So this Decided by 19 years old rapper from Baton Rouge, LA is a mixtape. Too sudden to be released without promotion including by himself, the mixtape didn’t raise much on topic after its release on September. Finally, some songs were heard from car stereo on the NYC streets after a month. I consider Decided is a high-quality album clearly marked YoungBoy’s brilliant talent, as well as his artistic improvement, despite his massive production of mixtapes. No matter what status the material is, an album or mixtape, this is a quality product. No doubt he is a hard-working dude doesn’t hang on his initial success. Full respect on that. What I applaud about YoungBoy is each material is different. This is a game changer while many hip-hop artists and albums sound similar. His effort succeeds to entertain listeners.
Yes, honestly, many hip-hop albums these days are boring for me. Countless hip-hop albums and mixtapes are released weekly, and dozens of new rappers temporary rise to surface. Most of them experience an identity crisis. I don’t care about their hood background but want to listen to their OWN skill what they got. Unfortunately, not many can prove their own special talent. Similar with somebody else=wannabes. When many of rappers open their mouth in their albums, it’s “again” moment. Lack of strong impact isn’t equivalent to their explicit lyrics. Similar songs within an album are also resulting in a poor impact. No sparks to make me listen to their albums entirely.
One important thing missing from the current hip-hop scene is expressionism. Hip-hop is music. Not only party bangers. Though hip-hop doesn’t require singing technique like R&B and soul, that still gotta associate with expressionism. The expression of street life through their voice, if that’s what the artists want to represent. I don’t exactly feel ghetto, hood, and danger from most of the songs about guns, violence, drugs, thugs, gangsters, girls, parties, etc, because of, again, lack of expressionism and originality. And where is ghetto fabulousness? Ghetto had class and style before. Today, it’s flat without edges.
Decided eliminates those concerns. First of all, all songs maintain quality with hooks and twists. And the songs have a variety that succeeds to impress each song. Laid back but perfect for opening “Sky Cry”, needle shape “Big” and “No Love”, aggressive “Demon Seed” and “Top Down” (this song would be more interesting if Young Buck was featured more than one word on intro, another edgy and emotional rapper), emotional “338”, old-school soul-influenced “Deceived Emotions”, simple yet bright “No Mentions”, and acoustic and reggae-infused “Murda” featuring Trippie Redd. YoungBoy’s versatile rapping skill, from needle-sharp to sing-along pop, succeeded to express each song’s characteristic and avoid being flat. Especially, his aggression is two thumbs up with “Big” though this style is getting rare in the hip-hop world (sigh). The lyrics are 100% hood, but music has class and style with
OVERALL POINTS: 84/100
- Songs: ★★★★+1/2
- Originality: ★★★★
- Thrills: ★★★★+1/4
- Song orders: ★★★★★
- Vocal: ★★★★
- Background: ★★★★
- Production: ★★★+1/2
- Strong songs: “No Love”, “Murda”, “Top Down”, “Big”, “No Mentions”
EXTRA (NOT COUNTED TOWARD THE OVERALL POINTS)
- Title: B
- Album cover: A
YOUNGBOY NEVER BROKE AGAIN, DECIDED