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Rich The Kid Enters the Mainstream With “The World Is Yours”, Yet He Lacks Identity (3 Stars)

Rich The Kid’s album “The World Is Yours” debuted at #1 on Billboard top 100 charts. The young rapper came up alongside peers such as Famous Dex, and broke out with the release of hit single “New Freezer” featuring Kendrick Lamar, which has since gone platinum. On his debut album, Rich the Kid showcases his talent, yet remains mostly within his comfort zone. Its best songs are fast, energetic bangers, many of which include high profile features. However, the album lacks versatility, depth, and some of its slower songs fall flat in their execution.

The album largely strays from the tone set by the first track, “World Is Yours.” Its lyrics are genuine yet still playful. Rich The Kid preaches his self-made ‘hustle,’ and asserts, as he does frequently throughout the album, that he has finally made it. The melodic, woozy beat does not provide significant replay value, yet the track’s message is vital to the progression of the album itself.

The album’s pinnacle comes early. “New Freezer” features a rare and noteworthy appearance from rap titan Kendrick Lamar. Rich the Kid’s triplets flow in and out of banging bass and rattling high-hats. Kendrick’s verse is also a standout moment. The song’s message does not stray far beyond surface value— flexing diamonds, cars, and women— but is a fun and energetic hit.

The next song, “No Question,” rides the wave set by “New Freezer.” Alongside a noteworthy feature from Future, Rich The Kid brags about his ascendance to fame. On the hook he raps, “It’s a blessing (what)/ I was broke but now I’m flexing (flex)” The track’s heavy bass and woozy 808s compliment Future’s deep, gravelly vocals.

The following song, “Plug Walk” is another one of the album’s high points. What it lacks in substance it makes up for in melody. The beat is slow and electronic, but drenched in bass. Rich The Kid’s drawn out verses flow through the grooves of the beat, making it impossible not to nod along as you listen to the track.

“Too Gone,” with a feature from R&B rising star, Khalid, is a refreshing change of pace for the album’s monotony of jewelry, money, and cars. The song’s lyrics feature more substance: being too drunk or drugged out to pay attention to his woman. Khalid sings on the hook, “I’m not really used to you calling me back/ But I’m way too gone and I’m out of it (way too gone.)” This song is one of the rare moments where we see more emotional awareness from Rich, “Thinkin’ too much, I been sippin’ (sippin’)/ Said that she thought I was different (what)”

The next high point on the album comes on the song “Lost It,” with features from Quavo and Offset, two members of the superstar rap trio, Migos. Rich The Kid’s triplet flow is entertaining but far from groundbreaking, Quavo’s vocals and verse are enjoyable, but Offset’s verse stands out most of all. His flow is versatile and off the wall, and his strong vocals preach his sincere ruthlessness.

“End of Discussion” includes an outstanding feature from Lil Wayne. Rich The Kid reminds his listeners that he went “From nothing to something,” and his verse is rather middle of the road for the rest of the album. However, Lil Wayne’s feature here is the standout. His high pitched vocals don’t sound dissimilar to Rich’s, but Wayne displays the lyricism we came to love him for.

Not only is Wayne’s performance strong, it is also interesting to see a former king of hip hop mingling with one of the members of the New Wave. Say what you will about Rich’s performance on the album, but whether it be Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Quavo, Offset, or Future, one thing is clear, Rich The Kid has garnered respect from some of the rap game’s most prominent names.

“Early Morning Trappin’” is a turn away from the grimy, traditional, and lyrically thick styles of hip hop generations past. The song embodies the New Wave, including a feature from the up and coming ‘soundcloud rapper’ “Trippie Redd.” Trippie’s raspy but melodic vocals cover the hook well, and Rich’s triplet flow verses ride over another bass-heavy beat. The song’s strength is in its catchy melody, and celebration of the blissfully ignorant trap lifestyle full of drugs and women.

After this song, the album begins to lose steam. “Small Things” and “Gargoyle” are both attempts at slower songs, yet do not follow through as intended. Swae Lee’s feature in particular on Gargoyle seems out of place, without effort, and boring. Offset’s verse picks up the flow of the song at the end, but is not enough to save it.

“Dead Friends” caps off the album on a high note. The song has been generally perceived as a diss track aimed at hip hop star Lil Uzi Vert. Rich seeks to defy those who have frequently compared him to or discounted him as a low-rent version of Uzi, giving this diss track particular importance to Rich’s establishment into the mainstream.

The album’s greatest flaw is the monotony of topic material in its songs, but in this song, Rich has a specific target. On the hook he boasts “My check bigger,” and mocks Uzi saying, “You a middleman (what), you a little man (little, huh)/ Your money gettin’ shorter (shorter), my b*tch from ‘cross the water (b*tch).” The beat is slow and full of trap influences, but not drowned out in bass enough to miss what Rich is saying. Most importantly, what Rich is saying is not more forgettable braggadocious nothingness, giving the song more value than what is typical of the rest.

The album is a fun tracklist, full of vibey trap rap with the occasional banger here and there, as well as its fair share of low points. The album is not groundbreaking artistically nor lyrically by any means, yet through the album, Rich has effectively manifested himself in the mainstream of hip hop. For Rich, the talent is evidenced clearly by songs like New Freezer and Plug Walk, as well as cosines from some of raps most respected figures such as Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Migos. However, for Rich to compose something truly significant, he should expand beyond the typical triplet flow, heavy bass trap beats, and forgettably run-of-the-mill lyrics.

Click here for tracklist.

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