Tag Archives: Drake

T.O.C.T.M – July ’16

The Only Column That Matters: July 2016. . .

Tim+Tebow+Goodyear+Cotton+Bowl+Alabama+v+Michigan+Stg4NOlRL-pl

Where do we start this week?  With Donald Trump obviously.  Eh, not really – but let’s talk about the Republican National Convention (or as the cool trust-fund kids call it “The RNC”).   Everyone’s favorite NFL bust, Tim Tebow was rumored to be a speaker at this year’s RNC but Tebow only confirmed that it was indeed just a “rumor.”  Tebow is said to be a future possibility in the Republican party down the line, but man, we’re not promised tomorrow and this would’ve been something we all could’ve enjoyed.  Trump has been accused of turning the presidential race into a circus while Tim Tebow is the ring-leader of any media-driven-circus.  It would’ve been great to see hard-core Christians who support Tebow in everything he does be in the same room as Trump enthusiasts who can sometimes be obnoxiously loud and obtuse.  . .

Kanye+West+Taylor+Swift+2009+MTV+Video+Music+qe0kqfbVjPgl

It’s amazing when rich people just make up their own issues.  We are also in awe when we talk about “power couples” in our country. . . and an American sweetheart.  Well this story has it all.  .  . When Kanye West released his song “Famous” he had the line: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/I made that b*tch famous/ I made that b*tch famous.”  This was of course in reference to pop/country singer Taylor Swift who Kanye West basically told, while she was accepting an award “Shut up, you’re not better than Beyonce.”  After the song was released Taylor was playing the role of the offended-yet-strong-minded-young-woman who looks down on those who must speak to women in such a way. . . As many of us already knew, Taylor was being fake as f…. Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian leaked a video of Kanye speaking to Taylor about the lyrics and her being perfectly fine with it.   Aye, Taylor.  We all kind of knew she was phony already, but to be exposed by Kanye and Kim – eesh, it’d be best if she just lay low for a while.  Swift is set to sue Kanye for illegally recording the conversation, and I’m pretty sure Kim will handle this bill as well. . .

setwidth2000-kiama-events-easts-beach-pb

This has nothing to do with nothing, but what’s up with people’s obsession with the beach?  I understand, it’s the “Summer thing” to do and all, but why?  The beach has sand which is arguably the worst substance the Earth has ever created.  I think I still have sand in a Jansport book bag I took to the beach with me three years ago.  When sand is dry it’s hot as all hell and when sand is wet it’s basically mud – why would my feet want any part of that?  The fact that people actually drive to a sandy location, to lay-down in the smoldering heat, then pack everything up and go home after is a baffling series of events to me.   We buy air conditioners and fans in the Summer because the heat is too much.  As soon as you get home from the beach you wash off the disgusting sweat and “beach-smell” off of you and sit in an air-conditioned room.  What’s wrong with you people?

Tom+Brady+Canadian+F1+Grand+Prix+t66qxbVDAVvl

How useless is this four-game suspension put on Tom Brady? According to Pro Football Talk – very useless.  If anything, it just keep Brady “fresher” in the season and might actually increase the Patriots chances of going to the Super Bowl.  You see, the Pats are still -200 favorite to win the AFC East (for you non-gamblers out there, that means in order to win $100, you’d have to risk $200.)  They are also a 6-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl.   The suspension is stupid.  This basically says, in the world of the NFL,  that if Tom Brady hit his wife or was caught doing drugs, it’s the same punishment for deflating a football that nobody can even definitively tell if it gives teams an advantage or not.  Is Tom Brady on Instagram or Twitter?  If he is, he should pull a huge douche move and every Sunday post pictures of him and his wife in bed counting stacks of cash laughing and being the perfect human beings that they are. . .

Drake+Cleveland+Cavaliers+v+Toronto+Raptors+PI-pIQcpSLgl

What’s the score in this Joe Budden versus Drake beef?  Currently, Budden is winning three to a half.  Yes, a half.  But, if nobody hears the beef did the beef even happen?  Exactly.  Although, Budden is lyrically destroying Drake, all the Toronto native has to do is ignore it until it goes away.  It’s an unfair position but it’s the truth.  Drake gives life to Joe Budden if he tries to do a “Back to Back, Pt.2.”  Drake also must know deep inside, this is a battle he can’t win.   It all won’t matter in the end because Drake is killing the game right now with mindless, dance-hall infused, rap (?) music.  .  .

Kevin+James+2016+CBS+Upfront+xOMEntqC-Usl

If nobody else will say it, I will: Can we please be done with any and everything that involves future projects with Kevin James?  Yes, on the onset he looks like one of those happy-go-lucky, nice guys you want to have a beer with at a bar, but in reality he’s a class A jackass (allegedly) and his humor has a ceiling.  That ceiling was in “King of Queens” where he shined, even among the talented cast around him.  James is slated to have a new sitcom entitled “Kevin Can Wait.”  He’s apparently a retired officer with a family in this comedy and once again he’s married to a woman who is obviously out of his league (the actress Erinn Hayes).   He’ll be another bumbling, fumbling moron, who’s mindset is simplistic and gets himself into “comedic situations” that he’ll get out of by ways of the “puppy dog eyes and ‘I’m sorry’ routine” or the good ol’ “fat guy got lucky” routine.   The act is tired and so am I, see you guys next month with the next edition of The Only Column That Matters.

G.W. Gras

Check out the podcast “TheOnlyShowThatMatters” on Soundcloud and on the NGSCRadio Network

Twitter @GeeSteelio

 

Joe Budden Reintroduces Himself

When the name Joe Budden comes up in most hip hop conversations, the words “one-hit-wonder,” are usually associated with him.  If not for his 2003 hit record “Pump It Up” most wouldn’t know who Budden is.  Unless of course you know of him on VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” and his very public relationships with Ester, Tahiry and Kaylin.  To the underground faithful – or just the Joe Budden fans – though, Budden is considered to be one of hip hop’s true great lyricists.  He has built a dedicated following without the use of mainstream radio due to his independent and mix=tape releases.  Budden’s style has been considered “emo” as he wears his emotions on his sleeve, goes in depth about the pitfalls of his life and does so with brilliant word-play.   With all that being said, Budden has been in the game for over a decade and doesn’t scratch the surface of what is considered to be a “rap superstar.”

Budden has maintained consistency in his product and a little more than a year ago, began his podcast “I’ll Name This Podcast Later.”  The podcast has proven to be successful and at times controversial.  He (along with his podcast partners Marissa Mendez and Rory) have been the subject of social media attacks from other artists such as Meek Mill but it doesn’t stop the show’s continued fan support.   Most recently, Budden was very hard on Drake, an artist who Budden has openly been a fan of on his podcast.  Budden was less-than-enthused with Drake’s last project “Views” and even went as far as saying: “I think that that kid on that album that I heard sounds real fucking uninspired.”  What this did was inspire a slight jab from Drake aimed at the direction of Budden in a snippet of a track released on social media where Drake  mutters the words “pump, pump, pump it up.”   Budden didn’t take this as a “diss” and publicly shrugged it off.  .  .

102815-f-budden2ei-60p

Then Drake released “4 PM in Calabasas” and Joe Budden combed through the lyrics of this song like a detective thirsty for some evidence:  “All of a sudden I got people showing how much they truly resent me/They whole demeanor just spells envy/they tryna tempt me.”

Budden laid low for a little while and then released a six minute verbal assault on Drake disguised as a song called “Making a Murderer, Pt.1”

The track, produced by Araab Muzik, supplied hip hop with enough ammo to burn through the next couple of weeks, as Budden took slight jabs at Meek Mill and Jay-Z (very slight but if you look back there is actually history there as well) – but the focus is clearly on Drake : “I’m a wordsmith for reall, you thought Quentin was bad/You made me proud, lad, but it seems my child mad/ With all the clout that he grabbed, theres still doubts from his dad.”  Budden has acknowledged before that Drake was a fan of Budden’s and even has ran with some of Budden’s style in the past. . .

makingamurdererpt1

Joe Budden truly peppered enough quote-a-bles on this track, I could’ve printed out all the lyrics to the song and the reader would have gotten the point, but these gems should suffice in getting the point across: ” You’re so indirect, shit wasn’t real clear/Either Jimmy actin’ or he really miss a wheelchair. . . .i figure he’s close to his death to know the reaper/in fitted sweats with old sneakers, the flow ether/gassed cause he KO’d Omeeka/no, Joe’s deeper. . .Your words ain’t sayin a thing/I kilogram without weighing a thing/ nigga you baitin’ a king.”  And for those that didn’t get that “kilogram” line – think about it – Kilogram / Kill-a-Graham / Drake’s real name is Aubrey Graham – the boy Budden got lyrics. . .

Now, should Drake respond?  For the sake of hip-hop, yes he should – but in truth, Drake’s best action – career-wise – is to ignore it.  On the grand scheme of things, Budden isn’t in the same stratosphere as Drake.  If Drake ignores “Making A Murderer, Pt. 1” it will be as if the track never existed.   Drake is that big of an artist.

635974510863561189-DRAKE-69136668

Drake’s fans have taken to social media and have attacked Budden for trying to re-ignite his career by dissing Drake.  There might be some truth to that, but in reality, Budden is a rapper.  This is what rappers do (or at least used to do.)  He isn’t hiding behind subliminal lines or staying off of social media – he never has.  This is what he is.  Other Drake fans have said that the diss-track is altogether weak – which is obviously a blinded opinion.

Budden has done what needed to be done.  Today’s rap artists seem to be too comfortable.  Jump-Off-Joey has just shook the foundation from the top of the totem-pole and people are getting nervous.  Drake has a lot to lose if he comes out flat with a rebuttal record or loses this battle with Budden altogether.  For Budden, he has nothing to lose.  He has already gained a bunch of new listeners though who have been shut-off from the music he’s created over the last few years.

drake-joe-budden

In hip hop, “the battle” is a good-thing.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

“Views” Album Review

Drake is the king of the new school movement.  His style has spawned many “sound-a-likes” and “copy-cats.”  His recent “beef” with Meek Mill, established Drake as not only a song-writer but also as an MC who can “get up in someone” if he needs to.  Drake’s confidence is at an all time high and it should be.  Every song he releases on line is all the hip hop world buzzes about for weeks and any artist who can afford a feature spot by Drizzy, will see their numbers rise because of the “Drake Effect.”

“Views” which many of us were led to believe the title was actually going to be “Views From the 6” when released, finds Drake at amoment in his career that he can pretty much do no wrong.

Drake+2015+Coachella+Valley+Music+Arts+Festival+sUywTp982Owl

Drake continues to pay homage to his hometown Toronto on “9.”   Drake typically refers to Toronto as “the 6” but in this twist Drake explains: “Keeping people fed is my only piece of mind now/And i turned the six upside down, it’s a nine now.”   Drake’s attitude on “9” is very nonchalant, although he talks about being the one that people want to hate on all the while being the artist that has to continually to hold his city down and hold it up to the spot light.  Drake’s confidence has always been a strong point and even when folks try to bring him down, he loves to remind them that he’s in a position in life that they’d kill to be in.  He continues to reference his hometown on the track “Weston Road Flows.”  It’s here where Drake does his version of “going in” as he spits straight with no hook for nearly four minutes, and does it to his trademark OVO sound produced by 40.  Once again, Drake drops gems to remind his haters, that he is just who they want to be: “I’m looking at they first week numbers like ‘what are those?’/ I mean you boys not even coming close. . . you don’t be scoring perfect/you don’t be workin how we be workin/you platinum like wrappers on a Hershey’s boy that sh*t is worthless/you get the message over and over like it was urgent/and then act like you aint heard it when you see me in person.”

Drake goes his hardest on “Hype” where it seems he still is tossing jabs at Meek Mill: “last year i know you learned your lesson/I could GPS you if you need addressin’ /Boss up, I’m the bigger homie. . .”   Drake has mastered the obnoxious-on-top of the world persona and lyrically he can still lay gems in a verse, but his flows become repetitive.  On “Hype” he spits a bar rapidly, ending his tone on a higher pitch, takes a one second breath and goes right back to it.  This is one of Drake’s flows.  The other is when he basically sounds like he’s talking and is bored telling his own story.   He does this on the annoying “U With Me” in which he flips the old DMX hook on “How’s It Goin’ Down.”  His babbling is enough to make the listener lose interest quickly and his switch from rapping to singing is more awkward than it is clever.

Drake+NBA+Star+Celebrity+Game+2016+K3jiQgtyj4al

“Redemption” is a lack luster production effort by Noah “40” Shebib and Drake does nothing to lift the track or pump any life into it.   It’s five minutes of audio that is nothing short of dry and plain.  That “dry and plain” feeling continues (quite ironically) on the track titled “Fire and Desire,” which is Drake’s love ballad to some degree on “Views.”   The lyrics fall short on “Fire and Desire” as well: “You never believe me/Told you I got Zs for these other girls, sleepin on em/Girl I’m sleepy/ sometimes I’m so indecisive.”

“Grammys” teams Drake back up with Future  and it only further proves that the idea of these two working together is a lot better than the actual product they produce.  Future repeats the line “They gonna think I won a Grammy” somewhere in the field of thirteen hundred times, but that should come as no surprise.  That’s unfortunately part of Future’s whole. . . thing that he does. . .

Drake+Brit+Awards+2016+Show+FpHU5cjkuUkl

Another sound that Drake seems to have fallen in love with is the dance-hall feel.  He teams with Rihanna again on “Too Good” which is sure to become another hit.  Drake should really consider dropping the collaborations with Future and focus more on his chemistry with Ri-Ri.   “One Dance,” “Controlla” and “With You” all have the potential to become radio hits because of the club/ Caribbean feel to the tracks.   There is nothing special lyrically on these tracks and the breaks in the song are nothing drastic.   And therein lies the problem with “Views.”

Drake seems too comfortable musically.  Because his fans are dedicated and come in large numbers – he feels he can drop anything and it has the potential to become a hit.  When you’re an artist at the top of the game, you raise the bar for yourself and your peers – instead of sticking to his script, Drake needs to step outside of the box and deliver something different.  Is it fair to expect something like that from Drake – yes and no.  If you want to keep bragging about how you’re untouchable, prove it by further separating yourself from the crowd, instead of re-creating the same songs over and over again.

Let it be clear – the album is not bad.  It’s just what we expect from him and nothing more.  The lack-luster production and Drake’s sudden obsession with island sounds is the backbone of this OVO project.  This project might be his most streamed or valued in his discography because of the radio friendly tracks – but with Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole laying down projects that might be their best for some time, Drake had to do the same.

Drake has the ability to still throw in some clever lines as he did on “Child’s Play,”: “Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake/you know i love to go there/Say I’m actin’ lightskin, I can’t take you nowhere/This is a place for families that drive Camry’s and go to Disney.”   Still there are times when his lyrics are awkward and almost spoil a song, like he did on the album’s opener “Keep the Family Close,”:“Always saw you for what you could’ve been/Ever since you met me/Like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley.”   Eh.  The shame is, “Keep the Family Close” had the production and sound that this album should’ve been built around but alas it wasn’t.   “Keep the Family Close” opens up the album so well, that the album itself becomes a disappointment as you listen on because nothing else sounds like it.

Rating 6.5 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

“Dirty Sprite 2” Album Review

Some artists fall into a realm of predictability while other artists are trendsetters.  Somehow, Future has managed to waiver between the two worlds.  His style is choppy and yet still melodic – something that is a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds and his entire career has seemingly been guided through the help of Autotune.   Future has been gaining fans through his work ethic.  If he isn’t releasing a new album, you can guarantee there’s a mixtape in the works.  He has released undeniable hits like “Bugatti” and “Move That Dope” and has been featured on almost every rapper’s albums in recent thought.  He is a fixture in today’s music scene and hopes to solidify his impact with “Dirty Sprite 2.”

Future+Moet+Chandon+Suite+2014+Open+September+RTia9nw2ugXl

It’s been four years since the release of his mixtape “Dirty Sprite” and Future decided to pay homage to that start and  to his loyal fans by calling his newest project “DS2.” Future’s fan-base has evolved on social media as the “FutureHive”  – which is a play on Beyonce’s “BeeHive” fanbase.   The FutureHive proved to be loyal as first week sales for “DS2” were in the 130,000 range which is a huge leap from his last album’s first week sales (“Honest” at 53,000).

The first track of the album “Thought It Was a Drought” pretty much sums up the theme and overall sound for the album.  It’s a drug inspired song inspired by actavis, which was removed from cough syrup due to people using it as a recreational drug. The lyrics are basic and ignorant:  “I just f*cked your b*tch in some Gucci flip flops/I just had some b*tches and I made ‘me lip lock/ I just took a piss and I seen codeine coming out/ We got purple Actavis, I thought it was a drought.”

Metro Boomin produces most of the tracks on this album which hinders the albums overall performance.  All of the tracks have a slight trap-snare accompanied by a heavy bass line.  On the second track “I Serve The Base” – he talks about straying away from the pop-appeal the labels want him to become and he stays giving his fans that “dope” : “They trying to take the soul out me / They tryna take the soul out me / They tryna take my confidence and they know I’m cocky.”  And oh yeah, makes another reference to Actavis in this song as well. . .

Future+Drake+Tour+Stops+New+York+City+O-5Mah6skOHl

The music doesn’t change much but neither do the song topics.  Every song is about drugs or women and on “Freak Hoe” it’s obvious which topic has his attention this time around.  There is nothing “lyrical” about Future, and there is no deep meaning to what he’s saying either.  That wouldn’t even bother the listener much if it was a good listen, and it isn’t.

Future is supposed to be one of those artists who’s hooks are his “big deal” but on songs like “Rotation” and “Trap N*gg@s” the disappointment is obvious.  “Rotation” : “I had to spank lil shawty with my jeans on / And i had a pistol in my pocket / Can’t trust none of these bitches, gotta be cautious / Can’t trust none of these bitches, gotta be cautious / I bought all the sodas at the gas station / I just put a famous bitch on rotation / I bought all the sodas at the gas station / I just put a famous bitch on rotation.”  “Trap N*ggas” : “When you wake up before you brush your teeth / You grab your strap, n*gg@/ Only time you get down on your knees / Shooting craps, n*gg@ /F*ck what you heard, God blessin all the trap n*gg@s / God blessin’ all the trap n*gg@s.”

The most appealing sound on the album might come from the track “Where Ya At” which features Drake.  Drake handles his feature well as he usually does and it keeps a typical bounce feel, but even then the excitement where’s off quickly.

Future+Future+Monster+Mixtape+Release+Party+MlDpWSrxNtRl

Future is not leaving the music scene anytime soon, because he fits the whole “hippie movement” hip hop has been supporting lately.  He’s all about sex and drugs and one would have to assume that his legion of fans, the FutureHive are as well.   If poorly constructed ignorance is your thing, then the Future is now with “DS2.”  If not, find something, anything else, to listen to.

Rating 3 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

“Dreams Worth More Than Money” Album Review

Meek Mill is the Maybach Music Group’s aggressive, energetic, rapid-fire MC, who embodies a youthful exuberance blended with the mentality of an O.G.   On his first album “Dreams and Nightmares” he laid down one of the best intro-tracks of all time with the title track and was able to hit the airwaves with “Young and Gettin’ It”, “Amen” and even his bonus track with Big Sean “Burn.”   He was making a living getting featured on tracks with various artists and because of his energy was usually the highlight of a track.  Recently Meek Mill has just been released from jail (for a parole violation) and has been seen publicly with his new girlfriend, the pop/rap star, Nicki Minaj.

Meek+Mill+Roc+Nation+Curates+Samsung+Exclusive+8deTlLfS8_Il

Fans of Meek Mill expect this album to be a “step up” from what he has already accomplished – much like his peers J. Cole and Big Sean.  The album opens with “Lord Knows” which openly sounds like a track trying to match the magic created on “Dreams and Nightmares.”  It doesn’t reach that level but it does create a comfortable atmosphere for most of the chaos that comes soon after.  The song itself displays the confidence and hunger that is still in Meek Mill.

“Jump Out the Face” features Future, who pretty much takes over most of the duties on this track.  It’s a typical “young man flossin'” track which is right in Future’s zone: “Jump out the Rari, jump out the Wraith/ Then I hop in the Margiela then hop in some Bape/ Then jump out the face, then jump out the face/Money’ gon’ stack and this money gon’ fall.”  Drake makes an appearance on the track “R.I.C.O”  which is given some clever production by Vinylz.  Drake handles his business opening the track but Meek fails to carry the load, while coming up through the rear.  While Drake says things like : “I go make 50 million then I give some millions to my people / They gon’ go Tony Montana and cop them some Shaq at the free throws,” Meek has more of a lack-luster effort with: “I’m back on that hood sh*t / Ya that wish you would sh*t/I’m talking that cross you that fade you fourth quarter like Jordan we back on that bullsh*t.”

Meek+Mill+BET+Rip+Runway+2012+Show+Kr5oqEqzUi4l

The issue with Meek Mill is that he’s a one trick pony.  His delivery is the same on every track and the content of his lyrics are repetitive.  On what is guessed to be an apparent tribute to 2Pac is the song “Ambitionz” where Meek struggles keeping cadence with a slowed down version of the original.   The Weeknd is featured on the track “Pullin’ Up” where Meek plays the role of a “brazen playa” telling a girl to make sure her man stays in the house when he pulls up to her place to pick her up.  It’s easy to see why Nicki Minaj fell for the “sweet talking” Meek with lines like: “Pull up on ya, put it on ya/ F*ck you in the car, if he lookin’ for ya/Seen you with your man and said “What up” to ya.”  The hook provided by The Weeknd has a very similar melody to the hook of his own hit record “Earned It,” – so it’s a lazy effort from The Weeknd to say the least.

The love affair between Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill are put to the test in the form of music as the two collaborate twice on the album.  “Bad For You” with Nicki on the hook and Meek handling verses, they give a glimpse into the start of their relationship: “Wanted that for a long time/ cool with it I get it though/First year we both fronted and we had feelings we didn’t show. . . We just f*cking up the city, going hard every night / N*gg@s hatin’ on us, you know lord they ain’t right.”   Meek handles things well here but the track itself is just a snoozer.   It doesn’t get much better for the Nicki and Meek collaborations as they are joined by Chris Brown, who (much like The Weeknd earlier. . .) sounds like he’s sung a hook a million times before.  The funny thing about this song is that although in their relationship they might have all the chemistry in the world, it just doesn’t come off that way musically.

9ac864f516ccc2063bf2cbe4289d4174.640x640x1

It’s not all bad for Meek Milly on this album though.  The Danja produced “Stand Up” gives a Miami Vice kind of feel to it and Meek rides this beat with his trademark flow better than he does throughout the album.  Meek Mill pulls off the autotuned hook nicely and hits with insightful lines like: “Don’t be selfish young n*gg@, just man up, don’t give the fam up / Facin’ 20 years when they added the grams up / Plus 5 more, he got booked with a handgun/And now he in the courtroom, givin’ his mans up. . .”   The piano keys on classic, hit with what sounds like out of tune drums from a live jazz session set the tone on “Classic,” produced by Bangladesh.   This track finds Meek Mill at his best with wordplay and humor: “Make a movie on your b*tch, Tell her friend to get a role / you thought she was innocent, we laughing like ‘she been a ho’ / Jumpin out the Benzos, meet yo b8tch in the friend zone/ She told you I was ‘friendzoned’ what? I’m in the endzone.”

Tracks like “Cold Hearted” and “The Trillest” are supposed to give us a more down to earth Meek Mill, but he can’t let go of that aggressive style at all which will ultimately hold him back.  Tracks like “Check” and “I Got the Juice” are lazy and seem to have found Meek stumped on the road to creativity.   His energy definitely does not match the excitement of the listener after one disappointed listen.  Hold on to Nicki young man, because the reviews you’ll read for this album will break your heart.

Rating 3.5 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

 

“Fan of a Fan” Album Review

When talk of this album came about it made a lot of people scratch their heads.  A collaboration album between Chris Brown and Tyga was something nobody expected, asked for – or wanted.  Tyga is in the process of being released from Lil’ Wayne’s “Young Money” record label.  Tyga has made comments about Nicki Minaj and Drake not being “fake”- and from that he has sparked a “beef” with Drake.  Tyga has found  solo success with  his song “Rack City” and has made good from his feature on the song “Loyal.”

giphy

Chris Brown’s career is a long, up and down and much talked over story which is too long to get into. . . what everyone can agree on is that Chris Brown once upon a time was looked upon as one of the more naturally gifted R&B artists we’ve seen in a while.  He incorporated all that music fans loved of Michael Jackson, with a spunk and honesty that was all his own.  After “the Rihanna” incident, things have spiraled out of control for the young singer though.  He has been in ways black-listed and his album sales have dropped from the incredible heights they once stood.

So, the question is – who, needs who more in this collaboration?  Many would still say, Chris Brown’s name hold’s significantly more weight than Tyga – but in truth, they both need a string of hits from this album in order for this mash-up to work.

Chris Brown will always deliver a memorable hook and deliver nearly flawless harmonies on a track.  That’s a given.  There’s a reason why, even while being “black-listed” he still finds a way to get on the radio.  There is just no denying his talent – and there’s no denying that he still has a heavy fan base.  Tyga’s fan base stems on some features on popular songs and his association with Young Money / Cash Money records.  Tyga will have to stand out on this record for it to work.  Unfortunately, Tyga is one of the rappers that can “rhyme words” but doesn’t say much of anything.  He opens up the album with the first verse on “Westside” but Chris Brown carries the song with his chorus and bridge – oh and also has a flow when it’s his turn to rap on the second verse.

tyga-chris-brown-fan-of-a-fan-2-cover

The DJ Mustard produced “Nothin’ Like Me” doesn’t break away from the producer’s trend of simplistic bass heavy beats and once again Chris Brown carries the weight of the song (the trend begins early and noticeably).  The song itself has the duo along with Ty Dolla Sign, telling their girls of interest that they can do and can afford things their ex boyfriends couldn’t even dream.  The song works with Chris Brown’s hook: “She don’t think that I can change/ So I switched from a Benz to a Range / First class to the jet / Got more money than her ex / Way more money than her ex. . .”

Even on “Ayo” which is their lead single off the album, Tyga’s attempts at being clever are just laughable : “Aye babe this my new sh*t / I’m the black Richie Rich with the roof missin’ / If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense . . . I get money three ways, f*cking b*tches three ways / 7 different foreigns pluse she no hable.”  The two decided to go line for line and Chris Brown embarrasses Tyga on it as well.

Every featured rapper on this album outshines Tyga effortlessly.  Even 50 Cent, who lately many can say hasn’t had his “heart in music” – even Fiddy comes on the track “I Bet” and it makes you want more of him and  Chris Brown and less of Tyga.  Lil’ Boosie makes an appearance on “Real One” and his raspy voice and delivery fit the track better than Tyga who opened the song miserably with “Aye baby, you baby / Thats some good p*ssy we can make a new baby / F you in the Mayback, F a room baby / I use my tongue, use your mouth, watch your tooth baby.”

chris-brown-tyga-320x213

Tyga’s average-at-best-talent is exhibited best on “D.G.I.F.U” which features Pusha T and pays tribute (in someway) to the track “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre and Eminem.  Chris Brown raps on this track and in rapid fire fashion delivers some killer lines like: “So don’t get it F*cked up / I got a handful of matches, f*ckin’ with a bad bitch / All my n*gg@s is savages, better loc up / Damn it’s a tragedy all of these casualties / Metal through his body, n*gg@ check his anatomy, oh sh*t / Why you pillow talkin? That’s ho sh*t / N*gg@, you a geek still talkin’ ’bout me f*cking yo’ b*tch.”

At least the Schoolboy Q feature on “B*tches and Marijuana” makes Tyga stand out more as an artist, unfortunately it’s the worst song on the album.

The truth is with “Fan of A Fan” the song concepts and beats all basically sound the same.  This album would’ve been better suited as a Chris Brown “Duets” album of some kind.  Putting Chris Brown with nearly anybody is usually the formula for a hit record. . . Tyga and Chris Brown may be close friends, but there are more negatives than positives when combining business with loved ones. . .

For fans waiting on Chris Brown’s triumphant come back – this unfortunately isn’t it.  For fans waiting on a breakthrough album from Tyga . . . that was never going to happen.

Rating 4 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

GeeSteelio Sports Hour 2-18

This week The Heartthrob welcomes Twan Staley (@antwanstaley)  to discuss Hip Hop and the All Star Weekend as well as Joe Wedra (@joewedra)who gives insight on which NFL prospects will be hurt or helped by participating in the combine this weekend.