This album was released on October 4th this year. Lute is a Dreamville MC from Charlotte. He’s easily my favorite artist on Dreamville to be honest. This will be my first time reviewing a project from him, but I’ve been a fan ever since I first heard him on Revenge of the Dreamers II. I went back and checked out his breakout mixtape, which has one of the worst covers I’ve ever seen. It was pretty good though. I think his first actual album, West 1996, Pt. 2, is really good. I have a very odd experience with it though. When I first heard it, I was blown away. I seriously thought it was amazing. I still enjoy it, but not nearly as much as I used to. I don’t really know why I was so impressed the first time I heard it, but it is what it is. Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed all of the singles that I’ve heard for this project, so I think this is gonna be one of the better albums of the year. It’s executively produced by Rapper Big Pooh, so that’s a good sign. I think this is gonna be fire.
There aren’t any songs that I don’t like, so I’ll write about the full project in the proper order of the tracklist. The album begins with 100, which features production from Coop the Truth, KingCeez & J-Smash. I think the melodic instrumental here is pretty great, and I really like the sung hook from Lute here. That line about keeping it two Virgils was nice. The verse from Lute on this track is really nice too. None of the bars are particularly unique or original, but his flow and melodic delivery just sound really goddamn good.
I be protectin' my energy
Some days, it be me that's my enemy
If it ain't been my time then it's finna be
Don't really care 'bout who disagree
My only comp' is the enemy
I just connect 'cause I'm healin' me
Don't really care 'bout who feelin' me
I hope it's love that you sendin' me
I really like the bridge on this track too. I appreciate the fleshed out structure of this song. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve heard a Hip Hop song with an actual bridge. This song is really dope. The following track is called GED: Gettin’ Every Dolla, and I wrote about it back when it was released in 2020 as a single.
The marketing campaign for this single has been really interesting. I don’t really feel like explaining all of it because I’d rather just talk about the music, but I’ll share these videos for anyone who hasn’t seen them…
Anyway, Lute has been my favorite Dreamville artist ever since I heard his 2017 album, West 1996, Pt. 2, so I was excited when I saw that he finally seemed to be getting promotion for another project. This song thankfully didn’t disappoint at all either. I think this shit is amazing. The production here is absolutely glorious, and Lute killed it. One thing about Lute is that you always get a good idea of who he is and where he comes from in his music, and this track is no different. I feel like Dreamville is ideologically the most fitting collective for Lute because there’s always a sense of hunger emanating from his music.
Niggas used to bump The Warm Up by Cole
My nigga used to warm the house with the stove
Shit, if he made it out of this bitch
Ain’t no telling where my talent can go
The way he rode this beat is really nice, and I love the melody-tinged hook. I really have zero issues with this track at all. This is definitely one of my favorite songs of the year so far. I feel like I’ve been saying that about a different song every week, but I really mean it this time. This shit is sizzling hot fiya.
Track 3 is called Myself, and I’m pretty sure it was the latest single from the album.
It’s another really dope track. I love the production from Trox, and both of the verses from Lute are really dope. I love how aggressively he raps on this track, especially on the first verse. I feel like the second verse is more interesting lyrically though.
The day I signed, I always play it back 'Cause all those nights I challenged god like "nigga, where you at?" Yet still I pray my only peace of heaven was the hope inside Held back my tears, yet half the shit I couldn't cope inside Never thought that my life and dreams would ever coincide 'Cause I remember nights I asked myself like "Who the fuck am I?" Living legend, now I'm that fucking guy, you wonder why 'Cause fake it until you make it was always a fucking lie Back against the wall, my only flaw was if I never tried
The sung hook from DEVN sounds really good too. My one critique of this track is that the ending is a bit anticlimactic. I think a second recital of the hook would’ve been a better way to close the track, but that’s honestly just a nitpick. The song is really dope. It’s followed by Be Okay, which features some really nice melodic production from Diego Ave & Swish. I love Lute’s more toned-down delivery on the first verse, and I think the writing is pretty dope. I really appreciate the personal lyricism. The sung hook is pretty great too.
Even when the light goes dark, I confide in you
I tell you that I'm going through some shit, and you tell me that you going through it too
I say even when the light goes dark, I confide in you
To tell me it's gonna be okay 'cause we gonna make it through
His vocal delivery on the second verse is completely different from that of the first verse. It almost sounds like a completely different artist to be honest. Again, I really appreciate how personal the lyricism is. That’s probably my favorite quality of the song. It’s a really dope track. It’s followed by Eye to Eye, which has a pretty nice, jazzy instrumental from The Nukez. I think the opening verse from Lute is pretty good.
I really hate this rap shit sometimes
'Cause true friends are really hard to find
On a scale of one to ten, anxiety be on nine
Sorry, but not sorry; I just really need some time
Some times I make plans & don't show up 'cause I be tired
Then you make assumptions, but that's not the reason why
My communication sucks, but you know that I try
You just want "good morning" text, but I'm just not that guy
Sorry I'm so dry, so much on my mind
Had to wipe my eye, but I ain't one to cry
I even think the second verse from Cozz is really good. I haven’t been that impressed with him in recent years, but he came off very mature here.
You know you fully healed when you can laugh at all of your past problems
And when you forgive your ex for secretly ass poppin'
And deep down in your chest wish your enemies the best
And realize that was part of the story, not your quest
Tryna meditate more and start drinkin' less
But if I'm drinkin' more then I'm thinkin' less
And when I'm overthinkin' it keep me stressed
This isn’t one of my favorite tracks on the album, but I don’t really have any actual gripes with it. I like the bridge, and the hook is pretty solid too. The song is dope. It’s followed by a highlight entitled Changes. This track has one of the best flows from Lute up to this point on the record. The first verse is fire. The hook from BJ the Chicago Kid is glorious too. He sang his motherfuckin’ ass off, as always. Lute’s vocals sound really good too. The lyrics aren’t super interesting, but this shit is just so good sonically that I can’t help but love it. The production from Suburban Plaza is great, Lute’s flow is fire, and BJ’s vocals are superb. The song is dope as hell. Track 7 is called Ghetto Love, and it’s all about Lute’s desire for a ratchet freak ho. Just kidding. I don’t refer to women that way. Anyway, I think the way Blakk Soul & Ari Lennox were harmonizing on the hook of this track sounds fantastic, and the production from Mell & Matthew Crabtree is pretty good too. The first verse is nice.
The ratchet more better, the key to my heart I need a girl that's named after a car 'Cause I can't afford a Mercedes But I can go half on a baby and name her Alexis Baby girl, you a blessing If God was a woman that sundress give a nigga hell in heaven Hop in a whip, spaceships gon' dip like the Jetsons Shorty sweet like a honeysuckle She don't fuck with suckers, so I'm just her type Do it right, she gon' do you good if you play your cards, nigga Times is hard, I need to lay my head On your shoulder or between your legs Talk is cheap so I'm sayin' less I ain't gotta impress 'cause she know I'm real
I liked that eggplant line in the second verse, and the bridge on this track sounds really good. Again, I have to commend Lute for actually having fleshed out song structures on this project. I think this is a really well-composed song. With that said, it’s probably my least favorite up to this point on the project, but I still like it quite a bit. I think it’s very good. It’s followed by Amen, which was the most exciting song in the tracklist for me just because it features Little Brother. It also has one of my favorite instrumentals on the album from ROMderful. I think the first verse from Lute is great; the lyricism is genuinely pretty romantic.
For your love I slow dance around the sun
Til' we blend together as one, til' you leave as quick as they came
And tell me I'm not the one, like why cupid ain't got no aim?
I'm usually not the type that just be running game
Never asked your name, just how your day went, shit
So please excuse me if I change the subject, but
My favorite color, the same color your sundress
Just trying to see how your mind look when it's undressed
I'm past cloud nine, your lust so high, I just embrace the ride
Thought of coming down makes me feel deprived
The hook is pretty simplistic, but it sounds pretty good to me. The second verse is performed by Phonte, who did a great job.
Everybody know that I'm a man of many flaws
But this is ours and we preserve it at any cost
Late nights, laying in the bed, I fiend
To go prince Akeem and paint the walls with a semi-gloss
So tell your mama, tell your cousin, tell your relatives
By telephone or telegram to Tel Aviv
A tale of two lovers, a bond sure as the air I breath
Praises to the Elohim
Rapper Big Pooh of course did a great job on the final verse as well. Every single verse on this track is just super well-written. I can’t even begin to decide who had my favorite performance. They all did a great job. The song is dope. It’s followed by Birdsong, which is another exciting song because it features J.I.D & Saba. However, I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping that J.I.D would have a full verse, but he’s unfortunately relegated to the hook. It’s not like it’s an especially good hook either. Thankfully, Saba actually spit a full verse, so that’s good. He killed it too. I actually think he had the best verse on the song. Not that Lute’s verse was bad, but Saba really went in. I was very impressed with his performance. Overall, the song is really dope. Track 10 is called Flossin’, and it has a feature from Westside Boogie. The sung hook is pretty great, and I like the melodic production from Marco Polo a lot. Both of the first couple of verses from Lute are really good, and Boogie did his thing on the final verse.
Keep searching for that blueprint
Your low frequency the reason I can't tune in
Can have a change of heart because you had your two cents
Watch your step, shit I've been trippin' over loose ends
Who snuck into my room just to move into my head, no
No, that's them demons that I gotta put to bed
Hope you've been aware of all that bullshit you've been fed
And still ain't flossed in a while, so
You got bad intention on the side of your smile
It's all bad for you
Once again, I have to thank Lute for including a good bridge here. Bridges are mad overlooked, man. They’re a dying art in Hip Hop. Anyway, I think the song is dope. It’s followed by a major highlight entitled Life, which was released as a single last year.
This song is incredible. Lute has been my favorite Dreamville artist for a while now, and the two singles he’s dropped this year have just solidified that opinion. Before I say anything about the song itself, I just have to point out the monumental production quality behind the presentation of this song. The music video looks expensive as fuck. Everything about the song just looks like it had a massive budget. The production is phenomenal. The violin contribution from Victor Ekpo reminds me of the beat from Big K.R.I.T.’s Multi ‘Til the Sun Die, which appeared on his King Remembered in Time mixtape. I really love how calming and peaceful the instrumental here is, and Lute’s attitude on the first verse matches it perfectly.
Show my daughter if she fall, it’s cool, just get back on your feet
I’m here to give you all these tools and then my life will be complete
Show you what you dream is true, and what you want in life in reach
And now I gotta take a look at me and practice what I preach
The song just sounds like coping and acceptance in the form of music. I love the sung hook, and the additional vocals from Tiera Beverly are great.
Sometimes life gets crazy
Some days I don’t know up from down
Life gets so crazy
But I can’t turn my back right now
There’s really nothing I don’t love about the song. Both of the verses are great, the song is immaculately produced, and the sung hook sounds fantastic. The song is beautiful honestly. I think it’s dope af.
The penultimate track is called Overnight, and it has another phenomenal beat from Zo!, J-Smash & Phonte. The opening verse on this track is great too.
I'm not tryin' to be no legend, I'm not a rapper Just good with words, just want my flowers, the ashwagandha To calm my nerves, I put in hour after hours Before the deal, back when it was just me, Ry, Jimmy and Rill At the dojo, eighty-nineteen, we tip the scale I've been livin' in my truth since 2012 I've been spittin' in the booth since I was milly mill' Yellin' "free my nigga Preston" like Lupe and Chilly-Chill
I really like Lute’s vocals on the hook. I’m not sure who provided the background vocals, but they sounded great. The second verse is just as good as the first one, if not better. There’s really nothing that I don’t like about this song. I think it’s really good. The closing track is entitled Crashing, and it has production from K-Quick & Ron Gilmore. I love how mellow and relaxing the production is on this song. The first verse is pretty good, but the second verse is what really impressed me. I just love the attitude Lute displays here.
I don't want it if it ain't a challenge
Best things in life never come that easy
Without you there is no me, I know that's kinda cheesy
If I told you how I felt you probably wouldn't believe me
All these years, yet you still can't find a way to see me
Who would've thought somebody kids would wanna grow up to be me?
Sun on my face, while my nappy hair grow so freely
Who would've thought that I would finally love the way I see me?
I think it’s a perfect way to close the album to be honest. This is another one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s dope as hell.
This album is really great. There’s not a single track that I don’t like. I think this is a step up from Lute’s first album to be honest. The production is pretty great across the board, and Lute’s flows and vocal deliveries sound great. I also just love the mature perspective he has on a lot of these tracks. As I said in the body of this review, I appreciate the fleshed out song structures as well. There’s not a single track here that I would say sounded incomplete or half-assed. Lute’s not just a great rapper, but he’s also a great songwriter. I don’t know exactly how much of that is a result of Rapper Big Pooh’s executive production, but I imagine he’s a big part of why this album turned out so well, so kudos to him. I’m glad to finally have another project from Lute after almost 4 years. This shit is really great. Check it out.