Vic Mensa’s “The Manuscript” blurs the direction of his future project

From the onset of his first project since last year’s There’s Alot Going On, Vic Mensa makes it clear the growth he displayed in 2016 is here to stay. The Manuscript begins with Vic’s proclamation that the new him is permanent. “I’ve grown too much to ever be the old Vic/I’m new and improved, call me Vic 2.0,” is his response on “Almost There” to fans asking for the same artist from years’ past.

Vic conveys appreciativeness over feel-good piano keys, as if he’s sitting on something momentous and he knows it. Mr. Hudson’s assist on the intro hook helps to express a message that this project is merely an appetizer for something much larger, whether that’s the release of his debut solo album or the boost in status he expects said album to bring. The tracks following are presumably a preview.

“OMG” shows the growth Vic continues to make as he seamlessly interweaves social commentary into stanzas not necessarily geared towards changing the world. Featuring Pusha T and all his coke-rap glory, this song is an exercise in wordplay for Vic, who doesn’t sacrifice words or flow to elaborate on any one topic more than necessary. Still, he effectively forces you to acknowledge certain realities without killing the mood.

Vic goes on to show he continues to struggle with whatever drugs he failed to shrug off in the last year on “Rollin’ Like a Stoner.” He excuses his addiction as him being a rock star over a hook that flashes his ability to make cross-over turn-up anthems, even if the body of the song lacks substance. The synths and percussion make the song more infectious than it should be.

The Manuscript ends with “Rage,” which solidifies the project as a hodgepodge of sounds Vic is capable of executing reasonably good. This alternative-rock sounding outro provides the type of build-up Vic is used to from performing with his old Kids These Days band. He gets introspective on the song while also blurring the direction of his future project. One can gather from listening to The Manuscript that Vic Mensa will effectively lean towards the sound of any one of these tracks, but the chance remains that his next body of work will be as eclectic. The EP isn’t a bad listen, but that’s because it’s only four songs. Hopefully the full-length debut is more focused. Trying to cater to different tastes at once could leave Vic Mensa appealing to fewer people, not more.

Album Review: In My Feelings (Goin’ Thru It), Boosie Badazz

In My Feelings (Goin’ Thru It), Boosie Badazz

Rating:Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€Β – Β Three Pointer (2.8/4)

1) The Rain –Β πŸ€πŸ€

Boosie opens the album ‘in his feelings,’ so to speak. He dives deep into his personal life, discussing things such as his health issues and dysfunctional relationships. Rapping over a backdrop of rain and thunderstorms, the content is what makes the song good.

2) Cancer –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

Diving into the raw emotions one might have when first hearing that he/she has cancer, Boosie gives listeners his first-hand account. Song could have been mixed better, but has a melodic feel to it as Boosie asks God how he got cancer.

3) Stressing Me –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

“I hope your new year’s resolution to stop stressing me.” Any man, or woman, can relate to the sentiments Boosie articulates in this song. He brings classic Boosie energy on this track. The hook leaves a little to be desired, but gets the point across effectively.

4) Warning Signs –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

Building on the energy from the previous track, “Warning Signs” boasts what is probably the best beat on the album. With a hook that sounds Scarface/Tupac-influenced, Boosie remembers advice from his mom not to put his faith in man.

5) Bad Guy –Β πŸ€πŸ€

Boosie’s thoughts are understandable and make sense but weren’t well organized into great rap lyrics. The hook is the best thing about this song, and it isn’t even that good.

6) Call of Duty –Β πŸ€πŸ€

Boosie proclaims his call of dutyΒ but rambles a little too much over the track. Song has some high moments but not enough to be a three-pointer.

7) Smile to Keep from Crying –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

The song starts slow but with piano keys playing in staccato, Boosie does a good job of eventually catching the beat in a more engaging way. After about a minute the song Β picks up and ends on a high note.

8) Forgive Me Being Lost –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

It shouldn’t be hard to forgive Boosie for being lost after he describes his circumstances in this introspective banger.

9) Roller Coaster Ride –Β πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

In his classic street-preaching style, Boosie stays with the “In My Feelings” theme of the album, without sounding too emo about it.

10) I Know They Gone Miss Me – n/a

Commend Boosie for understanding his importance to the people in his life. Many times people who live recklessly, don’t realize how much they mean to the people around them.