VPC5 Round 2: Adaptation

(VPC 2 Round 3)

Previous Submissions

Challenge Description:

Vocalists:
Borrow an idea. Find inspiration in someone else's work. You can perform the chorus from a pop song and write rap verses for it. You can use the concept of someone else's song and put your own spin on it. Sometimes, a single line in a song may be worthy of having an entire song based on its content. NOTE: You may not simply cover a song.

Producers:
Adapt a song. Use the chord progression, melody, or another element of an existing song to create a new beat without sampling that song. It is not necessary to use the same song as your team vocalist, but it is allowed.

Children of Arkham

Thomas Wayne

Adam - 3

In a SURPRISE TWIST the vocalist of this team’s real voice is somehow worse than the awful vocal effects of last round, that for some reason are still on sections of this song too? I have no idea what song these kids are going for. They did that really awful Nerdcore thing where they just list a bunch of things that almost fit the context but ultimately don’t do anything for the song. I’m sorry to hear about your father. Or favorite shows. I can’t tell which you’re more upset about to be honest.
Most likely to be cancelled.

Beaker - 5

raps are way better this time around - im glad that vocal effect was dropped. i like everything about this first verse except the fact that it ended and the hook happened. everything you love, will die. WHY YOU DO DIS? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? I MUST KNOW WHO TO PUNISH. something constructive... something constructive... that slap snare sucks too. change that. sorry your dad died, but at least he didnt have to hear this song.
beat: 5
raps: 6
overall package: 4

Emman - 6.75

Vocals:
Solid job riding the beat. I have a huge issue when people just ignore the beat and rap anyway over it, which I used to do when I started haha. Still watch out for the dancing around though. It may not work in your favor these later rounds.
Vocalist Score: 8
Producer:
Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone is about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this. I wish you would have done a little more with the beat conceptually but it sounded decent from an instrument mix.
Producer Score: 6
Challenge:
Not sure what the song was. I checked the soundcloud and not listed so can’t really judge whether or not it was a good adaptation or not so I’ll have to apply your producer score.
Challenge Score: 6

Navi - 6.5

Production: (2/3)
Vocals: (2.5/3)
Overall/Theme Score: (2/4)
This song is really fucking weird. There’s a tonal dissonance that’s made me listen to it a bunch of times to really get to the bottom of it…but I feel like the bottom of it exists on a House of Leaves staircase or something. I love the line “on my honor as a blogger”.
The instrumental is a bit muddy and wet overall, despite the drums sounding slightly too sharp. That being said, I like the use of the sample and the variations in arrangement a lot. Controversial: I don’t mind Solomon Grundy as hypeman at all.
I like it. I don’t know what the sample/cover is (wasn’t provided) so I’m not sure how the vocals tie into it thematically, but I enjoy the sample flip and the concept. I can see this song not working for some people, but there’s something uniquely endearing about it for me. Nice entry!

Dr Vern - 3

This song is terrible. The Vocals are covered by what I can only assume is the Reverb 9000 plugin, seriously the vocalist's raw voice can't possibly sound worse than the effects you're using on him. The verse vocals sound as if they eminating from The Other Side, but that's ok...the verses are the Best Part. The guitar that kicks in on the chorus drowns out the entire hook...It sounds like there are Vocals in the hook, but who can understand them. Other than the apparent complete disregard for the criteria of this round, and the super annoyingly bad production on the whole track, it's ok I guess. The relationship between a vocalist and producer has to be symbiotic, Like Venom, to produce the maximum quality of the vision you guys have together. This sounds like you are at war,trying to sabotage each other. The lyrics are all over the place thematically or referentially. The production ranges from overpowering (in the chorus) to too many plugins and effects (verses). The result is chaotic.

Public Vote - 4.75

Round Overall Score: 29/60

Round Standing - 16th

Competition Overall - 53/120

Overall Standing - 13th

Clutch City Chaos

Say It Ain't So

Adam - 7

I like this song the more I listen to it. The lyrics are very tight and everything feels very deliberate and effective. That said, it feels considerably underdeveloped, especially the instrumental. The drums are very boring and while I LOVE the organ I feel maybe it should be dialed back or replaced during the verses so it has more impact in the hook. The vocals being in the same drab delivery of the verses (which really works for the verses btw) also softens the hook’s impact more than I’d like and I feel the Weezer bit should have an extra take to harmonize with it and widen it a little. I love how the last verse has more variation on the beat and the vocal delivery gains some energy but I feel like it didn’t quite go far enough. Maybe that energy would have been better on the second verse with the third a step up. This is definitely one of the few songs this round I took interest in but it feels unfinished, like it could use a new recording of the vocals and some attention to the instrumental.
most almost.

Beaker - 6

Beaker's Feedbackimmediately identifiable both name and beat but the raps kick in like that song the scat man, remember that song, with some dude just talkin then goin beeee boo bop bobabop, its remids me of that without the scatman part. the recognizable bits kick in during the hook which I honestly enjoy more than the verses. this song could be substantially improved with a tighter mix - remember that. give yall selves a couple days to get the mix nice and tight - its the difference between a 6 and and 8.
beat: 7
raps: 7
overall package: 5

Emman - 6.75

Vocals:
Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone is about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this. Lyrical content was good, delivery could have been stronger.
Vocalist Score: 6
Producer:
Thank you for taking some of the advice I gave last round to everyone about using the pans and dynamics of each instrumental with the snare the high hat. Make sure you do the same withyour instruments as well. Thumbs up for putting the main vocals heavier to the side that has less stuff going on so it doesn’t get drowned out. Or maybe since I’m listening on an airplane that’s just how I’m hearing it, either way you’ll get the benefit of the doubt this round. I would have tried to use some pitch correction on the hook.
Producer Score: 7
Challenge:
Recognized the adaptation. Decently done but very close to the original version.
Challenge Score: 7

Navi - 6

Production: (2/3)
Vocals Score: (2/3)
Overall/Theme Score: (2/4)
The drop into the verse is hot. I was really digging the arrangement and synth choices in the verse, and I think the lyrics are really solid too. I heard some popping in the verse vox though, (around the “breakfast” part towards the end, specifically) so keep your eyes out on levels/compression for vocals.
THAT SAID: I wasn’t feeling the hook/instrumental part at all. It sucks all of the energy out of the track, and the thin minimal approach doesn’t really do the half-singing any favors. I love the original song, so it was tough for me to not cringe during the chorus.
The bridge section was cool but there wasn’t really much in the way of a dynamic build to help the arrangement crescendo the way it felt like it wanted to. I think the arrangement was a passable take on the original, and the lyrics took the right amount of inspiration from it as well. Decent job, but the hook is a big factor in my score. I wish it were approached differently.

Dr Vern - 6

My first thoughts of this one are on the production side, if a bit uninspired, it's very well done. I was confused by the integration of the hook to meet the criteria of the round. It feels like an afterthought and I didn't care for that. The rap is tight and the flow keeps things cooking alonguntil you realize we're going nowhere like the protagonist in the song. I'm left feeling like i missed something, like a point. After a few listens, I realized i'm being bothered by somethingthat isn't there. It sounds like a great production and a decent vocal, but it's a post-party pinata. Empty and no longer filled with candy.I guess I'm not sure what they were going for here, so i'll review it based on what I got out of it. Unmotivated, Self Loathing people don't feel sobad when they find some others who have made similar poor life choices? Thematically it doesn't work for me. Everything else is pretty decent.I'm scoring based on what I feel was how you met the challenge for this round. I'll give you 6 for that, It can be challenging to draw inspiration from the works of others, you did alright. This will get you past the round in good shape, but as the competition continues be aware of how youpresent the message and theme, it can mean much needed points. Don't lose the Message during the process.

Public Vote - 6.25

Round Overall Score: 38/60

Round Standing - 10th

Competition Overall - 77.5/120

Overall Standing - 11th

Dangergrove

imactuallylaughing

Adam - 10

FUCK. I fucking love how much judges and reviewers complained about boring rapping about being great at rapping tracks and so Jesse wrote a rapping about being great at rapping track that's hella NOT boring. Like that feels like exactly what someone in a competition to win should do. I’m getting to the point where I want to hear some different drum sounds from Eli, particularly the snares and some additional hats (I love the 808 hat spams but HAAAAAAAATE open 808 hats and feel they detract from the intro here) but the progression of the beat is great and really cradles Jesse’s flow. The way this song builds and drops in energy is god damn brilliant. I keep replaying it and trying to find things to be mad about and I can’t. It’s just too fucking good.
Most oogie and/or boogie.

Beaker - 8

i like this song a lot, but I knew I would. one thing that could be improved here is the integration of the kick in to the rest of the beat. its obvious some work was done on that kick and its def front and center, but its also fighting with everything else in the mix especially when it first hits. the last verse and breakdown are a little messy but that shimmy close out was cute and classy. solid offering from a solid team.
beat: 7
raps: 7
overall package: 8

Emman - 10

Vocals:
Very fun delivery hahahha I’ll have to give you points for doing a brag rap specifically because I don’t like brag rap… especially because there is a back story and reason behind it – maybethat’s what made me appreciate it more. At first I was caught off guard but then startedlaughing and was pleasantly surprised. It reminded me of a disney villain rap, and the title wasfitting because I am actually laughing right now. Almost perfect score for good brag raps, -0.5 for brag raps, +0.5 because I sang it in the car on the way to Austin.
Vocalist Score: 10
Producer:
The beat was produced really well also, I’m not sure the delivery style was thought of prior to producing it or not but it paired perfectly with the voice Jesse decided to deliver in. Thank you for not distorting the bass blower beat as well but still making it audible. HAHA the tuba. I LOVEthe paned appergiation synth and the trap drums towards the end of the hook. Your usage ofthe high hat was also very deliberate – good job dropping it in and out at various times throughout the song. Literally everything was perfectly fit around Jesse’s vocals so I amassuming that you tweaked stuff around what he sent you or he wrote perfectly around what you sent him. Either way great job combining like a megazord.
Producer Score: 10
Challenge:
Didn’t recognize the adaptation immediately but I didn’t dock for that since I listen to a lot of stuff. I just go back and listen to what you all adapted to see what you adapted and how creative you got with it.
Challenge Score: 10

Navi - 9

Production: (2/3)
Vocals Score: (3/3)
Overall/Theme Score: (4/4)
Nice source material, and great interpretation/reconfiguration of it. I’m a big fan of theatrical style that weaves in and out of the vocals throughout. The POV in this song is a fully fleshed out character with great vocal ticks and styling, and the lyrics seamlessly flow through the song with bouncy, diverse cadence and charisma.
Everything about the hook is lackluster though. It drains all of the funky evil vibe from the verses, and I wish the hook escalated rather than stripped back. Even the second time through with the wall of sound power chords, it still feels limp and unenthused. With all of the quality sonic choices made during the verse progressions, it seems like the hook was an afterthought. It’s a shame, because this song is so much of what I like in music.
Full points on hitting the guidelines. Once again, this is a solid entry that I will probably put into regular rotation. Great work!

Dr Vern - 9.5

Ok, I Love this track. Solid. very atmospheric and theatrical, I can almostsee an aminated music video in my head while listening. Engaging and Witty Rap blended a little too much into the very good musical production.I would've put the Rap out front a bit more to highlight the excellently braggadocious wordplay. I AM ACTUALLY LAUGHING,hilarious!The Vocal side of this competition doesn't get any better than this. Jesse D can turn a phrase with anybody on planet earth and his excellenceis fully on display here. Struggling with your rhymes? this is a brag rap clinic. You know how to catch a Trekkies ear as well, work in a Worf/Gowronline and you'll reel me in everytime. The creativity on this track is what the vpc sorely needs more of. Easily the winner this round imho.So, Why did I not give a 10? this is as close as i've come to it, believe me. I start every song with a 10 and deduct points. I keep listening to this one and just can't get past the relatively minor adjustment in the production. As a producer, when you have a bad or poor vocalistyou can cover for them a bit with post-production magic. That isn't required here. You have as strong a rap as I've heard in some time,delivered on point, you gotta pull that performance to the forefront and let it sing. Other than that, I would seriously scored a 10 hereand I swore that I would not score a 10 in this competition. Outstanding Work DangerGrove. An album worthy track in the VPC, who woulda thought that.

Public Vote - 8

Round Overall - 54.5/60

Round Standing - 1st

Competition Overall - 104.5/120

Overall Standing - 1st

Dayton B & Obvious Lee

Princes

Adam - 2

I was really with this for the first fourteen seconds. The drum sounds are awful, but with the clunky synth it gives kind of an Afroman vibe and I think I like it until the vocals kick in. One of the only things I enjoyed from this team last round was the vocal delivery on the verses and it seems to be way less listenable this time around without anything else being good. I went back once I had lyrics to read along with and was only more sure that the vocalist didn’t do shit to adapt the original song outside of mentioning the word princes. Slurs make for the most boring filler content. This is just sloppy free association shit talk raps and the “I pulled up” breaks do nothing to make it more interesting. Then there’s the last one. WHY WOULD YOU DROP IN A FULL SONG SAMPLE OFF BEAT? Fuck this song.
Most Disappointing.

Beaker - 6

spin doctors lol ok and ya know what not bad. the beat here is solid. there are some mix and balance issues but over all i see what you did there and i like it. sounds like a nice and chippy cover of the source. raps are solid, idk wtf this is about but the 'come harder than a sperm donor' line made me lol. i liked the breakdown on the back end - done just right, and come in with whatever the fuck that synth is playin the track lead. and then fresh prince out of no where. alright.

beat: 6
raps: 6
overall package: 6

Emman - 4

Vocals:
Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone i about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this.I like your voice lol it’s very unique. I have no idea what this song was about though.
Vocalist Score: 4

Producer:
Work on not overpowering your vocalist with you instrumental. Also your ad-libs are way louder than your main vocals, I’m not sure if you accidentally swapped tracks. The instrumental itself was good and dynamically sound, but remember it’s vocalist producer challenge. Gotta work your vocalist in there just like you would work in another high hat or synth.
Producer Score: 4
Challenge:
You adapted, but I wasn’t a fan of the direction you took it. It sounded more like a stripped down version of the song which was unwarranted based on knowing your vocalists flow. Unless he was going to do a bunch of extra stuff vocally but it ended up making the song feel empty.
Challenge Score: 4

Navi - 6

Production: (1.5/3)
Vocals Score: (2/3)
Overall/Theme Score: (2.5/4)
This song sounds like every Geocities site I ever used to download MIDI files to throw into a sequencer with a drum loop to make songs like this. Strongest decision? The hilarious juxtaposition of the Spin Doctors with the “I pulled up” motif. I want to like this more than I actually do. It’s 10 BPM slower than I want it to be, and the energy drags throughout. The lyrics ride it well enough, but when I try to bob my head, my head rebels and tries to speed the song up.
The vocals are decent, but there’s a lot of issues with volume levels between adlibs and the main vox. Some hilarious lines. The beat is pretty cool, but that saw rave synth is just so vanilla and so present in the mix, it irks me. Not the worst song in the world, and I do think some of the creative choices made were solid, but the arrangement sounds like a straight MIDI flip with drums on top of it (if it’s not, I apologize), and I wasn’t fully sold on the song content. I got lost a lot trying to figure out what was being said and why.
I will say, I continue to enjoy this vocalist’s drawly timbre and delivery. It brings a smile to my weary soul. He should collaborate with Solomon Grundy on a chopped and screwed mixtape.

Dr Vern - 5

Cool Idea with the source on this one, I really dug the music a lot. It made me think that this is what a Spin Doctors song would've sounded like on the NES, if it had been recreated for the machine. As I've stated, every song starts with a 10, so from the intro, I was ALL IN. Then the Rap started and the song ends with a 5 Overall. Say nothing, brag rap, with so little to say that it's completely covered by the awesome music to the point where I was like 5-6 listenings in and had understood about the same amout of words. It took several more listenings (If I gotta look up your lyrics, you're doing it wrong) before realizing this is what it is. Great Music but washed out vocals on the production side, If the Rap was written (vs Freestyle) I'd say the vocalist could've done a better job with aligning his thoughts and lyrics. If the point was bragging, it was done way better in this round. If it was freestyle (probably not), then I find it difficult to believe that it would've impressed a large crowd at a Comic Book store. I'm really torn here, because I LOVE what was done with the source musicand that's worth something. It's important for rap to be understood, otherwise an audience(or listener) can be dismissive and lost, both of which I experienced while listening to this song. Hence the Down-the-Middle score from me.

Public Vote - 3.5

Round Overall - 26.5/60

Round Standing - 17th

Competition Overall - 53.5/120

Overall Standing - 12th

Go To Bread

Me, Myself, And I

Adam - DQ

I like the Me, Myself, and I part. It vaguely sounds like Hutchence and is effective. The adaptation is really well done. It’s obvious what song this is based off but definitely has it’s own identity. The lyrics in the first verse are effective, though the standard Daimyo delivery really fucks it up for me. Then for some god damn reason there’s a fucking Rukyss verse? Like I probably would have given this one a decent score y’all. Why did you have to only care about the beat and hook?
Most Disqualified.

Beaker - DQ

an interesting piece - an introspective analysis of the greater human experience of prolonged lonliness. what the listern can not relate to, however, is such a lonliness caused by releasing songs of this calibre. while the verses held promise, close examination of the lyrical content finds little beyond self fellating one liners and easily stroked punchlines, soft and underwhelming, only left dangling flacid and unhelpful to the hook. while the beat suddenly becomes recognizable, the effects applied to the vocals creates a dissonant effect that at best is uncomfortable.
beat: 6 raps: 6 total package: 5 score: 6

Emman - DQ

Vocals:
Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone is about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this. The topic kind of made me wonder, but it had a cohesive theme so I can’t dock too many points just because I scratched my head a little. Solid delivery and entertaining.
Vocalist Score: 7
Producer:
The hook needed more attention. Vocals got lost in the instrumental. The loops were good but they got repetitive.
Producer Score: 6
Challenge:
Ok pretty cool, it sounds like you brought it into the 2000s from the original version.
Challenge Score: 7.5
Overall: 6.75

Navi - DQ

Production: (1.5/3)
Vocals Score: (2/3)
Overall/Theme Score: (3/4)
Cool intro, and I was very excited when I heard the sample come in. These excitements were quickly dashed by how distorted/muffled the sample (and the instrumental in general) was. Sections of this song exist in a Fury Road dust cloud of sonic mud, and it really detracts from what sounds like a pretty fun use of the original song, instrumentations and all.
Wasn’t really feeling the hook, specifically how it was delivered. I like that it matched the original rhythmically, but it wasn’t really gripping or performed with any intention. And intention doesn’t mean intensity. The verses have a great charisma and enthusiasm to them, and I don’t really get a natural progression into the chorus from that.
I like most of the idea behind this song. My real issues are production based: distortion and clarity. The constant fuzzy adlibs are more distracting than helpful, and when moments of pan/balance/clarity happen, it makes the rest of the song that much more glaring as a result. Fun track, though! Edit: DQ, doe.

Dr Vern - DQ

Cool concept and decent execution.. Caught me off-guard with the title, but once I heard the inspiration I was blown away. Clever Lyrics and well executed rap that is laced together with a decent (if WAY overproduced) vocal hook. I love the irony of using an INXS track for inspiration to throw downa rap that dares to mention autoerotic asphyxiation (sp?). Basically this is a Hip-Hop version of Dark Comedy, and On that level, I Love It. For the purposes of scoring the sound in this round, I have to point out the production issues that pop up all over the track. The overwashed chorus vocal is perhaps the biggest offender, but there are times when the music "gets in the way" also. Well Done and keep them coming, watch your Vocal-to-Music balance and don't load up the vocal with muddy effects, and you guys are right at the top for me. Again, applause for concept and execution of your idea.
I would've given a better score if the production had been a touch better

Public Vote - DQ

Round Overall 0/60

Round Standing - 18th

Competition Overall - 0/120

Overall Standing - 20th

I Have No Idea

Dangerous

Adam - 8

I really like this song. Early 00s pop punk vibe which isn’t my wheelhouse but the placable aesthetic makes all the production choices feel very deliberate and the song has the feel of a small band putting everything they’ve got into a demo and that supports the theme of the song so much. The hook feels like it’s missing a lead instrument. Listening to the Motion City Soundtrack song only reinforced that for me as their hook has a lead guitar. The vocals are definitely out of key. I didn’t mind it so much but my partner was literally clawing at their skin after a few replays. This probably would have really benefitted from a subtle autotune. That said the delivery is perfect. Moans is not only projecting and emoting great but the cadence is really tight, which contrasts my usual complaint about his verses having too much syllable cramming. There’s literally only one line that doesn’t feel entirely smooth and I’m only mentioning it to nitpick. This is a very effective song and I appreciate it a lot. Even if the fact that I’m a little tone deaf might be a requiring factor to my enjoyment.
Most Dangerous.

Beaker - 7

recovery on the hook, harmonies are nice and the little adlibs here and there are pleasant. the lofi metaverb on the verses was a bad choice tho... choices are hard. so is being in key. for what its worth I really like the emo vibe of this track, its got a 90s/early 2000s post grunge kinda thing going on which appeals to ANCIENT OLD FUCKERS like me... I have to assume the younger judges found this a little square. but hey, its hip to be square.
beat: 8
sings: 5
total package: 7

Emman - 5.75

Vocals:
I don’t know who originally did this song off the top of my head but it sounds like fall out boyish for the hook. Two options for situations where want to sing but don’t consistently hit notes(I do this quite a bit). Double up one take or run some tune correction on your parts you’re doubling up on. There were a lot of flat notes in the singing.
Vocalist Score: 5
Producer:
The drums are muffled, not sure if you put an effect on it that dampened them. The difference between a great instrumental and one you just use because you don’t have anything else sittingaround is the detail you pay to each piece you use. If you’re going to use a rock drumkit, focuson tweaking it to make it sound more like the drum set is actually there with the listener andnot like an apple loop. I’ll give you some credit back for panning the cymble crashes.The vocalist was mixed well and clear, good call on making the echo pan on the left side (if youdidn’t intend to originally it’s ok, you still get credit and I’m going to assume you did it intentionally)
Producer Score: 7
Challenge:
Ohhh it was motion city soundtrack. I really like this song so I kind of have high expectations for anyone using it. In the least mean way possible I wasn’t feeling the adaptation on this one. Ifyou recall, one of the rules was to make sure if you adapt a solid chunk from a song to do it better than them.
Challenge Score: 5

Navi - 4.5

Production: (1/3)
Vocals (1/3)
Overall/Theme (2.5/4)
Sorry, boys: even when this song is big, it’s bland. The samples and drum patterns are so mechanical; it never develops any of its own energy, and comes off as a maudlin interpretation. And while I appreciate Moans taking a risk with singing in the competition, there were so many pitch/breath/wavering issues in the performance, verses and hooks that it’s borderline unbearable.
Also, the intro vox has a ‘verb that drops out in the verse and makes the vocals in the rest of the song so dry. Also, there’s some phasing/hollowness in the vocals that stick out like a sore thumb. I liked some of the lyrics, but the performance ruined it for me. I think this song could have benefitted from being performed with more control and restraint, rather than pushing for this big, epic performance (which would work in juxtaposition with the opening line, rather than an almost mockery of it). Also, probably should have been in a different key that better suited your range.
Conceptually, it’s a decent take on the challenge, but there’s a lot working against this song, and it doesn’t really ever sound as sincere or real as it tries to be. Better luck next round, team!

Dr Vern - 8

Nice excercise in self-parody songwriting. Another Strong entry for this round that shows an excellent grasp of the idea behind the challenge and succeeds on nearly every level, except the production. The Vocals are too far back in the mix throughout, which is disappointing because the lyric content here is good...And pretty hilarious. Again, Vocals are on-point and deliver the darkly comedic stuff with a self-parodying style that I love.The track is also a toe-tapping good time with an infectious groove (hehe) that pulls you along to the chorus (which might be the best in this years contest so far).On the production side the Drums (especially the snare) ran too hot throught the whole track and here's another instance of Over-Effect on vocals.Overall, I think some minor production adjustments would make this one pretty close to perfect. I would also be remiss to not acknowledge the quality of the singing on the track, It is very good indeed. That's why the overproduction wasn't neccessary at all. It is the kind of track that getsbetter on replay. Nice effort on this one, let's see how the next roud goes, but you could be my dark horse pick to Win the whole thing. I also liked your Round 1 track quite a bit also.

Public Vote - 4

Round Overall - 37.25/60

Round Standing - 12th

Competition Overall - 81.75/120

Overall Standing - 9th

Kudos the Kid

BETTY RUBBLE

Adam - 6

No lyrics posted. I’m not really sure what this is supposed to be an adaptation of but it sounds like Andy Samberg making fun of LMFAO. The beat is effective, particularly on the verses. The hook honestly grew on me after a few listens. I’m hella into the wobbles especially and how they contrast with the plasticy strings. The vocals sound like joke raps and the instrumental sections are pretty uninspiring. If feels like there should be a lot more low end on the beat. No lyrics were posted but I get the impression there aren’t any gems of lines in there, just adequate hype from someone who raps like they wear sunglasses indoors at night. The song is fun, though there’s something about the delivery that just makes it really hard to take seriously.
Most great white hype.

Beaker - 8

i wish i knew more about what is going on in this track.

beat: 8
sings: 7
total package: 8

Emman - 8

Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone is about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this.
Vocals:
This was a super fun song, I was singing along during the hook. Very fun delivery, lots of energy and no awkward flows.
Vocalist Score: 8
Producer:
Like I said above we were getting down to this in the car en route to Austin. It was a little more simple which actually played out well because of the synth and bass taking up so muchsoundscape. Vocals were really crisp as well.
Producer Score: 8
Challenge:
Challenge Score: 8

Navi - 4.5

Production: (1.5/3)
Vocals (2/3)
Overall/Theme (1/4)
No info on track influence, and I can’t make it out on my own; so right off the bat, I’m not sure this works with the parameters. There’s a lot of unnecessarily long instrumental breaks which, while sonically appropriate, don’t really add anything to the song’s flow or progress. I like some of the synth choices, including that bubbling, flabby thang that shows up on occasion, but the mix was pretty flat, so it never felt like any of the instrumentation stood out as interesting.
The hook is silly, but not bad. The vocals are passable, but muddy and incoherent at points. I like the hook more than I like any of the lyrics in the vocals. The track has some fun moments, but overall doesn’t really do much for me. There’s nothing particularly glaring on either the vocal or production front, but there’s nothing special about them either. Middle of the road entry here, and I can’t really speak to its success in the context of this round. Keep at it!

Dr Vern - 5

Strike One comes as I sadly discover that this track has nothing to do with The Flintstones. Instead it's a Crunk/Electro/Dance track with fun rhymes and a production that buries all the good bits I could gleen from this track. Production notes: If it's a Dance track(and it seems to be)then the percussion is badly off, at times completely relegated to the WAY back. this on again, off again percussion was extremely distracting.The other part of production that took me back was the loud synth stabs that shouted over the top of everything. For Example, If they were playing this track in a club, and I was approaching from 2 blocks away, those stabs would make me think the cops were there already. This sounds like neither Crunk/Hip Hop/Electric/House or Dubstep, but there are elements of all in here. When you try to serve too many masters, you end up serving none. Score 5 for the effort and the good things (like some funny lyrics) that almost get washed away. This would probably make a decent EDM song with some editing.

Public Vote - 6.25

Round Overall - 37.75/60

Round Standing - 11th

Competition Overall - 37.75/120

Overall Standing - 17th

LexicOhm

Asian American Beauty

Adam - 7

I believe this beat is somehow adapting the Jason Derulo song because I trust that Ohm-I knows what he’s doing. But I feel literally no connection to the original song when I listen to this and honestly I like the Derulo beat better. Challenge aside, this is a great song and Lex’s writing is just as sharp and thorough as usual. The concept is important and is presented flawlessly. I really want something more from the production, though. I was a little underwhelmed by this song when I first listened to it and I’m getting more and more into the vocals and lyrics after each listen without developing any sort of relationship with the backing tracks outside of the turntable breakdowns. I’m not really mad at anything in the production per se (Ohm-I is objectively one of the best producers in this competition right now) but I can’t completely lose my initial impression of feeling underwhelmed.
Most wiggling.

Beaker - 9

asian american beauty by lexicohm: this is fun as fuck dude. i totally see the appeal of this track. raps are solid, the flow is good. that hook is fuckin slick. great and funky. beat is solid and fresh all over. this is fuckin tight af. real 90s, throw back summer jam feelin, like this shit was written just for me and straight up, Im gonna jam this song a couple times on the boat this weekend. rob is gonna hear this one a few times otw down to the crayondroids gig at cgf. fuckin dope. do it again.
beat: 9
sings: 8
overall package: 10

Emman - 9.25

Vocals:
Very nice, lol. I love your ability to talk about issues you are passionate about in a fun way that makes people go “Oh ok… I never knew that was an issue!” I’m noticing the trend of the last couple of songs where you end your 2 nd verse with a compliment I think? Not sure if that’s yourthing but figured I’d ask here instead of privately because that makes more sense
Vocalist Score: 9
Producer:
Nice job with Lex’s vocals!!! They sit so much better on the instrumental this round. Thank you for reading my feedback and not just writing it off which I’m sure some other challengers did lol
Also really good job on that hook. It’s really full on the vocals and I’m not sure what you did with everything else but it didn’t sound overwhelming. This is purely a suggestion and didn’t affect your score but wanted to ask you to mess around with your break and see what it would have sounded like if you did your first two hooks with that instrumental and then did the last hook with what you used for the first ones. And then send it to me lol out of curiousity. The drums are nice / full – I actually feel like I’m sitting in the drummer seat with the band around me.
Producer Score: 9
Challenge:
Nice adaptation on both parts. I’m assuming Ohm-I grabbed the chord progression from Wiggle.
Challenge Score: 10

Navi - 9.5

Production: (3/3)
Vocals (2.5/3)
Overall/Theme (4/4)
I dig the flip on the source material. Placing a big butt song back in the context of POC is a solid conceptual choice, and there’s cohesion to the writing that works well for me. Plus, this hook is dope, and I’m all about it. The production is well handled, with solid arrangement/structure decisions, and I like the repeated scratch refrain.
The vocal performance is mostly there, although there are a lot of moments where words get crammed together to fit the line that disrupt the flow and make for awkward listening. If you have to struggle to fit the words you need into one line, you should try different words/phrasing. Also, you’ve got a great vocabulary and make interesting choices with phrases, but there’s times when that just comes across as fancy line recitation, rather than putting real emphasis and value into each word.
You’ve got a nice jump off point with rhythm and lyricism, but there’s a lot of value in being able to condense and focus your performance so that there’s a clarity and emotional connection to phrases you say, rather than a stream of words that clumsily get from Point A to Point B.
Great entry! One of my favorites this round. It appeals to my fat, brown ass, and I’m gonna hum this hook in mental rotation for a while.

Dr Vern - 8

Hilarious and catchy, the vocals are completely awesome. The score here really doesn't reflect the vocal at all. If it was only a Vocal challenge, this would get a 10 from me. Really Well done. I deduct 2 points from the (pretty decent) production side. While the lyrics are incredible and they are right out front in the production, they might be a hair too far out front. The Musical side of this one is just a bit flat and unspectacular for me. It's not Bad, no one saidBAD. What keeps this from cruising into the winners circle for this round (for me) is the music and production doesn't quite match the vocal excellence. It's DAMN close though. This could easily be an album track with a little Post-Production magic. Global double-standardism never sounded so fun.

Public Vote - 7.75

Round Overall - 50.5/60

Round Standing - 3rd

Competition Overall - 100/120

Overall Standing - 2nd (tie)

Maybe Next Week

I'm Still Black

Adam - 5

I was unreasonably excited for this song. I really dug I’m Black and felt there was a good chance Jolli could tap into that same magic. I was not correct in that assumption. The lyrics here feel like Jolli wrote and recorded the day before the deadline. The hook and second verse are on topic but by then I’m already sick of the beat, especially the damn claps. I think there’s a lot of good stuff going on with the synths but the overall mix is tiring to listen to and the drums are trash. I feel with some attention to the dynamics in the mix, a few breakdowns in the structure, better drum sounds, and a new first verse this could be a much more listenable song.
Most black, still.

Beaker - 7

not gonna lie - I was amped for this track and went in with pretty high hopes. I got exactly what I was expecting. and maybe thats important to mention. I enjoyed this experience because the artists gave me exactly what I was expecting from the experience. even a few throwback lines, classic jolli shit. so lets give a fair and balanced assessment of a classic jolli track. yugen brought a solid beat, easy to spot, ample samples (bars) etc. but it wasnt super fucking omg fresh and didnt blow my shit out. it was good. 7 good. raps were right where I wanted them to be, but that hook was. lets be real. I wanted a repeat of im black. maybe it was yugen, mayby it was jolli, but the hook wasnt there for me and I hope you recut it once this is over. 7. total package wise a solid jollisound for the vpc. 7. score - a solid fuckin 7

Emman - 6.75

Vocals:
LOL. That is all.
Vocalist Score: 6
Producer:
I would have avoided that bass – it sounds a little bit like a fart XD. The synth was cool though butttt Jollimus’ vocals get overpowered by it when ever it pops in everywhere besides for the hook. Suggestion: It’s really easy to get lost in everything when you mix in one long sitting, If you can come back to it later after you haven’t been hearing the words over and over again and still catch everything he’s saying then you’re probably safe. If you come back and you’re like “Hmmmm what did he just say on that line again?” You may want to up the vocals during those measures a little or turn down the instruments that are causing it to happen (Or turn down and pan).
Message me if you want and let’s talk about the drums and vocals because I feel like it could step your scores up a lot. Producer Score: 5
Challenge:
Good adaption / recreation.
Challenge Score: 9

Navi - 5

Production: (1.5/3)
Vocals (1.5/3)
Overall/Theme (2/4)
Another track I ended up liking in theory moreso than actuality. Jolli doing “Yeah” has a lot of potential, but I didn’t really feel the arrangement, lyrics, delivery, or concept. The hook is funny, but convoluted and messy with adlibs and whatnot, so it doesn’t really hit with any real presence. That low flubber synth is too loud and present in the song. It distracts from everything else going on. The use of Lil Jon samples (I had that soundfont a long time ago too) was fun but didn’t really amount to much more than window dressing on a song that does a pretty straightforward take on Yeah’s arrangement.
Jolli has some fun lines, but this is a case of his meandering, anti-songwriting songwriting not really working for me. It’s a disposable track, admittedly with some goofy enjoyable choices made with regards to the original material, but meh. Better luck next time!

Dr Vern - 6

This team got my best score in round one. I love Jollimus and make no bones about it. Maybe I was expecting too much from him in this round, but this one left me a litle disappointed. It's got the trademark humor intact, but the production was a little distracting. Lyrically, this does the trick with a few exceptions, but mostly delivers over the entire track. The parts where there is no lyrics, I almost hate.This is where it gets less technical from me. On the surface, If you told me what the track was about before i listened, I would have been excited to hear it. I wasn't though. It felt like it had the elements in place to be a favorite, but I just didn't feel it. The message, The production, The Humor are all there, but overall, the track falls a little short for me. 8-10th time through it, and I think I'm not a fan of the music in the track, so i guess it's a production thing. I look forward to round 3 and the competition it brings.

Public Vote - 6

Round Overall - 35.75/60

Round Standing - 13th

Competition Overall - 83.25/120

Overall Standing - 8th

Pencil Automatons

Don't Wanna Die

Adam - 6

This song is unreasonably boring. I really wish that wasn’t my take because I can hear all the passion in there, and I don’t even think I can honestly say it’s not effectively conveying those feelings so much that I just… don’t… care and the song isn’t making me care when it should. The hook is really well performed and mixed but even with the admittedly great harmonies in the last iteration I’m just reminded of how much less powerful Lex’s voice is than Sia’s. That’s probably more than a few levels of unfair but nothing in the verses or the beat really grabs me enough content-wise to make up for that so the hook really ends up carrying all the emotional energy of the song for me. Like Kudos the Kid’s song I feel the bass here is a little tame for how hollow the mids are and it makes it less effective than it should be as a club banger. I really want to like this song more than I do but I just don’t.
Most meh.

Beaker - 8

oh lex and your pop singing. this sounds like a trap take on a tiffany song. btw dibs on tiffany trap remix i called it. this is a crazy track to me - weak offering by solo but the raps/singysongy shit is hiding a really fucking deep track. we open up with a big question - what WOULD shit be like for any of us if we hadnt bought in to this shit show and invested SO MUCH of ourselves in this nonsense? what can you? no way to get that back, so double down and live that life as hard as you can. I mean this is a reckoning and to have such an epiphany during the height of nerdcore frivolity... its obnoxious, the process... what happens when the seems bust? Get flexible and this song is about our jobs, our relationships, our very CHOICES and the sacrifices we make to pursue the obviously narcissitic and short term impulses of our less rational selves... how do you come to terms with that? in the booth? on the battlefield? dose it even matter?
beat: nothing matters
raps: we are all already swallowed by the void
total package: screaming in silence

Emman - 9.25

Vocals:
Nice flow, solid delivery… very interesting subject matter. I feel like this is something a lot of musicians can relate to. You always do a great job at riding the beat so I don’t have to comment on that.
Vocalist Score: 9
Producer:
Your instrumental is much better this round and Lex sits really well within it. I like the trap drum pan! It sounds like it has some elements of a Lingo beat which actually makes me happy to know that you guys are exchanging ideas as a team. That’s a really beneficial thing some people miss out on during these competitions… it’s one thing to grow individually and contribute better pieces to your team as the competition progresses, but if you’re able to give each other pointers and get different viewpoints you can grow exponentially.
Last two hooks, good job changing your instruments up to give the song a new dynamic. That was the difference between me cashing out on someone just stacking the hook twice over thesame 8-16 bars of instrumental repeated.
Producer Score: 9.5
Challenge:
This was a really cool adapation, I like what you guys did with it!
Challenge Score: 9.5
Overall: Score

Navi - 8

Production: (2/3)
Vocals (2/3)
Overall/Theme (4/4)
I like Lex’s singing voice a lot, and I feel like the adlibs detract from it for me. It’s not the worst criticism, but IMO at a certain point, you gotta feel confident enough in your singing voice to let it stand on its own without all the harmonizing buffer room.
The arrangement and instrumentation is nice, although some of the drum samples are run of the mill stock choices, and that’s a shame. I like the synths. The mix is well-balanced, but the vocals feel a bit thin. It might be personal preference, but it never really felt like the vocals sat in the same “scope” as the lyrics/instrumental would have you assume. I don’t know if that’s a mixing issue, a reverb issue, or what, but I definitely felt something was missing in how the vocals fit into the song. The bridge doesn’t really build the way I’d expect either, but I like the energy when it drops into the hook. It’s chill and fits the concept/delivery well. I could have used a bit more dynamic variance in the instrumental and the vocal performance, but it didn’t really stand out as a flaw to me.
Nice interpretation of the source material. I like a lot about this song!

Dr Vern - 6

The biggest compliment I can give here is that I Don't Wanna Die after hearing it. There is a nice message mixed in with themany many many words, and the production is decent and the criteria was adhered to. The failure here for me is in the overall quality. It's perfectly acceptable to have a song with a decent hook, and Not use 44,000 words in the verses. Obviously, I exaggerate, but there's a little too much content and it looses some punch because of it. Words are okay if we aren't stomping the same point homeat all times. The subject matter here is one of darkness overcome by optimism to inspire others to be the best they can be while they can. TwentyOne Pilots "Ride" come to mind. This doesn't capture that same kind of joy with the subject matter, largely because it's a heavy subject. Heavy subjects need to be boiled down to their essence to get people on board, it's just too convoluted for me.The hook is the strongest part and I feel it could have been strengthened on the production side by some additional work in the hook.it has a natural slowdown that feels a little empty in parts, this may have been a good place for some additional vocal effects. Overall, a 6/10 because I did enjoy it and It has some great advice. It's clearly a passionate subject for you and that shows through it all. With some lyricedits, this would of done better with me. As a Writer, for me, it's about "What am I conveying" then it's "How Do I get there using the right words "Sometimes lengthy thoughts require a lot of words, but often, you want to convey the thought or meaning of the song with as few words possible.If you've read all these thoughts on words and wordiness, you are probably beginning to deduce that I am using intentionally wordy wordplay to make my point here :) <3

Public Vote - 7.5

Round Overall 44.75/60

Round Standing - 7th

Competition Overall - 88.75/120

Overall Standing - 6th

Penzel Washington & Danny DeBeato

Smile for the Camera

Adam - 6

The beat is less of an adaptation and more of an updated recreation. Very fucking faithful, though. And the beat sounds really good. The vocals go really well with the feel of the original song with a new concept and original flavor. Everything is effective here and this is maybe one of the best mixed tracks this round. Just around the point where the song starts to feel way too generic the skit kicks in and serves as a great palette cleanser. The muffled background sounds and nervous muttering do a wonderful job of building anxiety in the listener, which makes the darker and more unsettling tone of the content and instrumental on the Transmitting Live From Mars section less jarring of a contrast to the more fun and easy going vibe of the Eye Know section. Also that second beat is really fucking good to the point where it makes me less grumpy about the first beat feeling like a direct remake. I’m definitely not super into the whole murdering women theme for the last section, especially juxtaposed with online dating. I feel that it was just a dream and I think the way it was framed and separated into two parts with the skits as buffers was really effective, just it made me not want to listen to the song again. Even though I think recreating a sample based song using the same samples is not really adapting the whole song is masterfully made and the second section is particularly interesting as an instrumental, and creatively handled lyrically.
Most uncomfortable first date.

Beaker - 8

online dating - this is fun. and what a great beat. Im not gonna say i was waiting for a good bill beats beat but hey look A GOOD BILL BEATS BEAT. another excellently executed 90s throwback and I fucking love it. the verses are tight and well delivered but hot damn that hook - this should have been yalls submission for the hook challenge. holy shit. the second verse is by far the strongest but thats really perfect for a head bobber like this one. straight fire. interlude was unnecessary, give me a mix without it for a party playlist pls and thx. the actual date. lol. should be restructured as the reprise to the track but works here for obvious reasons.
beat: 9
raps: 7
overall package: 8

Emman - 9.5

Vocals:
Very solid delivery, but didn’t Leron already do a song about this?? Lol I’m just giving you a hard time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the story you told, I felt like I was actually watching a TV show.
Vocalist Score: 9.5
Producer:
As expected from Bill Beats a great instrumental and Ardamus was mixed well. Ooooooo thehook! I love this hook! The chops, the mix ups, the scratching. Thankkkk you.I know I get on people for not changing drum patterns but you’re able to pull it off because ofall of the other aspects you use to keep the song unique and interesting. The sample swaps, the drop outs, the scratching gives the soundscape painting I’m always asking everyone for in a waythat until I got to the end I didn’t realize there weren’t a lot of different beat patterns. Not saying that for any other reason besides for reminding you one of your strengths and to keep capitalizing on that during this competition – I’ll give you some good points for that lol. Awesome break too.
Producer Score: 9
Challenge:
I love De La Soul so you are automatically winning with this combination.
Challenge Score: 10

Navi - 8.5

Production: (2/3)
Vocals (3/3)
Overall/Theme (3.5/4)
I love how Ardamus sounds on this track. His timbre and performance is a lot of fun to listen to, and it works well with his writing style. He rides the beat well, and said beat is funky and minimal – a solid take on the original material – RIGHT UP UNTIL THE SCRATCHED HOOK. I wish the bass had dropped out. There’s just enough of a melodic dissonance between the sample and the bassline that it grates on me when listening to it. I love the whistle in the verse - it’s just the right amount of dissonance, IMO – but the “I know I love you better” section is rough for me.
Skits were cool, but they ran long. Could have halved the length and still gotten the point across. The thematic twist in the song was hilariously dark and odd, and the B section of this song is a dope way to approach this challenge from a classic DJ/rapper mentality. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with the “it was all a dream” logic to tie the song together, but I thought it made for a solid conceptual attempt at interpreting the increasingly manic and dangerous nature of some folks on dating apps. There’s a bit too much of a wink wink jk in the ending, but I appreciated the narrative arc nonetheless.
I don’t know if I’d put this on any repeat playlists, but it does a great job meeting the challenge!

Dr Vern - 7.5

Here's a Strong follow-up in Round 2 from a Pairing that killed it in Round 1. This is a cool mix of a couple of beats and styles that works great together like peanut butter and chocolate. A really well written track and it sucked me in. The production side is the annoying as hell at times (DELAY FOR DAYS) and overloads the production in the hook. The Dynamics of the song kind of make up for it, but the empty spaces are just too empty. I wanted to give this one a much better score, i really like it. The production takes it back a little for me. Vocally, this one is brilliant for that "day-in-the-life" style that gives a genuine real-world feel. It's as authentic as hip-hop gets until it's not..the transistions are not smooth between sections and that distracted me a lot more than I wanted. Upon multiple listens, I actually lowered my original score because of the "Space" sections ...I just wasn't feeling them or they Delay used there. For a genre like Hip-Hop, It's hard to be self-indulgent..but this one Is.

Public Vote - 7.25

Round Overall - 46.75/60

Round Standing - 6th

Competition Overall - 90.25/120

Overall Standing - 5th

Poverty Man & Made Up Producer

Shaky Devils

Adam - 6

No lyrics posted. I have no idea what this is supposed to be adapting. The beat is cool. Very “hey this is supposed to be a rap song” in the way that it’s not terribly interesting but still an effective head nodder. It’s also very short which gives the feel that PM doesn’t have an awful lot of free time to devote to this competition, which is okay because I’m just glad to hear dude do what dude does well. The raps are solid and engaging AND HE IS POKEROBBING BEAKER. Much balls. Such heist. I’d score this way higher if I knew what the adaptation goal was.
Most ballsy.

Beaker - 8

i love this beat. i love this song. get a fucking partner.
beat: 8
raps: 8
overall package: 8

Emman - 5.75

Preface this with I’m finishing my judging sitting at my table at Class Game Fest so everyone is about to get a lot less feedback. Message me if you want the expanded details past this.
Vocalist:
Your sound is super cool sounding. But why do you keep doing one verse takes lol. I need your lyrics so I can read through please.
5/10
Producer:
Cool beat, sounds a little distorted. Made me think of like old 106 and Park beat battles.
6/10
Challenge:
Don’t know what you adapted so applying your producer score.
6/10

Navi - 5

Production: (1/3)
Vocals (2/3)
Overall/Theme (2/4)
So quiet! Master louder please. There’s an abrasive quality to the mix that I don’t really like, amplified by the grainy, distorted samples and the unbalanced nature of the drums. Everything is just sitting there too. The vocals never feel like they’re part of the song. A lot of time could be spent polishing the levels and sonic landscape of your entries, ESPECIALLY given how short they are.
And once again, short song is short. In this case, the brevity doesn’t bother me as much. There’s a clear point that we reach with the narrative that works with the length. The lyrics are fun and light-hearted, and I do enjoy the performance.
That being said, I don’t have any info about what this song is covering/sampling/interpreting so I can’t give full credit for how well that was accomplished. It’s not a horrible song, but its way too quiet and there’s nothing particularly engaging or riveting about it. IMO short songs/long songs/SONGS IN GENERAL only really work if you make every second earn its space. I’m all for your entries being short throughout, but I want to be entertained by it as an active writing choice on all fronts, please.

Dr Vern - 5

Short Attention Span theatre. Not much here to grade really. It was Ok. it's really short and has an ending that just stops like the 70's Animated Lord Of The Rings movie. If I was a grade school teacher, I'd give this an "Incomplete". What is here, isn't bad so I was ready. Then it ended. The Intro is cool, and when the Rap starts I am totally into it...then we get to Beakers' House, and Over. feels like half a song or less. It get's half a score. Who knows, with another verse and some sort of hook, this could be a 10. I'm up for a good heist!

Public Vote - 4.75

Round Overall - 34.5/60

Round Standing - 15th

Competition Overall - 34.5/120

Overall Standing - 18th

Pretty, Good

Glamour Potion

Adam - 7

This song sounds like it’s straight out of the Playstation game Bust a Groove. Again, I am very confident in Klopfenpop’s ability, particularly since he’s the one that wrote this challenge. So I’m sure he could explain exactly why it’s specifically a brilliant adaptation of Lip Gloss but as it is I am not seeing the connection. That all aside the beat is gorgeous, though it hella crowds the vocals on the hook and doesn’t really keep my interest as well as Klop’s work usually does. Perhaps a more sparse hook with harmonies or doubles would have been more effective there. The vocals are fun and bouncy but the delivery is a bit stiff. I still feel this team is pretty much guaranteed to be top five in this competition but this particular entry feels like a low point to me, sadly.
Most topcoat.

Beaker - 9

ok full disclosure i went back to ohm's beat and actually bounced between these two tracks for over an hour. the funk. the funk. klop slayed this beat, all the way down to the disco shine. i am pretty sure everyone within a half mile radius got a contact high off this track. shubs raps are great, another example of having my expectations pleasantly met. somebody invite me to a rollerskating party. this song deserves couples skate and a disco ball.
beat: 9
raps: 8
overall package: 9

Emman - 10

Vocalist:
I’ve listened to a lot of Shubzilla (probably your entire discography) and this is in my top 5 for raps from you. “Swing Swing Batta Batta Better Check The Price Tag” – Where that sat in the beat break got it stuck in my head immediately. I was walking around going “Swing Swing Batta Batta” afterwards. I would ask you to experiment with some other things delivery wise but I also have heard your progression as an artist and know that this is the zone you’ve developed into by experimenting (Mostly during VPCs actually) so I won’t make a heavy suggestion of it.
10/10
Producer:
Lol from the first 10 seconds I thought “If the song continues to build like this I’m probably going to give another 10 XD.”
I literally got goosebumps listening to this. I read an article earlier where they were talking about how they used to decide what music they wanted to make and the response was “What do you mean? We just made what felt right and what gave us the goosebumps.” I feel like that’s what you do with your instrumentals – what’s gonna make this instrumental sound dope AF? Cool got it, let’s get the song going. It makes it much easier as a vocalist to write to that because you’re inspired the second you hear it. I’m not going to make any comment about Shubz vocal mixing since we’ve already established you should always have that on point. Going forward I won’t give you any feedback on how they sit unless it’s messed up lol. I listened to this song 4 times the first time through
10/10
Challenge: Wow, the fact that you recreated the original was freaking dope and well done.
10/10

Navi - 7.5

Production: (2.5/3)
Vocals (3/3)
Overall/Theme (2/4)
Love this instrumentation. This Steve Miller-ass intro doesn’t feel rushed or forced, and drops naturally into dat beat. Once again, Klop is taking spacesexjazz pills, and there’s a lot to like about the sonic choices and chord progressions. I wish there was a bit more happening in the chorus – the wash of wet synth is cool at first, but there’s an emptiness that could have been solved with another melodic instrument (or that Rhodes) really stepping into the forefront there. And the outro is fun – and I totally get it – but it didn’t need to be as long as it was. The mix is solid.
I like Shubz’ performance. There’s an energy to it that wasn’t as present in the last entry. The lyrics are cool too, and I dig the rhythmic variance in the second verse a lot. I can totally get the interpretation from the original material from a written standpoint.
And that’s my biggest issue here. I’m struggling to connect the dots from the production end of the challenge. It’s a very cool beat, and I’d totally jam on it for hours, but as far as how the source tracks translate to it, I’m in the woods without a flashlight. I’m sure there’s a complex breakdown of how the lines could be drawn, but since a big part of this challenge was “recognition”, I’ve got to dock some points in this regard.
Solid song though! Once again, looking forward to what comes next!

Dr Vern - 8.5

Round 1 leaders are back with a round 2 entry. From a vocal and producer standpoint it's gonna be hard to get over this duo. BUT, they opened the door just a crack here for you competitors. This one doesn't quite hit a home run for me. It's damn fine vocally and even production-wise, but the total package isn't all that engaging. What's left at the end is a pretty decent track that would have made a wonderful B-side to a hit single. it is hard to knock this for anything except, likeability. I know that is a subjective thing and it honestly wouldn't surprise me If others scored it higher. Spot-on performance and production, this song just wouldn't make a replay listfor me, and that's why I can't score it higher.

Public Vote - 7.5

Round Overall 49.5/60

Round Standing - 4th

Competition Overall - 100/120

Overall Standing - 2nd (tie)

RACROWNN

Put A Spell On You

Adam - 8

No lyrics posted. This beat is really cool. It’s simple as fuck and doesn’t do much outside of the nice solo at the end but it’s hella effective and cradles the hook vocals very well. The vocal delivery on the hook is near perfect, though I’d expect some pushback for the brag raps. I’m really into the shuffling drums and glitchy sounds. I’m a fan of Rhyme Artist but he tends to get a bit rambly and sometimes fails to pull off rhythm changes meant to bring up the energy in a verse that instead feel a little derailing. That definitely happened here but every time the hook came back around I felt just enough relief to avoid holding a grudge. I think with more disciplined verses and a little more variation on the beat this song would easily be one my favorite this round but it feels slightly unpolished. Ultimately the intro, hook, and outdo REALLY work for me on this song while the verses all lose me with the syllable cramming.
Most potential.

Beaker - 7

you guys set an interesting expectation with your title and source, and you actually met that for me at least and I really enjoyed this track. the beat is sweeping, elegant and appropriately haunting... the shift between a traiditional piano and rhodes-esque organ fits nicely behind the muddled mix... it works in the worst way. i dont support it, but that dosent mean I dont like it in this instance.
beat:8
vocals:7
challenge;6

Emman - 7.75

Vocalist:
I like your singing so do a little more of it. The delivery was solid but lyrics next time please.
7/10
Producer:
Rhyme Artist is much better mixed this go round. Still have a little bit of tweaking to get hisvocals crisp, it was more crisp this time but portions of the verses got a little muffled, thatmight be from where he was standing during the recording session so you’ll have to ask him ifhe moves around while recording / if he did multiple takes and happened to move distance.Either way you’re on the right path! In general I like the instrumental, not sure if you sampledor played that yourself so I’m going to go listen to the original before I compliment lol.What’s that clicking noise? I thought the headphones were shorting for a solid 20 seconds. Iended up going back to the Pretty, Good track to double check my headphones weren’t messedup. I would stray away from sounds that the listener would associate with “I don’t know what iswrong with my gear but I know something is wrong with my gear.”
7/10
Challenge:
Nice adaptation. I enjoyed it.
9/10

Navi - 5

Production: (1.5/3) Vocals (1.5/3) Overall/Theme (2/4)
Fair warning: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is one of my musical idols and I cringe whenever I see someone covering IPASOY. So few people actually embrace what makes his version of the track the superior take on THOSE lyrics. Everyone leans away from the dark, maniacal under(over?)tones in the words, and I think its to the material’s detriment. As is the case in this song, people lean towards a mournful/melancholic mood with the words, and it’s so underwhelming in my mind.
There’s nothing too offensive about the instrumental, but it doesn’t really do much either. There’s some creaky panning SFX that are a bit too prominent in the mix and somewhat distracting. I like the piano/guitar interplay and the arrangement of the original wasn’t bad. The lyrics were decent but boilerplate; I liked the rhythm in the second half a lot though! There’s nothing particularly original about comparing dope lyricism to witchcraft/magic, but it’s an acceptable conceit to tie around the use of IPASOY.
There’s just no real weight to this song. It ambles along and then ends, without any sense of the drama and theatricality that makes the original work so well. To that effect, it’s not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Dr Vern - 6

Decent hook and mood set with the production. The production frequently overrides the vocal (especially in the rap verses) which certainly takes away from the enjoyment level, as does the (at times) off-the-beat flow of the rap. It draws from a source thatis a sultry jazz standard and takes great pains to create a similar atmosphere, but then ruins it with a "look-What-I-can-Do" Rap who's self-indulgence essentially kills any good vibes established by the production by treating the tempo as a challenge, rather than embracing the chill flow style that would've suited the track much better. Can't say if it's a failure of Idea or execution, but the finalproduct suffers none-the-less.

Public Vote - 5.5

Round Overall - 39.25/60

Round Standing - 9th

Competition Overall - 39.25/120

Overall Standing - 16th

SWA

Can't Stop

Adam - 6

This song has the phrase big bada-boom in it. This feels like club punk and I keep having to restart the song because instead of listening to it I’m trying to figure out if that comparison is a compliment or an insult. The first verse involves so much running I expected Tom Cruise to show up. This song has the phrase big bada-boom in it. It sounds like Solomon Grundy is doing some background vocals. The cadence on the rapping is definitely messy and could be tightened up a lot. The beat has potential but the mix is a little off, with decent presence on the synths, but thin drums and buried vocals. This song has the phrase big bada-boom in it.
Most big bada-boom.

Beaker - 7

wow i honestly did not expect this type of beat - I really really love it. like what bedrooms producers thought future house would sound like in 1998. xxyyxx called, he wants his beat tape back. you sold this track from a nazi? lol. raps are good. this track is an inch away from being a full blown chip tune anthem, and it should be. i love ace of bass so much. like. i hope they werent nazis. I also really liked milli vanilli. the mix was pretty cloudy, but if I am not lookin at the screen I dont notice - like a warm tape kinda feel but also crappier. not bad guys.
beat: 7
raps: 7
total package: 6

Emman - 8.5

Vocalist:
Hahah @ we stole this from a nazi you did notsee and down a nice slope – cool running. Good word play, I’m gonna have to relinquish the title of the punchline king soon if you keep coming for it like that. Take advantage of this competition this year though and test out some differentstyles of flow that you like from other rappers to see if you can adopt some things into yourown style.
8.5 /10
Producer:
Vocals are clean and crisp but I couldn’t really hear Rafe on the hook that well. Drums could usesome cleaning up as well. One suggestion that could have helped, you panned your main synthon the same side you balanced your main vocals and had the drum pattern on the left with thead-libs so Rafe’s vocals were competing with your synth during portions of his verses.If you swapped the main vocals to the left you could avoid that issue seeing as there isn’t asuper busy drum pattern there.The intro was a little long but the good news is I didn’t realize that it was actually like a fullminute so I went back and listened and heard that you did a few builds and different things.
7/10
Challenge:
Good job on the adaptation
10/10

Navi - 6.5

Production: (1.5/3)
Vocals (2/3)
Overall/Theme (3/4)
Another song that could have benefited from a 10BPM bump from Beaker’s powderkeg. It feels too lethargic for its own good. The exact same lyrics and instrumentation would drive the song so much harder if the tempo was boosted. The actual use of the Ace of Base melody isn’t bad, but it’s also nothing particularly daring or creative. I was more into how actual samples were played with in the song’s texture, than I was with the Sign melody.
But, there’s a lot of dead space in this song. I liked the intro and the choppy nature of the sample but it went two iterations too long (same general sense with the outro). You could have gotten the same idea across in a much more condensed fashion. That being said, the drop and the verse tag were hilarious.
The verses are alright, and I can loosely make the connection to the challenge, but there’s nothing too dynamic about the song, and while I think a large part of that is tempo-related, there’s something about the performance and content that aren’t the most engaging. Fun song, though!

Dr Vern - 6.5

More Brag-Rap, but for the challenge that's not a bad thing here. The source material here is Ace Of Base, which I already hated. So that means I'll say that this track meets the criteria of improving on the idea of what you drew inspiration from, so Good on youse guys for that. The production is a little uneven and i lose the rap in parts all throughout the song, but especially the hook. The lyrics are pseudo-brag thatwork well enough but don't land all the time. I also would've liked a better hook with this one. On repeat, I keep noticing excessive reverb. Alltold this is a decent effort, but you'll have to step up both sides (Vocal/Producer) to compete with the other teams here. Solid, but not exceptionl

Public Vote - 7.5

Round Overall - 42/60

Round Standing - 8th

Competition Overall - 85.5/120

Overall Standing - 7th

Team KrunkOnTitan

Seats

Adam - 7

I could listen to Desh kick bars like these literally forever. This is a fanfuckingtastic adaptation of Kendrick’s raps on Humble. I really feel the connection to the original material while it’s 1000000% a Kadesh Flow jam. He probably would have taken this round with a better beat. Sadly I hate this beat almost as much as I love the raps. I’m not a big Kendrick Lamar fan (I know that’s supposed to be blasphemy or something) but that song had an incredible beat that was dynamic and engaging with a ridiculously good piano sample driving an infectious rhythm and this lacks literally all of those. The piano is way back in the mix with some very uninspiring drums and It feels like the pads and synths are actually in front of the vocals at a few moments. The atmospheric elements should be back in the mix with more dynamic drum arrangements centered around the piano or something that’s at least sharp and rhythmically interesting. Also I feel the vocals could be a little dryer. The only section that really works for me production-wise is the trumpet breakdown and third verse, though the background vocals and strings are still taking over the rhythm section. Desh is carrying this song for me to the point where I’m still scoring it decent but this could have easily been a 10 with the right producer. Love the bars. Fucking hate this beat.
Most available seating.

Beaker - 10

lol holy shit you guys are so lucky.
beat: 9
raps: 10
total package: 8

Emman - 8.75

Vocalist:
Desh is always a killer hands down. Great delivery, good singing, good content and good play onyour challenge – you started with the same cadence that Kendrick starts with during Humblethen expanded upon it through the hook which is is truly the definition of borrowing a portion.Also knowing you personally I know that this song is definitely a true reflection of what you’redealing with right now which I’m sure someone will say isn’t fair but w/e I would have givenhim a 10 anyway just from the technical aspects of it too… I just wanted to toss that extra linein there as extra motivation for life.
10/10
Producer:
Atlas – I’m going to be harder on you here because I’ve heard a lot of your stuff. I know you cancome harder than this because I’ve rapped on one of your beats lol. The dynamics in your instrumental and your drums need to be paid attention to as much as your normally do to getthat 10 out of me I think part of it as well is the instrumental isn’t loud enough during the first two verses /doesn’t have enough dynamics so I really only hear Desh versus him being intertwined with thesong as a whole.Also the upper frequencies of Ryan’s vocals are really sharp… just pass the level where it’s clear and it’s starting to skate into the area where it’s too sharp for my ears. The Trombone got lost with the echo and reverb. The hook was mixed really well and had good dynamics so I would just go back and look at howyou balanced and mixed everything there and apply it to the rest of the song.
6/10
Challenge:
Good choice using a recent hit, If someone doesn’t catch the humble reference I don’t knowwhere they’re living lol. I like your hook better actually and you definitely have a similar style inyour concious songs to Kendrick so it doesn’t sound awkward or anything lol.
10/10

Navi - 9

Production: (2/3)
Vocals (3/3)
Overall/Theme (4/4)
‘Desh is on point. His flows and lyrics are top tier, as usual, and he borrows enough from Kendrick to pay homage without it ever coming off as imitation. The lyrics and arrangement tie in to Humble nicely, and it doesn’t ever feel like a verbatim cover; rather, it’s a solid thematic interpretation.
My biggest gripe is that the beat is muffled and mushed in the background of most of the song. I can tell there are a lot of elements in play, but I can’t make them out with any real clarity. I really like the arrangement during the hook, but the vocal mix has some issues there, and at certain points in the verses where it’s drowned out by adlibs/instrumental (the beginning of the last verse, for example). At the same time, the vox are a bit too wet and sharp, so I think another round of engineering could have done a lot to fix the issues I have with this song.
Question though. If I were trying to be humble, why would I take more than one seat? That just seems rude.

Dr Vern - 5

I like the rap itself the best in this track, but the overproduction is running wild on this one. Everything sounds really Hot in the mix (not everything should be on 11) and by the time we reach the halfway mark in the song, I'm really done. It's really too long and doesn't keep you engaged. Even with perfect production (and this is not that) I wouldn't score it higher than a 6. That's not because the rap is crap, No, it's not bad. In the sameway I love a Bacon Cheeseburger, but I don't need 5 lbs of bacon on one sandwich...5 points for each pound of Bacon used on this sandwich

Public Vote - 8.5

Round Overall - 48.25

Round Standing - 5th

Competition Overall - 48.25/120

Overall Standing - 14th

Tha Go Hammurai

Book of Rhymes II

Adam - 6

No lyrics posted. I’m glad that Ish got this in barely on time. Though at over five minutes in length I am on the fence of whether I believe it was ready and pretending he’s barely making it in time is just to fit in with the idea that he’s pouring rhyme book raps into a last minute recording on a beat or if he’s just free styling all the verses. The song sounds like it be either of those, and mostly not in a good way. I have definitely been feeling more and more of Ish’s songs but this one lost me several times. There’s just nothing to really grab on in any of the verses. A few okay lines padded with a shit load of filler. I’m an even bigger fan of Scotty Wu’s beats but the string samples are tiring as fuck before the end of the first verse and they literally never go away. They just get replaced by a less grating string sample for a few bars. By the 4:28 mark I really get upset that there’s still a minute left, which I also felt last round to an extent. Between the fact that you’re one of 16-18 songs being rocked in the round and especially if those lists keep going alphabetical and leaving y’all at the end, you’re seriously killing us with the long rambly songs. I suggest to keep it more around 3 minutes and write tighter bars.
Most pages turned.

Beaker - Scrotem

high hopes kinda fucked with right off the bat with a bad mix - the highs here on the string synth really dominate the mix and the raps suffer. Waking up... its a struggle for all of us. especially when we 'need a change of scenery'. Again, the Go Hamurai present us with an exceptionally challenging piece that threatens our sense of securty, intimacy and self all at once. The og and the og. the ego and the id. the constant and unresolvable conflict of man vs self. I can stop, until I make it... constantly pushing ones self beyond any realistic or acceptable limits.
the second verse is where we really come face to face with the challenging conflicts presented by the artists... the self loathing and teams of psychosexual masochism coupled with a desire to express the otherwise neglected female sexuality in the form of an erotic inclination toward members of the same sex that is not consciously experienced or expressed in overt action. is this a hidden inclination or potential for interest in homosexual relationships? again the almost constant focus on the phallus (as is even evident in the wave form of the track, which remarkably resembles a penis) is either suppressed or not recognized on a conscious level. in the outro, we see this theme pursued to the songs climax, as he challenges the listener to surrender 'their property' 'my passions is possession of paper' which in this context is a clear and obvious represntation of the anxiety one feels upon the realization that they do not have nor will ever have a penis - the 'ownership' complex... this begins the transition from an attachment to the female figure (the 'pussy' in this verse quite literally representing female sexuality and fertility) to a competition complex with the mother figure for attention, recognition and affection - a parallel reaction to the castration anxiety the vocalist expresses in the second verse. again, we are given a song that is irrevocably about the male member and its dominant role in our social cultures. well played.
beat: 6
raps: 8
overall package: penis

Emman - 5.75

Vocalist:
Ish, I’m guessing this was a rush as well if the instrumental was rushed. Kudos on comingthrough to get some points since some points are better than 0. I won’t harp on you but youyour ability to ride beats is what got you any extra points.
6/10
Producer:
I don’t want to say this but your instrumental was better last time, I’m not sure if you wereunder a time crunch this time but you definitel paid more attention to the nuances and tinydetails last time. Now that being said, if you were on a time crunch thank you for stillsubmitting something versus nothing else.
You still fit his vocals in there pretty well and they sound crisp. Like I said I know yourproduction can be on point going from your round 1 entry so I won’t harp on it, but if you readthe other feedback I gave other people last round and this round you’ll see the type of stuff I’mgoing to consistently dock points for. Just read that and come back strong next round.
5.5 /10
Challenge:
6/10

Navi - 7

Production: (2/3)
Vocals (2/3)
Overall/Theme (3/4)
Interesting source choice, because it fulfills the requirement while providing a framework for just about anything to exist as lyrics. Really hung a lampshade on it with that intro, though, so props. Once again, I’m all about the vocal timbre and flow. Ish’s confidence and comfort really come out in the performance and sell an otherwise blasé idea for approaching the challenge (lol haters goan hate).There’s some mix issues – those high strings are just a bit too grating and present; the vocals get buried in the lushness of the instrumental; and the drums could stand to be slightly more present in the mix.
That said, I love the mood of the instrumental. It reminds me of some Big Doe Rehab era Ghostface beats. The lyrics are fun and varied, as per the nature of the source material, but I can’t give full credit conceptually cause it’s a pretty easy out from having to do any heavy lifting with songwriting. I enjoy this song, but it’s a few revisions away from being something I could listen to regularly. The acapella ending is a nice touch though, and I’m totally with it as the epilogue to a Book of Rhymes framework.

Dr Vern - 4

I liked this more than getting stung in the face by a bee, but just barely. The production makes me want to murder indiscriminately. The Rhymes are ok, when i can hear them, which isn't much. The music dies down at the end, that part sounds the best, especially the part where there is Zero music. Seriously, the Production on this had to be rushed. It's SOOOOOOOOOO LOUD. 4 Points for the Rhymes I could hear.

Public Vote - 5

Round Overall - 34.75/60

Round Standing - 14th

Competition Overall - 78.75/120

Overall Standing - 10th

Two Non Irvings

Abstract (You Can't)

Adam - 9

HOLY FUCK THIS IS A FUN AND CLEVER SONG. Vincent in their fucking element for sure. Almost every word in every verse is perfect and the delivery really adds to the goofiness of the concept. The production is flawless, both nailing the aesthetic of the adapted material and the playfulness of Vincent’s vocals. THE FUCKING BASS SOLO! This is absolutely the kind of material I expected from this team and if they keep it up the next three rounds I see them placing in the top five of this competition. I’m trying to be constructive here but other than a few lines that made my eyes roll this song is near perfect. Good fucking job.
Edit: I literally did the running man to this song more than a few times.
Most untouchable.

Beaker - 6

do we all know where this is going? is this the fresh prince song? yup. wow. and its about vegans? no grammar? what the fuck is this song about? science? mysticism? mc hammer? ghost busters? vincent said he didnt think I listened to his songs... I just dont udnerstand them. but i didnt udnerstand informer by snow, either. and that shit was really on the radio for a while.
beat: 7
raps: 6
overall package: 6

Emman - 9.5

I love Fresh Prince. That was an unfair choice. I LOVE this theme too… very creative lol literally things you cannot touch. You have a very jovial flow / style which made it even smarter of you to go with a theme like this. Very goofy subject to rap about which played in your favor “English is my second language… I learned it in school.”
10/10
Producer:
I love Fresh Prince. That was an unfair choice.
Good mixture of the vocals, they sit well with the rest of the song and they are clear / crisp.
I like the slap bass, it sounds kind of like it was a bit crusher and would be something from the old Ninja Turtles In Time game which also came out around the time Fresh Prince was popular –not sure if you intended that but I gave you credit for it. Stuff was balanced really well too.
9/10
Challenge:
I love Fresh Prince. That was an unfair choice.
Nice swap up with the MC Hammer “Can’t Touch This” I gave the feedback above about why I liked your theme but you’re definitely the only outright 10 I’ve given this round for the creative adaption of the challenge I said I would do above.
10/10
Overall:
I love Fresh Prince. That was an unfair choice.

Navi - 10

Production: (3/3)
Vocals (3/3)
Overall/Theme (4/4)
Fuck me. There’s so much cheese in this song, I almost can’t even. There’s points where I went from loving to hating what was happening so quickly, I got whiplash. It’s a very witty and meta approach to the round’s stipulations, but it borders on ‘too winky for its own good’ – especially in the hook, which pulls the rug out in a way that is both too snarky and unfulfilling from a listener’s standpoint
However: there’s much fun interplay in the writing, and I can’t fault that a lot of thought went into this song’s concept. That said, does the concept end up hurting the listenability of the track? The song pretty much says as much, and I both hate and love them for shining the spotlight on that.
I’m so conflicted. On one hand, I’m down with everything that’s being laid out. It nails the guidelines of the round. The production is solid and the mix is good. The vocal performance is energetic and earnest, with tight lyrics and delivery. And dat bazz solo! AND they embrace the concept so wholeheartedly, it’s fucking admirable from a songwriting standpoint. ON THE OTHER HAND: this song makes my blood pressure skyrocket, and I don’t know if I could ever listen to it again outside of the context of this competition. Does that matter in my scoring? I. Really. Don’t. Think. It. Should.
Ugh. Here, take my only 10, you fucking assholes.

Dr Vern - 9

Love this track! Awesome use of the property, the production is strong. The Lyrics run from Meta to Hilarious. Really good job here. I enjoyed this thrill ride of fun wrapped up in a nerdcore track. the rap lyrics are on-point (the 2nd best in the round for me) and really make me think Nerdcore, maybe more than some other entries this round. Catchy, Witty and nostalgic at the same time, this is nerdcore. Great Job Irvings! Another team that has made it's way onto my radar. Keep turning out this kind of stuff, and you'll be around at the end. My only critique for this one is by the halfway markfeel like it's rinse and repeat, maybe a more defined breakdown or turnaround would make it perfect. OUTSTANDING!

Public Vote - 7.5

Round Overall - 51/60

Round Standing - 2nd

Competition Overall - 93.5/120

Overall Standing - 4th