Due to Spin Magazine putting up an early preview of the album, I am fortunate enough to write a review for DJ Drama‘s Quality Street Music before it even comes out.

With DJ Khaled‘s Kiss The Ring and G.O.O.D. Music‘s Cruel Summer projects catching major attention the past few months, it seemed like there wouldn’t be many other contenders for the “Compilation of the Year” award. After giving this project a few thorough listens, not only do I believe that DJ Drama has equaled the efforts of the aforementioned artists, I believe he surpassed them.

With features from the likes of Fabolous, Jadakiss, Young Jeezy, T.I., Ludacris, Rick Ross, Currensy, Common, Wiz Khalifa & more it’s almost guranteed there is a song for everybody on Quality Street Music.

Hit the jump for a song by song review.

Quality Street Music starts off with “Goin Down” featuring Fabolous, T-Pain & Yo Gotti. Fab gets the album off to a great start with a strong verse followed up an unfortunately annoying hook from T-Pain (shocker). Yo Gotti brings the cut back to listenable with a surprisingly good verse as well, only to get drowned out again by that terrible T-Pain chorus. With the exception of that little issue, it’s an otherwise solid effort.. even though the lineup on “Goin Down” was a little lackluster compared to the rest of the album.

The second song “Never Die” featuring Jadakiss, Cee-Lo Green, Nipsey Hussle & Young Jeezy comes out a lot slower than the first track, much to my shagrin. I was really hoping the disc would open with an absolute banger, but at the end of “Never Die” I was still left searching.  Cee-Lo Green is a lot more pleasant than T-Pain on the hook of this one, and Young Jeezy delivers but it’s not enough to save an otherwise flat song.

Next on the list is the familiar “My Moment” track that recently got a video. This joint features three artists who have been as hot as fire all year, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill & Jeremih. Jeremih drops one of the catchiest, most radio friendly hooks of the year and the instrumental is perfectly tailored to Meek‘s style. This song has a ton of replay value.

Track four is another song that was released long before the album. “We In This Bitch” featuring Young Jeezy, T.I., Ludacris & Future. DJ Drama went to an all Atlanta lineup on this one, and they do a good job of proving why a lot of people believe that it’s the best rap city going right now.

Wale, Tyga and Roscoe Dash present their effort next. Sadly “So Many Girls” is one of my least favorite cuts on Quality Steet Music . Roscoe recently threw shots at Kanye West & Wale for not crediting him on songs he wrote but if I were him I wouldn’t be bragging. There is no apparent synergy between labelmates Roscoe Dash & Wale, which is not a good look for MMG.

At this point you must be thinking, “I thought I was reading a review about what is potentially the BEST compilation of the year”. There is no doubt Quality Street Music gets off to a slow start but Rick Ross, Miguel, Pusha T & Currensy get the good stuff rolling with their song “Clouds”. Miguel and Pusha T always work well together, and although I felt Currensy stumbled a little (and he’s one of my favorite artists) this is an all around great track.

Just before the halfway point, we get hit with a Kevin Hart skit by the name of “Chocolate Droppa”. I didn’t find it particularly funny and will likely skip through it every time from now on, but it isn’t very long or much of a detriment to the disc either so I can’t hate too much.

One of the most unlikely lineups for a song on Quality Street Music has got to be “I’ma Hater”. Waka Flocka goes hard out of the gate with an intense verse and equally aggressive chorus. Tyler, The Creator then holds serve with a fairly elaborate rhyme, although he annoyingly slows the beat down something like four times. German rapper D-Bo closes the record out with a verse that can’t possibly compare to the two strong efforts placed before him, but does a great job of not taking the song down a notch. Tough job for the closing pitcher.

Decatur based group Travis Porter team up with Kirko Bangz for the next song “Real Ni**as In The Building”. At this point you can see a pretty obvious formula throughout Quality Street Music. Take a handful of people who can spit some fire, and then throw a person who can deliver a catchy hook or chorus on the track with them. Travis Porter and Kirko Bangz do a great job of distributing the work evenly throughout this track.

“My Way” is one of my favorite cuts from Quality Street Music . Lloyd delivers a truly mesmerizing chorus and Common bodies the beat like I’ve never heard before. Kendrick Lamar, another artist who has been hot all year takes Common‘s alley-oop and does a windmill jam with his verse. I will be listening to this track for years.

“Pledge Of Allegiance” features what sounds like the Wiz Khalifa of yesteryear. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come from his upcoming release O.N.I.F.C. . B.o.B. follows up Wiz‘s fresh verse with some fairly upbeat bars of his own. Planet VI comes up with an average chorus, which still leaves this song just slightly above average.

Kid Ink, ScHoolboy Q, Cory Gunz and Childish Gambino make up the cast of the next cut, titled “Same ‘Ol Story”. Kid Ink unleashes one of the catchiest hooks on the album, and ScHoolboy Q is consistent as always. TDE did a great job with their limited exposure on Quality Street Music. Childish Gambino also manages to outshine Cory Gunz, which will have to make me re-evaluate skipping every single one of his releases ever.

Next up we have “We In This Bitch 1.5” featuring Drake & Future. More or less the same song as the original “We In This Bitch”, except Drake replaces Jeezy, T.I. & Ludacris. That’s quite a statement though, even if you like Drake you have to admit those are some big shoes to fill. I prefer the version of this song featuring only artists from The A.

The second last song “My Audemars” features Meek Mill yet again, who enjoys the privilege of teaming up with rap icons Birdman & Gucci Mane. A pretty big push for the kid as we wait on his debut album Dreams & NightmaresBirdman and Gucci Mane do their thing to complete this incredible street record.

Quality Street Music closes out with Fred The Godson‘s “Monique’s Room”a song most people are already quite familiar with. I believe this is the perfect song to close out the album, allowing the dust to settle before you listen to it all again.

So how does Quality Street Music stand up against the competition? Well it’s definitely adequately named. I think it offers more quality music than the two albums I compared it to at the beginning of the article, Kiss The Ring & Cruel Summer by a landslide. I suppose that’s not saying much though, as most people seemed disappointed by those projects. Well everyone except the writers over at Complex who have been “Stanning” hard over Cruel Summer.

Thanks for reading my review of DJ Drama‘s Quality Street Music. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite song or songs below.

Until next time,

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OVERALL: 8/10

Timeless Tracks: My Way, Clouds

Pros: A good mix of artists, that give a great overview of the state of rap in 2012.

Cons: A few too many annoying hooks that ruined otherwise great songs.

Buy: Quality Street Music on iTunes or Amazon.

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