“It’s mellow, it’s yellow and it’s Jell-o, yes it’s straight up fire”
The debut solo album from YBN Cordae has been released and it’s the first project from the YBN partisan since the YBN Mixtape last year. Considered the lyricist of the group, YBN Cordae has been picking up fame through freestyles and the ones that have been following him have been waiting on this album to see him put his skills to work. The album is 45 minutes long, has 15 tracks and features Chance The Rapper, Anderson .Paak, Ty Dolla Sign, Pusha T, Arin Ray, and Meek Mill. It is quite odd that none of his band members are on it but I’m pretty sure that they contributed in some way.
The album launches with “Wintertime” and YBN Cordae quickly shows us what he’s about, spitting hot fire. The rhyme scheme is simple but he flexes his lyrical abilities on a slow jazzy rap beat. Then follows “Have Mercy” which was one of the singles to promote the album. It continues from “Wintertime” and it depicts Cordae being at the crossroads but he does that with such lyrical viciousness on a now acclaimed flute type beat. The “Sweet Lawd (skit)” is the gospel version of “Have Mercy” and introduces “Bad Idea” with Chance The Rapper with alignment. The song is produced by Bongo and for Chance, the instrumental is his cup of tea – it’s a laid back “just talk to me” beat. They rap about life and its highs and lows on their first collaboration – with the hopes of a better life on the hook – and it’s happened. YBN Cordae takes on another laid back instrumental – it’s soulful though. He raps about his rocky relationship and his girl who doesn’t seem to get along with his family on the famous American holiday, Thanksgiving. J Cole produced the Anderson .Paak assisted “RNP” which stands for Rich Nigga Problems where Cordae and Paak take turns on rapping about swagger – “y’all ain’t got nothing on me”. The instrumental is a thumping beat with a distorted “nothing on me” in the background. One of my favorites on the album is “Broke As Fuck” where he adopts a hype beat over his mourning for his grandmother and his cousins’ death – this is an indication that he looks over it even though his brother has been jailed with a life stealing segment sentence of 25 years. The interlude is a flash to what he is now even citing that Christmas was giftless but now he’s on a private jet.
The second half of the album begins with “Thousand Words” and is a play on the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Cordae raps about the fake Instagram lifestyle which has now become the norm – the money, clothes, women and leading a fake life on a mellow type beat. He’s still lost on “Way Back Home” and he keeps the same mood but continues with a different story. The song features Ty Dolla Sign whom you’d think would be on the hook but he takes on a verse and Cordae is on the hook. The two musicians compare losing their personality to not finding the stones that lead home. “Grandma’s House (skit)” is also a gospel adaptation which suggests that finding Jesus could help him to find “his way back home”. The dulcet instrumental on “Been Around” helps to set the fire around Cordae telling us about his come up and appreciates everyone that helped him be where he is today – he inspires the rest that as long as they show up, the blessings gon’ show in. On his debut album, Cordae was able to get King Push on a song titled “Nightmares Are Real” which is based on a thumping-ambiance instrumental, allowing them to flex their storytelling abilities. They view life as a dream and it’s not the good kind as they describe their come up and vocation to rap which was a bunch of tough complications. So far in the second half of the album, YBN Cordae is reminiscing on the bad things in his life which he has turned to be a drive to be better and a vow to never go back – while really seeing the need to not forget about that chapter in his life as it holds dear memories to him. “Family Matters” is assisted by Arin Ray and marks their first collaboration. The two artists reminisce on their upbringing in their family and how it’s a beautiful mess because as it talks on their families negatives it also states the success they’ve garnered because and from their families. Dreamchasers founder is another big name on the album and he features on “We Gon Make It”. Meek Mill handles the hook with his signature dream-chasing motivation. The song is an inspiration to do good by yourself and chase your dreams no matter how bad the days are – you gon make it! Just like a good ol’ Steven Seagal movie at the end all the villains have been butt-kicked – in this case, YBN’s dark days and his nightmares. The outro of the album “Lost & Found” is a personal favorite as it blooms from all the content that built up to it. Cordae has now found himself on an up-tempo beat and is in a good condition to put a smile on his face as all the hustling and studio time has led to success – he swerves through the women, deceit and bad times and parks at the lavishness of being at the right space and financial means to put the indigence out of sight.
YBN Cordae has been through a lot growing up in Chicago, he has lost very important people in his life like his grandma whom the cherishes wholeheartedly. The loss of his cousins and his brother being in prison affected his personality and lifestyle hence he lost himself but also the struggles of coming up in the rap industry have a weigh on this as he found himself having to switch up in order to please and rise in the industry which in retrospect he would’ve lost his character. Figuring that taking his own way and using his pain as an igneous activity to drive himself to stardom, he practiced over and over again to get his lyricism on par. This is visible with all the freestyles Cordae has been dishing out on the radio for the past 2 years. To think that Cordae was the least known from the YBN entourage, he has cooked up an unexpectedly flammable album, casting production from J Cole and featuring experienced artists like Pusha T, Meek Mill and, Chance The Rapper after being co-signed by Hip Hop veteran, P Diddy.
The Lost Boy is an indication to every upcoming rapper that your debut album should be, because of loss of words, straight up fire. He has increased the respect that he should receive, created a canvas that dares to be different from mainstream hip-hop and in the process he has lent a helping hand to fixing bad rap music out there!
The Lost Boy is available on all music platforms.
-Written by theBOXmarvin
-Edited by theBOXmarvin