On Friday, June 11th, acclaimed Brooklyn rapper and Dump Gawd member Your Old Droog released his long-awaited debut album TIME. With features from heavy lyrical weights, including Aesop Rock, Blu, and the legendary MF DOOM, can this generational talent create his career-defining statement?
Through 15 tracks and 45 minutes, Droog paints one of the most well thought out and topically challenging records hip hops seen in recent memory. In every aspect, the LP is calculated and well articled which really makes you appreciate the project’s genius idea on a currency we all undervalue, time. Whether Droog’s reminiscing on the highs and lows of being in the music industry or wishing that he can be 17 again, each track’s vivid storytelling makes you harp on to every emotion and idea that’s being conveyed. From a technical standpoint, the New York native continues to prove why he’s one of the best lyricists in the game at the moment. The variation yet consistent complexity in his rhyme schemes sets the bar high and embedding these forging of words with verses that will make you question your every moment of existence, and we have a real gem on our hands. Breaking down each track, there’s something new being added to the narrative time and time again. Off the bat “The Magic Watch” prepares the listener to be pensive as Your Old Droog cites a tale of a man who offers an array of strangers a “magic watch” that will take them back to their fondest days. As the record progresses, so does the weight of each tale, and cuts like “Madison Ave” thrive by showing the cruel but practical view of our modern world. Hearing Droog illustrates these ideas with the meer skill of his words and it’s evidently clear that this is one of the best performances from any MC in the past few years. On top of this layered showing, the records strengthened with guest appearances from all-time poets; Mick Jenkins, Elzhi, Blu, Aesop Rock, and the greatest spitter himself, the legendary MF DOOM. Overall, you cant find a project that’s both this lyrical and thought-provoking anywhere else right now.
Enhancing Droog’s complex writing and food for thought storytelling, the abstract soundtrack caters to his every move. The track “You’re So Sick” shows this soundscape at its best as Droog utilizes the track’s hook and bridge to finish his verses and tie together all of his odd sexual fantasies into one comical wet dream. While this shows the production’s assistance at the max, cuts like “Quiet Time” are just as powerful with its mellow sample choice and muffled piano melody which masterfully enhances the cut’s ideals about the power of silence. From a tone standpoint, each instrumental is fairly distinguished and creative. From the up-tempo chaos of “Dropout Boogie” to the smooth but distraught “Please Listen To My Jew Tape”, each beats different identity gives Droog’s stellar performance the backing it needs. With an LP that’s this focused on its vocal component, the production is supposed to be a second fiddle, and even working as a meer tone-setter and background piece, this score does everything it has to be and so much more.
As a hip-hop listener, this year has been very frustrating due to the lack of major releases and lack or remarkable releases so to be handed such a great piece of art in TIME is more than satisfying. In every facet of the word, this record is perfectly executed and its complex ideas and stories will only become more apparent as time goes on. For those looking for enjoyable music, flawless poetry, and art that will shake your mind and challenge your beliefs on all fronts, there is no album in hip hop better to listen to right now.
- Your Old Droog delivers one of the best performances any rapper in the past few years has
- Top tier lyricism
- Food for thought songwriting
- Records idea focusing on the value of time will challenge all your beliefs
- Features from MF DOOM, Aesop Rock, & others make this a lyrical gold mine
- Top tier storytelling
- Some tracks feel meaningless or unimportant in the overall scheme of the record
Written By: Mr. Fantastic