Tardy Album Review | Planet Asia – Initials on My Jewelry

This album was released on May 3rd this year. I wasn’t sure if I should check it out at first because Apple Music had it listed as a compilation for some reason. However, after looking at the tracklist, I realized that it wasn’t just a collection of older tracks that had already been out for years. I guess these were probably loose tracks that he just had sitting around. The cover for this project has it labeled as a “street album,” which to this day I still don’t really understand. I’ve never really gotten what the difference between a “premium mixtape,” and a regular album is. To me it just seems like a street album is something that an artist chooses to release independently. I thought most of Planet Asia’s albums were released independently though. I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t really matter what you call it because these days it’s pretty much all the same shit. Anyway, I was actually pretty late to the party when it comes to Planet Asia. I didn’t actually get into his music until 2017. The first thing I ever heard from him was that Velour Portraits EP, which was really dope. After hearing that, I eventually listened to almost every other project he ever made. I’ll post my thoughts on the rest of his discography a little later today. For now, I’m just gonna talk about this particular album. It actually ended up being a lot better than I was expecting. I knew I was gonna enjoy it, but I didn’t think I would love it as much as I do. There’s not a single track that I don’t like. I think every single song is enjoyable to varying degrees. If I had to say why this is such a good album, I think it’d really come down to one thing: the production. I’ve always liked DirtyDiggs, but I actually think these are some of the best beats I’ve ever heard from him. Right off the bat with the first song, Loosies, I was very impressed by his work.

DirtyDiggs’ soulful production on this track is downright gorgeous to me. You pretty much always know what you’re gonna get from Planet Asia, and he delivered what his fans know and love him for on this track. His rapping is still top notch. This song in particular doesn’t have one of his best performances ever, but it’s still pretty good stuff. However, the production is really what stands out the most about the song. It’s a dope track overall though. The second song, High Beams, is definitely one of the lowlights on the album, but I still enjoyed it. Once again, the production was really good, and is honestly the best aspect of the whole track. Planet Asia’s rapping just as well as he always does. What makes it a weaker track than the rest of the material on the album is the hook. That hook is not good. Planet Asia has sung like 3 or four hooks in the past throughout his entire career, and it’s never good. He just doesn’t have the kinda voice that you’d wanna hear sing. He’s got that kind of gritty, slightly raspy voice that’s really great for rap. He does not sound good singing at all though. He has a little help from Washeyi Choir, who’s harmonizing with him in the background. It makes it slightly less rough, but it’s still not very good. It’s a pretty bad hook—the worst hook on the album—but it’s not so bad that it makes the song unlistenable. It’s tolerable. Overall, I think the song is still pretty good. The third song, Profit Hunting, has one of the best instrumentals on the whole album in my opinion. I think it’s really fantastic. Planet Asia’s performance didn’t really stand out that much to me, but it was still solid. Definitely above average. The song’s dope, but the beat is what makes it stand out to me so much. The fourth track, Off the Turf, is the first song in which Planet Asia’s rapping really stands out.

He killed that song. The verses are fantastic. The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose well. It’s certainly better than that of the preceding track. The production is pretty nice, but Planet Asia’s rapping is really what makes the song as good as it is in my opinion. Doomsday Preppers is another one of the best songs on the album. It has another really fantastic beat that actually doesn’t sound like something I’d expect DirtyDiggs to produce. He usually has that soulful, 9th Wonderish, Apollo Brownish style sounding production. This beat was really different though. It’s awesome. It’s definitely the best beat up to this point on the album. The first verse from Planet Asia was really great, and the featured verse from Rah Digga was great too. Her flow was nice as hell. The song is dope af. The 6th track, Burning Bush, is the only song that isn’t produced by DirtyDiggs.

This beat was done by Eddie Brock of The Epixx, and he flipped a sample that I know I’ve heard in another song before, but for the life of me I can’t remember where I know it from. If any of you recognize that sample from another song, please put it down in the comments below. One thing that always bothers me is when I can’t remember where I’ve heard a familiar sample before. Anyway, this is another one of my favorite tracks on the album. The production is superb, and Planet Asia really murdered it. I think it’s one of the best songs overall. I really don’t have any gripes with it. The production is awesome, Planet Asia killed the verses, and I even think it has probably the best hook on the whole album. It’s dope af. Tootsie Roll is another favorite of mine. It’s performed by Durag Dynasty, and they all rapped their asses off. Killer Ben stood out the most to me personally, but TriState stood out a lot on that final verse as well, and of course Planet Asia’s verse was great too. I also think the song has one of the most interesting instrumentals on the album. It’s got this really dark atmosphere to it. It’s another beat that I wouldn’t expect DirtyDiggs to make personally. Get in Line is a pretty dope track. The production is nice, and the first verse was really good too. Planet Asia actually sung again on the hook for this track, but he’s really only singing one note, so it doesn’t sound too bad. The rhyme scheme he was spitting on the second verse was really impressive too. Gold Chain, California is a pretty solid song. The production is dope, and the rapping is good too. My only nitpick with the track is the feature from Jazimoto. At the beginning and end of the song, Planet Asia performs the hook himself and does a pretty good job. However, for the second recital of the hook that occurs in between the two verses, he inserts the audio of Jazimoto performing the hook a cappella while she was drunk, and it kinda hurts the momentum of the song in my opinion. It’s not too bad though. It’s not like it completely ruins the track. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a nitpick. Seymour Pettygroove has another one of the more interesting instrumentals on the project. Again, it doesn’t sound like the typical DirtyDiggs beat, and I love how sad and dramatic it is. It’s kind of bittersweet though because I really don’t think that Planet Asia & Hus Kingpin matched the atmosphere of the instrumental. Their verses were solid, but they sound a little out of place over this emotional production. The production outshined the MCs for me, but that might not have been the case if their content was a little more… I don’t know… Bleak? Yeah, I think that’s the best word. The production sounds bleak. I definitely still enjoyed the song overall though. It’s a good track. Once again, the 11th track has yet another unexpected sound from DirtyDiggs. The instrumental sounds like a march song that I would hear from a military band. It’s a really cool beat, and Planet Asia rapped really well over it. The song’s dope. The General Monks track, Black Magic, is another standout track for me. I thought the production was really fantastic. Of course Planet Asia rapped really well over it. A verse from TriState would’ve been a nice addition, but he did a solid job with the hook. However, it really doesn’t seem like anything Planet Asia couldn’t have just done himself. I still love the song though. It’s dope af. Same goes for the final track, Always Knew. It features a rapper named Fax da Realist, who I’d never heard of before hearing this track. This almost sounds like it’s his song though because he performed the first verse as well as the hook. It sounds like it’s his song and it just features Planet Asia. It’s kind of a weird way to close the album, but this is just a “street album” after all, so I guess he wasn’t necessarily trying to put together the most cohesive project he could. The production is really amazing on this track by the way. It might actually be the best beat on the whole album. It’s definitely in the top three. I love the song.

This album is surprisingly great. Again, considering the “street album” label, as well as the lack of discussion and attention surrounding it, I really didn’t think I would end up enjoying it as much as I did. As I said before, I was super impressed by the production from DirtyDiggs. I think these beats are awesome. There’s not a single wack beat on the project. I actually think this is Planet Asia’s best project since Anchovies. Wait… Did Velour Portraits come out before or after Anchovies? Fuck it. I’ll just say this is his best project since 2017. I guess that doesn’t seem like much on paper, but when you take into account how prolific Planet Asia has been recently it’s a pretty positive statement. Just last year he dropped like three albums. So yeah, I was quite satisfied with this release, and I’m glad I didn’t skip it. This shit is dope.

Favorite Song: Burning Bush
Least Favorite Song: High Beams


Grade: B+

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