BOA's Flagship artist Black Cobain just released his new project Cheer's and as promised I said I would start doing reviews of projects that have an substantial amount of buzz and/or anticipation to them. Granted Cheer's did not have the press and anticipation of Fat Trel's project per say but it had it's share of anticipation. People anticipated this project for a few reasons. 1. Because of course his affiliation with Wale and the MMG team, 2. because his potential to be the next star out of DC, VA and MD is up for debate, and 3. Because he one of the rare rappers that actually rep where their from which is Virginia and not screaming D.C. all throughout his raps.
My first two listens i could undoubtedly tell Cobain has been on the road performing, experiencing different things, surrounded by "stars" and broadening his cultural palette. It comes across in his raps. The third listen I heard an artist experimenting with a new sound so to speak as well as showing the Atlanta influence that has taken over most of current day rap music. The fourth listen i heard an artist that is still trying to find his voice. One thing for me is......I'm still not sure who Black Cobain is representing for. I don't really know who Black Cobain is and what exactly he stands for in this world of over saturated rappers etc...
One thing I do know is that Black Cobain can rap!!! He can definitely rap!!!! As I listen to this project more and more he is saying some slick shit all throughout this tape.
One thing that surprised me about the tape is the lack of BOA artist featured on the tape similar to how Black Cobain wasn't featured on Wale's "Ambition" album. I thought this could've/would've been the perfect platform for some of the other DMV artist on BOA like The Big Fella, Sasha and the other female artist.
This project is one step closer to Black Cobain finding his voice, his style and his way in this music business and when that is achieved, I truly think people will stop looking at him as "That rapper guy running around with Wale".
Without further a due..........Here you go!
1. Thriller- The intro was pretty dope. Well arranged and executed.
2. Spillionaire- This record had single potential if was approached that way because of the beat along. But its safe to assume that they wasn't going for a single. Decent record and I learned a new term.
3. Epiphany- The record has some soul to it. It reminds me of Kanye's "Devil in a Blue Dress" off the beat alone. From an execution standpoint I feel Cobain attacked the record the wrong way. As a producer i would of had him on a more mello vibe not so aggressive. One thing about this record too is that it seems like its in the wrong spot on the project. I would've put this record after the intro and then if you did that the intro wouldn't have been the intro you dig..... Basically they should've sequenced better.
4. Penalty of Leadership- From the title it feels like he was inspired by "Love you so" off WTT and after listening I feel the content on the record. The beats was a little overpowering and busy but if they like it, I love it!
5. 5 A.M.- Nice vibe on the record. Both Cobain and Wale deliver with their verses. A solid record.
6. Scotty Pippen- Just like most I'm tired of song named after athletes and wrestlers but really like this record. It has some attitude,character, and it reminds me of a slow motion Too short record. Minus the feature this record is dope. I call this record the "sleeper" on the tape. The mix could've been better WHEN the 808 wasn't in the beat.
7. OMD- I can appreciate where they were going with this record but somewhere along the way it fell short. Maybe poor execution or a lack of under production but nonetheless they could've left this record off the project and no one would've missed it.
8. Celebration- I dig the energy on this flip of the Curtis Mayfield sample. Good energy!
9. Nature Boy Black Cobain- Ric Flair was one of my favorite rappers (Jerry Lawler being the other) so I'm jive biased. But then i listen and this record didn't grab me at all. Maybe the feature and/or beat had it off a little but the record could've been better to reflect what the Nature Boy represented.
10. Public Enemy- This was one of the first record released from the project. I wasn't impressed when I first heard it and after listening to it on the project the feeling is still the same. With the Beat Billionaire on the boards, this had single potential IF they approached it that way. The Shy Glizzy feature was cool but he didn't deliver on the record and he sounded off.
11. Let Me Know- This record could've stayed off.
12. Shottas- Now a days a mixtape is not complete without a smokers anthem and BOOM this is the record. Light up the Devils Lettuce and get high. The smokers can appreciate this records.
13. Glorious- A solid conceptual record about a girl getting rid of her baby in vile way. Cobain showed he can dabble in concepts and stories if needed. Nice touch to a project. This record probably could fit more IF they had more records with concepts etc..... but it sounds like they just threw it on the tape.
14. Can't Leave you Alone- I like this record. Black explains his recent lack of time for his girl due to him becoming "famous". Most artist/producers that are successful can identify with this subject. Solid record and applicable in any up and coming artist situation.
15. Feeling Good-The record adds some different flavor to the mixtape. This is the only record that could possible be a single. It sounds like they approached it that way and it was well executed. Good Job!!!
16. Cheers- Outro with clips of rappers dropping jewels. Cool. I dig it!
This is a solid tape. I give it a 7 out of 10. The recording quality, mixing and master sounds up to par, the artwork is dope and I think its a step in the right direction. Congrats to BOA!