Checkmate Reviews “Future Nostalgia.”
Khaliem “Checkmate” Adams is an 18 year old North Carolina State University student from Charlotte, North Carolina. Aside from watching TV, playing Street Fighter 4, and chilling with his friends, he occasionally reviews albums and mixtapes for enjoyment. We both frequent a popular forum and I asked him to review my album “Future Nostalgia.” honestly and objectively. Here’s his critique…
Top Billion Future Nostalgia (Mixtape) Review
After listening to TopBillion’s mixtape, I must say it was definitely well though out. It gave a CLEAR insight into this Man’s life, but was was also so broad that anyone else can relate to it as well. Think of it as an “universal autobiography.” He touched on things that were common in today’s society such as haters, and copycats (people trying to swagga-jack you), in addition to the more mature issues like Adultery, Religion, and not to mention Death.
Listening to TopBillion’s mixtape was like “ear-reading” an intricately created book. Each track acted like a new chapter in TopBillion’s life. It was really an experience that I enjoyed. When you put nicely produced tracks in conjunction with a decent, arguably even professional flow, you are in for a great time. When I heard the first few tracks, I thought “Wow, this should be on iTunes, or somewhere that critics can get a hold of it and review it. This needs its own Wikipedia article, with in-depth descriptions.”…. I was impressed with what I was hearing. And as I listened to more tracks. I was expecting there to be a drop in quality, but I didnt hear it. Now was I feeling 100% of everything that I heard? No. But Was I impressed with everything I heard overall? Yes, definitely!
This Mixtape, is by no means 1-Dimensional. Like I stated before, each track acts as a new chapter to the book that is TopBillion’s life. Its versatile, the beats are done nicely, and there some Nas, Jay-Z, and even Childish Gambino samples on this mixtape, which I absolutely did not expect. Each sample used is sampled nicely, and put in at the right time. I wouldn’t make any changes even if I could to be honest. TopBIllion’s flow is orignal! Throughout the mixtape, I never once said “this guy sounds like “such and such”, or he reminds me of….” In addition to that, this was truly his album.
I noticed that there were no features, and although I like features, this was a great solo rap Mixtape. Usually rappers tend to add too many features into their work (MBDTF), and that can either work in their favor, or work against them. But TopBillion took the high road and said “Imma go hard on my own!” There are tracks like “New Orleans, LA” and “Can’t Buy Swag” that just blow listeners away. For example, let me refer to the 3rd Verse on “Cant Buy Swag.” TopBillion absolutely murdered this one. His delievery was absolutely gorgeous, and the wordplay was great as well. I found myself repeating that part over and over. The Martin Luther King song was extremely powerful and had a strong message. Overall, he went verse for verse, and I didn’t notice any laziness in his flow. It seems as though every song took months to make, or at least it gives the illusion of such a thing.
But of course, I did find some gripes in the Mixtape. Although overall the beats were done nicely, I wasn’t feeling the beat on “gotta Murder Them.” More specifically the chorus. The chorus was a little…..off to me. I could barely hear the Jay-Z sample. It seemed jumbled up to me. In addition to that, the “So Smart You’re Dumb” chorus was a little bland. I wish it could’ve had more content in it like the earlier mention Martin Luther King track. I’m feeling a strong 9 outta 10 on this track! I was extremely impressed with what TopBillion had to offer. I don’t know if what he does is recreation or not but, he can definitely turn this into a full time profession. Other than few tiny things that I personally wasn’t a fan of, this album was Godlike.