Clocking in at only 20 minutes, Rav's latest album is a rough listen, yet its relatability, self-reflection, accompanied by brilliant production, makes it one of the best Hip-Hop records of the year.
In I'm on To Me, Rav opens up and shows listeners his distraught mental state of mind. Throughout track 1 to 6, the lyrics are harsh, with admissions of guilt being put on full display. From misfortunes of love to confrontations against his own deficient characteristics, Rav's clever lyricism and mindful thinking make this such a compelling listen.
The vast sonic transition from track to track can be irregular, yet to me, it is very fascinating. Track 1, Dandelion is a mellow, lo-fi track about love, yet we swiftly switch up to a boom-bap inspired Me? Never, with Rav doing his Eminem flow impression, being very critical of his own persona. Or another example, Channel F, a very Earl-like track, with Rav's almost-screaming rapping amidst the cluttered and fuzzy instrumental. Some might say that it makes the album a complicated listen, yet I think that's the beauty of it. A man talking about his own personal issues can never be straight-forward. When I speak up about my mental issues to my friends, my speech is often clustered and capricious. It's an urgent cry for help, it'll of course be messy. In this album, I think Rav makes a good illustration of such.
The cream of the lush crop here has to be Prosthetic Self-Love, as it is a revealing track, where one comes clean with their insecurities and incapabilities, guided by this Eastern European-sounding beat. "I hate my ego, yet I seek its guidance", "My apologies shape-shift, my psychology ape shit", are lyrics that are written by a man whose self-reflection is filled with condemnation. The ugliness of the mental status Rav shows is contrasted by the elegance of the brilliant production, with sophisticated and diverse beats, making this album a riveting experience.
The last track, To My Future Self, is tough to listen to, yet the message is so beautiful. Even with the full display of emotional darkness, Rav still manages to look for the bright side, although blinded by the murky instrumental, it is a message not only to the future self, it also sends a notice to the current self to hold on and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, concluding the album on a high note.
"You'll never be perfect, and this fact should calm you. So breathe in and breathe out."
Features are also nice, though I'd prefer this album to be more of a solo performance since it is such a personal revelation. However, Kill Bill and Scuare both add valuable qualities to listeners, as their distinct voices add layers to the song, accompanying the instrumentals beautifully.
This really is a great abstract hip-hop album, as although it can be a bit much to take in, it is a resonating album, sprinkled with great production quality and lyricism, with a great concept behind.
Favorite tracks: Molasses, Prosthetic Self-Love, Channel F, Dead End, To My Future Self
Least favorite tracks: N/A