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YBN Cordae went from being lost to a winner!

YBN member and 21-year-old rapper from North Carolina, YBN Cordae released his debut album, "The Lost Boy" today on July 26th, 2019. He began having an interest in hip-hop when his father would always play classic hip-hop such as Rakim, Big L, Nas and Talib Kweli. He started writing rhymes at the age of 15 years old, and his influences are Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West, Big L, Travis Scott, and Kendrick Lamar. By releasing 3 mixtapes between 2014 and 2017 under the name Entendre, he later changed his name to YBN Cordae when he met and hung around the YBN crew. Cordae got himself known when he released a remix to Eminem's "My Name Is" and "Old N*gg*s" which was a response to J. Cole's "1985". "Old N*gg*s" got me interested in the upcoming rapper at the time. The album has been released under Atlantic Records and it features Pusha T, Chance The Rapper, Anderson .Paak, Ty Dolla $ign, Arin Ray and Meek Mill. Let's see if the young rapper is to going to give the hip-hop community a good first impression.

"The Lost Boy" starts with the song "Wintertime". The song is an introduction where YBN Cordae explains who he is, where he comes from and a brief detail of his journey before becoming a known rapper. The next song is "Have Mercy". It was released in March and Cordae took the opportunity on this sweet instrumental to show his lyrical skills and he took shots at old complaining rappers that this is his time to shine while hoping he's on the right path to "save the world". Then we have a skit called "Sweet Lawd" where Cordae sings along with a choir. "Bad Idea" is featuring Chance The Rapper and both artists are rapping about the ups and downs in their lives on a yet catchy but joyful instrumental. The hook interpolates Kanye West's "My Way Home" featuring Common but by doing some research, Kanye's song interpolates Gil Scott-Heron's "Home Is Where The Hatred Is". "Bad Idea" also interpolates legendary rapper Scarface's "On My Block". The following song is "Thanksgiving" and it follows the vibe of the previous song well because the instrumental is catchy and more joyful too. On the song, Cordae raps about taking his girl to visit his family on Thanksgiving but she doesn't seem in wanting to put any efforts on the relationship. The next song featuring Anderson .Paak is "RNP" and everything about this song is just perfect. A funky hip-hop instrumental on a lyrical exchange rich life problems between YBN Cordae and Anderson .Paak. The lyrical content and punchlines were very good, funny and clever and oh yeah, this is a J. Cole production by the way.

"Broke As Fuck" starts with a hype up instrumental where Cordae raps about his struggled past when his grandmother passed away and his brother doing time in jail. The vibe and instrumental of the song changes to a more peaceful piano sound at the second verse, where Cordae reminiscence about his parents who never had anything, and now Cordae is flying on a private jet. The following song is called "Thousand Words" and Cordae raps about how social media affects people's lives and how it makes them comfortable to live a lie most of the time through pictures they're showing friends and strangers around the world just to feel better about themselves. The beat is nice and smooth and it's produced by Cardiak with a co-production from Terrace Martin. So far, the album is really good and enjoyable and I never felt like skipping a song.

We are now at the half of the album with the song "Way Back Home" featuring Ty Dolla $ign where both artists talk about being themselves while facing fame and success. Then we have a skit called "Grandma's House" which is a duet between Cordae and his grandmother singing Luther Barne's "Trouble in My Way". "Been Around" is where Cordae raps about his journey with people who were with him and who supported him. The instrumental is nice and relaxing, and the song has additional vocals from the legendary Quincy Jones. Then we have "Nightmares Are Real" featuring Pusha T and what a perfect song for Cordae to test his rapping skills with Pusha T on the track. Must I say that both rappers delivered some great lyrical skills with a good story-telling where both artists were rapping about their journey of becoming an upcoming rapper. The next song is called "Family Matters" featuring Arin Ray, and the song and the instrumental are beautiful as Cordae raps about his difficult past growing up with his family and trying to love them for better or for worse. "We Gon Make It" is featuring Meek Mill and the song is an inspiration for anybody who has dreams, to believe in themselves and to never quit. Both rappers did a good job on the positive message they were delivering to the young black youth in the United States of America by not letting Donald Trump or any other racist person in the U.S. to put them down. The album finishes with the song "Lost & Found" where Cordae raps about being lost but now he's found, in other words, he finally made it and he's ready to take over the rap game.

I have nothing to say other than what a great debut album by YBN Cordae. I knew when I first heard him on "Old N*gg*s" that he had talent but "The Lost Boy" just blew me away. I'm happy to see a young talented rapper who just doesn't mumble or cry on a trap beat, Cordae showed everybody on his album that he can hold his own with good lyrical content and a good flow. The production album was well done and I honestly think this the best debut mainstream album from a rapper since "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" by Kendrick Lamar.

Score: 5/5

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