11 Aug 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

James Loan - EP Review: The Loan To Society

10 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg

James Loan is a new young Rap/Drill artist that at only age 16 has just released his EP, The Loan To Society. I commend this effort. The music video that is on YouTube for his song The Response certainly keeps to the look and feel of the style of Drill.

If you aren't familiar with Drill, well, neither was I until my music students started introducing it to me via the HP Boyz. Upon first listening to it, I was actually kind of taken aback by it. I wasn't quite sure exactly what this next generation of Hip-Hop/Rap/Trap was. By researching it even, as any music lover should, I came to understand that Drill is a style that originates from Chicago. It's dirty, grimy and apparently, based on truth. The lyrical content in that style tells it exactly as it is on the streets. The delivery is deadpan and the beats have a certain flow to them so when you add all these things together, you get this new style, Drill.

Now, there is no denying that the recording is well done. There are different vocal effects that only help the songs come more to life. The selection of beats that have been used as the canvas for each song has been well chosen. The opening track Save Me P.2 is an example of this. A wonderful vocal hook actually makes me believe this isn't Drill at all, rather something from the later stages of Eminem's career. The delivery is on par and there at times a sense of authenticity in the sound of the recording.

My only criticism here, and remember this is just my opinion, is that some of the lyrical content really doesn't work for me. One of my favourite characteristics of Rap and Hip-Hop is its real-life stories. Typically, this is to do with life on the streets and overcoming hardships. Of course, there are Rap artists that create a character and then write as if being in those shoes (Slim Shady, Dr Dre etc.), but Drill is a little different. Maybe James Loan is in fact acting out a character. Maybe, James Loan isn't writing Drill, but is coming up with a new style where he takes the characteristics of Drill but is creating a character, therefore, moving out of the Drill authenticity into something in between this aforementioned styles. Either way, there are lyrics here, especially in the chorus of The Response, that I found took away from the music. There is no denying that James Loan has skill. I cannot question that. His flow and lyrics have some clever moments in them, but overall, I felt on this EP, other than the first track, the other songs really didn't do anything for me.

Of course, this is my opinion and I want to stress that. If Drill is your style and you can tell James is just having a bit of a laugh, then sure, enjoy. Maybe I'm taking this far too seriously. But for me, there were moments that I found just went too far.

If anything, I want to see how James progresses and develops as a writer. I want to hear him Rap about his life and advice he could give others, discuss what has happened before in order to teach a new generation. After all, Hip-Hop and Rap have such an important role in the development of popular music due to their reach to both young and old that it's almost like each newcomer should be carrying the torch. Its influence is undeniable.

I definitely look forward to hearing new music from James and can absolutely see a lot of potential here. The video for The Response that accompanies the EP looks absolutely incredible. It is brilliantly shot and well thought out. If this is the sort of quality James is capable of, I absolutely look forward to seeing what is next.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About James Loan

Fresh outta Auckland, New Zealand

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Loan


The Loan To Society
Year: 2020
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Ben Ruegg

Big Sima - Album Review: Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood
04 Jul 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
Currently one of the most active NZ Hip-Hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up, he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill.
Y$O - Single Review: So Sexy
03 Jul 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
Y$O returns with a new funky and R&B-infused track So Sexy.From the moment the track starts, I can feel that there is a lot of influence from N.
Single/Video Review: Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG - Brothers
04 Jun 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
The new video from Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG takes Hip-Hop and puts some New Zealand flavour in it.
Paul The Kid - Single Review: Close My Eyes
01 Jun 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
Paul The Kid is an extremely diverse artist, combining an eclectic mix of contemporary genres with prominent themes of hip-hop, dance and reggae to create absolute bangers. Paul is most at home performing live and his shows generate an eccentric energy that invites the audience to get involved in the party.
EP Review: Yung Ludd - Two Tone
13 May 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
Born and raised in Lyttelton, Yung Ludd is the rap alias of musician Connor Strati. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground Hip-Hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound.
Will McClean - Single Review: Ego Prison
28 Apr 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
I'm getting to hear more Will McClean... yes please!
Hans. - EP Review: Kimyuntak
20 Apr 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Hans. is an exciting Korean artist that has been dubbed by VICE Magazine as "One of the rising stars of New Zealand Hip Hop.
Eliezer - Album Review: Diary Entries Vol 1
20 Apr 2022 // by Ben Ruegg
This is a great album. Even at 30 mins long, the overall feel and vibe of it is fantastic.
View All Articles By Ben Ruegg

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOJA
    Central Cee
    Steve Lacy
    Luude And Mattafix
    Cat Burns
    Kate Bush
    Doja Cat
    Harry Styles
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem