The second edition of Ralph Hardy’s Growing Pains is upon us and since the first one we have seem many people take in the role of creating compilations also but the Growing Pains series is showing that there is s deeper meaning to it every time.
Ralph passionately states:
” The brazen thing about time is that it moves on and it always expects you to do the same. We’re not all built by the same teachings and hold the same morals, but somewhere down the line time gives us a little glimmer of insight, whether we choose to acknowledge it then and there or wait for hindsight, that the movement gets a bit easier with support. Not much has changed in that regards since last year.
We’re still here looking out for the hopefuls of tomorrow. We’re still an outlet for those cultivating a sound that not everyone is going to get. We’re still apart of the artist’s story rather than writing it for them. We’re still gravitating to authenticity and aware that not everyday is a good one for creatives, let alone humans in general. We’re still in tune with what we said about growing pains last year, just an octave lower.”
We took our time taking this project in ad gave you a track by track review on the project and you can see how we took in the project.
Tania Nwachukwu Ft. Blen – Growing Pains
As the piano is playing, you then begin to hear a softly spoken voice, one that resembles spoken words. The pitch of Tania’s voice is very engaging; a melodic sound as she tells her story through spoken words, with the piano as her backdrop.
Growing Pains is a Romantic poetic style of song, a song about the power of love and attraction. In this song, Tania recalls a spontaneous night with a gentleman, an electrifying night filled with magnetic emotions, describes a connection so deep that she almost felt transparent and exposed merely due to his presence. Lyrically describing that vulnerable moment as a comparison to the modern day of sending someone a Nude picture via mobile phone.
Tania’s story telling ability should be applauded, the graphic description paints a realistic imagination for the listeners of that exact encounter. The tempo of her voice is seductive, changing from low-pitched to slow correlating with the direction on her words, the story and the sounds of the piano.
Bobii Lewis – Special
There is a great energetic bounce to the beginning of Special. Vocally Bobii Lewis has a great sounding R&B voice, showcasing his high-pitched falsetto vocal ranges but also the manipulation of Auto-Tune on his voice is used throughout the song.
This song is about a very ‘Special’ woman, in this classy song Bobii gracefully showers his subject with complements throughout.
The tempo and style of the song can be grouped as TrapSoul, a down South Atlanta sound that is the New Wave commercialised sub-genre of old school Hip Hop & R&B. Vocally strong, with a trap beat to it.
The chorus of the song samples the very popular and successful Pharrell Williams song Beautiful. It sounds slightly different but good as it has been manipulated and auto-tuned.
Ryan De La Cruz – Moesha Emily
The introduction of the song Samples the classic television show Moesha, which started R&B legend Brandy.
Vocally Ryan De La Cruz sings beautifully and exuberant. Moesha Emily is a very mature and seductive.
Moesha Emily is about a special girl that was in Ryan’s life, a relationship that has had to end due to her countless game playing ways. A tale about a broken man that is conflicted about his feels, torn between his reality and the girls love for him.
Moesha is a concoction of pop and R&B, with a range of instrumentals including the piano.
JST JCK – Done
Done could be described as a pure R&B song, JST JCK sings throughout the song.
Done features sound effects of an echo all the way through which complements his singing and the flow of the song. Done is about being fully over someone, JST JCK blames his kindness for the breakdown of his relationship. The message is, being too nice to a person can get you taken advantage of. The song is short, straight to the point but also shows a man conflicted with his emotions.
Careless – U
In the introduction of the song you hear a female speaking about her opinion of the relationship, sounding very sad and hoarse as she speaks about missing and wanting Careless but her feelings not being reciprocated. On the other hand, you have Carless, saying the complete same things. Whose calling me or you? Who’s making the effort me or you? A very competitive relationship!
Careless’ voice is very abrasive, lyrically gutless as he displays his point across based on his opinion of the relationship.
U is a fun tongue & cheek Hip Hop pop song. A song that looks at two people’s point and views within a relationship.
This song taps into a couple’s pettiness! The Bridge of the song goes as follows ‘Whose playing me or you’ which is repeated a few times within the song.
VB x SueLily – Nothing More
A very clever but common R&B song, with beautiful soft vocals sung acoustically. The song is very energetic!
This song is about not being able to shake an unhealthy toxic relationship, but being drawn and addicted to the person. There is a line in the song which some’s up a deep truth to the song as a whole ‘I keep giving and giving, but I don’t get nothing back, is it really give and take if you don’t receive anything back?
Sipprell x Melo-Zed – Broken Ground
The song starts off with harsh sounds of loud rain and broken glasses.
In this song both Sipprell and Melo-Zed both show of their beautiful, soft and emotive vocals which are a direct reflection behind the meaning of the songs and fit perfectly.
Broken Ground is about being heart broken and in love with someone that isn’t worthy of you.
A Soulful R&B song, featuring sound effects and a sensual R&B beat.
Broken Ground is emotionally very raw; you feel it in their voices through their melodic. You can expect lyrics such as ‘You watched me tread on broken ground, threw myself on the line for you, like a fool I still give all my love, you make me feel so incomplete’, feeling vulnerable in love, with no security. A very emotive song, which everyone can relate too.
Bartoven – Let it go
Let It Go is a very fun energetic song, with a combination of guitar playing and a beat that steams from Drum & Bass.
The chorus itself is very catchy, and easy to sing along to, the repetition during the chorus of ‘Go, Go, Go, Go’ gives the song a lot of character.
Lyrically a very deep song, Bartoven speaks about being real with himself, letting go of things that aren’t good for you, taking accountability and not shifting blame on the other person. The song is very lively, with elements of a live acoustic set, giving you the feeling of being at a festival.
Joey XL x AWrt – dwn
DWN is a very pop sounding R&B tune, with a catchy hook!
Lyrically it has many facets to it, from abrasive too energetic, gutless, rawness, self-awareness, overall very powerful intelligence within the wordplay. The story telling in this song from both parties is powerful and intriguing!
The subject of the song is about a specific girl, told very graphic in rap form, it’s almost like being read a story in a few minutes and you go away with a clear understanding of the entire book.
Marrie Dahlstrom – All You Have
Beautifully sung vocally by Marrie in a soft soulful tone, All You Have is a song with two elements to it. From an energetic Old School Garage beat to calming mellow instrumental. A great song to dance to, but you’re also able to just sit back and relax to it.
JGrrey – This Life (Is A Long Interlude)
This Life starts very powerful with its large production and sound, and continues throughout its duration!
Vocally JGrrey has very powerful and exaggerated tones to his voice which is heavily Auto-tuned complementing the overall production of the song. Amongst that you hear the soft vocals of a female harmonising amongst the production behind her.
There is a moment in the song when all three powerful sounds disappear and all you hear is a softly spoken female voice, a calming sound talking about her past and current state of life, a gratitude conversation, suddenly disappearing into the background and the powerful auto-tune and sounds comeback louder with the same female vocalist.
SOMA – Roots
The soothing sounds of spirituality is how Soma’s Roots is introduced.
Soma’s raps are a reflection of the subject within the song, speaking in his exaggerated African accent with a lot of conviction, but also a London accent incorporating London street slag.
Soma speaks of humanity, slavery and various subjects that are conflicting with the world that we live in today. The tones of within Roots are eclectic, from very relaxing, to sounding like an African ritual or sacrifice, almost like being in a healing temple dancing and releasing your inner spiritual chants.
There is a sense of meditation and healing throughout the song!
Tania Nwachukwu – No New Ways
As the piano begins to play accompanied by the organ, you feel a sense of tranquillity and peace
Tania is back for a second song on this album, this time with a more thought-provoking emotively captivating meaning behind it. A song that speaks of a current hurtful truth, one that is inflicted upon law enforcement, the subject of senseless killings amongst our harmless black brothers and sisters.
Tania speaks about the issue of death and the pain of having to write about death over and over again due to the enormity of the numbers of bodies lost continuously. Avery touching subject that is very hard to stomach and accept, losing a loved one in vain is unacceptable and will continue to be painful. A beautiful song with an extremely painful message.
MUNDU – Measure Me
A very catchy song that is heavily influenced by Mundu’s powerful vocals.
A Soulful song that carries a very strong production. Accompanied by strong instruments and loud echoing sounds from Mundu himself. The song has a lot of solo beats and a variation of instrumental moments allowing you to feel the rhythm of the overall beat. You feel the emotions of Mundu’s voice throughout the song.
Jay Prince – Before We Vibe
A great Hip Hop song, almost resembles the flow and sound of a Kendrick Lamar classic, which is always a complement when executed well, like this song.
The raps and flow of this song is sick! The beat switches tempos from fast one moment, to slow the next, taking you on an instrumental roller-coaster. The message behind the song is reflecting of the change in beat and uncertainty of what’s next as Jay Prince says ‘I know last time was Crazy, but we’ll be alright’. The song is a concoction of British Grime and US Hip Hop, a great blend of the two different genres of Urban Music.
SNE Ft Nadia Rose – Goku
From the beginning of this song, you’re captured by the Beat! Its powerful, captivating and its provokes your inner beat! If you’re a music fanatic, you’ll understand that analogy.
Lyrically both SNE and Nadia Rose are Gutless, graceful, ambitious and fierce. Their ability to bounce back and forth from each other lyrically, continuing the subject flow, shows great baring talent from both parties. Their flows complement each other’s flow extremely well without missing a beat.
Hudson East – 16:58
16:59 is a sombre R&B song, quite short is enough to digest. Hudson sing both with and without the manipulation of Auto-Tune. There’s a moment in the song when it switches, and a deep penetrating voice starts rapping gutlessly, but it goes back to Hudson’s singing.
Geovarn – Been Around
Been Around is a courageous Romantic TrapSoul song, with very strong instrumentals.
Geovarn has a beautiful voice, incorporating the mashup of rap singing.
In this song G as he refers himself, is speaking of a woman unlike anything he’s ever encountered. Geovarn talks about his experience meeting a woman that surpasses all his expectations.
Lyrically it can be repetitive, but it is catchy and works very well with the message of the song.
JST JCK – AMG
JST JCK is back with another song, this time with a soulful R&B song with a very strong base. A combination of rap singing, which is very common in music today. This song is very interactive, a blend of singing and communication between JST JCK and hid female companion who can be heard in the background, both talking to each other seductively. This song is very flirty and playfully sexual.
Kemi Sulola – Countdown
In This Song Kemi samples an Old School Classic Grime beat, the tune is very bouncy and features a variation of instrumentals, with the trumpet being the most prominent, the song has a very catchy chorus.
Her vocals are very strong throughout the song, she sings beautifully. This song is about running from yourself, but having that constant shoulder, someone that is always there for you throughout all your pain, coming to realisation that, that person is the one!
Rayf – For U
For You is a romantic R&B song, with elements of TrapSoul and a Garage Beat. Overall a very Upbeat song that will make you want to dance! Even though Rayf sings, there’s elements of Aut0-tune involved, accompanied by female vocals in the background
Mez – LFM
LFM is tune very much reminiscent of Old School early 2000 Grime. Lyrically wordy, abrasive, loud, busy, hyper, clever and wild!
Mez raps in the Grime form on top of a Baseline Beat with his clear sounding Nottingham accent. The beat changes variously throughout the song, but Mez remains aggressive whilst conveying his message. His Nottingham accent goes very well with the beat and flow of the song.
Ralph Hardy Ft. AJ Tracey, Blay, Capo Lee & Skepta – Spirit Myth (Those That Know Bootleg)
Those That Know Bootleg features a few rap Giants who lyrically are well known to deliver! It’s very much Every man for themselves! All the rappers featured in this song brought their A Game. Lyrically they were mostly on par, a combination of spitting and word play, aggressive tones and sound effects delivered gutlessly and uniquely through their own tones. AJ Tracey’s flow complements the beat perfectly; the lyrical newbie catches the beat instantly. The man of the moment Skepta, does not disappoint either, interjecting very strong and ending his verse even stronger. A very strong collaboration, with everyone standing their own grounds, lyrically competitive bar for bar.
Kwollem X Ghetts X Bruts – Don’t Ring Man
A Classic Grime song with a bit of a twist! Grime rapper Ghetts released Don’t Phone Me in 2010 featuring rapper Griminal in 2010. This song was an instant Grime classic, very hype, aggressive and lyrically forward. Fast Forward to 2016, a Remix, one that shouldn’t really work but for some reason, lowering Ghetts’ voice on the R&B beat, gives it a softer tone, and allows the rhythm of his raps to somehow flow effectively with this song! Who would have thought, A classic R&B beat with Ghetts’ aggression would work!
Steam it in full here: