A Star – Samples

I have to admit, being a rap fan, I was pretty excited to be sent a rap album to review, although admittedly I’m more into American rap I was instantly drawn in by the beats. Reminiscent of old real old school hip hop I was impressed by the production from the off and had my fingers crossed that A-Star had some strong bars in the bag.

With strong themes of gangs and violence, it is fairly typical rap with the classic mentions of Money, Mercs, guns and Valentino’s in some parts (a good example of this being ‘Squad Goals’). But what I like are the times where the glamour is stripped from gang life and it is no longer focused on money but more around people and the affects of their actions.

There is a line where he talks about it being a good night if all of his bro’s make it home which made me take note, but it’s the song Lil Dillon that got me. I loved the flow and storytelling of it, it’s a about a guy who is sent down and is disowned by his mum and left by his girlfriend who won’t take their daughter to see him and it follows his short and tragic journey through the judicial system and really packs a punch at the end.

Kali is also a track of note, slowly feeding in with a gentle oriental style xylophone, it soon kicks in with a wicked flow. Lyrically, it’s definitely not his strongest track and doesn’t necessarily possess the same clear-cut story telling as ‘Lil Dillon’ but the basic themes are about selling ‘Gelato’ and murder, that said, the beat and the flow in it are definitely enticing and it’s a good listen and certainly one of my favourites.

‘Samples’ is an enjoyable listen, I especially like that he throws a few multi’s in there and the aforementioned beats but I think whilst there are strong moments of it, in general, the storytelling could flow a bit better. Making more relevance of the bars he uses would really tighten things up for me as there are a few that feel quite random and are used maybe just because they rhyme rather boding much meaning.

It’s entirely possible that a few went over my head though, being more into American rap and not being the most street person around, I did genuinely have to hit up one of my rapper friends to help me make sense of a couple of lines before I could write anything for this review, but I did enjoy some of this mixtape and I’ve now learned that ‘Lizzie’ means money!