Mr Streetz – Flowtime

 Mr Streetz – Flowtime

Mr Streetz – Flowtime – Album Review

Yoooooooo!  No joke folks, the title-track from Mr Streetz on this record called Flowtime is something ELSE yo!  Y’all know I had a great time listening to his latest album called Wins & Bosses, but in taking a trip back to his previous release, I gotta say…”Flowtime” was a BRILLIANT start, and there might even be a solid chance that I dig this opening track more than anything else I’ve heard from this dude to-date.  Which is saying quite a bit truthfully…this dude does what he does exceptionally well, but LISTEN to this incredible beat will ya?  Mr Streetz knows exactly how to make an impact with each & every word he spits, so you know he’s got that locked down tight…but knowing how the right beat can get the best out of someone…lemme tell ya – my jaw was pretty much on the floor with my mouth saying ‘daaaaaaamn’ as “Flowtime” kicked this record off on all the right notes.  It is, to say the very least, undeniably impressive…for all you rappers out there, it’s the kind of cut that’s sure to make you jealous and wish you had been the one to rock this beat.  Too late for ya!  Mr Streetz handles his business like the BOSS we know that he is, and crushes every moment of the first track on this album.  It ain’t even a year old yet…and I believe his new album is coming out in a couple of weeks or so…that’s February 24th for Wins & Bosses…make sure to mark your calendars y’all.  Anyhow.  You listen to this opening of Flowtime and I’m tellin’ ya, you’ll think this dude couldn’t possibly miss…he nails every second of his title track, TIGHT.  I could very easily sacrifice some speakers around the studio here just so I could turn this up a little more – if they blow out, or die in the process, so be it – at least they went out with the bang they deserved.

This JAMS.  It’s like they say…you get a lifetime to make that first record, and quite often, whether it did or didn’t take that whole length of years to get it done, chances are you still hear the real spark of inspiration on a debut in most situations.  That’s definitely the case here, I’ll confirm that for ya.  That being said, do yourselves a favor and put this album on will ya?  “East London” is straight-up stellar in every way.  Mr Streetz gives you the history on “East London” from its many misconceptions, to the gritty reality, to how the music scene was a reflection of what the whole area was like at any given point of its history.  Stringing syllables together like it ain’t no thang, Mr Streetz gives you a flashy Jazz/Pop combination in the music, and delivers like the professional he is and has been from day one since he decided to step to the mic.  I get it and you’ll get it too – if you came out of the gate and generated the kind of top-shelf results you’ll hear on this record, you’d be stoked about making a second one right quick.  “East London” is more confirmation that Mr Streetz was sizzlin’ hot on the mic from his very first moments, and as far as we’ve already learned from his new album coming out, he fully stayed that way.

Ominous!  “My Letter” ends up being a solid life-lesson from the man himself, without feeling preachy at all.  Honestly, that’s one of the best things about Mr Streetz if you ask me…you can tell he knows his shit, but he’s choosing to put his wisdom to use.  “Real recognize real,” as the saying goes…you really get that sense that life for Mr Streetz could have turned out a hell of a lot different than it has.  “If you’ve ever had pain in your life, then turn me up, focus, and listen in” – we level up by helping others, you know?  Mr Streetz gets it, that much I can tell ya.  Like all genres of music, I listen to Rap/Hip-Hop a lot of course…and believe me when I tell ya, the ratio of those who use their platform in any style of sound for the greater good, to those that don’t, is fucking staggering.  We’ve all got the opportunity to write about anything we want…and I’d be the last to say everyone out there needs to write ultra-serious tunes, but I’d be the first to tell ya that the world doesn’t need another track about chicks & cars either, you feel me?  I’d way rather have artists like Mr Streetz that come out telling stories based on real experiences, that are RELEVANT, INSPIRING, and provoke POSITIVE CHANGE – “harness that and you’ll be unstoppable.”  “If I hadn’t followed my own advice, I wouldn’t be doing as good as I am.”  #Truth

The most you’ll find me conceding to ya, is that like a great many rappers or anyone out there that has their own signature style, they tend to stick with what works inside their comfort zone.  Technically of course, this is the first Mr Streetz record…so we know a little bit about the future given that I’ve already checked out the second album.  I wouldn’t take many points away when you’re thinking about the context of a debut record, but when you stack’em both together, you can hear there’s still room for him to evolve his craft even further by switching up what HE does.  He’s got all kinds of different beats and different sounds, which works really well to diversify the results of what we hear – but when it comes to his own rhythm and flow, there’s still plenty of opportunity for him to make things even more different than they are – make sense?  I dig the sample he’s chosen to use for “Ecstasy” and the beat is super tight…and I dig the fact that we get to know Mr Streetz on a different level here…this is the track where he proves he’s leveled up to being a love, not a fighter.  Essentially, whether he admits it or not, this track is 100% a love-song.  His street-cred is intact y’all, don’t panic!  It’s a suit that he wears well if you ask me…I think it’s very clear that at this point in his life, Mr Streetz is experiencing the happiness he’s always been searching for, wondering if he’d ever truly find it.  When you reach those places where you’re meant to be in life, trust me y’all, it sounds as natural as Mr Streetz’s bars do – everything fits.

“Follow Your Dreams” is another track that basically flexes the exact kind of gear you really wanna find this guy in – he’s in inspirational mode, and bringing serious confidence and strength to every syllable he spits in such a powerful way that we’ve got no choice as listeners but to believe what he says as facts.  There’s a difference between those who can write cleverly and come up with great lines we know would be far from the truth in a fictional sense, and artists like Mr Streetz who you can’t help but realize live their words like verbal tattoos on their skin.  “Look at me, I was down but now I’m making art.”  Can I just say how much I love this line?  You could find the hardest thug out there on this planet and they’d be fucking AFRAID to admit that what they’re making IS art, because they think using words like art affect their credibility when it comes to living the life.  It takes genuine courage to spit positive bars in the realm of Rap…Mr Streetz is more on the Hip-Hop side of things, which is stocked full of positivity if you know the right places to look & listen…but credit where credit is due, you rarely hear it with the power he’s been putting into his material.  He’s INTENSELY positive – you get what I’m saying?  And to be real with ya, it’s fucking refreshing.  Mr Streetz IS what he raps about…there’s nothing fake about what he spits or the way that he spits it…and I’m tellin’ y’all, it makes such an incredible difference to listen to an artist you KNOW can stand proudly behind every single syllable and word they’re rappin.’  Commitment…conviction…these things matter in the art of the rhyme – Mr Streetz is loaded with both.

BIG bass leads the way through “The Way I Ball” – and I’d say this is probably the closest I’ve heard to a track that I’d probably have gone back & forth about including on this record…but if I’m being real with ya, I think I would have sided with Mr Streetz decision to keep it on his debut too.  In some ways, it’s clear that “The Way I Ball” is missing that…special something…that definable spark that’s going to keep our attention, or hook that’s going to bring us back.  In other ways, the larger-than-life vibe you’ll hear on “The Way I Ball” IS memorable in its own way for sure…I think ultimately, I just felt like it’s the first track in this lineup we come across that can’t quite compete with the overall quality of the initial five in the set.  It’s damn close.  Lyrically and performance-wise, Mr Streetz is still crushing it every bit as hard as you know him to at this point…and he’s done really well with the production & background details too…lots of positives to be found, just not quite up to the massively high standards of the album’s first half is all.  We’re splitting hairs though…like I said, it’s close enough that I would have included it on the record too – plus, Mr Streetz will flex a bit of extra speed and personality in the way he spits this track.

Opening up with a colorful beginning, “Issues” dives deep into the struggle of relationships and how tough it can be to navigate a pathway through’em to the happiness we’re looking for.  Similar to how I felt towards “The Way I Ball” in terms of how it’s a quality cut but not quite as bulletproof at the start of this record was…the advantage that “Issues” has is found within the hook and how memorable it is.  I ain’t complaining though…don’t get it twisted and don’t get me wrong – Mr Streetz puts together solid tracks and I’d listen to this record from start to finish with no hesitation any day of the week.  It’s rare that you end up competing with yourself this early on into a career, but that’s the reality for this emcee.  When he knocks it clean outta the park like he did at the start with “Flowtime,” you literally cannot help but notice and practically stand back in AWE of what you hear…to think that anyone could keep that standard up from one side of a record is basically unfathomable.  Every album we ever listen to has its own set of dynamics, its own ebb and flow…we all end up with our favorites, and that’s what makes it exciting to listen to something once we know the material…we still like the other songs surrounding those favorites, but that’s the ride of the ups & downs that help us appreciate the entire thing.  Without those moments of highs & lows, we wouldn’t even know what the best of the best ever was – so I’ve learned to appreciate how each element contributes to a record as a whole.  “Issues” is an A-side on most records for sure…so is “The Way I Ball” for that matter…but on a Mr Streetz record with tracks like “Flowtime” & “East London?”  You see the conundrum that he’s put himself in by being awesome, right?

Dude’s effective, that’s the facts.  You listen to the precision of his performance on “Broken Family” and you realize that to deliver entertainment, it’s not like you have to always stick to the script for what the genre calls for.  As in, ultimately, sure, “Broken Family” would still qualify as a variation of Rap or Hip-Hop – but really, it’s practically Spoken Word if we’re being real about Mr Streetz’s performance.  In my opinion, he’s done the right thing here…he’s simply doing what serves the actual song, and giving the material what it’s genuinely calling for.  “Broken Family” is about some extremely brutal stuff, and the way that Mr Streetz performs it, is straight-up chilling.  Chances are, the imagery of what he’s relaying might stick with you for years – it’s highly vivid stuff you can see in your mind with such clarity that a song like this should potentially come with a trigger warning.  The story of domestic abuse and a woman that is in well over her head, unable to get out of a situation that has long turned bad…Mr Streetz appropriately calls out the captor for the coward he is.  It’s powerful stuff, and guaranteed to haunt your bones in a traumatic echo for years down the road.  The reality is, usually an artist doesn’t just write about subject matter as strong as this without having serious real-life experience to draw from…and perhaps it’s best that I leave it at that and allow you to fill in the blanks from there.  We’ve definitely been under the impression from day one that Mr Streetz has seen his fair share of shit in this lifetime, but it’s tracks like “Broken Family” that make you realize that shit could have been right there at home.

In “Boss” mode – Mr Streetz is aiming to be “the first man to colonize Mars” he’s kicking so much ass here on Earth!  Words cannot express y’all…when this dude sets out to conquer and crush it, the grip of what he creates is as captivating as it gets.  You can feel the quick build of energy on “Boss” as the piano hits those low notes and the beat kicks in.  Before you know it, Mr Streetz drops one of the sickest flows you’ve heard from the man on the m-i-c to-date, putting in a stylistically slick performance that should be THE cut bangin’ at full volume in whatever club you happen to be in RIGHT NOW.  And if it’s not?  Do your local DJ a favor and tip him off to what Mr Streetz is up to, because “this shit is ROBUST” – no lie.  I gotta say…this dude has made an extraordinary amount of music over this past year or so as he’s broken out with his music career…and to hear how consistently he cracks the bat with audible awesomeness essentially defies the odds to the nth degree.  Mr Streetz is the kind of performer that makes you realize how many people DON’T have what this guy has…the charisma is completely there, as is the skill, and when you mix those two elements together just right, you end up with something remarkably potent.  “I’m feeling the intensity double” when I listen to this guy in comparison to the rest of the emcees out there that think they’re bringing something noteworthy…Mr Streetz doesn’t bring anything else yo!  It is way more rare to hear this guy miss than hit, and he should be extremely stoked about that – it’s track after track being cracked off his bat, knockin’ syllables straight outta the park and on into the future.  He gets it, and it’s as simple as that – he knows what the job is, he knows his role as an entertainer, he has the skill required to execute that mission flawlessly, and he tackles it with resounding competence.  I’m tellin’ ya – put on “Boss” and you’ll know exactly what I’m talkin’ about – Mr Streetz is on a whole other level that’s way different than the rest & it’s only a matter of time before this dude blows up worldwide.

Puttin’ in the work and one hell of a finale for ya, Mr Streetz brings in some of that island flavor to crush it one “Last Time” before it’s all over.  This man has put in some incredible tunes throughout his debut record, and “Last Time” qualifies for that list too…it’s one of those tracks that reminds ya it’s all about the present, so turn it on up, let it run, and celebrate with your family & friends y’all.  I’m am highly impressed with Flowtime…from the wild way it begins, to the perfectly smooth ending he’s created with “Last Time” – this was honestly a debut record to remember…and it’s definitely strong enough to rival his upcoming album Wins & Bosses coming out this February 24th.  To be completely honest with ya, I’m not all that sure which of the two is my ultimate favorite!  All I know right now is that Flowtime is the most recent record in my head…so part of me is definitely leaning towards this one.  Like I was tellin’ ya earlier, there won’t even be a full year in between records for Mr Streetz, so it’s fair to say that both of’em could easily qualify as current to say the least.  Current, relevant, and real – I have the feeling that this guy is always going to have something exceptional for you to listen to…excellence is part of his DNA.

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