Yooda – Hiroshima – Album Review
With explosive, in-your-face rhymes and gigantic beats, our homie Yooda is about to drop the bomb – welcome to Hiroshima. The beginning of this record says it all, “Enola Gay” references the first plane to ever drop the atomic-bomb…so if that tells you anything about the ambitions of this rapper – and I believe it does – you’ll get the sense that Yooda is ready to scorch the earth in the process of making his name known worldwide. You’ll hear the life & death of the matter instantly as “Enola Gay” starts-up with spoken-word before busting into the history of Yooda via rapped-out verse…and you can hear that it’s time for the man to get serious and bring out some of his best as he blows-up the rap-scene with his brand-new record.
After stopping in to check-in on the local-news in “JYE Channel 21 News (Skit1)” – Yooda makes his target known to all. Declaring war on wack-rappers through the first of many ‘news skits’ on Hiroshima – Yooda immediately begins the intimidation tactics through the hard-thuggin’ track called “Don’t Walk” featuring SkyyH!gh. People often ask me what the difference between Hip-Hop & Rap is…and well…if you want a pure-strain of the example of rap, straight-up – “Don’t Walk” is the quintessential showcase model. This song sounds DANGEROUS! And it’s supposed to – so props to both Yooda and SkyyH!gh for taking it to the limit on this track and getting right into it…it’s all good with me if you sound committed to the words and make them sound REAL – and they do. That being said…I’m like, 1/10th of the man required to match the toughness of this cut…”Don’t Walk” they say…and I’d be like, running my ass across the street away from this posse if this track was bumpin’ in the background. I don’t know if any good can come from making “Don’t Walk” your personal anthem…as good as the track IS, it definitely comes with a menacing attitude that is ready for ALL of the mayhem – not just a lil’ bit, ALL of it. Hear this track out-loud somewhere and there’s an equal chance of someone out there gettin’ murked as there is a party startin’ up. Seriously impressive overall, “Don’t Walk” looms large and casts a giant shadow over the wack-rappers out there, and SkyyH!gh delivers a solid highlight in the blazing-speed of his verse early on in Hiroshima.
And I mean…of course it all depends on the vibe you wanna send out. If you wanna sound a thousand-times bigger than you are, larger than life and ready to stomp entire villages out, then of course “Don’t Walk” would make a perfect anthem for you to roll through the streets to. So would “Lay Low” for that matter. Featuring Fe_Lie – this track chants out the words loud & proud and keeps the aggression and concepts driving the record on-point. The production on Hiroshima in general has been perfect so far, and you can really hear it in between the mixed-dynamics of a track like “Lay Low.” Switching between loud & quiet, breakdowns and transitions, Yooda navigates this cut with ease, once again sounding like he’s here to handle his business…I’m thinking it’d be tough to even get a smile out of this guy even if you were there to give him the news that his trap was full to the brim. Hooks are strong, good effects on the production in the vocals that are subtle but add strength – and the talent surrounding Yooda is exceptional. Fe_Lie drops a verse of perfection with a rad tone in his voice that adds real contrast to Yooda’s own and really goes a long way to get the most out of this track.
Yung Hefe takes control for the beginning of “Let’s Go” – proving the point even further that Yooda not only cracks it perfectly on the mic himself but has seriously found a ton of talent to assist him along the way on Hiroshima. Yung Hefe sounds about as gangsta as it gets…like he’s the audible-form of keeping a shiv low while you pass it. The chorus on “Let’s Go” is big…it’s simple and really just the title itself, which works for the most part…I think it sounds like it could maybe use a little something more, but for the most part, the fill-ins in between the chants of “Let’s Go” make up for it. Might have sounded cool for the actual “Let’s Go” part to have become bigger and bigger as the song progressed…I suppose that’s what I’m saying, but that’s a minor-point at best – it works fine as it is. Really dig the sound of Yung Hefe’s vocals…definitely got unique style you can absolutely hear.
But at the perfect time to remind us exactly why we’re all here today, Yooda returns to a track solo-style and gives us all reason to remember his name with “Ain’t Worried Bout You.” With style, rhythm and confidence, the man of the hour makes the most of the mic with a slick & sick verse that flows like a stream of bullets from an uzi. With the best roll through a verse on the record so far, Yooda brings attitude in both the lyrics and performance; “Ain’t Worried Bout You” has the energy and spirit that the words are looking for. Clearly sticking to an attitude of ‘I’ll do me, you do you’ – Yooda rejects any intimidation tactics and lets the world roll right off him on “Ain’t Worried Bout You.” The low-end on this track packs in solid rhythm and groove…great hooks in both the vocal-flow and the music itself combine for a serious winner on “Ain’t Worried Bout You.”
The streak continues with “8685” – Yooda tackles this one hard, bringing up the family history quickly before all of a sudden, he’s a grown-ass man able to handle his own business. The versatility in the way he chooses to flow is awesome…it’s not the same 16 bars you’ve heard time-in and time-out, Yooda keeps this record seriously fresh by making sure we’ve got more than enough to keep us awake while we listen. “8655” jacks the low-end up even further, puts the aggression on max and delivers an audible-punch out of your speakers with a MASSIVE sound and hypnotic rap-verse that hooks you in easily…Yooda captures ears quickly with this cut I’m sure. “8655” is like a testament to verbal acrobatics – Yooda never stops the flow from rolling along in the verse, chorus is BIG and the explosion of low-end & energy back into the track is perfect every time in transition. Dig this track!
At the halfway-mark in the record, you get an update on the wack-rapper situation in “JYE Channel 21 News (Skit2)” – and things are sounding pretty grim. After “8655” went down…sounds like the apocalypse and end of times for the whole lot of them…but we’ve still gotta wait for the next update to know for sure. The menacing and huge low-end fury continues with the “Interlude (DJ B.Knuck) Mixed)” laying it out straight for ya…it still sounds straight-up aimed at your dome – but for the most-part, this cut breaks up the album a little bit with a slight…VERY-slight addition of a bit of humor in there. Nothing too major…Yooda’s not looking to break-up the cohesion or the vibe on this record, but undeniably lightens-up a tiny fraction. Still tells you that you better spin this a couple times at least…I’m not looking to piss anyone off, lest I get stomped-out, so I made sure I did & suggest you do the same!
Find me another gangsta-rap track, or hardcore rapper that name-drops Pat Sajak from Wheel Of Fortune…it’s gonna take you a long, long time. Fairly certain that any search you go on ain’t gonna yield any results; I know it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it done! And it’s HARSH to pull out the Sajak-card…yet here we are, Yooda’s gone and done it again on “Claim That.” This track felt a little tighter in terms of how much is happening overall…felt a little more jumbled and full in the mix; it’s definitely a lot more in-your-face than Yooda’s been so far and that’s saying quite a bit. This is a track all about making sure you can back up the words you’re saying…Yooda keeps this one flowing rapidly and with the added snarl and slight growl to his delivery that always let you hear just how serious he is about everything he writes and says. Sajak though! I mean…damn homie…everyone knows those are fightin’ words!
I’m a bit frustrated with “Level Dat Shit” after having supported the flow of Yooda so strongly throughout the entire record…to the point where I almost want to just say ‘you know why’ and leave it at that. I’ll put it this way…when Yooda’s been at the top of his game, which he has been throughout Hiroshima – every syllable fits and falls into place perfectly – on “Level Dat Shit,” it’s not so much that he misses the meter….he hits the mark fine, but you can hear him stretching a few of these lines to make it there. It feels a lot more forced in comparison to any of the other tracks on the record. To his credit, there’s still a ton of words to be spit-out, and he DOES get there on-time…but I think the adherence to the rhyme-scheme might have cost him a bit on “Level Dat Shit” – again, sounds a bit forced overall.
Redemption comes immediately through “Hard Body” and Yooda rights the entire ship to get the album back on course. “Hard Body” is about as modern-day ‘club’ as it gets, definitely a down-n-dirty track where the imagery just twerks right out at you…err…I mean pops right out at you…at least I think I do? I don’t even know anymore…I’m lost in the rhythm and low-end swell of “Hard Body” – the chorus hooks in this cut are extremely awesome and the verse is pumped back up with energy and Yooda’s signature flow full of rapid-paced lyrics is back to leaving no stone unturned. I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest this…but I’m absolutely cool with “Hard Body” becoming the next single from Hiroshima…I’m sure I speak for many in saying I’d love to see a video for this track!
“Fuckin Mind” was a bit of a tough one too…on one hand, I dig the verse, on the other, the main-hooks came out a little strange…it’s weird – I can hear that they work…but I guess I’m just not sure the sung-out vocals had the right sound for the track’s overall tone. I think I get what Yooda was looking for here…and I think it’s close overall, just slightly wide of the mark. I’m thinking he wanted some backing vocals there to be a little bit looser with their delivery and represent being out of their “Fuckin Mind,” just not sure they paired-up with the tone in the low-end as much as we’d like them to. Verse is solid…it all sounds a little bit quiet in comparison to the boldness of the chorus, but there’s still a lot worth listening to as Yooda describes roaming through the neighborhood like a dog looking for a place to bury his bone. Listen to the track – you’ll see what I mean…
On the final-cut, “Gebaku,” Yooda gets a final-assist on the album from rapper Ced Wynez, who we’ve reviewed here at our pages before. Delivering an absolutely solid verse that’s bold, confident and ready to shoot the whole clip to make an impact; Wynez throws some seriousness & style together solidly in the mix of “Gebaku” as the rest of the rappers out there have no faded away from the battlefield, leaving only these two guys and a microphone to end the record. Yooda and Wynez trade the mic off perfectly and definitely understand how to back each other up good’n’proper on a track at this point…as far as I understand it, these two are long-time collaborators and always ready to grab some bars on the other’s track when asked.
I was impressed with last year’s album Latent Status from Yooda…and I’d have to say that Hiroshima goes a long way to cement this rapper permanently as a genuine authority in the rap-scene. When you put rhymes out with this much commitment to the performance, you get solid results like what you’ll hear from Yooda and the surrounding talent on this record. With a final check-in on the news through “JYE Channel 21 News (Skit3)” – you’ll hear that the man has accomplished his goals…the wack-rappers have officially been annihilated and destroyed…only Yooda is left standing at the end of this match. I can’t say whether he is or isn’t hiding cement blocks in his gloves…but I can certain vouch for the fact that when Yooda swings, he swings hard with pointed-aim ready to take the head right off the target…he keeps his rhymes sharp & on-point and creates genuine, hard-thuggin’ entertainment on Hiroshima.
Find out more about Yooda from his official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Mr305Shotta
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