Kodie Shane: Don’t Worry Bout It

Kodie Shane has dropped Young Heatthrob! The cover art is amazing; honestly, her whole aesthetic is amazing. Her sound has matured and rounded out a lot, so she deserves some attention. She’s a heartthrob after all.

My first experience with Kodie Shane was ‘Drip On My Walk”. Her voice was impossibly high-pitched and annoying. Her flow was redundant. Her lyrics were somehow both basic and all over the place at the same time. Still, I couldn’t stop listening to the song. It was addictive, even though all the best parts of you would advise you not to like it. But that was 2 years ago, and it would be disappointing if in that time span she hadn’t grown as an artist. I’m glad to say she has.

These days, she does more sing-rapping than straight-out, rhythmic spitting, which definitely suits the beat choices she makes now. There’s a lot more space for R&B-esque harmonies and tone shifting, that adds variety to her sound, and fills out her voice in a lot of places. It also sounds a lot less forced for power, though you can still hear that old sound in her adlibs at times. Honestly, I lean more towards describing her music as R&B than I would rap, but it’s all hip-hop so she doesn’t lose anything for that. If you like Def Loaf’s style, you’d enjoy this album, though I would say her sound is a bit more enjoyable.

“Don’t Worry Bout It” is definitely a steal your girl song, all about the types of feelings you experience when you’re high and don’t want to be alone. It’s not a love song, just a song about wanting to have someone with you, which is a relatable feeling for a lot of people. This is definitely a song you should play in your headphones, because the instrumental shifts from the right to the left ear a good amount, and you’ll miss things when you play it out loud. The whole album has that vibe. Like that feeling when you’re drunk and in your feelings, and the room is starting to spin on you.

Considering the way her sound has gone, I’m not surprised by the fact that Trippie Red is on this album.

Metro Boomin: Up To Something

I’d like to think Not All Heroes Wear Capes is a comprehensive list of all the people Young Metro trusts. Unfortunately for some, it’s not a long list.

Metro Boomin has been retired since April. Why? I don’t know. I never really questioned it. Honestly, when I stopped hearing his production, I assumed he had quit while he was ahead and was riding the wave of his own popularity and not continuing to release music unless he could guarantee all his beats would be fire. I can respect that; why ruin your own reputation? 2017 rocketed him to nearly super-producer status (some would say he was actually a super-producer, but until you have the same level of longevity as Scott Storch, I’d hesitate to say that). Or maybe he stepped away from his MIDI to focus on school, which is also a respectable choice. But on November 2, Metro released Not All Heroes Wear Capes, his first studio album. Is he back for good? Who knows. Does this album have 21 Savage whispering like a Ying Yang Twin, as if we aren’t supposed to question that? Perhaps. Are we going to listen anyway? Of course.

As we know, Metro trusts Travis Scott and Young Thug (though 21 Savage, Swae Lee, Gucci Mane, Offset, Wizkid, Kodak Black, Gunna, and Drake all appear on the album). Unfortunately, this song is nothing like a track from Days Before Rodeo. That may be because the song is co-produced with Allen Ritter and Southside, rather than with Travis Scott, but it’s more likely the song isn’t as wavey as it could be because Travis Scott is more glorified background vocals than a legitimate feature. However, the production does have the ambient moaning vocals, and heavy, punctuating bass that signifies Metro Boomin and Travis Scott co-productions.

That’s not to say this is a bad song. It’s pretty great actually. Thugger was right; he is getting back to his old self on this song. Thugger got off some of his most enjoyable verses since before JEFFERY on this album. He’s almost Slime Season Thugger on this song, which is the Thug we need. But that sound is probably more due to this song having been cut sometime in 2014 or ’15, and not because Thugger is actually going back to his old self, which leaves a question: how many of these songs are new, and how many has Metro Boomin been sitting on and touching up here and there before thinking he might as well release.

I still wish Travis would have had even a 6-bar bit on the song;it could really pushed this song to the next level.

This is a song you have to play with the bass-boosted because it would be disrespectful otherwise.

Takeoff: Casper

Hol’ on, Takeoff.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Takeoff is the best rapper out of the Migos. hands down. And he released his first solo album, The Last Rocket on November 2. Let’s respect this occasion.

For the sake of respecting Takeoff as an individual artist and the Migos as America’s Favorite Boyband, I’ll try not to compare this project to QUAVO HUNCHO or to Offset’s album when that drops.

The Last Rocket was definitely Takeoff’s opportunity to flex his rap muscles in a way that one verse on a collaborative song doesn’t quite allow. Solo albums are, of course, the individual’s chance to show off their personality and the aspects of their artistry particular to them. This is not to say the Migos don’t all take advantage of the same types of beats, or fall into the same style. They all have that triplicate form that I’m convinced is a Houston flow that they Nawf Atlanta-fied.

But Takeoff has a very singular persona and a distinct voice. Yes, it sounds like this man smoked blacks all throughout puberty, but in a good way. The way he raps is also amazingly laid-back. I wouldn’t describe him as lackadaisical, but the way he gets bars off is effortless.

While Last Memory is his lead single, Casper is a great example of his sound. The way he slides across the chorus is so mild, that he needs the grit natural to his voice to make things hit the way they need to. The one negative is, though you want to shoulder-bop to this song the whole way through, his voice is so monotone and the chorus is so long that the song feels repetitive, even when it’s not. Any more than three minutes and I would’ve gotten bored but any less and he wouldn’t have one enough to make the song good.

Cassius Jay and Nonstop da Hitman did their thing with this beat. Similarly to Takeoff himself, it sounds so simplistic when you aren’t listening closely, but the more you open up your ears, the more you hear. And it echoes throughout your body in a way that makes you feel so comfortable but want to get hype at the same time.