This is the 4th full-length album from Rochester emcee Eto. I first caught wind of him in 2018 with his feature on Westside Gunn’s Hitler Wears Hermes VI mixtape, but his DJ Muggs-produced debut Hell’s Roof that dropped a few months later would catch my full attention. This was followed up with Long Story Short & Front Row later that same year but for The Beauty of It, he’s decided to switch it up by bringing a handful of well-known producers into the fold.
The album begins with the title track, where Eto delivers a short yet raw verse over a haunting instrumental. The next song “No” with Grafh sees the 2 getting ferocious over a boom bap beat from a piano loop while the track “Nothin’ Like You” a luscious instrumental. “The Pot” gets on the mob boss tip over a dark Alchemist instrumental & after the short yet vicious “Guilty” interlude produced by Daringer, the song “Rusty Stainless” with Rome Streetz sees the 2 showing off their sharp lyricism over an chilling Statik Selektah beat.
The track “Growing Pains” talks about feeling like shit over a gloomy boom bap beat while the song “Beloved” displays his storytelling abilities over a spooky Marco Polo instrumental. The track “Metal Lords” with the Heavy Metal Kings finds the 3 talking about how they’re taking over the game over a cinematic beat & after the flute-heavy “Innocence” interlude, the song “Lawless” with $ha Hef sees the 2 talking about how people are just that over a hypnotic vocal sample.
The track “Anybody” talks about death over a forlorn piano-loop whereas “No Reply” seems awkwardly out of place & I say that because Jai Black is taking up a good bulk of the song with very little Eto presence whatsoever. The track “Pissin’ in Bottles” talks about partying over a slow instrumental from DJ Green Lantern & then after the short yet emotional “Purpose” interlude, “Back to the BBQ” is an odd way of closing out the album especially since Eto is once again barely on it. However, Large Professor does show that he can still cook up some grimy beats in 2020.
I personally think Hell’s Roof is his magnum opus but if you wanna get into the guy, The Beauty of It really isn’t a bad place to start either. Some of the features were weak but outside of that, the production choices are mostly top notch & Eto’s manages to come through with some of his most personal material yet.