Jeremih – Late Nights: Europe
Jeremih returns with the latest in his Late Nights series that began with 2012 mixtape Late Nights With Jeremih. A relative success, the tape was followed by Late Nights: The Album, an official major label sequel that received much praise from critics. Unfortunately it failed to capture the public’s attention, although I think it’s a top notch album and easily one of the best R&B releases of 2015.
Late Nights: Europe is the third instalment influenced by Jeremih’s recent run of overseas shows. Each track is named after a city he performed in, with the mixtape another lesson in smooth, hook-laden modern R&B from someone at the top of their game. Jeremih has a voice like velvet, and as he weaves tales of sexual conquests and, err, sexual conquests throughout the record, it’s hard not to be seduced into his hedonistic world. Jeremih’s obsession with sex is clearly evident on Late Nights: Europe. “All I wanna feel is you,” he croons on London, while explaining, “I’ma do you dirty while you dirty dancing on my private parts,” on the breezy Berlin, and these aren’t even the worst descriptions of what he wants to get up to with his female companions. Sometimes crude and a little cringeworthy, Jeremih’s vocals often distract from his lyrics, with the production, handled mainly by Soundz, is slinky and minimal and suitable for Jeremih’s voice.
As is the case with Jeremih’s recent projects, the list of guests is both extensive and impressive. Ty Dolla $ign lends his chops to the hazy Paris, The Game gets down and dirty on Oslo, Norway, Sonya gives a female perspective on Copenhagen and Wiz Khalifa surprisingly brings bars on opener Dubai.
Verdict: If you like like highly sexualised R&B, this one’s for you.
Zaytoven – Where Would The Game Be Without Me
Along with Metro Boomin’ and Sonny Digital, Oakland artist Zaytoven is one of the new breed of up and coming producers making their presence felt in hip-hop circles. With over 20 mixtapes to his name and a long list of collaborations with hip-hop’s biggest players – particularly Gucci Mane and Migos – Where Would The Game Be Without Me is a collection of Zaytoven’s most prolific releases to date.
Although he’s from the West Coast, much of Zaytoven’s production style is influenced by the party beats of the South, so it’s no surprise Future, Migos and Young Thug all feature on this mixtape. Future mumbles his way through Havin It alongside Maceo and provides the slightly irritating hook on the DJ Esco and Lil Uzi Vert track Too Much Sauce. Migos are their usual selves on Coppers And Robbers, Juicy J brings the fun on party jam Waste No Time and 21 Savage’s verse from his Metro Boomin’ collaboration Feel It all feature. A number of Gucci Mane joints are included, with the hard hitting Way and Young Thug team up Guwop Home the easy standouts.
Verdict: Great introduction to the talents of Zaytoven.
DJ Drama – Quality Street Music 2
Quality Street Music 2 is DJ Drama’s fifth album and the sequel to his 2012 release of the same name. While it’s been four years since his last major label release, Drama has been consistently dropping quality mixtapes over the past few years. Similar to Zaytoven’s mixtape, QSM2 is 10 tracks of quality beats featuring a who’s who of the hip-hop world.
Lil Wayne‘s slow return to form continues on opener Intro. Both Wayne and Drama have a rich history, having collaborated on the famed Dedication series, so it’s no surprise Intro is one of the best tracks on the album. Wayne’s penchant for sexual innuendo and witty one liners is on display, with Wayne declaring, “I gave birth to your style, I need a check for my labour.” Along with Wayne it’s an eclectic mix of names making their presence felt on QSM2. Young Life, Freddie Gibbs and star in the making Dave East go hard on Body For My Zipcode, Jeezy, Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan turn up on Right Back and Rich Homie Quan returns again with Skeme and Lil Uzi Vert on the street anthem Big Money.
It’s not all bangers though, with T.I. and Young Thug taking things down a notch on slinky lady love ode Can I. Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and August Alsina bring the R&B vibes on Onyx and 1st Fki, Lil Uzi Vert, Mac Miller and Post Malone get sleazy on the previously released Cameras.
As far as DJ compilation albums go, Drama has ticked all the boxes with QSM2. The beats are quality, the guest top line, and the album flows in a cohesive manner. Best of all, Drama keeps his patented “Dj Drama” shout out to a minimum.
Verdict: Solid release from Drama.