Tardy Album Review | Lou the Human – Painkiller Paradise

UPDATE: So, exactly one day after publishing this review, Lou the Human decided to contact me on Christmas day in order to tell me to kill myself. It’s pretty pathetic. You’d think someone of his stature would be able to handle some mild criticism. I’m really glad this happened though because it’s fucking hilarious.


This album was released on August 2nd this year. If you’ve read my reviews for Ceschi’s Sad, Fat Luck or Lou’s Promise of Paradise EP, you know that I don’t really have the best relationship with him. I’m not gonna go into the rough interaction we had here though. I’ve written about it enough already. I don’t hate Lou the Human though. I’m not the kinda person that holds grudges against artists just for being rude to me. That’s just as long as I actually like their music though. If Lou the Human made the worst music I’ve ever heard I’d obviously not be as forgiving lol. Anyway, about a month or two ago, Lou the Human announced that he was retiring because his label treated him like shit. It’s a pretty common thing for young Hip Hop artists to be completely fucked over by labels like that, but it’s still unfortunate. Apparently Interscope Records wanted him to… Well I don’t even wanna say it because it’s so fucked up. At first I believed it, but now I’m not really sure. I feel like people should’ve been talking about it more because it’s such an extreme accusation. Because of that, a lot of people said it sounded too over the top to be true, but it’s not like Interscope hasn’t done sketchy shit in the past. I don’t know for sure though. It’s possible that Lou is just mad that his album didn’t get the reaction he was hoping for. That probably has a lot to do with the label not promoting him enough, but a lot of it is also clearly due to the stylistic switch up. I haven’t heard the album yet, but it was clear from the singles that this isn’t anything like his first album. Anyway, I liked his promotional Promise of Paradise EP, but I had a lot of issues with it. I honestly don’t think this project will be that good based on the singles, but I’m sure there’ll at least be a few songs that I like. I’m not really looking forward to sitting through over an album of material that I might not even like, but I’m gonna do it anyway. Fuck it.

This shit is not good. This is honestly one of the most bizarre and poorly executed stylistic left turns I’ve witnessed in a while. I normally try to write about the songs I like before talking about the tracks I don’t care for, but I don’t even think I should write about every single track on this project. I just don’t think it’s necessary. There are only three songs on this project that I like. I like the title track the most.

PKP

I think this track has one of the better beats on the album, which is kind of interesting since it’s self produced. The first verse is pretty good. One of the main reasons I like this track so much more than any of the other songs is that Lou doesn’t really try to sing on it at all. The hook is kind of melodic, but he’s still pretty much rapping on it. I think the second verse is way better than the first one. None of the lyrics really stand out that much, but he was flowing really well, and the rhymes were solid. It’s not an amazing song or anything, but it’s easily the best track on the album. The next song that I like is called Cameras. This is the only other self produced track on the album. I like the beat a lot. Maybe Lou should’ve produced more of the beats on this project because the two that he did ended up being some of my favorites. The first verse is pretty good. Once again, it’s mainly his flow that stands out. The hook is kinda weak, but it’s far more tolerable than most of the others on this project. The second verse is cool. It’s a solid song; it’s not as entertaining as the title track, but I certainly like it to some extent. Unfortunately the only other track that I like is called Can’t Sleep Sober. I’m not really crazy about the production from Shamar Millz on this track, but it’s not bad. Lou fucking killed the first verse on this song though. He rapped for like two and a half minutes straight. His flow is really dope. After the verse finishes, the track kinda just turns into a Drake song, which is disappointing. The singing sucks to be honest, but it’s not bad enough to ruin the track for me. I think it’s pretty good. That’s it though. None of the other tracks are good. Honestly, I knew I wasn’t gonna like this album as soon as I finished the first song, Stay Safe. Typically the first song on an album sets the tone for the rest of the project, and this isn’t an exception. Instead of the edgy, boom bap, Eminem & Wu-Tang inspired sound that was prevalent on Humaniac, Lou decided to switch to a trendy fusion of Cloud Rap & Emo Trap for this album, and it didn’t go over well. I’m not a fan of either of those subgenres, so it’s probably not a surprise that I don’t care for this project. Stay Safe is a mediocre song to me mainly because of the shitty Cloud Rap beat and the weak singing from Lou. That’s really my main issue with the album. These beats suck ass, and Lou is just not a good singer at all. The second song on the album is called Blur, and it’s one of the most frustrating tracks on the project.

I think the production on this track from Shameonyou and Lou himself is actually kinda cool, but the singing is just so bad. I’m not a fan of the pitch shifted intro at all, and the hook sucks. One thing that I kind of appreciate about this album is the content. Judging this album from it’s title and cover gives me the impression that it’s another trendy emo rap project in which the artist glorifies opiates. That’s not really true here though. It’s disguised as a typical pro-drug emo rap project, but most of the content revolves around the tragic epidemic of addiction and overdoses in Staten Island. Apparently “Painkiller Paradise” is a nickname for Staten Island because of the rampant drug abuse, which is unfortunate. It’s cool that Lou is trying to bring more awareness to it. It’s easier to take seriously than J. Cole’s latest solo album because Lou isn’t an outsider when it comes to this issue. He’s dabbled in drug use before, and he doesn’t come off preachy or corny at all. I can appreciate that aspect of the album, but the actual music sadly just isn’t very good. I think Blur is one of the better songs on the album just because he fucking slaughtered that second verse. The hook really ruins this song for me though. It’s an okay track, but I wouldn’t listen to it again. The third track is called For the Low, and I think the beat from Jacobi Aiken & Arte Mitchell is actually really fuckin’ good. The production is the only good aspect of the song though because Lou doesn’t rap on this track at all. He sings throughout the entire song, and it’s not good. Late Night is the first track on the album that I just think is flat out wack. It really just sounds like Lou tried to make a Drake song. It has the same dark & woozy production that would’ve appeared on Nothing Was the Same. The singing from Lou is painfully amateurish, and it permeates the entire song. It’s wack. Track 5 is a single called Nirvana in the Whip.

Nirvana in the Whip

I think it’s another one of the more tolerable tracks on the album, but I still won’t ever listen to it again. I’m really not a fan of the Sledgren & Jacobi Aiken production; the Cloud Rap style mixes with the Trap percussion in a really ugly way. It just sounds like a fucking mess. The sung hook sucks too. I think the first verse was cool, but the second one was far more impressive. Again, his lyrics still aren’t really that great. However, his flow was really nice. I think I’d probably like it more if the production was better, but it’s just too weak for me to want to return to the song. Track 8 is the lead single, Make You Sick.

Make You Sick

This is the song that caused the drama between me & Lou. Honestly, the song is a fucking mess. The woozy instrumental doesn’t really stand out from any of the other beats on the album, and the excessive reverb is annoying as fuck. The first verse is total bullshit. He clearly put no effort into the writing at all.

I’m with the demons, yeah
They throw it up; they bulimic, yeah
My new bitch a diva, yeah
I’m just like Mike; I’ma beat it, yeah

The singing is really bad too. Honestly, there’s not a single aspect of the song that I like. Actually, I take that back; his flow is decent on the first couple verses. The singing is really bad though, and the lyrics are trash. This was such a terrible choice for a single. The song is wack. The worst song on this album is easily Suspicious. The production from Brandon Duvall is actually fantastic. Everything else about the song is trash though. This song has the worst vocal performance from Lou on the entire project. His singing is so fucking bad. It’s the poppiest, most mainstream-friendly track on the album, and I hate it. Lou’s performance on this song is insulting to me. The production is the only facet that saves it from being complete trash. It’s still terrible though. It’s followed by Refill, which is the longest song on the album. I was really dreading this track since it’s EIGHT FUCKING MINUTES long. It didn’t end up being that bad though. I mean, it’s certainly not good, but it’s tolerable. It’s basically just another Drake song. The production screams Drake. This is what I’d hear if I went to YouTube and searched for “drake type beat.” Even Lou’s flow and writing seems very Drake influenced on this track. It’s like 8 PM in Staten Island. The content is very introspective, and I guess the writing isn’t bad. It just doesn’t interest me very much. I feel like the only way anyone would enjoy this song would be if they have a level of investment in Lou’s personal life that I just don’t possess. I think it’s a tolerable track, but I have no reason to not delete it from my library. The penultimate track is called Death Note.

This is another tolerable song that I’ll never listen to again. The production is alright, but something about Lou’s flow just feels off to me. I don’t know if “sloppy’ is the right word, but it just doesn’t sound very good to me. This sounds like a leftover from the aforementioned promotional Promise of Paradise EP. The structure is identical to that of the other material on the project. It’s just one verse over a cloudy Trap beat. It’s an okay song, but it just feels like a random freestyle that he decided to throw a beat under. The final song is one of the worst tracks on the project. It’s called Overdose, and it’s kinda terrible to be honest. I’m not a fan of the poppy production from JordanXL & 1Mind. Well, I’m not a fan of the song period. There’s not a single aspect of it that I like. Lou sings throughout the whole track, and it’s really bad. The lyrics suck too.

You remind me of my first high
Even though I met you for the first time, yeah
On that elevator fell in love with your eyes, yeah
Funny we was going down ’cause, baby, I was so down

It’s basically another shitty Drake song. I hate it. It’s not quite as bad as Suspicious, but I still think it’s terrible. :/


Well, that was sad. This is a very mediocre album. It’s just Lou the Human shittily singing over wack Cloud Rap beats with a great verse here and there to prevent it from being completely wack. The sudden death of Lou’s career is unfortunate, but you really can’t place all the blame on Interscope Records. The music itself just isn’t very good. I feel like Todd in the Shadows could do a Trainwreckords episode about this album. Well, maybe not. The album isn’t bad enough for something like that. This album seems to have been a failure though, as well as the catalyst for Lou’s retirement. He really alienated his fanbase with this drastic stylistic change. This was a really bad idea. The production and singing is just really bad. He fucked up, man. This shit is not good. There are three songs that I like, but none that I love. This shit is way too long too. The album’s kind of a mess. Again, I wouldn’t say it’s actually “bad,” but I wouldn’t argue or be confused if people told me it was trash. I’m not a fan of this. If Lou decides to make an unexpected return in the future, I’ll probably steer clear of his work unless he ends up really impressing me with a single or something. This shit is super mid though.

Favorite Song: Painkiller Paradise
Least Favorite Song: Suspicious

54

D+
Grade: D+

One comment

  1. Yeah, you trippin’.
    People don’t listen to Lou cause they want to hear the same old pop rap shit. People listen to Lou cause he takes risks and experiments with his sound.

Tell me if I'm trippin'

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