Review Summary: Instant Vintage
Swag. It's thrown around a lot. Sh
, half of Tyler the Creator's vocabulary is composed of the word swag. It feels like rappers believe the more you shout swag on your tracks, the more you actually have it. Thing is, after sifting through the muddied mainstream definition of the word, you have to ask yourself what exactly it means. To answer, swag is a persona, an ability to command attention through your mere presence. Swag is suffocating, men envy it and women want it. Swag is an undoubtedly cool approach, one that exudes confidence but not arrogance. It is something that is severely lacking in today's hip-hop game, no matter how many times a rapper yells it.
“A Star Is Born”
, Gifted's debut album, is something special though. This album wears Versace with gator boots yet only speaks when spoken to. Gifted knows he has class but doesn't dwell on it. His eyes are always gazing forward, his hunger unparallelled. ”A Star Is Born”
is overflowing with swag, achieved by drawing from the roots of hip-hop. This is an album heavily influenced by the 90's; accompanied by masterful production and hooks that don't let go. Gifted has crafted an album of pristine vintage.
It's actually frightening how well polished this album is. Gifted is a small time artist who was born in Memphis and now resides in Odgen, and if you haven't heard of Odgen, don't worry, most haven't. Despite the humble origins, ”A Star Is Born”
looks to do more than wish upon. The production is absolutely immaculate, with deep hitting bass lines and heavy funk-soul dimensions. These beats are divine excerpts from the Bible of G-Funk, this perhaps made most evident by the track Lay U Down
. Lyrically this album delivers as well. The choruses are deeply influenced by the master of the hook himself, Nate Dogg. Gifted may not be a millionaire financially speaking but he certainly is in terms of talent.
Ultimately, this is a grand offering. ”A Star Is Born”
wages inspired G-Funk beats along with choruses that could only be possessed by the man himself, the late Nate Dogg. Gifted aims to live up to his name by releasing an album that not only pays homage to an era of great hip-hop, the 90's, but also aims to redefine the modern definition of swag. If this was released under Dr. Dre, it would already be triple platinum, but unfortunately, it wasn't. Consider this the best kept secret in hip-hop; best when played in clubs and Cadillacs. Gifted truly is, and even if ”A Star Is Born”
doesn't yield the commercial success it deserves, it will continue to burn bright in the eyes of those who see.