I didn’t know much about Roy Woods until just recently. I’ll admit it. A good friend turned me onto this (yes, you, Neelesh) and said ‘who better than the genius behind The Neel Show?!

I must also admit I listen to things at least 4 times before I form any opinions. Below is my review of Roy Woods’ new EP Nocturnal and please feel free to disagree and maybe even teach me something new. Life wins when you stop learning.


He starts the song chanting about his new crew and his old crew, OVO and UTU. I had to look up what UTU was too.

Right off the bat we have a very OVO track. Someone’s crooning. There’s a light, airy, atmospheric pad accompanied by some percussion and booming 808s. Safe to say that the Toronto sound is a very real thing you can hear all around the music scene these days. But where does this track go? Nowhere really.

He croons about making it from nothing and how he has now ‘made it’. Making it can be a really cool thing. There’s always a good story to be told and I personally fall in love with those stories that detail the process.. but this track was lackluster. It’s almost as if he meant for it be very catchy but it just wasn’t no matter how many times he told us ‘I be doing me on the daily’. His voice is nice but the lyricism is very weak. I don’t get mad that he made it but I’m just disappointed because I really don’t know the work he put in because he never mentions it.

Best part – Him primally growling towards the end of the track. That’s the only part that felt real.

Four Seasons

Another song about how he has made it and is providing for his family. The acoustic guitar trap beat is cool but since it’s lacking in the melody department it forces Woods to get more sing songy like his label mate Aubrey. He drops some names on this one(PARTYNEXTDOOR) and raps a little bit too. Finally some substance! Maybe the track title alludes to the life of being on the road and bouncing from one hotel to the next?

Best part – The beat and the open ended realization ‘man this life aint no vacation’

Chili Peppers

Woods gets Majid Jordan on the track and to be honest it is very hard to tell who is singing when. According to rapgenius they sing together intermittently on the track.

At least the hook on here is redeeming but with all the RHCP references a guitar track or some real bass would’ve been great and a good play on word that I could actually appreciate. I’m sure John Frusciante would’ve played a dope solo over the top of this. He’s already doing electro music anyway.

Best part – The hook ain’t too bad. Majid Jordan helps this track a lot.

Involved – 

Not much on this one. The beat is kinda boring. It’s as if these were beats inspired by Drake or incomplete ideas he passed on because the beats themselves don’t carry much melody. By doing that they force Woods to come up with the melodies but he just doesn’t. Makes me appreciate Drake throwing 5425 catchy melodies on each song he does even if he doesn’t write them himself. Could also do without the weird outro of his voice pitched up.

Best part – I guess him making some uber reference that precedes the track with Madeintyo is kind of cool?


Again very hard to hear the feature on this track but at least MadeinTYO has his own verse and his sounds fits with Roy Woods’. The hook is pretty lame and not very creative.

Best part – The MadeinTYO verse.

Love You

Kinda lame track about a girl he wants to love. He asks obscene/cringy questions like this poetic excerpt:

Does he make love while you’re naked?
Do you never let him taste it?
Does he fuck you like he loves you?
Treat you good like a man should
Does he bathe in the shower for you?
Does he do the things that I do?
Does he tell you that I want you?

Maybe a love song should you know.. say endearing things on it? Start with you’re pretty maybe?


I hate to say this but I’m really glad we are on the last track. This one isn’t so bad. He has a nice flow throughout the track. There isn’t too much going on to take away but there also isn’t much going on to plant this one in my brain similar to a One Dance or Not Nice. Lyrics are entry level at best. Musically I’m bored, man. This whole song is a glorified Gmajor triad that he tip toes cautiously around and doesn’t veer too off from. A vocal run would’ve been great


This guy isn’t bad. He’s obviously good enough to get 40 and Drake’s attention. Maybe he will be one of those quantity over quality artists that we seem to be getting a lot of these days. Maybe he didn’t want too much help from his label founders. Maybe he thought this really sounded good. Maybe he’s young and he’s going to grow into something much more artistic later on. Hopefully that one is it.

This reminded me a lot of the PND3 album we got. Less hype but about the same lack of creativity. I’ll end this with a tennis reference cause why not: He swung for the ball and made contact but didn’t follow through with his swing resulting in a ball that just barely cleared the net.


[MUSIC][VIDEO] Travis Scott – biebs in the trap

Travis is back at it with the dope visuals. What caught people’s eyes originally was the Lights video that he put together himself back in 2012. This was the beginning of him meeting with TI and Kanye and started a career that doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon.

Travis and Canadian artist NAV have fun with a lambo in an empty aircraft hanger in this ode to cocaine. The ending scene of the video confirms it if you’re really that dense.

The way they get the car to whip around is mesmerizing and with the lights, well, you can see for yourself.

[MUSIC][REVIEW] The Sun’s Tirade – Isaiah Rashad


Almost 3 years after his last project Cilvia Demo, Isaiah Rashad is back with the highly anticipated sequel The Sun’s Tirade.

where u at? 

The album starts with a skit; a phone call from TDE co-leader, Dave Free. He goes on about not having Isaiah’s work yet and pokes fun at Rashad not caring about getting his project out. Most likely a fabricated voicemail, Rashad uses the call to explain the delay and tone of the album – finding himself after battling depression, anxiety, and heavy drug abuse.

4r Da SquawProduced by FrancisGotHeat. (I got some good stuff on Francis later. He’s come a loooong way too!)

Off the bat I love this beat. Nice and laid back. Perfect for Zay’s style and a great track to start off the album. In the song Zay finds reassurance in his life choices and seems pretty optimistic.

The hook reveals a lot about Zay; he has a son and having his son has helped him sober up to life in general and his life isn’t so bad as long as he can make ends meet. Early in his career he was homeless and travelled from one place to another based off of where he could record.

The worst part about this song is the stretch to make ‘can’t’ and ‘want’ rhyme but oh well. You do what you gotta do.

Video here.

Free Lunch – Produced by Cam O’bi. Another great beat for Zay. Continues on the really chill and relaxing vibe. That bass line is phenomenal. Lyrically this song is kinda all over the place but in a good way.

Zay admitted to making the hook first and wanting to use the word ‘scrub’ a lot. The song works as he bounces around repping his family and friends. We get a taste of his past through these short anecdotal verses.

Rope // rosegold – Produced by The Antydote & J.LBS.

The bass lines do it again. Got some funky vocal effects going here that make this track feel a little bit spacey and disorienting. There’s a lot of internal dialogue happening on this track – Zay talks about connecting with his dad for the first time since his father left Zay as a child. The rope metaphor here is getting enough rope to pull yourself out of a shit situation or to just give up and take yourself out of the misery. rosegold is about the other side where you have things to temporarily fill the void and keep you distracted.

Wat’s Wrong – Produced by D. Sanders & Al B Smoov. 

Some quality rapping on this track. Not sure who recorded their verse first but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some back and forth until the two felt okay with their verse in comparison to the others. The flows are crazy and Kendrick goes innn. You know that thing that they say when you surround yourself with people better than you to bring yourself up to their level? There’s some of that going on here.

Park – Produced by D. Sanders & Park Ave. 

Zay has fun on this fun and stunts a little bit while still staying true to some of his core values. He knew he would make it, he goes for the feelings rather than the thirst, and he’s better than his competition because he’s willing to grind for it and he has quality over quantity. Refreshing take on your typical boast track.

Video here.

Bday – Produced by Ktoven & Deacon Blue

Really mellow and soft spoken track. references to his drinking habit and how you have a choice between gangbanging and a ‘shot at the moon’. Not my favorite.

Silkk da Shocka – Produced by Steve Lacy

Syd da Kid and Isaiah sing together over another mellow beat about loooove. The track moves from Zay knowing he’s got love from his girl to him talking about how making it is strenuous on their relationship. He takes the hook the first time and presents it as him knowing he has the love but after the second verse the hook becomes something different; it’s now about his insecurity in knowing that his girl still loves him with everything going on.

Really nice smooth track that ends with another phone skit from Dave saying Isaiah is scatterbrained.

Tity and Dolla – Produced by Props & Crooklin

The track picks up the pace and mood of the album from the past few tracks. I like how the track double times and the beat switches around a lot. Lets everyone spit and flow on the track. Some Outkast references here too. Jay Rock and Hugh Augustine add their stories to the track and ultimately everyone agrees that they are on the up and up.

Stuck in the Mud – Produced by Crooklin & D.Sanders

SZA is back for the collab. This tracks about being ‘stuck in the mud’ which could be a metaphor for Zay’s past drug habit. I highly doubt its about his car getting stuck in the mud. Lots of references to bud and booze. Chill and vulnerable kinda track.

..then there’s a second track inside this one. Seems to be from the perspective of an Isaiah that’s succumb to his demons. Again you have the vocals slightly distorted to symbolize the grittier drugged out Isaiah. Interesting to think about whether this was recorded while under the influence or after the whole ordeal to mimic how he would act under the influence.

A lot – Produced by Pluss & Mike Will

Unusual collab with Zay rapping over a trap beat from Mike Will but it works out. He raps in a slightly distorted mumble about his wants and needs; women and cars. In short, life is good but it could be better and flashier.

AA – Produced by DZ Onlybeats & D. Sanders

Zay sounds kinda like future on this one. In the hook he’s talking to his girl about how he can’t really remember how he ended up at her place. He’s gotta cup of lean like Gucci and he’s burnt out from all the drugs. The track title also gives away that most of this was the lead up to him getting help. AA = Alcoholics Anonymous duh.

Dressed Like Rappers – Produced by D. K. the Punisher

Google did not help me figure out whatever that pitched down vocal sample is so if you found out let me know. Zays rapping over the beat that makes my head bop about being in control of his life and not being ashamed of loving it. Then he goes and admits all of his troubles i.e depression.

The line that really sticks out is ‘little boys dressed like rappers, can that road make them daddies?’ as in these young guys are hitting the scene and blowing up but does it ever help them find the maturity needed to be a father?

Hilarious outro by Schoolboy Q about him realizing how old (or young) Zay is.

Don’t Matter – Produced by Carter Lang & The Antydote

Really upbeat track – makes it feel like Zay is aware that he’s on the road to recovery. He uses religious metaphors and sexual details to create a stark contrast on this track.

Brenda – Produced by Chris Calor

A song dedicated to his grams. This tracks relatable cause he’s talking about working a shitty job that pays $10 and change and just living and being in the grind of it all. Super smooth track. One of my top 5.

By George (Outro) – Produced by Jowin

Your usual slow jam by Zaywop. The droning bass under the drums really just makes this track vibe for me. He reminisces about when he used to procrastinate a lot and how he feels nostalgic. He’s just feeling himself on this one and it comes off as warm and authentic.

Find a Topic (homies begged) – Produced by J. LBS & Free P

The bonus track! When I first heard it I thought I was hearing Free Lunch again and had to check. This song is also in my top 5. I’m a sucker for the basslines. Important to note that after Dave said on the skit ‘find a topic’ Zay raps about money being his favorite topic.


Really solid project. Very glad to see that Isaiah is not the runt of the TDE litter here and even better to know that he’s only gonna get better since he’s recovering from his past. I’d give this an 8/10. None of the features seemed out of place. The beat selection is great – he definitely knows his own sound. His rapping is really good – he’s honed his flow and navigates around beats effortlessly. Sometimes he can spit really rhythmically and sometimes he can singsong rap. Looking forward to what’s next, Isaiah.



So I’m starting a music blog.

I’m doing this for a number of reasons. After college ended, I started working a 9-5 and now only have certain hours of the day to really indulge in music. I felt trapped. I couldn’t spend twenty minutes talking about John Mayer’s guitar playing or Kanye’s production at work without raising a few eyebrows for wasting company time (which I totally get). I missed having my radio show and the interaction with listeners.

Music was now only shared and enjoyed in groups after work and on the weekends. I hated the idea that someone could limit me and that after music had connected me to so many others, I ultimately I felt alone.

I’m always thinking about music so why not write about it? I’ve always wanted to keep a running list of albums/projects I’ve listened to and how I liked them after really digesting them so why not write those reactions somewhere so that my friends can see and share their thoughts?
All in all if you know anything at all about me it’s that my life revolves around music. It’s sad that I can’t see everyone in my life under the same circumstances that I had once seen them – so this is for you. And me. This gives you something I did on my own time with a little piece of me that you can read or interact with on your own time. I hope that this helps connect me to a lot of people I’ve lost touch with. If not at least there’s the music.
Welcome to The Neel Show.