Review Summary: Me and my killers in your house, we standing in your kitchen...
Collaboration tapes between a rapper and a producer are usually pretty interesting, as having one central source of beats leads to more cohesion at the price of less variety. As for Sosa, the Nobody
albums prove that it’s a sacrifice worth making and Zaytoven definitely knows the ins and outs of producing full lengths, not just songs. Yet, with Glotoven
, the two rap superstars have it both ways, in that its cohesive and
diverse in style. Songs remind the listener of different eras of Chief Keef's career (“Posse” is very Back from the Dead 2
, “Petty” features the croons of Thot Breaker
, etc. etc.) and still stand on their own.
Much of GloToven
’s energy and bravado comes from Zaytoven's production choices, with bright synths and sharp 808 drums. Each song’s production is tighter than the last, the simple melodies complement clever drum fills like a fine wine complements a steak. Some glitzy, some aggressive, some lustful, every backing track provides a sturdy and emotionally potent framework for Keef to sink his teeth into. Moreover, every beat full of a very subtle exuberance that takes a few listens to really bubble to the top, leading to tracks like “Spy Kid” and “Batman” to become growers that only get better as you pick up on the intricacies of the compositions. Say what you will about Zaytoven, but Sosa has very obviously brought out some of his strongest beats in a hot minute.
Sosa, of course, is able to keep up with the bold beats that litter this album, with the strength and swagger that we’ve come to expect from the rapper at this point. Keef is obviously a veteran and forward-thinker in the trap scene and, even on some of his less strong projects, raps like he knows it. Keeping in GloToven
's themes of blistering confidence, Keef's performances are distinctly fresh, varied, and tight, with some his best bars, one-liners, and flows since 2017 (at least). “Sneeze,” “What Can I Say,” and “Fast” are all perfect examples of what I mean, with Sosa’s signature spitting style in full force. This signature swagger is also shown in the fact that, barring a verse from Lil Pump (weakest part of the record if I’m being honest), there aren't any features here. It’s pretty much all Keef taking Zaytoven's beats and playing with them in ways that most rappers could only dream of.
But, really, a lot of Glotoven
’s best moments are owed to that attitude that I keep bringing up. It really does feel like a sort of passion project due to how fired up Sosa sounds, like this is a release that he’s wanted to do for years (some of these songs have been out for quite a few years after all). As for Zaytoven, this may have actually been a release fueled by pure want to do it, as he was quoted in a press release saying that “It’s one of my favorite albums because it challenges me to produce with youthful, unorthodox creativity.” Regardless of intentions, this full-length is one for the books, a no filler collection of bops from an unlikely, yet devilishly charismatic duo.