Rich Brian - Amen
Every itteration of hip hop always includes some kind of jester, working on the outside but with a decent following. Today, with trap dominating the airwaves there is of course a new rapper who is "good" but will always be to much of a gimmick to really be long lasting. Macklemore, Lil Dicky and others all have some decent lyrical skill, but lack a real authenticity. Rich Brian feels like He is following in this long tradition with his debut record Amen. There is a ton of bluster and twitter ready lyrics but there is definitely a heavy does of imitation going on that is hard to get over. It's like when someone fake sings opera, you know its bad, they know its bad but it still sounds like opera just liek this sounds like rap, hip hop or trap. There are also slow songs to complete the "let's cash in on the 90s" feel of the album with "Introvert". Offset makes an appearance on "Attention" to give a little street cred to the record, but it just feels like Rich Brian is out of his depth. Anyone can potentially be a good rapper if they can turn a phrase, but you need to have that extra something in order to be successful. Your words need to move people not just make them say "oh that's clever". Offset's contribution is seriously about two and half bars making it feel more like an obligation than something He really wants to do. The beats here however have some potential sliding from trap into trippy electronics. "Glow Like Dat" feels like a Kaytranada beat with its vague Asian allusions pushed through this glitchy electro beat, the problem is Rich Brian's deadpan delivery, He just can't seel what He's talking about.
A meme is really only funny because it has an expiration date, it is funny for that exact moment then loses it's impact over time. Rich Brian is novel because He is not what you think a rapper should look like, but that novelty can't last unless you are really bringing some fucking heat. This album needed to be so much better than anything else because the deck was already stacked against Rich Brian. There will of course be people who think that this is the best hip hop to come out in years, but it lacks so much punch and so much drama that you can't ever get into it. The super sexual stance of "Kitty" complete with a bunch of drug allusions as well feels so forced and so contrived that it only really works as a meme, not authentic music. The album closes on the dreamy "Arizona" which is punctuated with gun shots and really the vibe is ruined by Rich Brian's never changing delivery. This album may have been a great bit at one point, and Rich Brian a novel idea, but 44 minutes of him is just way to fucking much.
5.0 out of 10