Through all the great music that has been released this year, there have been more than a couple letdowns. There’s nothing more disappointing than an album that has been promoted well and proper hyped up, but then in the end, they just turn out to be bang average, or just not good enough. I’m gonna talk about the 5 albums that let me down the most this year.
5. NAV & METRO BOOMIN – PERFECT TIMING
What a LETDOWN. The hype around this was actually nuts. Imagine, Nav, who is a beats God, collabing with another beats God in Metro Boomin, and the album turns out to be dead. First of all, it contained way too many tracks. His first mixtape, which he released earlier this year (titled Nav), had a much more concise tracklist, and this gave the songs more replay value. I can honestly say I could listen to any song off his first mixtape right now, but as for this mixtape, there’s like 4/5 songs I would listen to again.
Nav is someone who I can’t listen to in large doses, because as live how his beats are, and as frosty his songs can sound, his bars are very repetitive. Nav’s music in a nutshell is rapping about how broke he used to be, and how high he is off certain prescription drugs. At least switch it up man. Throw in some metaphors. Even a simile would suffice. It was cool at first, but in this album, it just sounded forced and corny.
Highlights of the album include bangers like Minute, Call Me and Did You See NAV. But too many tracks here felt very ‘filler’-y, and left me wanting more after listening to it. Most of the songs get a skip when I shuffle my music.
If you compare this collab project to the other projects Metro has been a part of in the past year i.e Savage Mode, Droptopwop, Without Warning etc., it pales in comparison. Such a shame, because Nav knows how to make good music. He just needs to learn how to switch it up more.
4. LIL YACHTY – TEENAGE EMOTION
I was expecting a lot more from this album. With this being his first studio album, and the fact that he had fully established himself as a prime member of the new school of rappers, I thought he would do a madness on this album. We all know Yachty isn’t the Nas of this generation when it comes to lyrics, but I think you’re lying if there isn’t at least one Yachty song you don’t like.
I think what disappointed me more about this album is because I was actually rooting for him. This album was released in May 2017, which was the month after his headline O2 Academy Brixton show with Migos. Now, for those of you who went to that concert, you should remember the heckling that Yachty got. His set seemed to drag on forever, and I remember the people all round (especially girls) shouting and cussing him, telling him to get off the stage etc. It made me laugh, but at the back of my mind, I felt bad cos I actually used to listen to this guy small small. I thought this album would be the album to shut those hating fans up. Everyone who denounces him as a nonsensical mumble rapper, all the Joe Buddens and old heads of the music industry who had tried to look down on his success, I thought this would be the album to shut them up. It wasn’t.
I’m not going to lie and say I hated the whole album; I liked a couple songs off it. But it was probably the worst of the 3 projects I have heard from him. As much as I liked a couple songs, I HATED some. Track 13 of it; the ‘Otha S**t Interlude’. He completely butchered one of my favourite songs of Playboi Carti’s mixtape, ‘Other S**t’. His voice didn’t sound good on the beat, his flow was off; it was just piss poor. This album kinda put the nail in the coffin for Yachty’s music for me; I was always on the periphery of his fanbase, and this album literally pushed me off the edge. A big shame.
3. 67 – GLORIOUS TWELFTH
Their worst mixtape by FAR. This was actually the mixtape that made me stop listening to their music, because I was just so flabbergasted. How can you go from the Let’s Lurk tape, to this? This tape showed me that they had gone full Hollywood on us, and the quality of music shows it.
They actually had the UK drill game on lock for a extensive period of time. Think back to 2015, when they were releasing bangers like Take it There and Today. Then from releasing their debut tape, to topping themselves with their 2nd tape, In Skengs We Trust. The world was actually their oyster; they were touring Europe, and getting MOBO Award nominations. But in the past year, their star has slowly and slowly started to dim out, due to lack of productivity, and also, legal troubles. This mixtape compounded their vast decline, and it was such a shame to see, because 67 were one of my favourite music groups at a time. I would so eagerly click onto Link Up TV or GRM Daily whenever they dropped a tune, anticipating that the song was going to be a banger, but I can’t even do that anymore.
There’s a reason why this album had the least amount of songs of any of their projects. It felt rushed, and just poorly put together. I had already heard almost 1/3 of the songs on it before the album had even come out, and I didn’t even like the new tracks that were on it. Highlights of the album for me are This Side and Saucy, but on a whole, the calibre of the mixtape was poor.
2. PEEWEE LONGWAY – BLUE M&M 3
My first post on this blog was about 4 artists who I think are being unnecessarily slept on. Peewee Longway was one of those 4. I still maintain that sentiment, but this mixtape would make you think I was chatting rubbish.
The third, and probably final, volume of the Blue M&M series was good, but disappointed me. It was by some distance the worst one of the 3, and it didn’t match the hype that had been surrounding its release. It had been delayed for so long, I was expecting some new level, futuristic, outer space level rap, but that’s not what we got. It was a solid mixtape, but that’s not what I was waiting for, to be perfectly honest.
I think of the 3 Blue M&M tapes, vol 2 was the best. That mixtape had so many fire tracks on it, I’m surprised it didn’t get more attention around its release date. But consider this; that was released in 2015. Blue M&M 3 was released in 2017. In the 2 year gap between the two volumes, he only released 1 solo project. His consistency is really bad, especially considering how talented he is. But you would think for someone who doesn’t drop music regularly, that when they actually DO drop music, it should be at a high standard, and better than what they have previously put out. Sadly, this was not the case this time. It was the case for his other tapes, but not this one. That ain’t it, y’all.
He had some high profile features on this tape too, with the likes of Quavo and Partynextdoor jumping in a couple tracks. But, even those tracks didn’t really excite me much. The best tracks were actually the ones where it was just Peewee, but in comparison to some of his older music, they weren’t all that great. Hopefully, with his next tape, he shows why I was right to put him in my list.
1. DRAKE – MORE LIFE
Number 1 disappointment of the year was Drake’s More Life. Drake’s superstar status has just quadrupled in the past 2-3 years, and whenever he announces he’s about to bring something out, the rap game grows to a hush in excitement and anticipation. Normally, when Drake drops an album, we’re talking about it for the rest of the year. I haven’t heard pim about More Life since summer.
When was the last time you heard someone play a track from More Life on their Snapchat? Not since summer, for me. To be fair, that is how it is for most albums; they have expiry dates, and eventually, it gets to a point where you’re just tired of hearing it. But I feel like this was the quickest expiring album/mixtape Drake has released to date.
22 tracks. You wouldn’t be crazy to expect something extraordinary from this album before you listen to it (it is Drake at the end of the day). But, unfortunately, it was pretty meh. I said in a previous post that I think Drake has past his peak, and this album is my referent point for this statement. It just wasn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, there are some BANGERS on this tape. So many songs that had good replay value, and songs that will never get skipped on a shuffle. But not enough, compared to his previous albums. Now, as music fans, it’s stupid to continuously compare new releases to old releases, because an artist has to allow their sound to grow and change with each different project. I think that’s what Drake tried to do, and for most of the album, it worked. But, it just left quite a lukewarm taste in your mouth after listening it. Like, you weren’t enthralled or swept away by the musical coitus happening in your ears at all. You just felt like, ‘that was ok, I guess’. And for someone that spearheads the current generation of hip hop stars, that isn’t good enough.
The album wasn’t nominated for a Grammy, which surprised me, because I feel like most Grammy nominations are a formality; there’s a certain echelon of artists, who, no matter what they drop, are guaranteed an award nomination for a project they release, and I thought Drake was part of it. Apparently not. But even if he was, this album doesn’t deserve any plaudits or nominations. When he brings out his next album, hopefully that will be a better listen than this one.