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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Williams

Don’t Sleep #19

YBN Cordae - The Lost Boy

Very rarely do I get anxious to hear an album from an artist I know close to nothing about. YBN Cordae an anomaly to me, he’s very much integrated with the young boys in the game but he is very respected by the legends. Being that I only really judge artists by their complete bodies of work I was ready to see what box Cordae was gonna be placed in. “Was he looking to just put songs together?” or “Was he gonna begin to build a Legacy with his debut?” As we got closer to the release of this album I began to get tunnel vision for The Lost Boy not even Chance could do much to stop me from going straight to this album, maybe its good The Big Day dropped late. I think my obsession with creatives from North Carolina may have had an influence on my excitement too. Or maybe because we share a birthday I knew he could do no wrong. Whatever it was I’m glad I listened to this album.

A lot of times the intro will answer any questions about an artist that you need to know. Wintertime comes on I hear that brass and immediately realize he ain’t playing. I knew Cordae could rap but I wasn’t sure if he could compose a record like this. As I listened to it I couldn’t help but get emotional because the image Mac Miller kept flashing in my head. It felt like at some point Mac could’ve gotten the call to hop on that record if we still had him here with us. I didn’t know if anyone would give us that vibe anytime soon, it was the perfect way to get me fully invested in the journey Cordae was gonna take us on.

Bad idea sounds like s that could have thrived on Chance’s Coloring Book album, which is still in my rotation, so to say I fuck with this song would be an understatement. Regardless of how I feel about Kanye right now that influence is still super intact and for Cordae to have the nuts to flip a hook from Late Registration is impressive. This song feels like some boom bap Gospel shit and I won’t lie I want more of it, those keys are super clutch. Speaking of Coloring Book, Chance is very much present on this track and I don’t know if Chance has put out a bad verse yet. If he has this one isn’t joining it, he floated on this track.

Before I talk about my favorite song on the album I wanna speak on that Grandma’s House skit real quick. I think it’s super duper dope that he put his granny on the tape but when I found out how it happened I couldn’t help be cheese at the TV as he spoke on the Breakfast Club. Cordae went to visit his grandma and they sang together. Then he had the foresight to put some actual production behind the audio, asking one of my favorite artists Sir to do some background vocals and all. I would have never thought to do something like that so I appreciate that he showed me another way of pushing my creativity when it comes to making music.

Family Matters is the most personal song on the album and my favorite one. One thing I love is when artists move the curtains aside and for Cordae to really show the world what it’s like to be fully integrated in your dreams while your family is still living their lives is super dope. I like that he was vulnerable with the audience while still protecting the relationship he has with his loved one, I know how difficult it is to say what you want without completely dismissing the feelings of the people you are speaking about. It’s a song that made me self reflect on where I fit in my family dynamics, it’s amazing how when you are focused on building your own legacy how detached you can become from everyone around you. The fact that Cordae is still super in tune with what’s going on in his family is admirable because I have little to no idea what’s going on with waaaay less shit going on in my life. I salute little bro for this record.

I don’t wanna end this article without at least touching on the fact that there are literally no skips on this album, in my opinion. Every song on this project has a place in my heart. This album is easily in my discussion for album of the year and it has elements I would love to explore with some of the artists I work with on music. I’m super happy that we can still get albums of this caliber from the younger artists in the game. To answer my question from earlier I definitely get the feeling that YBN Cordae is gonna be a Legacy artist in Hip Hop. I think this debut fits in with the Great debut albums of the all timers. Don’t just take my word for it, go experience it for yourselves.

I wanna thank Cordae for being another reason for me to be proud to say I’m a Jersey kid, North Carolina man. I’m super excited to see the growth of your budding career. I know your family is extremely proud of you and I hope it’s understood that me and my homie Ronnie be repping hard. I know you repping Maryland hard but don’t think North Carolina not loving what you doing little bro. Thank you for being more inspiration for me.

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