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Ashton Nicole Casey, or better known by her stage name, Ashnikko, is a songwriter and singer/rapper from North Carolina. While still being young and fresh in her musical career, she gained popularity through her track Stupid which went viral on several TikTok’s. After some other musical endeavors, Ashnikko finally releases her debut mixtape titled DEMIDEVIL.

The first track from the album is Daisy. The track opens up with some quick distorted horn noises. After a few seconds, it quickly cuts out and then we have more of a hip hop beat start to come in with the high pitched bell sounds. Her vocals seem to give off a hard hitting, but scared vibe. Based on the lyrics of this quick track, Ashnikko seems to break apart some of the stereotypes for females. …

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Zain Malik, or better known by his stage name, ZAYN, is an English singer and songwriter. He got his start in the music industry with the boy band One Direction. After five years with the group, he left and decided to focus on a solo career. Now, five years later, Zayn has come out with his third studio album, Nobody Is Listening.

The first track from the album is Calamity. With a track name like Calamity, I would have expected this to be a little more loud and crazy, however, we just have a descending bass line for most of the track. Even more strange is that we have a spoken word/rapping part from Zayn. He seems pretty upset about something during this track and you can definitely see it in the lyrics as well. …

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Jazmine Sullivan is a singer and songwriter from Philadelphia. She originally released her debut album, Fearless in 2008 and it had commercial success. After the release of her second album, she officially went on hiatus in 2011 since she said that making music wasn’t fun anymore. However, she was able to come back to the music scene in 2015 with a brand new album. Now, 5 years later, she releases a new project (EP) titled Heaux Tales.

The first track from the album is Bodies (Intro). You are greeted with some sweet synth lines and Jazmine’s vocals. It’s not much instrumentally, but the layers of vocals, especially towards the end adds to the emotion of the track. She opens up the track talking about not drinking so much and questioning what she had in her drink the night before. …

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Michael David Rosenberg, or better known by the name Passenger, is a singer and songwriter from England. While he has been making music since the early 2000s, he didn’t really find much fame until his track Let Her Go. The album was originally supposed to be released in 2020, but he has finally released his thirteenth studio album titled Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted.

The first track from the album is Sword from the Stone. It starts with an upbeat piano and guitar part harmonizing each other. Other than that, you don’t get too much more instrumentally, just a few more string and percussion instrumentals added during the chorus. I’m not too thrilled by the backing music. The title of the track seems to be referencing the Excalibur sword that was stuck in stone. …

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Rory Allen Philip Ferreira, or better known by his stage name, R.A.P. Ferreira, is a rapper and producer currently based out of Maine. While taking on other personas such as Milo and Scallops Hotel, he finally settled on R.A.P. Ferreira in 2019 which is basically an abbreviation of his real name. R.A.P. Ferreira starts out the new year on the right foot with a new album titled Bob’s Son: R.A.P. Ferreira in the Garden Level Cafe of the Scallops Hotel, or just Bob’s Son.

The first track from the album is battle report. You’re greeted with a distorted piano sample that loops through the track. It definitely sounds like a beat from one of those lo-fi playlists or radio channels you find on YouTube. It’s a pretty chill beat that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Other than the beat, there isn’t really too much going on lyrically. …

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Jordan Carter, or better known by his stage name, Playboi Carti, is a rapper and singer from Atlanta. Carti first started to gain traction with his track, Magnolia, and that’s the track that first got me into his music. Once his debut album came out, Die Lit, that really solidified Playboi Carti’s role and fame in his career. Ever since his debut, people have been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for his follow up. Now, on Christmas day, Playboi Carti releases Whole Lotta Red.

The first track from the album is Rockstar Made. The track and album opens up with a booming bass and trap styled beats. It definitely brings the energy to the album. While he opens up the track with his normal vocals, he does experiment with it a bit throughout the track. It sounds like he takes the auto-tune off during the chorus which makes his voice sounds more rough than usual, but that could be a reference to being a ‘rockstar’. …

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Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, or better known by his stage name, JPEGMAFIA, is a rapper, singer, and producer from Baltimore. He’s had quite an interesting year with several features and a lot of growth from his 2019 album, All My Heroes Are Cornballs. While he released quite a few singles during the year, I didn’t really check that many out, except for his BALD! tracks. Now, several singles later, he has released a short EP titled, EP!

The first track from the EP is BALD! Since there is a remix a few tracks later, I am going to group the two right here. I actually heard both of these tracks before the EP came out, and these tracks made me excited for what JPEGMAFIA was going to put out in the future. The track opens up with a slowed down track that is eventually sped out. You get some light synths and a bass in the background. Peggy basically talks about how he’s rocking the bald hairstyle. …

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Taylor Swift is an American singer and songwriter. It’s hard to believe that this marks her second album this year. Despite quarantine and lockdowns, she has been keeping busy by recording new music, as well as re-recording some of her older albums, due to some legal battles with her old record label. evermore marks her second album this year and her ninth studio album overall.

The first track from the album is willow. The first thing I notice is that she continues to utilize that folk pop sound in her music, just like her previous album a few months back. It definitely is more upbeat and includes more instrumentation than the opener of folklore so I’m curious as to what she’s going to offer on this album. As for the lyrics, the “wreck my plans, that’s my man” line, people are connecting it with her august track on folklore. …

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Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, or better known by his stage name, Kid Cudi is a rapper/singer and producer from Ohio. After getting inspiration from alternative hip hop groups, Kid Cudi found some inspiration and started making his own music. Eventually, he was able to create his debut, and one of his most notable projects, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. Now, several projects later, Kid Cudi releases the third in the series, Man On The Moon III: The Chosen.

The first track from the album is Beautiful Trip, which is just a quick introduction. The quick notes that were introduced at the beginning play homage to the first track of Man On The Moon: The End Of Day titled In My Dreams. Other than that, the track transitions into the first musical track on the album titled Tequila Shots. Since Cudi has opened up about his mental state in recent years, he talks about the war that has been inside of him, which could deal with anxiety and depression. As others have pointed out, there are some points where he could be making some references to the first album in the series. …

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Jordan Benjamin, or better known by his stage name, grandson, is a Canadian-American singer and songwriter based out of Toronto. While he was born in the United States, his parents moved to Canada at a young age. Leading up to this studio album, he has released several EP’s in 2018 and 2019 and started to gain momentum. Now, he has finally released his highly anticipated debut album titled Death Of An Optimist.

The first track of the album is the title track, Death Of An Optimist // Intro. The introduction opens up with a guitar lick that is repeated throughout the entirety of the track. There are some instruments that are built over it from time to time, like some string instruments and percussive rhythms, but overall the guitar seems to be the main thing in there until the end of the track. On this track, he thinks about if everything he has done so far has been for nothing and wonders if he’ll ever be forgotten because of one minor mistake. …

Lazy Music Guru

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