Band of Moguls

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Intellectual Genocide

bandofmoguls:

Danco James

Kamal

This is the second project I’ve listened to from Curtis Williams, the first being “Half Forgotten Dreams.” He has definitely improved since then in my opinion. The most potent skill that shines through on this project from Curtis is his flow. It seems like he is able to ride the beat seamlessly. So even when he does not come through with hard hitting lyrics, the pace of his lyrics makes up for it.  Like on the track “Watch,” the vocals are intertwined really well throughout the entire track. Curtis also proves he is able to rap about more than just doing drugs even if it’s only briefly. He comes through with a few interesting bars about how he is not caught up in money because he knows his success is coming and so money is not as important. Overall, it is a really solid track. Then you have the song “NothinLikeUs” which is another one of the better tracks in my opinion. Again, I have to applaud him on his ability to deliver a verse that fits the beat quite perfectly. His Two9 counterpart Key! also comes though with an interesting verse, but for different reasons. The inflection in his voice is what catches my attention; it’s deep and weezy sounding, not particularly bad, just different. Danny Seth finishes the track. His British accent doesn’t hold him back on this verse, and he is able to come through with a solid feature on this project. The album’s titular track “Danco James” is one of the few songs where I find myself really enjoying the hook, not that the other hooks are so bad, they just aren’t really as catchy as this one and that of the song “Cheech & Chong”, which is perhaps my favorite song. I think this feature was perfect for Juicy J. Curtis comes through with one of his most entertaining verses on this project. Project Pat even delivers a decent verse, despite my dislike for southern accents. Curtis also performs well on the track “Little Bit”. He diverges from the druggy rap again briefly to talk about how he is still the same person even with the success he is having and, how he made a life for himself with the little he had growing up. The track really is a breath of fresh air, just to hear a topic a little different even though I already knew what the main theme was based on the title of the project. The most notable feature Curtis has is from Wiz Khalifa. He comes through with an ok hook; I don’t really ever expect much from Wiz. However, Jace really delivered a nice opening verse. I had not heard anything from him prior to this song, so I did not have high expectations. Overall I think this project was really solid and an improvement from his last tape. I enjoyed more than half of the project which was huge plus. I’m excited to hear more from the young Atlanta MC as he continues to get better.

Auston

I listened to Curtis Williams of Two9 for the first time. He’s an entertaining MC. He’s not an incredible lyricist or storyteller, nor does he pretend to be. He has an engrossing, enjoyable flow and a good ear for production. The production on his tape “Danco James” is definitely its most interesting characteristic. For example, the track “Cheech and Chong” would’ve been a favorite were it not for the annoying chorus performed by Juicy J. But the beat is very nice.  Things get a little strange for me after the “Bong Interlude” but nearly all the tracks before that are likeable. “NothinLikeUs” is the favorite. Fellow Two9 MC Key! has a unique inflection that contributes nicely to the track. Normally, British rap is difficult to listen to because of the accents, but Danny Seth is tolerable on this one. Overall, I liked Danco James. It was a good tape to introduce me to Curtis Williams. I’ll be listening to the rest of his discography as well as that of Key!

bandofmoguls:

Output Intake

Kamal

"Output Intake" was a lot better than I expected. I am glad to hear some entertaining music from upcoming Atlanta artists. Kap G delivers a good enough pair of verses; this is probably one of the better songs I’ve heard him featured on. However, Scott Varsity outshines him on this track and rightfully so, since it is Scott’s song. Scotty V had a couple of witty lines that made me laugh. The last part of the song where it goes into this slowed distorted sound was not needed at all though. Other than that, I enjoyed the song and look forward to music from Scott Varsity.

Auston

Scott Varsity’s big release “Output Intake” is not an impressive track by any means. But it’s not bad. Kap G’s flow managed to entertain. Varsity himself is, at the very least, energetic and in touch with his fellow local upandcomers. The beat is simple, but smooth. I’d be willing to listen to more of Varsity in the future.

bandofmoguls:

Indigo Child

Kamal

Raury, east Atlanta, singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, really does everything. He has recently found a lot of success with his music. He’s gotten backing from big names such as Outkast, Mac MIller, and Kanye West. I first heard about Raury through my job at Urban Outfitters; he performed at one of their locations for free. The first comment I heard about Raury from one of my coworkers was “He is opening for Outkast.” It piqued my interest but unfortunately this project doesn’t really give me a clear idea as to why he has had the success he’s had. His debut project “Indigo Child” has a mild, spacey, and really chill atmosphere. The opening track “War (Part One)” starts with some really hard drums that just bang. I really vibe with the frame of mind the beat puts you in. It fills you with energy and gets you moving. It reminds of a war cry, which probably alludes the title alludes to. But even so, the track seems kind of corny to me. The idea of standing together as youth is very empowering; however when Raury says it, it does not come across that way to me. The next track “God’s Whisper” may be his most famous song, and perhaps my favorite song. Raury uses tribal drums that just resonate with me, along with hand claps and an acoustic guitar. I really just love it. The vocals on this track are wonderful. I also like his chanting chorus, it’s sort of kumbuyaish. I do like the lyrics also; they are really positive and uplifting. I just don’t like way he delivers his verses. I don’t think his delivery does the lyrics justice; however that does not stop this song from being really enojoyable. Another noteworthy song was “Superfly.” I enjoyed the delivery of his lyrics on this track. I think I still like “God’s Whisper” better but the delivery was much smoother on this track. The melody is really easy-going and just beautiful to listen to. Raury’s change of pace for this verse was nice also. Even though “Superfly” is a little more lovey dovey than the music I usually listen to I still enjoyed it very much. The song “Chariots of Fire” was really interesting. It’s so out of place on this album. I had to check and make sure I had not clicked on another link by mistake. He makes it very apparent that he draws inspiration from Michael Jackson on this song, which is not a bad thing, but it is rather blatant. The chorus reminds me of the song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson for some reason. It isn’t a bad song by any means; it’s just oddly placed. The track “Woodcrest Manor” shows Raury’s lack of experience when it comes to storytelling. The beat sets a nice vibe for the song. The atmosphere of the song is the only highlight of this track unfortunately. The story that Raury tells, or rather, tries to tell, is not really compelling. It doesn’t really pull me in the way I would have liked it to. Finally we have the closing track “Seven Suns”. I heard Raury say in an interview that this was this was his favorite song on his entire project. I felt the exact opposite. In my opinion it was the most mundane of experiences. I don’t really have anything positive to say about this song; it was too long and not nearly as interesting as he wanted it to be. Overall, this felt like a middle of the road project. It’s obvious that he’s not very experienced and has room to grow. His delivery needs a lot of work; on a lot of his songs he came off as very uninteresting. That really vexed me because the themes on this project seemed to be really positive, complex, and intriguing. After listening to this project, I’m more interested to just sit down and have a conversation with the young artist rather than listen to his music. He is a talented artist but his debut project did not showcase that talent very well. I’m looking forward to the growth of the young Atlanta artist very much so. I expect a lot from him just based on the complex themes he was able to present on this project.

Auston

I had never heard of Raury before I saw two of my friends posing with him on Instagram, congratulating him on his success. And I didn’t decide to listen to him until Kamal recommended him for our blog. I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard more about him. When I searched for his latest tape “Indigo Child” on Google, he comes up on the NME and Complex sites. He could be on the cusp of stardom. But, about Indigo Child. It’s a mellow, introspective project. Four of the tracks are clips of Raury arguing with his mother. The two of them struggle with the idea of Raury devoting himself entirely to his music. Lost love is also a prominent theme. But, true to its name, Indigo Child addresses lost love from a spiritual perspective. Raury names the universe itself as an influence on he and his lover(s). Raury also takes sonic cues from the universe, trying to align his energy with that of mother nature. The tape seems less about lyricism and more about an overall vibe. The parts during which Raury provides vocals are brief and unfocused at times. I thought Raury was a rapper. He is not. That didn’t disappoint me though. I was very entertained by the tape. However, I would prefer to just have the beats. I could do without the vocals (from Raury and guests). That is a personal preference, not a shot at Raury’s musicality. I think he is a talented musician. His sound is very, very unique, especially considering he’s from Atlanta. “Chariots of Fire” is a standout because of its more aggressive rock sound. The final track “Seven Suns” is a dramatic, arena-rock denouement that was very appropriate for a moody, indigo EP such as this. “Woodcrest Manor” is my favorite though. The beat is just lovely: light, airy, relaxing. The tape’s themes don’t speak to me but that’s okay. I can definitely say I enjoyed it and I will continue to listen to Raury. I’m interested in how he will evolve as a musician.

bandofmoguls:

We finally got around to what’s going to be the best part about this blog: art and artists from our hometown! We listened to the latest projects from Atlanta natives (from top) Raury, Curtis Williams, and Scott Varsity. Reactions to each are in separate posts. Read, react, and tell us what you think! bandofmoguls@gmail.com