Author: Mykel Bertulano

Survival by Dave East

Album: Survival 

Artist: Dave East 

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap 

Record label(s): Def Jam Recordings & Mass Appeal Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 11- Alone and Track 3- Godfather

Dave East is a rapper who retains his background from Harlem, New York. Real name, David Brewstwr Jr., first gained fame and popularity in 2014 from his mixtape, “Black Rose”. Although, music wasn’t his first career choice as he grew up having a very promising basketball career but had to give that all up after so many issues. While being around in the music industry for a good number of years now, “Survival” happens to be Dave East’s debut studio album. Dave East is a really special artist who makes most of his music as a way for him to tell his stories in each and every song. I personally, would give the album an 8/10. It brings a strong unique vibe that is different from all other current mainstream music. I also really love the samples of old school music included into different tracks on the album. 

“Alone” is the eleventh track off of “Survival” and the most fun filled track, having that strong r&b presence. It features new popular r&b singer Jacquees as well as sampling off Jodeci’s “Feenin”. It’s a good song to vibe to when you’re in the car driving with the windows down or just feel like being in your feelings. 

“Godfather 4” is the third song placed onto the album and has that perfect mixture of storytelling and is just a really standout collab. It has a remarkable collaboration between Dave East and his fellow companion and mentor, Nas. This on top of the jazz-like beats and smooth toning sounds. This makes the perfect track and can certainly become a favorite amongst most listeners. Dave East uses both old respectable artists and newer age younger artist to help tell his story off of “Survival”.

The album is really fitting and well put together and guaranteed to bring joy to your ears. With Dave East being 31 years old the album sets a statement that he still has potential and more to come. This album sums up where he has been and what he had going and well as what he’s looking to accomplish further on. If you like Dave East, I would recommend listening to other artists within the genre and vibe of him like Nas, Cam’ron & A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. All carry that classic New York sound that we can all appreciate. Overall, “Survival” is one meant for the ears and you have to give it a listen. Especially if you’re into hearing about how far one has com and what more they have left to bring to the table in terms of music. 

True 2 Myself by Lil Tjay

Album: True 2 Myself 

Artist: Lil Tjay

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap 

Record label(s): Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment 

Recommended Tracks: Track 7- Mixed Emotions and Track 10 – Leaked 

  Lil Tjay is an 18 year old rapper from the South Bronx burrows of New York. This album carries that east coast hip-hop familiar vibe and can be compared to that of fellow New York artist, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. Lil Tjay is a surging young artist with great lengths of potentially ahead of himself. He uses his music to speak about emotions and thoughts, while mixing in the troubles of coming from an area he resides in. If I were to rate this album I would give it a 9 out of 10 because his music in this album is so true to himself, no pun intended, but he really went off and exceeded expectations more than what I would’ve expected for Lil Tjay being so young and new to the rap game. 

   “Leaked” is the tenth song released off the album and is personally my favorite. It is something that you can vibe to whether it be at the gym, the beach or just cruising in your car on a nice day. It brings me to an utmost mood whenever I hear it. It gives little lyrics of different things to relationships, friendships and street activities. It talks about how much success he’s been getting the hardships that came along with it along the way like fake friends. It is a must hear song for sure!

   “Mixed Emotions” is track on the album that lets the songs speaks for itself. Lil Tjay talks about his mixed emotions towards a certain female & friends and how when money becomes involved they switch up. It’s a good song to play if you are going through things yourself and can’t really release it out there. And if you can’t do it then what’s a better way to listen to someone else do it. You can really feel his thoughts and what’s going on through his reality. 

   Lil Tjay is a young artist and will soon blow the music charts up more than ever before. He has something special and really authentic in his music and wants his voice to be heard. While keeping that same attitude and emotions from being brought up in the not too brightest areas in New York. Nothing is going to change about him from his flow or lifestyle and there is nothing but better things you can expect out of his music. If you like Lil Tjay, I would recommend listening to artists like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Luh Kel, NBA Youngboy & $tupid Young. Overall if you like the new wave hip-hip of gangster authenticity mixed with real-life emotions, “True 2 Myself” by Lil Tjay is the perfect album to listen to. 

AI Youngboy 2 by NBA Youngboy (Never Broke Again)

Album: AI Youngboy 2 

Artist: NBA Youngboy (Never Broke Again)

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Record Label: Never Broke Again LLC & Atlantic Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 11 – Lonely Child & Track 6 – Make No Sense. 

   NBA Youngboy is a rap artist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing him to have that really southern accent. Often referred to as just “Youngboy”, Kentrell Gaulden has made a name for himself at such a young age of 20. He is the most streamed artist on YouTube with over millions and millions of plays on practically every song that he drops. His album AI Youngboy 2 is a successor to AI Youngboy, which featured many Youngboy hits and really brought him to the limelight. Youngboy is a popular rapper amongst the younger adult crowds and is nwk for his gangster way of life. If I were to rate this album I would give it a 10 out of 10 because of how much it sounds just as good as AI Youngboy and for the ways Youngboy is able to express his pains and emotions. 

  “Make No Sense” is the catchiest song coming on as the sixth track on the album. It was leaked out before the release of the album, making it highly anticipated to see if it could even make the album.  It has that really catchy flow and catchy lyrics as well. “I feel like I’m Gucci Mane in 2006.” This is the famous heard line all over the song and gets you hyped up to be singing and dancing. It is a great song to listen to whenever you’re in the mood to turn up or dance with your friends. This is also the most likely song you would hear on the radio due to just the catchiness of the whole track. 

 “Lonely Child” is the 11th track off of AI Youngboy 2 and is the most heartfelt song on the album. With Youngboy being known for his hardboy image he brings out a different side of himself by releasing his pure emotions and pain into this song. You can feel what he’s talking about and if you come from the trenches or gone through things like him you can relate to this song yourself. Youngboy makes you feel his pain to the max as if you’re going through it yourself. It is a classic that will stand under his name for a very long time. 

   AI Youngboy was a notorious album under Youngboy and I think AI Youngboy 2 lives up to the greatness of the first album, if not even passed it up. AI Youngboy 2 was sort of not really a planned album but more of a compilation of songs he has laying around. It wasn’t announced by Youngboy until the night before that it was dropping. Many songs were already leaked out and heard on platforms like Soundcloud and Youtube. Youngboy just put these together and who would havethought they’d be mostly all hits. If you like NBA Youngboy, I would suggest listening to other artists like Lil Tjay, Quando Rondo or Shoreline Mafia. Overall if you like the gangster hip-hip/rap, AI Youngboy 2 is the album for you. Especially if you would love to listen to emotions from a gangster himself, quite unusual.