isaacpg3 -
90
Future's DS2 is arguably the best trap album ever made. It's up there with Playboi Carti's "Die Lit," Migos' "Culture," and a couple of Young Thug projects for me. I feel this way about this album for a few reasons. First, Future's beat selection peaked on this project. Songs range from hard hitting dance bangers like "Groupies" and "Fuck Up Some Commas," to the harsh and somewhat experimental sounds on "I Serve the Base, " to the somber, ... read more
isaacpg3 -
85
After 2018's trap classic Die Lit, Playboi Carti could've played it safe and released a followup album full of sugary trap songs, cashed his check, and called it a day. Instead, he decided to put trap music through the blender. His experimental ambition and risk-taking make this album his most exciting yet, even if some moments fall short of what his fan base expected.

Before this album, Playboi Carti was arguably already pivoting between mainstream pop-trap and experimental hip hop, at least ... read more
isaacpg3 -
80
Trying to get back to some of the 2020 highlights I haven't reviewed yet. This one was excellent, definitely one of the better produced underground albums this year with a crisp mainstream sound. bbymutha is definitely a name to watch, she deserves more critical and mainstream hype than she's gotten although she's incredibly well respected in underground circles. She's a wildly entertaining rapper with a fantastic sense of humor. Her sharp wit is somewhat reminiscient of Open Mike Eagle, ... read more
isaacpg3 -
65
Kid Cudi is a lovable person and an influential artist, but in my opinion he's not a great rapper. Although his first two MOTM installations are widely adored, I find it hard to make it through the projects for a few reasons: too many tracks, poor rapping, poor singing, basic lyricsm and cringey bars, and a theatric quality that just feels forced and overdone. On this project, much of that has been improved. There are still too many tracks, but most are average or above average-- there are only ... read more
isaacpg3 -
85
Taylor Swift has returned with a second gorgeous 2020 addition to her legendary discography. "evermore" simultaneously sounds like a full project of "folklore" afterthoughts and stands on its own as a more personal, intimate songwriting exhibition. There are no grand, emotional statements here like "epiphany," there aren't quite same storytelling devices used on "august" and "betty," and the production is somehow even more minimalist than its ... read more
isaacpg3 -
60
One of the more disappointing releases this year for me personally, especially considering the quality of singles like "Don't Like Me" and "IPHONE." I went into this project expecting Rico's best, and after giving it some time to settle in, I can confidently say that most of this album just doesn't do it for me.

First, I'll start with the positive. The beats on this album take Rico in a totally new direction, and for the most part the ambitious production does not ... read more
isaacpg3 -
55
I really enjoyed the unique, honest, heartfelt lyrics and some of Quelle Chris’s entertainingly risky production throughout. However, some of the rapping leaves a lot to be desired, and some of the songs have pretty terrible hooks. Cant say I feel enthusiastic about relistening.
isaacpg3 -
75
Great album. The first half is nearly perfect, with the exception of "//aguardienty y limon," which is a disappointing lag in an otherwise beautiful stretch of poetry and soothing instrumentals. The Rico Nasty appearance on "aqui yo mando!" is a fun burst of energy. The second half lapses a bit, but that's not to say that it's bad-- I just wish there was a little more going on. Still, Kali Uchis is an incredibly talented songwriter, and I really enjoyed hearing her sing ... read more
isaacpg3 -
83
Returning to this because I see it as one of many confounding Grammy snubs since the nominations were announced this week. At the heart of this project is an infectious pop core, but its ventures into hard rock territory on "XS," "STFU!" and other songs are by far my favorite moments. Rina's clever writing and smooth vocals are captivating on almost every track. It's not a perfect album, there are certainly some lags here and there, but I think it's an improvement on her ... read more
isaacpg3 -
68
Megan thee Stallion is one of the most talented MCs in the mainstream today. Her uncompromising flows and fiery independence make her one of my favorites to return to when I need a quick energy boost. This album only adds to her resume in terms of hitmaking and rapping skill. It features a high-energy tracklist with a full slate of rap and R&B features, which range from awful (Popcaan), to unnecessary (DaBaby), to great (Young Thug, Beyonce). Although the tracklist overstays its welcome, ... read more
isaacpg3 -
30
Incredibly disappointing but not at all surprising, a completely stale tracklist with less than a handful of redeemable songs. "Sleeping on the Floor" is the only song that I'd describe as good, "Plastic" is passable, and the rest is either forgettable or painful to listen to. Everything from the mixing to the lyrics indicates that the bare minimum effort was put into this album. As the mainstream trap market continues to be oversaturated with formulaic, overstuffed albums, ... read more
isaacpg3 -
60
Busta Rhymes hasn't lost a step as a rapper. This album showcases some of his hardest flows, most conscious bars, and freshest production choices. As a 10-15 track project this would be nearly perfect. Unfortunately, there are 22 tracks, many of which could be scrapped. This isn't exactly surprising; Busta Rhymes has been overstuffing albums since his debut. So although the album as a whole has its flaws, there are still mindblowing tracks. I don't care how old the Kendrick verse is on ... read more
isaacpg3 -
55
Ariana Grande's voice is enough to create a few special moments on this album, but for the most part lazy songwriting and a general lack of ambition take away from the listening experience. Ariana appears to have settled deeply into her comfort zone, losing the infectious appeal of "Sweetener" and "thank u, next" that solidified her as a legitimate pop giant. There's nothing unlistenable or horrible, but there's also nothing that adds dimensionality to Ariana as an artist. ... read more
isaacpg3 -
80
I've been super into clipping for like exactly a week now. That's not totally true, I listened to "There Existed an Addiction to Blood" when it came out last year, liked it, forgot clipping existed for a year, saw this album dropped, listened to it, listened to the rest of their discography a bunch, and now I'm back here with a verdict on this new album: I like it.

Here are some short thoughts on each track, since I thought I'd try a different review style to spice things up. ... read more
isaacpg3 -
70
Very impressive set of raps from Black Thought, who still seems to never run out of creativity. Despite Black Thought's technical ferocity, Killer Mike managed to have the best verse on the album on "Good Morning," a ridiculously good rap song. Other rap features were also great, ScHoolboy Q and Pusha T complemented Thought's style well. I didn't care for some of the poppier songs on this, there was definitely a fair amount of filler. That being said, the production was high quality ... read more
isaacpg3 -
50
Disappointing followup to a solid, if inconsistent, LP earlier this year. "Taste the Rainbow" still sounds amazing, and "Paper" was a nice track as well. The rest is average at best.
isaacpg3 -
75
The experimental direction of this album, coupled with Open Mike Eagle's charming handling of depressing subject matter, make this album an overall success. There are some musical moments that simply don't sound great, and some song structure deviations that don't pay off, but mostly this is Open Mike Eagle showing incredible creativity and artistic execution. Super fun and super sad.
isaacpg3 -
70
After a blazing feature run and a history of quality projects, I had incredibly high expectations for this project. Although I think Benny came through on most tracks, I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with how this album turned out. Hit Boy's production was mostly crisp and well-composed, but the poppy direction this album took came as a somewhat unwelcome surprise. A few beats and verses feel too formulaic for an artist as unique as Benny, and although I appreciate the mainstream ... read more
isaacpg3 -
40
There are some truly beautiful moments on this album, especially on the back end. Unfortunately, those moments are dwarfed by the rest of the album succumbing to generic pop-rap trends. There's an inescapable sense of missed opportunity with the sound of this album. It seems like the artists thought they were doing something much weirder than they were in reality. A majority of the production on this album feels like it's already been done on prior Dreamville releases. The rapping is also ... read more
isaacpg3 -
60
This is a confusing release from Westside Gunn. Although he horrifically fumbles hooks left and right, Westside Gunn's beat selection remains top tier. That being said, some of the loops on this album felt so minimalist in comparison to Griselda's best projects (Tana Talk 3 and Pray for Paris both boast much more accomplished production throughout). In addition, Westside Gunn appears once again to be playing the role of an album curator rather than a soloist, which is probably the best thing ... read more
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