Okay, so I got an e-mail from this dude and onnastremf of the title of the attached song, I listened to it. I loved the song, and offered to review. Here it is.
Gerald Walker’s I Remember When This All Meant Something
Track 1- Everything People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not…
Kind of a Drake vibe here, not feeling that. Funny, he just mentioned that people were saying he bites Drake’s shit. The Drake is there, but so is KanYe’s influence. He’s better lyrically than Drake, so I’m gonna give the pass. Not a bad introduction.
Track 2- I Remember When This All Meant Something Part 1
Okay, the Drakeness is super-apparent here. He has, once again, addressed that people say he’s like CuDi, Drake & Wale. Duder… This is not a good sign. Again, he’s more substantial than Drake, and so far I’m digging this one. Beat is “ehh”, but the young spitter (no) has a little something to him. Sounds like pain in his voice. I respect that. Also? The emo-length song titles are great. Did he just reference New York Undercover? Nice. Points for that. Ohh! Some great singing and layering at the end.
Track 3- The Journey (Sweet Chin Music)
This is the song that made me wanna check out the project. Beat is stellar, and it proves the boy can rap. The synths on this have more of a point than on Drake’s Thank Me Later, and the synths on this song are epic and triumphant. “I don’t believe in bad luck, but I keep my sideview mirrors clean so I’m hard to pass up.” Bravo. Holy Moley… The second verse is fucking DOPE. Synths at the end are epic. This song is making my Go Time Gym Playlist.
Track 4- Not At All (featuring Bryant Stewart)
Beat has me bouncing, and Bryant Stewart’s singing is good, like a more-vocally talented Chris Brown. Remember all that Drake stuff I said? Ignore it. I’m really enjoying this. I wonder where this guy is from, because he’s switched from that Drake-esque stuff, to almost a midwest/southern kinda flow on this. I like this. Track’s taking me somewhere.
Track 5- Ready to GO!
Nice jazzy feel to this beat, some early 90′s N.Y. ish. This is some skraight 90s rap, just after some skraight 00s Southern rap. *rubs eyes* Is this really happening? It is, in a great way. This is lyrically great, reminiscent of pre-The Cool Lupe Fiasco, only with Rocafella-era KanYe inflections. This guy’s references are all over the place, with nary a glimpse of “bottles and models” nonsense.
Track 6- Wait A Minute (Ode To The Little Homie) featuring Add-2 and Slot-A
Some great synths to open up, and some snaps. Hooks on this are great. This track is strictly top down, feel good music. Ohhh, he’s from the Chi! Sweet. The second guy rapping (not sure if he’s Add-2 or Slot-A) is droppin’ jewelry all over the beat. Third guy up is dope too. So nice to see featured rappers kick something substantial instead of spitting some bullshit. Both men stayed on concept, and really gave the track some gravitas.
Track 7- Selah(Ups & Downs)
Kind of a bounce on this, some Timbo-esque synth waves on it. Different flow, staccato on it. Kind of monotone on this one in spots, then some exaggerated tones. Wish he’d pick one and go with it (preferably the exaggerated ones, as monotone is not the business). I don’t mean to compare the kid to anyone, but the CuDi vibe is present on this. I like the beat to this, and lyrically it’s fine, but this isn’t a favorite.
Track 8- Silent
Some creepy, fantasy elements on the beat, followed by some heavy Lil’ Jon synths. Soft drums, more of a sing-songy flow. Oooh, this is a booty song? This beat is really kind of awesome. Dope song, about keeping an encounter on the hush, but in a classy way. Uh Oh… Minaj flow. That was unfortunate, considering how I hate her. Still, can’t blame dude. If you listen to my first album, I’m definitely trying to sound like Marshall Mathers, so he doesn’t lose points. Autotune? *shrug* I can live with autotune. This song is good, the concept is good, but if I had my druthers, I’d re-do the vocals. It’s like he’s afraid to just spit. He’s doing too much with the inflections. Lyrically, beat-wise, it’s on point tho’.
Track 9- Gotta Work (featuring Mr. Robotic)
A lot of these songs are opening up with synths, but they’re all friggin’ cool, and it helps keep a uniform feel to the album. Also? This is most definitely an album. Cohesive in theme and sounds. This middle third of the album is dope. Mr. Robotic is up for the second verse. Okay, Mr. Robotic “I’ll get you black-balled like ni**a nuts” WOW! That was great! At first I was “ehh”, but the feature holds his own, and it’s a great change of pace. I’m thoroughly enjoying this album.
Track 10- We Used To Talk For Hours On End & Now It’s Like We Never Knew Each Other
The title of this song made me sad. Beat has a completely different vibe. Some cool piano, different drums. Beat drops in and out. Minimalist. Aww, he’s talking to a girl here! I always give bonus points for that. “I never chase a b*tch, I Gerald Walk it out.”–nice. I like how he says he doesn’t really love girls, but the lyrics pretty much contradict that. Good song. It’s obviously personal, and if it’s not from experience, then I’m kicking this up by half a star for fooling me.
Track 11- High (featuring Slot-A, Mr. Robotic & Add-2)
This beat is too much fun. Interesting drums and some FUCKING SICK strings! Loving this beat. Robotic is up first, and that dude is spitting like crazy. This is straight up 1994 music. I’m happy this song isn’t just a 4:23 ode to weed. Walker is up next “I am high on trees like a Keibler Elf”–ha! “Old enough to know better but young enough to not care.”–oh gosh, I wish I was 24 again. This might be the most enjoyable song on this. I’m nodding my head at work to this. Don’t know which guy did the third verse. It was serviceable. Hmm… Said 3 features, so now I’m wondering if that was a mistake, or if Walker wasn’t on this. Coulda swore he did the second verse. Anyway, fantastic song.
Track 12- I’m Gonna Remember That You Are My Friend, And Fall Asleep on Your Floor
The beat is on some 80s new wave stuff, which is interesting. Heh, this is a booty call song. Funny, because the story is that dude goes to a friend’s house thinking some extracurricular stuff is gon’ jump off, but she’s not thinking that at all, but he doesn’t wanna be That Guy and f**k up the friendship, so he doesn’t try anything. I think I love this. Plus? There’s a skit at the end acting out the song. Bra. Vo.
Track 14- You Can Make It If You Try
Back to the synths. 808 drums. More knowledge being kicked. I like this. He’s talking about improving himself before he helps anyone else, but it’s not really skipping on the self-analysis. Unfortunately, this feels almost kinda sorta out of place. Still fits with the theme, but it kinda stops the album cold.
Track 14- I Remember When This All Meant Something (Part 2)
The beat is good, with some great strings, some deep pianos in the hook contrasted by some plinky high piano stabs on the verse. Nice drums. This is dope. A helluva an outro, even tho’ there’s still another song. This guy’s got a great ear for beats, and his producers friggin’ LACED him.
Track 15- The Last Something That Meant Anything
Here we go, the last song. Some hopeful synths and cool wooshes. This is also good. A better outro song. This *feels* like an ender. When a good album takes you places, the last track is almost sad, and the beat and lyrics and the ad-libs all contribute to the feel of “Sorry, this is over, but I’ll be back soon.” No hook on this, just dude talking and giving thanks. Classy. Wow… this kid is only 22!? See? SEE? This is why when some asshole like Soulja Boy comes along and people give him a pass because he’s young, it infuriates me. This dude is twenty-the fuck-two, and he put out a cohesive, clever, creative album.
Bonus Cut- Shh. Its Ok! You Have The Right To Hate…
This beat is dope, and not for nothing, but I’d have put this where “You Can Make It If You Try” was. The beat knocks, the lyrics are dope. This is a friggin’ bonus track? This song is great. Wow.
Alright, that’s the review. Fucking amazing project, and I’m really happy I chose to listen to this. I know I’m on “Stan” status right now, but after hearing people praise a certain Canadian rapper for inferior efforts, hearing this lets me know that that particular lane can be entertaining, informative, and actually say something.
Kudos, Mr. Walker.
Call Reynolds, Cuz it’s a Wrap.
PS- I thought the cover was kinda awesome, so here’s a blurb on it: The art was done by Shane Allen for CarmelloVision Designs and is inspired by Luke Cheuh’s “The Explosion”.