Review Summary: The Devil on his Shoulder.
To call Chief Keef’s Thot Breaker
one of the year’s most interesting, vibrant, and important hip-hop releases would be an understatement, as its bright and fun beats and unconventional approach to bars makes it stand out among a sea of well done rap projects from 2017. Keef’s lyricism walks the line between unconventionally sweet lyrics and braggadocious genre staples with the gracefulness of a trapeze artist, while the beats bolsters the fun loving feel of the album. The W
, however, is the polar opposite of Thot Breaker
in terms of feel. Whereas the latter is as close to an angel on the shoulder Sosa could have, with songs like “Can You Be My Friend” and “Whoa” containing surprisingly sweet lines, the former is easily the devil on Sosa’s other shoulder.
This devil indulges in a different kind of lifestyle, one involving drugs, worries, crimes, and sex. This revelling style of lyricism is far from new ground, especially for Keef, but the amazingly clever writing in these bars proves that Sosa is still extremely in touch with his wittiness. Keef also surrounds himself with extremely talented producers, such as Zaytoven, 808 Mafia, and CBMix, who know how to make frantic, engaging, dark, and melodic beats with the use of sharp cymbals and banging snares, accented by stranger percussion elements. These not only bring out the best in Sosa’s iconic flow, which truly shines on tracks like “No ID,” but also layer over each other, creating a certain obtuseness that adds to the bizarreness. The W
embodies a foreboding and night-like nature, with it’s dark piano and synth leads, but still maintains a sense of cohesion, with Sosa’s chilled out energy and the enigmatic and consistent percussion progressions. The enigmatism comes from how disjointed and off-kilter many of the performances and instrumentals are, like the bombastic “Never Had A Job,” the surreal “Milk Me,” and the flowing “Musky.”
The varied and fresh nature of The W
proves that Chief Keef can take a style that has been done to death, like dark and vibed out trap and still innovate on the sound with eccentric tendencies. Sosa is still as vibrant and attention-grabbing as always and knows how to craft amazing hooks and verses that are as profane as they are ingenious. Everything featured works in an impressive conjunction, with nothing feeling out of time or placement. With all of this, the Devil on Sosa’s shoulder proves that it can still have and make a good time, regardless of how hedonistic that time may be.