Tardy Album Review | Medhane – Own Pace

This album was released on November 12th last year. I’m gonna be honest; I don’t think I’m gonna like this shit that much. Medhane has never really been that interesting of an artist to me. Even a lot of my friends who are super into this recent wave of underground lofi Hip Hop seem to think this project is mediocre or just slightly above average. I actually don’t know why I had this project on my priority list for last year because I’m not very excited about it lol. I had some other shit to get to before listening to this one, but Medhane just dropped an EP that I’d like to hurry up and check out, so I figured I’d get this out of the way beforehand. A few people have been asking me to review this, so that’s the main reason I’m doing it. I probably wouldn’t have written an actual review if nobody asked for one. Anyway, I don’t think this’ll be bad, but I’m just expecting averageness to be honest. Hopefully I’m proven wrong though.

This album actually ended up being better than I was expecting. I surprisingly like it more than most of my friends, unless I’m mistaken. There are only a couple tracks that I dislike, so I’ll talk about those first real quick. Track 5 is called Affirmation #1, and it’s not a bad track, but I just don’t think I’ll wanna listen to it again in the future.

The beat from IAMNOBODI is pretty nice in my opinion, but I don’t love it as much as the others on the record. By the time the song was over, I had already decided that I would be comfortable deleting it from my library, but I couldn’t exactly explain why because I like the beat a lot, and I don’t think the verse from Medhane is bad at all. I think the main takeaway is that there are a lot of aspects of it that I’d say are “good,” but none that I’d call “great” or say that I love. It’s certainly not bad at all, but it has zero replay value for me. As a matter of fact, I’d actually say the same thing about the other song that I don’t care for, Looking 4 Runtz. I was kinda let down because this is the track that features MIKE. The DJ Blackpower beat is really fucking awesome, but MIKE’s verse let me down. I think it was well written, and his flow was nice, but his delivery really tarnished the performance for me. His pronunciation was just really rough; it sounded like he was slurring his words a lot, so I could barely understand what he was saying. He was basically mumbling under his breath. I know people my age tend to get very offended by the word “mumble” in regards to Hip Hop, but that’s basically what’s happening here. I liked the verse, but I wanted to love it. The only reason I even know that the writing is good is because the lyrics are somehow transcribed on Genius. Most of what I said about MIKE’s verse also applies to that of Medhane unfortunately. The production is the only aspect that really pulls me in. It’s definitely not a bad track, but it’s not something I’d listen to again. I fuck with every other song though. It starts off with Trauma & Grace, which has a stellar instrumental from Slauson Malone & Caleb Giles.

I unfortunately don’t really care for Medhane’s flow on this one at all, but it’s not bad enough to ruin the song. The verse itself isn’t really bad to me, but it’s not particularly impressive to me either. I kinda feel the same way about Medhane as I did about Mac Miller; he’s not really bad at rhyming and none of the lines stand out as being wack, but he just doesn’t interest me at all. Nothing about him really stands out to me in any way shape or form. With that said, I fuck with this song mainly due to the production. I think it’s pretty good. It’s followed by Smallsteps, and once again, the production, in this case from laronisaloser, is glorious. I like Medhane’s flow on this song a lot more than that of the previous one. I think the verse is pretty well written too. It’s still really lacking in terms of personality, but on paper the lyrics look really good. For whatever reason they kinda just go in one ear and out the other when I hear him rap. I don’t know if it’s his delivery or voice or flow or all of the above, but something about the way he raps just feels really conventional to me. I don’t feel like he gives me anything that I couldn’t get from someone else. I do like the song a lot though, especially compared to the opening track. It’s dope to me. Bloody Knuckles has yet another phenomenal beat. This one was done by Bluezy, and Medhane’s verse here is actually pretty good too. That’s pretty much all I can say about this song. It’s just a good verse over a stellar instrumental. In fact, that applies to most of the songs on the whole album. For almost every song, the production is what stands out the most. Shoutout to iiye for that On Me beat.

That shit was dope. I frankly don’t see a reason to write about every single track since they’re not that unique from each other. Whispers did kinda stand out though.

Once again, the production here from Bori is what I like the most about the track. I unfortunately don’t really care for the way Medhane flowed over it. It’s a relatively uptempo instrumental, so Medhane’s super slow cadence just feels like lazily walking through a level of Sonic the Hedgehog. The verse itself is cool lyrically though; I definitely like it. Overall, I fuck with the song, but I think it could’ve been better. I really like the overall message behind this album that was kind of explained at the end of this track though. Basically, he says that you shouldn’t feel too much pressure to keep up with your peers, and that everybody lives their lives at their own pace. The oldhead Hip Hop purist in me would say “NAH FUCK DAT THERE AIN’T ENOUGH COMPETITION IN HIP HOP” but that’s not really how I felt after hearing this. I don’t even think he’s referring to Hip Hop; I think he’s just speaking in general. Anyway, I fuck with the song. It’s pretty good. The next track that really stood out to me was Affirmation #2. In fact, I think the closing three songs are the best tracks on the whole album. The beat on Affirmation #2 actually sounds pretty different from the others. It kinda reminds me of the way Phil Collins was sampled on the latest Rapsody album. I like it a lot. I think this track has some of the best rapping on the album too. He immediately caught my attention with the opening line about snatching stars out of the sky. That was a cool line. This is also one of the only tracks with more than one verse from Medhane himself. There’s actually a hook too. It’s far more fleshed out than almost any other song on the album, which makes it a definite highlight for me. I think it’s dope. The penultimate song, Walk with Me, is my favorite track. I think it has one of the best beats on the album. In fact, it’s such a good beat that I almost wish nobody was rapping over it. I kinda feel like it’d work better as an instrumental track. With that said, I actually love how low-key and dejected Medhane sounds here. The verse isn’t amazing or anything, but I like it a lot. The song is dope as hell. The closing song is called 2020sht, and it’s my second favorite track. I really like IAMNOBODI’s glittery production here. I’d never actually heard a performance from Maassai before listening to this, so I was caught off guard when she started rapping. Most of the guys affiliated with [sLUms]. sound almost identical to me, so she stands out a lot on this song. Her verse is pretty solid. Medhane’s delivery here is far more energetic and passionate sounding than any of his preceding performances too, which is highly appreciated. This track also stands out a lot because it’s one of the few tracks to exceed 3 minutes in length, and they’re pretty much rapping the entire time. Almost every other song here is just one quick verse. This shit is dope though. I really fuck with it.

As I said before, this album is actually better than I thought it’d be. Medhane still isn’t a very interesting artist to me at all, but the production is so good that I was able to enjoy this quite a bit. I think it’s a good project. This doesn’t really make me that excited to listen to the EP he just dropped a week or two ago, but I’m planning on checking it out very soon, so be on the lookout for that review. Honestly, there’s really not much to say about this project because I don’t think it’s very different from anything the other artists in the current lofi Hip Hop scene are doing. Medhane doesn’t do anything that nobody else does. It’s cool though. If you like that style it’s worth checking out. I just don’t think it’s a must-listen album. I do fuck with it though. I think it’s pretty good.

Favorite Song: Walk with Me
Least Favorite Song: Affirmation #1


B Minus
Grade: B-

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