Let me just put this out there before anything else. I am a HUGE Blackbear fan so this is going to be a rave review.
Blackbear released a new album entitled ‘digital druglord’ on 4/20. This is Blackbear’s fourth full album and is consistent with his unique R&B/rap/hip hop style that he has cultivated for his own, with new and modern influences. Each track has an extremely catchy beat and unique tone, which creates a cohesive album that tells a story.
Something especially exceptional about the album and all of his past ones: All of Blackbear’s albums put out without the help of a major record label (excluding his debut album as Mansionz, a collaboration with Mike Posner). Blackbear and his label, beartrap write, record, and produce each album. This offers him complete creative control over his music and what he puts out. For being released without a label, Blackbear’s albums do exceptionally well, crediting him with much success as a 26 year old rising icon.
Through this album, Blackbear comments on the declining social culture in LA. He speaks about how greed and vanity is dominating the music industry. A stunning lyricist, Blackbear depicts his experiences with collaborators and romantic relationships during his time in LA. He also makes meaningful connections back to his roots in Florida. He also includes a few exciting features on the album such as 24hrs and Juicy J, and samples a track by Stalking Gia.
Although I truly love every track, each one is a jam, here are a few of my favorites:
i miss the old u – This track has grown to be my favorite on the album. With a classic Blackbear backbeat layered with an electronic piano drawl and eventually a heavy bass, you can’t help but bob your head and dance it out to this song. The song is about a romantic relationship turned wrong after the fame and culture of the music industry. Blackbear speaks about being under the influence of the drugs, girls, and money that come with the lifestyle he adopted upon gaining success in the music industry and losing yourself within it.
make daddy proud– This track also has an extremely catchy backtrack and melody that can be stuck in your head for days. I’ve got to say; there is some prime falsetto in this song and it is very impressive. Once again, Blackbear comes through with the very unique layering of various electronic elements and layers upon layers of background vocals, giving the song a lot of depth and a unique feel. This style seems to be almost a trademark of all of his recent work.
hell is where i dreamt of you and woke up alone– This is the only slower and more emotional ballad on the album. The track is a nice break from the more upbeat songs with a more heavy feel. He pairs beautiful, flowing lyrics about loneliness with a simple electronic piano background. This creates a simple contrast to the rest of the album.
juicy sweatsuits (feat. Juicy J)– I am a huge fan of Juicy J and I think his verse on this track brings a more traditional rap element to Blackbear’s contemporary, mixed style. You can’t help but dance a little to this jam while Blackbear and Juicy J roast the bitches of LA. This is a classic catchy song, reminiscent of Blackbear’s classic lyricism and musical style.