88GLAM - 88GLAM2
The Toronto hip hop, R&B and Trap genre has gotten more than a little crowded in the past couple of years. With Drake being the city's largest export his popularity has spawned numerous usurpers trying to latch onto the 6 God's coattails. Some of these acts like dvsn do something different and exciting with this platform, while others do little more than tow the line. 88GLAM land somewhere in the middle. The duo of Derek Wise and 88 Camino were signed by another Toronto stalwart The Weeknd, somewhat furthering the dvsn comparisons. The comparisons are valid because they are jocking dvsn's style pretty damn hard on this record. The two bands are also appearing at Coachella together next year. However this is about 88GLAM regardless of how much they sound like someone else. The thing that is missing from this album, and a lot of pop trap these days is that atmoshperic sense. You want to feel like you are walking through a hazy nightclub, trap drums banging while people move side to side. It is about putting your hands in the air and banging, but this record doesn't have much of that at all. "Lil Boat", "Big Ship" and "Wet Dreams" all follow the same liquid theme, which is honestly kind of weird. "Wet Dreams" talks about riding a jet ski seemingly out of no where just to rhyme it with "wet dream". The lyrics seriously feel childish as hell, I don't know if it is the sound of 88 Camino's voice, but it sounds like Young Thug trying to sound like Usher. It's high pitched and weird that makes the record feel far more childish than it should otherwise.
This album likely suffers from coming out to late in 2018 with a very crowded stable of trap performers. Because trap has become so ubiquitous in popular culture each subsequent album that follows the exact same formula feels more and more diluted. In the past it would take years, hell even decades for this music to start to feel stale, but more and more options to listen mean you can get sick of something pretty damn quick. The sheer amount of trap music that has been put out in the past three years is staggering. Anyone can try and make this music and put it out, regardless of how good it is. It doesn't help that 88GLAM use all the same language as everyone else. Any chance they can rhyme anything with "molly" you better believe they do. It's not that I have a problem with drug use, I have a problem with lazy writing about drug use. dvsn writes songs that are sexual and rich, but 88GLAM write songs that have sexualized words in them, it's not particularly sexy at all. When you are playing in an arena that is this crowded you have to do something to make yourself stand out, ticking all the boxes of "what makes a trap album" just ins't going to do. 88GLAM2 does not do it.
4.8 out of 10