CZARFACE – “Czarmageddon!” review

This is the 5th full-length album from East Coast supergroup CZARFACE. Consisting of Inspectah Deck of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan as well as 7L & Esoteric of the Army of the Pharaohs, first formed like Voltron in 1999 with Speaking Real Words” but decided to form the supergroup after making “12th Chamber” off the final 7L & Eso album to date 1212 in 2010. Their 2013 self-titled debut along with their 2015 sophomore effort Every Hero Needs a Villain would both become modern underground classics in my opinion. A Fistful of Peril the following year was originally supposed to be the quartet’s final album & I thought that was a great way for them to go out, but they did pleasantly surprise me when they dropped their collab albums CZARFACE Meets Metal Face with the late MF DOOM in 2018 & then CZARFACE Meets Ghostface Killah with his DOOMSTARKS partner in rhyme Ghostface Killah the year after that. The Odd Czar Against Us would come out 9 months later & that felt more like a split EP between CZARFACE and 7L & Eso given that both have 6 songs each. Last we heard from them was last spring when they dropped their 2nd collab album with DOOM called Super What? & now given that Record Store Day was last weekend, the supergroup’s getting back together for Czarmageddon!.

“Damien Dinner Time” is a boom bap opener produced by none other than The Czar-Keys finding Esoteric & Inspectah Deck spitting lethal battle raps like “You ain’t a Coachella, you flying coach with Ella & that local dope seller” and “I hit ‘em like lead to the chest, I wanna see hands to the forehead when my presence is blessed” whereas “The Czarlaac Pit” has a more Middle Eastern influence to the production talking about how you can’t stop their shine. “Can It Be?” works in some uplifting synthesizers coming through with some passionate verses, but then the synths that “Walk Thru Walls” bring to the table are more sinister accompanied by some dusty drums raising glasses to .

Meanwhile on “Splash Page”, we have CZARFACE over some heavy drums talking about being focused on the green leading into “Bob LaCzar” takes a more lo-fi route in terms of sound flexing their skills. Lion Eye tags along for the rap rock-tinged “Big ‘Em Up” challenging anyone to step up to them just before “Nu Muntantes” has a more cavernous tone to it comparing themselves to that of mutants & the hook is super awkward.

The song “Fearless & Inventive” by 7L & Esoteric and Kool Keith finds the trio over some more rock production talking about being bounty hunters & after the “Boogie DefMix” interlude, the penultimate track “Czarv Wolfman” is a fresh 2-parter in the vein of “I’m the Man” by Gang Starr as well as Jeru the Damaja & Lil Dap. “Logan-5” ends the album with an emotional 7L & Esoteric cut paying tribute to his dog Logan, who passed away a little over 2 years ago at this point.

I’ve been a fan of CZARFACE since the first album came out during my sophomore year of high school & I have to admit that this is the Fistful of Peril follow-up that I wanted The Odd Czar Against Us. The production from The Czar-Keys is pretty much a melting pot of all the sounds they’ve experimented with in the past & I’m happy to hear Deck on more than half of it destroying mics with Eso like they do best.

Score: 4.5/5

Future – “I Never Liked You” review

Future is a 38 year old rapper, singer & songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who came up as a member of the Dungeon Family thanks to his cousin Rico Wade of Organized Noize. He officially made his debut in 2012 with Pluto & would later follow it up with a hot streak of modern day trap essentials like Honest, Monster, Beast Mode & my personal favorite of his: D.S. 2 (Dirty Sprite 2). However since 2017, Future has mostly been painting himself in a corner & prioritizing quantity over quality. I mean sure HNDRXX took a more sensual approach & SUPER SLIMEY showed a pretty great chemistry with fellow trap trailblazer Young Thug, but Beast Mode 2 was a step down from the predecessor & he got with the late Juice WRLD that same fall to put out a collab tape that literally should’ve never happened: WRLD on Drugs. Finally at the very beginning of that next year, The WIZRD was just passable even though it showed NO artistic evolution whatsoever & Save Me was a decent attempt at being more vulnerable yet versatile. However, his last album High Off Life admirably found him staying true to himself & trying new things. But after spending 2021 doing features, he’s returning in the form of his 9th full-length album.

“7:12pm” opens up the album with some dramatic trap production from Wheezy talking about his ice whereas “I’m Dat N****a” works in some suspenseful piano chords thanks to Southside & DY talking about being the shit even though the “Fucked in her ass, made her peepee” line is hilariously bad. Kanye West tags along for “Keep It Burnin’” encouraging to keep the city on fire over an atmospheric instrumental, but then Gunna & Young Thug tag along for “For a Nut” to talk about bossing bitches up for such over some hi-hats & heavy bass.

Meanwhile on “Puffin’ on Zootiez”, we have Future coming through with a cloudy smoker’s ode produced by TM88 leading into the vibrant “Gold Stacks” talking about being a rich junkie. Drake comes into the picture for the guitar-driven “Wait for U” getting romantic just before “Love You Better” melodically confronts an ex over a spacious beat.

“Massaging Me” has a more energetic vibe to it talking about getting these millions persistent while “Chickens” with EST G. goes into more nocturnal territory saying that’s all they want. “We Jus Wanna Get High” shoots for a more eerie sound talking about being in love with the money while “Voodoo” incorporates some pitched-up vocals & pianos as well as a stellar hook from Kodak Black to tackle the idea of dancing with the devil.

Following that, “Holy Ghost” confesses that nobody speaks the language he does over a bone-chilling instrumental down to the choir vocals while the song “The Way Things Going” is a piano ballad talking about how only family matters. Drake returns for the penultimate track “I’m on One” to brag that they’re built different over a cinematic beat even though Drizzy decided to pretend to be Blueface at the end of the hook for whatever reason. “Back to the Basics” finishes off the album by saying he doesn’t want to go back to such over a violin.

It’s been almost 2 years since the trap pioneer has made an artistic statement on his own, but I think this is a solid follow-up to High Off Life. Although I personally think the production on the latter album was better, I do admire that Future wanted to put himself out there more so he can learn how to become a better person & succeeded in doing so.

Score: 3.5/5

Action Bronson – “Cocodrillo Turbo” review

Action Bronson is a 38 year old MC from New York City who blew up with release of his debut album Dr. Lecter in 2011. He then landed a joint venture with VICE Music & Atlantic Records while following up his debut with a couple EPs & mixtapes. The most notable being the Blue Chips duology, Saab Stories & my personal favorite: Rare Chandeliers. He then put out his major label debut Mr. Wonderful in 2015 & it has some of his best songs on there, but the end result would be a more glitzy mixed bag. He fulfilled his contracts by dropping Blue Chips 7000 & celebrated his freedom the next year in the form of White Bronco which were both solid, but didn’t reach the caliber of Lamb Over Rice the Thanksgiving after. Only for Dolphins though was pretty mid given that some of the production choices were questionable, but I was more optimistic going into his 7th full-length album given the lead single earlier this month.

“Hound Dog” is a rock-tinged opener produced by Daringer declaring himself as such whereas the self-produced “Tongpo” with Conway the Machine goes into bluesier territory with both of them getting in their battle rap bag. Hologram tags along for the piano-laced “Estaciones” talking about estimation just before “Jaws” works in a flute & guitar so that Bronson can compare himself to that of a crocodile.

Meanwhile on “Sub0”, we have Bronson on top of some more jazzier production provided by The Alchemist delivering some sick punchlines leading into Meyhem Lauren coming into the picture for the dusty “Turkish” talking about needing the money on the table by this morning. “Jaguar” takes a more soulful route thanks to Roc Marciano spitting some witty braggadocio, but then “Zambezi” finds Marci jumping on the mic with Bronson on top of a beat with some rock undertones to it delivering mafioso bars.

The penultimate track “‘91” shoots for a more keyboard heavy sound addressing those who said he disappeared by explaining he was only practicing while “Storm of the Century” ends the album with a drumless instrumental mixing elements of rock & jazz as Bronson talks about doing things that only the devil happens to know of.

I really didn’t know what to expect from Cocodrillo Turbo given the mediocrity of Only for Dolphins but much like Lamb Over Rice, I came away from this album looking at it as one of his best projects in a while. The production is a lot more consistent than it was 7 months ago & I really admire that Bronson decided to bring back the Dr. Baklava alter ego.

Score: 4/5

Darby O’Trill – “Gully” review

Darby O’Trill is a 29 year old MC from Key Largo, Florida who came up in the fall of 2018 off his full-length debut Blood, Guts & a Whole Lotta Love. This was followed up with Fester almost a year later, but it wasn’t until a few months after the pandemic hit where Darby enlisted Chapter 17/Psychopathic in-house producer Devereaux to fully produce his 3rd album Piecemeal to critical acclaim & I’ll forever be grateful that he gave yours truly a shoutout on the closer. But in light of him signing to Lyrikal Snuff Productionz over the fall, Darby & Devereaux are back at it again for his 4th full-length outing.

“Enter the Swamps” is a bass-heavy opener talking about a spot in the swamps where the bodies rot whereas “Terrorizer” gets on his murderous shit over a morbid instrumental. Shaggytheairhead & Yung Strife tag along for the cold “Mac Meaties Burgers” talking about giving no fucks just before the bombastic “Down by the Lake” details how it’s been a long day digging graves.

Meanwhile on “Casey Becker’s Dead”, we have Darby warning everyone that you can’t escape him over an instrumental with an incredibly morbid atmosphere to it leading into “Your God’s an Awesome Fraud” going into more trap territory advising that praying isn’t gonna save you from being killed. Damien Quinn comes into the picture for the piano/bass infused “Bonechillers” returning to their serial killer bag, but then “Forget the Pigs, Feed ‘Em to the Fish” comes through with an outstanding sequel to “I Think You’d Make Excellent Pigfeed” off his last album Piecemeal.

“Puddlemane” details how disgusting he is over an unsettling beat while “Sack Full of Rotting Heads” works in some bells & pianos talking about making his victims suffer. “Sunderland’s Wunderland” has a more suspenseful tone to the production as he twists the lid off the chemicals while “Big Idiot Shit” with Cody Manson finds the 2 over some heavy bass yet again talking about breaking jaws before their balls dropped.

Following that, “Welcome to Primetime” tells the story of Darby falling asleep & seeing a man in a chair who’s been waiting for him over an occult instrumental while “3 Skulls with Blood” goes full blown trap metal talking about all his desires hurting him. “In the Kingdom of the Possums” takes a more murky trap route asking to bury him while “Swampicide” with Scum describes the voices in their head accompanied by a slow yet foggy beat.

Jigsaw Killa’s verse on “The Kirsten Dunst Experiment” has to be my least favorite feature on the entire album even though I love the concept of the problems they have as well as the rugged production while “Tainted Blood Courses Through My Veins” has an icier sound proclaiming the wicked shit will never die. Yung Strife returns for the song “Christ of the Blockheads” to get ready for combat over a blaring instrumental while the penultimate track “Body in a Void” with Insane Poetry sees the 2 talking about laying asses down in a hole over a bloodcurdling trap beat. “When Dust Becomes 1 with the Dirt” ends the album with a guitar & some hi-hats expressing his desire for the pin to be taken away.

I’ve been looking forward to this album for a little over a year now & in the end, Darby gave us his magnum opus with Gully because this is a modern horrorcore classic & further cements him as the future of the wicked shit. Devereaux’s production is a lot more darker than his more recent work with Ouija Macc & as far as Darby’s lyricism goes, he’s at his most macabre.

Score: 4.5/5

Pusha T – “It’s Almost Dry” review

This is the 4th full-length album from Virginia emcee, songwriter & record executive Pusha T. Coming up as 1/2 of the duo Clipse alongside his older brother No Malice about 3 decades ago, their debut Lord Willin’ & their sophomore effort Hell Hath No Fury would go on to become some of the best of the 2000s & essentials in the coke rap scene. But following the brothers’ final album together ‘Til the Casket Drops, they would disband after No Malice became a born again Christian & resulted in Push signing to Kanye West’s very own Def Jam Recordings imprint G.O.O.D. Music as a solo act. He has since made himself home under Ye’s wing by dropping 3 solo efforts, with the last one being the Kanye-produced DAYTONA in the spring of 2018 & one of the greatest diss tracks of all-time “The Story of Adidon” merely days later. But after 4 long years, Push is returning with It’s Almost Dry.

“Brambleton” opens up the album with a cloudy yet rubbery instrumental from longtime collaborator Pharrell & lyrics addressing Pusha’s relationship with his former manager Geesy whereas “Let the Smokers Shine the Coups” has a more triumphant tone to it saying he’s just here to find the truth. Kanye tags along for “Dreamin’ of the Past” sampling “Jealous Guy” by Donny Hathaway to belittle their competition, but then JAY-Z comes into the picture for “Neck & Wrist” working in some experimental undertones talking about the rapstar life.

Meanwhile on “Just So You Remember”, we have Push reminding the whole world who they’re fucking with over a sample of “6 Day War” by Colonel Bagshot just before “Diet Coke” flips “Take the Time to Tell Her” by Jerry Butler taking jabs at those who be selling impure shit. KIDS SEE GHOSTS reunite 1 last time for “Rock n Roll” due to KiD CuDi & Kanye’s falling out talking about how this is their story over a sample of “1+1” by Beyoncé leading into the eerie “Call My Bluff” telling listeners that everything don’t need to be addressed.

“Scrape It Off the Top” has a more playful sound to it as Lil Uzi Vert helps Push spit them coke bars & “Hear Me Clearly” was one of my favorites off Nigo’s recent solo debut I Know Nigo, so I’m happy he put it on here. The penultimate track “Open Air” incorporates some flutes talking about slanging powder in an unenclosed space outdoors & “Labyrinth” ends the album with an organ-heavy Clipse reunion talking about all the people they pray for.

This has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2022 for a minute now & boy it did not disappoint. He continues to spit the gangsta rap we all know & love, except Kanye & Pharrell’s production is like yin & yang with the Chicago genius’ signature chipmunk soul sound that he came up on or the some of the pop rap undertones coming from some of the cuts that the Virginia visionary has to offer.

Score: 4.5/5

SosMula – “2 High 2 Die” review

This is the 2nd solo album from Manhattan’s very own SosMula. Coming up as 1/3 of the trio City Morgue alongside fellow emcee ZillaKami & producer Thraxx, they’ve released 2 full-length albums & an EP together up before branching out on their own for a little bit. Sos was the first to step up to the plate last summer by dropping 13 Songs 2 Die 2, which was a bit of a disappointment in my opinion due to the features & production. ZillaKami followed it up a month later with HIS solo debut Dogboy & the duo reunited to drop Bottom of the Barrel the month after that, both of those I found much more tolerable. Nonetheless, I still went into 2 High 2 Die with an open mind as I’m still very much a fan of City Morgue’s work.

“PARTY ON MY BLOCK” opens the album up with a hypertrap banger talking about partying of course whereas “GIMMIE DAT” keeps the rage beats going thanks to F1LTHY talking about getting slumped as fuck. “HEAD TAP” follows it up with an obnoxious hook going further down the hypertrap rabbit hole spitting gang imagery just before “GET OUT” picks the energy back up with an off-the-wall bone breaker.

Meanwhile on “RICH BOI”, we have Mula over a heavy bass-line to flex his wealth leading into the manic “PULL UP” talking about how he already told us he was a star. “SNAP” returns to rage turf asking where his bands at, but then “BIG GUCCI” has a glitchier aesthetic to it talking about catching a body much like Gucci Mane.

“BIG NARCO” incorporates some crazy synth melodies providing an anthem for the heavy users while “WE SO UP!” energetically boasts his success. “SIERRA LEONE” throws some organs in the mix getting his murder bag while “MOLLY WATER” awkwardly describes getting his head knocked off by a bitch despite the futuristic production.

Following that, “PRESS A BUTTON” with Lil Tracy has to be the biggest mess of a song on the entire album talking about a hoe named Trish while “S.T.I.C.K.” follows it up with an unhinged ode to being strapped. “MAKK BALLA” has a more a rubbery tone to it talking about calling the shots while “MIX N MATCH” fuses some haunting piano melodies saying he can’t shop outside cause he’s too rich.

“YAZUKA 2000” goes into more ghostly turf talking about his body being different while the song “BODY PARTS” is a distorted horrorcore gorefest. The penultimate track “BITE DOWN” talks about getting fucked up off that syrup over a rattling instrumental & “CUTTIN’ SHIT” ends the album with 1 final ode to his shooters.

Now in comparison to Sos’ last album, [i]2 High 2 Die[/i] is definitely more tolerable. I once again appreciate him trying to stray away from the trap metal sound that City Morgue is known for, except this time he got rid of all the redundant features & it’ll be interesting to see him continuing to dabble into hypertrap alongside Kami at some point because it suits him fine here.

Score: 3.5/5

Weiland – “Vices” review

Weiland is a 21 year old recording artist from Tampa, Florida who came up in 2016 off his debut EP Insomnia. He would follow it up with his first 2 mixtapes Packrunner & Grimey Life but at the beginning of this current decade, Weiland wound up signing Victor Victor Worldwide & they backed his eponymous full-length debut that same fall. But for his sophomore effort over here, he’s decided to experiment with some new sounds & it immediately drew me in.

“Slipping Into the Void” opens up the album with a synthpop banger produced by Mike Dean asking why he’s still alive whereas “Can’t Save Her” tells the story of a hoe pretty much over some new wave production. “Broken Ego” works in some fast drumming with some synthesizers talking about suffering from such leading into “Dangerous Woman”, which has more of a Tame Impala influence to it describing the devil in designer clothes.

Meanwhile on “All the Same”, we have Weiland wishing for a change over some synthwave production just before “Still Chasing After Happiness” goes into coldwave territory asking his ex if she still thinks about him. “Better Place” keeps the synthpop going showing a side of him that’s never been shown before, but then “Hard Time” goes full-blown post-punk confessing that he’s been dealing with a breakup poorly. That being said, it is very catchy & you can hear the pain in his voice.

“Blaming Myself” fuses neo-psychedelia & hypnagogic pop together confessing his emotional dependence on a toxic relationship while the song “Wanted More” talks about the falling out of a relationship over some more synthwave beats. The penultimate track “Mellotron” perfectly lives up to it’s name with it’s colorful production expressing his love for the instrument of the same name & “Farewell” ends the album with 1-last coldwave cut detailing his drug abuse.

Given that his earlier work is deeply rooted into the trap/plugg sound, this wasn’t what I was expecting going into it. That being said, I’m blown away with what I heard & I’ll even go as far to say it’s Dawn FM on Steroids. No disrespect to Abel at all because I thought it was a great follow-up to After Hours, but Mike Dean was the perfect person to help Weiland go into that synthpop territory given the progressive electronic style of his 3 latest solo efforts only to go above & beyond in nearly every aspect.

Score: 4.5/5

Dizzy Wright – “Dizzyland” review

Dizzy Wright is a 31 year old MC from Flint, Michigan who actually happens to be the nephew of Layzie Bone & Flesh-n-Bone of the revered Cleveland quintet Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. He eventually broke out on his own a decade ago after signing to Funk Volume & dropping his full-length debut SmokeOut Conversations to critical acclaim. This was followed up with The Golden Age as well as State of Mind & The Growing Process by once the label dissolved, Dizzy founded Still Movin’ Records & his output since then has been hit or miss to me personally. That being said, I was very much looking forward to this 7th album of his once I found out former Funk Volume in-house producer DJ Hoppa was gonna be on the boards for the whole thing.

“Manifest” is a cloudy opener talking about writing down his goals & what he’ll die for on a whiteboard whereas “24 Hours” with Xzibit goes into boom bap territory asking listeners what they’re gonna do with their day. “Promoter” has a reggae flare to it as B-Real joins Dizzy for a weed anthem just before “Sensitive Minds” returns to glossy boom bap turf talking about coming to take what’s his.

Meanwhile on “Outlaws”, we have Dizzy over a somewhat funky beat comparing himself as such leading into Toxsikk delivering one of the weaker features during “What’s the Rush?” even though I love the solemn piano instrumental & the concept of how real ones can’t just walk away. “On the Move” with Demrick & Reezy works in a cinematic trap beat talking about collecting theirs when it’s due, but then “Let’s Talk About It” takes an upbeat route admitting that he needs to figure out what to work on & what’ll work for him.

Jon Connor comes into the picture for the dark “Ambush” sending a warning to anyone who fucks with them while the song “Escape” with Bliss n Eso is a piano ballad about using music as a form of escapism. The penultimate track “I Can’t Quit” with Omari Hardwick finds the 2 following the previous cut up by encouraging listeners to never give up & “The Ride” is a smooth closer about keeping it 10 toes down until the end.

I still maintain that Dizzy’s output in the last 7 years haven’t impressed me as much as his early work, but Dizzyland is easily the most impressive thing he’s done in a while & one of the best projects of his career. He sounds a lot more focused this time around & DJ Hoppa’s production is just what he needed given the fact that the production on his last few efforts were lacking in my personal opinion.

Score: 4/5

Coi Leray – “Trendsetter” review

Coi Leray is a 24 year old rapper & singer/songwriter from Hackensack, New Jersey who started making musical a decade back inspired by father Benzino. Even though I found her debut mixtape Everythingcoz along with her first 2 EPs EC2 & Now or Never to be mediocre, I was curious about her full-length debut over here given that I genuinely liked a couple of the singles she dropped within the last year.

“Hollywood Dreams” is a drumless yet euphoric opener talking about doing this music shit for her whereas “Blick Blick” comes through with a pop rap cut with God awful performances from Coi & Nicki Minaj stealing the show. I would much rather listen to that than “Aye Yai Yai” with Yung Bleuthough because it’s a cringey, buttery sex ballad. “Mountains” with Fivio Foreign & Young M.A.comes through with some triumphant lyricism over a somewhat psychedelic instrumental just before G Herbo tags along for the futuristic “Thief in the Night” to play Coi’s “sneaky link”.

Meanwhile on “Overthinking”, we have H.E.R. coming into the picture over an acoustic trap beat to help Coi talk about men not listening while “Clingy” almost has a West Coast groove to it with NAV awkwardly playing Coi’s counterpart much like “Thief in the Night”. That being said, “Heartbreak Kid” works in some fresh guitar riffs getting flirtatious & “TWINNEM” almost made my worst singles of 2021 list because it’s pretty much a ripoff of “Best Friend” by Saweetie & Doja Cat. “No More Parties” with Lil Durk on the other hand impressed me with it’s piano instrumental and the topic of going on to do better things.

After the “Be Me” interlude, “Lonely Fans” has a warm feeling with the production as Coi spits off the dome for a minute & a half while “Heart in a Coffin” is a dreary breakup anthem. “Paranoid” with Polo G finds the 2 delivering a twangy trap banger addressing themes of loyalty, mistrust & fame while “Box & Papers” aggressively talks about how “what’s forgiven is never forgotten”.

“Mission Impossible” with Lil Tecca sees the pair talking about their success with Chief Keefcooking up what’s easily the best beat on the album while the song “Too Far” is a touching dedication to her homie Atkins who’s locked up. The song “Mustard’s Interlude” with A Boogie wit da Hoodie has yet another acoustic trap flare to it with them trading the mic with one another very impressively while the penultimate track “Anxiety” is a rubbery display of how 2021 was for her. “BIG PURR (PRRDD)” with Pooh Shiesty ends the album with an ass kicking drill cut.

Yeah, it’s safe to say that Trendsetter is yet another run of the mill pop rap album with slightly more misses than hits. Coi is most certainly talented & most of the features came correct, but the album just feels all over the place as a whole & a lot of the production choices are very questionable in my opinion.

Score: 2/5

Fivio Foreign – “B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)” review

Fivio Foreign is a 32 year old rapper from Brooklyn, New York who happens to be a protege of former Bad Boy signee Ma$e. He would go on to sign to the pastor’s Columbia Records imprint RichFish Records & has since dropped only 2 EPs: Pain & Love and 800 B.C.. Now truthfully, I didn’t get introduced to Fivio until I heard his verse on “Demons” off of Drake’s 6th mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes a couple years back & just wasn’t impressed at all. But when I heard his verse on “Off the Grid” off Kanye West’s final Def Jam album DONDA last summer, I was highly impressed & I can say the same for his recent singles. Needless to say: My anticipation for Fivio’s full-length debut was very much there. Even more so after learning he got Ye to executive produce it & Mike Dean to do all the engineering.

“On God” is a drumless duet with KayCyy talking about having each other if all else fails whereas “Through the Fire” samples the Chaka Kahn joint of the same name as he & Quavo fight their demons. “Magic City” goes into drill territory as he & Quavo talk about partying, but then “City of Gods” with Kanye follows it up with an incredibly fun dedication to the Big Apple.

Meanwhile on “What’s My Name?”, we have Fivio as well as Coi Leray & Queen Naija over a sample of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child for a romance ballad just before “For Nothin’” has a folkier vibe talking about having a shooter. “Hello” takes a syrupy route talking about looking for a lady like her leading into the A$AP Rocky-assisted “Confidence”, which is basically a 2 minute braggadocious banger.

Lil Yachty tags along for the apocalyptic “Slime Them” displaying an impressive back & forth chemistry with Fivio while “Feel My Struggle” works in a high pitched vocal sample detailing the hardships that he had to face. Yung Bleu’s verse on “World Watching” is one of the weakest features on the album even though Lil Tjay’s verse was decent & Fivio obviously stole the show. The Ellie Goulding sample is but after the “B.I.B.L.E. Talk” interlude, “Changed on Me” with Polo Gis a glorious shot at those who switched up on them.

Following that, “Left Side” follows it up with a boring gangsta love jam down to the redundant Blueface verse while “Love Songs” heavily samples “So Sick” by Ne-Yo & the latter actually appears on here for a sequel to the ‘06 hit. The penultimate track “Whoever” incorporates some choir vocals to deliver an open letter to anyone & finally, “Can’t Be Us” is an emotional closer talking about what makes him a man.

B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) isn’t the most mind-blowing debut I’ve heard all year, but it did finally win me over on Fivio because I do enjoy a good portion of what I’ve heard. The features are alright, but the Brooklyn drill sound he came up on is more refined & I admire how he’s basically putting his life experiences on wax.

Score: 3.5/5