As a fan of his raw, unapologetic (and far too infrequent) guest verses, a full length ThugYeezy project was immensely appealing to me, and easily one of my most anticipated albums this year. A preview of its sound could be found on single ‘5AM’, a huge manwithxface production with an bludgeoning hook: ‘5 in the morning n**** we on it, anything worth value n**** we want it. Any block making guala n**** we on it and the homie just snuck the trey in the function.’ Yeezy’s vivid depictions of robbery and murder ‘If it ain’t that, cool n**** fall back or its cock back, hollow tips in your ball cap’. The metallic, clattering drums and muted vocal sample propel the song just as hard as the duo’s previous hook up ‘Huffy Bike’, crafting another modern boom bap classic for the ages. I’m glad this song was included here as its effortless grooves and rowdy hook have shaped this record’s sound significantly. The duo’s other hookups here are some of its stand out moments, proving the two are an unparalleled force of songwriting. Indeed, although xface is one of five primary producers on this project, he was also responsible for mixing and mastering the album. Alongside Yeezy’s tough performances, the amount of work poured into the smoothening of this record’s incredibly diverse beat selection makes Soon It Will All Make Sense a perfectly sleek, nostalgic set of songs.
On the subject of production, I’d especially like to complement ‘The Night’, which sports SlyDahmer’s gripping, suspenseful beat. It possesses a jazzy flavour, particularly on the chorus at which point is sounds almost like a noir film soundtrack. Yeezy comes through with his usual grit: ‘You mastered the art of pretending, I mastered the art of armed robbery. Masked with a vengeance, past to the present I’m in the back with the felons we comfortable, sending shots to your melon’. Lyrically, this stuff exceeds even my greatest expectations for Yeezy’s first official offering. ‘While You Sleep’ is another highlight, it’s beautiful sample work weaving a luxurious backdrop for the rapper as well as guest performer Alpine to spit eloquently over. ‘You used to be that n**** til I took the title, came from right behind you with the aura that can blind you’ and ‘I know them boys sick, yeah they got the suds, know you know what’s up I know they notice us.’ are my favourite lines from each rapper. Alpine’s slur is particularly effective, closing the song with a stark, gravelly cadence to juxtapose Yeezy’s flagrant bars. The guest appearances on this record are all equally effective, each an essential counterpoint to the song’s primary content.
My favourite collaborative song might just be ‘Danger’. The ‘Eye for a Eye’-inspired hook is worked into the xface beat perfectly, and Yeezy brings one of his strongest verses to date on this song. ‘I got your back you watch my front cos that’s what family’s all about. You’ll see who’s for you when you gone and other n**** run they mouth’. SeKwence then pops up, snatching the beat immediately and delivering one of his best verses of the year, an astonishing achievement given his current catalogue. ‘I’m grippin the blunt that loaded chamber on me I’m ready to duck on anybody stepping in this direction. Not protected by them angels, them demons still around the corner stalking, I purchase product expand my conscious’. Cambank$ offers a similarly flooring contribution to ‘The Bitch In You’. Right at home amongst The Artivist’s soulful beat, Cam matches Yeezy’s ‘You gotta make a decision now or n**** your time’s up. Don’t let that mouth of yours get that little ass lined up, cos this your life you signed up. You a gangsta or a bitch n****, make your fucking mind up.’ with ‘Talkin’ crazy over the screen but never in person, I just sit back and smile as the situation worsens.’ and ‘Pussy n***** takin’ shots, but like B-Rabbit with the gun’. The four features fall in the middle of the record, bolstering it’s already strong start by presenting worthy competitors to Yeezy’s self-proclaimed crown.
In my opinion, Yeezy deserves it. One listen to ‘Crooklyn (A Love Story)’ will convince you he’s up there with the true greats of twisted hip-hop romance, while closer ‘Anything’ will prove he’s mastered the epic, mafioso-tinged climax that so often wraps up major label rap records. This really is a record of two halves, one relying heavily on intense, gruff delivery (something the rapper sported proudly on features such as ‘Marlo’ and ‘Aite Then’) and the other on tangible lyricism. When approaching the masterfully textured, organic-sounding production found on his debut, the MC knew he had a sufficient arsenal to tackle them and therefore his brags are anything but hollow. Thanks to the diligence of Yeezy, xface and the other producers and guests on this record, Soon It Will All Make Sense is the year’s most accomplished debut and an essential record for anyone invested in the deep cultural lineage inspiring the uber-dope rapping and beats found within its tracklist