Another week of music comes to a close. About time, right? We’re gonna end it with a bang with a free album download from local hip-hoppers Shay-J and Ishybeatz.
I first met Shay-J at the beginning of this school year, and he hooked me up with this album. It’s called What We Live For, and I can only assume they’re talking about hip-hop. What I immediately loved was the fact that, for the most part, the songs are over three minutes long. As a matter of fact, the longest tune on the album is 6:27, which is really uncharacteristic for hip-hop.
But then again, hip-hop is just the broad genre that I’d classify the album as a whole under. There are definitely songs that are more R&B flavored than just hip-hop, which just helps highlight their creativity and flexibility. The album is pretty conceptual with the skits thrown in throughout. It truly adds meaning to the album, connecting you with the artist. My one complaint is the interviewer. She makes things kind of awkward. Especially in the first track. But that’s just some nitpicking.
“Bus Route 12” is a pretty cool song, and it’s probably one of my favorites off the album. If you live in Gainesville and have ever actually been on the 12 bus, this song has some added meaning. When I first heard Shay-J flow, I was amazed at how similar he sounded to Outkast. I asked him about it, and it turns out that Outkast is a big influence on his style. It’s definitely noticeable.
“In The Morning” is my favorite song. The production value is top notch, and the hook sticks. I also really like the vocal styling toward the end. All the verses are incredible solid. It’s perfect song for males aged 17-22. Just listen to the lyrics.
You can also hit up Shay-J’s MySpace. He’s got like five songs up there, and you can especially hear the Outkast influence. The songs all have a personal touch, talking about his family, his childhood, his future, his past, and everything in between. “That’s My Car” is a track that especially showcases it, and I suggest you listen to it. But don’t just hear it… actually listen to it.
Ishybeatz’s MySpace is also worth checking out. The tunes are exactly my style, with more of a commercialized sound, but they’re definitely still well-produced. “On My Grind” is probably my favorite song off the MySpace, but the personal bit isn’t really there with Ish like it is with Shay-J. That’s what makes their collaboration so interesting. Gators fan? “Gator Bait” and “Gator Stomp” are worth checking out.
In case you missed the link earlier in this post, I’m gonna let you have it one more time. You can download What We Live For for free right here. It’s a good album. Support local music.