Hopsin – “Pound Syndrome” review

After releasing his 3rd album Knock Madness in November of 2013, California rapper/producer Hopsin laid low & announced his retirement from music in Early December of the following year. 3 weeks later, he made a YouTube video with protégé Jarren Benton (in a short parody of Dumb & Dumber To) saying it was all a joke & that he was working on his 4th full-length album over here. Given that the joke was originally made because Hop didn’t want any pressure while making this album, I was actually hoping he would pull through better than he did on Knock Madness (which had it’s moments, but WAY too much filler). A lot of people give him flack because of his style is heavily influenced by Eminem’s but I thought his first 2 albums Gazing At the Moonlight & RAW were solid. They’re not the best things in the world, but I like them (especially RAW) because I thought it was cool how he incorporated his Em influence in a throwback kinda way. This album kicks off with The Pound, which is a short minute and a half warm-up that seems passionate from the delivery to the instrumental that I can imagine hearing right before a boxing match. The track Forever Ill is a visceral unapologetic attack towards commercial rappers which is cool, but I’ve heard him say stuff like that before in the past. The track No Hope details those who’ve backstabbed him in the past & Ramona is a tale about a crazed-fangirl stalking Hopsin & Jarren done in REALLY bad taste. On the track Mr. Jones, we go into the mind of the bitter title character over a bland trap influenced beat. The track No Words parodies Future’s music in every way & I was actually laughing from start to finish when I first heard it. The track Crown Me features average braggadocious raps over a really generic trap beat. The controversial Ill Mind of Hospin 7 features Hop getting preachy about losing his faith while he & SwizZz get together to discuss how far they’ve come on the track FV ‘Till I Die (which is an ironic title, because the label dissolved at the beginning of the year due to Hopsin falling out with SwizZz’s brother/Funk Volume co-founder Damien Ritter). The track My Love is a detailed tribute to his then(?)-girlfriend Alyce Madden with a sugary beat & hook. I like the relatable message & the rock-inspired beat on No Fucks Given, but the delivery of the hook doesn’t fit that style of music to me. I kinda understand where’s going about society on the track Fly, but the beat & the hook are so fairytale-ish that it’s intolerable for me. The closing track I’m Just Can’t features Hopsin going in on the fakes yet again, but I feel he gets melodramatic at several points & the beat on here is really cliché trap. As much as I liked Hopsin’s earlier stuff, this is my first real disappointment with him. Still rapping about the same old shit over terrible beats & some badly sung hooks

Score: 1.5/5

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