Part 2: Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2018

Continuing right where we left off, here are the top 6 hip hop albums of 2018. If you somehow missed out on part one, check that out by clicking on my name and scrolling down. Feel free to message me on Instagram @youngthuggamanekyle and give me your feedback on my list.

Albums 6-1

6. Victory Lap – Nipsey Hussle

2018 started off with a bang when Nipsey Hussle dropped his highly anticipated debut studio album Victory Lap in February. The project, which contains 16 songs, is a modern west coast G-funk-influenced masterpiece. This is essential listening for fans of west coast hip hop that has both substance and swagger, and the skill to back it up. This is one of the best west coast releases in 2018 by far.    

5. Daytona – Pusha T

In April 2018, Kanye West announced that his label GOOD Music would be releasing a series of 5 albums starting in May and ending in June. The first of these albums to be released was Pusha T’sDaytona. The album followed up Push’s 2015 effort King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. It was originally supposed to be called King Push, but was renamed before release. The album contains 7 tracks, each produced by Kanye West. This album is so good because of the sheer quality of each track. Pusha spits some of his hardest bars ever over super fresh beats that don’t get old even if you listen to the tracks over and over. This is an amazing album that I would 100% recommend.

4. KOD – J. Cole

To get straight to the point, J. Cole’s fifth studio album KOD was one of the best of 2018 for many reasons. It is a concept album that discusses drug abuse, addiction, taxation, and much more. The project contains different elements of hip hop including jazz rap, trap, and conscious rap. It was especially relevant because of all of the overdoses that keep occuring in the hip hop community and world in general. Cole also took this album on the road and performed sold-out shows all across the country, including in Utah. This album took J. Cole to a new level that he hadn’t explored until now, and the only way for him to go is up.  

3. Astroworld – Travis Scott

There were many artists that broke out in 2018, but none became bigger than Houston’s own Travis Scott. La Flame unleashed his long-awaited third studio album in August after working on it for almost three years. Astroworld contained 17 tracks with features from Drake, Gunna, Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, and many more. The album took listeners inside Scott’s mind and allowed them to feel what he experienced when the Astroworld theme park in Houston was closed. The project performed well commercially and was met with critical acclaim from many outlets. This is without a doubt a standout project in a year full of so much amazing music. Scott is currently in the midst of a world tour in support of the album.

2. CARE FOR ME – Saba

While the casual hip hop listener might not be familiar with Chicago rapper Saba, that should not discount the skills that he possesses behind the mic. Saba has been active in the game for 6 years now, steadily growing his fan base each year. Care For Me is by far his most personal work yet. The album details the events leading up to the murder of Saba’s cousin John Walt in February 2017. Topics discussed on the project include depression, anxiety, and the emotions Saba felt while the whole ordeal was happening. Care For Me has received mass critical acclaim from critics far and wide, with praise stemming from the topics discussed and the production quality of the tracks. If you haven’t checked the project out yet, you are severely missing out and I’d suggest listening to it as soon as possible.  

1. Kids See Ghosts – Kanye West & Kid Cudi

Kids See Ghosts was the third album released out of five by Kanye West’s label GOOD Music in the summer of 2018. The album is 7 tracks long and has a run time of 23:53. Upon release, it was met with widespread acclaim from many critics. Some of the biggest praise that the album receives stems from how great West and Cudi sound together. The use of other musical styles such as psychedelic, rock, and rap rock are high points of praise as well. Overall, this project is the best of 2018 because of the influence that it has already begun seeing in the musical world. Check this album out immediately if you have not heard it yet.

Conclusion

Overall, 2018 was an amazing year for hip hop. It was one for the ages because so many high quality projects were released. 2019 is already shaping up to be another great year, but only time will show us what is in store.   

Part 1: Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2018

At the end of every year, there are always some people that regard the year as “the best year in hip hop since [insert random good year for hip hop]”. I usually avoid making those types of statements, but I can’t help it this time around. 2018 was truly a memorable year for so many reasons.

Many amazing bodies of work were released in all different parts of the hip hop spectrum this year. This is by no means a fully cumulative list, it is simply my top 10 hip hop releases of the year. I also included some honorable mentions that almost cracked the top 10. Without further adieu, here is part one of the list.

Honorable mentions

Even though this is a top 10 albums of the year list, there were plenty of albums that came out this year that were good but just outside the top 10. Here are 3 projects that nearly snuck their way into the top 10.

Tha Carter V – Lil Wayne

This highly anticipated album was one of the best surprises of 2018 for many reasons. It had a mix of older tracks as well as some that were clearly newer. The project contained 23 tracks, which many considered kind of bloated. However, most of the songs were quality and showed why Wayne is still one of the best pure rappers out there. If it was cut down to 15-18 tracks, this project may very well have earned a place in the top 10 of 2018.

Redemption – Jay Rock

After a few years of crafting this new project, TDE mainstay Jay Rock finally released his highly anticipated new album in June 2018. On this project, we heard Jay Rock attempt to crossover a bit into the mainstream realm with tracks such as “Tap Out”, “Win”, and “Knock It Off”. Regardless of his attempt at becoming more mainstream, this is Jay Rock’s best album thus far. This was a last minute scratch from my top 10, but it’s still a very good project.

I Am > I Was – 21 Savage

It’s safe to say that 21 Savage ended 2018 with a bang when he dropped his sophomore album. We got a small taste of what 21 had been cooking up from his features on Metro Boomin’s album Not All Heroes Wear Capes. In terms of trap albums, this is almost as good as it gets in 2018. However, it isn’t simply a trap album. Savage was able to refine his sound and improve in every way on this project. It was a super hard decision for me to not put this stellar project in the top 10, but you’ll soon find out why it wasn’t included.

Albums 10-7

10. Championships – Meek Mill

If we’re talking about best stories of 2018, we have to include Meek Mill’s release from prison. Following his release in April 2018, Mill went back into the lab and recorded his “comeback” album. The album was released in November 2018 to positive reviews from critics, and it is very easy to see why. With an all star feature lineup including Cardi B, Jay Z, Future, and former foe Drake, this album just reeks of success and realness. This is probably Meek’s best project yet, so check it out.

9. DiCaprio 2 – J.I.D

Dreamville Records artist J.I.D released his sophomore album DiCaprio 2 earlier this year to critical acclaim. The project contains 14 tracks with features from J. Cole, Joey Badass, 6lack, and more. One of the reasons that this project is so special is because of the versatility that J.I.D displays on many of the tracks. For example, songs like “Off Deez” and “Workin Out” don’t sound similar in the slightest, and yet they fit perfectly well on the album. This album introduced the J.I.D to the masses and it’ll be interesting to see what direction he goes in next.

8. Taboo – Denzel Curry

Florida’s Denzel Curry released his third studio album Taboo earlier this year after working on it for over 2 years. The project is split into 3 parts; Act 1: Light, Act 2: Gray, and Act 3: Dark. Similar to J.I.D on DiCaprio 2, Denzel Curry conveys the topics he is discussing in a variety of different ways and they all work together to form a cohesive and interesting project. Standouts from this fantastic project include “CLOUT COBAIN”, “BLACK BALLOONS”, and “PERCS”.       

7. TESTING – ASAP Rocky

Ever since he entered the rap game 6 years ago, ASAP Rocky has been an enigma. Each project that he’s released has become subsequently more experimental. TESTING features an aesthetic that matches its name: the testing of new styles. This project wasn’t as well-received by fans as I’m sure Rocky would have liked, but it is still amazing nonetheless. To be honest, the project just works. Everything from Rocky’s vocals, the featured artist lineup, the production, and the atmosphere sound so good together. I applaud ASAP Rocky for taking a chance with this album because it paid off.

That’s it for part 1 of my top 10 hip hop albums of 2018. Be on the lookout for part 2 coming soon!    

Album preview: Agustist King’s Blow Lake City

For those that are unaware, Salt Lake City has a pretty poppin’ underground hip hop scene. It is filled to the brim with dope upcoming artists that drop new music on the regular. One of these artists that drops a lot of quality music is Agustist King.

King dropped his latest project Blow Lake City on December 24th. The project contains 14 tracks and spans 36 minutes. Upon release of the project, King also published a new music video on YouTube for the track “Gold Medals”. King also plans on dropping more music videos to go with the tracks on this project, so be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel to watch those when they arrive.

Artistic process

According to Agustist King himself, this project took him about a month to complete. He worked with producers such as Rob Blo, Geno Beats, Jal Main, Joseph Hernandez, and Wesley Thompson. He believes that this project showcases his versatility as an artist and puts him on a versatile platform moving forward with his career. You can listen to the project via iTunes, Spotify, and purchase it from independent music source cdbaby.com.  

If you have yet to listen to K-UTE Radio’s Hip Hop Drip interview from October with Agustist King, be sure to check that out and listen to this new project. The interview is chock full of interesting conversation with Agustist including the reasons why he loves making music, his takes on the current music industry, and much more.

Where to find Agustist

Follow King on Instagram at “agustistking” and visit his website at agustistking.com for more links to his music and merch. Find his music on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music by searching “Agustist King”. Keep it locked on K-UTE Radio’s Hip Hop Drip show from 4-7pm weekdays to hear his music live on air.

Courtesy of Agustist King

Concert Review: Childish Gambino

On December 11th Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” tour finally hit Oracle Arena in Oakland, California after numerous delays. According to him this is his last headlining tour, so tickets were a  hot commodity come the day of the show. Luckily for you I was able to experience this show and I have a full recap here.

Opening act

The opening act for this show was Tupelo, Mississippi’s own Rae Sremmurd. If you’re unsure of who Rae Sremmurd is, they are a duo composed of brothers Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee. The show was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm, and the Sremmurd brothers arrived right on time. When I heard about the show originally and saw that Rae Sremmurd would be opening, I wasn’t too sure that they would be a good fit since their music differs drastically from Gambino’s.

To start their set off, the Sremm boys performed their hit single “No Type” off of their debut album Sremmlife. This was the perfect party starter because every hip hop fan should at least be familiar with the track. It got some energy pumping into the crowd immediately that was sustained during their entire set.

Other songs that they performed include “No Flex Zone”, “Black Beatles”, “Powerglide”, and “Perplexing Pegasus” among more. They performed all of these songs together and then each of them performed some of their own solo tracks. Slim Jxmmi performed “Brxnks Truck” while Swae Lee performed “Guatemala” and his feature on “Unforgettable”.   

I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong about my assumption that Rae Sremmurd wouldn’t fit a Childish Gambino show. Rae Sremmurd did a great job opening for Gambino because they kept the crowd interested with a mix of turn-up tracks and more chill ones. They are more well-suited for smaller venues so that the crowd can be involved, but they did a surprisingly great job in an arena setting.   

Gambino finally appears in Oakland

After taking a 30 minute breather from the hype that Rae Sremmurd brought, the crowd was ready to see their beloved Childish Gambino in the flesh. As the clock struck 9pm, the arena went black and the beat began to build. He was finally here, for real this time.

Gambino came out to “Algorythm”, which is a yet-to-be-released track that was only sent to those who bought tickets to the show, and the arena went absolutely nuts. No one could believe that Gambino was finally performing in Oakland again after being forced to cancel his previous couple shows that were scheduled there.

After performing “Algorythm”, he addressed the Oakland crowd of 17,000+ and then performed one of his latest singles “Summertime Magic”. He then jumped right into classic tracks “The Worst Guys” and “Worldstar” from his sophomore album Because The Internet. These tracks were amazing to see in person and the lighting and dancing that accompanied them was spectacular. It was moments like this that made fans grateful that Gambino decided to postpone some of the tour dates after he broke his foot in October.

And he vanishes…

Following the Because The Internet songs, he suddenly vanished. As fans looked around in confusion, a monitor next to the stage lit up and showed him walking through the lower level concourse and into the crowd to perform a powerful rendition of “Stand Tall”. The next stretch of the show was filled with more cuts off his 2016 album Awaken, My Love! including “Have Some Love”, “Boogieman”, “Riot”, and “Terrified”.

Next up was a fan-favorite performance of “This Is America” that had the whole place rocking and singing along. He left the stage after this track and then ended up coming out for the best encore that I’ve seen yet in all my years of going to concerts.

Encore tracks included “Sober”, “3005”, “Sweatpants”, and the track named after the city he performed in, “Telegraph Ave. (Oakland by Lloyd)”. It was the first time in years that Gambino performed “Oakland”, and it was by far the best moment of the night for me. It was simply beautiful and something that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.   

Final Thoughts

During the course of my life thus far, I’ve experienced many different concerts in a variety of cities and types of venues. Anywhere from small and intimate venues to sold-out arena shows, you name it and I’ve been to one. But this show was truly special for so many reasons.

First of all, as great as the music is when played through simple headphones or car speakers, it is so much better in an arena setting with thousands of fans screaming every word and jumping with joy. Seeing the passion on Gambino’s face as he bared his soul and shared his music with the crowd shows just what a great performer he is.

Second of all, the lighting and visuals were something to behold in their own right. Gambino utilized everything he possibly could of in order to create a beautiful experience.

Overall, this concert was fantastic. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more, and I implore you to catch Childish Gambino in concert if he somehow tours again in the future. It is worth it in the truest sense.  

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Concert review: Travis Scott (12/12/18)

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour hit Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center on December 12th as one of the final 10 stops on the first leg of the tour. The show was certainly one to behold, being as it’s Scott’s first headlining arena tour after his massively successful 2018 campaign. But does Scott fair well as a headlining act? That is one of the questions I set out to answer when I attended his concert in Denver, along with having fun and enjoying the music of course.  

Opening acts

The first opening act for the show was Harlem’s own Sheck Wes. If you are unfamiliar with Sheck, he’s a newly-signed Cactus Jack Records artist that has a top 10 Billboard Hot 100 single under his belt in “Mo Bamba”. Wes came out shortly after 7:30, which was much appreciated by the crowd. Immediately upon entering the stage, he blasted “Mo Bamba” and raised the hype level of the crowd instantly.

After performing “Mo Bamba”, Wes performed other songs such as “Chippi Chippi”, “Gmail”, “Live Sheck Wes”, and capped it all off by performing “Mo Bamba” once again. Funnily enough, the second performance of “Mo Bamba” got an even better reaction from those in attendance than the first one did.


Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Shortly after Sheck Wes exited the stage, Gunna entered and began his performance. The first track he performed was “Pedestrian” off of his 2018 mixtape Drip Season 3. The crowd was clearly excited for Gunna and showed it as he kept his set rolling. He performed tracks off of his Drip Harder, collab album with Lil Baby, including “Style Stealer”, “Never Recover”, and the fan favorite “Drip Too Hard”. The whole building was rocking by the end of his set, eager with anticipation for Travis Scott to show up.


Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Honestly, Sheck Wes and Gunna were the perfect openers for a Travis Scott show. Their musical styles are somewhat similar and they have a lot of mutual fans. They both were able to hype up the crowd for La Flame and created a good atmosphere as well.

La Flame makes his entrance

While I was gazing at the intricate roller coaster-centric stage design that Travis Scott had created for our viewing pleasure, the arena suddenly went dark.

On the giant circular centerpiece screen was a video that depicted childhood joys such as roller coasters, cotton candy, and the like. The video then stopped and the beat to Astroworld intro track “Stargazing” began with an insanely loud roar of approval from the crowd. Travis Scott appeared from beneath the second part of his stage, complete with a looping roller coaster track, rapping every word of the song. The lighting was spectacular and the pyrotechnics were astounding as the magic is just beginning.  

Photo courtesy of Seth McConnell, Denver Post

Following a great performance of “Stargazing”, La Flame addressed the sold-out Pepsi Center crowd and then began performing “Carousel”. The next section of the show was dedicated to all of the day one fans, with tracks including “Quintana”, “Uptown”, “Mamacita” and “Don’t Play” being played.

 Possibly the best thing about Travis’ set as a whole was the energy level of the whole building for every song. There was a stretch of the show that included six straight Astroworld songs, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard an arena as loud as that one was. Fans screamed every word and jumped up and down as the beautiful lights flashed in front of them.

Later on in the show, Scott finally hopped on the roller coaster that was part of the stage design to perform “Can’t Say”. The coaster elevated La Flame above the crowd and slowly rode him throughout the arena. When he got to the other platform, he introduced Houston artist Don Toliver and rode the coaster back to the main stage as Toliver performed his portion of the track. This was an amazing moment and my personal favorite of the entire evening.

To finish off the show, Scott played “Antidote”, “Goosebumps”, and “Sicko Mode”, the three biggest tracks of his career thus far. Each of the songs got a roaring reception from the crowd and everyone seem quite happy with how the show turned out as they were leaving.     

Final Thoughts

In case you didn’t know, Travis Scott has a reputation for being one of the best live performers and always having a wild crowd. That reputation will be upheld based on what I experienced at this show. Even though I wasn’t in the general admission floor section right next to the stage, it was definitely a night to remember for everyone in the standard seats.

The atmosphere of the show wasn’t the only thing that was perfect; the setlist, lighting, and visual effects were also top notch. The first leg of the tour raps up in Portland on December 22nd, but a second leg is supposed to be announced soon. If you are able to attend a show on the second leg, I would definitely recommend it. It was a 10/10 experience and exactly what I was hoping for.  

Photo courtesy of Brandon Johnson (@BJohnsonxAR)
B

Rapaversary: Take Care by Drake

Picture this; it’s November 2011, another chilly fall day and you just got out of class.  Plugged in your earbuds into your iPod Touch and press play on Drake’s new album Take Care. You haven’t listened to much of his music. You thought you’d give this new album a chance because everyone has been talking about it and want to see why.

On your first listen through the album you are surprised at how good it is, and the songs that you’ve been hearing everywhere but haven’t really cared for (“Headlines”, “Take Care”, “Make Me Proud”) are suddenly the ones that you keep going back to and can’t get enough of. You realize that Drake isn’t just the guy from Degrassi anymore, he’s becoming a hip hop superstar.

When I first listened to Take Care, this was exactly how I felt. I didn’t take Drake seriously at first until I listened to this project. I didn’t care much for Thank Me Later because I thought it was pretty one dimensional with only a few standout songs. But Take Care opened my eyes to the relatively new-at-the-time blend of hip hop and R&B that Drake would help put on the map and become known for.

Artistic direction

One of the things that makes Take Care so special is that Drake has said that he was unsatisfied with the cohesion and musical content on Thank Me Later. He became determined to make his next project something that he could be forever proud of. Some of the differences between Take Care and Thank Me Later are the inclusion of some full R&B tracks, more fleshed out subject matter, and a general sense of direction.

Influence and career furthering

In addition to Drake’s vocals being spectacular on every track (especially his singing), the featured artists on the album added so much to it as a complete project. Despite him releasing a few songs and projects in 2010 and 2011, Take Care was mainstream listeners first real introduction to The Weeknd. He played a huge part in the creation of Take Care, contributing to five tracks as a writer and featured artist.

This helps showcase some of the influence that Take Care had in both Drake and The Weeknd’s careers. Because without working on this project together, it is possible that neither would have become as huge and well-known as they are now.

Another artist that benefited greatly from his work on Take Care is Kendrick Lamar. Before working with Drake on this project K Dot had industry connections, but his inclusion on Take Care allowed him to reach new audiences that he hadn’t before. Lamar was featured on “Buried Alive Interlude” on which he details his rise to fame and meeting Drake and 40 for the first time in Toronto. “Buried Alive Interlude” is a hidden track at the end of “Marvin’s Room”, which only makes it that much more powerful.   

      

Lasting impact

Looking back on this album seven years after its release, Take Care really helped pave the way for rappers to include R&B-esque tracks on their albums without catching a huge amount of flack for it. At this point in time, it is almost frowned upon if rappers don’t at least attempt to create  a few slower tracks such as those included on Take Care.

The project also helped Drake further his career as a multi-talented artist and show that he can rap and create beautiful R&B tracks that touch all sorts of emotions. The creation of the album helped develop a new sound for a region that would become huge in hip hop. The careers of future stars went skyrocketing towards mainstream and the influence and lasting effects exist to this day.

Conclusion

If Drake had never went in the direction he did for Take Care, I believe that a lot of the modern Toronto sound would not be what it is right now. Take Care is Drake’s best album at this point in his career and one of the best of 2011 if not the 2010s decade as a whole. The album’s influence still exists in the present. Take Care is sure going to be listened to for more years to come.  

K-UTE Radio or the University of Utah does not own the pictures.     

New music wrap up: week of 10/29-11/2

This week has been crazy with all the releases that we’ve received. Some weeks are fuller than others, and this is definitely a full week. I’ve listened to quite a few of this new music already, so check below to see what I recommend you listen to from this week’s new drops!

Albums/Mixtapes/EPs

Chief Keef – Back From The Dead 3

Chief Keef is one of the more consistent artists in the rap game in terms of the amount of projects he releases. He’s back again with the newest installment in the fan-favorite Back From The Dead series. This project has 13 tracks with features from Tray Savage and Soulja Boy. Check this one out for your fix of that Chicago drill sound.  

TakeoffThe Last Rocket

After the release of Culture II earlier this year, Migos said that each of the three members would be releasing their own solo album. Takeoff’s project is the second of these to come out following Quavo’s Quavo Huncho last month. Takeoff is probably the least well-known member of the group, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Give this project a listen if you’re curious about his rapping abilities.

Vince Staples – FM!

Long Beach’s own Vince Staples returns with his latest project FM!, after releasing Big Fish Theory in 2017. This new project is heavy on the conceptual side of things, with radio skits running rampant throughout. It clocks in at 22 minutes in length over its 11 songs. Features on this project include Jay Rock, E-40, Kamaiyah, and others. This is a west coast project in the truest sense, so check it out if you love west coast rap.   

Metro Boomin – Not All Heroes Wear Capes

A few years ago, Metro Boomin was everywhere. He released numerous tracks with artists including Drake, Future, Young Thug, Kanye West, and many more. He took a bit of a break in 2018, but is back with his new project that features Travis Scott, Swae Lee, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and more. If you enjoy tracks with darker vibes, check this project out because it is full of them.  

 

Singles/Loose tracks

Nav – “Know Me”

Canadian rapper/producer Nav is back after a short break following the release of his debut album “Reckless” earlier this year. This is your typical Nav track on which he talks about his money, jewelry, and success. Check it out if you’re a fan of Nav and his unique voice and ear for beats.    

Tyga – “Dip” ft. Nicki Minaj

It’s 2018 and surprisingly, Tyga is relevant for something other than dating someone famous. He has had a strong 2018 thus far, with the super popular single “Taste” racking up over 400 million views on YouTube. This new track features his former Young Money labelmate Nicki Minaj.

Trey Songz – “Shootin’ Shots” ft. Ty Dolla Sign & Tory Lanez

Trey Songz is back with a brand new track after taking a short break following the release of his 2017 project Tremaine The Album. Take a listen to this track if you enjoy smooth crooning, because there’s plenty of it right here.

More new music

This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything that was released today simply because there is so much new music. If you want one check this link. Happy listening and check back for more of these posts in the future!

Album review: Sincerely, Tokyo by Madeintyo

I first discovered Madeintyo a few years ago. You may be familiar with his track “Uber Everywhere”, which was released in 2016. The track got an official remix with Travis Scott. Even though that is currently his most popular song, Madeintyo brings much more to the table than just his slick-but-lazy sounding flow.

He’s released several projects so far during his short career, including Thank You, Mr. Tokyo and True’s World. These projects show off his tremendous flow, but I’m looking for more than that on this project. Seeing that it’s his debut album and he’s been working on it for more than two years, expectations are understandably high.

Enough talk, it’s time to get into Madeintyo’s debut album Sincerely, Tokyo.

First impressions

During my first couple listens through this project, the songs are all quality. There are 14 tracks, but they don’t drag on as the majority are between 2-3 minutes. The beats are fresh and experimental, which is always a plus.

Something that immediately sticks out about this project is the lack of different flows. This is something I really hoped Tokyo would experiment with on this project. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it makes the album a bit repetitive after a few listens.

Lyrics/Flow

Madeintyo is known more for his slick flow than his lyrics. He once again proves that on most of these tracks. He brings dope vibes to each project and all of the songs are ones that would be perfect for party playlists.  

While I’ll admit that his flow is dope on this album, it just gets a bit grating with the amount of times we hear the same thing. Tokyo has so much potential to make different sounding tracks due to the beats that he chooses, but he brings the same flow in most of these songs. That’s a no from me dawg.

  • Score: 6/10

Beats

If there is anything that is a clear-cute standout to me, it’s the beats contained on this album. Each song has a very distinct beat. It keeps the album fresh in that aspect, which I really enjoy for replayability reasons. Some of the producers on this album include Dwn2Earth, Ronny J, K Swisha, Hit-Boy, Wheezy, TM88, and many more. 

The only negative that I can say about this album’s beats is that they are too short on a lot of tracks. For example, the beat on “Moshi Moshi” is absolutely amazing but it only lasts about 1:15. The same problem is present throughout the project. While I respect shorter songs, I wish some of them were a bit longer.

  • Score: 8.3/10

Replayability

Not all albums are easily replayable, but this one definitely is. Sincerely, Tokyo clocks in at only 39 minutes. It is a quick listen that you can knock out and hopefully enjoy. I for one will be listening to this one for quite a while because most of the songs are enjoyable.

Even though the album is short and the beats are outstanding, Tokyo’s flows do get a bit repetitive. Not all of the tracks sound exactly the same, but a lot of the tracks near the beginning of the project sound kind of similar. But don’t let that turn you off the album as a whole, because you can shuffle through it and find something you like instead of listening in order.   

  • Score: 7.5/10

Standouts

Final thoughts

I expected a lot from Madeintyo on Sincerely, Tokyo. The album isn’t perfect, but he mostly met my expectations. Yes, he has proved that he isn’t only the guy who made “Uber Everywhere”, but did he prove anything else on this release?

Let’s be clear, the best things about this album are the beats. They are absolutely amazing and carry the project for me. Tokyo flows over them all so effortlessly, but that’s about it. His lyrical content is nothing to be amazed at.

Honestly, Sincerely, Tokyo is an album to listen to if you enjoy an artist that brings solely vibes to their music. I urge Tokyo to explore new flows and subject matter on his next project, simply because it’ll get people interested again. Madeintyo has released a fine project here, but not one that will go down as a classic by any means. The beats will remain fresh and the vibes dope, but otherwise most hip hop fans won’t remember this project.

Final Score: 7.3/10

Artwork owned by Madeintyo/The Private Club