This album was released on December 21st this year. Black Native is an artist that I’m not really familiar with at all to be honest. I just heard one of the singles from this album and enjoyed it, so I figured it’d probably be a good idea to check this project out. There’s also a placement from D. Lanham, whose self-produced EP from earlier in the year was one of my favorite projects of 2021, so that was pretty enticing. I’m not really expecting anything amazing or even necessarily great, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy this project to some extent. Every song is produced by Anthem, except where noted.
1. Too Serious
The first thing that stood out to me about this song is the production. I think Anthem found a nice balance between weirdness and accessibility. The primary loop is kinda strange, but the percussion is bouncy enough to keep people who may not be used to underground sounds interested. Lyrically, I think this track sets up the rest of the project really well. He kinda gives some background on what influenced the album and what he’s gonna be doing on it. Basically, people in the past have said that his lyrical content is too serious, so this time he’s kinda lightening things up I guess. I think he’s got a pretty solid flow on this track. The hook isn’t really anything special, but it serves its purpose well enough. I think the track is pretty good overall.
2. Give It to ‘Em produced by Epik Beats
This was the first song I ever heard from Black Native, and I thought it was really good. It’s pretty much what led to me checking out the rest of this project. I really love the production. Black Native is a Southern artist, but this beat has kind of a West Coast sound to it in my opinion. I could definitely hear Willie Waze on this track. The lyrical content of this track is very light, but I think Black Native did it really well. His flow was nice too. The hook isn’t really that great to me, but it’s not necessarily bad. One thing I really appreciate about this song is that there are actually three verses here. I didn’t even realize how rare that’s become until I heard this track. All three of the verses are very good though. In fact, I’d say each one is better than the last. This shit is dope. I fuck with it, and I see why it was chosen as a single. It’s a very fun song.
3. On the Yard
This is the first song on the album that I don’t really care for. I don’t think it’s a bad track, but it’s just not something that I see myself coming back to. I just don’t really care for the bombastic production. It’s just kind of a dull beat to me. It sounds oddly dated, like something Rick Ross would’ve rapped over early in his career. The content of this song is kinda weird to me too. I mean, I just wouldn’t expect a rapper to make a song about this. Basically, Black Native is just rapping about his college experience.
You see, the first thing they tell you at freshman orientation Is to not to get a job 'cause school is your occupation They say "focus on your studies 'cause that's what is important" But all that I could think about was the new fits I be sportin' I want my hat made in China, as well as my pants I want my shirt with an anime character from Japan I want my shoes from Indonesia, my chain from Saudi And some bourbon from Kentucky, man, that's my social studies
I just don’t really find it that interesting personally. I also don’t think Black Native’s flow is anything special on this track. It’s kind of a shame because I actually think this song has one of the better hooks on the album. Again, I don’t think it’s a bad song, but it’s just not really that enjoyable to me. I’m pretty indifferent towards it. I think it’s mediocre.
This song is better than the preceding track to me, but it’s still not something that I’d return to. I think the production is pretty solid, and same goes for the verses. He doesn’t really say anything super interesting to me here, and his flow isn’t particularly impressive, but I think he was rhyming pretty well. I also just like the way the verses are structured. I definitely enjoyed the song to some extent. Just not enough to return to it in the future. It’s an okay track though.
5. She Touched Me produced by D. Lanham
This is definitely the realest song on the album. Basically, it’s a track about how people tend to turn the other cheek to female pedophiles. Pedophilia is already a very taboo subject that people don’t like to talk about, but, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve literally ever heard anyone come at it from this angle.
I know I said the subject matter on this album would be light
But I'm givin' you the most serious song of my life
So let's take a detour down the corridor
That focuses on the black man like never before
The reason that this topic has remained taboo
Is not the abuse itself, but the who
It's hard to conceptualize male bodies being victimized
Especially when it's women perpetratin' the crimes
I think the dark production from D. Lanham is dope, but the selling point of this song for me is really just the lyrical content. I appreciate the originality and seriousness of this track. The hook isn’t really anything special, and Black Native’s flow isn’t too flashy, but the verses are very well written in my opinion. I think the song’s dope.
6. Nom Noms
This song has one of the better instrumentals on the album in my opinion. It’s pretty light and melodic, but the bass is still very heavy. As far as the content goes, Black Native is just rapping about taking edibles. He wasn’t lying when he said the content of this album would be light.
I've even attended cookouts where the food was infused That macaroni and cheese, there was no way to refuse Whether you smoke it or eat it, no matter how you partake Let's get it in until it's legalized in all fifty states
Obviously the content isn’t really anything to be taken seriously. This is definitely going in my playlist for songs to get high to though. I think it’s a pretty good track. I fuck with it.
7. Forever Tonight featuring James Ferrette & Tokyo Omega
I pretty much knew immediately that I wouldn’t care for this track since it’s the obligatory love song for the ladies, but I actually think it’s pretty well done. The sung hook is solid, and I think the light, flowery production sounds nice. Both of the verses from Black Native & Tokyo Omega are well-written as well. I think Black Native had the better verse personally, but Tokyo Omega did his thing too. This song isn’t really the type of thing that I would listen to personally, but I think it’s pretty well done. It’s an okay track.
8. Converse Tonight
This is actually one of the better songs on the album in my opinion. It’s pretty much another romance song, but the angle at which Black Native executes it is a little more interesting to me. The storytelling is pretty well done; he had my undivided attention throughout the whole track. I think this track has one of the better beats on the album too. It sounds like something that Little Brother would rhyme over. Nothing about the song really blows me away, but I enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it to some extent. I didn’t even mind the kind of longwinded outro. I think it’s a good track.
9. On Me
I unfortunately don’t really care for this song at all. The romantic, kind of sexual content just doesn’t interest me. It’s unfortunate because this track actually has one of my favorite beats on the album. Nothing about the song is particularly bad, but it just doesn’t really appeal to me lyrically.
You glance at me then you flash me a smile
Adjust yourself in your seat 'cause you've been sittin' a while
You bite the ends of your pen, cross your legs as your shoe hangs
On point like a pair of fangs
It’s just ever so slightly corny to me. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad song, but it’s definitely one of the least enjoyable tracks on the album for me. I think it’s pretty mediocre.
10. Washed featuring KosherSam
This song has one of the more aggressive-sounding instrumentals on the album. I think it’s pretty good. I also think this track has one of the better hooks on the album. As far as the content goes, Black Native is just rapping about being an old ass dude. I actually find it pretty amusing personally.
My girl told me that she aims to please
But she ain't riding me for long because she gotta save her knees
I got a toddler, it gets crazy raisin' him
Doing something he ain't supposed to and I don't feel like chasing him
I don't know none of the current lingo
I'm still sayin' stuff "the bomb" like it's '94
And I will fall asleep anywhere
In the back of the club, leanin' up in a chair
I wasn’t familiar with KosherSam before I heard this song, but I enjoyed his verse quite a bit. I think Black Native has a better vocal delivery, but KosherSam’s flow was more entertaining to me. Once again, I appreciate that there are actually three whole verses on this song. Overall, this is another one of the better tracks on the album in my opinion. I think it’s pretty good. I fuck with it.
11. Who Got Bars II
This was another one of the more exciting songs in the tracklist for me just because of the title. It led me to believe that this would be the most lyrically aggressive song on the project, and I wasn’t wrong. I think this song has some of the best rapping on the album. I really appreciated that Zapp Brannigan reference. There are actually a lot of lines that stood out to me, and this is pretty much the only time that I was impressed by Black Native’s flow. This is easily one of the best songs on the album. I think it’s dope.
This is a solid album. I appreciate how damn near every song kinda focuses in on one particular subject, even if some of them aren’t that interesting to me. There isn’t a single track that I would say is actually bad, but, at the same time, I wouldn’t say I totally love any of these songs. With that said, I’m glad I gave it a listen because most of these tracks are pretty good. The production is pretty average, and Black Native’s flow isn’t really anything special. The main selling point is the content. Like I said before, not all of it is that interesting to me. Some tracks work better than others. He specifically went out of his way to cover less serious topics on this album, so I feel like I’d probably enjoy his other work more. The more serious moments on this album were my favorite parts. As a whole, I’d say this album is okay.