First let me say this: I have nothing against L4Y and I don’t take any pleasure in writing negative reviews. So with that in mind, I’ve listened to every second of Where it Begins and spent most of it wondering when it will end. However, allow me address the good news first.
The first thing you notice about the album is that it is crisp! This is a well-produced album. Just take the R&P tinged Keep The Eyes in Line. With sparse hanging synths and tight drums, it’s a great, warm beat for L4Y to lay some nice lines about controlling the eyes along it (see what I did there?). In fact, this album is rife with quality beats that hold a lot of crossover appeal. With a lot of variety, the listener will not get bored with the beats.
However I think it is time to address the elephant in the room. L4Y is a terrible rapper. Actually I don’t think he’s a rapper at all. The rapping is so bad that he makes Hurricane Chris look like Nas. He uses exactly the same flow on every bar of every song, and when there is an attempt to do something different, he skips the timing and the beat. And half the time the rhymes, flat out don’t rhyme.
Just take this gem from the Intro – Where It Begins, “what is my purpose in this world/ I don’t know what else to do/ I am going crazy/ I just need you and nobody else/ I will do anything for your help” The first 3 lines don’t rhyme at all and the last word, help is stretched to rhyme with the previous sentence. However it stretched to the point that “else” & “help” end up not rhyming. The only good thing about his “rapping” is when he raps in another language. It sounds good and I don’t know what he is saying so I cope with that.
Nevertheless that is just the beginning. There is so much more that is wrong with the album. L4Y can hold a note but he is no singer by any stretch of the imagination. In fact the album has some of the worst hooks I have heard in CHH history, & believe me, there have been some seriously atrocious hooks. Continuing From the dreadful use of auto tune on Keep them Eyes in Line, to the cloned beat of You’re All I Want this album is a train-wreck. The length of the album is also an issue, but after listening to the whole project, I am glad that it is so short.
This is why people think hip-hop is dead. I can understand the man’s heart to reach people for Christ in his culture. However, people in CHH need to realize, not everyone is cut out to be a rapper. Not everyone is cut out to be a producer. Some people just need to put the mic down.
In conclusion, this album has great beats. Get the instrumental album (if it drops). L4Y should consider either going to music school or dropping the mic. Don’t get suckered into buying the album. I hate to give bad ratings. I tried to find good points where ever I could, but under no circumstance should you buy this album. Stop it before it begins.
1. Music – 6
2. Flow – 1
3. Creativity / Originality – 1
4. Relevancy – 1
5. Content & Character – 3
6. Credibility & Confidence – 3
7. Personality – 3
8. Presentation Quality –5
9. Overall Production Quality – 5
10. Potential Impact – 1