“DJ Itchin” (previous review)

VersaStyles (iTunes)

South-side queen Rockz has finally hit the world with her first official solo album VersaStyles. The LP consists of ten total tracks, including popular single “DJ Itchin.” Additionally, the project includes production from some of Milwaukee’s best producers and guest appearances by some of the 414’s more promising talents. The Illixer got a chance to preview the collective via an exclusive release event. Discover a few of the songs that left lasting impressions and more after the break.

“Back Up”

This track opens up with a sampling of the ever so classic “These Boots Are Made For Walkin.” Which was originally done by Nancy Sinatra in the late 1960’s. From there the full beat kicks in and it is straight fire. The heavy hitting bass, distinct secondary components, measured tempo, and businesslike vibe are flawlessly packaged. The hook is transparent. The delivery is crisp and the lyrics are pointed. The verses are first-rate. Rockz steps to the mic with her one of a kind flow, apt wordplay, and assertive rhymes. She lets it be known that she has absolutely no time for bs when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. She cautions: “Too sick of all your drama. And nah, I can’t be yo mama. And everything’s a problem. Man y’all n—as is so common. But oh, you want a bad b—h? Broke, living like a savage. Can’t even cook a sandwich. And yo mind is below average. The f–k you gonna teach me?” Those bars pack one hell of a punch that no guy should ever want to be on the receiving end of. Be careful with Rockz fellas. All in all, this selection is a winner and a site favorite for sure.

“Walk On By”

The production here is intense. The low key foundation, dramatic musical elements, informal rhythm, and sobering vibe make for a fierce combination. The hook is favorable. The delivery has an unique slightly melodic tone to it and the lyrics are nervy. The verses are efficient. Rockz comes thru with a confident flow, biting wordplay, and outspoken rhymes. She’s crafted a lane all her own in the music game and has no love for anyone who would dare to think otherwise. Take note as she informs: “I spit that real s–t. Nah, I don’t mumble. I spit that clean s–t. Ain’t no rebuttal. You’ve got to feel this. I come the utmost with raw on the track. Funny how these grown a** men wanna act. Panties in they a** like they get it from the back. Mad that these cats don’t show love cause they wack. But I got fans who support where I’m at. Miss me when I’m gone and happy when I’m back.” Sheesh, can we say shots fired (lol)? As a whole, this is a dope undertaking.

“Wake Up”

The LP isn’t all in your face moments. There are a couple of more vulnerable tracks from the veteran femcee and this record is one of them. The production here boasts a strong influence from the infamous “U.N.I.T.Y.” by legendary female rapper Queen Latifah. It works out charmingly. The jazzy instrumentation, smooth groove, and old school vibe definitely give life to the listener’s ears. The hook is likeable. The delivery is catchy and the lyrics are significant. The verses are gripping. Rockz utilizes a conventional flow with the occasional switch up to refreshing harmonies, dignified wordplay, and enriching rhymes. She candidly discusses the issues that plague the hood today while sincerely calling for a reform. A highlight from her weighty dialogue includes: “One time for the struggle. One time for the hustle. Fists up, fists up. Can’t speak it, subtle. One time for the children. One time for some healing. Fists up, fists up. We must stop the killing. I know you see it. The warfare everyday. Tupac cried out where is the change? Where’s the solution? We need a revolution.” One can not deny that those are some powerful opening lines right there. In the end, this is a single with a strong message that needs to be heard and a great glimpse of the classic conscious Rockz that we all know & love.

**Bonus: “Hold Me Down”F/ Reject Da Illest (Video)

**My Two Cents: VersaStyles truly lives up to it’s name. Rockz gives the listener all different sides of her personality complimented by A-1 production and valid input from her few featured guests. She may have dropped part of her name but her artistry is still the same. Organic and of the Golden Hip-Hop era style. And there is nothing wrong with that. More serious Hip-Hop heads will definitely appreciate the collective. Those into today’s more mainstream trap style, might have to let it grow on them a bit. But I think that everyone of all tastes should give it an ear. For her first serious solo effort, Rockz did her thing. -MinM

Total Package
7/10
Overall score: 7/10