An album by AxBo
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to Conquest by AxBo
It was by pure luck that I came across the artist known as AxBo. Not long ago, I was simply checking on my social media pages when I noticed AxBo’s post about dropping his new mix tape “Conquest”. I messaged him about reviewing his mix tape, and he was intrigued. Now I have to find out whether I will be putting myself through sheer torture to reach the end, or if I found a diamond in the rough social media world where everyone seems to be a rapper…
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This is a cool introduction to the album that grabs the attention of AxBo’s audience and is fairly original as far as album intros are concerned.
I really like the instrumental and how it switches up to keep things interesting for listeners. AxBo really displays his lyrical ability with wordplay, metaphors, and punchlines while showcasing a fantastic flow and delivery. There is no hook on this track, just bars, yet that has no influence on making this the first Featured Tracks on AxBo’s Conquest.
Here is another solid beat, this time with a horror movie feel to it. AxBo’s opening flow is crazy nice; the double time is ridiculous. Again, AxBo’s lyrics involve some wordplay and metaphors. The first hook of the album is found on Enemies, and proves to be catchy while delivered really well. The second verse is just as hard as the first. I really liked when the beat stops then comes back for the listeners. It seems like the first three tracks of the album have flown by, and that has to do with the structure and shortness of the tracks as much as it has to do with the enjoyable experience provided within.
4- How I Feel
So far, I am pretty impressed with the transitions between instrumentals. How I Feel has a slower feel but a solid rhythm. It has this sound that gives me an image of The Undertaker from W.W.E. coming out for the audience and beginning his stroll to the wrestling ring. AxBo begins this one by kind of fast-singing the first few bars before diving into a harder style of flow. How I Feel is another track where AxBo delivers bars on top of bars without a hook. Lots of stress and maybe some hinting of depression are the fuel for his words, which are brought forth with a flow that continues to open my eyes. How I Feel ends rather abruptly in my opinion, and at this point in the album I am beginning to wonder if half the songs with be structured like Conquest and How I Feel.
5- V (Skit)
This skit is an interesting addition to the album. I am not sure where this originated, but the amount of words beginning with “V” expressed in this skit had me amazed, so you can image how caught off guard I am with the proper use of the numerous “V” words as well as the writing behind this entire skit. Great stuff.
6- Fire Squad Freestyle
I am a big fan of this beat. For some reason, it reminds me of “Shook Ones pt. 2”. Fire Squad Freestyle is lyrical in every aspect of the word. Punchlines are packed in, metaphors do not take a back seat, and the multiple syllable rhymes solidify the flow AxBo presents. While there are three minutes of lyrical heat, once again the audience is fed bar after bar while being presented with a song that has no hook. Having a chorus is important because it helps to stick an artist’s music into the listener’s head, it gives an overview of a track (usually), and sometimes adds another sound/feeling/delivery presented to an audience. Having this many songs without a hook is hurting AxBo more than it is helping, I’m afraid.
7- Ill Mannered feat. Mikey Bars
The first track of Conquest to fall into the typical song structure we have yet to see is also the first track in which a featured artist comes onto an instrumental with AxBo. The music for Ill Mannered is banging. Most emcees would love to spit bars to this. The chorus is catchy, but only because it is on the repetitive side. AxBo rips into the first verse with his stellar flow, plenty of punches, and smooth multiple syllable rhyme schemes. He adds more flavor with the second verse, bringing metaphors masterfully into the mix while maintaining his level of lyricism from the first verse. Mikey Bars has the final verse in the order of things. While I feel Mikey is not quite as good as AxBo on this track, I do not feel like he let anyone down with his verse, which includes metaphors, punchlines, wordplay, and a distinguished flow as well. Ill Mannered easily reaches the Featured Tracks.
To me there is a methodical feeling to the music for Delcity. AxBo brings his audience two verses without a true chorus, which simply repeats “386”. Both verses pack heat and display AxBo’s ability to light things up on the lyrical side of things, once again, as he drops more powerful punchlines, metaphors, and involves some wordplay. Regardless of the bars AxBo lays out for everyone, listeners are likely to feel a little void with Delcity just as they are with the previous songs that did not even have a chorus as slight as the one here on Delcity.
9- All I Do Freestyle
The opening for this track includes segments from news anchors. The music has a bit of a relaxed vibe. AxBo’s delivery is not quite as aggressive as he has showcased so far through the album, although he still delivers above average lyrics while tying in some good messages for his listeners. This is another track with bar after bar laced over the beat, leaving out a chorus of any kind. The ending consists of AxBo repeating the same phrase while the instrumental continues playing. All I Do Freestyle feels a little out of place to me in comparison with the previous tracks.
This beat sounds awful familiar. Nevertheless, it is definitely a great instrumental that is sure to get people moving with the music. AxBo reverts back to his more aggressive delivery and goes on a lyrical tirade that infuses punchlines, metaphors, and wordplay. As you can probably guess, there is not a hook for 386; just line after line of AxBo’s intricate penmanship.
11- God (Skit)
I would be lying if I said I did not appreciate the interest level of the skits included so far on the album. While this skit may not be as deep as “V” was, the repeating of a phrase fades into the next track before it gets boring, and fits the following song very well.
12- Legend feat. HHOD
The instrumental for Legend, which pushes heavy bass through the speakers, is one of my favorites on the entire album. AxBo shreds through the first verse with a round of bars so hard, you’ll begin wondering if you’re locked up. The hook here is alright- nothing to write home about but nothing horrible, either. The second verse belongs to HHOD, and he does not hesitate to make his presence known. His flow might not be quite on par with AxBo’s, but his lyrics are without a doubt. AxBo returns on the final verse with lyrical lines that rival his opening verse and are stocked with punches, metaphors, and wordplay.
Monsta’s music has a slow start but picks up the pace in appropriate fashion. AxBo continues to impress me with his ability to maintain a high level of lyricism throughout the album. The hook for Monsta is well written and rather catchy. AxBo litters punchlines, metaphors, and wordplay all over the track while busting multiple syllable rhymes effortlessly. Monsta has my nod for the Featured Tracks list.
14- Motor Mouth
The introduction for Motor Mouth is nothing short of fitting for the track. I really enjoy this Halloween/Michael Myers feel of the instrumental. AxBo switches things up slightly, speeding off with double time rhymes from the start. His lyrics are solid as they have been since Conquest began, but at his speed of delivery in Motor Mouth, it is not as easy for the punchlines to really saturate with his audience. The chorus is one that is likely to stick in your head well after the album has finished playing. Just barely getting my nod for a Featured Track slot, Motor Mouth is a great addition to the album that shows off yet another layer of AxBo’s abilities as an emcee.
I like this beat following the last instrumental as they really go well together. AxBo doesn’t lay off his lyrical display even with the album coming to a close, and this time he brings a delivery speed that is more typical from him. The hook here will probably get stuck in the heads of his audience too, but due to its repetitiveness more than anything. I did like the second half of the chorus as it is not only interesting but different from the rest of the album. War is not a pick for the Featured Tracks, but AxBo did not make a wrong turn by adding this track to the album.
I cannot express how much I really feel the introduction to the final song of Conquest. I also like the singing brought in the mix as it gives another element to the album we have not really seen thus far. AxBo delivers a truly heartfelt, real to life track that many people will relate to and appreciate without dumbing down his lyrics or changing up his style. A fantastic conclusion to Conquest, Home not only shows his audience that AxBo has more in store for them in the future, he also proves to his audience that he is much more than the mix tape he has put together for them. Without a second thought, Home makes its mark on the Featured Tracks list.
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Conquest, Enemies, Ill Mannered, Monsta, Motor Mouth, and Home
The Write Up
To simply say I am impressed would be an understatement. As far as mix tapes go, Conquest is one of the best I have heard this year in terms of lyricism and delivery. AxBo’s flow is on point as well, and it is safe to say the young man does a great job keeping the timing of his flow regardless of the speed he chooses to deliver his lyrics. To be perfectly honest, everything I could say negative about the album has already been said. AxBo has my attention, and I will be looking forward to a full length album from him in hopes he brings more of his personal side into the mix. I am glad I ran across this artist and this album, as it is a pleasant reminder of the very reason I do this reviews: To find the true talent in underground hip hop.
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
(4 out of 5 stars)
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