This album was released on April 18th this year. I really don’t know how I’m gonna feel about this project. Slauson Malone was a member of Standing on the Corner, who had a huge influence on Earl Sweatshirt’s latest album, Some Rap Songs, which was easily the most disappointing album of 2018 for me. To this day I don’t understand the hype for that album. Almost everything about that album aside from the lyrics seemed rushed and incomplete to me, even down to the title and cover art. Earl Sweatshirt is one of my favorite rappers, so I was REALLY sad when I ended up disliking his album. The fact that I seemed to be the only person who didn’t care for it made me even more upset because I really wanted to love it just as much as everyone else, but I couldn’t. So yeah, I’m not exactly a fan of Standing on the Corner. A few of my friends & acquaintances seem to really love this project. That could also be said about SRS too though, so that doesn’t exactly give me hope for this release. I have at least one acquaintance who thinks it’s trash too. Before listening to this project, there are already some things I strongly dislike about it. First of all, the fact that the word “farewell” is intentionally misspelled in the title really bothers me. Speaking of titles, the tracklist for this project gives me the impression that this is gonna be even more of a jumbled mess than Some Rap Songs. I get that it’s a stylistic choice to have all the titles of the songs look like random files sitting on a hard drive. I disagree with that choice though. One thing I do like a lot about this album is the artwork though. Bolade Banjo did a great job with that album cover. Anyway, every song on this project is self produced, except where noted.
1. Two Thousand Twelve, Outro co-produced by Nicky Wetherell, Alex Epton & Maya Balkaran
This track is only about thirty seconds. I’m gonna be honest… I really like it. The production sounds REALLY fucking good. It pretty much sounds like some glitchy Electronic music. The sample it began with sounded really fucking good. It’s just a half-minute long intro. There aren’t any vocals on it. Part of me doesn’t wanna give too much credit to this song since it’s so short. On the other hand, more than half of the tracks are less than two minutes long, so… Umm… Huh. Honestly, I don’t know where I was going with that thought. Well anyway, I think it’s fine to judge this as a regular track from the album. It’s not even the shortest song on the project. It’s not amazing or anything. I like it quite a bit though. It’s dope as hell.
2. 11/28/55, Ttrabul performed by Medslaus
The previous track transitions into this one really smoothly. Medslaus is a duo consisting of Slauson Malone & Medhane. This Medhane guy’s name looks familiar. I know I’ve seen that name before, but I don’t know if I’ve actually ever heard his music. Maybe he was featured on a project I listened to in the past. I don’t know. Anyway, the production on this track is weird as hell. It sounds fucking gorgeous though. Goddamn. Wait a minute… What the fuck? Is that faint voice that’s buried in the background supposed to be Medhane’s feature? What… WHAT??? Is this a fucking joke? What the hell is even the point of that? It’s virtually inaudible. It could be in a different fuckin’ language and it would have the same exact effect. Imagine you’re in a three story building. You’re on the first floor, and Medhane is on the third floor. He’s speaking as loudly as he can, so you can KINDA hear a muffled voice. There’s no way you’d be able to make out what he was actually saying though. That’s what listening to his feature on this song is like. It’s pointless. This is so far from a normal Hip Hop album lmao. It’s like if a mute person just grunted over an instrumental and tried to market it as a rap song. I mean, I definitely enjoyed this song to some extent. I like the production a lot. Sonically this is cool. Lyrically… Well… It’s pretty much just an instrumental. The rapping from Medhane is unintelligible. Not in the same way that mumble rap is unintelligible. I’m sure he’s enunciating properly. It’s like someone stuffed cotton in my ears and then started playing music. But yeah, I like the song. Part of me feels like it’s really stupid, but I can’t deny that it was sonically entertaining. I don’t like it as much as the previous track, but it’s still good. I fuck with it.
3. I can make you feel freedom, Katri… featuring Pearl De Luna co-produced by Nicky Wetherell
I saw someone say something like “if this album was released by Earl, people would claim to love it.” I feel like it’s the opposite for me. If Earl released a track that sounded like the previous one, I’d be fucking mad. It’s kinda similar to how I was so disappointed in Tyler the Creator’s 2015 album, Cherry Bomb. If you’re a rapper that I like, I want to be able to hear you rap. I like lo-fi production, but I usually don’t like when people rap over it. It doesn’t work for me. Anyway, the previous track transitions into this one pretty well. The strange, warbled production is really great. Pearl’s vocals sound really pretty over it. I can’t really understand the lyrics. This shit sounds pretty nice though. The way the beat gets stripped down right before the two minute mark is awesome. I really like this song. This is probably my favorite track on the album so far. It’s dope.
4. —Fred Hampton’s Door, Farewell Sassy— …na co-produced by Nicky Wetherell, Alex Epton & Maya Balkaran
Oh god. I don’t like the way this song starts out at all. It begins with a really harsh noise. It kinda sounds like one of those ear rape memes. Once the track actually gets going it’s really cool though. I love the jazzy production. This is the first track where I can actually understand what’s being said. The verse—if you can even call it that—is just six lines. It’s really simplistic lyrically, but it gets the message and overall mood/tone across pretty well.
Hopin’ that the reaper don’t get me
Bring me down like 6 feet
Botch a suicide, watch the time pass by
Life ain’t been the same since acid died
It seems like something Earl would’ve said on SRS. Slauson’s got a pretty light, effeminate sounding voice. I like it. This song seems to be split up into three parts. I guess Fred Hampton’s Door is the obnoxious, harsh intro that I hated. Farewell Sassy is the part where Slauson’s “rapping” over that jazzy beat. The final part, …na, is the pleasant outro in which he sings with a slight pitch shift. Aside from the intro, I liked this track a lot. The super unpleasant manner in which this song starts isn’t enough to completely ruin it. This would probably be my favorite track if it didn’t start like that. Oh well. I still fuck with the song overall. It’s a cool track.
5. WON’T BLEED ME: The Sequel
Man, I’m so glad I actually like this album so far. I was expecting this to be some bullshit. It’s weird as hell, but it’s pretty cool. Anyway, this song is just under a minute long, and it’s easily my favorite song so far. The melodic production sounds amazing. It’s almost Steve Lacy, Tyler the Creator-ish. Slauson’s singing sounds pretty good over it. It’s not like he’s really singing his ass off. He’s not singing any better than you or I could. It works though. Honestly, there’s not a single aspect of this song I dislike. I love this shit. It’s dope af.
6. King Sisyphus of the Atlantic featuring Taphari
This track has a really loud, grating intro. I fucking hate it. The first 45 seconds of this track are nearly unbearable for me. However, after that whirlpool of sounds, a really nice sample fades in. It sounded really good at first, but once the percussion came in I didn’t care for the rest of instrumental. It’s really bad to be honest. The rapping from Slauson did absolutely nothing for me. The outro to this song sounded almost as shitty as the intro, but it thankfully didn’t last nearly as long. Overall, this song is kinda terrible. Lol. I liked 45 seconds of this song. I timed it. From 0:45 to 1:30, I was enjoying it. I hated the rest of it. I think this shit is wack.
7. 2/26/12, Smile #2 featuring Maxo
Man… This beat is amazing. There’s just one verse on this song from Maxo, and it pretty much takes up the entire track. It’s easily the best verse on the whole album. I mean, it’s not exactly like Maxo had any real competition. He did a really great job though.
Mama try and keep me safe
When I was eatin’ from your beak, I knew I’d grow to fly away
On my own
Always told me “stay away from the stove”
And lit the fire just to heat up the comb
Now I’m grown
That verse was dope as hell. This is another one of the best songs on the album so far. I don’t have any issues with it at all. It’s just under a minute and 20 seconds long. I love the beat, and the verse from Maxo is really great. The music video is awesome too. That’s definitely one of the coolest music videos I’ve seen so far this year. This shit is dope af.
8. Treachery of Memories
This is a really cool thirty second track. There’s really not much to say about it since it’s so short. I can’t tell if the person singing is Slauson himself with a bunch of vocal effects, or if it’s just a slowed down sample. I think it’s the latter. The lyrics are really simplistic, but they’re relatable as hell. I like this track. It’s dope.
9. 08/09/14, Smile #1 featuring Caleb Giles
This is admittedly just a nitpick, but it bothers me that the “Smile” songs on this album are out of order. I don’t know why this one is #1 when it wasn’t even the first one he made. It doesn’t really matter though. Anyway, the beat on this track sounds really familiar. I think that’s the same sample that MF DOOM flipped for the outro of Caskets by NehruvianDOOM. I may be wrong about that. It’s probably not the same sample actually, but the melody of the piano is pretty much the same. This version is just a lot slower and less smooth. I’m not familiar with Caleb Giles. He sounds fine here. That third line is some of the most relatable shit I’ve ever heard.
I ain’t know I was hurt ’til the healin’
I didn’t know there was anything wrong with me when I got admitted to the hospital for Psychosis at the beginning of 2018. I didn’t realize how fucked up I was until after about a week of being there. The more I listen to this song, the less confident I am about that comparison I made to the outro of Caskets. The song kinda switches up after the first 50 seconds. Caleb’s performance changes pretty drastically. He has a louder, more energetic delivery, and is shouting over a layer of sung vocals. That’s probably the most energy any of the vocal contributors have had on this whole album so far. That’s not really saying much though. The last minute of the song is really cool. The beat switches up completely. It almost turns into a slow paced boom bap beat. Overall, I enjoyed this song a lot. It’s not one of my favorite songs, but I like it. It’s dope.
10. THE MESSAGE featuring Zuri Marley
Oh fucking shit. This beat is gorgeous. It’s just as great as the beat from WON’T BLEED ME. I don’t know which track I prefer honestly. The vocals on this track from Zuri Marley sound fantastic. This is definitely another favorite of mine. The song only contains one line, which is repeated four times. This shit is awesome. I love this track. I have no issues with it at all. It’s dope af.
11. 180° Pole Shift Hypothesis featuring Billie Alexopolus
This is a seemingly pointless interlude in which Billie Alexopolus tells the listener about a dream she had. I got absolutely nothing out of this, aside from a jump-scare at the very end of the track. I’m not gonna judge this as a normal song. I’m never gonna listen to it again though.
12. The Flying Africans board mothership Zong! to colonize the new nubian planet called X “The World laughs as it turns another degree, hotter” featuring Lila Ramani co-produced by Alex Epton
The intro to this song is kinda scary. The part where someone is quietly whispering the words “right now” were fine, but the voice that comes in after that saying “tell them I’m gone” was unsettling to me. The beat on this track seems less involved than most of the others so far. Ehhh… I kinda liked the singing from Lila Ramani at first, but the song eventually devolves into an unpleasant hodgepodge of synthesized voices. I think this song is okay overall, but it’s not something I’ll be returning to personally.
13. 01/01/09, My feet’s hurt “I was a fugitive but then I realized there was nowhere I could run to” featuring Lila Ramani
The beat on this track is a little harsh, but as a whole I think it’s pretty good. There are just a few glitchy sounds that pop in every now and then that are really unpleasant. The majority of the lyrics are incomprehensible. Slauson sounds good singing them though. The background vocals from Lila Ramani are cool too. My favorite part of this song is the final 12 seconds. Overall, I think this is a good track. It’s certainly nowhere close to being my favorite track on the album, but I did enjoy it to some extent. It’s cool. The music video is great. It has the exact same style as the previous music video, but if I had to choose one over the other I’d definitely go with this one. The images are just a bit more interesting and diverse here.
14. Uchromia featuring Victoria Rowell
This is an a cappella Spoken Word piece by Victoria Rowell. I didn’t care for it at all. This is the shortest track on the album. It’s only 24 seconds. I got absolutely nothing out of this. I’m never gonna listen to it again.
15. Off Me! “The Wake” Pt. 1 & 2 featuring Pink Siifu
Pink Siifu is my favorite artist from this new wave of lo-fi rappers. With that said, I haven’t actually heard that much music from him. I’ve been meaning to look into his work, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Anyway, I absolutely love the production on the first part of this track, Off Me! It’s really fucking good. I want to say it’s one of the more accessible beats on this album, but now that I think about it, I really don’ think the production on this album has been very inaccessible so far. It’s certainly unique, but “inaccessible” isn’t a word I would use to describe it. The rapping on the first part of this song is cool. It’s not really that impressive though. It’s not gonna blow anyone away. I think the production on The Wake is even better than the first beat. It’s amazing. It sounds the most polished out of all the beats. I really liked Pink Siifu’s performance too. None of his lines really stood out to me at all. He just sounded really good rapping over that gorgeous instrumental to me. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album so far. I don’t have any issues with it at all. It’s dope af.
16. 04/04/68, I can make you feel free
This track begins with what sounds like a siren, and then a nuclear explosion. It’s somehow way more tolerable and less unpleasant than some of the other random noises on other tracks. The actual music on this track is pretty average in comparison to the other songs, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. It’s definitely not a standout track by any means, but I like it. It’s a cool track.
17. Smile #4 produced by Baby Rampage & Nicky Wetherell
The beat on this track is really dope. Slauson’s delivery makes it sound like he’s trying to stay awake and record a verse while under the influence of ketamine. His high voice also makes him sound like a 14 year old kid. Wait a minute… How old is this guy? Oh. Okay, he’s a few years older than me. For a split second I thought he might be in high school or something. That would’ve been a real mind fuck. Anyway, most of the lyrics are hard to understand since this is a literal version of mumble rap, but I still enjoyed it. I like this song. It’s definitely a step up from the previous track. The production is great. This shit is dope.
18. 11/22/14 “I can’t see”, Smile #3
This track also seems to start with a siren. The production on this track is really great. I’m not crazy about the heavily pitch shifted vocals, but it thankfully doesn’t last throughout the whole track. Once again, the majority of the vocals are unintelligible, but sonically this is really great. The vocals from Slauson sound fantastic. I think this is one of the better songs on the album. It’s definitely not my favorite track, but I loved it more than most of the others. It’s dope af.
19. THE MESSAGE 2 featuring Lila Ramani co-produced by Alex Epton
The vocals at the beginning of this song kinda remind me of Justin Vernon’s singing at the beginning of Kanye West’s Lost in the World. These sound a bit more robotic though. Man, the way the production evolves throughout this track is really nice. It sounds pretty as hell. This is definitely another favorite of mine. The production is absolutely stellar. The vocals were great too. I have no gripes with this track at all. It has another really cool music video too. This shit is dope af.
20. Two Thousand Eighteen, Bye co-produced by Nicky Wetherell
Ha. Nice. There’s a sample of Kanye West’s Waves in this track. I like the beat on this track, but it does sound slightly discordant to me. The samples that were incorporated in this song sound really fantastic. The actual verse from Slauson Malone did pretty much nothing for me though. The production is really what makes this song enjoyable for me. I think this is kind of an underwhelming way to end the album, but I do like it. It’s certainly not a standout track for me, but I still think it’s good. I like it.
This is a very good album. I’m actually surprised by how much I like it. I was seriously expecting to hate it. I love the production for the most part. This isn’t a traditional rap album though. Don’t come into this expecting bars. Nobody kills any verses here. I see a lot of people referring to it as a “sound collage,” which is a good way to describe it. I think I would’ve really loved this album if it was more consistent. There are some songs that just aren’t anywhere near as good as the others. There’s very little to dig into lyrically. The production is the main course here. It’s like the opposite of SRS for me. I thought that album sounded like shit and had some cool lyrics. This one sounds fantastic and has average lyrics. That is, when I can actually hear & understand the lyrics. This is far from a perfect album, but I’m satisfied with it. I’m having a lot of difficulty choosing a favorite song. I’ll have to keep my eye on Slauson Malone because this shit is dope.
Favorite Song: Off Me! “The Wake” Pt. 1 & 2
Least Favorite Song: King Sisyphus of the Atlantic
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album