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$not-Ethereal ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


First and foremost, this is my introduction to $NOT. I may or may not have heard him on features but this is my first time being formally introduced to his music. All I know is that he is a rapper from Brooklyn and this is his second album so without further ado, let’s get into it.






Production


I honestly think the best part about this album is the production. With beats like “Doja” and “Eye Eye Eye” on this album, it comes to show that $not does have a good ear for beats. Unfortunately, there are times when the production is rather directionless or derivative. The song “Blue Moon” sounds straight out of the XXXTentaction playbook and despite liking “Alone” and “Euphoric”, I can’t deny that they both sound like songs off of the recent Trippie Redd album that came out last summer. The beats for “Go” and “5 AM” are also obvious Playboi Carti ripoffs with the drum patterns, melodies, and instrumental choice. What I’m trying to say is that $not has a good ear for picking beats, but he needs to be original while picking them.


Features


Almost half of this album has featured tracks and some of them hit and some miss. The feature on “Doja” has a nice A$AP Rocky feature but it’s nothing to talk about. The Trippie feature on “Alone” just had to be because of how identical it is to Trippie’s sound he’s been going for recently. The Kevin Abstract feature on “Eye Eye Eye” is probably my favorite feature because he makes the song 10x better than it already was, and its a good song. Unfortunately, there are songs like “Blue Moon” and “Halle Berry” where the features act less like features and more like saving graces as Teddi Jones and Juicy J are the saving factors on their respective songs. There is also the song “How U Feel” where Joey Bada$$ punches super under his weight. Overall, there are a couple of great features but nearly every song with a good feature is distracted from something else that I don’t like.

Influences


Now to the fun, $NOT is super derivative. There is barely an original song on this thing. I mentioned that he rips off Carti, X, and Trippie on this album but there are also times where he rips off Denzel Curry, Tyler The Creator, and BROCKHAMPTON. To give credit where it’s due, it’s not like he’s a one-trick pony, because he does try to bring different sounds to the table, but he sticks too much in his comfort zone while doing it.


Genre-Bending


Speaking of versatility, there are multiple tracks where $not tries something different. It’s mainly a trap album, but the intro and outro are poor emo-rap attempts. The song “How U Feel” tries to be an old-school boom-bap song but it just sounds like a mediocre Tyler The Creator song. The song “Halle Berry” tries to sound dark and nocturnal with the Juicy J feature, but it just sounds like a solid trap song. The song “Blue Moon” takes the trap drums away but replaces them with drums you’d find over any anime edit. Overall, ill say that $not definitely tries, but as of now, he’s failing.


Favorite Tracks


Well first and foremost, “Doja” is a banger. Good beat, good hook, good feature, and good verses. The song “Alone” is a nice playful trap bop with a playful beat and great Trippie feature. The song “Eye Eye Eye” is a nice cold southern hip hop track with a really good Kevin Abstract feature and the song “High IQ” is probably my favorite track without a feature. Other than that…I mean….To give credit where it’s due, at least he’s trying.


Verdict


Well, I see $not has tricks up his sleeve but for right now, he needs more time to develop fully. For right now, I’ll cherry-pick the songs I like and call it a day.



3/10

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