Gucci Mane – Evil Genius

Image result for gucci mane evil geniusAtlanta rapper Gucci Mane’s output since being relased from jail in 2016 has been so prolific that the timespan of just under a full year since his last project is an unusually long gap for him. It’s certainly given him some of his best sales in a while. He’s stated that he was trying to link up with the best personnel he could and make one of his “best projects ever”, but I’m not sure he accomplished that despite the time off. Evil Genius is one of the safest and by-the-numbers rap albums I’ve heard all year, Gucci toning down the more comical and cartoonish sides of his lyrics and delivery to fit into more of a generic trap mold. Across 17 tracks, it’s pretty difficult to tell most of them apart. One of the things that is most appealing to me about Gucci, especially on his features, is his effortless charisma and mic presence – most of that is lost here.

One of the reasons Gucci works so well as a feature is how different from most rappers his delivery actually is, adding to the variation in approaches on any given track – across this project, as usual he’s more laid back and yet possesses this kind of 21 Savage-esque coldness. One of my favourite Gucci tracks is actually his “Finesse The Plug Interlude”, where he delivers threats with a kind of cheerful shrug and high intonation. But carrying a full project by himself, his somewhat sleepy tone gets a little boring – especially when there’s no interesting instrumentals to keep him afloat.

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The two opening tracks “Off The Boat” and “By Myself” are pretty good examples of what’s wrong with this project – both of them have pretty every-day, bass-heavy and relatively empty trap instrumentals that you could hear anywhere else, and their lack of variation and relatively low energy make Gucci’s quieter flows blend in to the background and his sudden bursts of energy feel out of place. The latter ends with some comically over-enunciated words and a shouted playground chant of a flow over an incredibly minimal beat. My favourite track on here is actually “Father’s Day”, an interlude-length track with a spastic and upbeat instrumental from Metro Boomin where Gucci reaches his energetic peak on the chorus as he emphatically proclaims his status as the one who started a wave – just as I was getting into it on my first listen, it ended.

As expected, some of the features here add spice to what Gucci brings to the table and contribute to some of the better tracks. “BiPolar” is enlivened by some quicker hi-hats than usual from OG Parker, but especially Quavo’s melodic interjections on the chorus to enhance Gucci’s more static flow and keep the rhythm afloat. Kevin Gates’ in-your-face presence and quicker flow on the track “I’m Not Goin’” is a welcome addition, especially in comparison to Gucci’s awful singing voice on the chorus, and Youngboy NBA fulfills a similar role on the track “Cold Shoulder”, where Gucci actually gives a pretty great performance to match – the addition of a quick triplet at the end of a couple lines in the chorus is something that I could only expect from someone like him. This is one of the best beats on the project as well, some creeping low synth tones raising the stakes. Single “Wake Up In The Sky” with Bruno Mars and Kodak Black is Gucci’s peak aesthetic, and a fun enough track even if I wanted Mars to show off a little more. An effortlessly cool, laid-back track, all three artists dial their voice back to a too-cool-to-care, relaxed cadence and completely sell it.

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Most of these tracks feel like filler when they’re so short, Gucci rattling off one or two repetitive choruses with some low-effort verses in between before we immediately move on to another half-baked idea. The run from “On God” to “Lost Y’all Mind” gives me whiplash from how quickly these ideas are created and abandoned before anything is developed properly. Most of these tracks honestly aren’t too bad – “Lost Y’all Mind” might be my favourite track in the middle with that glitchy, melodic beat – but the fact that they sound so similar and end quickly like a couple focus groups went through a checklist and each presented their own version of a Gucci song makes me wish there was a little more variety and innovation across the board here. By the time we get to the end of the tracklisting I’m seriously tired of the excessive number of tracks with the same skillset being presented – tracks like “This the Night”, “Mad Russian”, and “Lord” are seriously uninspired and could easily have been cut.

There’s been a few average rap albums as the year comes to a close and it looks like there’s still going to be a few more – the genre’s seriously taken the year over, with high-profile releases coming almost every week. Evil Genius doesn’t do enough to make the personality of one of the most personality-driven rappers stand out from the rest, and it’s pretty disappointing as a result.

Favourite Tracks: Father’s Day, Lost Y’all Mind, Wake Up In The Sky

Least Favourite Track: By Myself

Score: 3/10

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Rapid Fire Reviews (Logic, Lil Yachty, XXXTENTACION)

BobbyTarantino2.jpgLogic – Bobby Tarantino II

The newly minted king of woke rap enters another instalment into his less formal series of mixtapes after breaking through to the public in a major way with his latest album Everybody. While Logic does show both a hilarious level of self-awareness at how annoying his preachiness can be and a large sample of the technical skill we know he possesses, Bobby Tarantino II falls short of its predecessor by turning up the blatant copying of other successful rappers he has always been accused of to the most obvious degree yet. As well, it’s strange to hear Logic back on this material he acknowledges himself is fun and meaningless in that earnest, awkward, high-pitched voice we heard singing about suicide prevention. His creation of an album that was trying so obnoxiously hard to spread a message has created a no-win situation for him. As Pitchfork wrote, “Once you’ve gone full Macklemore, you can’t walk all that sanctimony back”.

The project opens with a Rick & Morty skit in which the straightforward Rick prefers “Mixtape Logic” – criticizing “oooooh, equality” – to the idealistic Morty’s “Album Logic”, and it’s honestly great to hear how self-aware Logic is about his own music, and there really are some tracks here that call back to the quality of his music before the fame. Opening track “Overnight” brings to mind the standout track on the first Bobby Tarantino mixtape, “Super Mario World”, as Logic addresses his detractors over a fuzzy video game-esque synthline and trap beat. “Contra” feels like classic Logic as well, his delivery energetic and his speedy flow relentless. “Indica Badu” is a great microcosm for Logic’s career recently, the verses displaying the greatest extent of his enormous talent and technical skill – even bringing out what might be featured artist Wiz Khalifa’s career-best verse – before ruining it with a basic hook inexplicably delivered in the most annoying possible falsetto voice.

Sometimes I feel like I criticize Logic much more than he deserves, since it is clear that his potential is limitless. Even on projects that are as solid as this one, his brief deviations into his worst tendencies are frustrating. Logic has always been accused of lifting ideas from his contemporaries such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, and it seems like his latest fascination on this project is none other than Travis Scott, as half of the project is filled with the eerie, laidback trap instrumentals and melodic Auto-Tuned yelps he is known for, particularly on “BoomTrap Protocol” and “Wizard of Oz”. He shows an affinity for jumping on trends in a different way with the awkward Marshmello collaboration “Everyday”, the watered-down Chainsmokers-lite EDM instrumental not complementing Logic’s awkwardly sung hook. Even when Logic is on a mixtape where he acknowledges that he’s going to flex and little else, he still feels the need to insert a few lines about self-love, being a good person and the like that weren’t present on his earlier projects. Although these are just side deviations on this project, his surface level approach to these topics is still annoying.

The majority of the tracks on this album are actually pretty impressive in comparison to Everybody, and even though I try to separate the art from the artist as much as possible, hearing the tiny inklings of his pandering, public persona on a project like this brings me out of the experience.

Favourite Tracks: Overnight, Contra, 44 More, Wassup

Least Favourite Track: Everyday

Score: 6/10

LilBoat2.jpgLil Yachty – Lil Boat 2

SoundCloud rap pioneer Lil Yachty, still only 20 years old, releases the followup to his major label, genre-shifting debut Teenage Emotions with a sequel to his successful Lil Boat Since Yachty was truly one of the first people to popularize what has become commonly known as mumble rap with his endearingly haphazard approach, the genre has shifted a bit more towards the “sadboi” stylings of people like Lil Uzi Vert and XXXTENTACION, who I’ll cover later in this review, passing Yachty by. Lil Boat 2 goes a bit darker than his previous work in response, foregoing his melodic exploits for eerier instrumentals and straight rap bars. While he makes a significant improvement in this area, one that suffered on his previous projects, the loss of Yachty’s distinct personality on this project brings it down.

There’s always something to be said for the sheer sense of joy to be making music Yachty communicates through his excitable and childlike delivery. I used to say that it made up for Yachty’s lack of musicality, but that has certainly improved across the board on this project, as he is capable of pulling off speedy triplet flows without falling off the rhythm as he had in the past. Tracks like “BOOM!”, “DAS CAP” and “POP OUT” are incredibly fun for this reason, Yachty repeating the title as a high-pitched adlib in the background while rapping better than we’ve heard him before. Yachty’s lyrics are absolute nonsense, but it honestly fits this persona at this point. “she ready” is easily the best track here, and possibly the closest track to his older style, a falsetto melody in the chorus set over another great addition to the flute trap instrumental trend. “MICKEY” shows his newfound harnessing of his rapping ability, holding his own with Offset and creating a flow I haven’t heard before in the chorus by drawing out his final syllables.

Yachty’s attempts to get grittier on this project often leave his tracks a bit empty. The most appealing thing about him in the past was his ability to create joyful, catchy melodies with a positive and idealistic outlook on life. In comparison, a track like “OOPS” sees him drop his voice lower to match the featured 2 Chainz over a very minimalistic trap beat set to nothing more than some low, rolling bass notes. There’s not enough to hold his slightly off-kilter flow in place. Yachty was never meant to follow trends, so seeing him veer closer to the patented and popularized Migos sound is disappointing. Both Quavo and Offset appear here, and “GET MONEY BROS.” sounds more like a Migos leftover than anything else.

There aren’t many new concepts to be found here, and even though that is what drew me to Yachty in the first place, his relentless attack to these tracks and clear improvement of an area of his work contribute to another respectable project from him. Now that he’s proven himself here, can we get back to those tropical, fun tracks?

Favourite Tracks: she ready, MICKEY, DAS CAP, BOOM!

Least Favourite Track: GET MONEY BROS.

Score: 6/10

XXXTENTACION-Sad-Changes-Single-Cover.jpgXXXTENTACION – ?

Diverse and controversial emo rap enigma XXXTENTACION’s sophomore album expands him into the mainstream even further, improving his songwriting ability and singing voice from the disjointed and disappointing debut 17 despite his insistence on keeping many of his tracks infuriatingly short, ending before any concrete ideas take off. Emerging onto the scene with shockingly distorted and aggressive tracks like “Look at Me!” X has since reverted to folk and emo-rock emulating guitar-based tracks with depressing lyrical content regarding his personal life and his own issues, of which he has many highly publicized examples. While X certainly shows the ability to pick out a great melody is there, proving he’s much more than we initially thought, there are far too many terrible and confusing musical decisions across this project for it to be truly enjoyable. X’s music is too much of a disturbing cry for help at this point.

Previously we only heard X’s singing voice on some lo-fi, depressed, uncomfortable moaning melodies but he certainly finds a few places to hit his stride as a songwriter and vocalist here. The track “Moonlight” is incredibly catchy, set over a unique glitchy synth instrumental – I really wish it was longer. This transitions into his first top 10 hit, “SAD!”, the plaintive melody of which has clearly resonated with people despite the uncomfortable message disguised within that hits a little too close to the abuse we’ve heard he’s capable of in the news. The chemistry he shows with Joey Bada$$ on “infinity (888)” is pretty undeniable as well, X dropping some rapid-fire triplet flows over a boom-bap instrumental featuring a melancholy, distant saxophone.

Despite the successes he finds on this album that weren’t present on the dismal 17, there are still quite a few moments where he takes the vibe of that album and escalates it to an even more obnoxious place by fleshing it out into what is … well, ALMOST a full song. Opener “ALONE, PART 3” is more of the same whining over sad guitar patterns, whereas X goes full screamo on tracks like “Floor 555”, reminiscent of his early work – the level of anger he displays here is genuinely terrifying and worrying as he blows his voice out on the chorus – as well as the Travis Barker-featuring “Pain = BESTFRIEND”. These just leave me hoping X gets some serious help. The right way to do this is “the remedy for a broken heart (why am I so in love)”, which sees the trademark folksy guitar patterns juxtaposed with a faster flow from X and a few sparse trap hi-hats that represents the first time he convinced me that this genre-mixing is possible. The back half of this album is a complete mess of genres that just alerts me to X’s instability more than anything else. He brings on 13-year old Matt Ox on “$$$” for an intolerably Auto-Tuned hook and disappears for most of the track on “I don’t even speak spanish lol”, an extremely basic reggaetón track that shows … that X heard “Despacito”.

The title ? is quite appropriate, since it is never quite sure of what it is. The real thing that will keep me from returning to the project, however, is just how real X’s pain sounds on this project, and it is impossible to empathize with him. His unhingedness creates something worthwhile on a few brief occasions, but mostly just creates messy exhibitions of his sadness and anger that leave me concerned.

Favourite Tracks: Moonlight, the remedy for a broken heart (why am I so in love), infinity (888)

Least Favourite Track: Pain = BESTFRIEND

Score: 3/10

Macklemore – Gemini

Image result for macklemore geminiSeattle rapper Macklemore’s third studio album and first without producer Ryan Lewis sees him largely abandon the maudlin and misguided political exploits that colored his 2015 effort This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, falling instead into a cycle of trend-hopping that is so specific I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t wind up with a few lawsuits on his hands. Macklemore’s brand of bombastic, stadium-sized rap tracks still has its fair share of thrilling moments, as he demonstrates how capable and technically skilled of a rapper he is at points on Gemini, but far too often the project falls into lyrical oblivion and painful unoriginality. The Heist seems like a distant memory.

The album actually opens in promising fashion, as Macklemore recruits “Downtown” collaborator Eric Nally for a pump-up anthem on “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight”. No matter how often Macklemore uses one of these bouncy piano beats with a trademark horn section, he can carry a track with his charisma when he wants to. The added funk bassline, stadium-sized chorus and self-confident lyrics make it a track to throw on for any occasion.

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Macklemore’s reliance on slower, introspective tracks is pretty disappointing given how great of a technical rapper he actually is. Remember “Jimmy Iovine”? He demonstrates some quite impressive speedy flows briefly on “Willy Wonka”, but he combines it with some legitimate star power on goofy dance track “Levitate”.

Gemini feels like parody much too often, either of another artist or of himself. Macklemore is seemingly completely unable to latch onto any particular thing that makes him special as an artist in any way, as the project boasts a featured artist on every single song but one and nary an original idea. Macklemore has clearly been studying the rap charts recently, as you can easily match about half of the tracks here to a better executed rap hit counterpart.

“Marmalade” has not only the exact same piano chord progression as D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli”, but THE SAME FEATURE ARTIST in Lil Yachty. You could probably tell from the title, but “How To Play The Flute” sounds like a bootleg “Mask Off” made by a YouTube DJ. “Corner Store” recruits fellow Seattle rapper Dave B, who does his best Chance the Rapper impression as the Social Experiment-emulating horns blare, while “Willy Wonka” sees Macklemore try his hand at Migos’ trademark style of trap with Offset, awkwardly yelling his own ad-libs after every line in the way only the Migos can.

Lead single “Glorious” feels like an outsider checking all the boxes of a typical Macklemore song but not putting as much effort into it. The incredibly general “inspirational” lyrical content, stadium chant backing vocals and piano beat just bring to mind a watered-down “Can’t Hold Us”. Macklemore attempting to blend into the modern rap scene and aping what everyone else is doing is such an antithesis to the sound he presented on The Heist, which blew up because there was nothing like it at the time. When he tries to put a Travis Scott-style effect on his voice on a track like “Ten Million”, it just doesn’t fit him at all.

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Macklemore’s lyrics on this project are frankly embarrassing and almost make me wish he tried to say something of consequence again. Tracks like “Marmalade” make me wonder what kind of a mindstate he was in when he wrote these bars down. A couplet sees his criticizing Tinder users before immediately admitting he’d use it too if he were single, and bellows “Watching Toy Story 3, that’s a great f*ckin moooovie” with absolutely no context.

“Intentions” is easily one of the worst tracks of the year, as Macklemore offers some sleepy rhymes over a repetitive acoustic guitar loop while doing what he does best – whining about his first world problems. Oh no everyone, Macklemore wants to read a book but all he can do is watch TV. “I wanna be a feminist, but I’m still watching porno” is a real line on a recorded album this year. But it’s fine, as the chorus repeatedly asserts, Macklemore is “Okay with who [he] is today”. His striving to be relatable continues on Kesha collaboration “Good Old Days”, which sounds exactly how you think it does as the two play on the ever-popular theme of nostalgia without actually saying anything of interest.

Macklemore opens misguided rock venture “Firebreather” by saying “Got a Guns N Roses T-shirt, and never listened to the band. Just being honest, I just thought that sh*t looked cool”. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Macklemore tries on everybody else’s style like an outfit to discard later on Gemini. I wish he went back to the thrift shop.

Favourite Tracks: Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight, Levitate, Corner Store

Least Favourite Track: Intentions

Score: 3/10

Lil Yachty – Teenage Emotions

Teenage Emotions artworkPolarizing 19-year old rapper Lil Yachty’s debut album, Teenage Emotions, is an absolute mess. But don’t get me wrong – in Yachty’s case, that’s a good thing more often than not. Yachty refuses to play by the rules over the course of this 21-track monster, throwing everything we know about hip-hop music out the window and leading the way for the new generation of rappers which have been slowly starting to dominate the Billboard charts.

Simply put, Yachty is too busy having fun making music to care about trivial things like having a flow or knowing the difference between a clarinet and a cello, and this unbridled joy comes across to the listener. Of course, on a 21-track album by someone who is often quite unmusical, there are more than a fair share of dude. However, the way Yachty approaches his craft is completely novel and is sure to influence hip-hop music for decades to come. He just needs a bit of polish before then.

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Many of these beats are youthful, jubilant and triumphant, often featuring high-pitched synth melodies that could easily be used as the background of children’s music. Like Yachty himself, the project is frenetic and disjointed, as no producer shows up more than twice. The biggest dichotomy in the project’s sound is introduced in the album’s opening speech, establishing a difference between the two characters we will hear speaking on the album – Lil Yachty, who sings and is happy-go-lucky, and “Lil Boat”, his ignorant rap persona who is typically associated with harder, traditional trap beats.

There are not many recognizable names in the credits, but the ones that do show up contribute to some of the best tracks. Veteran rap producers like Lex Luger and The Stereotypes appear, as well as EDM superstar and bonafide hitmaker Diplo, while Migos, YG and Australian singer Grace share the mic.

Yachty’s ear for melodies is unparalleled, taking what Fetty Wap did in 2015 to another level entirely. Poppier tracks like “All Around Me” and “Forever Young”, the Diplo collaboration, make the strange thought of Yachty on the radio sound like a very real possibility. You can hear the smile on his face as he calls for a toast on the former. Why? “I see nothing but the money in my face”. Yachty’s greatest strength is the believable communication of real human emotions, hence the album’s title, made all the more genuine by his disregard for being all that musical. Yachty is simply expressing himself to the fullest possible degree here, and whether he is expressing his childlike enjoyment of life, or lamenting relationship troubles, we feel it along with him. The happier tracks, however, are absolutely euphoric.

On “Say My Name”, Yachty rhymes “Hyundai now” with “fun day, wow”, and then gets “slapped in the face with a blessing slap like pow”, and if you can’t see the fun in that, Yachty isn’t for you. “Better” is the album’s best track, featuring a sunny reggae-infused instrumental and Yachty’s greatest melody as he expresses his love to his girlfriend, commending her ability to make his life better with surprisingly heartfelt lyrics. My favourite on the whole album? “Let’s lay on the hood and look at the stars, and name them whatever / You always call that one Trevor”. His tribute to his mother on the album’s outro, “Momma”, continues Yachty’s believably heartfelt streak, and is another standout.

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Yachty’s lyrics are often very unintelligent and have little variance in subject matter, but his delivery is what has the potential to change things. The way he says some of his most ignorant and nonsensical lines with such confidence has the capability to make the most idiotic things brilliant, and incredibly catchy. Still, this doesn’t happen every time. The most evident detraction from the enjoyment of the project is Yachty’s lack of rhythm. “DN Freestyle” is the most traditional rap track here, and his laughably bad lyrics are more noticeably terrible when they frequently lag a little bit behind the beat. “Dirty Mouth” might be even worse in this sense. While Yachty does a lot of novel things for the genre here, I don’t think I’m ready yet for rap that has a complete disregard for rhythm – that is something that should stay central.

The tracks where Yachty sings greatly outweigh the rap tracks here, with the exception of maybe “Priorities”, which features an ecstatic delivery of a great hook. It doesn’t help his case that Yachty tries to act a lot tougher than he really is on these tracks, in line with his Lil Boat persona which should really be abandoned. Yachty has a lot of time to figure out the things he’s good at, and trying to be something he’s not is not one of them.

Rating Teenage Emotions was very difficult, as I only really enjoyed about half of the tracks here, but it is easy to see how influential Yachty has already been, and will continue to be, for many years. Yachty has turned the genre upside down, and when it works, it really works. Soon, he’ll learn how to make things click more often than not.

Favourite Tracks: Better, Priorities, Bring It Back, Forever Young, All Around Me

Least Favourite Track: No More

Score: 7/10

D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.

Image resultVirginia rapper D.R.A.M., who burst onto the scene with infectious hits “Cha Cha”, which captured the attention of Chance the Rapper and Beyonce, and current top 5 single “Broccoli”, arrives with his debut full-length album — and it represents a very refreshing surprise in the current landscape of hip-hop music. D.R.A.M. himself is a lot more musically inclined than you might think after hearing the chilled-out ode to drugs that is “Broccoli” — his singing voice and overall ear for the technical aspect of music are actually very impressive, far beyond your average rapper. D.R.A.M. is an active member of a gospel choir, and his deep and silky voice suited for traditional R&B is showcased much more than his raps on the album.

However, both sides of D.R.A.M. are charismatic and just the right degree of over-the-top. Just like the recently released NxWorries collaboration Yes Lawd!Big Baby D.R.A.M. blends together excellent musical aspects and humour to a very successful degree. Only with D.R.A.M., it feels less like a joke, and more like his actual endearing personality. When he utters a line that might elicit an eye-roll coming from another rapper, you just smile along with the goofy grin on his album cover. It also has a puppy on it. How could you be mad at the man?

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The overall sound of the album is very soulful, which might come as a surprise to a listener who has only heard “Broccoli”. D.R.A.M. understands that the kind of voice he possesses allows him to be somewhat of a lothario, and clearly thinks this is hilarious. These tracks are backed by sounds of twinkling jazz pianos and in-your-face brass instruments, offering elements of early R&B that span the project, both in serious homages to the style on songs such as “Monticello Ave” and “Sweet VA Breeze”, and parodic on songs like “WiFi” and “Password”. The production list reads like a who’s who of hip-hop producers in demand, with contributions from The Social Experiment’s Donnie Trumpet, as well as Charlie Heat and Mike Dean who have worked extensively with Kanye West. Mainstream pop producer Ricky Reed, who is seemingly out to appear on every album this year, continues to confound me. How can the same man produce something as inane as Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and something as brilliant as “Cash Machine”, carried by its infectious piano melody?

Big Baby D.R.A.M. has quite a few things going for it. I have revisited many of its songs out of the context of the album just to hear them again, which is something I don’t usually do before a review. The songs are just that much fun that I have to hear them. D.R.A.M. proves himself as an incredibly dynamic artist, seemingly knowing exactly the right component or feeling to put in a song at the right time — for example, the raps aren’t there very often but when the track needs a bit of an energy boost D.R.A.M. knows.

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The album’s three-pronged attack of completely legitimate R&B/Soul tracks, energetic hip-hop bangers, and hilarious amalgamations of the styles provides a song for any mood. And D.R.A.M. really is hilarious: some examples of song concepts on this album include “WiFi”, a duet with legend Erykah Badu where D.R.A.M. displays his interest in a girl due to her strong WiFi signal, “Password”, a short track running through D.R.A.M.’s panicked internal monologue as his girl checks his phone, “Cute”, where D.R.A.M. subverts a monstrous trap beat by singing in a squeaky falsetto “I think you’re cute/Oh yes I do”, and “Outta Sight/Dark Lavender Interlude”, in which D.R.A.M. implores his girl to “Just call me a little” — too much is annoying, and not at all has him worried.

At times, on songs that are more dominated by rap, D.R.A.M. doesn’t go all out with his huge voice, opting instead for the halfhearted and more gravelly singing voice you hear on the chorus of “Broccoli”. On the clear-cut hip-hop track it works, but more often it does not on the songs with more soulful instrumentation. He can also tend to get a bit self-indulgent, and I would too if I had his voice, but some songs drag on longer than they need to. Specifically, the songs where two different concepts are shoved together with a backslash: “In A Minute/In House” and “Outta Sight/Dark Lavender Interlude”. But again, D.R.A.M.’s intent is so earnest that you can’t help but applaud.

The emergence of D.R.A.M. as a hitmaker and prominent artist is going to be very interesting for the world of hip-hop music. He is fully capable of creating both a bombastic earworm, and a more R&B based urban hit. And with the famous friends he has, he should turn up in other places as well. I would be very surprised if “Broccoli” turns out to be a one-hit wonder.

Favourite Tracks: Cash Machine, Broccoli, Cute, Sweet VA Breeze, Monticello Ave

Least Favourite Track: In A Minute/In House

Score: 8/10