2022 Grammy Predictions

2022 Grammy Predictions


You already KNOW what time it is, ya’ll!! The Grammys recently announced all the nominations for the upcoming awards show at the end of January, and… the nominations are pretty solid this year!

Let’s Talk About Last Year…

Last year, you might remember the nomination announcements… I still stand by the fact that the Weeknd and Mac Miller were robbed, but I still watched the Grammys last year. Why? Because the Grammys are the Super Bowl of music, and we love to see people that we admire win something for a talent.

Last year was pretty balanced, as Dua Lipa won for Future Nostalgia, Meghan the Stallion cleaned up like I said she would, and Nas took home his first Grammy. Now, I am hoping that we get the Rap Album of the Year on camera this year, but that’s another story


How We Finna Do This?

If you were around last year, then this one is simple: I go through a couple categories and say what I want, and then I say my actual prediction. Mind you, there are honestly… several categories that I don’t care about. That said, we’re going to go over the big four (Record, Song, Album, Best New Artist), the Best Pop Album, and let’s just go for it and do all the rap categories. Gather round, because this is Musiq Therapy’s 2022 Grammy predictions!


The Big Four

Album of the Year

Note: There are A LOT of these, and I’ll only be saying the name of the artist. You can check for producers, engineers, etc. at the Grammy website

  • We Are – Jon Batiste
  • Love for Sale – Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
  • Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) – Justin Bieber
  • Planet Her (Deluxe) – Doja Cat
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Back of My Mind – H.E.R.
  • Montero – Lil Nas X
  • Sour – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Evermore – Taylor Swift
  • Donda – Kanye

What I Want: Not going to lie, out of this selection, I feel like Donda is the strongest. Donda had so much good on it and was so varied in its sound that I think it could win! Plus, I’d love to see Ye win the big one, even if he doesn’t need it.


What I Think Will Happen: Olivia Rodrigo was everywhere this year, and while the Grammys don’t care as much about popularity as the Billboard Awards, they are still a giant popularity contest. Because of this fact, it’ll more than likely be Sour taking home the big one.


Record of the Year

  • I Still Have Faith In You – ABBA
  • Freedom – Jon Batiste
  • I Get A Kick Out of You – Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
  • Peaches – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon
  • Right on Time – Brandi Carlile
  • Kiss Me More – Doja Cat ft. SZA
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X
  • drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Leave the Door Open – Silk Sonic

What I Want: Let me start by saying, “Damn!” Grammys really said, “EVERYBODY is in consideration!” But seriously, there are two songs that I want to win. Montero, because it is genuinely amazing and I want to see all the homophobes have an aneurysm at Lil Nas X taking a Grammy home; and Leave the Door Open, because that Silk Sonic album S L A P P E D but it came out too late to be considered for a Grammy. Also, because it is one of the best songs of this year.


What I Think Will Happen: Like I said, Olivia Rodrigo has been everywhere, and Grammys go for popularity. It’ll either be drivers license or Montero, because Lil Nas X has been ubiquitous in 2021.


Song of the Year

  • Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran
  • A Beautiful Noise – Brandi Carlile & Alicia Keys
  • drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Fight For You – H.E.R.
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Kiss Me More – Doja Cat ft. SZA
  • Leave the Door Open – Silk Sonic
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X
  • Peaches – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon
  • Right on Time – Brandi Carlile


What I Want: Truly, I want Leave the Door Open to win if Montero won Record, or vice versa.


What I Think Will Happen: Something is telling me Billie will take it home, because the Grammys love them some Billie Eilish (no shade whatsoever, she is mad talented and creates some BOPs.)


Best New Artist

  • Baby Keem
  • Jimmie Allen
  • Arooj Aftab
  • Glass Animals
  • Japanese Breakfast
  • The Kid LAROI
  • Arlo Parks
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Saweetie (checks notes… yep, Saweetie)

What I Want: First off, like everyone else, we were all super surprised that Saweetie was on there, because it didn’t make sense! She’s been prominent since like 2019! What in the hell?? Now, who I really want to win is Baby Keem. I’ll let you all know how I felt about The Melodic Blue in my “Top Albums of 2021” near Christmas/New Years, but I think that Keem has a ton of potential and will truly be one to look out for this decade


What I Think Will Happen: The Kid LAROI, because TikTok. Yep, simply put, “Stay” has dominated the charts because of that app.


What About Pop?

For this one, I’m just doing pop album, because that will be the most prominent award that people will notice. (At least for me, I love all music, but y’all know hip-hop is one of my loves) However, I hope Ledisi wins for best traditional pop vocal album, because she is too damn great to be ignored!


Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) – Justin Bieber
  • Planet Her (Deluxe) – Doja Cat
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Positions – Ariana Grande
  • Sour – Olivia Rodrigo


What I Want: I would say Planet Her? Not going to lie, haven’t interacted with these albums like that so please take my opinion on this one with an even smaller grain of salt than usual.


What I Think Will Happen: Y’all remember Pop Rocks? I remember them being pretty… Sour. (*rim shot*). Yeah, I think Sour is taking this one.


R A P, Let’s Go!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for: the hip-hop category. Because I’m feeling a little thankful for my website and anyone who interacts with it, especially those who do consistently, I’m feeling like doing ALL hip hop categories! Let’s do it!


Best Rap Performance

  • Family Ties – Baby Keem ft. Kendrick Lamar
  • Up – Cardi B
  • M Y . L I F E – J. Cole ft. 21 Savage & Morray
  • Way 2 Sexy – Drake ft. Young Thug & Future
  • Thot Shit – Meghan Thee Stallion

What I Want: Family Ties. Either that, or My Life, but I don’t think I could quantify my level of excitement when I heard Kendrick say, “Smokin’ on your top five tonight”.


What I Think Will Win: Probably Thot Shit, because TikTok. While I want Family Ties to win, the only song I’d be genuinely pissed off at winning is Way 2 Sexy. That shit is trash.


Best Melodic Rap Performance

  • P R I D E . I S . T H E . D E V I L – J. Cole ft. Lil Baby
  • Industry Baby – Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow
  • WUSYANAME – Tyler the Creator ft. NBA Youngboy and Ty Dolla $ign
  • Need to Know – Doja Cat
  • Hurricane – Kanye ft. The Weeknd and Lil Baby

What I Want: This one is stacked. This is lowkey hard, because I’d be okay with like three or four of them! I’d say… Hurricane. This one was well-balanced, having The Weeknd sing the chorus and bridge, Lil Baby’s autotuned voice giving a melodic flow, and Ye giving a solid verse (other than, “Everybody hurts, but I don’t judge rentals…” Love you, Kanye, but you got some corny lines sometimes).


What I Think Will Happen: Industry Baby, and I’m alright with that! That was one of my favorite songs this year, and Lil Nas X deserves his flowers. Truly, I’m cool with all of these winning, so I’ll just be happy watching this one.


Best Rap Song

  • Bath Salts – DMX ft. Jay-Z and Nas
  • My Life – J. Cole ft. 21 Savage and Morray
  • Jail – Kanye ft. Jay-Z
  • Family Ties – Baby Keem ft. Kendrick Lamar

What I Want: Jail holds the Throne returning! That felt like such a big moment. Also, let’s keep in mind that Jay now has the most nominations at the Grammys, with 83 and Ye isn’t far behind with 75, so I feel like they’ll give one to them based off of that.


What I Think Will Happen: Jail. Honestly, because of them having the most nominations. Now, I think Family Ties will win something, and it’ll be this if not Best Rap Performance.


And finally, the big one…

Best Rap Album

  • Call Me If You Get Lost – Tyler, the Creator
  • Donda – Mr. West
  • King’s Disease II – Nas
  • Certified Lover Boy – Drake
  • The Off-Season – J. Cole

What I Want: Literally all of them except Certified Lover Boy. All these albums (other than CLB) are at least solid, if not great. Now, I don’t think that Donda is necessarily a rap album, as it is more of melodic pop with rapping on it; but it’s the Grammys so I digress. Truly, I think that it’s between King’s Disease II and Call Me if You Get Lost. I gotta give the edge of what I want to CMIYGL, because I am still listening to it several months later.


What I Think Will Happen: I gotta give the edge to King’s Disease II for what I think will happen, because the Grammys has been trying to retroactively give old school rappers their flowers at their ceremony. King’s Disease II is dope as hell and is another album in the new genre of adult contemporary hip-hop, but consider this a retroactive Grammy for It Was Written.



Those are the Grammy noms and my predictions! Let me know what you think will happen at the Super Bowl of music awards shows, shop safely tonight, and take care!


MT Out!!!

All info about the Grammys and Grammy nominations can be found at https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2022-grammys-complete-winners-nominees-nominations-list

Photo creds: The Grammys

MT Retro Album Reviews: Controversy – Prince

MT Retro Album Reviews: Controversy – Prince

LET’S GOOOOO!!!!! So, for those who don’t know, one of my favorite artists of all time is Prince. Prince was always different. He would stretch the limits of what could be done in fashion, in the entertainment industry (didn’t change his name for nothin!), and in music. Prince loved being controversial in his music, and truly was one of the first artists to buck censorship and do whatever he wanted. Doing what he wanted had him create Dirty Mind, one of the best albums of 1980.


Dirty Mind.

One of the best albums of 1980, Dirty Mind was Prince at his… horniest. And I mean horniest. Like, my man has a song called, “Sister”, which is about… his sister… You make the conclusions on that one, but let’s talk about how groundbreaking this album is! Seriously, Prince decided to make this almost entirely by himself (two other writing credits on two other songs) in his own home! Mind you, this is not today, this was 41 years ago. 41 years ago, mixing and producing an album at your own crib and still getting label backing just didn’t happen (fact check me if I’m wrong, but I never am). He started to carve out the Minneapolis sound, which is basically Prince, The Time, and several others; and he embraced controversy. Prince was one of the only artists out there talking about sex in such a natural way (other than “Sister”… That song is so uncomfortable) and no one minded! Now, the one knock that Dirty Mind does have is how it was mixed. Mainly due to being produced in a garage, it sounds super quiet on streaming services. This is a problem that a few older albums have, but this is different.

What if an album was made in the studio and mixed a bit better? What if we take the raw, sexual energy of Prince, the rumors about him at the time, and the political landscape, and make an album? What if we had… Controversy?



Ok, what do you think I’m going to say? The music is phenomenal!! I think that a lot of it is very much a time capsule of the 80s. You hear the first note of the title track, and you have a jheri curl. Something I’ve talked about before is Prince’s talent in playing every instrument, and I think that it shines here as well! A lot of these feel like a precursor to what was coming, as more synths are used, but still sounds like a great continuation of Prince’s musical genius. “Do Me, Baby” is an example of this genius, as it is a beautiful love song that mixes the love songs of Prince with the musical precursors of 1999. Another fantastic thing about this album is the musical flexibility.


Controversy is musically flexible. For some songs, you have pop, others R&B, and even rockabilly! This flexibility adds to the controversial flavor of the album. My favorite song, however, is the rock-inspired “Private Joy”. Jesus Christ, this song is perfect. From the poppy start to the song teetering between tasteful and perverted, to the GUITAR SOLO at the very end!! This song is straight up perfect. With that being said, the album has other fantastic songs that ramp up the controversy. “Ronnie, Talk to Russia” is about Ronald Regan and him… talking to Russia, what y’all think? To keep with the political theme, “Annie Christian” is about how the anti-Christ is basically the force behind some of the worst parts of the time (Regan assassination attempt, John Lennon assassination, Atlanta Massacre of Black kids). While we tend to think of Prince’s controversy in the confines of sex, the man is no stranger to political controversy. Because of the musical flexibility and themes, I got to give a 5/5 for the musiq, and 5/5 for the flexibility.



Controversy. That’s the section.




Ok fine, I’ll keep going. Controversy aims to be as realistically controversial as possible. It isn’t an album that will have songs about incest, but it is an album that will revel in the truest controversies of the world and of the man himself. The title track asks all the controversial questions that the world had for Prince at the time. “Am I Black? Am I white? Am I straight? Am I gay? Do I believe in God? Or just myself?” This is Prince’s therapy. Talking about his own controversies and his own feelings about the world. “Sexuality” discusses how Prince wants the world to be a much more open place, and it makes perfect sense! He talks about how the world being too ingrained in pocket cameras and people being such squares that they don’t want to have fun. And where are we in 2021, 40 years later? Well, “WAP” caused a whole shitstorm last year because two women were being sexually liberated, and old squares didn’t want to have fun… Damn, not much has changed within 40 years. That’s… depressing


Prince was all about sexual liberation. For example, the rockabilly-inspired “Jack U Off” is about… Doing the macarena in a dance room, what do y’all think this is about?? Prince sings about mutual masturbation, and this is all the theme of the album: controversy and sexual freedom. Prince’s therapy is being free from constraints and to destroy the confines of what censorship said in the early 80s. 5/5 for the Therapy



Very few albums are perfect, and even perfect ones have problems. This album has one small, minute issue: the length of two songs. “Controversy” is about 7 and a half minutes, while “Do Me, Baby” is about the same length. Part of me feels like they could benefit from being a tad bit shorter, but honestly? That’s the only “problem”, and it’s not even that big of a deal.



This past October, Controversy had its 40th anniversary. This album has been in existence for 40 years, and it seems to always harbor importance. Controversy is about… Controversy, but it is also about the acceptance of controversial themes, and making those themes less controversial. Sexual liberation, political themes, and reveling in your own controversies. These are things that many albums today still strive to do in the present day. As a figure, Prince is beyond important within music, but Controversy might just be the most important album that he has made.

Now, getting rid of that importance, the album is just fantastic! 8 songs, each one that has something controversial about it, with more subtlety and nuance than Dirty Mind, but still enough edge so it isn’t too subtle, all while having musical flexibility? This shit right here is perfect.


Final Rating



MT Out!!!

MT Reviews: Kanye West – Donda

MT Reviews: Kanye West – Donda

So… Music in 2021, Huh?

This has been… a strange year for music. The year started out slow. Like, REAL slow. So much so, that I started writing a piece about how we’re going to be entering a period where we get into a musical depression. And then, I was proven wrong. Whispers of one of the best artists of all time making a new album were brewing. That man, Mr. Kanye West.

Wake Up, Mr. West!! 

Now, if you’re a fan of Ye, then you know not to take his album release dates too seriously… Man will say that this album is coming out in three days and actually mean 300 days. So when I heard about Donda, I was excited but reserved. Good thing I was too, because I heard about Donda back in 2020! That was supposed to come out in like June or July, and N O P E, it is delayed for over a year! So you probably shared the same feeling of apathy I had when Justin LaBoy tweeted about the album dropping. And then… We got it…

We got Donda on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, August 29th, 2021. I was ecstatic! And then I saw how long the album was. Damn near 2 hours! WORD???? Personally, I’m not a huge fan of long albums, but I was happy to hear from Kanye. This was a long preamble for me to say: I wanted to digest this album fully. What did I think? Let’s discuss



Kanye is a damn musical mastermind. Seriously, Kanye is one of the best producers of all time, and he always gives you something different. From the chipmunk-soul of The College Dropout to the industrial sounds of Yeezus, Ye always makes sure he is doing something different. This album is no different, as it has a lot of phrenetic production with some insane lyrics. (We can probably thank Consequence for that). From the guitars in “Jail”, to the drill-inspired “Off the Grid”, to all of the orchestral themes in the album, Kanye shows why he’s not afraid to mess with different sounds. That being said, the album does sometimes have the issue of being a bit too over the place… One second, you’re listening to the Weeknd croon his heart out on “Hurricane”, next thing you start hearing Baby Keem bada the boom on “Praise God”. It’s just a bit of whiplash!

Also, the length of this album is just… Jesus Lord, why is this almost 2 hours??? We’ll discuss this more in Problems, but the length of this project was crazy. Super close, but I gotta give my man Kanye a 3/5 for the musiq.



This right here… is the best part of the whole album. Kanye’s story arc has seemed to come full circle, as he started by being a producer and he is mainly producing on his 10th album. The features were insane! Lil Baby shows that he’s a feature GOAT once more along with the Weeknd on “Hurricane”, Lil Yachty bodies his feature on “Ok Ok”, Rooga does the exact same, Baby Keem shows out on “Praise God”, and so many more! There are two I want to highlight, though. Fivio Foreign on “Off the Grid”. Jesus Christ!!!! He rode that beat like crazy, had a great rhyme scheme, all while talkin some real ****!!! He has one of the best lines of the album: They say I’m a product of my environment, I tell them, no I’m what God produced. BARSS!!!

And then, there was Jay… Jay Z has always been overrated, in my humble opinion. I just never got the hype surrounding him… until 4:44. That album was so vulnerable, so mature, and the best album of 2017. Thankfully, we got that Jay.

Jay Z talks to Donda and tells her that he’s with her baby boy, he talks about tellin’ Ye to quit all that MAGA shit and come home with him, says that the Throne might just be back in business, and likens him and Mr. West to Moses and Jesus.

There is SO much more that I could talk about. Westside (even though his verse was a bit unfitting) and Conway of Griselda show up on “Keep My Spirit Alive”, Jay Electronica shows up on “Jesus Lord, probably the best song on the album, and so many more. There are some features that leave a bit more to be imagined, but there’s so much good here that this is easily a 5/5.



This… will be long. This entire album is a therapy session. For those that don’t know, Donda is the name of Kanye’s mother. I’ll try to keep this next part short so we can discuss the album, but for context’s sake…

Kanye’s mother passed away in 2007, due to a botched surgery that Kanye himself paid for. He felt that he was responsible for his mother’s death. When people say, “He hasn’t been the same since his mother died”, and look at all his antics, part of me says. “Yeah, that’s true, and he’s been acting out like this for years due to his feelings about his mother’s death”; but the empath in me also says, “Shit, wouldn’t you feel the same way??”

This album is not only Kanye’s discussion of his mother, but of his life. Kanye has been through some H A R D times, but he uses his music as a way to process his pain. Much like gospel music




Kanye takes us on a journey through his trials and tribulations of life. He discusses his divorce with his wife, his struggles with bipolar disorder, and his relationship with his mother. All of this is done through gospel inspired music and rhetoric. Let me stress this: Kanye has some L O W points in his life that he discusses. “Moon” and “Come to Life” discuss his feelings of depression and wanting to have a completely different life, by any means. The angel watching over him throughout the album is his mother, as the angel says things like, “It’s okay not to be okay”, and is looking down proud of who he [Kanye] has become. I think this is a fantastic touch, and it truly feels like the journey of Mr. West has come full circle. 5/5



Ok, let me address the elephant in the room, again: this album is 1 hour and 49 minutes long, with the bonus tracks. This is way too long, because albums this long typically have filler. For example, “God Breathed” didn’t need to be that long. It seemed like a buffer track between “Jail” and “Off the Grid”, but it was about 5 and a half minutes long! Also, some of the outros are… Lengthy to say the least. Even in some of the best songs on the album, the outros just take way too long.

This is slight, but as much as I love Griselda, Westside Gunn’s verse… Kinda didn’t fit with the rest of the album. A song about “Keeping the spirit alive”, thanking God for keeping you here, and you talkin’ about some, “Thank God I killed folks!” Bruh, word? Don’t get me wrong, it sounded dope, but it just didn’t fit thematically.

Let’s not forget “Tell the Vision”. Here’s the thing: I’m not against using the verse of a rapper who has passed on. As long as it makes for good music, then that’s fine. The issue with using Pop Smoke is not just the fact that he’s passed on, not just the fact that Faith was an attempt at milking his death, but the fact that Kanye used it for absolutely nothing. All he says is, “We made it”. He’s using Pop Smoke for no other reason than that. It just feels… cheap and incomplete.


Overall and Rating.

It has been one hell of a decade for Mr. West. Getting married, falling out with his big brother, saying that slavery was a choice, having kids, getting divorced, and starting a whole beef with Drake. This man should have “Tumultuous” tattooed on him now. However, he is at peace with all of these things, because he got right with God. Donda tells us a story about Kanye. It tells us the story of a man struggling with his current life, coping with his divorce, and still in sadness over the loss of the woman that gave him life. This album tells that story, but one song puts it in perspective: “Jesus Lord”.

Jesus, Lord.

Kanye asks if we know someone who needs our Father in Heaven, but he’s asking for a friend. He talks about how crazy his life has been, how tumultuous his antics can be, and how he’s surrounded by demons so it’s hard to be an angel. He talks about his losses, and not Ls; I’m talking about how he has lost people, and how much he misses his mom. We get a verse from Jay Electronica, but the tipping point is Larry Hoover, Jr. talking about how much he appreciates Kanye fighting for his father, the creator of the Gangsta Disciples Larry Hoover, Sr. This all connects. Kanye has been on a journey, and he finally seems to reach his final destination: accepting himself as a believer in Christ and helping others by doing good in his community.



Final Rating


I know this one was long, but… I mean you’ve seen how long the album is!! Also, “Life of the Party” would’ve easily been the best song on here if it was actually on the album. Anytime 3 Stacks shows up, he automatically makes the song a W. 10/10 for glabglogabgalab, tho.



MT Out!!!



MT Song Reviews: family ties – Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar

MT Song Reviews: family ties – Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar

It’s good to be back and KENDRICK HAS SAVED US!!!!!! Yeah… I’m a little happy that we got to hear Kung Fu Kenny again, but let me backtrack a bit.

2021 has been a… rough year for music. Not a lot has been coming out, and what has come out hasn’t really been too memorable. J. Cole and Tyler’s albums feel like they came and went, and most of the bigger artists have been dropping later in the year (what’s good, Ye? Also, hello, Drizzy). It makes for a pretty lackluster year, honestly. However, there is one name that decided to drop at a time when we needed something. That man’s name is Baby Keem, and he dropped his KDot-assisted song, “family ties”. Was it good? Let’s talk about it!

Baby Keem.

For those that don’t know, Baby Keem is one of the newest rappers out. He rose to prominence with “ORANGE SODA” last year, which was… Ok? It wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but the beat was infectious. He also was on the XXL Freshman 2020 list last year, but… His freestyle didn’t impress, and his cypher… didn’t happen. Like, he didn’t do it at all. Side note: Lowkey, one of my pet peeves is when the Freshmen don’t do the cypher. Like, that’s what you’re here for!! Granted, some of them probably shouldn’t have done a cypher (Coi Leray really wanted us to know that her Class got money… She twerked to save herself, that’s how bad the cypher was). But I digress… Around the time of the freestyles, it came out that Baby Keem has a famous cousin! That cousin is one of the best rappers of all time, Kendrick Lamar.

Because of this, I was personally a little underwhelmed. I was hoping that he would be WAY better than what I heard. With that being said, I was still excited to see that he was releasing a new song. Part of me thought that I only had one impression of him and wanted to open my ears. The other part was ready to hear from one of my favorite rappers,, so let’s finally discuss the song.


Verse 1.

We’ll talk about Kendrick in a second, but let’s talk about Baby Keem impressing! Homie A T E this track! Honestly, can’t say I was expecting that. Baby Keem comes in talking about how the choppa is doin’ circles, with some fun ass rhymes. He goes off with some relatively gangsta-adjacent raps, but dammit if he doesn’t make it sound fun. It feels like he changed his voice and flow up after “ORANGE SODA”, at least with this song. He has a line about thanking his cousin for opening doors for him and he goes in on critics who think that his cousin picked up his pen, while he was opening the doors. Something that I don’t believe whatsoever.


Verse 2.

Let’s keep it real, we were all waiting for this. This man ain’t put out a new album in 4 years!! He was mainly silent throughout one of the craziest years in human history! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??? Well, Kendrick answered all those questions, but he starts by sayin that he’s rolling up our top 5 emcees tonight (weird since he’s in my top 5, but I’ll let it slide). He starts by calling himself the Omega, shouting out pgLang, and telling us to not address him unless it’s with 4 letters (guess what those are?) He talks about what he’s been doing the last year, how he’s been ducking the pandemic, the social gimmicks, and goes off on the overnight activists that were so passionate about causes last year, but said, “Those don’t exist anymore” this year; pretty much telling us that the only reason they cared was because they were in the house for 2 months and wanted to be outside again. Sorry, let’s get back to the review.

He calls himself a legacy, a la Al Green, he goes off talking about how some artists might be falsifying their streams to get platinum, calling those artists, “visitors”, calling himself the vaccine that the game needs to survive (Lowkey… Yea… I mean, Drake and Kanye announced release dates after this, so he’s proving his point), calling himself the rebirth of Elohim, and saying that you need to come through him to talk to Him. He also has a fun line about Kanye changing his life and how he (Kendrick) is an old-school Gemini, and of course, “One daughter, but they all my sons in this bitch”. Congrats to Kendrick and his wife for welcoming a baby girl in the world!

He has a literally prophetic line in the middle of the song: “I’m not a trending topic, I’m a prophet”, and I know that I’m a Stan for Kendrick, but can we all agree about how true this is? I mean, he released To Pimp a Butterfly over 6 years ago, talking about the racism and police brutality that we were experiencing at the time. What has changed? What else could he say? He gave us the book, it’s up to us to read it.



This song is hungry. This is what I’ve wanted to hear all year! Let me keep it real: I’m probably getting closer and closer to that age where my musical taste is solidified. Including the people in my age group, I’m not quite “back in my day” just yet, but I’m not quite, “Let’s hop on this new wave of rap” either. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to newer rappers, I love me some trap, drill, and even some “sad rap”, but I know I’m hitting a wall. At least until someone surprises me. It’s safe to say that Baby Keem surprises me a lot. I truly can’t wait to hear his new album. Kendrick did what we knew he was going to do, and I can’t wait for his final TDE project, but Baby Keem showed why his name belongs at the table. I give this track a 4/5. Good to have you guys back, and it’s good to be back.

Photo Creds: TDE


MT Out!!

MT Reviews: J. Cole – The Off-Season

MT Reviews: J. Cole – The Off-Season


Is it me, or has the music scene in 2021 been S L O W?? I mean, we came off of a year that was amazing for music! We had amazing pop hits and albums with After Hours, Future Nostalgia, and Folklore; we had some crazy R&B records with Chloe X Halle, Beyonce, and John Legend; and of course, we had rap. Man… Folks was RAPPIN last year! We had Freddie Gibbs releasing the best album of the year (fight me), we had Lil Baby release one of the most socially aware songs of the year, we had a new sex jam from Cardi B and Meghan the Stallion, and we had Griselda DOMINATE the entire year with their releases. This year? I mean… We had the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack!… However, things were shaken up May 7th, when… Well, let me put it this way: The real is back, the Ville is back, flow bananas… PEEL THIS BACK!

Yes, J. Cole came back with a song called, “Interlude” from his new album, The Off-Season. And it was good! Soulful production, lyricism that Cole’s known for, and name drops of Nipsey and Pimp C! We all were thinking, “How will the album sound? Will it be good? Will Cole save 2021??” Well, let’s discuss The Off-Season by J. Cole.


We start with “95 South”, which is a HELL of a way to open an album! Opening with some Cam’Ron, and Cole stuntin’ on rappers, saying that “I’m out here goin Triple platinum when I come around, y’all only doin 100K?? Please…” We then go straight to “Amiri”, which is… pretty much a rags-to-riches song. The production on here is very soulful, and the whole album has some dynamic but thematic production. Something a bit harder though… “Applying Pressure”. THIS TRACK RIGHT HERE! Cole starts talking about how he doesn’t respond to haters and starts calling out all the rappers that are out here cappin’ for clout, telling people that there’s nothing wrong with living check to check as he did before, and calls out broke people who clown millionaires! There is one issue with this song, though; and that would be the outro. The outro went on a bit longer than I would’ve preferred.

More Music!

There were also two songs on here that we’ve already heard, in “Interlude” and “The Climb Back”. “Interlude” can be forgiven, because it was a single for the album, but “The Climb Back” seemed unnecessary. That said, “The Climb Back” is STILL fire! One of the most soulful songs on here is “My Life”, almost sounding like “a lot” part 2, having that production and 21 Savage on the song. Musically, it is so damn good! Cole flows on that beat perfectly, and 21… Don’t ger me started on 21, we’ll talk about him more in Features, but spoiler: he S N A P P E D! We are given plenty of memorable lyrics from Cole (“I’ll put an M right on your head, you Luigi brother now” will be said for a while), but that’s to be expected from Cole. For this section, I would give the Music a 3.5/5. The production did its thing, but it seemed as if we had 3 filler songs, in “100 Mil’”, “Amiri”, and “Punchin’ the Clock”.


This album feels like J. Cole’s flashback episode. Y’all know how at the end of a series, before it ends, we get the episode just showing the highlights of the series? This is what Cole’s album feels like, almost reflecting on his life. In “My Life”, he discusses how being poor in his youth made him envious and only made his grind harder. He also talks about how after his final album, The Fall-Off, he’ll be selling out Wrigley Stadium. We also get some confirmation on an incident that happened with P. Diddy on the song, “Let Go My Hand”. We also hear how he felt that he needed to act tough in his youth, even though he was fearful of getting punched in the face. This ties into the track before it, “Pride is the Devil”. Cole talks about how pride has made him do some foolish things, and he asks if that will be all he has left if his fame diminishes. A question that is answered on the final track, “Hunger on the Hillside”. He says that he will still be himself after it is all said and done. A huge theme of this album is reflection. At times, we can get the “rags-to-riches” types of stories, but those are contained to the filler tracks. Everything else? 5/5.


Y’all remember the meme of J. Cole going double-platinum with no features, right? Well, I’m happy Cole said, “Forget the memes, I’m bringing some friends!” The features on here are just… Lil Baby on “Pride is the Devil” is a damn near cheat code, as his melodic flow complements the beat super well, Bas and 6Lack on “Let Go My Hand” is beautiful, Morray on “My Life” was dope! And then there was 21… 21 Savage is easily one of the best trap rappers we have right now. Starting with songs like “No Heart” and “Bank Account” to giving us “a lot”, he has truly improved over time. I’m happy to say that his verse on My Life” shows that growth. 21 goes IN, talking about how he’s seen things that traumatized him, how he has a heart so he’ll send condolences to the mothers of the ops that were killed, a really weird line about how niggas are chicken breasts, how he prays that his past isn’t ahead of him, and my favorite line of the song (damn near favorite line of the album): Planted a seed, but it ain’t a sesame, can’t let you niggas and bitches grow next to me. DAMN!! 4.5/5 for the features!



You might’ve noticed that I mentioned filler tracks… While this is a very well-rounded project, there is definitely an issue with a couple songs feeling like they were just there as placeholders. “Amiri” has some great production, but it feels like the obligatory “rags-to-riches” song, “Punchin’ the Clock” was so short that I don’t have much to say about it, and “100 Mil” is just… Mid. Like, there’s a line about people cappin’ for clout, and a confusing line about how Michael B. Jordan would take a dude’s girl, but the layout of it is a bit muddled. Also, I felt like having “The Climb Back” on here was a little unnecessary since we got it last year on Lewis Street. Maybe it wouldn’t have caught my attention as much had the album come out sooner, but this is just a minor nitpick.


This album is so dope! It has its low points, with some filler tracks and some confusing bars, but it still tapped into one of J. Cole’s biggest rapping strengths: empathy. When you hear J. Cole rap on here, you really feel what he is going through! When you hear “Close”, where he feels like he is just on the cusp of his dreams but not there yet, you feel his passion and can put yourself in his shoes. When you hear “My Life”, you feel his envy when he’s talking about his friends selling dope when he was younger and getting the money he desired; and on “Let Go My Hand”, you can reminisce on that time him and Diddy scrapped, because we were following hip-hop back in the 2010s! Cole gave us his flashback episode, and I think that I speak for all of us when I say, “We were happy reminiscing with you, and we’re anxiously waiting for the finale.”



Final Rating





Photo Creds: J. Cole

MT Reviews: Future – DS2 (Deluxe)

MT Reviews: Future – DS2 (Deluxe)


​So… This is different than what you might expect from me… Backstory: I was updating playlists and got to my hype songs. I thought, “Hmm… I listened to a lot of trap music according to these hype playlists, but I’ve never thought about reviewing them.” There is a reason for that. See, trap music is a little… hard to review. Let me explain.

In the Trap House: Backstory

​Rap is encompassing of so many different styles, and plenty of subgenres. We have cloud rap or chill-hop, we have conscious hip-hop, and we have what we are discussing today, trap music. Trap music is the aggressive cousin to rap, where it is all about flexing, selling dope (or trappin’, hence the genre’s name), and potentially killing people; all over some great production. The most important part about trap music is production, so regular lyric breakdowns fall to the wayside. And… I think that’s perfectly fine! Here’s the thing: there is a time and place for everything. I’m not going to Crank Dat Soulja Boy when I’m studying, but I’m also not about to listen to “u” from Kendrick off of my favorite album when I want to turn up. That is an Unpopular Opinion that needs to be written, but with all that said, let’s talk about how I will be reviewing this project.

So… How You Reviewin’ This?

​Like I said, lyrics don’t matter as much in this. I reviewed this album differently. For some insight, I typically will throw an album on once to get a first impression of it. I might be in the car, I might be chillin at the crib, but I’ll let myself hear the sounds, and hear how it comes off initially. Then, I get into my actual listening stage, where I break down the lyrics of each track and write notes on them. With DS2, that wasn’t needed. Lyrics aren’t as important as the beat, so I did this: I listened to it with my headphones/in my car, and then I listened to it on my speaker, for that atmospheric “house party” effect. Now that the preamble is out of the way, let’s discuss the man himself: Future.

​Of all the people in trap music, Future is a legendary artist. Seriously, look at his catalogue, and you’ll be astonished at how many hits the man has! He also has some of the most toxic lyrics of all time (“If she catch me cheatin’, I will never tell her sorry” is definitely a gem). Regardless, DS2 (standing for Dirty Sprite 2) has been considered the magnum opus of Future. Let’s talk about it!



Let’s address the elephant in the room: lyrically, this album is subpar at best… from a pure lyricism perspective. However, we’re looking at something separate from lyricism. With a trap album, we’re looking at production and catchiness. Starting with “Thought It Was A Drought”, the production has this ominous feeling, which would fit for a pregame song. However, what sticks out is some of the lyrics, which is where the catchiness comes in. “I just f*cked your b*tch in some Gucci flip-flops” is quotable as hell, and you’ve probably heard that phrase before, which shows its staying power.

​The production is pretty consistent, but it also is sporadic enough to keep you surprised. The majority of the project has very dark production; there’s synths, piano keys, and BASS. The first thing that I made sure to check out on the project was the bass of it, because if I were at a party (pre-Rona, of course; stay home, y’all!) I’d want to hear some BOOMIN’ bass. This is where the album truly shines, and my favorite produced song would probably have to be “Colossal”. That piano is a lil too smooth for me not to love it! “Where Ya At” is so much fun, starting the Drake/Future pair that gave us WATTBA, we have“Stick Talk” that gives us another quotable line, as well as more toxicity, “F*ck Up Some Commas” has a beat that makes you want to make some money, and then you have my favorite song, “Freak Hoe”. Y’all… This song right here has the production, the quotable lyrics, and the party atmosphere. What’s not to love??



​Now, this is a section I didn’t think I would need to make… but we have one song where it applies. That song would be “Kno the Meaning”, where Future discusses all his influences, as well as how one of his boys got locked up, WITH his flash drive that contained all his music. I didn’t think I’d want to hear something like this from Future, but it actually works better than you might think! It isn’t something that you necessarily want to hear from Future (he’s the trap guy, we want to get TURNT), but he pulls it off pretty well! I can’t say the same for “Rich $ex”. This is one of those songs that is supposed to show how romantic our friend is, even after talking about his “freak hoes”, and how he’s “f*ckin his groupies”… From that fact, it doesn’t work, but it just comes off as disingenuous and doesn’t make sense… Like, what in the hell is rich sex? Is there middle-class sex? Is there poor sex, from a monetary standpoint? Do you owe taxes for the rich sex? I’m going down a rabbit hole that’s only leading me to think this is about prostitution, and it isn’t at all.


Overall and Rating


​At the end of the day, this is a trap CLASSIC. We have all heard “F*ck Up Some Commas”. We’ve all asked “Where Ya Ass Was At?”, we’ve all gotten lit to “Stick Talk”. This album is not the strongest lyrically, but it never was supposed to be! It is all about the production, and the quotable lyrics you can take away from them. Production is a 5/5, every song has excellent production, and as far as quotable lyrics? “I’m bout to f*ck this cash up on a new toy!” “I just f*cked your b*tch in some Gucci flip-flops”, “Bounce that ass, make your knees touch your elbows”, and “Hundred thousand to a hundred thousand!” This was just off the top of my head! Overall, save two songs, this is a perfect trap project


Rating: 5/5

Favorite Songs: Freak Hoes, Thought It Was A Drought, Where Ya At

MT Out!!!

Photo Creds: Epic Records