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Surviving Man

Rel's Rap Refuge [Rap music]

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With DayZ servers down for maintenance I am going to partake in some creative procrastination. Since lately I've been listening to a lot of rap (I treat music like an all you can eat buffet). It's good for working to, exercising and reciting verses in DayZRP is a great way for me to break the ice.

I'm going to be listing some artists that really have me hooked, some big names some sorta big names. Going to stay away from what I feel are obvious classics (Ice Cube, Wu-Tang, MF DOOM etc.

To keep this post from being one giant OP filled with embedded YT videos I'm going to do one artist a time. Very casual review style, not going to go into the technical aspects of his music.

DENZEL CURRY

First up is Denzel Curry. Rapper from Miami, 18/19 years young. Really dark instrumentals. His delivery is on point and the references ranging from police brutality, Trayvon Martin shootings, gang violence and pokemon. "Semi-automatic might blast like Team Rocket."

Curry combines great verses with catchy hooks. Neither diluting the other. There are songs that change halfway through (Dark and Violent). There's a few tracks on his album 'Nostalgic 64' that aren't so hot. But when Denzel is on it, he's really on it.

With rap tending to stray away from it's normal conventions (Evident in such artists/groups as Yung Lean and OFWGKTA). Curry brings it back to some old core ideals. The track 'N64' which samples news reports from the Trayvon Martin shooting makes me feel like I'm listening to Ice Cube again. But in a completely new way.

TL;DR: You want bangerz? Denzel got dem bangerz. Features pokemon in his lyrics.

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Next up: LIL UGLY MANE

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Denzel was a bit up and down for me. Threatz had some soul in the vocal delivery while the content delivered felt a bit uneven, N64 didn't have that oomph in the vocal delivery. But he's got potential, he'll learn and develop as he goes along, his flow will even up and he'll develop more of a personal style.

Personally I'm more into the twin cities scene.

Is this a thread for you solely to review some artists or the community getting involved?

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Denzel was a bit up and down for me. Threatz had some soul in the vocal delivery while the content delivered felt a bit uneven, N64 didn't have that oomph in the vocal delivery. But he's got potential, he'll learn and develop as he goes along, his flow will even up and he'll develop more of a personal style.

Personally I'm more into the twin cities scene.

Is this a thread for you solely to review some artists or the community getting involved?

That's entirely up to the community. If somebody wants to write their own profile on an artist they're following then I applaud the idea and hope they take the initiative. That being said, it'd be ideal if the thread didn't devolve to: I am listening to X

On Denzel though, I thought N64 was all oomph. The lyrics bounced off eachother with perfect finesse. "I'm acid, fornicating with crack shit - cheated on the virus that took over the life of Magic." I'm mixed with Threatz, I'm pretty much only into that song for the hook and Denzel's first verse. Robb Bank$ verse is so cavalier in it's lyrics and delivery that I end up resenting it. Even after learning that the 'Two phones on you niggas' line was in reference to his old twitter name I just didn't care. Simmy's verse was good, but eh.

The same goes for Mystical Virus Pt. 3. That track could just cut out Mike G and it'd be fine.

I agree with you though, the album is a strong 7/10. The next two releases will be big tellers. The second building on this foundation (or starting a new one) and the third cementing it.

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Denzel was a bit up and down for me. Threatz had some soul in the vocal delivery while the content delivered felt a bit uneven, N64 didn't have that oomph in the vocal delivery. But he's got potential, he'll learn and develop as he goes along, his flow will even up and he'll develop more of a personal style.

Personally I'm more into the twin cities scene.

Is this a thread for you solely to review some artists or the community getting involved?

That's entirely up to the community. If somebody wants to write their own profile on an artist they're following then I applaud the idea and hope they take the initiative. That being said, it'd be ideal if the thread didn't devolve to: I am listening to X

On Denzel though, I thought N64 was all oomph. The lyrics bounced off eachother with perfect finesse. "I'm acid, fornicating with crack shit - cheated on the virus that took over the life of Magic."

I agree with you though, the album is a strong 7/10. The next two releases will be big tellers. The second building on this foundation (or starting a new one) and the third cementing it.

On N64. Pay attention only to his voice, not the words he speaks. While the lyrics played off quite nicely (still lots and lots of room to improve though) it's his voice delivering them that is bland. Monotone.

He keeps exactly the same pitch and flow during the whole song, it just makes it uninteresting, bland to me.

I'll start with a classic. Aesop Rock.

He's an old cat, he's been working on himself for quite a while, hell, almost as long as i've been alive.

He's done lots of collabs that are worth looking into as well. Favorites among these, for me, is Hail Mary Mallon and The Uncluded.

One thing with Aesop, and his long career is that he has lots of contents to discover, and almost everything is amazing. You almost always find something new, or something that feels new to you.

You speak of wordplay, and bouncing lines of eachother. Have you ever stared into the sun? ;)

Going to be a decently large amount of songs down here. Hard to choose only a few of my favorites.

Generally you'll need to listen to them a few times, and pay attention to get the full spectrum.

[video=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4G1fgdRBJc

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Apparently a 5 video max, so the rest as links.

And here, get to know him a bit, really worth listening to. Pay attention to. Lots of references. Lots of emotions.

Won't throw in too many of the collabs, this post is already going to be pretty full.

Bouncing off eachother constantly in Johnathan.

This one always gives me chills.

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LIL UGLY MANE

From Richmond, LIL UGLY MANE harks back to murderous music, more evil shit, dark beats and a heavy emphasis on production. Making huge waves in the underground rap game LIL UGLY MANE's style is both poignant in it's own right as well as a great homage or descendant of the rap it draws inspiration from. Rather than creating a glamorous image of the ghetto criminal, it paints a dark portrait of the reality.

There's not a lot of appreciation for the hook. Lil Ugly is more about creating a world, telling a story and using his music to emphasize his narrative. His music is cinematic, it's dark and it's evil. It's where the light doesn't shine. You're going to hear that Lil Ugly's strengths are in his verses, vocabulary and production.

After creating a storm LIL UGLY hung up the mic and stopped being a rapper, choosing to focus on production under his real name.

TL;DR: Lil Ugly Mane is Satan. You'll probably get stabbed in the neck listening to the music. Leaving you paralyzed.

First listen: A good first release to get is 'Mista Thug Isolation'. From there I'd suggest trawling youtube.

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RIP LIL UGLY MANE.

Next: Vince Staples

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