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Two of the biggest names in the rap game. Jay-Z, who many say is the greatest of all time (big claim, not sure I agree) and Kanye West, who in my opinion has not made a bad album yet! These two have had lots of songs together and most are classics (Diamonds remix anyone!). So how do they work together on a whole album together? I will review each track and at each track say who I feel was the 'King' of that track. It needs to be rememebered that Kanye produced all but 4 tracks on this album so although his raps may not be as good as Jay but his contribution is more.
No Church in the Wild - I'm glad Jay-Z was the one to open the album. In my opinion it shouldn't have been any other way. I was immediately hooked in to the beat, the filtered guitar and pulsing beat makes for a monstrous opening to the record. I also noticed this track contains the first of many James Brown samples on this album. Anyways, both rappers deliver solid verses, but Jay-Z takes the throne on track one for owning the beat.
Score: 8/10; King: Jay-Z
Lift Off - I've never been a fan of Beyonce, and usually try to avoid songs that she's featured on if possible. This track proves no exception, and Kanye's terribly autotuned verse furthers my disliking of this song. Even Jay-Z, the autotune killer's verse uses it. I had hopes that he could could salvage the song, though his "verse" really isn't even a verse at all. The countdown at the end sounded pretty cool though and the beat is decent. I guess Kanye wins this track simply because Jay-Z's not even really on it.
Score: 2/10; King: Kanye West
N***** In Paris - Back to the good music now. Jay-Z once again spits first, delivering a decent verse with a nice flow. According to the official lyrics, Kayne apparently says "That s*** crazy" on the hook, but for some reason it comes out sounding more like "That s*** cray." The lyrics could possibly be misprinted though and the actual lyrics could be "That s***'s crack." Kanye's verse is solid and he sounds his best during the distorted breakdown at the end. Pretty good song overall. Oh, and love the Blades of Glory sample.
Score: 9/10; King: Jay-Z
Otis - A classic Otis Redding sample. Perhaps not as good as the one on "Gone" but still good enough to make a great beat. Jay-Z once again spits first, though this time the two pass the mic back and forth instead of spitting separate verses. Love that about this song. The only thing I don't care for much is the borderline disturbing scream at the end of the song. Great song despite that though. And even though the beat sounds like more of a Jay-Z type beat, Kanye spits hard on "Otis" earning himself the crown on this track.
Score: 7/10; King: Kayne West
Gotta Have It - One of my favorite tracks on the album, mostly because of the beat and the way both rappers flow over it. Once again, both rappers pass the mic back and forth and for the most part only spit one line at a time. I enjoy this style of collaborating mostly because it reminds me of the way Em and Dre used to do tracks back in the day.
Score: 9/10; King: Both
New Day - I feel like the sample on this track is a bit too high in the mix, and it is quite distracting during the verses. Despite this, the verses are great. Both emcees return to spitting separate verses, but they each have their own stories to tell. I was especially pleased at Kanye displaying a slightly less arrogant side, even going as far as admitting that he does not want his son to grow up with an ego.
Score: 7/10; King: Kanye West
That's My B**** - Great beat, the upbeat tribal sounding drums, vintage Atari-esque synth and turntable scratches give the track a modern but old school sound that's quite catchy. I can't decide which rapper owned this track; Kanye is slightly more present on it but both delivered great verses.
Score: 8/10; King: Both
Welcome to the Jungle - This track already earns 5 points by not containing a single Guns N' Roses sample. That would have been entirely too predictable and been a negative for the track. In fact, there are no jungle-sounding sounds anywhere to be found on this track. Despite being a bit repetitive, the beat is actually pretty nice. And this is primarily a Jay-Z track, like how "Lift Off" was primarily a Yeezy track, so obviously our boy Hova gets the crown. Oh, and that weird postlude from track one is back for no apparent reason. Anyone care to explain that?
Score: 8/10; King: Jay-Z
Who Gon Stop Me? - The sample and intro make this song sound like the beginning of a dance remix song. In reality, it's a pretty slow track. Well, at least it is at first. Halfway through the song the beat suddenly shifts to a more upbeat electronic track and Jay-Z comes in and fries the circuit board with his verse. Kanye's verse was lyrically great, but unfortunately, when the track's over we completely forget that he even had a verse. Sorry Yeezy.
Score: 9/10; King: Jay-Z
Murder to Excellence - Okay, Okay, Kanye makes a comeback on this song, but he doesn't manage to completely pull the crown back in his direction. This is mainly because both rappers bring lyrical excellence here. Solid track, both lyrically and beatwise.
Score: 9/10; King: Both
Made in America - There's no doubt Kanye West thought up this beat while standing in an elevator. I shouldn't have to explain that, just listen to it for yourself. It's a great beat though. Simple and atmospheric. I don't know who will agree with me, but this track definitely sounds like the "Lighters" of Watch the Throne. Nice track.
Score: 8/10; King: Kanye West
Why I Love You - I was hoping I'd have a chance to drop a 10/10 on something from this album. Just so you know, I done give a song a perfect ten unless I'm under the opinion that it truly deserves it. This song does. The beat is epic, Jay-Z is teriffic. Even though Kanye doesn't contribute much to this track, he is still present to assist Jay-Z in ending the album.
Score: 10/10; King: Jay-Z
Whether you like Jay-Z and Kanye West or not, the album is still solid enough to be worth at least one listen for the unfan. I'm more a Kanye fan then a Jay fan but Jay does that little bit more in the rap department on this album to be claimed king!
Overall Score: 8.5/10; Claimer of the Throne: Jay-Z
Thanks for reading!
As I stated in my review of laser (please go and read if you haven't already!) I am a big Lupe fan. So why not review where it all began!
Track #1 : Intro - I'm not going to rate this based on how it is as a song, instead I will rate it based on intros themselves. That being said although I'm not a fan of spoken word, the first poem heard is very deep and is a good transition to the rest of the intro track. Then the beat that comes on gets you ready for the classic you are about to hear. We also get introduced to the meaning behind Food & Liquor. "You got your good, y'know, and your bad, You got your food, and your liquor" I'd say the CD simply isn't complete without this.
Score : 10/10
Track #2 : Real (Feat. Sarah Green) - Real is like finding silver in a goldmine. It is not disappointing by any means but it is my least favorite off this classic. However I look back and look at the lyrics and there are a couple ways the lyrics can be interpreted. So who am I to say what exactly he is talking about. But I believe he goes through a couple different subjects here, including but not limited to, relationships and cheating, the drug game, and simply being poor in general. The beat is great of course, and the lyrics are very meaningful but it lacks the wordplay that we all love to hear from Lupe.
Score : 8/10
Track #3 : Just Might Be Okay (Feat. Gemini) - I don't know where to start with this song. Well I'll try to start with the foundation, the beat. The beat is great, I really don't know how to describe it. The best I can do is say it's like the beat is building up to something amazing, which it does. Next we have the lyrics. Once again, I'm almost speechless. This is where Lupe shines, the perfect metaphors and wordplay "I back-flipped on the mattress they slept on me on" to the perfect flows "I ain't an accredited instituted graduate, I ain't from Nazareth
My conception wasn't immaculate, I ain't master no calculus" This song is just amazing. Then we have the hook, very simple but to the point.
Score : 10/10
Track #4 : Kick, Push - Kick, Push is essentially a story about a young skater, and their "struggles". It's a great story, and has a great flow, however there is no overly complex rhyme scheme or wordplay that I love to see from Lupe. The beat is relaxing and the hook pushes the theme of the story.
Score : 8.5/10
Track #5 : I Gotcha (Feat. Pharrell) - Okay let me start by saying I love this beat. Especially the piano. I'll also say I feel like this song is very under rated. The wordplay in this song is off the charts. "I warn y'all cornballs I Hush Puppies" and "I'm on my pimp, my temperature is tempura, I take it easy on my watch I'm watchin' TV" are just two examples. Then the hook is about Lupe bringing back real hip-hop to music. Great song.
Score : 9/10
Track #6 : The Instrumental (Feat. Jonah Matranga) - Perfection. One of my hands down favorites from this classic album. Produced by Mike Shinoda, this beat is hard to describe and samples Nestle by Far, I wish I knew more about instruments so I could describe it better but unfortunately I'll just have to say it's amazing. This is another story by Lupe Fiasco, this song addresses some of the problems with television and how sucked up in it someone can become. Wordplay and metaphors are off the charts. The hook is just great, talking about how it causes people to no longer have an opinion for themselves. The bridge is perfect as well talking about how everything we buy is because of something/someone or to cover something up.
Score : 10 /10
Track #7 : He Say She Say (Feat. Gemini and Sarah Green) - Another classic story. Rappers tell the "My father wasn't around" story a lot but none do it quite as well as Lupe. What makes this one special is it talks about the subject matter from different perspectives. Beat and hook are great. Storytelling is wonderful. Classic song.
Score : 10 / 10
Track #8 : Sunshine - This track is goood, the beat is great. It's hardly a stand out track but it suits the feel of the album and how it works. It doesn't stack up wordplay wise as some of the others sure, but it works. I do however love the line "out of all the millions of numbers in the world, just leave me a few, that lead to you."
Score : 9/10
Track #9 : Daydreamin' (Feat. Jill Scott) - Classic. Jill Scott gets the job done on the hook, absolutely amazing. Beat is great. Lyrics are great starts off with the robot metaphor expanding into the ghetto neighborhood and why he's daydreaming. I really don't know what else to say. This song is amazing, perfect 10.
Score : 10/10
Track #10 : The Cool - Another great story by Lupe Fiasco about a gangster who's business eventually got him killed. Another great beat for Lupe to go on, the hook is about how living in the moment is great and everything but what about when it goes wrong. "Hustler for death, no heaven for a gangsta". Lyric wise, it's a great story and is definitely worthy of being on this album.
Score : 9.5/10
Track #11: Hurt Me Soul - This song took me a while to enjoy when I first listened. This is about Lupe's journey to becoming a rapper. It sort of hits home. Wordplay is amazing here of course. Great beat, and perfect hook. If you had asked me a couple years ago I probably wouldn't have given this song over an 8.
Score : 10/10
Track #12 : Pressure (Feat. Jay-Z) - This song never gets old. The beat is amazing, especially the piano line. Lupe's verse filled with his epic metaphors and wordplay. I mean his first line is "And so it seems that I'm sewing jeans And 1st and 15th is just a sewing machine, So I cut the pattern and I sew in seams, And button in this hustling then publically I'm Buddy Lee" Enough said. Then the hook is great, followed by another great lupe verse. Then comes the only other rapper on this album. Jay-Z's verse is great. Excellent track on an amazing album.
Score : 10/10
Track #13 : American Terrorist (Feat. Matthew Santos) - The start of a beautiful relationship between Lupe and Matthew Santos. Great hook, and very deep song meaning. Flow and wordplay are on point of course. Would love to go into more detail but I feel like I'm making these too long already. Beat is great of course.
Score : 10/10
Track #14 : The Emperor's Soundtrack - Another classic. The beat is hard to describe, almost like you are ascending to some type of greater plane. Meaningful lyrics surrounded by intense wordplay make this song another classic Lupe Fiasco song. The hook gets the job done, perfect for this song.
Score : 10/10
Track #15 : Kick, Push II - The sequel to Kick, Push, it continues the story and focuses more on the home life of the original protagonist. The hook is talking about escaping from life, many people can relate to this in their lives at some point. The story here is deeper and has more meaning to me, which is why I'm giving this a higher score than the original.
Score : 9/10
Track #16 : Outro - Once again not going to rank this as a song but I'm going to rank it as an outro. Basically this is a shoutout track, using the same beat from the intro. It's a great outro by all means, the only thing that gets me is how long this damn thing is.
Score : 9.5/10
Lupe Fiasco's classic debut CD is laced together perfectly, completely utilizing his verbal arsenal and storytelling ability to show both the good (Food) and the bad (Liquor) of his life, ghetto neighborhoods, and people's lives. This album is a must listen classic.
Final Rating : 9.5/10
I would not say that Eminem got me into rap/ hip hop but he was just out when I did start listening and Slim Shady LP (His first album) was the first album I ever bought. Again I'm not a big fan of his (especially his recent work) but this album is a classic. It plays better now I'm older then it did when I first listened (I was 13 when it first came out). So I'll be giving you a run down of my opinion of it now although some of of my past opinions may creep in. Also I have purposely skipped the skits.
1. Kill You 5/5
This starts off the album in a dark, humorous tone where slim raps about killing the female figures in his life who have tormented him over the years (yes his mother and kim basically) the chorus is very catchy, delivery is spot on, beat is great, he also explains to critiques, that this album and eminem is still the same even though he gained success from his previous album, he is still going to rap about the same sort of subjects.
2. Stan 5/5
The third single from the album, was highly acclaimed, being ranked as one of the best rap songs of all time as well as in rolling stones best songs of all time (bit extreme if you ask me). Although it did very poorly in the US, it was #1 practically everywhere else in the world. A song where Eminem raps as a fan named Stan who connects with Eminem's songs strongly and idolizes the man, and ends up getting angry at Eminem for not getting a response to the letters he had been sending him and so ends up killing his pregnant wife and himself because of it. Eminem then responds to Stan but it does not reach him in time. This song practically says that Eminem loves his fans and what he says in his raps isn't literal, he doesn't want people to try or do the things he says in his music. Great song, pure genius. When I first heard it it missed me but the second time I realised what was happening and was amazed.
3. Who Knew 3/5
Song reffering back to stan in his chorus but also mainly about how he would have never thought he would gain this much fame and be such a huge topic in America and the world and be so influential to a generation, also how people critizised his lyrics but he never knew that it would be heard and affect so many people, this song although having elements of slim shady in it, is somewhat a self reflection of his rapid rise to fame and the influence he now has with his music to a generation.
The song is ok, I normally skip it but onlu because of what the next song is.
4. The Way I Am 5/5
One of Eminem's best songs, it is very deep and personal, he talks about the struggles he faces with his fame and the stress of being a high profile person, how his family has lost privacy, also discusses the controversy his lyrics brought with the critiques, and basically tells them that this is what he is and he won't change.Overall delivery is perfect, the beat produced by Eminem is great, served as his second single and did well.
5. The Real Slim Shady 4/5
The first single off the album, and a celebrity basher like all primary singles off his albums, and probably his most successful and best one, he raps about the issues with celebrities, takes shot's at some who have dissed him in the past (that's you Briney!) and speaks about how people want to be like him cause he is so popular and good at what he does. It's probably the song that everyone finally recognised who he was.
6. Remember Me? (Feat. RBX & Sticky Fingaz) 3/5
This song is lyrically good, beat is decent, chorus is just an intro to each rapper, a good song off the album. It was a nice mix with some of the more underground, harsh and raw voice of RBX (especially) and Sticky Fingaz. Its a prety good song but again gets overlooked or skipped coz of whats next.
7. I'm Back 5/5
One of Slim Shady's best songs, chorus is good, beat is decent and lyrics are insane, fun and quirky, practically tells people off, he is crazy and he is good at what he does, he affects many people, will always keep to what he is, won't change his image just because he is rich and famous. Overall the song is insane and pure Slim shady, and at his best.
8. Marshall Mathers 5/5
This song is another personal song, still has some shades of slim shady in it, it is a song where Marshall reflects on his fame once again and reminisces about his past and how even though a lot has changed, he still is the same person he was when he started off. great song, chorus is real, practically real talk well delivered and smart wordplay shown as well, beat is also good.
9. Drug Ballad 3/5
Song pays homage to drugs, and his addiction to the drugs, how it's fun and how they can affect you, fun yes, delivery is good, good song, not great but not as strong as other songs from the album.
10. Ammityville (Feat. Bizzare) 4/5
Bizzare and Eminem just spiting messed up lyrics which is fun and crazy, Bizzare's verse is as good as Eminem's (didn't think I'd ever say that) and it works very well, although not as good as other songs from the album and content is very poor, but then again the song isn't meant for content but just a show of skill, chorus is decent and beat is decent also, overall a good but not great song.
11. Bitch Please II (Feat. Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg & Xzibit) 5/5
A Mega remix practically from Snoop Dogg's Bitch Please, and is insane! Each verse is fire, Nate Dogg does his thing on the chorus (R.I.P), Wish eminem did more of these on his albums. Absolutely love this song,I would give it a 6/5 of that was possible.
12. Kim 4/5
A fictional story of Eminem murdering his ex-wife Kim, very dark song, maybe even his most darkest song, full of rage and raw emotion it is delivered well, it is not lyrically his best, but he hasn't done a song quite like this before, more of a story telling song, reminiscent of his 97' Bonnie and Clyde off the Slim Shady LP. Overall the song would probably be played over and over again if you hate your ex, otherwise it is a song that works to an extent, but hard to play many times over as flow is broken up and almost feels like a scene from a horror movie.
13. Under The Influence (Feat. D-12) 4/5
Eminem Introducing D-12 to the world, chorus is catchy and funny, just each member spitting fire, good song, beat is good also each rapper contributes well, each with a strong chorus.
14. Criminal 5/5
The final song on the album, where Eminem raps about how the critiques see him as a criminal as he raps about violence in his raps, and that it must mean he does it in real life, which is untrue and shows the ignorance some people have, it has a skit in the middle of the song which is funny and exaggerates his point. very clever song, overall a great ending o the album and answers his critiques discussing his past and the present Eminem and his views on the world and life and how it will stay the same.
Overall Album Rating 5/5
He touches The issues he faced during the time in terms of critiques and the fame he attained off the success of his first studio album. This has some of his best songs ever and is still raw in content and talent, it shows the listener that Eminem can change his music and mature and still be relevant and entertaining. There are very little, if any flaws to be seen in this album, whether it be production wise or lyrical ability, it's an album which propelled Eminem into even more fame and stardom and really put a mark on the hip-hop industry as a genuine artist and lyricist among some of the greats. This album is very personal at times and dark but he still shows humor, showing us the many different ways of rapping that he can express. This album is a must have on every one's album, whether you love him or hate him, you know this album and you know songs from it, he definitely put a mark on the world with this album and also expanded and grew from his previous work.
Before I start, I'd just like to say that Lupe Fiasco is someone I got into a bit late. His first 2 albums are classics so I was hoping he could go 3 for 3. This album was in limbo for so long it didn't look like it was going to come out. So was it worth the wait?
This song kinda threw me off when I first heard it. I had always expected the Lasers Manifesto to be the introduction to the album, followed by "Shining Down". Would have made a much better intro, IMO.
But anyways, "Letting Go" is a good track. Lupe does a great job rapping about all of the chaos that had been going on with his life, and I love the production. However, I think Lupe is doing a little too much singing, which is awkward since Sarah Green is already on the track. And no offense Lupe, but Sarah Green's got much better pipes than you. Also, that vocal effect Lupe uses really takes away from his rapping. Definitely wasn't a smart choice to use that.
7 / 10
Words I Never Said
I wasn't too thrilled about Lupe doing a song with Alex da Kid at first. But I actually somewhat enjoyed the production on this song, and Holly Brook did a great job on the vocals. Lyrically, though, it wasn't really Lupe's best. There were a few good lines here-and-here, but overall his lyrics were pretty simple, to the point where it's a little too preachy. I get that this is supposed to be Lupe's rebellion song, but he already did that with "American Terrorist", which is a MUCH better song. And I understand that Lupe purposely made the lyrics simpler in order to get his message to the mainstream, which is fine. But every time I hear this song, I just think about how much better it would have been if it was more like "American Terrorist". Regardless, it still makes a decent "voice" for the album.
6.5 / 10
Till I Get There
When I first heard Lupe play a snippet from this song at a concert, I really thought I was going to hate it. It sounded so corny, and I assumed that it was one of the songs Atlantic was forcing him to make. But as it turns out, it's actually one of the better songs off the album. Once again, Lupe does a good job talking about what his life was like for the last few years. And Needlez did a great job with production (love those piano loops).
I do think that this song would have been better with someone else on the hook, though. I personally think that Kid CuDi would have been perfect for this song. Even the "Ooh ooooh"'s that play right before the chorus sound just like him (suspiciously). Come to think of it, we know that Lu & CuDi are good friends, and have been in the studio together. Makes me wonder if there's a Kid CuDi version of this track somewhere in the Atlantic vaults...
Anyways, pretty good song.
7.5 / 10
I Don't Wanna Care Right Now
Ok, so I know that Lupe said he really wanted to make a club-record. And that's fine, there's nothing wrong with trying out different types of music. But if this song proves anything, it's that Lupe should never, ever make a club-record again.
First of all, the beat just seems empty. I kinda like what's there, but it just seems to be lacking something. It actually sounds better Live, with the extra drums & guitar. But idk, just doesn't seem like it could keep a party going.
Second, the sound effects are just obnoxious. That's a fact; I have no idea what the hell he was thinking when adding all of those into the final mix.
And finally, just because it's a club record, doesn't mean Lupe should have avoided spitting fire at all costs. The first verse wasn't that bad, but the second & third ones....Jesus Christ, if I ever hear Lupe say "my flow tight; skinny jeans, skinny jeans" again, I'm going to kill someone. Not to mention all of those "boooiiiiiiiyyyyyy"'s got annoying almost instantly.
I've seen a ton of lyrical-geniuses make fun club-records. But Lupe should stay far, FAR away from them.
3.5 / 10
Out of My Head
I'll admit it, this song is kinda catchy. But that's pretty much it...you could have given the hook & beat to anyone, and it still would be a catchy song. Lupe really doesn't have any memorable lines, and people who hear this one the radio won't give a shit about who's rapping. This is just one of those songs made to make money. And Lupe, I'm really happy that you're getting more mainstream recognition, I really am.....but "Sunshine" and "Paris, Tokyo" were two of the best rap songs about women OF ALL TIME.
5 / 10
The Show Goes On
As a radio-hit, this isn't that bad of a song. Lupe's got some decent lines in there, and the production is pretty catchy. It's a little generic/corny at times, but whatever. I've heard a lot of people bitch about how this song rips-off "Float On" by Modest Mouse (and I'm a huge fan of that song, too). But really, it's such a minor sample. It's not like they just copy-and-pasted the chorus or guitar riff (also known as "the Puff Daddy Method").
The thing is, though, Lupe has made much better radio singles than this in the past. "Superstar" and "Daydreamin" eat this song alive. And while I am glad to hear Lupe get more attention through this song, I'll just always know that he has the potential to make much better hits than this, without being spoon-fed by Atlantic.
6 / 10
Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)
Here it is, the song from Lasers that I was most-hyped to hear. I had been looking forward to this song since the snippet was leaked back in 2009.
Lyrically, this is a great song. It's definitely one of the most emotional tracks Lu has ever made. But personally, I would have added a third verse. It would have been much better to hear him rap about after he put down the gun, and him learning that "love always shines every time, just remember to smile". After all, the song is called "Beautiful Lasers".
I love the production of the song. A lot of people prefer the acoustic, but I think this version is just as awesome. I always liked the idea of the Lasers tracks having an electronic-feel. And when I heard Pooh Bear sing the hook during a concert, I got even more hyped.
8.5 / 10
Great song, one of my favorite tracks on the album. Great performance by Lupe, I love the production, and Pooh Bear did a much better job with this track than with the previous one. There should have been more tracks like this on Lasers. The vocal-break by Pooh Bear starts off a little weird, and maybe the lyrics in the chorus could have been better. But those are minor complaints.
8.5 / 10
State Run Radio
This was my second most-hyped track for Lasers. Those old Live performances of this song got me so excited for this album. The lyrics definitely fit the Lasers concept, and Lupe's energy when performing it could get anyone hyped. Too bad the CDQ doesn't live up to the hype.
The lyrics are still good, that hasn't changed (minus that "shampoo on an airplane" line). Lupe is pretty much just saying "fuck the mainstream radio", which I love. I've heard a lot of people say that they hate the chorus to this song, but I don't think it's that bad. They say that it sounds really Pop-ish, and gets really annoying...but I'm pretty sure that's the whole idea.
My problem with this song is that Lupe just sounds so bored on it. I wasn't expecting him to be screaming his ass off like he does during concerts, but a little bit of energy would have been nice. His complete lack of energy really took away from the song, IMO. Also, the instrumentals could have been amped-up a little bit (maybe with louder drums of something).
6.5 / 10
Break the Chain
This song is definitely a better club record than "I Don't Wanna Care Right Now". Lupe and Sway had decent verses, and Eric Turner did a nice job with the hook.
But unfortunately, there was something wrong with the production. The track started off great, and seemed to have a nice build-up...but then nothing happened. I was waiting for the the beat & hook to be completely "unleashed", but instead it was almost as if it was stuck in a weird build-up phase. Plus, I preferred "Stereo Sun" to this song.
6.5 / 10
All Black Everything
I always see people praising this song, and saying that it's the best song on the album. Even Lupe said that it was the best song he's ever made. But I just don't see it. Sure, it has nice production, and it's an interesting subject to rap about. But I just think this song has a serious lack of replay-value. I really can't imagine anyone being able to sit down & listen to this song on repeat. In my opinion, it just seems like one of those songs that you should listen to once or twice, enjoy the lyrics and message behind the song, and not listen to it again for awhile. Or maybe I just can't appreciate it because I'm a honkey. idk.
6.5 / 10
Never Forget You
This is the second song off the album that Atlantic forced upon Lupe. But actually, I think giving him this song was a smart move. I've always wanted to hear Lupe and John Legend on a track together, and the theme of the song definitely suited Lu (seeing as his father passed away). Lupe delivered some good verses (I loved the third verse, on a personal level), the production was nice, and no complaints about the hook.
But once again, Lupe's complete lack of emotion really took away from the song. He just seems so bored on this track; it's almost as if he couldn't wait to get it over with (which was actually most likely the case). And that's a shame, because it really could have been an emotional track.
7 / 10
So was this album worth the 3-year wait? Absolutely not. Sure, there were some good tracks. But there were just as many mediocre tracks to go along with them. But my real problem with this album was it's presentation...
When Lupe first revealed the concept for Lasers, I thought it was a really interesting idea. Take word "Losers", add an anarchy symbol to make it "Lasers", and shine those lasers on negative situations, because "love always shines every time, remember to smile".
But as creative as this concept was, the final version of the album barely took advantage of it. And that's really a wasted opportunity, because of how the Lasers concept was used in order to the album released (ironically). I truly believe that Lupe's original version of this album would have made much better use of the concept. But unfortunately, we'll probably never hear all of those wasted tracks (unless God smiles on us & decides to leak them himself). But until then, I guess we'll just have to move on and start waiting for Food & Liquor II.
Pun is almost sadly forgotten, a miniscule shadow of the legendary Biggie Smalls, despite having a similar sized discography. Although Pun wasn't at the same level lyrically, he flowed a hell of a lot faster and often more smoothly than B.I.G., and "Capital Punishment" is positively bursting with ridiculously strong rhymes and an impossible delivery, almost like someone injected Krayzie Bone with approximately 400 pounds of gelatinous lard and threw him down in Brooklyn to hang out with Fat Joe, Wyclef, Black Thought, and Inspectah Deck.
"Capital Punishment" is a clinic of Hip-Hop execution, an insanely long album that is almost devoid of filler which is a near impossibility in the genre. Yea there is a few 'skits' but these are quite funny to listen to and fit in with the feel of the album
Puns flow is diverse, deftly maneuvering between melodic catchy hooks to ridiculously fast rhymes that were often genius in their complexity. For many people 'Still Not A Player' is the only Big Pun track they know or have heard and altough the song is a classic and can still be played now a days, it is arguably not even one of the album's top ten cuts.
"YouAint a Killer,"
All show Pun flowing at an absurdly high level and backed by sufficient beats that are strong in their own right, but are usually overshadowed by the smooth braggadocio of the vocal deliveries themselves.
The strength of "Capital Punishment" is more than quality flows, rhymes, and beats; it's alarmingly consistent in a genre that is anything but, and stands as an utter achievement of rap art. It weighs strong lyrically and accessibility wise, and is an overwhelmingly well executed Hip-Hop album from a vocal delivery standpoint. His talent was undeniable, and almost impossible to conceive given his physical state. It really is a shame that he ate himself into the grave, because if "Capital Punishment" was any indication, Pun had the potential to be a top ten of all-time MC.
You can find this album for ounds online now and it is worth it. Any Big Pun fan will already have it as it's his best work so this is for the new fans who may not have heard of him or only heard Still not a Playa! You should pick this album up!
I bought myself a pair of purple Gummy headphones from HMV for £5 about 2 years ago. I didn't know anything about them, never seen them before but I liked the colour and they were cheap for a pair of headphones that looked comfy. So are they are still going strong?
These headphones are some of the best I have ever had. They so comfy, they sit right in your ear and will stay in there with no annoyance or discomfort. I'm one who always makes sure that the right earphone goes in the right ear (and vice versa) and these gummy's are a prime example of why. If they are in the opposite ears they do not sit as well as if they are in the correct way round. Don't get me wrong, it's not uncomfortable or anything it just feels better the right way round.
They come in all different colours so you don't have to just stick with plain black or white (which seems to be custom to give you when ever you buy a new mp3/ ipod). HMV literally had rows of different colours so you should be able to find your favourite.
Seeing as I got them for five pounds I thought they might be a bit quieter then normal but far from it. These ear phones give you all the volume you need, especially if (like stated earlier) you wear them correctly in your ear. Most mp3's now have a volum maxium but having these in you computer or laptop you will notice how well they hold up in high volume!
The only thing I would pick up about these is that on the joint that connects the phones to your mp3 has come loose and can moved up and down, but this has not affected their use what so ever.
I have never read a comic book in my life but I am a big superheroes fan. So when I got given this as a present I was very interested and couldn't wait to give it a read. So did it match expectations?
To start with this book is big and heavy! Without Contents and Index this book is 338 pages long. It comes in a nice hardback cover which has all of Marvel's biggest stars (and a few less know) on the front and back. Its a nice cover and stands out well. The first page you come too (after the contents) is the foreword by the man behind it all Stan Lee. Its your standard introduction, worth a read only to say you've read every page. The same can be said for the next page which is an introduction but the editor, Tom De Falco. Standard stuff as expected.
Then you get into it. A year by year breakdown of Marvel history starting with the year it began 1939 all the way up to 2008! Each year gets double page spread and then broken down month by month (some months are skipped due to lack of publications or other reasons, these are normally stated). The pages are very cleanly laid out in paragraphs and with some comic covers or drawings from the comics in between, in corners etc. It really is very easy to read and it does not look like a vast amount of info which could put some people off when first looking. This also makes find what you want very easy. Each year also has a little info box which has 'meanwhile in....' and has some details of other world events that happened that year. A nice little chroncile of history in general to go along the history of Marvel. With so many years to get through there is nothing else including in this book. I would have been nice to maybe have a few stats or data page (something like most sold comic, top 10 comics worth) but with so much info to cram in it is understandable why not.
Overall if this is something that you are interested in then it full of info that will keep you reading for days! It's quite a nice little 'coffe table' book where people are willing to look at it for their favourite Marvel superhero! It's RRP is £30 which I think is a good price. If you can find it cheaper you're getting an even better deal.
When it comes to golf I can not state enough how useful a nice pair of shoes are. You will be doing a lot of walking so you have to make sure that they are comfortable, can be used all year round and will last for a good amount of time.
The Greenjoys tick all 3 of these categories. I got my pair given to me when I first started playing golf about 3 or 4 years ago and still have them today. They are so comfortable to walk in (which for me being not a very good golfer) is vital as the amount of walking you do in this game you need them. They are also water resistant. Whenever I have played they have kept my feet dry, which again is very handy.
As stated already I've had them for a good 3 or 4 years (and still going strong) so I can happily say that they will last you a good amount of time. Admittedly I don't play every weekend but I see no reason why these wouldn't last even the most avid of golfers a good couple of years. Mine still look like brand new!
Now the price. It all depends where you get them from. I've seen them in some golf shops for silly prices but you can find them on Amazon for £35-£40 which I think it a very good price!
So if you have not got some already or you need a new pair, you should not look further then some Greenjoys!
Firstly I'll just state that I love MMA. Many people who don't follow the sport will describe it as UFC or Cage fighting. That's like people calling football, 'Premier League'. UFC is not the sport it is the biggest company in Mixed Martial Arts. But this is not about that, it is about the UFC encyclopedia. So is this a must buy for any MMA fan?
Now this encyclopedia is big. Without the contents or index it is a hefty 392 pages long and each page is packed with information. The reason being is there is so much information to get across and it has not missed anything.
It starts with your standard foreword by UFC president Dana White. Its a nice little intro I guess. Then it gets into the list of fighters which is done alphabetically by surname names. Now there have been so many fighters in the UFC that most pages have 4+ fighter info on it. Some of the bigger names (Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Chuck Liddell) will get a double page or 4 page spread. There were one or two names I noticed had not made the cut, whether that be they arrived in UFC after the start of the book or they had fallen out with Dana (and if you fall out with Dana you get no love, Paul Daley being a prime example) I do not know but you get so many it is not a problem.
After the page on the fighters you have a couple of pages on best of a nation section for Brazil, USA, Canada and Japan. Each country egtting their own page and listing the fighters from there an a bit of info. Would of been nice to maybe have less on each country so they can fit more in.
We then get to the break down of each event from UFC 1 to UFC 129. Each event gets a full page spread which has a break down and on the fights, info on the gate, ko of the night,sub of the night and fight of the night. It is a real chronicle of the company and history.
In between a few of events there are some extra pages on things such as the owners,25 greatest ko's etc. Again these pages give you all the info you want.
To finish off you have all the stats on the different champs, weight classes, overall fight stats which any stats buff/ nerd wants to know. This leads us into the final section which has info on the UFC reality Tv show 'The Ultimate Fighter'. As with the events each has a page and all the info you want.
Is this worth the purchase? Without a doubt! Any MMA fan worth their salt will want to own this, the amount of info and knowledge in here is untold. And at a RRP at £25 (but you can get it much cheaper now) it is worth every penny! GO GET IT!!!
As I hate the way that Apple make you download their software and want to run your whole life in every aspect when I needed a new mp3 player I wanted something other than an Ipod. I bought this about 3 years ago, so has it held up?
Spec wise the Zen Stone has everything you want out of an mp3 player. Of course it plays your mp3 files (and wma's amongst others) but it has a FM radio, microphone and stopwatch. I don't ever use these extra features but they are always handy.
2 GB is a nice amount of space. You will get easily 15+ standard albums on there and it is so easy to change them over, just plug in your Zen stone to your computer with your USB lead (which is provided) and just drag your new files over. Much quicker and easier than using Itunes.
The player is small and light weight so it is very handy if you want to use it during your runs or trips to the gym. It will fit right into your pocket and stay there and not feel chunky or annoying.
So how has it doing after three years? Well it's started it's decline.
The battery is not up to much. But again it's been three years and when I first got it there were no problems. It just means charging it more often when means connecting it to your computer again unless you buy an additional charger.
A problem that I have had with this player since day one is for some reason which I still have not figured out, when playing a certain file (or two) the player will just cut out. When you restart it will then play the file. Then the next time it will cut out again. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it does it at random and when I check the files there are no difference to the ones that are playing fine.
Other than that file I have no problems with this file what so ever and when it is well below half the price of an Ipod and twice as easy to use it's a bit of a no brainer to those who like to save money.
Before the awful movie there was this classic album and the album is just that. Although every one of his albums has got worse as they have been released this one still stays great when listened to now and you wonder why he ever changed his style, I suppose he got rich and stopped trying. I normally prefer more underground hip hop then this but theres always exceptions.
My break down of each track;
1. Whatup Gangsta
I nice introduction to the album. This is some classic gangsta music from 50, that we all wanna hear again,
his verses are raw and the chorus keeps in ya head, wish it was a little longer however.
2. Patiently waiting (Feat. Eminem)
Oh god, this track is awesome, 50 brings out good verses, but eminem, in his prime back then, killed the song, and that beat is epic too. The chorus is very catchy too.
3. Many Men (wish death)
50's own favorite song, and yeah why not?
It's a great track, classic verses and classic chorus, this is probably in my top 10 songs from 50
4. In Da Club
I remember when this track was overplayed on the radio and on TV, good times,
Great dre beat and 50 made it a clubbanger, classic!
5. High All The Time
This song was always a little mehh to me, I don't really like it, and the chorus is too long,
I just think it's a bit to boring to me, but thats my opinion, I still give it a 6 tho'
Heat is probably one of my favorite tracks on GRODT, the delivery on this one just makes me angry myself
the verses are solid and I damn love the chorus, and ofcourse the beat
7. If I Can't
This beat is amazing, another dre produced beat, and another clubbanger, but it's welcome
and it's a great track, great verses and cool chorus
8. Blood Hound (Feat. Young Buck)
I love this song, 50 spits his sick verse, and young buck is being young buck
9. Back Down
This is normally a skip for me becuase I like the next one so much. The songs ok but not great, a filler track.
Another Classic 50 track and the remix was even better. Its a lot more mainstream then most of the album but I suppose you need taht sometimes
11. Like My Style (Feat. Tony Yayo)
50 killed this track, chorus is catchy, but why it says that tony yayo featured, he says like 2 lines!
but it's a great song
12. Poor Lil' Rich
This was my favorite track back in the days, and that didn't change a lot, the beat is awesome,
the chorus is epic when he hits the higher notes, epic, and the delivery and flow on his verses are good
13. 21 Questions
Played this track, over and over and over again, Nate dogg on the chorus is an instant hit,
50 is always good on the soultracks, and of course it's just as simple as this: it's a classic
14. Don't Push Me (Feat. Lloyd Banks & Eminem)
50's verse is epic, Lloyd banks is more epic, and Eminem once again outshined everyone, but the other 2 did great 2
and that chorus is raw too.
15. Gotta Make It To Heaven
The only thing that ruins the song to me is the chorus, never was a fan of that,
but daaamn his verses are great
I'm a bigger Ja Rule fan then 50 cent but this song is still a good track.
17. U Not Like Me
NYPD, LAPD, NYPD, ...
This is another track recorded earlier, but was a bonus cut for get rich or die tryin',
This is the 50 i wanna hear again
18. Life's On The Line
Nobody likes me.... But that's okay, cause I don't like y'all anyway!
He sounds so hungry on his older tracks, it's just crazy
19. P.I.M.P (Feat. G-unit & Snoop Dogg) (G-unit Remix)
Daaayuuum, this track remixed is even iller then the original version
This album was really to bring gangsta rap back, and 50 Succeeded, I think this album became too mainstream nowadays, but it feels so good to bump this again once in awhile, it's definily a great album, only one track that I didn't like that much
It has a lot of replay value also
So a well earned
Borderlands is a type of space western shooter RPG hybrid so it would have been easy for Gearbox to fail at making this game. Borderlands takes a Diablo style loot system and thrusts it on to a planet called Pandora which changes seasons about every 10 years. Everything is now coming out of hibernation. The planet becomes desolate for this reason as well as a few others. You take control 1 of 4 playable characters, also known as vault hunters. Each class has what's called an "action skill" which is different for each character. Furthermore, this action skill can be customized through a 3 skill trees.
Lilith, known as a Siren(only 6 known in existence, all women and have unique abilities), can walk through a different dimension. It does damage on both ends, as she enters the dimension and as she leaves it. All while being invisible to enemies. It's a pretty interesting skill and very useful. Especially once customized as you can make your phasewalk release an explosion of fire as you leave the aforementioned dimension. Roland, the normal soldier type, can drop a turret that can do quite a few things really depending on how you customize it. It can drop ammo picks, it can heal allies within a vicinity, or can start shooting out missiles over a certain amount of time. Brick, a bezerker type, is quite simple in comparison. But it's not surprising considering he's meant to be a tank. When his action skill is activated, he goes into a rage and you can start punching every enemy in your path. You do quite a lot of damage this way so it's not as pointless as it sounds. Finally, Mordecai which is a sniper class, has a falcon type bird which you can send at enemies. This bird can attack multiple enemies as you level up and add points to your skill tree. You can also customize it where every time the bird does damage, it gives you health. Overall, all the classes are diverse and chances are, you'll find one that you'll favor over the rest.
As for the story, it's pretty much nonexistent which should be inexcusable. Especially since Borderlands has such an interesting back drop for a story. It's just there to kind of push you along to each area. Not to mention, that the ending of the story is anti climactic which makes it even more forgettable. It's a shame really. However, since Borderlands has such great gameplay, it won't be a big deal for some people. For anyone who's looking for a good story, you'll find the DLC more interesting in that regard. The NPCs are a loveable bunch even though there aren't that many. Not to mention that you don't spend all that much time talking to them. There's Dr. Zed(not really a doctor), who you meet in the first town, Scooter who supplies you with vehicles(don't fuck his mom), and Patricia Tannis(a scientist who I personally wish Gearbox made more relevant). All of them are funny little characters but don't really do anything besides give you a few quests here and there. There's also the infamous Claptrap who either you love or absolutely hate.
The loot system is probably the best thing about Borderlands. There's always a chance that you can pick up a better weapon then you have equipped. Even after you beat the game(which you can do twice by the way). Weapons on the ground always fill you with curiosity and that's where Borderlands will grab you. Intrigue makes you keep playing. Not a lot of games can do that by intrigue and curiosity alone. Borderlands does.
The loot system might be the best thing mechanically about Borderlands, but the game was built for more than one player in mind. So if you have a few friends who picked up the game, I suggest you play the game with them. While the quest system is absolute garbage when playing with someone further along the game then you, it's still a hell of a lot of fun. 4 player co-op is an absolute blast and will give you some of the best memories you've had while gaming. It's truly remarkable.
Main Game Score: 8.5/10
Christopher Nolan has written and directed some of my favourite films, The Prestige, Batman Begins & The Dark Knight. So I had high hopes for Inception. Were they met or was I let down?
Inception is a mind-blowing masterpiece - a delicate and beautiful film that is both complex and touching, and will soon become known as Christopher Nolan's best film.
Inception is set within the world of our dreams and deals with corporate espionage. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief in the art of extraction, whose job is to enter people's dreams and steal valuable secrets. Cobb soon employs Ariadne (Ellen Page), a graduate student studying architecture, to join his team of experts. This team also consists of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who researches their potential targets, and Eames (Tom Hardy), whose responsibility is impersonating and forging targets within the dream world.
In the film, Cobb is offered a chance at redemption, which will allow him to earn his life back and give him the chance to return home to reunite with his family. In return, Cobb is asked to deliver the perfect crime - instead of stealing, his team must do the opposite - they must plant an idea within the mind of their victim, which is known as "inception."
Inception begins by making us scratch our heads, and requires several minutes for us to wrap our minds around the subject matter. Like The Matrix (1999), such a film requires some information about this newfound world before we can explore its possibilities. Cobb begins by discussing the basics to Ariadne, such as the notion of "kicks" - a technique used to wake up a subject from the dream world. Cobb also briefs us on the construction of a dream, and teaches us the rules and ins and outs of this world. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone so wonderfully said, "We're so used to being treated like idiots." Christopher Nolan takes his audience seriously and demands their attention, and a major blockbuster is no exception. In Inception, Nolan expects his audience to keep asking questions, instead of providing them with all the answers.
Inception consists of an effective balance between science fiction thriller and a romance drama. Leonardo DiCaprio carries us through the complexities of the film, and becomes the center for the emotional resonance of the story. It's a film full of action, thrills, and mystery, but is successfully grounded in realism through the heart of the story - and it's because of this balance that makes this Christopher Nolan's best film. Hans Zimmer also once again delivers with music that is as haunting as all his previous scores, as he adds his own dimension to the darkness of Inception.
It's Christopher Nolan's imagination that is most impressive, as he creates dreams within dreams, and worlds within worlds. In fact, he only relies on CGI when absolutely necessary - so, if it feels real, that's because it is real. Nolan demands a sense of reality, and when dealing with such a massive film, it's key to keep your audience within the world you have created. Who else would go to such great lengths?
Leonardo DiCaprio is certainly worthy of any and all praise he receives for this role. Cobb is definitely the emotional driving force of the film, and allows us to invest our emotions into his character. Cobb's objective is clear from the very beginning, and we are able to sympathize with him.
Inception's final moments are what solidify this as Christopher Nolan's best film, as well emphasizing his growth as a filmmaker. Inception moves a step further from his other films, as Nolan explores the emotional lives of his characters and what fuels their suffering. It's the spinning top, however, that serves as the recurring visual motif in the film. Its purpose is simple - it's Cobb's totem, and his means of testing reality. If the spinning is continuous, the dream is still in effect, but if it stops, he is no longer dreaming.
If nothing else, Christopher Nolan provides us with a glimmer of hope in this ever-changing film industry.
Hot Tub Time Machine follows a group of best friends (and one of their nephews) who've become bored with their adult lives. One the guys ends up in hospital after a believed attempted suicide leaving the other needing to look after him. Their idea was to go back to a ski resort that they used to go into in their 80's heyday looking for the good times once again. However when they arrive, the town has changed totally. After a crazy night of drinking in their room's hot tub, the men wake up, heads' pounding, in the year 1986.
On the front of the case the selected quote says "2010's answer to The Hangover" and it's not far wrong. This film is funny, rude and crude. The idea is unbelieveable and the film knows it which is why it works. The film doesnt take it seriously, even poking fun at it's self during and this is the advantage. There are many moments where you will actually laugh out loud and even some brilliant quotes to use with your mates. The comedy is non-stop, which no silly heart felt bits until the end, but even then it's full of laughs.
There were no special features on the rental version that I watched so i can not speak on them. Sorry!
Is it the best comedy this year? I would say yes although there are a few more to come out, this will take some beating.
If you liked The Hangover then you will like this. It's an all out comedy for everyone (well maybe not the kids).
Tekken 6 is a game I've waited almost four years to play, so I shouldn't even have to mention that I had extremely high expectations for it.
Let's start with the graphics. First of all, the game runs only in 576p, which is a step DOWN from the arcades.
The story has now been going on for 7 games, how have they developed it? Not very well! I'm not going to get into detail about it for spoilers, or because anyone reading won't care enough, but just know that the storyline has been twisted up so many times it's just horrendous at this point. Most of the endings you get when completing with that character are short and contridictor from previous games. Again as someone who has followed it, it just doesnt make sense any more.
The Scenario Campaign has its problems also. I always thought Tekken Force mode in Tekken 4 was cool so seeing that this is something similar I was excited and happy. But the controls in this version just makes it annoying. The targeting system was horrible, and it was annoying switching from the analog stick to roam and the D-Pad to battle.
My main gripe with the game is the final boss Azazel. He is 3 times the size of a playable character, and fighting him is, yes, very frustrating. Even in EASY he's hard to beat. And even if you take several tries to beat him you can't even feel an achievement of training, because fighting Azazel isn't like fighting a playable character. So it's no benefit for experience, for things like fighting online or in general.
The main reason you would of got this is becuase you like previous installments and like to get a few friends round for some fights. If thats all you want then this game is fine. The online is pretty quick with no real problems although disconnections do happen which is annoying. If you got your mates round then just slam this on and have a few fights to waste some time it's great. On your own however dissapointment.