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Subject: "EarthGang: MirrorLand [2019]" Previous topic | Next topic
Hitokiri
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20417 posts
Fri Sep-06-19 03:57 PM

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"EarthGang: MirrorLand [2019]"
Fri Sep-06-19 04:03 PM by Hitokiri

  

          

1. LaLa Challenge
2. UP
3. Top Down
4. Bank
5. Proud Of U (feat. Young Thug)
6. This Side
7. Swivel
8. Avenue
9. Tequila (feat. T-Pain)
10. Blue Moon
11. Tripping (feat. Kehlani)
12. Stuck (feat. Arin Ray)
13. Fields
14. Wings


Definitely one of the best rap projects of the year to me so far. Lyrics, flows, production, and hooks are all on point.
What ya'll think?

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: EarthGang: MirrorLand [2019]
Sep 07th 2019
1
Lmao
Sep 07th 2019
2
People have tried to put me on to them.
Sep 07th 2019
3
RE: People have tried to put me on to them.
Sep 13th 2019
5
there are a lot of acts nowadays that i should like that i dont.
Sep 08th 2019
4
That voice going high and cracking thing irks me
Sep 14th 2019
6

bearfield
Member since Mar 10th 2005
7487 posts
Sat Sep-07-19 02:08 AM

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1. "RE: EarthGang: MirrorLand [2019]"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat Sep-07-19 02:37 AM by bearfield

  

          

This is a lightly edited live reaction to the album. I type my reactions as I'm listening and try not to go back and restate things.

Note: On the first listen I generally focus on the instrumental and deliveries, e.g. flows, patterns, and rhyme schemes. Most of the lyrical content is going to blow past me unless it's particularly compelling. This is also my first full EARTHGANG project. I made it a few songs into Shallow Graves for Toys as a primer but nothing from it really stuck with me.

EARTHGANG – Mirrorland


“LaLa Challenge”

Good for an intro. I'm not sure what this beat switch does beyond attempts to set the listener up to expect the unexpected. It's not a well-executed song.

“Up”

I've seen the Colors YouTube performance of this song. I do not like it at all. Johnny Venus is doing way too much. Doctur Dot's verse is okay.

“Top Down”

Riding anthem. Too much space in the chorus to work. Pretty good verse from Doctur Dot.

“Bank”

What is with Atlanta artists post “U Guessed It” and these kinds of beats? The beats on this project are tepid. No energy behind them. Johnny Venus with another super embellished delivery. He's trying too hard. Thug does this effortlessly and he doesn't even write. Earthgang has roots in rappity rap and that might be conflcting with this delivery.

“Proud of U”

Remember when Thug was new and inventive? Putting Johnny Venus side by side with Thug really shows the influence. Venus has a very studied Thug-style delivery. Thug's pocket is never mentioned when folks list his best attributes but it's always amazing. Dot does this annoying thing here where he will set up a long form rhyme scheme then abandon it on an odd meter. Just do one more bar of that scheme instead of picking a random couple of syllables to start the next scheme on!

“This Side”

This album is farily positive lyrically. Again, likely owing to their “indie” roots where the thing to talk about is whatever the “mainstream” isn't talking aboout. This sounds like a song recorded in LA. Maybe it's the Kendrick inflections in the chorus. More Thug flows. I'm not getting much Outkast from this album beyond them being two vaguely eccentric dudes from Atlanta. DD with another good verse structurally and lyrically. This beat switch contagion must be destroyed. Not every song needs a beat switch. Curse you, Travis Scott!

“Swivel”

One of these Cole style beats where it's attempting to bridge the gap between boom bap and trap. Ends up being just an extremely slow boom bap beat. More good patterns from Doctur Dot and they're lyrically cohesive. I would probably listen to a DD solo project. Can we get one Venus verse where he doesn't overdo it at one point. He was pulling off the laid back delivery but just had to insert that incongruous bar where you can tell he's Really Doing Something Special Here. Best song so far.

“Avenue”

Interesting drum patterns by Dahi. JV and DD occupy the same register vocally. Not a classic pairing. EPMD rapped in different registers as did Nice & Smooth and Kast. I wonder if that's why Venus goes so overboard with his embellishments sometimes. He feels like he has to distance himself from DD's delivery. Nothing particularly interesting in that song beyond the instrumental.

“Tequila”

Doing too much with the instrumental. Very few repeat producers on this project but it's fairly cohesive. Might owe more to the mixing and mastering than any kind of instrumental choices. Fucking JV. Just take it down a notch. What is this violin doing in here? Completely unnecessary. We already have JV doing that kind of thing with his voice. I did not enjoy this song.

“Blue Moon”

I definitely would not listen to a Johnny Venus project. What is this fucking throwback shit. I wonder if this is in the contract co-authored by J. Cole at Dreamville. “You must include at least one washed beat on every project.” This is really bad. The singing is bad. The instrumental is bad. Again with this extra shit. What do the horns add that everything else is supposed to already cover? If you have to add extraneous stuff like this then you need to work on the base instrumental or change up the delivery. There was a nice little part towards the middle where a different or previously drowned out sample came in the left channel and it sounded like legitimately good boom bap but it didn't last that long.

“Trippin”

Cool instrumental. DD seems to be forcing a melody here when he should probably just be rapping. Why is there a completely different Kehlani solo song inserted into the middle of this song? More beat switches. Curse you, A$AP Rocky!

“Stuck”

I'm tired of JV. There is a lot of CeeLo in his delivery here and possibly throughout the entire project. I sometimes think JV does this super embellished delivery thing to mask the fact that he can't put together something beyond a decent bar. Definitely a case of style over substance. Not a fan of The Weekdy feature.

“Fields”

Is this the same album? I guess there was a lot of cohesion in the project because this sounds like it belongs on a different project. Is this Brian Malik Baptiste feature a collaborator from their early days? This is the most overtly Outkast-sounding song so far. A lot of 3k in this verse. So Johnny Venus' thing is that he sounds like other iconic Atlanta rappers?

“Wings”

Bonus-ish track. Almost sounds like an alternate intro. Not bad. I would replace “LaLa Challenge” with this song.


Final thoughts after one listen:

Decent. I went in expecting to be able to hate on it a lot but some of the instrumentals and Doctur Dot verses won me over. These guys remind me of Kendrick a little. I think Kenny is a kind of herald of rap music, meaning that he takes all that came before him and translates and twists it into something palatable for current listeners. EARTHGANG kind of do this but it comes off as a little less studied and accomplished than Kendrick. They're good at approximating and appropriating modern Atlanta flows and combining it with what could be called a classic approach to lyricism and writing raps. The resultant verses are usually fine, rarely very good. Instrumentally the project was pretty weak. Several of the songs lacked a punch that a lot of modern trap has. Many of them feel flat despite being very busy. A lot of the songs rolled off my back but there were a few standout cuts, "Swivel" being the best. I didn't get a clear overal theme to the album other than these guys being generally counter to more popular ATL rap. J.I.D occupies the same space though so I'm not sure what niche EARTHGANG fill. I probably won't listen to this again but I am interested in Doctur Dot features and projects. I am automatically blocking and deleting any Johnny Venus content headed my way.

https://imgur.com/e4O6kby

  

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Hitokiri
Charter member
20417 posts
Sat Sep-07-19 02:17 PM

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2. "Lmao"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Man that was a whole lot of venom for the conclusion to be "it's decent." With all the things that were negative to you, I would've expected an the summation to be "this album is terrible, they should stop making music."
I disagree with you assessment, but i appreciate the thought you put into your hating.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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stone_phalanges
Member since Mar 06th 2010
1456 posts
Sat Sep-07-19 11:02 PM

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3. "People have tried to put me on to them."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Several times in fact. Every time, I try them out because I never can get through a whole album and therefore forget how forgettable they are.

This joint is actually kinda wack though, so this time I think I'll remember I don't like this group.

www.anwarmorse.com
Stone-phalanges.deviantart.com

  

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Dupree90
Member since Jul 10th 2005
629 posts
Fri Sep-13-19 09:09 AM

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5. "RE: People have tried to put me on to them."
In response to Reply # 3


          

LMAO!!!!! And the nerve of (Joe Budden voice) Brent Barry in the face to go on twitter and say they're the new Outkast except w/ two Andres...then thats not Outkast DUMMY!!!!

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
7147 posts
Sun Sep-08-19 07:00 AM

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4. "there are a lot of acts nowadays that i should like that i dont."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

this is one.

------

  

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DJR
Member since Jan 01st 2005
14276 posts
Sat Sep-14-19 10:11 AM

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6. "That voice going high and cracking thing irks me"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Who started that shit? Kendrick? The “No Flex Zone” kids? Knock that shit off.

  

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