itzme Review: Dave B – Punch Drunk

Former soundcloud crate-digging gem, Dave B, releases his first commercial project, Punch Drunk. It shows a progression all of the previously displayed strengths of Dave B’s music, but doesn’t improve much on the weaknesses. This makes a decent showing for new listeners, but familiar ears may be disappointed in the lack of growth. Punch Drunk (apart from its successors) holds its own, though.
The standout feature of the album is consistency of effective, memorable, and melodious choruses throughout it. Where the verses are generally a blended cluster of words in an interesting cadence, the hooks are quotable word-for-word in a singalong quality. The album opens with a very bright, cheery, and upbeat “Outside” (arguably the best track). It has a two-part hook starting out with a punchy chant “Sho’ nuff!”

 

then switching to singing and harmonizing that’s very hard not to recite. A good chunk of the hooks follow a similar format. The only hook (more of a bridge) that could be passed on is in “Navy” which has dull wordplay, and a flimsy metaphor.


In fact, most of the lyrics here are something to glaze over. While it manages to avoid cringeworthy material, “Punch Drunk” gives no real story or insight. It’s hard to take away much, if anything, from the lyrics. Like in “Cheap Sofa”, initially he seems to be talking about drug dealing, but when he reverts to talking about women, then bragging about his rapping it really just turns into word gumbo.

Fortunately, there’s a few interesting and funny moments with Dave’s carefree and lustful personality. A crazy example is in “Rain” where he says, “her intentions so precious, she be like, ‘You wan’ f**?’ I’m like ‘Eh, why you even bother asking? I’m with that!’” Or in Polaroid where he concisely (relative to the rest of the album) praises a woman’s beauty: “The best bread is ready, we netflixin’ heavy, the double D’s is right, that Ed, Edd, and Eddy.”
Sonically, Dave’s delivery, melodies, and rhythms mesh well with the instrumentals. The beats all set a mood and usually have some cute sample and simple drums. Not much else to admire besides that though.
Overall, Punch Drunk is for anyone who wants to sing along to some catchy, moody tracks without really thinking about what they’re listening to. Because Punch Drunk really doesn’t challenge the listener in that way unless he/she is looking for something they won’t find. Musically, it’s incredibly listenable, and Dave’s flow is undeniable.

It’s cool.

Favorites: “Outside” “Rain” “Polaroid”

Could be skipped for eternity, and I’d never look back or regret:  “Navy”

Itzme Review: Nacho Picasso – High & Mighty

Nacho Picasso is a rapper from Seattle. High & Mighty is his newest musical effort, and it’s pretty much the idol representation of entertainment over art, but dude has a little bit of everything on this project, so don’t fully box him into that description.

First discovered by ME on the posse cut “Tomorrow’s Gone” by Mr. M*****(however many stars I need, this is kinda a family site, but not really) eXquire where he went toe to toe with current rap heavyweights like eXquire himself, Danny Brown (who had an eh verse, it was cool though), and FBZ (THAT JUICE VERSE THO), and looked really impressive standing next to them. Dude had a heavily contrasting slow flow, slick wordplay, some obscure allusions, and a real ominous but cartoony delivery.

Fast-forward, I’m listening to High & Mighty. Now as far as this tape being entertainment, this guy, in a manner of speaking, keeps you at the end of your seat. What is he gonna say next? The majority of Nacho’s bars are these sick and clever little punchlines one after another. The Seattle emcee will say things like “If you think she your boo, you should check out my snapchat”

or say random chicks’ illegitimate sons (that may be his) shouldn’t rap because they’ll forever be in his shadow.

Nacho Picasso has quotables on quotables on quotables. High & Mighty is quotables. This is the biggest part of this album. When you listen to this, prepare to hear quotables.

That being said, most of this is really just rapping. Not much storytelling of concepts in it, just bragging or unfocused expression, which is fine considering what else you get with this music. You get a more tender and intrapersonal Nacho on songs like “Alpha Jerk”, “Real/Fake” and “Love Letters”, but these moments are concentrated on little parts of the song like just the chorus.

This isn’t a concern though when the man gives you so many different styles. In “Nacho The Ruler” he raps over a smooth old-school sounding track and switches up deliveries (inspired by Slick Rick obviously). “Duck Tales” is a hilarious hyphy-era styled song. And throughout the album you get a plethora of different sounds that shows his sonic versatility.

On top of that NP’s got flow skills to boot. Most of the time, he raps like he telling some Tales from the Crypt story or telling you a lesson whilst poking you in the chest, or if you ask him he sounds like “Jack Burton when I drag my lines.” But he breaks it down for you sometimes on the faster paced songs, like “Sounds like the intro” second verse, or “Crime Waves” hits you with some rapid rhyme schematics and transitions cadences like it’s nothing.

Swish seems like the guy that clicks with Nacho the best. He made the instrumentals to the harder songs on the album. “Sounds like the intro” stands out the most; you got that violin on the verse that sounds like Solomon Northup trying to avoid a beating, and the hook gives a whole different vibe with this creepy ooing and clanking that gives this ominous feel to it. That doesn’t discredit the other producers that touched this though. Vitamin D did something really different and tight with that throwback beat on “Nacho The Ruler”, and the funkiness goes so well with Nacho’s wildness and caprice on the track. It literally sounds like they built this song up together. I’m not gonna lie though, Cardiak seemed like he just regurgitated one of his old beats with “The Lick”.

This joint is something to jam to when you in an ignorant mood, or wanna be whimsical and whatnot. You’ll be entertained throughout the whole thing with Nacho’s funny anecdotes and catchy tunes. This joint a lil chilly.

Favorites: “Sounds like the intro” “Nacho Ruler”

Not my favorites lol: “Duck Tales” “The Lick”

Itz My Single Picks 11/1

November first aka October 32nd aka 10/32 is looking nice already.

Yelawolf got a new EP wit dat boy DJ Paul, and the first single off that joint was excellent. Got yo boy jamming in the whip swerving lane to lane doin basic club dances and whatnot.

Whole Black Fall here.

Sit back and relax with some chill tunes provided by the SuedeGod and da Natti Jedi.  Perfect for da smokers and all that.

R*O*T*I coming soon.

This song isn’t new, but it is to you. Dave B delivers a jumping anthem with this “Lost Boys” track describing the struggles of the comeup, and approaching a rap career. All on this hype ballroom dancing/party type of beat, and a wild flow. Had to be heard.

Inko Sana Bey graces people with some tunes that didn’t make his tape (somehow). But this just builds the anticipation. Check this atmospheric and semi-jazzy joint that transforms to this head banging primal type of beat. Inko and Burger are like Peanut Butter and Jelly… Hamburger and Fries… Mashed taters and gravy.

Listen to the whole EP, if you enjoy.

Also that boy Bronsolino and Party Supplies pizza delivering that new Blue Chips 2, the first was excellente, so I can hope a sequel lives of the the expectations. Stream on da cloud, download on LiveMixtapes.

Classics You May Have Missed: Blue Scholars – Bayani

It’s interesting to see how popular and successful Macklemore is lately. I remember back when I first found out about Macklemore, it was through these guys, the Blue Scholars. Back before they dwindled in activity I was like a die-hard fan of the Blue Scholars, checkin up on their singles and anticipating “Cinematropolis” and all of that. If you listen to this album, you’ll see why I liked these guys so much. I honestly feel Sabzi is one of the most talented producers in the game. Geo also has this great socio-political subject matter to the majority of his songs. When paired together these guys make one of the best producer-MC duos of all time, especially in the newer age of the music.

This album doesn’t have a bad song on it, and has several excellent songs. The album starts off very strong, not in the sound or like shock factor like other artists do, but in the cultural and very forward expression of self. They have no problem STARTING an album off with a prayer that I believe is of Persian religion. Then the intro song, “Opening Salvo”, Prometheus Brown (Geo’s other name) talks about those touchy socio-political issues that I was talking about. Furthermore, you can feel the chemistry and the united composure of the album through the music. In “Still Got Love” the trombone twangs seem like they ring out at the perfect timing. The other songs follow suit, too. Such is to be expected from an album called “Bayani” (Bayani is a word in the languages of both Geo and Sabzi’s native cultures).

Though the MC of this crew’s forte is his aforementioned subject matter, he doesn’t fall short of having good cadence and flow. Though his flow is usually pretty standard and doesn’t get too technical, he occasionally turns it up impressively. Like in the song, “Bayani”, he says:

“The wicked waged war

in the desert terrain

twenty-four short bars

couldn’t measure the pain”

#*1* El-P Cancer 4 Cure + Honorable Mentions

I also can’t stress enough how intense the messages in his songs are. Just one example is “Fire for the People” where he rallies people to break down societal barriers and sheds light on things like media-related control. “Back Home” is a song about ending the war in Afganistan and well… bringing the soldiers home. The Seattle MC carries imagery in his words, too. Prometheus Brown is a heavily talented rapper who makes it a point to elevate people’s minds to specific issues in his music.

Sabzi is equally as talented in his field of producing music. All the songs on this album were just so amazingly well made and soulful, but not soulful in a genre-specific way, they just touch your heart and feelings a certain way. The background crooning and piano matches the compassionate message of “Back Home” so well, and that’s only one example. “Bayani” uses a bunch of different sounds in its instrumental and builds up to the drop flawlessly, the drop containing a glorious melody. The “Fire for the People” has a heavy marching style beat that matches the rally cry lyrics. If you listen to any of Sabzi’s beats you’ll know he’s a beast bsaet baset baest.

This album is an album that I feel has been criminally underrated and not widely listened to, so I had to make a post about it. The fountain of talent bursting out of this is awesome to say the least. Woop swag.