Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: Kamaiyah & Capolow – Oakland Nights

Kamaiyah and Capolow keep each other on their toes on Oakland Nights, a tribute to their hometown.

Kamaiyah knew we were deprived. Before the start of 2020, she’d been fairly quiet since her 2017 mixtape Before I Wake, a short but cutthroat display of the Oakland sound she grew up with. This year alone, she returned with another small mixtape back in February titled Got It Made. On that project, “Digits” was a standout track featuring Capolow, another Bay Area native. The chemistry between the two rappers was so immaculate that they agreed to team up on Oakland Nights, a 10-track EP that sees both artists trading bars and creating sticky hooks across its brief 25-minute runtime.

Capolow sounds right at home rapping alongside Kamaiyah. On “Gimme Dat,” he tries his hand at making a pop-crossover, with a sing-songy hook that has a bounce that would sound as great in the car speakers as it would at 1 a.m. at the club. Their addictive writing is also apparent on “Undercover,” a sensual late-night jam that has Kamaiyah singing an R&B-like hook that must have existed on some early 2000s MTV compilation.

Despite having several tracks that feel like an attempt at crossover success, Kamaiyah and Capolow also indulge in harder-hitting, aggressive rap songs. On “How I Move,” Capolow raps like he’s on a mission. Backed only by an isolated guitar-chord progression and without the help of Kamaiyah, the track is a showcase for Capolow. His flow sounds angry and his lyrics are punchy.

The lyricism, while fine, isn’t what makes the mixtape so addictive. Kamaiyah’s charm and wit are an indication that she can be both a serious rapper and a jokester at once. Some bars might not land the way she might’ve wanted them to, but it’s not even that much of a deterrent because of how confident she sounds while rapping them.

Although this a collaborative tape between two Oakland rappers, it feels both have their own unique conclusions. For Kamaiyah, this is more a victory lap following Got It Made. For Capolow, this is his opportunity to direct more ears to his solo work as a joint-album with an established Oakland rapper will likely turn some heads.

Trial Track: Gimme Dat

Rating: 8/10

Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: G-Eazy – Scary Nights EP

The Bay Area native is back with his second EP of the year with the release of Scary Nights just in time for Halloween

Admittedly, the tracks fall flat upon the first listen but do get catchier over time. Many of the tracks have quick tempos that push G-Eazy out of his element, probably for the worse. He always sounds better on slower songs reminiscent of his earlier work like the samples on The Endless Summer. This makes “Demons & Angels (feat. Miguel & The Game)” one of the strongest songs off the project.

Despite only being eight songs long, Scary Nights also has eight guest features. Sadly, none of them are too memorable and don’t better the project by any means – except perhaps for an unexpected appearance by The Game. All in all, this EP definitely won’t add any accolades to G-Eazy’s discography and instead could have been shelved, perhaps saving a few of the better songs for a future full-length album.

Rating: 5/10

Trial Track: “Hittin Licks”

Star Bar: “Used to have no options, I can’t pick or choose / Two yellow Lambos look like Pikachus” – from “Scary Nights”

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