Leche K Brown – Season 3 – Album Review
“Pass the Bacardi!” Let’s get this party started homies.
First impressions of listening to Leche K Brown’s latest record Season 3 definitely has me believing that there’s a whole world of people out there that are gonna wanna get in on this emcee’s music. When you check out this set, you’re gonna hear a rapper that understands the art of the rhyme – not too old-school in its sound, but enough hints that you can hear Leche’s got genuine respect for those that paved the way for him to exist today, but thankfully, it’s not so ridiculously present-day that you’ll want to turn it off after not being able to discern a single word from today’s mumble-rap & trap superstars. Season 3, in my own humble estimation, is for people that actually like, love, and truly appreciate what rap IS. There is…such a massive hole in rap right now…and once you hear Leche’s cuts, you’ll realize that this dude has every chance & possibility of sliding right into that space and filling a genuine need out there in the music-scene…a sound that the people are really going to want to hear & are constantly seeking out.
Right off the drop, “Ain’t For Everybody” sets the standard at a seriously high level. LISTEN to the rhythm in this emcee! Clear rhymes, full of relevant references and socially insightful comments, all while keeping it extremely real – ain’t no question about it, Leche K Brown comes out sounding gigantic, hungry, and ready to attack the mic at all times. Killer sound to this first cut as well – it’s drawing on a completely minimalist style ultimately, but due to the insane amount of personality and character from the song’s main star on the mic, every moment sounds just as full and entertaining as you’d hope it would be. Being a guy that digs this genre more than any other when it gets political, the final bars of “Ain’t For Everybody” really hit home for me…I think what you’ll hear in those last verses from Leche speak strongly on behalf of the fact that this is one emcee that’s unafraid to put his unfiltered thoughts out there into the world and fight for what’s right through his words. Great energy to start a record.
“Don’t Lose” loosens up the vibe and sends the record quickly into party-mode with the bright sound & catchy beat found on this second cut from Season 3. Come ON people – Leche’s NAILING these first two tracks hard enough that you should pretty much love this record based on the effort, precision, and sound of these first two songs from Season 3 alone. Between these first two cuts, there’s zero-doubt about the fact that, if you dig rap, you should be on the edge of your damn seat and STOKED to hear whatever comes next. It might not be the most current reference you’ll hear this year – but truthfully, “Don’t Lose” sounds a lot like the vibes that Coolio used to put out. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that in my books unless Leche plans on starting to put his own hologram out there to compete with the C – otherwise, I’m all in favor of this. Love the energy and uplifting vibe that this entire cut has and it’s insightful balance of keeping it light but keeping it real at the same time. If you listen to the words, Leche proves he’s got plenty to say and knows exactly how to say it – and with the combination of such vibrant & colorful music firing up the beat in behind him, he slides right into an undeniable win here.
The music heads back towards the serious-side of Leche’s style, enveloping the atmosphere with a threatening & menacing back-alley sound – “Just Snappin” is mean & tough enough to take your lunch money homies…so be ready to cough it up. He’s got multiple references to 2Pac throughout this record – and I think you can certainly hear the influence that the legend has had on the rhymes of Brown now. What I loved about “Just Snappin” aside from the fact that he’s created another killer cut, including a dope reference to The Punisher in there, is that by the time you work your way through this third track, you’ve heard three way different approaches to the bars on every song. Honestly…if I had a dime for every single time that an emcee stepped up to the next beat on their record while bringing the EXACT same flow from the song right before it, I’d be plenty rich. For the record though, us writers are just as guilty sometimes…like if I had a dime for every time that some writer out there started a sentence with ‘if I had a dime’ then obviously I’d be rich several times over. I’m off on a tangent here – the POINT of what I’m saying is, the versatility in Brown’s approach is leading him to all kinds of innovative rhymes and “Just Snappin” is another solid example of him finding yet another direction that seriously works.
“How Do You Want It Part 2” furthers the point made regarding Pac’s influence on Leche – this is a direct response/continuation of “How Do You Want It” by rap’s most massive superstar. Does Brown do Pac proud here? HELLZ YES. Again, the amount of rhythm, precision, tone & focus that you hear in Leche’s vocals as he rolls from bar-to-bar is insanely awesome and designed so stylistically that it’s bound to catch your attention for the stellar flow that consistently comes through the microphone. I think if anything, there are a few moments in the backing vocals that ride the edge of the tone they’re seeking…I also think that as far as auto-tuner goes, y’all know I’m a massive fan of the sound of it, but I also think there are very few people that use this tool to their advantage. That hasn’t changed here. It’s an interesting final inclusion on “How Do You Want It Part 2” – arguably one step too many perhaps; it’s impossible to say for sure, people out there all over the world completely accept what Kanye does with the auto-tuner as well and he’s more off the mark when it comes to its proper use than anyone else. Point being, people just love the sound of it…I think Brown’s part of that crowd for sure, which is fine, certainly ain’t gonna hurt him but I can’t personally vouch for the fact that it’s helping him either. Dude already has a perfect tone & cadence to his sound & flow in his rap – hard to argue trying to fix something up with some additional flash when he clearly has all the right ingredients to begin with. And don’t get me wrong people…for the majority of this cut, Leche has created a seriously addictive vibe that you’ll WANT to repeat over and over – and I have no problem fully recommending that you DO that – all I’m saying is that this is definitely an emcee that, when at his most focused, obviously never misses…he don’t need no gimmicks, he just needs to keep that focus sharp. Hooks in the vocals…singing-wise…for rappers in general, is always a hit & miss game – that’s usually not their main strength. I felt like Leche holds his own in that department really well…you can hear it’s the secondary-skill in comparison to how flawlessly he spits hot bars out his face, but he’s not too far off exactly where he wants to be. Quite often when it comes to the rap-game, it’s just a matter of believing you CAN do it, taking that confidence into the studio and taking the time to smooth out every corner to make it perfect as well.
Leche’s gonna run into trouble with tone once again on the hooks of “Come Over,” probably a lot more noticeably this time around for the people out there listening. Songs like this get super tough to cut from a record – because LISTEN to the incredible ideas in the music & beat of this track…LISTEN to how well the verses come out…that’s where this track completely excels. Leche crushes the words on this wild tale of the nightlife & finding love throughout the main bars on “Come Over” and completely gives you every reason to listen through the main meat of the song. As for the hooks around those verses in the chorus…they need work homie…I can’t lie to ya. Wouldn’t help Leche as an artist if I did, wouldn’t serve you as readers or listeners if I didn’t keep it real…he’s a bit on the flat side of the tone he’s after here and coming out with dissonance that detracts from the melody. Like I often say – it’s about the ideas at the end of the day…and when it comes to those same hooks, I’d argue that he is on the right path, even if he’s walkin’ it a bit crooked right now. The verses are gripping, stylistic, and full of charisma and charm…the chorus has the right ideas and again, isn’t far off from what he’s looking to achieve. Surprisingly, this deep-voiced emcee is actually having the toughest time with the lowest notes and keeping them consistent in those hooks without letting the energy or tone drop on “Come Over” – but I do again, always think it’s completely commendable to go after the hooks as an artist, particularly in rap. It’s far too common in this genre to just farm out the main hooks to a guest star and let the situation handle itself…Leche’s proving that he wants to be involved in all aspects of his music and willing to take on every part – and over time, he’s gonna be crushing it all just how he wants to be. As it stands…I’m likely not the only one to hear “Come Over” how I’ve described…I might be the only one willing to level with a homie & lay it out there on the straight & narrow, but so be it, I’m always that guy. Again, not to drive the point into the dirt…but I don’t just talk & talk in these reviews when it’s not required…when an artist is right on the verge of something great, I do my best to assist in helping steer them in that direction. Essentially, I rant most when I CARE the most…because potential like Leche’s should reach its ultimate destination and definition of success, however he chooses to define it.
“Come Here” has Leche making an audible case for being a lover, not a fighter. Don’t get me wrong…I think you can always hear in this emcees tone that he could obviously throw-down if the situation called for it – but on “Come Here” you get to check out the more sensitive side of Leche K Brown. I think he did an awesome job on the lyrics of this cut…and I think a TON of people out there will be able to relate to this track as he details what it’s like to take a night that might seem like a write-off and turn it into something special. We all have our moods, we all have bad days…a track like “Come Here” speaks to those moments where we find that special someone that can take us away from all that and put us back to a level-head that can enjoy the day. “Girl you’re fuckin with a man that’s fully equipped!” Between that and “Come on and ride it like a Kawasaki” – the man in question makes a solid case for him being that person that can relieve the stress of your day behind for something better. Ladies take notice!
I loved the opening intro into “Heartbeat” as the second-half of the record began…it gave me one of those moments where I truly felt old as I tried to fish out the melody of the music and where it originally came from. At first I thought it was good ol’ “Axel F” – but it ain’t – it’s actually “Push It” from Salt’N’Pepa in a different sound/tempo…and obviously, it’s a whole different sound, song, & vibe on “Heartbeat.” For the most-part, I dig this cut and think he’s onto something that really works once again – if anything, on this particular track, I’d recommend watching those layered-vocals and how they interact. More noticeably towards the end of the song, or at the beginning of “Make You Mine” to follow, when you have those two layers firing-up at the same time, if they’re not adding to each other, then you gotta assume that they’re subtracting somehow. What they add, is more beef and strength in the exact right places you would want to hear it – what they subtract is that consistency in tone by taking the control away from the lead-vocals by adding contrasting tones that can’t be controlled at the same time. On “Heartbeat” – Leche is right on the fence again for what ears will accept when it comes to those moments at the end of this cut…but I’ll be damned if once again the beginning and the verses of this cut aren’t so impressive that you can pretty much forgive this guy any time he steps outta line. When it comes to “Heartbeat” it’s just that one potential step too far…because verse and chorus, he’s KILLIN’ it on this track…and from about 2:30 forward, he starts taking additional chances that I’m not entirely sure this song needed. Everything before that, 100% flawless and a highlight example of Leche at his best when it comes to delivering the hooks right on-point. That ending of “Heartbeat” becomes more noticeable due to that same tactic being applied to the verses of “Make You Mine” right after.
Talk about a song you WANT to support! “Make You Mine,” idea-wise, is without a doubt one of Season 3’s most impressive moments and a real display of the potential that Leche has in his writing & structures. Spots around the ninety-second mark, where he loosens up and just GOES with it – THAT is exactly what I’m talking about…that’s where he’s not thinking about the fact that he’s a ‘rapper that’s singing’ – he’s just DOING it without worrying about his street cred as a rapper dropping. It’s without a doubt the sound of someone right in the flow, just feeling the vibe & the beat and getting the results without overthinking it. As for the rest of this song…Leche’s having a much harder time on this one than almost any other…and that’s a tough pill to swallow because the song itself is truly fantastic. Right from its bright electro beginnings, you WANT to stick with this one and get right into every second that’s going to follow…but by those first bars, he’s already costing himself with the contrast in the vocal layers and it’s not until that ninety-second mark where he steps out of his own thoughts to really find his way. For that entire second verse, this guy PROVES he can be right on the money…and that’s the main issue I have with it. Like I always say in the studio when I’m recording with someone…I’ve got NO problems at all with whatever it is you bring to your music…but once you PROVE that you can pull off the maximum potential of what you’re capable of, then WE have the responsibility to hold you to those standards YOU set. What I WANT on “Make You Mine” is that emcee that shows up in the second verse to exist on this entire track…because that’s exactly the tone, attitude, and charming sound that’ll make this whole idea come together. As the song heads into its final minute of having the hooks on repeat…that’s where that tone is so severely required, especially in the breakdown when the music is stripped away, leaving the vocals exposed like a nerve ending. It is severely tough to separate the layers…but it’s in doing that, that you can hear once again how capable Leche truly IS and how much those layers are interfering with the tones he’s seeking out. Individually, if I concentrate on each one – he’s damn close if not spot-on for what he’s looking for on every layer…it’s that combination of contrasting tones not quite harmonizing with each other that seems to be costing him. If I had to hazard a guess…I’m thinking it’s the approach being taken to the recording…I have the feeling that each layer is being recorded without hearing the others at the same time, which is exactly what would lead to each separate vocal track sounding like they’re right on the money and the combination of all of them together sounding worlds apart. If Leche’s going to harmonize, he’s gotta make sure he’s listening to those tones that are going to be around him and adding to each layer by supporting it with the right vocals to match.
Hopefully this is all making some sense. As Leche himself will go on to say on “Real” – “If you keep it real with me, I’ll keep it real with you” – and that’s all I’m ever trying to do in these reviews. I could make’em all two paragraphs long like Rolling Stone or any other half-assed music magazine out there – but I’ve always believed that artists/bands/music out there deserve much MORE from us…and that if we’re REALLY listening (like many of my peers just pretend to) then we should ALWAYS have plenty to say. I’m not usually a massive fan of talking in that R&B vibe…you know, the whole low-voiced ‘baby, you know I’ve always cared about you, why you cryin, I just wanna be your man’ asides that Lonely Island has since scorched several times over to make the point of how cheesy it can typically be – but for some reason, I really don’t mind it when Leche busts that move out on “Real” or the other tracks he’s taken that time for. Especially on “Real” I suppose – the way this song started definitely used that straight-talkin’ idea to its advantage, and after a quick word from our sponsor, we’re right into the main verse. Another solidly different approach to the bars on “Real” that works great…the main hooks of the chorus, they’re 100%, rhythmic, hypnotic, and captivating. The ‘let’s talk about it’ background vocals add another layer to the hook itself, but that’s another spot where the tone noticeably clashes with everything else around them. In many ways, that’s the most perplexing example of that aspect of Leche’s music…I don’t want to say he’s lost his focus in that one moment…but kinda? Again, I’m just keeping it “Real” for the guy…he’s got the right energy and tone in the entire track – and then one line, right where it’s most important and exposed to us all, where the life has completely gone out of the words in what almost sounds like a complete afterthought altogether. As he says, ‘sometimes to keep it real you’ve gotta break hearts’ – I ain’t tryin’ to break no hearts here, but I’ve got no problem busting balls when it comes to a spot like that…because deep down, when you KNOW someone is capable of more – you know that THEY know it too…so really, even though I consider it part of my own responsibility to make sure an artist/band knows where they still have room to improve or evolve…I kinda gotta raise an eyebrow or two, because I KNOW that they’re hearing the same things that I am in their own performance. It’s actually extremely rare to come at someone with some form of criticism that they haven’t already considered themselves. “Real” is actually one of the greatest examples for what I consider the 5% rule, which can be simply boiled down to the premise that, if you nail 95% of your track…as an artist, that’s NEVER going to be what YOU hear. The people might – but you won’t…you’re gonna hear that 5% for the rest of time. And of course, I’m not Leche…so for me, I can get past it…I quite enjoyed “Real” overall and hardly have a rough time with that 5% at all I suppose…it’s not a dominating part of the song, but it is a contributor. My point is that it’s not going to be the listeners that hear it so much as it is going to be something Leche hears over and over, knowing that he might have been able to hit that spot just that few degrees closer to where it needed to be, and wondering why he didn’t take that extra time to hit it right. On that I say welcome to the club homie…’if I had a dime for every time I did that…’ so on & so on…you get it.
Performance-wise…I might have to make an argument that, even though I think Brown is certainly capable of his own hooks when he’s at his most focused, there are definitely noticeable improvements overall when he takes that pressure off his shoulders and heads straight to the bars instead, like on “Remember The Time,” which borrows its chorus from the Michael Jackson song from the Dangerous record. Leche is an active participant in the hooks there, using the vibe from the MJ original as a spot to do a call & answer technique, springing off each second line to create an ever deeper hook that connects. There’s pretty much nothing about this song that I don’t like…even after spinning it several times, I always looked forward to the lively performance that Leche puts into this tune and felt like the entire song was bulletproof – he’s definitely delivering here. So of course, I’ll have less to say about this one than some of the rest…because there’s no point in preaching to perfection – he’s got this down tight. What I CAN say – is that what you’re hearing on “Remember The Time” isn’t just the magic of a familiar hook increasing the accessibility of a song – it is ENTIRELY the amount of attitude, swagger, and spot-on tone that Leche brings to this song…the character, personality, charisma…it’s ALL there. How about this to prove my point…I loved the Dangerous record way back in the day…and “Remember The Time” was never really one of my reasons as to WHY that was, so much as the constantly amazing songs surrounding it…it’s a great tune don’t get me wrong, just wasn’t one of my favorites. Here on Leche K Brown’s Season 3 – he’s cleverly woven this hook into an absolute masterpiece and serious highlight – but there’s not a single moment of this track where I felt like he was relying on it to bring the entertainment here. If anything, I think he sounds like he was inspired to bring his absolute A-game. LISTEN to how wild this guy gets around the 2:30 mark and throughout the whole verse to follow – that’s straight-up awesome right there is what that is.
If we’re talking about single-worthy tunes on this record, there are plenty to be had that would make great candidates. Number one without question is “Make You Mine” – but it needs a makeover or a remix before that’s gonna happen. After that, I feel like I’m tossed up between how much of an impact I think the brightened vibe of “Don’t Lose” would make compared to the realness that you get from Leche on “Breathe” – which I think…might just be the tightest track that you’ll find on all of Season 3. Talk about keeping it REAL…there’s not much else I can say about this other than to say that, songs like this don’t just get written – they’re LIVED and EXPERIENCED…that’s how you get to this level of depth. I’m not saying that every song you’ll ever write needs to get super-personal and revealing like “Breathe” does – but I certainly wouldn’t argue that the results of doing so, speak for themselves. There’s not a single hair out of place on “Breathe” – from the concept, lyrics, beat, performance, production to the main man dominating the mic with pure confidence as he connects to the words sincerely with genuine emotion…everything falls into place for Leche on this cut. Of all the songs you’ll find on Season 3 – there ain’t a single one that cuts to the personal like this one does…you FEEL these words…you KNOW this song matters…that it’s based on what’s REAL and what’s important in life…and that Leche is authentically in touch with all of this through his thoughts and emotions. Completely impressive, all the way through.
What a ride to the end of Season 3! Much like the beginning of the record where the first three cuts came out super strong, Leche’s taken full control of the ending of this album and seriously brought highlight after highlight out to end Season 3 on memorable notes. I’m not quite sure where the chorus hooks on this one come from…I know that’s not Leche…whoever it is, he’s got that perfectly setting the atmosphere and tone of this last cut. Much like I’d pointed out earlier – when this emcee wants to speak-up and get political, he’s fearless…and of all the tracks on this record, he really takes it to that next-level on “Nothing Was The Same” – laying out his genuine thoughts on the state of the world. Socially aware, Leche makes valid point after valid point as he hits the bars of “Nothing Was The Same” – making another highly relatable tune that people are assuredly going to connect to and agree with. I sure know that I do – which ain’t surprising at this point at the end of the record…Leche’s proven to be a people’s champion when it comes to his observations of what could better our planet & the way we treat each other – I’ve felt like he’s been on the right side of the argument the entire way through this album and really had something to SAY. You feelin’ me? How many times have I said in reviews that as an artist or band, you’ve either gotta have something to SAY or something to PROVE or you’re essentially dead on arrival…”Nothing Was The Same” absolutely shows just how incredible Leche can be when he knuckles up to fight for change, and what a leader he can truly be. As much as I love me some “Don’t Lose” and “Breathe” – I can’t help but feel like Leche K Brown might very well have ended this record on his strongest song overall, leaving us on a highly memorable and REAL experience with his thoughts throughout “Nothing Was The Same.” He’s been impressive lyrically the entire album – but this…THIS…is insightful, honest, and direct in ways you always hope to hear from an artist but almost never do…THIS is Leche leaving us with words to remember, consider, and understand how they connect to & relate to the world we’re living in. When you LISTEN to how strong this final cut comes out – I ain’t gonna lie…I’m secretly hoping that he seizes the momentum of this track and takes it right into his next project…because I really do believe there’s a leader in this guy…these are words that matter. Everything I’ve heard on this record gives me a massive respect for this emcee…sure I’ve had some criticism along the way – if you read these pages on the regular, you know I almost always do – but facts are facts, Leche K Brown clearly has his head & heart in the right place…the writing’s been amazing, the ideas incredible…and the potential for real greatness is rampant in this emcee…put your chips down and place your bet on this guy to evolve rapidly and reach incredible new heights every single time he puts something new out there to listen to. He’ll consistently set a new standard for himself and smash right through it on his way to that next-level every opportunity he has…you can tell an emcee like Leche is determined, hungry, and ready to put the work in to make it all happen – he’s already well on his way to the success he’s seeking out with the songs on Season 3 and I’m positive he’ll go on to impress us all even more throughout the years to come.
Find out more about Leche K Brown at his official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LECHEBROWN/