Mike WILL Made-It - 'Creed II: The Album'

7/10

For almost the last decade, producer Mike WILL Made-It has been one of the most diverse silent partners in rap music. While he may not be a household name yet, his list of collaborators over the years have proven that he knows how to bring out the best in those that he works with. And so now the beatmaker has opened up his little black book of regular contacts to deliver the Creed II soundtrack, a release that looks to bring his eclectic nature to the next level and unveil a solid collection of high-energy rap throughout.

While the usual suspects of Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, J Cole, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Vince Staples and so many more make themselves known on this new selection of fist-pumping power rap, it is the inclusion of artists like Bon Iver that make this record so interesting and captivating. Trying not to produce a straight up rap release, the producer takes his cues from a range of different artists, hoping to bring a more expansive and expressive sound in the process. And while it serve its purpose as a high-energy release, mirroring the tone of the film it sits over, there are plenty of moments on here that showcase the proficient and diverse talents of the producer, making it one of his most enticing releases to date.

And although there are the occasional moments that suit a more structured sound, such as the track 'Kill Em With Success', which really just acts as a placeholder to fit the film's direction, much of the album is more about pushing into unknown territory and giving the heavy list of collaborators something to get their teeth into.

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