Quarterly EP Reviews: January-March

Hey all!

I usually skip over EP’s and short projects when they release as I feel like they’re usually of a lower quality (often just throwaways), plus they’re not really long enough to do full reviews on. I’m still interested in a lot of these projects though as I’ve heard some amazing EP’s in the past, so each quarter I’m going to spend a day going through all of the EP’s of the last 3 months and doing a simplified review of each.

I’m only going to include a sentence or two on each song, and a paragraph about the project as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream each project on Spotify and Apple Music. Enjoy!

Redman – 3 Joints

SpotifyApple Music

Redman’s ‘3 Joints EP’ was released on January 9th and unsurprisingly contains 3 songs and no features.

1. It’s A Banguh

2. Slap The Shit Outchea

3. Zugga

First song has a really addictive beat and some hard hitting bars, but the hook and the song overall falls flat, drags on too long too. Second song has an equally captivating beat, and Redman sounds real menacing with his confident delivery on the verses, Hook is catchy too but is a little repetitive. The third and final song has more fire rapping from Redman and another real repetitive hook, beat is interesting again despite being super simple and minimal for the most part.

Fun little listen overall, the highlight was the production with all three songs having thoroughly enjoyable too, and Redland rapping was impressive for the most part. The hooks were the low point of the EP and brought it down as a whole. No great songs but no bad songs either.

Tech N9ne – Enterfear Level 2

SpotifyApple Music

Tech N9ne’s ‘Enterfear Level 2’ was released on 17th of January and contains 4 track, with features from Landxn Fyre, Merkules, Scru Face Jean & Krizz Kaliko.

1. Outdone

2. Leave It On The Flo (ft. Landxn Fyre)

3. Phonk (ft. Merkules & Scru Face Jean)

4. Smell Good (ft. Krizz Kaliko)

‘Outdone’ has lots of impressive fast flows and rhyme schemes, beat is a little boring though, whole song sounds a little lacking for the first 2 minutes then gets a little more exciting. ‘Leave It On The Flo’ has some slower flows from Tech but just as many great rhymes, and the beat is much more exciting on this one. Second verse has some fire flows from Tech and Lxndon Fyre has a killer feature verse, hook is even decent, actually a good track overall. ‘Phonk’ samples the second track which is real cool, beat is real eerie and each rapper meshes well with it delivering high pace flows with menacing deliveries. Both features are fire and Tech closes the song out with some more impressive rhymes and flows. ‘Smell Good’ has quite a boring beat and a generic hook, Tech flows decently and spits some quality bars, but the song lacks energy. Krizz Kaliko has an amazing versatility of flows and delivery, is a great feature but not good enough to save the song.

This was a fairly enjoyable listen but was nothing new from Tech N9ne. It had lots of impressive flows and intricate rhyme schemes on display, but it wasn’t too different from everything Tech has done in the past. My favourite songs were the middle 2, and all the songs were at least partly enjoyable, but with a couple of soft songs and a couple of bangers this EP had no cohesion to it.

Raekwon – The Appetition

SpotifyApple Music

Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon released ‘The Appetition’ on January 17th, boasting 3 tracks and an uncredited feature from P Wright on ‘Solid Gold’

1. Solid Gold

2. Chef It Up

3. Shells Kitchen

‘Solid Gold’ has a super solid r&b hook, and Raekwon has some solid bars, but the delivery is nothing special and the beat is real basic. ‘Chef It Up’ has a real banging beat and Raekwon has a real hungry delivery, rides the beat excellently and spits some solid bars. Hook is basic but is real catchy, and second verse is just as hard as the first, good song overall. ‘Shells Kitchen’ has a crisp name and this real haunting beat, Raekwon’s flows are okay but his delivery isn’t very exciting at all. The interlude is pointless and the second verse is as unexciting as the first, average song.

Overall this was an okay EP, it was boring for the most part but had some standout moments that caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting any features so the amazing r&b hook from P Wright on ‘Solid Gold’ was a nice surprise, the production on the last 2 tracks was thoroughly enjoyable, and I enjoyed almost the entirety of ‘Chef It Up’. So in the end I didn’t think it was the greatest, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought this was amazing; Raekwon’s monotone delivery and voice has always turned me off a little so I feel like this is one Raekwon fans would enjoy.

Twista – Lifetime

SpotifyApple Music

Twista released his ‘Lifetime EP’ on February 14th, with a total of 5 songs and a single feature from reggae artist Mad Lion.

1. Still On Top

2. Danger

3. Wish List

4. Life Time (Ft. Mad Lion)

5. Time Zone

The EP starts off with ‘Still on Top’ which has this real captivating Spanish guitar and a catchy hook, Twista flows exceptionally while delivering his bars crisp and clearly, solid rhyme schemes too. ‘Danger’ is more of a banger with chaotic percussion and thumping bass, twista come through with a great range of impressive flows and rhymes, Hook is a little strange though, good song overall. ‘Wish List’ has this addictive little guitar riff that gives the song these mellow summer vibes, and Twista has a more laid back delivery but the usual display of fire flows and bars, hook is average again but the verses are fire, decent song. ‘Lifetime’ has this super majestic beat with these funky 80’s disco vibes, and Twista flows slower than usual but still rides the beat perfectly and has an enjoyable delivery throughout, another average hook but it fits the vibe of the song well. Mad Lion’s delivery is a bit grating at first but gets more tolerable as it goes on, his flows are good but the verse isn’t too special. The EP closes with ‘Time Zone’ which has more of these atmospheric winter vibes, real calming beat and the hook is calming and quite enjoyable melodically. Twista contrasts the low tempo instrumental with his rapid fire flows perfectly, lots of enjoyable rhymes and a great delivery throughout, decent song but is a bit generic, nothing special.

Overall this was a real enjoyable listen, and one I enjoyed almost all the way through. Twista showcased how his flows are still exceptional all these years into his career, consistently enjoying a variety of fast flows which glide perfectly over the range of beat. The production itself was crisp throughout this project with each of the 5 songs offering a different vibe sonically. I felt like the Mad Lion Feature was average and ‘Time Zone’ as a whole was a little lacking, but other than that a very exciting little project

Skippa Da Flippa – Just In Time

SpotifyApple Music

In the lead up to his upcoming album $H2 Skippa Da Flippa released his ‘Just In Time’ EP on March 4th, with a total of 5 tracks and no features.

1. Better

2. 0114

3. DTM

4. Back Door

5. Missin

‘Better’ has a real generic trap beat and a fairly basic hook as well, the flows from Skippa are decent but nothing special and the delivery is simple. ‘0114’ has a slightly more exciting trap beat and a much more enjoyable delivery from Skippa, good variety of flows too, although the bars are quite basic and the repetition at times is unnecessary, only really enjoy the melodic flows used at times in this song. ‘DTM’ has the best beat so far largely due to the guitar melody and church organ-like synths, unfortunately Skippa has quite a boring delivery and basic flows for the most part, and the repetitive hook isn’t too exciting at all. ‘Back Door’ has an enjoyable bass and a repetitive yet catchy hook, good flows and rhymes from Skippa but the usual display of average delivery, verse still has a real good flow to it, on the fence about this song overall. ‘Missin’ closes out the album quite strongly, fairly basic beat but the slightly melodic hook is quite catchy, and Skippa rides the beat well with some enjoyable flows and bars in the verse, decent song but nothing special.

Overall this EP was an ease to get through with each song being around 2 minutes, but in terms of quality everything was pretty Kid and there were no songs that stood out as being good. There were some decent hooks such as on ‘Missin’ and some enjoyable verses on songs such as ‘Back Door’, but they never seemed to come together on the one track. I think this was just throwaways from Skippa he wanted to release before his album (which is out now), so I’m hoping the quality is lower on these too

Kxng Crooked – The Sixteen Chapel

Apple Music

Slaughterhouse member Kxng Crookef released his latest EP ‘The Sixteen Chapel’ on March 6th, with a total of 5 tracks and zero features.

1. San Diego 2010

2. Rap Shyt

3. The Dream Tapes

4. Convertible Bars

5. Steinway & Sons

‘San Diego 2010’ has this super dreamy instrumentation but it’s a bit boring, Crooked has some solid bars and rhymes but his delivery is boring and his flows aren’t too exciting. ‘Rap Shyt’ has another majestic but boring beat, and the delivery is quite boring again by the flows and rhymes are more solid than the first song, lots of impressive bars, better song than the last but still average overall. ‘The Dream Tapes’ has the usual basic delivery from Crooked, but his impressive flows sound much better over this majestic, grandiose production, lots more enjoyable rhymes on display too, whole song really draws you in. ‘Convertible Bars’ has a simple dreamy instrumental similar to the first, and Crooked is back to rapping with his usual delivery with some average bars and flows throughout, whole song is okay but doesn’t pick up at all. ‘Steinway & Sons’ is the fifth and final track of the EP, and takes a while to get going so wasted like 20 seconds at the start. Crooked flows well but doesn’t mesh well with the beat and his delivery is as basic as it has been most of this project. Some crisp bars and rhymes but the song overall doesn’t have anything exciting.

Overall this was just an average project in terms of quality, with most songs showing a display of impressive rapping from Crooked without offering much excitement in the way of delivery, Hooks, or production. The project had some impressive bars and rhymes scattered throughout but was mostly a chore to get through, with every song being quite boring due to the unexciting instrumentals and one dimensional delivery.

Krizz Kaliko – Eternal

SpotifyApple Music

Strange Music Signee Krizz Kaliko released his ‘Eternal EP’ on 13th of March, with just 4 songs and features from Rittz, Merkules, Jelly Roll & JL.

1. Foolish (ft. Rittz)

2. Avoiding Mirrors (ft. Merkules & Jelly Roll)

3. Mad (ft. JL)

4. Coloring Book

‘Foolish’ is a banger with this eerie distorted synth and thumping bass, both Rittz & Krizz sound amazing, love both the rapping and melodic parts, great start to the EP. ‘Avoiding Mirrors’ has ridiculous bass and Krizz flows over the beat with ease, Hard hitting bars and a whole lot of impressive flows. Hook is a little average, is interesting though so may grow on me. Merkules rides the beat really well too and changes up his flows and delivery a bunch, good addition to the track. Jelly Roll actually had an enjoyable verse all the way through too, great song in the end. ‘Mad’ has this addictive little piano beat and Krizz has this amazing delivery and flow from the get-go, changes it up throughout too but is consistently enjoyable. Hook is really catchy, and JL has some impressive flows with some funny one liners in his verse, decent feature and a good song overall. The final song ‘Coloring Book’ has a totally different vibe with this atmospheric synth melody and calming guitar making up the beat, as well as the occasional angelic piano. Amazing contrast between the beautifully sung hook and the nonchalantly delivered barrage of bars on the verses, with each section being just as impressive. Lots of great bars too, amazing song.

Amazing EP overall and one of the best projects of the year. Each of the 4 tracks has their own vibe and Krizz comes through with a solid performance on every single track, with assistance from impressive features on 3 out of 4 songs. This was perhaps the most I’ve enjoyed a Krizz project, with every song being above average overall with each having standout moments, and therefore the album being consistently enjoyable front to back.

Final Notes

There were quite a few EP’s which dropped in the last few months, and after listening through most of them I feel like it was a solid few months in terms of quality too. Aside from this list I’ve also listened to a couple of EP’s earlier this year, most notably Kodie Shane’s ‘BLOOMING VOL.1 EP’ and the Rizzoo Rizzoo & Ugly God collaborative EP ‘UglyGoblin’. I wanted to peep the Heems EP ‘Western Beef ‘15 EP’ but it seems to have disappeared from streaming, and I’m also kinda interested in the Calboy EP but not enough to peep it this time around, so may come back to it later in the year.

My favourite songs from the EP’s of this quarter were Raekwon’s ‘Chef It Up’, Tech N9ne’s ‘Phonk’ & ‘Leave It On a The Flo’, Twista’s ‘Danger’, ‘Wish List’ & ‘Still on Top’, and all 5 songs from Krizz Kaliko’s ‘Eternal EP’.

What was your favourite EP of this quarter?

Are there any enjoyable EP’s that I seem to have missed?

Thanks for reading!

– Shan –

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