Bi-Weekly Hip-Hop Round-Up
The World Is Yours 2- Rich The Kid
After an explosive 2018 for Rich The Kid, when singles “New Freezer” and “Plug Walk” became national hits, the Atlanta MC released The World is Yours in February 2018. For the most part, he underperformed in his first major release--the album was redundant, uninventive and did not consist of to many standout tracks. Until now, Rich The Kid had not released any music since The World is Yours, devoting every minute of his attention to this album--and it shows in the music.
The instrumental choice on The World is Yours 2 is exceptional; a solid portion of the beats matches his energy level to perfection. Rich The Kid is clearly a fan of the flute, which is perfectly in tune with his delivery style. Many of the notable tracks on the album are those that utilize the flute, which can add a catchy and almost exotic feel when used correctly, like on the tracks “Fall Threw,” “Save That” and “Tic Toc”. These songs give a more upbeat and cheerful vibe to the album, at times making you feel as though you’re at a beach bar in Miami. Miguel is also flawless in “Woah,” and Rich complements him adequately.
Rich The Kid’s cadence is very unique, using it tremendously in the first nine tracks off the album. Specifically in “Splashin” and “Racks Today,” he uses his signature ad-libs superbly while showing off his skill to rattle off a mouthful of words in just a few seconds. After that, he gets a little too cocky and leaves his comfort zone. This is where the album starts to trail off for me--the melodies start to become more subtle and less active. Rich The Kid is not a typical rapper who can stun you with wordplay and punchlines, which he tries too hard to achieve on “4 Phones” and “Racks Out.” However, “For Keeps” is a fantastic collaborative cut where Rich and NBA Youngboy trade verses perfectly.
This album makes me very excited for Rich The Kid’s future; he did many things here that I didn’t think he was capable of and is far less one dimensional than I previously imagined. He proved that he can pull together a complete album that has a solid amount of keepers. This album has shown that Rich The Kid is growing up and maturing musically--and that he might need to look into changing his name in the near future.
Bad Habits- NAV
NAV’s career has been inconsistent, to say the least. His first three projects have been very hit or miss and has yet to put together a complete album that is enjoyable from front to back. His first album, the eponymous NAV, was the most complete project, which consisted of high-quality tracks like “Myself,” “Good for It,” “Lonely,” “Up” and “Some Way”. Despite the overly braggadocious nature of these tracks, NAV’s delivery and finesse were very promising on the album. In his next two projects, Perfect Timing and Reckless, diamonds in the rough were tougher to come by. Both of these albums were riddled with sedated verses and sleepy lyrics, with almost nothing sticking out as special.
Unfortunately, it’s much of the same on Bad Habits. There is nearly nothing special through all 16 tracks and 48 minutes. I found my mind wandering every few minutes when trying to give my full attention to the album, due to the mindless nature of NAV’s delivery. The energy level is far too low for an album of this length; I could count on my fingers the number of times NAV actively tries to pick up the tempo in the entirety of the album. The only saving grace of the record is the song, “Tussin,” which offers a respectable melody, mostly due to Young Thug’s presence. This will be the only song off the album I will be adding to my library. We know NAV is not a lyricist and it truly shows on Bad Habits; I found myself scratching my head countless times after idiotic lyrics such as, “I found out my penthouse on the top floor.” Quite the odd flex noting that the definition of a penthouse is “an apartment on the top floor of a tall building.”
NAV is not a bad artist, but the past few records he has released have been quite disastrous. His first album had some great moments on it, but he is trying far too hard to be a rapper when he just isn’t one. NAV embraced his skill set as an R&B fusion artist in his first album, which is what he needs to get back to.