This album was released on October 22nd this year. Teller Bank$ has already released one of my favorite albums of the year with The Pen for Whom the Sword Moves, so I’m pretty excited to see how he’s following it up with this latest project. If I’m not mistaken, this is a sequel to The Grotesque & Beautiful, which was one of my favorite albums of 2020. I pretty much have zero reason to believe I won’t love this. Every track is produced by Ed Glorious, who handled the production on The Grotesque & Beautiful. I’m expecting this to be one of the best albums of the year, and hopefully Teller Bank$’s best work to date.
There aren’t any tracks that I don’t like on this album, so I’ll write about it in the proper order of the tracklist. It starts off with Psalms, which has a pretty delicate-sounding piano-driven beat. I think the production is really awesome. I like the melodic hook from Teller Bank$, and his verse is fantastic. The song has a pretty straightforward structure, which is cool. I’m really not sure who I’m more impressed with between Teller Bank$ and Ed Glorious. They both did a great job on this track. I think it’s a really dope song. The second track is entitled Trappers & Bandits. The instrumental on this track is a lot more upbeat and grimy sounding. Teller Bank$’s lyricism is pretty hard here too.
I feel like Tony Soprano I feel like Tony Montana I really drove through Montana That X5 look like a panda I be with trappers & bandits Rockin' locals for fashion Three hoes with me, I'm Santa I got trees like it's Christmas Know the stick got extensions Opps treat me like I'm Thanos I don't play with these niggas I don't play with these bitches Told you I'm all about business I had to grind 'til I got it Told you that I had to get it I don't say no specifics
The writing style here is super straightforward, but it hits hard. There’s only one verse on this track, and it’s the shortest song on the album. I don’t really have any issues with it though. I think it’s really dope. Track 3 is called The Prodigal Son, and it has a pretty nice, melodic beat. The whole thing is pretty much just one long verse from Teller Bank$. It’s one of his hardest performances on the album in my opinion.
Drivin' fast, I like my money faster, don't let nothin' past me For the cash a nigga crashin', I trained for the action I swang with a passion I aim and turn niggas' names into hashtags and captions I used to be quick to give niggas reactions, been adaptin' I'm better at dismissin' bitch niggas' opinions Don't even give 'em attention Been passin' niggas up, I understand why they offended
I think the lyrical content matches the tone of the production pretty well. Overall, it’s another very dope track. The first major highlight for me comes with track 4, which is called Amos.
This track was released at the end of September as the album’s lead single. I think it has one of the best instrumentals on the whole project, and it also has one of the more memorable hooks. I appreciate the tried and true structure of the song; it’s one of the most complete-sounding tracks on the album. There’s really nothing I don’t like about the song. The production is top notch, the hook is catchy, and the verses are hard as fuck. The song’s dope as hell. It’s followed by Past 4, which is even better in my opinion. I absolutely adore the melodic, piano-driven production on this track. I also really dig Teller Bank$’s relatively energetic vocal delivery here. He fucking killed the verse here too.
Chopper knock his block off
He just a chip off the old block, and his pop's soft
Took them niggas for all of they blocks, that whole block soft
We ain't grow up car-crackin', we was crackin' locks off
We got older, had us holdin', half us gettin' rocks off
In the kennel with them puppies, dog was gettin' dogs off
Had to cut it, if they wasn't they was gettin' lockjaw
We was still out front of that same porch we had hopped off
There’s really nothing about this song that didn’t impress me. The beat switch that occurs about halfway through the song is really nice, and Teller Bank$’s flow on the second verse here is fantastic. The song is dope af. Track 6 is called Moses, and it features DøøFus & SeKwence. The first verse from Teller Bank$ is fire.
My skin glowin', I could sell hoes lotion
Slang water to a whale or sell a whale to the ocean
Sell the ocean to a whale, I'm dealin' hope to the hopeful
If you hopeless that's a sign of brokeness
I mix the holy with the hocus pocus
Perfect focus even when I'm scopeless
In the Summer, kept a super soaker
Heat with me even if the heater broken
The beat from Ed Glorious kinda sounds like something that Kanye would’ve produced early on in his career. DøøFus is an artist that I’ve heard of before, but this was my first time actually hearing him rap, and I was very impressed with his performance. He reminded me a lot of Roc Marciano here. I actually think SeKwence had the best verse on the song to be honest. It’s one of the best performances I’ve heard from him in a while. The song has a really straightforward structure, but all of the verses are really good, so I don’t really have any complaints. Bank$, Døøf & Sek all rapped really well, and the production is great. I think the song’s dope. Track 7 is called Phases, and it’s another highlight for me. I love the melodic, yet tense piano-driven production, and Teller Bank$ sounds great over it. This track’s got one of my favorite beats on the album, and the hook is pretty good too. The verse itself is super well-written as well.
Real magic and science fiction
No heroes, we real villains
Flooded basements and glass ceilings
Still paying for my past dealings
Can't get past my past feelings
Can't feel it if you can't heal it
Ain't no healing, never had feelings
The song’s kinda short, and the structure is really straightforward. I wouldn’t say that it sounds incomplete or anything though. On the contrary, this is actually one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. I think it’s dope af. The following track is called Genesis, and it was one of the more exciting songs in the tracklist just because it features Skunkz. I’ve never written about Skunkz before, and I honestly don’t have that much experience with him. I’ve just heard him on features in the past, but he always really impresses me. I think the first time I ever heard him was when he was featured on DirtyDiggs’ 2019 album, Asteroid Dust. He also had a phenomenal performance on Lord Juco’s SHADOWS 3 EP. Anyway, this track has another one of the best instrumentals on the album in my opinion. It’s a really pretty beat. I like Teller Bank$’s melodic vocal performance on this track too. He sounds perfect over this beat. The first verse is fantastic.
Every time you seen me you seen the strap like I'm Elmer Fudd
It ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun
But we still hungry, so niggas still 'bout to hunt
We goin' for it on 4th, we ain't 'bout to punt
I felt like Jesus when I made my first dub off of two niggas
You niggas ain't in the jungle, y'all zoo niggas
Niggas losin' sight of they goals, that's why we lose niggas
Gotta learn to collaborate, and stop usin' niggas
Niggas still in the field, that's why I'm never too specific
You hear the lyrics censored that sensitive subjects
To understand you gotta have sense for the subject
If you from my neck of the woods, winnings will upset
I think I misquoted some of those lines, but it is what it is. The verse is fire. Skunkz murdered the second verse too. These guys sound great together. I can’t decide whose verse I prefer. They both sound really goddamn great over this beat. This is another one of the best tracks on the album for me. I have zero gripes with it. I think it’s dope af. It’s followed by yet another highlight for me entitled Denver Thuggets. I feel like I’ve said this about the past few songs, but this track has another one of my favorite instrumentals on the album. I really love how upbeat and kind of celebratory it sounds. The melodic hook is catchy as hell too. The actual rapping is of course fire as well.
Don't be playin' on my phone, nigga
All these 223s will shoot you out your zone, nigga
This stick like Bol Bol, I'm Mike Malone
Got it on that bench in case I need it, if it's up it's on
Really pullin' cards, you ain't one of ours, nigga, knock it off
I'm doin' pull ups with banana clips, that's monkey bars
I gotta fully switch, but I keep a semi 'cause my aim is strong
If I flip the switches I ain't even really gotta aim at all
I think a second verse could’ve pushed this song to the next level, but it’s still one of my favorite tracks as it is. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled WWJD, and it has a really nice, jazzy, kind of smokey-sounding beat. I really like Teller Bank$’s kind of melodic delivery on this track too. Once again, the rapping is top notch. This track actually has some of the best lyricism on the album in my opinion.
Get your brains splashin' on a blank canvas
Chopper hit his spine, he foldin' over like he breakdancin'
I'm not ashamed of the fact
That the world done made me a maniac
Long as them niggas pay me back, they'll pay for that
They aim at me, I'm aimin' back
The song is hard as fuck. I love when Teller Bank$ is on his angry, hyper-violent shit. This song is dope as hell. Same goes for the following track, Steele. This one has another really nice beat, and the lyricism from Teller Bank$ is fantastic.
Never left the house without my mama warnings Every weekend a new memorial all on the corner Somebody mama been mourning every morning 'Til they spill out on the curb, gotta swerve like it's potholes Niggas gossip on the net, tryna fill in the plot holes Who's who and so & so I been outside forever, know just how the story go My mans meet his maker, that means I'm catchin' the holy ghost I'll slide broad day on Sunday, holy smokes Buck if you want, youngin, this ain't my first rodeo
The second verse from Flashius Clayton is really nice as well. That Smif-N-Wessun reference was dope. The song’s got a really straightforward structure; it’s just one verse after another. I don’t really have any complaints about it. I think it’s dope as hell. The penultimate track is a really short song called Turntables. It’s less than two minutes long, but it has one of Teller Bank$’s best flows on the whole album. I feel like he was rapping relatively aggressively on this track. Not necessarily in terms of his vocal delivery, but it definitely had a relatively aggressive flow. The verse is fire. I think the song’s dope as hell. I don’t even mind the brevity. The closing track is entitled What I thought, and it has one of the most soulful beats on the album. I really like the sample Ed Glorious flipped here, and Teller Bank$ sounds right at home over it. I really like the melodic intro, and I think this song has some of the best writing on the whole album.
Been buyin' properties, treat the block like Monopoly
Pardon me for my hollow-hearted philosophies
You follow me as a prophet, bet you start profiting
Fulfilled the prophecy off the faith of a poppy seed
It's often hard to be just as great as you thought you'd be
The higher up I get the more the thoughts of falling off been haunting me
Rap niggas wearing disguises described in movie scenes
Truthfully won't know the facts from fiction 'til the eulogies
This is another one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, and a great way to close the project. I have no gripes with it. I think it’s dope as hell.
This album is dope as hell. Teller Bank$ is turning out to be one of the most consistent artists in the underground. I can’t decide whether I like this more than his preceding couple of albums. I feel like my favorite project from him really depends on my mood. I definitely have a soft spot for Ed Glorious’ soulful, sample-based production style though. There’s not a single track on this album that I don’t like. Pretty much every single beat and verse on this album impressed me. I wasn’t lukewarm on any facet of the project. This is easily one of the best projects I’ve heard all year. I look forward to seeing what both Teller Bank$ and Ed Glorious do in the future. This shit is fire. Don’t sleep on it.