The above minimalism derives from the fact that this is a promotional product, available for free download and listen at Mixtape Factory. As such it came out great, because it presents Sean B.'s various styles and the way he easily adjusts to changing themes / ambiances. I'm definitely more into these laidback melodies, where the artist showcases his vocal skills not only on the hooks (they are often performed entirely by him), but also during verses, where just like Bone Thugs he skillfully mixes R&B flavor with regular raps. Such tracks also feature a more interesting lyrical layer, as Sean tends to focus on his feelings, own experiences, basically delivering something else than played-out, impersonal cliches. The final asset of these laidback recordings is a polished production, kept in nice, West Coast vibes.
What's interesting, fans of modern, faster, vibrating melodies will also find something for their tastes. The cd is opened by two neat tracks "Lace My Shoes" and "Got That Fyer", where Sean B. proves that mainstream beats are nothing new to him and he can entertain his listeners in this way as well. Nevertheless I think that such joints do not fully present rapper's potential, as his vocal skills are mainly limited to hooks only and lyrics seem to be dumbed-down. For instance "Stripper Song" is too much for me - the whole thing is too fast and rather recommended for TV hits admirers. Just like a snippet of "Its All Yours" (I'm glad I didn't have to hear the entire track) that seems to lean more towards pop. Ok, I complained for a while, but it doesn't change the fact that among these 20 shorter and longer songs you will find a lot of good, yet diversified material. Unfortunately I have no idea who handled the production, because the only artwork is the front cover. The final rating has been lowered mainly due to the fact the album features 4 cuts that I have already heard on "Can't Have My Money" (#9, #16, #17, #18); and as you know everybody wants to receive nothing but fresh stuff. However if you haven't yet had an opportunity to get familiar with Sean B.'s endeavors, this is the way to go - grab this project, it doesn't cost you a dime. I do wish the artist to finally leave the underground and record an official, full-length solo with professional graphics. I'm truly heavy-hearted when I see that contemporary market forces people to let such good material go for free on the Internet, in order to convince the audience of one's talent.
Tony Lopez, thank you for providing a copy for review purposes.
The currently reviewed cd came out in a slim case, but don't be scared, it's not any kind of mixtape or promotional product. What you'll get is a thoroughbred solo with an original production. I mentioned that I haven't heard Sean B.'s recordings, which used to be true until I miraculously heard the "Larger Than Life" track off 2011 "Street Connect" compilation hosted by Grindhouse fka Gemini (we wrote about this project, go and check). However this single song still didn't prepare me for what I was about to get on "Can't Have My Money". It's been long since I was so much positively surprised by artist's vocal talent. Sean B. skillfully blends rapping with singing, smoothly switches from one to another, he can slowly flow with the rhythm and then rapidly start spitting out rhymes in a really fast pace. I can't help but compare such style to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony from Cleveland, especially to Krayzie Bone. It is similar, yet obviously not identical, as this cat adds a lot of uniqueness, but still such type of flow is pretty rare that it needs to be emphasized. This singer is so talented, so versatile, that sometimes I can't even tell whether it's still him on the mic or I hear some unknown guest appearance. Yeah, unfortunately nobody bothered to give credits to featured artists, so the above tracklist may lack some information.
This album primarily focuses on bringing laidback vibes with nice production and mild paces. Almost all hooks feature R&B, while verses are in fact a great medley of rapping and singing - splendid. While dealing with such vocal acrobatics, one usually doesn't focus that much on subjects and rhymes, and these are in fact the only aspects that could be further worked on. Themes refer mostly to already known standards, so get ready for a typical dose of bragging, playerism, self-admiration, constant grinding etc. A little different are title "Can't Have My Money" as well as "Trapped In Confusion" touching on relations with women who eventually turn out to be gold diggers. It is not that audible, nevertheless rhymes could be a bit better; sometimes you won't hear a rhyme at all, which can distort the rhythm. What is more, I don't understand why it was decided to put a clean version of "Can't Have My Money" first and then only have the explicit one at the very end; I'd rather see them the other way round. Well, believe me, these are only minor shortcomings. I truly let this great vocal grab me, together with polished, catchy, but still melodious and laidback production - handled by SuperStar O, J. Juliano, Ricky Rich, Unconditional M-Pyre, Ansane, Sean Divine and Blind Entertainment. Sean B. proved that he's an artist that northern Cali rap fans should pay attention to, and he achieved it with only a couple of joints. It's a pity though that I haven't heard about him earlier, it's a pity that he can easily sink in a flood of weaker emcees.
The album can be purchased on CD Baby, both in digital as well as hard copies.
Tony Lopez, thank you for providing the cd for promotional purposes.