RJ Payne – “Square Root of a Kilo” (Album Review)

RJ Payne is an MC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that started off battling under the name Reignman. He recently signed with Black Soprano Family/Griselda Records back in May & promoted it with a decent mixtape entitled Leatherface. 3 months have passed since & he’s continuing his grind by dropping his full-length debut exclusively on his website.

After the 7 minute “Cocaine Radio Intro”, we go into the first song “The Payne”. Where RJ gets triumphant over a soulful beat. The track “A New Day” cements his prowess over a vocal sample with some horns while the song “The Smoke” with 38 Spesh sees the 2 flexing their lyrical abilities over a boom bap beat with a sample that gets annoying after a while. The track “Drumline” with Dark Lo sees the 2 spitting battle bars over a boom bap beat with a subdued soul sample while the song “Purge Night” speaks for itself over an eerie Daringer beat.

The track “Cocaine Symphony” truly lives up to its name fantastically from the pen game to DJ Shay’s production while the song “Hitman” sees RJ comparing himself to an assassin over a boom bap beat with some synths in the background. The track “Philly Soul” with OT the Real describes the ghettos of their hometown over a settle instrumental while the song “My Dreams” explains RJ’s ambitions over a sweet soul sample.

“The GOAT” gets back on the battle bar tip over the exact same Cortex sample that Madvillain used for “1 Beer” while “The Love” preaches for positivity over a pretty piano instrumental. The penultimate track “Never Give In” with eLZhi sees the 2 spitting game over a funky bass-line & then the album ends with “Rebirth of the ROC”, where RJ teams with Da Fever & Sunnie Blac getting vicious over a symphonic beat.

As a debut album from someone with RJ’s longevity, this is pretty promising. Most of the instrumentals & some of the features could’ve been a little bit better personally, but there’s no denying that the dude sounds hungry on here & I really think BSF/Griselda is doing a great job bringing that hunger out.

Score: 6/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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