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Written Before Listen

It’s been a while since we’ve heard an Earthgang release but here we are. In my opinion, Earthgang is one of the better artists in Dreamville, being behind JID, Earthgang represents the colorful and eccentric attitude that represents their influences from the southern hip hop scene. For a person who is a huge fan of OutKast, it’s cool to see someone reliving some of their eccentricity. Unfortunately, they kind of replicate OutKast more than they replicate the actual qualities that made OutKast so good, but it still makes their music enjoyable. With that being said, let’s see if Earthgang forms more of their sound on this thing and without further ado, let’s get into it.


Southern Hip Hop has a characterized production. Most southern hip hop consists of dense low end, electronic influences, and heavy influence from soul music. Earthgang makes sure their Atlanta roots stick on them like honey. The opening title track consists of a trap rhythm alongside synths and anthemic horns and “American Horror Story” has this sinister soul sample that reminisces the southern hip hop coming out in the 90s. There is also the smooth and reggae-influenced “Smoke Sum” with a melodic bassline and laid-back drum break. On the other hand, we have a song like “Billi” where the biggest feature is this goofy-ass synth alongside this generic trap beat. When I first listened to it, I didn’t know if I loved it or hated it, but after the first few listens, I couldn’t stand it anymore. Other than a couple of exceptions, a lot of the beats are in between. I don’t dislike the beats Earthgang chooses, but they’re just predictable and most of them have been done.


One thing that I do like about this album is that Dot and Venus have really good chemistry with one another. Venus acts as the eccentric one with the colorful and soulful delivery alongside the Andre-like charisma and Dot is the laid-back and lyrical one. To be fair, they both come off as lyricists, but they want to let you know that it’s personality first and lyrics second, and I support that choice 100%.


This album isn’t loaded with the features, but the ones that are there….are just there. The song “Billi” has a Future feature that is only memorable because of the beat switch that happens. The song “Waterboyz '' has the super lineup of Earthgang, JID, and J Cole but everyone punches under their weight. The song “Black Pearls'' has a Baby Tate feature and I would consider it pretty raunchy and descriptive. It probably is one of my favorite features on the album, alongside CeeLo Green's feature on “Power”. There is also “Run Too '' with Ari Lennox and I don’t know if this is a personal thing or not, but I never enjoyed Ari Lennox’s features. She has a solid voice and everything but she’s just so generic in comparison to other Neo-soul singers. Overall, I think the choices of features are good but none of them match up to expectations.


It’s obvious….Earthgang is heavily influenced by OutKast. The eccentricity, commercial appeal, and southern twang are all bleeding Andre and Big Boi and when they aren’t sounding like OutKast, they sound like other artists heavily influenced by OutKast like Young Thug and Big KRIT. They still sound derivative, enough said.

Favorite Tracks

Well, I think Earthgang punched under their weight on this album, but there are a few tracks that I will cherry-pick. Despite JID and Cole punching under their weight on “Waterboyz”, the beat and hook are super vibrant and represent Earthgang well. The song “American Horror Story” not only has a super dark and nocturnal beat but the topics of racism and discrimination are done uniquely. The following “Power” is unironically powerful with a personality-filled CeeLo Green feature. The track right after that brings a three-track run I wasn’t expecting with the song “Smoke Sum” which is a stoner anthem that just doesn’t get tiring. On the other hand, the rest of the album just sounds kind of tiring. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, except for a few songs, EARTHGANG doesn’t bring anything new to the table.


I wouldn’t consider this super disappointing, but I do consider this album below average. I think Earthgang has the potential to keep on going, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they never overshadow songs like “Top Down” and “Up”. It’s unfortunate but it seems that Earthgang is going in a direction that stays 90 degrees.



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