Quadeca is a 20-year-old rapper from the Bay Area. At the end of March, the YouTube star released his fifth studio album, From Me To You. Trying to break the stigma that YouTubers turned rappers are historically a joke, can Quadeca prove he’s as legit of an artist as anyone else in the industry?
Through 18 tracks, we get a diverse statement that indeed showcases Quadeca’s potential. From rapping about his flaws on “Sisyphus” to singing his heart out on “Shades Of Us,” the young artist goes deep into his bag of tricks throughout the 60 minutes of run time. The key aspect of his entire performance comes from Deca’s hard to come by integrity which leads to a slew of moments that will leave you in awe. The polarizing “Work!” and the reminiscent “Summit, Pt. 1” are two of the strongest showings of this ability. “Candles on Fire!” is at the pinnacle of this due to its abrasive patterns and rapid pace changes that flow off one another seamlessly. Another strength of the Bay Area native is the way he’s able to transition from mournful (although sometimes annoying) singing to this intense rapping ability which’s lyrics come off as very testing and heartfelt. When it comes to big-name guest stars, there are not many, but “Burnin Bridges / Long Day” is one of the album’s peak moments due to the high energy IDK brings and the chemistry he posses with Quadeca. Despite all of these moments that showcase solid artistry, there are still many holes within the record, and that can be mainly attributed to Quadeca’s underdeveloped skillset. Moments like “Smiling at the Ground” and “People Pleaser” with Gudap 4000 pinpoint weaknesses such as his preliminary rapping ability and lack of vocal range. On the point of singing, this was definitely the most hit or miss part of the entire LP as some moments like “Summit, Pt. 2” show Deca to be a prominent vocalist but others, including “Smiling at the Ground,” have him sounding like your everyday wannabe pop singer. Still, these problems are far from enough to plague the experience as the emotion and creativity embedded within each track keeps things almost always interesting.
Sonically, From Me To You is accompanied by a versatile soundscape that masterfully embodies every direction Quadeca goes in. The core of this record is hip hop, but as many modern rappers have, there are elements of other genres fused throughout the 18 tracks. Whether it’s as simple as the angelic church organs on the intro “Couloir” or as complex as abrasive synthesizers and electric guitar infused in “Work!,” nearly every song is filled with touches that you will remember hours after listening. “Hallstatt (Interlude)” does a fantastic job at capturing the power within this score as its chilling background vocals, minor distortions, and dramatic violins culminate into a journey more emotional than most of the songs that feature vocals as well. Looking at the big picture, the instrumentals here aren’t just backdrops for Quadeca to spit over, there just as pivotal as the vocals, and they’re used as an emotional tool just as much. With this production job being mainly arranged by Quadeca with only the help of a few others, it shows he has all the intangibles to be great.
In conclusion, From Me To You is by far Quadeca’s best work, and it’s clear he can be a true star going forward. While his singing and rapping ability isn’t at the level of greatness yet, it’s better than most, and the way he can arrange a soundscape and organize a personal statement is super admirable. Going forward, I’d only expect Quadeca to get better from here!
- Quadeca’s emotion and passion makes the entire record feel driven and integral
- So many flashes of real greatness
- Well put together and powerful soundscape
- Personally driven and heartfelt songwriting makes Quadeca a relatable figure
- Rapping can sometimes be lackluster
- Singing is hit or miss
Written and Reviewed by: Mr. Fantastic, owner and founder of Fantastic Hip Hop