Don’t Sleep #21
EarthGang - Mirrorland
Dreamville Dreamville Dreamville. It’s amazing how the last three acquisitions of the label quickly closed the gap between Dreamville and TDE in my eyes. J.I.D, Ari Lennox, and EarthGang were exactly what was needed for J.Cole’s label to be in that upper echelon of record labels. You read my Ari article to see how highly I think of her. J.I.D is gonna go down as a GOAT. EarthGang has put themselves in an amazing position with Mirrorland being that this album has the feel of the Greats from Atlanta but still very modern. I said in my ROTD3 article that I was excited for the release of Mirrorland, them boys did not disappoint.
From the start I got the feel that I was at a BankHead circus. Lala Challenge and UP is the perfect one-two punch to begin your circus themed project because they feel like some Ringling Brothers shit. The bounce I get when I listen to these two songs is crazy. I can only imagine what happens at a venue, people might actually be flipping and going wild.
Bank is one those records people would assume I wouldn’t like but they‘d be wrong. The lyrics are great. There’s a fun ass hook. Their flows are great. I tend to get a bad rap for not liking fun songs which is hilarious because I looove OutKast and Goodie Mob. I’m not gonna hold y’all I like “kekeke all the way to the bank.” That’s why I come back so often.
Young Thug has gradually been becoming an artist that when I see “feat. Young Thug” I get excited to hear what he does. On Proud of You he snapped something crazy, the way he uses his voice is ridiculous. He had like 4-5 different vocal tones/styles in less than a minute. I haven’t talked about what Johnny and Dot has done but when it comes to the melodics/rappity rap hybrids there‘s not many artists in their class. Also shoutout to 2k for the placement on the soundtrack because it’s almost singlehandedly carrying that muhluva.
My favorite song on Mirrorland is by far Trippin. It feels so familiar and dope, it’s funky as hell. As someone who’s just starting to create music for himself, EarthGang has the blueprint for finding pockets to push creativity in the beats. They will find a crease where they can give you some singing then rap they ass off then do funky shit. Trippin highlights those attributes perfectly. Kehlani surprised the hell out of me and i know someone is gonna say “she been doing all of that!!” I’ll reply with “I had no idea.” The versatility she showcased with her soft tone then going to her stronger rapper-y tone was great. Somebody tell her I said “Ight imma fuck with you.”
As groups/duos seem to be a dying breed in Hip Hop it’s super refreshing to see Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot keeping the vibes alive. Hopefully we’ll see a resurgence after Mirrorland because the synergy between these two guys is a beautiful sight. They seem to have a “no ‘i’ in team” mentality and their music benefits tremendously from it. The only thing I feel is missing is J.I.D verse but that might have been super predictable so I understand it not happening on their debut album. I highly recommend y‘all go check out what these guys are doing over there at Dreamville. Creativity seems to be the ultimate goal over there.
I wanna thank Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot for putting Creativity first and making the Art the number one priority. I’ve learned a lot from Mirrorland. Please keep bringing back people love for artistic groups, the numbers will come just keep being different. Y’all got the talent to be in that conversation with the Greatest groups of all time just execute the way y’all are. It’s inspiring.