Thursday, August 12, 2010

Never A Dull Moment EP - Willie The Kid

(All songs produced by Lee Bannon)

1. Blades | 0:18 | 3.5
An interesting sample that tries to lay out the concept of this album
2. New Flash | 2:06 | 4 - 4.25
Everything sounds like it’s chugging along.
3. Necessary Way (Featuring La The Darkman) | 3.75 - 4
4. M140 Weighs A Ton | 2:29 | 4 - 4.25
“Castro cash flow, think like a Communist.”
5. Bath Water Running | 2:00 | 4 - 4.25
“Part from park that I played, I played her / Even paid piano players to serenade her.”
6. Sky Miles (Featuring Curren$y) | 4.5 - 5
“OG, no retro / Grab a dutchie and a bowl, thats Super Tecmo.” Or pretty much all of Curren$y’s verse.
7. Hickory Smoke | 1:54 | 4 - 4.25
8. Tarred & Feathered (Bonus) | 2:32 | 3.75 - 4
“Sweet like a parfait consumed / Flow like a souffle, they fake like a toupee, assumed, touche.”
9. Lost In France (Bonus) | 1:32 | 4 - 4.25
“Triumphant, arrive blow the trumpets / Breakfast in London, black team crumpets / Lacrosse trophies, rec room rumpus / Puff cigars, reminisce amongst stars.”

Overall Rating: 35.5 - 37.75 | 79 - 83% | 4.05 / 5 | Solid; few major reservations; BUY IT

Firstly, shoutouts to Verbose on the staff for providing me with this project. I've really been anticipating this project for sometime, so it's really a huge help that someone would be ever so kind and provide it for me. Much thanks.

In Blades, the final sample the voice says is, “Watch how fast of someone whose really skilled can get into action with a knife.”

This quote speaks true for the whole EP, with Lee Bannon providing a flurry of fresh-samples from his crates, and Willie The Kid simply adapting to them. Lee Bannon & Willie The Kid have a very interesting chemistry, and it’s beneficial for both of them. Lee Bannon gets some nice exposure from Willie The Kids affiliates (DJ Drama, notably), and Willie The Kid gets a new lane of lyricism (Originally he was those typical gangster rappers) for himself to develop.

Lee Bannons production is pretty much worth the simple $3.99 purchase on Itunes, but I think I should emphasize on his production more. All the songs on this EP, until Sky Miles has this interesting vintage feeling, as if the quality was purposely altered to suit Willie The Kid. Lee Bannon heavily diversifies his production, providing chugging percussion to flesh out his endless array of samples exhibited, a howling scream on News Flash, a droning “necessary way,” on Necessary Way, or an accordian sample on M140 Weighs A Ton. Bath Water Running also features a retro sample, with it’s disco-lite tinge.

Of course, this EP is called Never A Dull Moment, and there would be dull moments if that vintage-style stayed consistent. However, starting from Sky Miles, a soft organ emanates throughout the track along with some drum kicks to add some warmth. Hickory Smoke features a flute whose notes play continously throughout, along with random vocal samples popping up throughout. Tarred & Feathered is a simple vocal sample thats lightly supported by some small percussion, and Lost In France is a collasal, hulking, track, exploding throughout with chimes and strings twirling in gracefully. Lee Bannon constantly switches up his style, and it’s intoxicating and plain hypnotizing.

Willie The Kid, much like Lee Bannon constantly alters his lyrics to fit the suiting topic of that production he’s been provided. From News Flash to Bath Water Running, it seems like the four track sequence is a series of songs with certain elements relating to each other. From the basketball-shootout story of News Flash, continuing on to the related need for violence on Necessary Way, the quirky gun-talking of M140 Weighs a Ton, or even the two faced lady pimping of Bath Water Running, the first few tracks go seamlessly together. Even tracks such as the simply shit talking Hickory Smoke and Tarred & Feathered, or the birds eye view given in Lost In France, they all that certain trait just linking each track to each other.

However, Willie The Kid is certainly not the greatest lyricist. While Willie The Kid can certainly hold on his own, as he lashes out observational stories like no tomorrow, and also expresses what he, as a rapper just thinks or sees. Willie The Kid has definitely improved his mic presence, with his verses seemingly showing signs of a Curren$y-lite, specifically as Willie The Kid has these moments where he wanders off and describes something else, and jumping back to the original subject later. Yet, speaking of Curren$y, the original Curren$y simply outshines Willie The Kid on the simply ridiculous Sky Miles, with the organ chugging beat allowing Curren$y to simply go crazy. This shows that Willie The Kid certainly has leaps and bounds to jump over before anything.

This EP releases at a time where artists like Rick Ross has pretty much tarnished the value of the EP, instead providing a behemoth standard for the hip hop/rap EP, simply put, original production. I'm glad that Willie The Kid was able to exactly do that.

Never A Dull Moment EP speaks for itself, because no single moment was ever dull. This project, being an EP, much like a knife, finishes through incredibly quickly, and while the skill of the person using the knife, or Willie, can be improved, it’s basic idea you can apply to this EP. Yet, it’s simply quite a project from both parties, and I’m definitely looking foward to any work that continues on between them. They definitely need it, since Single Rapper / Producer collaborations haven’t been seen in a minute, and this is one modern example that simply works.

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