Last Week’s Albums: Rome Fortune, BONES, The Game


Earlier this year Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune finally released his long awaited debut album, Jerome Raheem Fortune (read our review here). Since then Fortune’s been promising the third in his series of Beautiful Pimp mixtapes, but last week took a detour with VVORLDVVIDE PIMPSTATION, an 11-track collection combining the themes and concepts of his Small VVorld and Beautiful Pimp mixtape.

Fortune continues his merging of Southern hip-hop aesthetics with electronic, dance influenced productions on VVORLDVVIDE PIMPSTATION. Sometime collaborator Toro Y Moi laces Long Days with a groovy beat, Balloons has a sleazy trap feel and SEAVVORLD is a part club hit, part moody rap record.

The list of producers is long and varied, with regular Fortune beat makers Dun Deal, C4 and Richie Souf all contributing, with Souf’s icy retro work on Lit Freestyle one of the tape’s best productions. Aside from iLoveMakkonnen – who lends his off-kilter vocals to Lit Freestyle and My Boy Band Extortion – the guest verses are kept to a minimum. Candice Mims’ sensual vocals sing the hook on Trouble, Nessley’s auto-tuned delivery provides an annoying edge to the otherwise spacey My First 00,000 and Wara from the NBHD shows up on the 808 heavy Balloons.

Verdict: Good stop-gap before the next Beautiful Pimp tape.

BONES – PaidProgramming2

Few underground rappers have such a cult following as Californian creative BONES. Over the past six years the rapper – formerly known as Th@ Kid – has released over 40 mixtapes and almost double the amount of music videos, yet remains unsigned (of his own volition I might add). PaidProgramming2 is BONES’ second mixtape of 2016 and another inspiring and exhilarating collection of dark and moody rap songs.

Like previous releases, the majority of tracks on PaidProgramming2 are less than three minutes long, with BONES’ unique delivery and abstract rhymes pairing with post-apocalyptic electronic beats from a host of unknown producers. Often compared to Yung Lean, there’s less of a dreamy nostalgic quality to BONES’ music. Although the auto-tuned AwayFromKeybaord and WordsCannontEncapsualte share qualities with Lean’s music, BONES’ material has much more of an undercurrent of dread and depression to it.

BONES also changes up his flow throughout PaidProgramming2. There are slow, monotone raps (MyHeadHurt,INeedToLieDown, Maggots), melodic, head bobbing flows (TheCurseOfTheGhost, LivingstonCountryLegend), right through to BONES’ frantic, rapid fire rhymes (Rocks, YourMusicSucksAndYouLookLikeADickhead).

For someone whose music doesn’t always sound positive, BONES is far from a self loathing pessimist, with his lyrics largely discussing his greatness in the game and the trust you have to have in yourself to succeed. He’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but BONES output is more consistent and challenging than most of today’s so-called rap stars, and for that you can not fault him.

Verdict: Another one.

The Game – Block Wars

Just a month on from the release of his first soundtrack to the documentary series, Streets Of Compton, The Game returns with another soundtrack to his new mobile game Block Wars. It’s a Grand Theft Auto-esque game were players vie for control of the drug trade and the streets as they battle rival gangs, mobsters and the police.

As you’d expect, the game is heavy with violence and aspects of gang life, which is represented in Game’s lyrics across the 10 track album. While he’s always positioned himself as a West Coast gangsta rapper, Block Wars is Game’s most concise collection of tracks themed around gang banging and life on the streets of Compton. Game tackles gang violence on the self-titled opener, dope spots and the L.A. streets on Gutter, and street killings and death on Murder and Bullet With Your Name On It.

This is very much a typical Game release, with plenty of Compton references and a plethora of name drops, with the G-Funk inspired Get High mentioning the likes of Method Man, Redman, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, B-Real and O.J. Simpson, just to name a few.  There’s also only one guest featured on the album, being L.A. vocalist Lorine Chia, who provides the hook on the depressing look at life on the streets detailed in Uzis And Grenades.

Verdict: Game continues to accumulate an impressive body of work.

Image: Wikipedia