DaVinci – Feast or Famine review

Feast or Famine is the second album from the bay area rapper DaVinci. DaVinci is a vivid storyteller with a smooth raspy voice and catchy bass beats.  Completely different from anything he has released before with more feature appearances from other local artists like Young Gilly and Roach Gigz. Davinici is clearly serving it up for a feast.

The EP starts with D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dope. Rule. Everything. Around Me.)  Enough said. Simply explained you’ve got to make that money either by the streets or the more traditional way.  The song was produced excellently as the beats on this track are so dope.

On “Paying For My Past”  The road to hell is paved with good intentions, Davinci tells a tale of what karma really does over time. Also “Boomerang Principles” touches around the same ideology.

“Beer, Bitches, and Bullshit” and “Smoke the Night Away” were not really a feast for me but I’m sure they can be overlooked by the catchy tunes.

The Feast and Famine EP provides a quick insight in to the mind of DaVinci. Giving a quick and street smart view of the struggle to the money and the fame, and choosing the right road.   DaVinci goes hard looking and I’m looking forward to hear more from him on his upcoming Beast Album.   Foxx Approved.


Phonte – Charity Start At Home review

Making his entrance on the rap scene with Little Brother then venturing off to The Foreign Exchange. Phonte finally gives us his solo debut.  Enter:  “Charity Starts At Home” a picture perfect mixture of the two groups.  Any hip hop head would fall in love but this does not stray too far from the rhythm or the blues.

Phonte has clearly showcased his many lyrical and creative talents all through his career this album is no different adding that same content with his singing abilities. To top it off reuniting with power producer 9th wonder is nothing short of genius.  Phonte hits some high notes in this album as the “OG” Original Gentleman with quotables galore.

On “Sending My Love” Phonte takes a journey into the mind of a man that ventures for a quick break from the everyday norm of the woman he loves.  (“ Just take it on home it’s about 4:30 ain’t nothing open this late but legs and hospitals”). “Not Here Anymore” is worth mentioning for the sample alone.  Who doesn’t love Rolls Royce – Love don’t live here anymore.  The song is a classic not to mention ideal for riding with the sunroof back anytime of the day.

Through “Ball and Chain” Phonte tells a story of a relationship so controlling to the point of being suffocated. (“She keeps me so secure/Until I can’t escape/ So unpredictable that it’s all the same/ So many nights I wish/I knew the moment when/Your anchor turned into a ball and chain”). “Who Loves You More” features Eric Roberson, or the dynamic duo as I like to call them. Ending loudly with “Always take care of home, because home is where charity starts.”

Phonte has truly showed that as a gentleman it is okay to talk about love, life and struggles all while still roaring on the underground scene.  In his own words Cuz I go off, yeah I go off /Negro spiritual rap, slave to the rhythm looking like I might go North/ Cuz I go off.  I love the “Tigallo flow” and am ecstatic that he is doing his thing. Outside of that Absolutely Foxx Approved.


Van Hunt – What Were You Hoping For? review

Van Hunt has made out very well through label changes, a shelved album, and starting his label. Van Hunt has come back stronger and edgier than before releasing the long awaited new material What Were You Hoping For? The album is eagerly received since “Use in Case of Emergency” was given to hold fans over.   What you were hoping for is all over the place and collectively coherent at the same. As an avid follower of hunt this album musically is very different from his previous albums.  As if “On the Jungle Floor” was a hint to where he was going this album is the clear defined picture as to where he is now.  What were you hoping for gives off sounds of punk, heavy rock, psychedelic guitar tunes with slight R&B bass line undertones all served straight no chaser.

Vivid melodic story telling is what Van is all about and this album is no different and still with his very clever stand out lyrics. Van explains about his familiar city and slides his instruction of “the fastest way to a man’s pocket is on his rocket” over a gusty guitar rift on “North Hollywood”. A song that I absolutely love is  “Plum” tells the story of a love of the untouchable booty, but  sounds like an ode to a lusty confused confession. He doesn’t stray away from ballads “Moving Targets” and the country twanged “Falls (Violet)” showcase the familiar voice and tunes of his self-titled 2004 album.  Jumping right back into the rock heavy gutsy “Cross Dresser” or “Designer Jeans” with solos to remind you he is a musician and damn good too.

Chances are if you’re a follower of Van Hunt like me this is exactly What You Were Hoping For!  Van never plays by the rules and always takes the listener on a new journey. What were you hoping for pushes the envelope just enough to take you to the next rock level and guiltily wanting just a bit more. Definitely Foxx Approved.