Central Standard Time - Stik Figa
(Genre: Hip Hop/Rap)
When this project was announced, I instantly lit up with joy. If you don't already know, Stik Figa is one of my hometown legends and has been carrying the torch for Topeka in the underground for a while. When I heard that this project was another one backed by Mello Music Group, I became even more ecstatic because these connections would push their music even further than before.
Speaking of the music, Stik Figa puts you in the mind of the everyman in Topeka, Kansas. He displays his skills as an emcee as he delivers punchlines and paints you pictures of his surroundings and how that environment has affected not only himself, but the fellow townsfolk as well. This is all placed over a generally classic boom bap soundscape with the one experimental rap entry, "James Lemonade" featuring independent stars Homeboy Sandman & Quelle Chris. Other featured artists, such as Elzhi & Rappin 4-Tay, bring their full set of skills, too, adding to the project's enjoyment factor.
In conclusion, anybody who digs the roots of hip hop should find this album a quality buy. Its runtime is concise and doesn't lend itself to any filler, so every song definitely hits its mark. Yet, my personal favorites would have to be "Cold", "James Lemonade", & "The Ends & Outs". The lyrical prowess of this emcee is on full display with this release and it's certainly capable to make it Stik's time in the limelight.
Links to the central, if you have time:
Pardon the Interruption (Music Video)
Cold (Music Video)
Shade45 Radio Freestyle ("I do the rap thing")
Passion of the Weiss Interview
Prey (A music video from the Shame the Devil EP)
SweetSexySavage - Kehlani
I became privy to Kehlani a long while back due to a collaboration with one of my favorite artists, Dyme-A-Duzin. They did a R&B track that brought me back to the days I grew up with the genre. I soon decided to look her up and found her rather talented, but the You Should Be Here project grabbed me the most. That was a few years later and since then, I kept up with her single releases on the road to this major label debut with anticipation.
This album reinforced what I believed she had the potential to achieve. She writes and performs songs with a very clear and honest voice. It's all delivered in a way that fuses the throwback feel of 90's/early 00's R&B and today's contemporary take on the sound. This brings a very nice ride with variety as she embodies the album title with each topic. She tells tales of love, lust, trust issues, her musical ambitions, & more. The only gripe may be the length of the track list, despite there not being many misses.
To me, she's an artist that reminds me of heavily hip hop infused R&B artists like Mya, Ciara, Aaliyah, & Amerie. Some tracks that have entered my heavy rotation are "Undercover", "Personal", "Not Used to it", "Everything is Yours", "Do U Dirty", & "In My Feelings". Honestly, this is a very solid debut and warrants a listen for any contemporary R&B fans. I would find it hard not to become infatuated by this sweet, sexy, savage debut.
Ride the Kehlani Tsunami:
You Should Be Here (Playlist of the album)
Gangsta (From Suicide Squad) (Part of the deluxe album)
Sway in the Morning Interview ("Young Sway got the answers")
Nardwuar Interview (Doot Doola Doot Doo)