Phil Ade-R.O.S.E.(Result of Society’s Evil) Mixtape Review
Between R.O.S.E. and Young Moe’s Humble Hustle 2 (https://freemusicempire.com/2013/06/15/young-moe-humble-hustle-2-mixtape-review/)the DMV(Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) have a definite 2013 sound forming. Just because R.O.S.E. has a Kendrick Lamar style cover doesn’t mean all of its content exists in that off tempo Top Dawg zone. Songs like 2am (featuring Bun-B) and Nas Told Me jam the heck out. Not to mention the fabulously foul capitalist anthem Money with a game changing base line from producer 6ix and a simple snide fantastic chorus from Phil Ade.
On the production side Sunny Norway is behind the boards for nine out of the seventeen tracks, giving a warm needed backdrop on songs like City Lights or a more urgent darker soundscape like the one present on One Time or Big Mistake.
The guests do a pretty impressive job; Bun B is solid as always, Rockie Fresh has had a very good year that continues with his guest verse on Get Back. The case could be made that nothing about R.O.S.E. is that quotable, verses while well put together are full of what you would expect. It’s part introspection, part come up and as dope as songs like The Dreamer and Under Achiever are they don’t have rewindable lyrical moments. Good news-not everything needs rewindable lyrical moments. Good music is music you can listen too over and over and most of R.O.S.E. is good music. The biggest negative about the project is the song Every Bag which features an annoying hook about buying hot chicks…you guessed it….every bag. To be fair this song is for a different demographic, I understand that.
The complaints are minimal. I have to commend Phil Ade, Sunny Norway, and Teddy Roxpin for crafting an extremely cohesive project. All the tracks swim from one to the next in a natural way. This synergistic quality is what makes Every Bag stick out so much, so in a way its a credit to the work that it feels so foreign. Nothing feels like a single, this is an album and as free albums go VERY worth your time. The versatility of the DMV is the ability to do stuff that feels Trap-ish(like Money) but switch gears naturally to a song about love/sex(Xscape) or family. The best DMV rap finds a way to be earnest even in its least genuine moments and this is definitely a Phil Ade trait.
At the end of the second to last track, Disappointed, 2pac explains the rose from concrete metaphor in another of the spellbinding interviews he used to give(did anyone in hip hop history give better interviews?). You see the next track named Roses and picture it immediately as a down tempo introspection but that’s not what happens. What you get is a Sunny Norway piano with freakish urgency and an autotuned chorus that seems part trashy and part drunk talk honest. Even when Phil Ade does subtle he does it bigger and crazier than you pictured it. He chooses to end his opus jamming out, which I can always appreciate.
stream or download R.O.S.E. below:
Big K.R.I.T.-King Remembered In Time mixtape review
One of my favorite playlist creations was a straight up combination of two artists. Big K.R.I.T. and Bruce Springsteen, it makes more sense than you think. Both have the innate natural talent to create meaningful arena rock jams that make you shout and sing along without guilt. Both have a definitive second gear as well; a soft and contemplative storyteller side.
The balance between these two sides is key and when its not pitch perfect, like on K.R.I.T.’s last mixtape 4eva N a Day the listener gets robbed of the complete experience. On the other side of the argument when you balance the two sides and compose your projects similarly people complain that you are not doing anything new. From his first thoughtful track, critics have been trying to mold him into some sort of southern Common. His new mixtape King Remembered in Time is not the mixtape for those people. Don’t think he doesn’t know it either “you don’t pick up you text me…too late to come back you say my art ain’t half the way it used to look. The colors that I chose to compose my last masterpiece wasn’t worth the cover of a book. I listen as you ramble on bout Rembrandt’s and Van Gogh’s that I used to show you that was so pure at heart. Now all the pictures that I draw lately perfect my need to be basic and all that shading tears your world apart (Bigger Picture).” The shading comes in the first half where we get the outstanding pimp song Serve This Royalty and the gloriously UGK-influenced Shine On (a collaboration with Bun B).
Somewhere along the line K.R.I.T. stopped conserving energy and just decided to sprint through every verse. I first came to this conclusion on the massive collaboration track from A$AP Rocky’s album (the track 1Train). Almost every important new school MC you could name was on the track and K.R.I.T. destroyed it. That furious determination makes you stop dead in your listening experience on Talkin Bout Nothing and appreciate the flow. The beat is a one-two+finger snap pretty minimal for his standards (he produces all but one track on this project and usually makes all his own beats) and an important step in being known for MCing. He’s not sailing over these beats, banking on beautiful built in samples…he’s killing them.
This is the first project where I’ve detected one of the sides of K.R.I.T. outpacing the other. As much as I enjoy Bigger Picture and Banana Clip Theory, they don’t compare with the fiery bluster and grand scale of King Without a Crown and How U Love That( with Big Sant). The worst song of the project is easily the last, Multi Til The Sun Die which is a distinctly cheesy kind of reflective. King Remembered In Time’s sensitive side has great high points as well, Life is A Gamble is classically soulful in a completely unforced way. He’s not only open about the pain in loss but the imagery is sharp “Ain’t been to church in a while I heard I reap what I sow. Casket clothes, caddy doors can’t commemorate. This tracks my gurney, my verse can be the ventilator…so I breathe.” As potent as these moments are, the fan in me can’t help but wonder what would happen if he left southern Common behind and put all his chips on the biggest baddest most raucous version of Big K.R.I.T….I think as good as King Remembered In Time is…that project would be better.
Stream or download King Remembered in Time below: