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So Lit

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Production is pretty solid. I was skeptical when I saw the brick wall mastering, but this is super clean and balanced.
The crash cymbal that hits on the 4th beat of the first of every 2 measures starting at 0:27 is a bit too loud. I like the accent, but it hits much more aggressively than anything else in the track and is a little distracting.
This fits pretty neat and clean into a lot of trap I could hear on the radio. Not particularly risky musically, but you do a great job of nailing the genre, and the production is super clean. I like the piano loop you use in the background as it provides a nice light counterpoint to the heavier bass and hi-hat. I think you could pull this up in the mix a tiny bit so it pulls more attention between verses. Well done!

I like the pads at the beginning and the atmosphere. There could’ve been more of a distinct transition into :13, but the beat there is rather catchy. The thicker texture at :27 was nice. I thought the lyrics were pretty cliche, and similarly to your last piece I think there could be more texture in the middle frequency range. My biggest problem with the piece is that the composition feels pretty stagnant. There’s very little shape over the course of the phrase, and the melodic content is never really varied. The arrangement and progression are very predictable, and at the very least I would’ve liked to see you do a bit more with the final refrain at 3:09. My favorite element of the piece was the production - it just highlights those crisp hats and spacious sub-bass really well. Relatedly, the sound design of the piece between the bell-like synths and creative drums is also satisfactory. The composition just needs a tad more variety and flavor imo. Keep at it, Kurtiskong!

Mixing, mastering, and balance
2/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
.75/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
1.5/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.25/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
.5/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.5/1
Composite score
7.5/10

I'm not sure I like that intro synth on those chords. Feels super dry, especially with those hi-hats, which could use a little verb -- ping pong delay -- something.

Production is otherwise pretty solid, radio ready. I would probably bring up the hats and snares a little, take the kick down about .5 dB. Maybe take up your plinky lead a bit because it's hard to hear at points.

I'd also decrease the reverb tail on your vocals, but that's my preference talking.

The 808 sounds good but always seems a bit loud. I also notice the track itself seems brickwall limited but not properly master compressed. There's tons of tutorials out there to check out.

I will say, the chorus sounds perfect for the genre -- simple, easy to bob to. Verses could use some serious work as the rhymes almost get lazy, and there's seemingly no real zingers or, to quote Kwing, "oh shit" lines. As stupid as most rap fans, like myself, tend to love our trap music, we do, contrary to popular belief, really appreciate witty lyricisms. I admit I do love some trashy ass rap tbh. Yelawolf's "I Just Wanna Party" is a beautiful example of party music + wit, while I'm here. Check out those verses.

The typical structure gives you plenty of bars to play with -- and a lot of time to keep your listeners guessing -- or absolutely bore them to death. Had your track not been produced as well as it is, I'd be sitting in the latter category. Your production is carrying your through, but you've got to get on those verses.

Also, gotta complement the tasteful use of autotune and possibly melodyne. Chorus is well written melodically, and everything seems to gel together quite well.

Overall, enjoyed the listen. Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

Between the autotune, trap snares, and topics (drugs, alcohol, sex, partying) it's really hard to see anything here other than a forgettable flavor of the week. To be candid, there are plenty of performers (I hesitate to use the word artist here) that achieve great levels of success using this style, and if I can applaud you for anything it's the precision and fidelity with which you emulate this style. However, other judges have specifically discouraged trying to score submissions based on some guess about how other listeners receive it, so I'm sticking to my guns and giving this the score I think it deserves (then again, maybe someone will claim bias and this review will bite me in the ass, who knows? Either way someone is going to call me a bad judge.)

Anyway, I should probably get into the specifics of what this song is missing. Dissecting this lyrically is the easiest, so I'll start with that. The hook (die/high/by right now) could be considered catchy but is simple and ultimately says too little to bear repeating. Bottle in my hand/I ain't got no plans/sick of clocking in/ass up in that fast(?) is another pretty good example of crippling simplicity. In this case you're really rhyming one syllable words, plus hand/in is a pretty generous slant rhyme. Ditto for time/young/fun. Beyond the rhymes themselves, the lack of wordplay and metaphor also make this track pretty forgettable. I could keep going but I think it would be excessive at this point.

So what about flow and delivery? Well, you're on beat and on key (not that you would be flat or sharp when using autotune...) so the overall result sounds clean, but your delivery doesn't really accentuate what you're saying. Perhaps this is by design, since you don't have any standout "oh shit" lines to draw attention to in the first place. The only possible use I can see for using this style is if you want people to let the music wash over them as background noise without listening consciously, which unfortunately I can't do since I'm being asked to judge this critically.

Last is the beat. Again, the production is clean. In particular, the synth is really tasteful, though the synth and percussion make it pretty simple and minimalistic. This isn't bad on its own, but like all hip hop it really puts pressure on the rapping.

So to summarize, the instrumental here is quite nice (provided you like the samples that were used) and the vocals sound clean. In short, it sounds like this song achieved what it was meant to be. The fatal flaw being that you could (and should) have aimed a lot higher.

Kurtiskong responds:

This is obviously a biased review but hey we all have music taste and this one is obviously not yours. If you listen to any current day rap music this is basically in that realm heavily. Also simplicity is key to make it anywhere since most of the rap “fans” are pretty brainless and don’t care for meaningful rap anymore, that style came and went in the early 2010s. Also if you listened to all 3 of our submissions in order you must have missed the true meaning of each song being the attempt, rise, and possibly winning aspect of each individualy in that order. Which means everything used in the songs were metaphors for how it feels to move through the ranking of a contest. But thank you for the review, I appreciate criticism.

nice 808s, you spewing fam

Kurtiskong responds:

Thanks bro

Credits & Info

Kurtiskong
Author

Listens
379
Faves:
1
Downloads
9
Votes
6
Score
3.85 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 23, 2018
7:34 AM EDT
Genre
Hip Hop - Modern
File Info
Song
4.8 MB
3 min 30 sec
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