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Album Review: USEE4YOURSELF by IDK

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Jason Mills, or better known by his stage name, IDK, is a rapper and singer born in the United Kingdom, but raised in Maryland. He started getting into music in 2012 and released quite a few mixtapes. IDK eventually dropped his debut project in 2019 which gained a lot of traction. Now, IDK drops his second studio album titled USEE4YOURSELF.

The first track from the album is 3018091821. If you are from the United States, you will know that it's the number of digits for a phone number. Just as you would expect from the title of the track, it opens up with a phone ringing, however, there are a lot of inaudible vocals in the background. Eventually this person answers, but he doesn't really say anything except a lot of heavy breathing, so it just leaves you with a lot of questions.

After the introduction, we finally get into the album with Santa Monica Blvd. While the first track wasn't as great, this one definitely makes up for it since it's a banger with the heavy bass and IDK's hard hitting rapping. When we get to the second verse, we get some more background vocals which is nice, especially since it's a change of what IDK's is talking about. He goes into how he made it into the rap career and is living it large now.
 
Dogs Don't Lie opens up quietly with a vocal sound clip and IDK. We also have a quick clip from Mike Tyson. Eventually we get more of a beat come in for the second verse of the track. When I'm listening to this track, I can definitely hear a Kanye West influence just in the way he's rapping. Besides that, it's funny to see some of the references in the second verse where he name drops bloggers for giving him a six on his debut project.
 
Truth marks the shortest track on the album, clocking in at just over thirty seconds in length. However, this is one of the quick interlude tracks on the project. There is rapping and some small instrumental going on, but there isn't much on this one.

PradadaBang is another one of those bangers on this project. While I am usually not a fan of Young Thug, I can actually get behind this one, especially with the electronic and bouncy beat of this track. This was also one of the promotional singles for this project, which was a great choice. Other than that, we get both of the rappers talking about their wealth since both of them have been around for a good amount of time. Even Young Thug is listenable on this track.

Shoot My Shot is another track that has an electronic backing beat. It opens up with some alarm like sound, but then it eventually cuts out for some brighter bell sounds. He also name drops Kanye West (as well as some other big name rappers), which probably has to do with some of the Kanye West influence I've heard on this project. He also recruits the help of Offset for this track, which I could easily see him on this type of track.

Red was a track I was excited to hear since I saw that MF DOOM was featured on this track. Unfortunately MF DOOM's part in the track isn't much, but at least he was included on the final track. While I disliked seeing the Westside Gunn feature on the track, I have to admit that he doesn't sound that bad over the string instrumental at the beginning of the track. It's also interesting to see a similar chorus to Still Fly by Big Tymers.

We have another short interlude skit on the album, Jelly. However there isn't really rapping on this one, just some short conversations. They keep on talking about getting 'man jelly' but I'm not quite sure what it is, or if I want to know.

Right off the bat, Puerto Rico has a sample from Tamia's hit, Can't Get Enough, which will be featured throughout the track. Besides that sample, we have some light bell notes that will carry on for most of the track when we don't have the sample. Other than that, it's a sweet track with IDK's singing vocals instead of rapping. On this track, IDK basically talks about this girl and describes her like Puerto Rico, and also throws in some other locations like Miami and London.

We have another short interlude track on the album, Temporary Love, which is just a little over a minute in length. The track opens up similarly to the first track as to where we have the phone ringing. Besides that, we have a chorus of people backing this track. We have a short introduction dealing with women and relationships. I won't get into the specifics, but after the spoken part, we have SiR with a vocal singing part.

10 Feet opens up with a muffled voice recording. Once that cuts out, we have Mother Marygold for the chorus of the track. Not really digging her part and it's sort of ruining the vibe of the track for me. Other than that, the beat isn't anything that's too flashy. We have some similar instrumentation from earlier, such as the bells and strings. There are some small sections with more instrumentation, but it's not something that take overs the entire track.

Keto opens up with IDK going straight into the rapping. We also get some more electronic instruments, such as some running synth lines. We also have some old clapping beats added to the track, which seems sort of strange for the year 2021. As for the some of the guests, Swae Lee's verse isn't the worst, but I've heard better from him in the past. However, Rico Nasty's delivery was decent, it's just a short track.

We're getting some more electronic beats from the album on 1995. We get some chopped up notes and a weird percussive beat that occasionally comes in. It eventually builds up to more instrumentals, especially during the second chorus. There are several things IDK touches on for this track. On the first verse, he talks about a broken family and feeling like he wasn't loved from his mother. On the second track, he talks about how hard his family worked, but they weren't able to enjoy the things they had. He also touches on the tough expectations they set for him.

The next track is surprisingly titled Peloton, which is a popular fitness machine brand if you've been seeing several advertisements. Besides that, the track opens up with some inaudible backing vocals, as well as IDK rapping over it. Going over the lyrics, it seems like this girl wants a person that is making a lot of money and paying the bills as for the title of the track, he talks about how this girl wants to 'ride' this guy like a Peloton.

Hey Auntie opens up quietly with a quiet synth/piano part in the background. We also get some chorus of people saying "Hey Auntie" in the opening. I'm actually really enjoying the laid back and jazz-influence from this track. However, the message of the track gets a bit dark. While he starts off the track about what a perfect family would look like, he runs it back and then talks about the things he had experienced instead.

We finally come to the longest track on the album, Cry in Church. It opens up with some quiet bell instruments that seems to pan between headphones, if you're listening with headphones or earbuds. It seems like there's some other hip hop sample in here, but I can't quite tell where it's from. As for the lyrics, he talks about how he'd rather be broke than rich and alone. He also talks about his family issues. We also get a prayer from DMX towards the end of the track.

The ending of the previous track runs into the first few seconds of Closure. This is the last track on the album and is a spoken word part from IDK. This acts as a voicemail or message to his mother and the things he's been through. He talks about how he wishes his mom would have put the same effort into loving him as she put into religion. He eventually ends the conversation and his mom says "Love you too" before the phone recording gets interrupted.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Santa Monica Blvd, PradadaBang, Red, 1995, Cry in Church
 
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