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Album Review: 25 by G Herbo

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Herbert Randall Wright III, or better known as his stage name, G Herbo, is a rapper from Chicago. He officially started his career in 2012 and had several smaller mixtapes. However, it wasn't until 2018 until he started gaining mainstream recognition, especially with projects like PTSD and Swervo. G Herbo now drops his fourth studio project titled 25.

The first track from the album is I Don't Wanna Die. The track opens up with some children's vocals that basically talk about not wanting to die. Eventually the beat comes in, but there really isn't much going on, just a simple drum beat and deep bass hits. The chorus from earlier also plays in the back every now and then. G Herbo talks about things that are going on in his life and how he doesn't want to end up dead since a lot of other famous people have passed away.

Cry No More brings in some features from Polo G and Lil Tjay. This is another track with a simplistic beat. We get an electronic pattern that repeats over the trap drums. Polo G takes over the chorus with Lil Tjay's ad-libs that can be heard towards the end of each line. I'm not really a fan of Lil Tjay's verse, especially since his voice is a little higher and brighter than some of the other people included on the track.

Stand the Rain opens up with a quick introduction from G Herbo, which sounds like a quick vocal check from him in the studio. After his quick introduction, that's when the album starts to go hard with the beat that's included on here. G Herbo also starts spitting hard and this is probably one of his best from the project. Especially in the first verse, he talks about how it took him some time to gain traction, especially with how much he has grown in popularity these past few years.

T.O.P. was an interesting track I wanted to hear since it featured 21 Savage. I wasn't really a fan of SAVAGE MODE II, but it did show that he grew, so I was wondering if he would stay on an upward projectory. 21 Savage ended up staying true to his growth, however, both him and G Herbo stayed in the same flow for the entirety of the track, so it was easy to just kind of get lost in their flow. Besides that, it's not a terrible track, better than some of the first few tracks of the project.

You Can't starts to bring out some bigger name artists such as Kid LAROI as well as Gunna. Before we get to them, with the electronic like beat at the beginning, it almost sounded like a Aesop Rock track when G Herbo was rapping. Alright, back to the features. I'm a bit disappointed when the beat cuts out for a good half a minute when Kid LAROI comes in. I'm not really a fan of either of the features, so I'm sure that also plays a role in me not enjoying this track.

No Jail Time opens up with a light and spoken introduction. Once the introduction is over, G Herbo comes in with his rapping, and the beat opens up a bit more with some backing vocals. We also get a harder drum beat. Not really a fan of the spoken part during the chorus since it just ruins the energy that G Herbo was putting in during the first verse. Lyrics wise, G Herbo talks about growing up and how life was rough with violence almost everywhere. However, he was able to escape it and get rich without going to jail.

Cold World opens up somewhat similarly to the previous track, even with some backing vocal samples while he's rapping. However, this beat definitely goes a bit harder with the bass hits and drum kits thrown on here. Lyrically, this is another great one from G Herbo. As the title says, he talks about how it's a cold world and all of the things he saw while growing up. He's also thankful for being able to escape the streets.

Whole Hearts opens up with a piano and a chorus of vocals. Once the beat starts going for awhile, the voices get muffled and the drum kits start to roll in. Nothing really too much to point out on this track since it's a quick track and pretty similar instrumentally. Even for the lyrics, it's similar to what he had been talking about on previous tracks. Some of the differences though is that he mentions some people that he lost that were close to him.

We now come to the longest track on the album, 2 Chains, which is just a little over four minutes in length. I also notice the Tay Keith tag at the beginning, which is nice to hear since the instrumentation finally changed up. The beat is simplistic though, just a piano, some horn sections and the rolling drums. Honestly not really a fan of this track. I was expecting a 2 Chainz feature, or even some references, but we don't really hear that on this one.

Drill brings back the features to the album. This time we have a smaller artist, Rowdy Rebel, but you may know him from a Bobby Shmurda video. As for the beat, it has a light string loop in the background, but the true banger part of the track is the moving bass line. I wasn't really too thrilled by this track either, especially since they seemed kind of stiff when rapping. Anyways, it does take on a lighter side, especially with the Call of Duty reference during the chorus.

Trenches Know My Name marks another four minute track on the album, which isn't really saying much with the short tracks on here. However, this is just one long verse that we hear from G Herbo. I do feel like the track gets a bit stale, especially since it seems like he's about to build up to something bigger. However, the track just keeps looping over. We do get some bigger bass kicks later on, but it doesn't build up to as large as I was hoping. I also don't understand the minute outro, unless this was originally supposed to be a closer to an album.

Doughboy brings back some brass and jazz instruments to the introduction of the track. However, they eventually cut out for the bass when G Herbo starts to rap. Just like the previous track, this is another track that just has one long verse and no chorus. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, especially since the beat is more interesting this time around. It's also much shorter and we don't have a long outro with nothing.

Demands starts out quietly with a string section. Eventually it opens up more with the drums and bass beats. G Herbo also comes in hitting hard and definitely raises the energy of the track. He also seems to switch up the flow a bit, so he at least keeps it interesting and fresh. As for the lyrics, he talks about a lot of what has been going on in society, such as how the police have been killing people instead of keeping them safe. He also talks about what they demand and what they need for actual change.

Loyalty opens up with a repeated, 'broken-record' type of beat. After that repeated section, we get the sample of someone singing and a piano. Similar to some of the other middle tracks, G Herbo just goes off on one long verse without a chorus. Again, there's a long outro at the end, which isn't necessarily bad, but it adds up with some of these tracks. If there's really nothing at the beginning of end of the track, it adds on to the playtime of the album, which is nearly an hour.

Next, Pray 4 My Enemies opens up with some horn/string section, as well as some light bell sounds. Of course, it starts to build up with other instrumentation and backing vocals. G Herbo just goes off on a long verse for this track as well, but I'm not really too stoked for this beat since it doesn't live up to the energy level that G Herbo is at. I guess I'm at the point in the album where all these tracks start to run and blend together.

Turning 25 is another track from G Herbo that starts off slowly with a piano beat. As always, we get the freestyle, one verse track from G Herbo. Surprisingly, the piano beat is actually going hard on this track and G Herbo is matching the intensity on this one. As you might be able to guess from the title of the track, G Herbo talks about how he's turning 25, and more specifically, his birthday. However, most of the topics discussed on this track are similar to what he rapped about earlier.

Statement was one of the earlier singles for this album, and this is one of the tracks that actually got me excited for this project. We get an older track as the backing samples, and it's interesting since they don't really add much to the sample, except for cutting and changing the pitch of the sample. Other than that, I would say this is one of his better freestyle tracks from the album and I wish we would have gotten more.

Really Like That was another promotional single for the album, and was released earlier this year back in March. We also get another track produced from Tay Keith, with the memorable tag line at the beginning of the track. We also get a more fun, ascending, electronic beat that seems to repeat for most of the track. One complaint as I mentioned before, the topic hasn't really switched up and it's most of the same thing from earlier.

The final track we have on the album is Break Yoself, which was also another promotional single released back in March. I'm a bit surprised that they chose this track as the closer since it's anti climactic. Even the previous track would have been a better closer with the beat. The beat on this track just seems bland and minimal. Other than that, it's one last freestyle from G Herbo before closing out the album.

While there are some solid tracks on this album, a lot of it just seems to melt together and sound the same. Also, since he's talking about the same thing for most of the album, it's easy to lose attention throughout the album.
Overall Rating: 5/10
Favorite Tracks: Stand the Rain, Cold World, Doughboy, Statement
 
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