Ghetto Gods turns one today. Intelligent bars, star studded features, skits and production that is futuristic yet still hip hop in it's essence make for a vivid, film-like body of work.
On high speed, bass heavy 'BILLI', Future's verse marks the beat switch as the tempo changes and he rides the trap production that's now synth-y keys and a kickdrum loop. Dreamville's finest reunites on 'WATERBOYZ', with JID and J. Cole. JID's fun personality shines through on the chorus with his adlibs and the slick of his cadence rides the bounce of the beat. J. Cole's punchy flow comes through on his verse which is both insightful and bragadocious. Johnny Venus samples Fugees' lyrics with 'Hoochies pop coochies for Gucci's' and Doctur Dot makes a reference to Lil Wayne's '6 Foot 7 Foot' - the iconic line 'Real Gs move in silence like lasagne' turns into 'G's move in silence / Rather make moves than announcements'.
The 'HEY BOO' skit features DC Youngfly venting about his trials and tribulations with women, but that he thinks he's found someone and the skit ends with her calling him and he answers 'Hey, boo.'
'AMEN' samples 'Just Friends (Sunny)' and Musiq Soulchild makes an appearance on the track too. Musiq's vocalisations on the original track make up the beat on 'AMEN' and his silky vocals ride the kick drums implemented over those original vocals.
The next tracks on the album importantly shift the focus to Black women. JT from City Girls makes an appearance on the 'JEANS INTERLUDE' skit as she empowers women over a glittering fragment of production.
'BLACK PEARLS' is a song dedicated to Black women and Baby Tate's animated vocals make an appearance as she raps at rapid speed.
'NEEZY'S WALK' is a spoken word piece told by Lynae Vanee that closes this chapter, providing insight on how "The scariest thing about being a black woman" is that "you can't close your eyes on the scary parts".
'POWER' with CeeLo Green and Nick Cannon feels cinematic through the various beat switch, like different scenes of a movie. In the chorus, CeeLo Green sings the title of the song as Nick Canon's monologue floats between his vocals.
'STRONG FRIENDS' is a comforting reminder to make sure you 'check in on your strong friends', the harmonies on this song are as beautiful as the message.
Lastly, 'RUN TOO' sees the harmonious vocals of Ari Lennox backdropping bars throughout the verses and her gorgeous tone is pushed into the limelight at the chorus.
The beats on the project do go hard, but the sentiments that lie within the songs hit harder. We can't wait to see what EARTHGANG is cooking up for us next.
Review written by Kat Friar