Album Review: Flame's Royal Flush Sizzles
January 22, 2014By Billy Delgado

Some music artists are easy to forget. Sometimes it’s that their songs are not memorable. Their production is forgettable or they don't sound unique in their own right whenever you hear their voice.

 

That is NOT the case with Flame.

 

When I first heard Flame, it was on the song [Joyful Noise], and it was hard to forget his nasal Southern accent and funny pronunciation of certain words such as "Fears" and "Ears.” The song started strong with his voice and then took a turn toward left field, but I digress.

 

Flame initiates his newest album – released (October 2013) - Royal Flush with "Break the Building" featuring Serge. And, yet again, Flame still captures my attention with his nasal voice. You know it's him when he raps. I picture this dude with a gap between his teeth and just looking crunk crazy but then I see the album cover and....he looks like an NFL Wide Receiver posing for GQ. Not bad for him, I guess.

 

Up and coming South Florida rap artist Serge features on this track and I can't think of a better artist to throw your first punch with. It would have been nice to hear Serge drop 16 bars but designated hook master will do. Flame can carry an album by himself but doesn't hurt to acquire talented vocalists to fatten your album.

 

If crunk music could get me excited, "All in" would be one of those songs that would draw me closer to the stage. Producer Steve T chose tympani's and baritone horns to play along with the snare in the beginning to create a crescendo setting up Flame. Listening to his opening bars, it's hard to put his picture behind the voice...(LOL'ing).

 

There are only so many ways you can rap the "Gospel" and bring anything new to the message without sounding like every other Gospel rapper, but Flame is able to throw scriptural references around with clever lines. Producer Spec introduces the "Game Over" track with what sounds like a mallard duck being made to suck helium and forced to quack along with the beat. It's definitely a song that will inspire one to dance the "Wu-Tang.” The song is not boring with all the beat changes made to feel like it's slowing down.

 

 The song, "Baited,” is so me. This is Flame's ace card. Producer Tyshane got the perfect loop of a Jamaican DJ to drop the sub-bass. This track definitely fits Flame's persona; he sounds like he tried to bring it hard and have fun on this one. And that GQ picture does not match this song....This is now the 3rd time I have rewound the song just to hear that intro. If I only I had a Jamaican around to yell "Pull up!" I know Team Flame agrees with me because they let the beat ride for a handful of bars before the fade out. You guys made me hear the song twice. Rare.

 

Flame wanted to summon his inner Imogen (Google her) with "Maranatha.” Different and producer D-Flow gives us something to chill to. It seems like Flame is bringing the album to its highest point by the middle of the playlist. Some may not like this song as much as I do but I'm just different like that. I can hear Kanye West on this song but let's not de-sanctify thangs....OOOOH!

 

I was only kidding, Kanye, come back. Come back, I was just joking!!!

 

Only a song like "Believe" can relax me enough to disregard the now obligatory fast-off-rhythm high hats that have saturated rap music, including this instrumental. I don't know who started this constantly-cloned trend but someone needs to stop it. And the musical sin continues in "Stackin'," K-Drama & D-Maub (Ok what are the first initials for???) made sure there was no talent drop-offs in "Mixed up.” These two guest appearances sound like cousins of Flame. Another artist with initials for a name, NF, sounds like a welcome change on "Start Over.” The gritty, contemporary style in which he sings doesn't come off as if Flame is trying too hard to diversify things. Flame continually keeps the Gospel message fresh.

 

And now we've come to the end. The production was solid. I didn't hear a single punchline that wows me but Flame's delivery, voice and rhymes still carry his music so you are never bored. I didn't hear something different, nothing daring or anything fresh aside from Flame's lyrical presentation of the Gospel. Flame also doesn't seem to "bare his soul" on his music, at least not through this recent effort.

 

Some hooks left me...eh...such as songs like "Sanctuary.” I am irked by songs that are produced for the sole reason of crowd participation. I'd rather you play the "Cha cha slide.”

 

"Let me see ya hands" and chants of that ILK move me to do the opposite. I'm not into the formulaic unless I'm just out to have fun, which may have been the song’s intention. This album also made me miss the days of analog when the music was warm, not tinny or harsh on your ears. It's akin to actors getting butchered with Photoshop for magazine covers. We don't have to sound or look perfect. Other than that, Flame keeps it burning until the next album.

 

 

 

The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

 

The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

- See more at: http://www.newdmagazine.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/79282/columnid//default.asp#sthash.rR184hJD.dpuf

 

 

 

The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

- See more at: http://www.newdmagazine.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/79282/columnid//default.asp#sthash.rR184hJD.dpuf


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