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Album Review: The Lost Boy by YBN Cordae

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YBN Cordae is an up and coming rapper in the United States. The Lost Boy marks his first studio album. Going into the project, I really didn't know what to expect, but I knew he was a part of the latest XXL Freshmen class. He released a mixtape back in 2018, but I haven't had a chance to check it out. After listening to this project, this guy has a bright future. Bold prediction, but he might just be the next Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole.

The first track off the album is Wintertime. Right off the bat, I'm getting a laid back, jazz beat. On this track, YBN Cordae is trying to tell us of his past and how he's trying to become better. He dropped out of college to focus on his rap career, but it ended up working out since this is an excellent project.

Have Mercy brings us more of a trap-fueled beat. It's similar to Future's song, Mask Off since it features a flute. On this track, YBN Cordae is asking God for forgiveness. He's done some bad things in the past, but he's trying to clean up his act and become a better person. He also says karma will catch up to people eventually.

After that, we have a skit pretty early on in the album called Sweet Lawd. This is basically a sung version of the chorus on Have Mercy.

On the next track, we have Bad Idea which features Chance the Rapper. Based on the production of the track, this definitely sounds like a Chance the Rapper track. The chorus of the track uses a line from Gil Scott-Heron's song, Home Is Where the Hatred Is. A lot of other artists, like Kanye West, have used this song before. Both artists talk about how life was rough growing up, but now they are older and making a living as a musical artist.

Thanksgiving is the next track off the album. The track has a laid back feeling, with a trap/soul-influenced beat. On this track, YBN Cordae is with this girl, but the relationship probably isn't going to last. He brought her home for Thanksgiving but says the relationship probably won't last until Christmas.

On RNP, the track opens up with high pitched, inaudible vocals. This track also features Anderson .Paak who has been a hot feature for a lot of artists recently. On this track, both of them trade verses and lines on the last verse, talking about their wealth and how they spend their money.

Broke As F*ck is a hard-hitting, trap-infused track. While being a banger, it does bring up some deep issues. When growing up, YBN Cordae wasn't living a luxurious life and his family didn't have a lot of money. He also talks about how his grandma passed away and that one of his cousins was shot. During the last minute of the track, there is a beat change-up. He talks about how his parents didn't have much, but now he's able to live comfortably off of his career.

Next, we have Thousand Words. It has a smooth jazz-like beat in the background and talks about the issue of social media. While social media can be a good thing, there are also a lot of bad things and negative effects that come from it. With social media, some people try to create a fake life and try to convince others how great their life is. However, it's not always as it seems and they might just be putting on a fake persona. Also, gettings 'likes' or 'retweets' can often have a negative connotation if your post doesn't do well.

Way Back Home features Ty Dolla $ign. The track opens up with light, distorted synth notes, which you'll continue to hear throughout the track. In the track, they basically talk about what life is like for artists, especially in the hip hop industry. They have to start out by touring a lot and aren't home, but they eventually breakthrough in popularity. I also like the Smooth Criminal reference that YBN Cordae gives on the first verse.

Grandma's House is another skit, with a piano playing in the background. On this track, Cordae sings a beautiful duet with his grandmother. They sing Trouble in my Way by Luther Barnes. On Twitter, you can hear the same duet with him and his grandmother.

Been Around is another reflective, slowed down track. I love the twangy guitar in this track and it just fits perfectly. In this track, he mentioned that he dropped out of college and his dad thought that was a bad decision. However, it ended up being a great decision since he's famous now. He also thanks the people who have supported him along this journey.

We have a great Pusha T feature on Nightmares Are Real. This track talks about YBN Cordae's struggles when trying to make it big. His mother kicked him out of the house when he decided to pursue a rap career. He had to try to find a place to stay and wondered if any of his friends had a couch he could sleep on for the night. Pusha T also mentioned how he skipped school to record music with some friends.

On Family Matters, YBN Cordae talks about the life of some of his family members and lets them know it doesn't have to be that way. He mentioned how some of his aunts have either been a prostitute, single mother, or have had an abusive husband. He mentions it's hard for him to see them go through it, and he wants to help in some way.

After that we have We Gon Make It and the track features Meek Mill. On this track, they encourage everyone to chase their dreams and to never give up. YBN Cordae is trying to let other people know that he's going to make it. Even though he was struggling for a little bit, he ended up getting through the hard times.

The last track, Lost & Found starts with a loud blaring horn section, letting you know that it's like a celebration. It's a perfect way to close out the album as Cordae lets his fans know that he once was lost, but now he's found.

What did you think of the album? What were some of your favorite tracks? Let me know down in the comments section!
Overall Rating: 9/10
Favorite Tracks: Bad Idea, Broke As F*ck, Lost & Found

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