This album was released on January 28th this year. Teddy Faley is an artist with whom I have zero experience. I’m pretty much going into this album completely blind. However, I do think that I’m gonna enjoy it for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s being released by we are the karma kids, which is a record label that I’m becoming more and more of a fan of over time. Secondly, I listened to the lead single for this record and really enjoyed it, so I’m pretty sure I’ll dig this project to some extent. The production is mainly handled by two producers named Tom Delay Beats & ALXNDRBRWN. I’m not familiar with any of Tom Delay Beats’ work, but ALXNDRBRWN produced one of my favorite Sage Francis songs entitled Grace. So yeah. I think I’ll fuck with this project.
The opening song is entitled VHS, and it’s fire. The production from SideFX Studios reminds me of the type of production Early Adopted rhymed over for his latest album. It also sounds like something Aesop Rock would rap over. I think the hook on this track is pretty fantastic honestly.
Lucid as a daydream, loosies in the pastries Y'all fuckers could've fooled me, dude, we looking for the same thing Be it pose, posture, photo, portrait or painting Every frozen moment look like footage from the 80s
The actual two verses from Teddy on this track are fire too. I love the poetic, thought-provoking lyricism.
I couldn’t read the number straight, 888-I’m-unafraid
I called until the my fingers ached, until the ringer sounded strange
Crawled into a hole and everybody said "don't ever change"
I took from that a fear of open skies and sunny days
The second verse is just as great, if not better than the first verse.
I been thinking 'bout my handprints, I been thinking 'bout my legacy I been standing still for hours without making no new memories I never look at photos, ain’t no mirror been no friend to me Silence is too deafening to write, without amphetamine Ayo the bitches, like G-Money said to us, man I wash my wrist of stigmata in the ocean of sand I found a note in the freezer, I’ma leave it unread I figure anything important he would say from my fridge
This track really reminded me of Early Adopted’s last album, which isn’t exactly a bad thing since I loved that project. The production is fantastic, and Teddy killed it. I think this song is dope as hell, and a great way to open up the project. In fact, it actually grew on me even more after repeat listens. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album. It’s dope af. It’s followed by Vic, which is also pretty great. I like the production a lot, and I think the first verse is really dope. I definitely could’ve done without the skit that interrupts the song during the first recital of the hook. It just kinda kills the momentum of the song for me. It’s not enough to ruin the track, but it definitely tarnishes it a little for me. Thankfully, the actual rapping is really fantastic. I think the first verse is great, and the second verse is even better.
Mr. He Who Not the World Revolve Around Mr. Find My Palm Some Walk Around In my coffer now, best just cough it out Shed me off a couple pounds Face be looking like I'm pushing something like a hundred, now I run the tab, and walk it out I look around, scoff out loud, exhale a breath and dip And signed, "Some days it's like I don't even exist," plus tip I'm either talking to myself or I been tryna pen these bars The older that I get the finer them distinctions are
This song didn’t blow me away like the opening track did, but it’s still really enjoyable to me. I think it’s dope. Track 3 is entitled The Bad News, and this is easily my least favorite track on the album. I like it to some extent, but the content just isn’t very appealing to me. The whole song is basically just about how Teddy Faley is sleeping with your girl because you’re a loser.
You wish you never brought her to this show
Hey where’d your chick go? I don't think she even came with you
She probably got sick of showing up with someone as lame as you
And then ending every day with you
She wants a getaway with you?
Nah dog, she wants to get away from you
And put some spaces in between the place of you
She been hanging out with friends more, showing up late
Crawling into bed she smell like cigarettes and open mistakes
However, even though I don’t really care for the lyricism here, I have to say that I still like the song to some extent just because it’s very good sonically. The beat is nice, and Teddy’s flow sounds great over it. Again, I really don’t love the lyrics, but I fuck with the song overall. It’s a good track. It’s followed by A Song About Cigarettes But It’s About My Dead Mom Too, which is another highlight for me. The lyricism on this track really had me hooked. I think the content which basically highlights how fucked up addiction is psychologically is really cool.
You wouldn't know, a cigarette ain't just tobacco, my man Without a smoke I wouldn't know what else to do with my hands It's an awkward conversation exit all the time plan An ice breaker, life changer in that it shortens its span I love smoking, doing cigarette things Going outside every hour in the freezing cold and thickest of rains Tobacco fingers, cigarette stained All my friends that stopped smoking, bunch of losers, we don't kick it the same
The whole song is just him rapping about how he’s obsessed with cigarettes despite the fact that they caused his own mother’s death. On the surface it just feels like a song about a detrimental hobby, but when you really pay attention to what he’s saying you see just how morbid his affinity for cigarettes is. It’s really fascinating stuff.
Friends and fam’ll ask if I'd considered kicking the stuff
But that's out the window like my cigarette butts
Or getting a birthday card from my mother from ages 20 and up
Big things happen for small reasons and learning that one sucks
I think Teddy did a phenomenal job with this song. The writing had me on the edge of my seat listening to every word. Not only are the lyrics really great, but so too are Teddy’s flows and the production. There’s nothing about this song that I don’t like. This is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. I think it’s dope af. The following track is entitled Meddlin’ Kids. This is the longest track on the album, and it’s definitely noticeable. I wouldn’t say that the song overstays its welcome though. I certainly enjoyed the track. It’s not one of my favorites on the album, but the actual lyricism was good enough to keep things interesting.
I just sit down, write words, and there be the bop Apparently it's poppin', it's apparent you not Yo, my dude, don't get it skewed ‘fore your carriage get stopped My arrogance carried me everywhere, your air’ll get popped It’s an over eager smile on top the realest ever screw face A chairlift in the summer in the realest ever footrace You ain't on my level, and my level ain't that great So how's it feel to be the guy behind in last place?
I’m not really crazy about ALXNDRBRWN’s production on this track to be honest. The cold, electronic sound of this instrumental isn’t particularly entertaining to me. It’s not a bad beat, but it’s far from my favorite on this album. It’s nowhere near bad enough to ruin the song for me though. I think I liked it more on my first listen than I do now—possibly because I was high the first time I heard it—but it’s still a good track to me. I fuck with it. It’s followed by A Very Normal Interlude, which is the only track on the album that I don’t see myself returning to. It’s a fine interlude, but it’s just not the type of track I’d have any reason to listen to more than once. The beat in the background from Tom Delay Beats is pretty good. There’s nothing about the track that stands out in a bad way. It’s definitely entertaining to an extent. I think it’s a solid interlude. It’s followed by Panic with a Panic Buddy. I don’t really love the beat on this track, but it’s solid. The main appeal of this song for me is just the lyricism from Teddy. Just like with most of the other tracks, I was hooked by everything Teddy had to say.
Rap Ebenezer Scrooge, I used to be a decent dude
Life gave me lemons, I made people move
I couldn’t tell though, used to walk along a haunted hallway on my elbows
I stood her up, strung her along, and called her cello
What the deal? Could you tell that wasn’t real?
I showed him to his room, fed that elephant a meal
I grew up in a dark mood, I know the way it feels
You know, the devil that you know
I know scared
The hook just consists of some Premier-style record scratching, which is solid I suppose. It doesn’t really add much to the song for me. As far as actual sonics go, this is definitely one of the least interesting songs on the album for me. I like the rapping from Teddy a lot though. I think it’s a good song. Paper Plates & Sodas is better in my opinion. The actual production is a lot more entertaining to me. Of course the lyricism is still very great as well.
My attitude is horrible, it’s terrible
It’s practically unbearable, but the parables I tell is incomparable
Big fish eat little fish, rattlesnakes, fiddlesticks
Knees are bad, couldn’t make the pilgrimage
Bigger age, but little bitch
Bitter pill to take, I called her sugar tits
I’m logged in on her boyfriend Hulu as I sit and kill this shit
One thing that I haven’t mentioned up to this point is just the overall demeanor of Teddy Faley. The dude seems like a curmudgeon. The write-up on this album’s bandcamp page says that “he’s matured beyond the angst of a young adult and blossomed into a full-grown, bitter man,” and that shit is accurate as fuck. He comes off super bitter throughout this project, but not in an annoying, off-putting way. It’s in a relatable way. As someone who tends to hate people, I related heavily to a lot of the lyricism on this project. Anyway, the song is really dope. The penultimate track is called Indistinct Chatter, and it features an artist named Mike Brown. Someone with the name Mike Brown contributed to that last Epic Beard Men album, but I’m not sure if it’s the same dude. Probably not. Or maybe it is. I don’t know. Anyway, this track might actually have my favorite beat on the album. It’s just as cold-sounding as a lot of the other beats, but I like how melodic this one is. The first verse from Mike Brown is pretty nice, but it’s really the second verse from Teddy that makes this song so good for me. I think his storytelling here is fantastic. I wonder if it’s based on a true story of police harassment. Even if it’s not, the song is still dope as hell to me. The closing track is one last major highlight for me entitled Deer Friends.
This is the first song I ever heard from Teddy Faley, and it’s fire. I love the somber, mellow production from ALXNDRBRWN. I think Teddy’s poetic, kind of melancholy lyricism matches it perfectly too.
Holler at your boy, but keep it stealth
CDC says keep it six feet in-between us, I say twelve
Clean your room and try to cook up something something for yourself
I learned to turn the oven on today myself, I'm feeling swell
That’s the closing quatrain from the song, and I think it’s fire. The whole part about his dog Gus was really cool too. I know I heavily praised the cigarette song, but I think I might like this track even more. It’s just as good lyrically, and even better sonically. It’s dope af to me.
This album is pretty great. I don’t have any consistent gripes with it. I liked every song to some extent. I think the main selling point is just the album’s lyricism. If you aren’t the type of listener who really cares about lyrics, I don’t see you enjoying this project. Personally, I value lyricism very heavily, so I really enjoyed this project. Even when certain beats didn’t blow me away, Teddy’s lyricism kept me interested in the songs. This project reminds me of classic releases under Rhymesayers Entertainment & Strange Famous Records. As I mentioned in the body of this review, Teddy Faley’s bitter persona is definitely relatable for me, so I enjoyed this project a lot. I think it’s really dope.