Author: Nic Zappia

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Track Review: Decemba (Remix) by $ilkmoney feat. André Benjamin

Given his feature verses as of late have been as brilliant as they are sparse, I admit my interest in this record was piqued by the featured André Benjamin (better known as André 3000 of Outkast). Recent murmurs of a new Outkast album coupled with the aforementioned rarity of his musical output have rendered any André guest verse the hottest clickbait in hip-hop.  But where most clickbait leaves you scrambling desperately to escape the browser tab, the song Decemba (Remix) had me engaged for its full 3 minute and 49 second duration. Read more …

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Track Review: Free Lunch by Isaiah Rashad

Since its initial slew of studio album releases in 2011, there’s no doubt that Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) has established itself as one of the most formidable collectives in hip-hop today. The label, founded by current CEO Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Griffith, boasts a roster as innovative as it is eclectic, featuring the likes of Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and of course multi-Grammy award winner, Kendrick Lamar. The crew extends far deeper than the aforementioned Black Hippy clique however, with Chicago artist Lance Skiiiwalker joining fellow TDE signees SZA and Isaiah Rashad in the ranks this year.

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First Impressions Revisited: Van Gogh by Coca Vango

After reviewing it the first time, it was safe to say that I was less than keen to revisit this project as part of my First Impressions Series. On top of this, Drake released his much-anticipated fourth studio album, ‘Views’, this week. As a result, I’ve had to drag myself kicking and screaming from Drake’s intriguing introspection and crisp production back to Coca Vango’s ‘Van Gogh’… a mix-tape I described in my first review as ’37 minutes of mind-numbing, musical monotony’. However after a second listen, I feel as if the previous alliteration, as cute a literary device as it is, might’ve been a tad harsh on my part. Read more …

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First Impressions

From childhood, the importance of ‘never (judging) a book by its cover’ is stressed… and for good reason. If not for this principle it’d be so easy to overlook the nuance and depth hidden beneath the surface of a person, a place or a thing.

This idea is intrinsic to the concept of reviewing… even as a newcomer to the world of music reviews I can understand that. It is our duty to uncover, analyse and subsequently communicate these intricacies, so as to give the reader the most wholesome and thorough insight into the music as possible. Read more …

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An Analysis of Kanye West’s Updates to ‘The Life of Pablo’

Disclaimer: This is not so much a review of Kanye’s updates, rather an examination of the practices, rationale and implications of the changes.

The hip-hop album. For decades it provided concrete, unequivocal and unchanging evidence of an artist’s capability. The greatest of which, the ‘Illamtic’s, the ‘Ready to Die’s, the ‘Reasonable Doubt’s etc. exist as pillars in the world of hip-hop. They are often used as standards against which we can measure the aptitude of those who’ve followed in their footsteps. Read more …