DX Album Review Bits
Hollywood FLOSS, Maffew Ragazino, tabi Bonney
DX talks Houston's star Hollywood FLOSS' latest mixtape album, along with BK's Maffew Ragazino and his new street album, plus DMV thoroughweight tabi Bonney.
One Fan At A Time by Hollywood FLOSS
Over the last few years Houston-bred emcee Hollywood FLOSS has garnered praise for his animated delivery and diverse scoring of beats, with his latest release One Fan At A Time being no exception to the rule. While he can be found matching Southern wits with Jackie Chain on the laid back “Contact High” or blazing through a track that would make stalwarts of H-Town proud with “Line ‘Em Up,” FLOSS is not confined to a typical sound and style which allows him creative flexibility. As such, records like the entertainingly-true “Fan Mail Interlude” or “Stalker” can go hand-in-hand with others that touch on issues of personal struggles and doubts (“So Much To Say,” “Exhale”). If It means anything to Hollywood FLOSS, One Fan At A Time should undoubtedly take a cue from its title and expand his brand.
Rhyme Pays by Maffew Ragazino
As an individual who shares the same constituency as the likes of Masta Ace and Sean Price, Brownsville rapper Maffew Ragazino proves he’s cut from the same cloth with his debut Rhyme Pays. Whether he’s solemnly describing his neighborhood on “Ashes On My Block” or delving into his career plans on the title track, Maffew’s cadence exhibits an upcoming emcee who clearly is a student of the game. Backed by East Coast blaps and soul samples that provide a Golden Era setting, Ragazino’s boastful personality is evident throughout tracks like “St. Maffew” and “Blue Rubies,” although at times it shows a little bit too much (“Greatest to ever do this shit” he brazenly announces on “Bridget Fonda” ). However, in an industry where only the strong-willed survive, Maffew Ragazino has the right mindset to push forward. In that respect, Rhyme Pays may be his spring board for a lasting career in Hip Hop.
The Summer Years by tabi Bonney
Few rappers carry the cool and calm demeanor that tabi Bonney has invoked since hitting the DMV scene in 2006. Matching that reassuring approach with stellar back drops from reinvigorated producer Ski Beatz, Bonney treats The Summer Years as an enlivening escape from the normal monotonous drones that clog up blog posts and Twitter retweets. From the hypnotic flair of “Frontin” to the infectious, buzzing bass line heard on “Parachute,” tabi takes his listener to an intriguing musical zone, all the while focusing on his craft as an emcee. Upbeat and inspiring, “Hello & Goodnight” and “Chasing” become the album’s best cuts. The latter record sounds like it could fit right into the rotation of your city’s Top 40 radio station, yet it has an urban-pop aesthetic that you could likewise be proud to hear. Aside from “Top Notch Material Girls,” The Summer Years is a wall-to-wall project that best exemplifies why tabi Bonney is a rapper to watch out for.