EP Review | Taylor Bennett – The American Reject

This extended play was released on May 28th this year. At first I thought that it was a full length album, but when I went to listen to it I saw that it only had 8 tracks. I’ve seen some people call it an album, but most publications seem to be referring to it as an EP. Anyway, I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this project that much before I heard it because of my prior experience with Taylor Bennett’s work. I think he’s a very talented rapper, although not as technically proficient as his brother. I didn’t care for his 2017 project, Restoration of An American Idol. It had a few tracks that I kinda liked, but for the most part I didn’t really fuck with it. I did however enjoy his 2018 EP, Be Yourself. It was a very flawed project that I had a lot of issues with, but overall I enjoyed it for the most part. My main issue with Taylor in the past had been his unfortunately very annoying voice. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be as much of an issue for this project, and that the positives would outweigh the negatives for me this time around. I think I mentioned this last time I wrote about Taylor, but I gotta give a quick shoutout to the artist who created the cover for this project. His name is Rowdee and he’s one of my favorite graphic designers. I think the overwhelming majority of all the covers he makes are amazing. He mostly works for more obscure, underground acts, but every once in a while he’ll design the official cover for a more well known, popular artist. He’s worked with G Herbo, The Underachievers, and Tayyib Ali in the past.  So yeah. Check out his blog if you’re not familiar with his work. He’s really dope. If you happen to be an independent artist reading this right now, I highly suggest commissioning him to make a cover for your next project because that shit is important. Anyway, as I mentioned before, I went into this with not so high expectations, but I was hoping that I’d like at least a handful of tracks.

1. The American Reject (Whitehouse Freestyle) featuring Supa Bwe produced by Supa Bwe

Spoiler alert: this project is not good. This song in particular isn’t trash, but I don’t think it’s really good at all either. I think the production is pretty nice. It sounds like something that’d be played in a stadium. I usually don’t like electric guitars, but it sounds good here. The very first verse from Taylor Bennett is average at best, but he doesn’t sound bad. Supa Bwe is definitely the worst aspect of the song in my opinion. I’ve never really been a fan of that dude in the past, and this performance just solidified my opinion. His singing sounds terrible to me. It sounds like something Lil Uzi Vert would do. So yeah, the only aspect of this track that I really like is the production. Supa Bwe did a good job in that regard, but his vocal performance was terrible. Overall, I think the song is very mediocre.

2. In My Head featuring Serayah & Ty$ produced by Ivan Jackson & Zxxk

This song is pretty bad to me unfortunately. I kinda like the production, and I think Ty$ sounded good on the final verse, but aside from that I don’t like anything about the song. The hook from Taylor & Serayah is wack to me, and I really don’t like that first verse from Taylor. His flow is solid, but I don’t care for his melodic delivery at all, and the verse did absolutely nothing for me lyrically. I didn’t care for the melody of Serayah’s verse, and vocally she just sounds really generic. She sounds like every other female vocalist that does features with Hip Hop artists these days. I like the horns in the beat, and Ty$ did his thing, but overall I’m not feelin’ this song. It’s wack to me.

3. Streaming Services featuring Zxxk & Melo Makes Music produced by Ivan Jackson

1-6

This was the first track I heard from the project since it was released as a single. I forgot that I’d even heard it, but when I went back to watch the music video before listening to this project I saw that I’d already disliked the video. So yeah, this is another song that I don’t like at all. I think the production from Ivan Jackson is decent, but I really just do not like this sung hook from Taylor at all. I don’t think he’s a good singer in the first place, but even if he was I probably still wouldn’t fuck with the hook because the melody itself isn’t very entertaining to me. I think his actual verse is decent lyrically, but he recycles the melody of the hook throughout the verse. Once the second recital of the hook ends, that’s when the song really goes to shit in my opinion. The second verse from Zxxk is terrible. I don’t even know if I can call it a verse. It’s more like a bridge. Either way it’s really fucking bad. His autotuned delivery is awful. It was also completely unnecessary too because Taylor easily could’ve handled it himself. Another verse from him probably wouldn’t have been bad. This Zxxk dude sounds like shit though. He sounds super generic. I feel like I could go on Soundcloud right now and find some random nigga that sounds exactly like him. This isn’t even the worst aspect of the song though. No, the worst part comes right after Zxxk’s bridge ends because that’s when Melo Makes Music comes in and performs the hook himself. This dude sounds fucking horrendous. His singing is fucking unbearable. I wasn’t really feelin’ Taylor’s performance on this track, but he’s definitely the best vocal contributor to the song because the features fucking suck. I think this song is terrible.

4. Kids ‘n the Sky featuring Bianca Shaw produced by DEX LVL & Zxxk

This is yet another bad song. I think the guitar driven production is solid, but that hook in which Bianca & Taylor are singing together sounds really bad to me. This track is nowhere near as bad as the previous one in my opinion, but it’s still wack. It’s thankfully pretty short though. There’s only one verse from Taylor, and it’s only like 8 bars. I mean, the verse itself isn’t very good, but it’s fine. So yeah, there’s not a lot going on in this song. It’s just one short verse sandwiched in between two recitals of the hook. Unfortunately, there’s not really a single aspect of this song that I like. As I said before, the production is solid, and pretty much everything else is slightly below average. Thankfully, nothing stood out as being completely unbearable, but overall this is still not good to me. I think it’s a wack song.

5. Singing the Blues featuring femdot.

Unfortunately I was unable to find the production credits for this particular song. If anyone reading this knows who produced this track, please let me know. You can leave it in the comments or send me a message on social media—preferably Twitter, but Instagram will work too. Anyway, this is actually one of the better songs on the project. It’s not a song that I’ll be returning to in the future, but I don’t think it’s bad. It actually has a somewhat unique concept. It’s kinda similar to that I’m Not Racist song by Joyner Lucas. I think this track is less lame though. Again, it’s still not something that I’ll be coming back to personally because it’s not really good to me at all, but it’s way better than every track that preceded it. In the hook, Taylor sings about how the family of his best friend is super conservative, and the rest of the song is all about the difficulties that come with that situation. The hook itself is pretty bad to me just because I don’t really care for the melody and Taylor’s singing sounds rough. I think his verse was well written and his flow was cool, but I’m not sure how I feel about the content. His attitude was a little… I don’t know. It kinda felt like he was criticizing people who don’t get along with Trump supporters.

My halo matching your MAGA hat energy
How could we both have no sympathy?

See, that’s that Christian “love thy enemy” bullshit. Fuck that. I’m not gonna associate with people who support Donald Trump. I don’t really think I need to explain why. Damn. When I first listened to this project I thought this was one of the better songs, but now that I’m writing about it I feel like I dislike it more than I originally did. Sonically, I don’t really like it at all. I mean, both of the MCs on this track had pretty good flows. I don’t really care for the beat at all though, and I think the hook is really bad. I’m not too familiar with femdot., but I remember being really impressed by his performance on Pivot Gang’s You Can’t Sit with Us album. Anyway, he raps from the perspective of a Trump supporter on this song, and he did a really great job of making himself sound just as stupid as they do. There are so many logical fallacies in the verse that I could take issue with, but I’m gonna give femdot. the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s not actually a Trump supporter. I wasn’t really crazy about his verse on this song, but it wasn’t too bad I guess. I think I was just expecting to enjoy it more since he was so good on the other feature I’d already heard from him. Anyway, I thought this song was okay the first time I heard it, but the more I listened to it the less I liked it. I actually think it’s a pretty bad song.

6. I Miss You featuring Mr. Hudson produced by Zxxk & Elijah Fox

This is actually the only song on the entire project that I like. It’s far from a perfect song, but I can see myself returning to it despite its flaws. First of all, the production from Zxxk & Elijah Fox is fantastic. It’s a really gorgeous instrumental. The hook from Taylor Bennett is cool too. His falsetto singing isn’t particularly great, but he managed to pull it off in my opinion, and for once the melody is actually enjoyable for me. He actually doesn’t have a verse on this song, which may be part of why I ended up enjoying it so much more than the other tracks. Mr. Hudson easily outshined Taylor. In fact, I feel like this song would be much better if it was a solo Mr. Hudson track. He could’ve performed the hook himself. He sounds really great over this production style. I haven’t actually ever listened to any of Mr. Hudson’s solo work, but I usually dig him on features, so maybe I should look into his music more. Anyway, I think the hook from Taylor could’ve been a lot better, but overall I fuck with the song. It’s pretty good to me.

7. No One Outside featuring Bianca Shaw & Chance the Rapper produced by Zxxk, DJ Verner & DEX LVL

When I first heard this song I didn’t think it was too bad, but it’s not something I’d wanna come back to. There are aspects of it that I actually like though. I think the first verse from Taylor is pretty good. His flow was cool, and the content was alright too. It actually kinda just sounds like a 10 Day era Chance the Rapper song. Does Taylor have kids? The lyrics make me think he’s rapping directly to his baby mama.

You the best type of mom, should’ve taken you to prom
Back when I couldn’t dance just so we could hold hands
Teenage romance; probably slow dance

I enjoyed his verse. Honestly, my biggest issue with this song is just the actual sound quality. The mix sounds like shit. It’s most noticeable during the hook. It sounds really bad. I mean, it’s possible that it’s a me problem and not an issue with the song itself. Maybe my headphones are busted. I don’t think that’s the case though because I’m not having the issue with other songs. The sound quality was kinda fucked up on some of the other tracks from this EP, but it was nowhere near as bad as it is with this track. Anyway, the hook from Bianca Shaw on this track is fine. It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t really stand out that much. I think she’s a better singer than Serayah, but that’s not really saying much. Serayah isn’t even a bad singer; it’s just that her voice sounds really nondescript. Anyway, I wasn’t crazy about Bianca’s bridge on this track, but it was fine. Chance’s verse was okay. I think the content was cool, but overall the verse was a little underwhelming. I liked his flow at first, but I was really hoping that he would switch it up at some point. He only had one flow throughout the entire verse, and it got old really quickly. This line also stood out in kind of a bad way to me…

I done got so many rings, I’m finna turn to a tree

I mean, I guess it’s not the worst line I’ve ever heard. It’s definitely not a good line though. This is a love song, so as you probably guessed, Chance was rapping about his wife. I know that’s become a meme at this point, but I think he did it well here. It was basically just him saying “I love my wife” in a poetic way, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. So yeah, overall I think this is one of the best songs on the project. That’s not really saying much though. Maybe I’d like it if the sound quality wasn’t so bad, but as it is now, I’m not gonna be returning to it in the future.

8. One, Two featuring Forever Band produced by Zxxk & DEX LVL

This song is fucking terrible. Once again, the mix sounds like pure shit. I feel like the sound quality just got worse and worse as this project progressed. I’m not sure what the deal is with that. It’s annoying. It’s not like it matters that much though because the song is shit either way. I don’t know who this Forever Band artist is, but I hope I never hear from him ever again because he’s fucking terrible. The first verse from him is absolutely horrific. His singing is unbearable, and the over the top ad-libs make it so much worse. The production is generic as hell. Taylor’s flow was pretty good, but it’s not enough to save this song. The damage was done. Forever Band already ruined this shit. This is easily the worst song on the project in my opinion. I think it’s fucking horrible. Again, Taylor’s flow was kinda nice. The negatives severely outweigh the positives though. This shit is wack af.


This extended play is really bad. It’s very unfortunate because I actually kinda liked his previous project to some extent, but I legitimately think this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard from him. Mind you, I’d only heard two of his other releases prior to hearing this one, but my point still stands. This is a step in the wrong direction. Taylor’s never released a single song that I really loved, so I can’t really say I’m that disappointed. This is much worse than I was expecting it to be though. I only enjoyed one track out of eight different songs, which obviously isn’t good. It’s far from the worst project I’ve heard this year, which is actually kinda sad when you think about it. I wouldn’t say this is a complete failure since I got one enjoyable track out of it, but Taylor still hasn’t really done anything to make me anticipate future work. I’m never excited to hear new music from him. He’s one of those artists who I always give a chance, but never expect much from. Hopefully he eventually reaches a point where I can call myself a fan, but that’s not looking very likely at this point. I’ll probably give his next project a chance, but if it’s anywhere near as bad as this that’ll probably be the last straw for me. I mean, obviously if I happen to hear a single that I really like I’ll check out whatever project it’s from, but right now I don’t see that happening. So yeah, this whole situation is pretty unfortunate. I didn’t like this EP. It’s wack to me.

Favorite Song: I Miss You
Least Favorite Song: One, Two

43

40-49
Grade: D-

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