Aloha OTDHipHop fam,
Thank you always for supporting our artists and platform. As I mentioned previously, February was a packed month for the local hip hop scene in Honolulu, and an especially big month for the Kurbside Worldwide team, led by Astreaux Guillotine. Since about 2016, Astreaux has been steadily making waves in the local nightlife, and spent much of 2019 building his huge squad. Back in January, along with the release of Kurbside Worldwide’s Liquid Smoke album, Astreaux dropped his 4th studio album - Leo Season.
I’ve been excited for this album in particular because I met Astreaux during the process of his earlier albums, and even reviewed a few of them on the old OTDHipHop blog (originally hosted on jehzanexclusive.com). I’ve been a fan and colleague of Astreaux for a few years now, but I really believe that Leo Season is his most comprehensive body of work. I think that his lyrics, storytelling, and overall production are top-notch on this album, and I speculate that it simply has to do with his general growth, development, and confidence as an artist and leader. The album starts off with “Leo Season,” (same name as the album) which includes a voice snippet from his father, and is a great introduction to Astreaux the artist, and the man behind the music. A number of tracks on the album features voicemail-styled snippets from his family and friends, that I believe were sent to him during his time in prison.
The album has 3 main “BOPS” - James Harden, Mentos ft. Jahn Lion, and Slappers ft. Mattthompson910. Of course though, there’s always more where those came from. My favorite track is Mentos because I like the contrast between the smooth vibes on the hook, with Astreaux’s witty punchlines and cocky comedic flow. The production on Mentos with the guitar is also very different to Astreaux's usual hype sound. I also really dig Cedric Clinton’s feature on Astreauxphysics, which is honestly an interesting collaboration because of the different background and styles that the 2 artists come from. Shout out to Prayz as well. Furthermore, the album makes numerous odes to concepts mentioned on his prior projects along with the unique Hawaiian lifestyle.
Overall, I’m very proud of Astreaux on Leo Season. I know he has more up his sleeve, and can’t wait to continue to witness his growth. Leo Season is available on all music streaming platforms, along with Kurbside Worldwide’s Liquid Smoke album. The Liquid Smoke and Leo Season album release party, held this past Saturday, Febuary 29th, at Hawaiian Brian’s was lit! Back-to-back live performances of the variety of songs on both albums, as well as 6’s Iridescence EP.
Aloha OTDHipHop fam! Hope y'all are digging the new website and checking out all of our different content. We are back to our regular schedule:
Over the weekend, we had the chance to listen to “Liquid Smoke,” the first ever album release from Kurbside Worldwide. The album features various Kurbside artists, producers, and some friends (including myself and Lord Jordvn). Overall, I actually enjoyed this project. The beat selection was mostly hype and trap, which fits their vibe. But a few of their songs did switch it up, like “Anniversary” for example, had a more lofi vibe. I think Kurbside as a whole still has a lot to work on when it comes to their different artist development, but they are definitely starting on a strong foot. To be honest, some of the tracks were “skippable” but that could be my own preference. I found some of the beats, lyrical content, and styles repetitive. However, some tracks that I do feel stood out were “Anniversary,” “Clap,” “Baby Boy,” and Concrete Jungles.”
With that said, aside from Astreaux Guillotine (Kurbside’s CEO and most-experienced artist), I believe MattThompson910, ALXB13, Kaira Flo, and Sly Bandz stood out the most when it came to delivery and bars. Mezmer’s lyricism and delivery was dope too but some of his content I found somewhat gimmicky. I could hear Eminem and Logic in his flows, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think he has more work to do in forming his own original sound. Shouts out to Mezmer for engineering most of the album too! Some of the tracks were also engineered by BobbyMyEngineer. Lastly, I would love to add my song “Trippy” as a personal favorite but that’s just bias because it’s my track. Lol. I would even call “Meet Me Here” my favorite track, but that could be largely because of Astreaux’s shout out. Haha! Again, I believe MattThompson910 probably showed the most strength and versatility as an emcee on this album.
A major critique I have for “Liquid Smoke” is that with it being Kurbside’s first official project, I wanted to hear more about Kurbside’s story, whether collectively or from the individual artists. Some questions I had as a fan are: Who/What is Kurbside? What are their goals? What do they stand for? Personally, I’m a fan of Kurbside. But if I wasn’t, and I listened to the album, I’m not sure if I would become an instant fan. Regardless, there are some bangers and flows that stood out. I feel like Astreaux essentially carried the team on this project, which is understandable being that he is the main leader. On the next project though, I’d like to hear more from the other artists. Still, I’m excited for more tracks and projects from Kurbside and their individual artists. In fact, Yung 6’s first EP “Iridescence” is actually out today as well! I’m stoked for “Liquid Smoke” two, and I look forward to witnessing the growth of Kurbside Worldwide both collectively and individually.
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ABOUT THE HOST
Jehzan Exclusive is a hip hop artist, educator, and entrepreneur from Honolulu, HI. She founded OTDHipHop in 2015. For more, visit her website or social media.