Tag Archives: Music Review

We R The Lost “Still Lost:” Music Review

Milwaukee hip hop group, We R The Lost consists of members Jon Briggz, Bili Ro$e, Damir Balo, and Sir Castro. What started out as a group of aspiring hip hop artists being considered “lost” because of their “party first” attitude has evolved into a mission of expressing the way they live through music.

We R The Lost recently released “Still Lost,” featuring producers Nova, DerelleRideOut and Mister Mammoth.  The group’s sound reaches a variety of audiences. From partygoers to intellects, there’s a song for everyone on “Still Lost.”

“Still Lost” starts off with the intro, “I’m Spotted.” The sound of drums and a piano take precedence, resulting in a jazz-like sound. The message on this EP becomes immediately clear with lyrics like:

“Leave something for the mind that’s misleading the mind, and I still keep it in mind, I’m getting better with time. Not only that, but my clock is a little fast today. I’m waiting on my recovery like Marshall Mathers.”

The intro ends on a powerful note: “Now that I’m lost, I’m well aware.”

The song titled, “New Black” is about not playing victim to the stereotype that society often casts on certain communities. More often than not, most are judged on their social economic status. “New Black” touches on those issues with lyrics like:

“Man you people so apathetic, the true move, but the enemy be groovin’, all in your face then they got you movin’, now they at your place.”

“I’m all about it, I talk about it and get it out the way, then walk around it. This shit ain’t about race, it’s about class, don’t be without it.”

“I’m that nigga that kept you waiting, now I’m right here keep your twist and braids in, ‘He knows no better,’ said the tall Caucasian. That’s a stereotype, don’t play my station.”

Chorus: “I ain’t saying I’m looking for a handout. So Ima get this money on my own. They saying I ain’t even got a chance now, can somebody tell what me I’m doin’ wrong?”

New black, new black, I’m in it all night in, new black, new black. I’m doing alright, new black, new black, I think I gotta a chance, new black new black, I’m doin’ what I can.”

“Can’t lay down and be a victim, we weighed down in income, better get out there and get on your job. If you ain’t got one, better get one.”

“Say The Word,” featuring T. Harris is more of a commercial track. This song talks about a girl he’s intimate with, but wants more than what he’s offering her. She’s falling in love, but there are no intentions of commitment.

“You’re not the only one I’m into, I’ve slept with more than half of the women at my venue. Besides, you got a situation of your own, you don’t need that attention, you can leave that at home.”

It’s basically a track for the ladies. A smooth, quality beat in combination with a talented featured artist,”Say The Word” is an airwave-worthy song.

“The Times,” is an extremely socially conscious track. It starts off with a blurb from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., then touches on the injustices that have recently occurred.

“Ain’t no way around it, a white man racial profiling. My hands up, but they shoot me ’til I’m silent, and the man behind him won’t mind it. ”

“Let a nigga live? I’ll be glad when they let us, united we stand, divided we fall. F**k the police and I mean every letter. I promise I’ll never be the victim of a senseless homicide, because I ain’t qualify to bite the bullet. I hope the angels on my side.”

One of the hardest things to accomplish is providing music you can listen to on the way to the club, while reaching the audience who concern themselves with social issues, which unfortunately goes hand in hand with hip hop.

In addition to lyrics that actually make sense, clever punchlines, and quality production is what separates “Still Lost,” from your typical underground hip hop EP is versatility. For those of you who are in tune with social issues, but enjoy a quality sounding hip hop track, We R The Lost has the remedy.

“Still Lost” Rating: 8 out of 10

Stream We R The Lost’s “Still Lost” on Soundcloud or download the EP on iTunes.

Frank Peters, “50 Shades of Frank:” Music Review

Independent hip hop artist, Frank Peters is known for his dreamy interludes and aggressive style of music, describing his sound as “Party Infused with Real Life.”

Frank Peters has opened for artists like Lil Kim, Afroman, and Juicy J, and is considered a rising star. In 2013 he was MTV’s Artist to Watch and VH1’s Artist On The Rise. Peters’ most recent accomplishment is the release of “50 Shades of Frank.”

The EP starts off with none other than a dreamy introduction, with a smooth jazz-like feel. The track “Mr. Frank” reminds you of a late ’80s hip hop song. Here the artist talks about his talents as a rapper, females and sex. At times what Peters says is muffled and hard to understand.

The next song, “Bang” is pretty self explanatory, it talks about again, women and money, interrupted with the occasional gun shot and cash register noise.

“Limo tint on the window, so nobody can see through, has some ass to the gas, toss the burner by the steeple, the way that boy was hit, that boy had a body full of measles. Dots front and back, up and down to his b-hole. You dealing with a nigga with no chill – zero.”

Not sure who would use the word “b-hole” on a song in this day in age, it sounds like he just needed something to rhyme with measles. This song sounds as if it was meant to be a gangster rap track, but by the lyrics it’s hard to take serious.

Though “50 Shades of Frank” consists of 21 tracks there is an interlude after every song, which cuts the count down by half and the interludes almost  identical to one another.

Overall, the EP lacks substance; creativity and a vision are just a couple of components missing. If you plan on taking the typical money, drugs, sex, women and violence route, you also need hard punchlines, all of  which clearly do not exist on “50 Shades of Frank.”

“50 Shades of Frank” Rating: 2 out of 10

Download or stream “50 Shades of Frank” on Soundcloud:

Jelani Lateef, ‘Cold Days and Dark Nights’: Music Review

Chicago’s Jelani Lateef is a rapper best known for his thought provoking lyrics. In 2010 he launch Manhood Ent., following the loss of his daughter’s mother to cancer, making him a single father with dreams of making it in the music industry.

Jelani Lateef wrote and produced his latest release, “Cold Days and Dark Nights.” The EP starts off with an inspiring introduction (The Pursuit of Happyness) from the actual movie “The Pursuit of Happiness,” about not giving up on your dream.

The EP then goes into “Action,” with electric guitars that take precedence in this song.

“Things are twisted, so now I’ve been enlisted to put it all back together, got the rap feens addicted. I’m trying to push a different agenda, but ignorance is still the bliss.”

“Get them to think before they throw their life away, before they become free labor and barely a teenager. Making license plates or scooping garbage roadside.”

This track touches on the choices many face in our society, so it’s refreshing to see an up-and-coming artist touch base on these social issues.

“Book of Life” tells the story about Lateef’s life struggle and how he went about pursuing his dream. This song delivers a slow and steady pace.

“I found my book of life and took a look. The pages just like a road map, so many paths I could’ve took. Well I better start another chapter, the money, the name and the fame I’m coming after. The devil tried to manage my career, and I didn’t even know his commission was my soul.”

The “Cold Days Dark Nights” rapper continues to talk about how at one time he went after the fast paced lifestyle of fancy cars and women, but somehow grounded himself overcame the trials he faced as an up and coming rapper.

“I’m a Star” has a hard-hitting beat and Lateef’s flow also picks. He goes harder on this track than all the rest of his songs.

Here Jelani Lateef talks about none other than being a star and achieving his goal no matter what challenges he faces.

“Ima get it, as long as I continue to be existing. The definition of a solider I defend my position. A rapper’s biggest fear, I’m too advanced to engineer.”

The Chorus, “No matter what it take Ima get mine. I’m a star, how can I not shine?”

“Look What You Done” visits takes listeners back to a lighter flow, it’s more of a love song. He speaks to an ex-girlfriend and is apologetic for the heartbreak he caused her.

“I hear you doing pretty good, got a home and a seed on the way. I guess you should get a piece of heaven after all the hell that I gave, but you’re a big contribution to the man I became.”

The chorus, “There I was giggling about the games I had played with many hearts, and I’m not saying no names. Then the thoughts occurred, tear drops made her eyes burn, and I said to myself, look what you’ve done to her.”

It’s easy to see where this EP is headed: positive, uplifting lyrics, with a little something for the ladies. While you can respect the grind of one person putting an EP together (lyrics and production wise), it lacks hard punchlines and an attention-grabbing flow.

“Cold Days and Dark Nights” Rating: 5 out of 10

Download Jelani Lateef’s “Cold Days and Darks Nights” or stream it on Soundcloud: