Polo G drops his highly anticipated third album, 'Hall Of Fame', and his music continues to frustrate me because of how he uses his talent, staying in his own bubble and never wanting to experiment, although he could easily create a classic if he tried. Over three albums, Polo G honestly hasn't evolved much, sticking to the same beats and using the same melodic flow on almost all his songs, although I do have to say that 'Hall Of Fame' is his most ambitious album so far, even though that doesn't say much because it's only a little more ambitious compared to both of the other albums. He made sure to bring the 'hall of fame' in terms of features, bringing hip-hip legends such as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Young Thug while additionally bringing in current mainstream trap artists such as Lil Durk, Rod Wave, and DaBaby and super young artists such as The Kid LAROI and Scorey. I'm not sure if Polo G can create a better project than this as he doesn't seem to be learning as an artist, so if this does end up being his best project, this is a pretty low peak for someone who's so skilled and it's sad to see so much talent wasted.
The vocals from Polo G are good, but they don't even sound slightly different compared to his past music, lacking a lot of variety vocally. He's always sounded spectacular on melodic tracks, but it's getting a little stale at this point because of how he's re-used the same delivery on almost every single song, only occasionally changing it up for an aggressive banger. I'm glad that he improved a great amount with his melodic vocals as it made up for the overuse of it, with Polo G sounding so smooth and relaxing as his improved melodic vocals shine bright and beautifully on 'RAPSTAR' and 'Black Hearted'. The lack of variety from Polo G luckily doesn't bother me that much because of how many features there are on the album, guaranteeing variety. Polo G attempts to sound like one of his own artists, Scorey, singing with plenty of passion on 'Broken Guitars', which would've worked wonderfully if he chose any track other than the only one with Scorey which I thought was a weird decision as he just ended up getting completely destroyed by Scorey, his own artist, which is embarrassing. I was hoping Polo G to show off his aggressive side on the album, something he hasn't used a lot since he blew up, but he stuck to the melodic side as that's what the mainstream would prefer, excluding 'GNF' and 'Go Part 1', disappointing me although putting in decent performances on those two tracks vocally as he sounded extremely mad and violent. Overall, Polo G's vocals were not close to being bad as his emotion shines on almost all the songs, although he did not choose to add any variety vocally which is a mix of him doing what would get him more streams and him just being lazy cause I know he could've brought his aggressive side out, which he instead chooses to always hide.
The production is honestly better than I thought it would be, choosing to add more variety like everyone wanted, but sadly, it's still not enough variety as the beat selection is additionally below average. About half of the album still uses piano beat which is hilarious as you would've assumed that Polo G would just completely stay away from piano beats after being called Piano G and getting a whole lot of backlash for it, but he just ignored everything and stuck to what he what he was comfortable with like he always does. The other half of the beats are pretty unique, using other instruments although still sticking away from stuff such as synthesizers, pads, and any other modern type beats (like rage beats). Excluding piano beats, Polo G seems to sound super comfortable and love beats with strings such as 'So Real' and 'Fame & Riches'. Polo G didn't just recruit the hall of fame when it came to features as he spent the same amount of attention into bringing top producers on the album, additionally never having one producer produce more than 5 songs which was super nice to see although it did make the album a little more messy. Top producers such as Einer Bankz, Taz Taylor, Dmac, Tajh Money, Nick Mira, Wheezy, SephGotTheWaves, CashMoneyAP, and AXL Beats had producer credits. Additionally, a producer by the name of WIZARDMCE produced 5 songs on the album, being an above average producer. I was surprised to see Lil Mosey on the album as a producer along with NicoNiceWitIt, who's a producer signed to Lil Mosey's label, Certified Hitmakers, being credited as producers on 'Zooted Freestyle' along with one of the best modern producers, Nick Mira, creating a cool beat with a zesty instrumental and fantastic counter-melodies, that also came with magnificent drums that dropped at all the right moments. 'Party Lyfe' uses a Hotboii-type instrumental, coming with pretty good counter melodies, and unnecessary piano in the background which is what a lot of non-piano beats are ruined by as they still have piano serving as a counter melody or a secondary instrumental, literally giving the non-piano instrumental no purpose and taking away from any variety added as Polo G seems to NEED the piano to make music. The most surprising beat used was probably on 'For the Love of New York' where a dancehall beat is used, being the last thing you'd expect from Polo G as it's groovy and exactly the opposite of the mood that Polo G's piano beats create, being much more fun and ending up as an excellent addition to the album as it lead to the creation of one of my favorite Polo G songs and one of his most unique songs. 'Broken Guitars' had a beautiful beat with gorgeous use of guitars as the guitar instrumental actually sound broken, sounding great. Polo G unexpectedly uses a hard, drill beat on the track with Pop Smoke and Fivio Foreign, with AXL Beats using wavy pads (only song with pads I believe) and disappointing drums that are lacking a lot compared to how drill drums usually sound. Overall, the production on the album is a tiny bit above average as Polo G did attempt to add variety with the beats he chose, unlike how he added no variety with his vocals, while the choice of beats could've been a lot better but I understand that Polo G is choosing different type of beats (non-piano beats), for the first time.
The lyrics are really good as Polo G has always had the talent to write all type of songs, with the addition of features requiring him to write about a more variety of topics than he normally would. There's a lot of love talk on the album, a lot more compared to Polo G's past music, probably because he's trying to more accessible to the mainstream and work with other artists. Polo G also brings out some storytelling on the album, which I thought was spectacular, especially 'Bloody Canvas', which was a beautiful, creative take on a common story used in songs, where someone looses a close friend and takes revenge on the person who killed them, while Polo G managed to choose a chilling beat to match the mood of the song. I was surprised to see Polo G take time to talk about his mental health on many of the songs, with the way he rapped about it being wonderful as it he made each and every line meaningful and stunning. The amount of bars Polo G dropped on the album is unbelievable as there's not even one song that lacks a line that sticks out from the rest, with 'Epidemic' having, 'Iced out my Rollie, but I know time cannot freeze', 'RAPSTAR' having, 'Lookin' so deep into your eyes, I can read your thoughts', and 'My lil' homie known for shootin' like he Cole Bennett' on 'Zooted Freestyle'. Even though he has the ability to drop bars like as can be seen above, he can end up repeating lines which is really annoying as there's no point in making new music if you use the same lines, framed in different ways. I'm glad he stayed away from the tedious trap topics, street violence and drugs, as much as he could, being quite creative when it came to topics, jumping from topic to topic on the album, although songs like 'RAPSTAR', 'Epidemic, 'Black Hearted', 'Heart of a Giant', and 'Losses' had really similar messages and didn't really serve a purpose. Overall, Polo G's writing was one of the best parts about his performance on the album, being significantly better than his vocals and production.
The features on this album were probably the best out of all hip-hop albums so far in 2021, with not even one feature failing to perform as they all provided prefect performances. Like I mentioned earlier in the review, the feature choices were excellent as he had plenty of huge artists on the album along with making sure they all added some type of variety. The Kid LAROI feature was one of his weaker ones, with his vocals being wonderful while his lyrics were a worse version of his track, 'TRAGIC'. Lil Durk completely destroys his verse, bringing the same high energy he brought on 'The Voice of the Heroes' to create a better verse than Polo G, who was a little to aggressive on the track for my liking. Like we all agreed, Lil Wayne carried Polo G on 'GANG GANG', as he provided a great verse that had some good bars and even handled the chorus at the end of the song. Scorey sounded stunning on his song with Polo G, being an artist signed to Polo G, like I mentioned before, as Polo G was trying to sound like Scorey for some reason which led to Scorey carrying the song, fitting the beat perfectly as it reminds me a little of his 'Rock N Roll' beat. G Herbo's feature was great, one of the best verses I've heard from him as he dropped some decnet lines while bringing a vicious attitude which was amazing, outshining Polo G on his short verse. Rod Wave sounded really good on 'Heart of a Giant', being a better feature than his feature on 'Rich Off Pain', outshining Polo G again like G Herbo did, naturally fitting the piano beat although I find it weird that Polo G placed Rod Wave on a song called "Heart of a 'Giant'", making me wonder if that was intentional. DaBaby's verse was what I needed on the song, making a mediocre song decent as he actually brought the party energy that I was expecting on the song, which Polo G failed to bring. Young Thug saved 'Losses', turning a trash song into something listenable as he fit the beat fantastically unlike Polo G who was failing to find a groove on the beat and sounded super awkward, with Young Thug's high vocals was exactly what the Wheezy beat required, being an underrated feature on the album like how his feature on 'On the Side' was underrated. A Roddy Ricch x Polo G song was one of my dream collaborations and I was so happy to see that Polo G had recruited him on the album as I honestly think that they're almost as good as the Polo G and Lil Tjay duo, with a collaboration with all three of them having a chance to be a classic track, with Roddy's verse being really good on 'Fame & Riches' as he really played with his vocal range which I loved to hear. Nicki is not missing so far in 2021, with the 'Seeing Green' track which she dropped with Lil Wayne and Drake slapping and her verse on this song being one of the best female features of 2021 as she sounds really cold at the start of her verse while slowly adjusting to the song and getting a feel for the mood, sliding and flowing spectacularly on the beat, with her singing at the very end of the song being completely unexpected and stunning as I never knew that Nicki Minaj could sing so well, with the entire song being an absolute banger as their chemistry was on point. Pop Smoke's feature was unsurprisingly hard as he never misses on a drill beat, naturally taking control of the entire song although I wish that this was a track on his upcoming second posthumous album as he was the best out of the three artists on the track and it would've been a guaranteed banger. Fivio Foreign does not stop improving as I remember when I thought that his career would go down a similar path to Blueface's career but I was proved wrong as his 'Headshot' verse was the best compared to Lil Tjay and Polo G while he adjusts amazingly on the drill beat on 'Clueless', flowing with ease and never stuttering, dropping plenty of bars in the process, completely carrying fellow XXL freshmen, Polo G. Honestly, Polo G literally got carried by every single feature on the album which is worrying because of how much talent he wasted on the album, because he 9/10 times would've been the one carrying, instead completely failing to put up a performance that comes close to the quality of the feature's performance. Polo G seemed to perform on beats where the features were comfortable on instead of beats where the feature and him would be compatible on, with the lack of a theme on the album being a big reason for why he failed to perform on a high level along with the features. Overall, the features were very important for why I even rated the above 50 as it certainly would've been lower than that if the features weren't there to carry him on all ten songs.
Polo G really made me think that this could be a classic album when I saw the track-list, even though I didn't enjoy the singles. He really messed up, as the features didn't disappoint, it was his underwhelming performances that brought the album down. We all thought that beat selection was his problem, which is a problem that got fixed a little on this album as Polo G moved away from the piano for half the album and did choose a few cool non-piano beats, but it still could've save the album from being stale. Polo G's vocals weren't at their best as he chose to be boring with his vocals and add no variety at all, instead letting the features do all the work when it came to vocal variety, while his writing was wonderful but didn't have a clear message, just moving on from topic to topic which was refreshing but also a tiny bit tedious as I think he could've been a bit more concise. Would really love to see Juice WRLD, Lil Tjay, and Lil Baby on the deluxe as it could just be the motivation for Polo G to actually perform and try to match their performances, which are basically guaranteed to be great. Like I said, this should've been a classic but I guess I'm just glad that this isn't Polo G's 'Fall of Fame' and is just his 'Hall of Lame'.
Overall, 'Hall of Fame' is just another album from Polo G that fell flat of my expectations as he has an enormous amount of potential but chooses to hit his fans with a frustrating album that has a healthy amount of songs that will make you want to go to sleep, with the album having Polo G's classic vocals although sounding a little lazier than usual even though his melodic vocals have gotten better, while having improved, interesting production that is still slightly underwhelming, and with the lyrics being really good but not having a theme or message.
Best Tracks: Black Hearted, For the Love of New York, RAPSTAR, Clueless, Toxic
Worst Tracks: Boom, Losses, Party Lyfe, GNF (OKOKOK), Go Part 1