This album is a step away from the more street rhymes and moves towards a more open view of Jay Rock. He shows personal growth and is willing to try new things here that could pay off in a big way.
The production is great with the right touches in place for the appropriate songs. With this being a softer album, there is a high level of polish throughout the release that makes a very cohesive listen. It might be nice to hear a little more aggression in the beats, but Jay Rock’s delivery takes care of that.
The lyricism is strong and there is an increase in diversity from Rock too. He plays around more with a little bit of auto tune, used very tastefully, and variation in flow to keep every song sounding fresh. Again, it is missing a little bit of an aggressive edge, but the personal growth on this out shines that fact.
The features all do fantastic work helping to make this album great. Each puts across their own talents and finds the right tone for every song. The only thing missing for a lot of listeners is the rest of the Top Dawg Entertainment label, but there are still brilliant moments from the ones on here to tide people over.
Overall, this is quietly phenomenal and should be highly commended. People seem to forget that Jay Rock was the first one to break into the mainstream from Top Dawg and should keep this in mind when he releases projects like this.
This release shows that it is possible for veterans to change up how they operate in the game and still be a success. JAY-Z sheds a little of his armour to shoe a more complex emotional side that resonates with the listener.
The production is much less in your face but without being less powerful. Each is different from the others but still projects the correct atmosphere to enhance the message of the artist. Maybe something with a little more flair could keep a little bit of the old Jay Z alive, but with the point of this album being to get rid of that alter ego, as shown by the first track, it was a good choice not to.
The lyricism is great with JAY-Z showing that while he may have grown as a person, he has kept all his rhyming abilities. Each bar impacts well with the audience, while containing plenty of smart wordplay to increase the descriptive power. Maybe something with more aggression could add another dimension to the album, but would not fit with the overall, running theme.
The features really help this to come to life with the voices of some of the people close to the main artist lending their help. Each helps enhance the song they are on while not detracting from Jay-Z’s performance. Some more guests could help to show his level of influence in the rap game, but Jay-Z has an agenda here and doesn’t allow others to jeopardise it.
Overall, this is a great piece of work to show where JAY-Z is in his life right now. There is always a chance for the resurrection of his old self, but hopefully he continues to move forward and doesn’t fall back.
This album has a great performance from Jay Rock, but his choice of production, while the beats are enjoyable, can make the songs seem quirky and difficult to follow. Individual good components, but not great put together.
The production is good with interesting sounds that make the beats interesting. Each beat is individual with not a lot of confusion between the songs. They could stand on thier own two feet a bit more rather than relying on the artist but at least it gives Jay Rock plenty of room to show what he can do.
The lyricism is good without being overly complicated or confusing. Jay Rock keeps it relatively straight forward, packing his rhymes with delivery and messages to keep the listener interested. Some more complexity could show that Jay Rock is still evolving as an artist, but what he does here shows that he is still making good music.
The features are great and compliment Jay Rock very well. Some showcase his label mates trying different techniques, while others do just enough to enhance Jay Rock on the tracks. There is a great blend of people for the eleven tracks on this album that help build the project.
Overall, this album shows that Jay Rock can hang out with the best of them when it comes to signiture songs, but may want ot look at making some more radio friendly type songs to gain more of an audiance.