “Money Machine” and “Crack”, which respectively cover the money and drugs categories by their titles.  Beyond that, the chorus for “Birthday Song” features a hook which not only covers the “ho” aspect of T.R.U. Story, but also pretty accurately describes every adolescent boy’s birthday wish when blowing out the candles, “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho”.  So that’s something relatable I guess.

This not to say Based on a T.R.U. Story lacks in occasionally being quality entertainment.  I just think that a few hot guest verses created a set of unrealistic expectations for 2 Chainz.  Everyone seems to look good working with Kanye, like 2 Chainz did on “Mercy”, and his verse on Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” was a breath of fresh air on a somewhat painful record.  Because of these and other nice guest spots, something between hope and legitimate expectation developed for 2 Chainz to release what Rick Ross, David Banner, and Young Jeezy haven’t been able to this year:  a fancy-packaged big-box rap album that delivers on all fronts.
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Nicki Minaj Review: Unique Doesn’t Always Mean Good

Nicki Minaj

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

 nicki minaj, roman reloaded, pink friday, cover, album, art

I think most people would agree that while Pink Friday was a supreme disappointment, bordering on unmitigated disaster.  Featuring a wide array of terrible samples and unnecessary guest spots, Nicki’s debut was bland by her frenetic standards.  Not only was Pink Friday bland, it also revealed her greatest flaw as an artist: self-awareness.  I believe this flaw is why Nicki has shined more on tracks with other established artists than on tracks where she is the focal point (Kanye’s “Monster”, Lil’ Wayne’s “What’s Wrong With Them”, Young Money’s “F*** da Bullsh**”).  And in fact the one track from Pink Friday that spoke to her potential was “Roman’s Revenge”, which had the creative imprint of Eminem all over it. 

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