M.I.A. Review Royale: Matangi

M.I.A.

Matangi

M.I.A. Matangi album cover art
Nearly two years after the release of  “Bad Girls”, one of M.I.A.’s biggest singles to date, as well as a slew of three additional pre-releases, we now finally have the mother album to go with these albumless tracks, Matangi. After the non-success of her last album, MAYA (which I personally thought to be great) M.I.A. hit a creative wall, in which she was not only struggling with studio execs pressuring her to make another Kala, but was also suffering from some mild writers block. The good news is the frustration between artist and studio didn’t seem to have too much of an effect on the overall outcome of the album.  After a trip to India she found inspiration from her Hindu roots in the goddess Matangi, the Hindu Divine Mother that governs music, knowledge and art. Fairly fitting I’d say, and her inspiration has led to yet another solid effort from our favorite English-Sri Lankan dub/electronica/world/hip-hop artist.
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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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This NOT That: Songs for Summer

music substitutes for billboard hits, summer songs

Summer is just around the corner, and the heat has even peaked its head a little early (at least here in the Midwest). Summer is a great time for music, from all the big music festivals, outdoor concerts, to just driving with windows down and the music blasted, summer is pretty hard to beat. So here is another installment in our This NOT That series – offering healthier options for some of the more harmful songs from the Billboard charts.
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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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Madonna’s Halftime Show Review

It’s fair to say that there are plenty of overrated things in the entertainment industry. HBO’s Entourage, Michael Bay, the entire clan of Kardashians (not just Kim), and essentially everything in the vein of “Hollywood life” or “Los Angeles culture” all lead the pack in worthless assets to the industry that should make people cringe, and maybe even throw-up in their mouth a little bit. Close behind all of these resides a special spot for the worthlessness of the Super Bowl halftime show. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and the Super Bowl itself, and all the fun and hype that come along with it. But over the years, the halftime shows have just become a chore to watch. In fact there are really only two non-nudity involved halftime shows that have really ever stood out to me, and last nights performance was actually one of them.
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The Big Pink Review: Future This

The Big Pink
Future This

The Big Pink got pretty lucky with the success of their first album A Brief History of Love. For the most part, the album was a boring cluster of filler tracks. The hit single “Dominos” was a huge tent-pole track for the album. Slipping in at the 3-spot, it almost made the first two tracks much more worth-while to listen to. Beginning at track 4, the album began sliding back downhill, and began feeling worthless to continue by the time you made it to the title track. Sonically the album was huge. And to be honest, they did a great job mixing electronica into their pop-rock sound.
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Drake Review: A Bucket of Yuck…mostly

Drake

Take Care

Drake, Take Care, Cover Art, Album

I hate Drake.  I don’t hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics and has a shitty flow.  I hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics, has a shitty flow AND consistently pollutes some of the better beats and potential guest spots in the game merely by his presence.  Drake is the President’s Day of Holidays.  Drake is the Kia Sedan of automobiles.  Drake is the prescription painkillers of illicit narcotics use.  In almost all situations, Drake is the milquetoast cousin of what is good and right with the world.  He flows like rancid syrup, and sings like he wants to be the soundtrack for a middle-schooler’s first handy (just like the Degrassi-alumni that he will always be).   As a further note, Drake refers to himself as Drizzy occasionally.  Spoiler alert:  This goes over about as poorly as you think it would.

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