GO - Krizz Kaliko
Genre: R&B/Hip Hop/Alternative Rap
Krizz Kaliko from the Strange Music camp is a monument on the label as his versatile talents aid everyone in multiple ways. It's one reason why most people can't envision Tech N9ne without Krizz by his side, whether by adding a verse or singing a hit chorus. This creative mind also always brought his well-rounded style to each of his past albums while continuing to push his limits with every one. So I was heavily anticipating this current project, especially because he was going to focus his efforts more on his singing vocals and more live instrumentation.
Kaliko presents a introspective journey through funk, R&B, pop, and hip hop tracks that detail his means to escape depression and finally facing his problems head on. The singles do well to demonstrate the album's range with the danceable "Talk Up on It" and the melancholy "Stop the World". Other tracks that I found to become favorites include "Logged Off", "Orangutan", & "Happyish". Yet, I must recommend that anybody who loves R&B give this whole album a listen.
Far From Familiar - Sylvan LaCue
Genre: Hip Hop
My introduction to Sylvan LaCue was as QuESt on the album Searching Sylvan which made a fan with his passion, story, and craft over many styles of hip hop. After that album, he took a small break to regroup and rebrand by starting his own crew with Wise Up and dropping his moniker for his government name. Following that, he dropped an EP called Evangeline dedicated to his current love interest who helped him during his changes. This showed Sylvan was ready to come back with full force.
Far From Familiar still shows the great craftsmanship Sylvan became known for. We pick up following his story right where he left off, bringing life after the success of the previous album. He chronicles over production similar to modern trap beats then switch to singing something 808's and Heartbreaks-esque leading to a sound akin to Because the Internet's experimental moments. Sylvan clearly emotes lyrically and each track's atmosphere making tracks like "Fall From Grace", "Studio City", & "Crosswinds" so great. Thus, I must recommend this project to fans of Logic, Kanye West, & Kendrick Lamar.
Twenty88 - Twenty88
Now being a fan of one half of the newly formed duo Twenty88, I got interested through Jhene Aiko's teasing of a new project on social media. I soon realized that it would be a collaboration project with Big Sean, who I've always saw as a subpar rapper that has slowly improved over time. Once it released, I was surprised it was first on TIDAL before finally becoming available everywhere else. That delayed my listen to this project, since I dropped my subscription after my free trial expired. (Thank you, Yeezus!) Yet, I still got informed that this EP was coupled with a short film,"Out of Love", on the website, so I hoped I'd soon get to experience it.
That time came and I must say that their synergy is actually very apparent throughout the project. Their past collabs together (and love songs in general) have always seem to bring some decent songs out of Sean and I have to admit this gave me 7 out of 8. Plus the addition of Big Sean I feel probably aided the more diverse production which helped Jhene not get too stuck in one sound. The short film, which is set to a medley of 6 of the songs, presented a simple, but interesting watch following the artists living as a famous couple in an alternate sci-fi world. To conclude, I can recommend a listen to those who dig mainstream hip hop love songs. Oh, and favorites on this include "On the Way", "Push it", & "Talk Show".