Review Summary: Being in the hip-hop game as an unknown for years, Joyner delivers the essentials to create an impressive project for the limelight.
Joyner Lucas is hungry. He wants the attention of hip-hop fans everywhere; whether it be the casual or the hardcore listeners. His preceding project, "Along Came Joyner", included rapid flow, vivid storytelling, and spectacular rhymes. This, alongside having a catalog of viral videos for his songs, was noticed by Atlantic Records, who secured him a multi-million dollar deal in 2016. Fascinated by his work, I was excited for what was to come.
Executive produced by Toronto native and Drake-entourage Boi-1da, "(508) 507-2209" showcases the skills that Joyner has held down in the past. The album begins with the bass-filled banger "Ultrasound", where Joyner is fired up about the bull*** going on around him (his girlfriend complaining, fake people, etc). Great start to the album as it presents Joyner's ability for the rest of the project. There are a few story-telling tracks here and there on the record. The near 7-minute track "Keep It 100" tells the journey of an $100 bill from person to person, and really gets you visualizing to a point that the length isn't too much of a bother. Joyner's past relationships linger in the songs "Just Because" and "We Gon Be Alright", giving the listener a glimpse of his present-day thoughts. He also tells stories in the perspective of others as well with "Lullaby" (perspective of a stripper with a drug addiction). "I'm Sorry", towards the end of the album, is definitely a strong standout on the whole project. It tells the horrific, sad details of a man writing his suicide note and the aftermath with the victim's friend.
This album impressed me a lot. While I wanted to find fault for the length of the record (83 minutes), most of it consisted of outros for the instrumentals and the voicemails left for Joyner at the end of the tracks. Production was luscious throughout the entire project with credits from the executive Boi-1da himself, Nineteen85, and more.
A breath of fresh air and one of my favorite hip-hop projects of 2017 so far.