Polo G ‘The GOAT’ Album Overview
Polo G is perseverance personified. The 21-year-old Chicago rapper’s debut album, Die A Legend, launched in 2019 by way of Columbia Information, set tales of habit, gun violence, and demise to breathless manufacturing throughout 14 tracks. The artist born Taurus Bartlett walked by way of the fires of Outdated City’s streets and located gold on the opposite facet, preserving his life and solidifying his household’s legacy within the course of.
“I’m so grateful he was capable of flip his ache into ardour as a result of there are such a lot of youngsters like him,” his mom and supervisor Stacia Mac advised me once I interviewed her this previous February. Even Polo’s celebration information, like final 12 months’s 4x Platinum RIAA-certified single “Pop Out,” transfer with an air of menace. “Them killers rock with me, lil’ nigga, don’t get banged / ’Trigger they’ll try this job for me whereas I hop on a airplane,” Polo raps on the track’s hook.
The tender velocity of Polo G’s music has taken him far and vast over the previous 12 months. On the precipice of releasing The GOAT, his sophomore major-label album, it’s time to see how a lot additional he can go. In traditional 1-Pay attention trend, the principles are the identical: no rewinds, pauses, or skips—a straight shot by way of adopted by my intestine reactions. Let’s journey.
1. “Don’t Consider The Hype (Intro)”
It wouldn’t be a Polo G track and not using a piano beat. “I used to be doing medicine simply to get by way of the evening.” Coronary heart instantly on sleeve. “All the time say their names so I don’t neglect ‘em.” A title doesn’t imply shit with out the individuals who enable you get there. Polo’s melodies make the laser focus of his writing way more disarming. “Don’t Consider The Hype” sounds prefer it was spit from the within of a twister. Dragging us proper into the maelstrom.
2. “Heartless” feat. Mustard
I’ve at all times questioned what Polo would sound like over a Mustard beat. A chopped and screwed Mustard beat tag, that’s new. The guitar twang is a pleasant contact. With the 808s and bass, that is by far essentially the most expansive Mustard beat I’ve ever heard. Polo and Mustard’s respective affect is rubbing off. Tales of Instagram mannequin cousins promoting cocaine and spending cash to neglect the previous. Even with its morbid streak, “Heartless” sounds prepared for radio. Not distinctive however simple on the ears.
3. “Martin & Gina”
Any track known as “Martin & Gina” must be about relationships. Yep, he’s singing on to his girl. “Each Martin & Gina, however we ain’t take into consideration behind the scenes.” Bars about battling butterflies whereas she’s in her sundress are cute if a bit awkward. Polo’s sincerity is his secret weapon, however that may solely take you up to now. The bludgeoning low-end of the beat can also be a brand new avenue for him. I’m not totally certain I’ll be returning right here.
4. “Flex” feat. Juice WRLD
I’m nonetheless in shock over Juice WRLD’s demise. Seeing G Herbo and now Polo G honor his reminiscence with these options makes the ache much less potent. These final three songs are hitting totally different from a manufacturing standpoint. Guitars appear to have taken the place of pianos as Polo’s favourite instrument to rhyme over. “Flexin’ with 100 money, take a look at what these songs do.” Even when his warriors will shoot like Golden State, Polo is relishing the spoils of his internal battles. He sounds rejuvenated. Right here comes Juice WRLD, who isn’t on hook obligation. Their types are so related, a pure pairing. I’m unhappy they received’t get to develop collectively. “Flex” is enjoyable. I’ll be again.
5. “Go Silly” feat. Stunna 4 Vegas & NLE Choppa
The piano’s again. Right here comes the only to smack the doorways down. Manufacturing from Mike WiLL Made-It and Tay Keith is placing my cranium crusher headphones to work. Tinnitus incoming, however I don’t care. Polo is barreling by way of this beat, man. “They are saying my final tape a basic, however I received some hotter shit.” TALK THAT SHIT. “Go Silly” deserves to reverberate off the partitions of live performance halls throughout the nation. Fucking, COVID-19. Quarantine can’t finish quickly sufficient. Stunna 4 Vegas caught the baton Polo G threw. He eats on this type of beat. NLE Choppa making Memphis proud together with his verse. These three are in-sync, no JC. “Go Silly” does, certainly, go extremely silly. A keeper.
Polo is bringing us again to the block. Discuss of purple tape, serving fiends, and pulling bands out of his secure. “Can’t relapse off these medicine, man; RIP to Juice / We was tweakin’ off these percs; I popped my final one with you.” His confessions are so nonchalant it might take just a few seconds earlier than their weight hits you within the chest. Going from apathy behind the wheel of a automobile to celebrating his twenty first birthday is a tonal whiplash. “21” strikes so quick, and Polo rides the beat so effectively it doesn’t matter. “The place I’m from, they turned demise right into a contest.” His journey from the North Facet to the highest of the hill is extra thrilling than the previous few Quick & Livid motion pictures. Is it simply me, or do these beats have much more bass in them than they did on Die A Legend? The GOAT is propulsive, and it needs you to realize it.
“This new glock received 33, Scottie Pippen.” I’m stunned I’ve by no means heard anybody make a Scottie Pippen gun reference earlier than. A parallel to the shiny luxe of “21.” We’re again within the thick of it. “They like headshots, don’t make no sense to carry a vest out.” Polo sees useless mates and associates in each bust-down VVS he will get. He connects the dots so effortlessly. These songs transfer so quick it’s admittedly exhausting to maintain up. Polo’s storytelling is so sharp. Third keeper in a row.
8. “I Know”
The GOAT is giving Polo to flex his musical vary, and he hasn’t disenchanted up to now. Quick 808s and claps. The sunny guitar is clashing towards Polo’s morbid ideas. “Why can’t I simply pull as much as your crib and see you proper there?” He’s explaining his trauma to a love curiosity. “I Know” is the form of track you attempt to get misplaced in at a membership, however the horrifying lyrics maintain pulling you again into your feels. Unusual place to be in, however I’m having fun with all of it. The quantity of individuals near Polo who he’s misplaced is staggering. His honesty is humbling. One other keeper.
9. “Lovely Ache (Losin’ My Thoughts)”
The album’s first correct ballad, full with Auto-Tune. “Hope I really feel your identical ache when this karma come and get me.” Ah, so it’s not only a ballad; it’s a please forgive me for dishonest ballad. It sounds attractive over the flamenco guitar and drums. He tried to repair his mistake, however now all he can see is his companion with another person. Guilt is a killer. I like “Lovely Ache,” but it surely’s doesn’t stand out.
10. “No Matter What”
Monitor 10 with six extra songs to go. The album is transferring so quick, I nearly forgot how lengthy it’s been. Man, the manufacturing throughout this album sounds so lush. The Columbia finances received put to good use. “While you struggle to your life, ain’t no spherical two.” Polo is proving simply how effectively he can hop between tones. He sounds assured, whether or not he’s glad or unhappy. Polo is looking upon his individuals’s vitality to summon his spirit bomb on “No Matter What.” The beat swells and his lyrics are so uncooked it’s exhausting to not get swept up in all of it—one other standout.
11. “Be One thing” feat. Lil Child
Polo G and Lil Child have a lot in frequent. I’m hype to see how they’ll do on a track collectively. Polo doesn’t sound as invested on this verse. The raps are good, however the vitality is totally different. Lil Child simply got here in with double-dutcher vitality. “Coronary heart in Cali, however my thoughts in trenches.” He’s tap-dancing. “Be One thing” is the one occasion the place the track’s vitality doesn’t match the content material of the verses. I received’t be again.
In 2020, in case your album has greater than 12 songs, there higher be no filler. “Relentless” is transferring at a gradual clip up to now. Polo is questioning why the white folx in his new neighborhood take a look at him in a different way. Racism coming from all sides. Polo sees music as remedy. He has a narrative for each state of affairs. Going “from a gangsta to an activist” to dealing with dialysis for his drug use is a hell of a soar. I hope Polo’s thoughts is straight as a result of generally it’s exhausting to inform. An emotionally tough hear, even by his requirements, however nonetheless gratifying.
Do Not Disturb is likely one of the biggest innovations of the trendy age. I’m certain Polo agrees. “I reduce all people off, maintain hitting decline.” He’s targeted on success, music, and taking the sting off. A swirl of medication and paranoia is retaining him fixated on his final aim. “I’ve dressed up for too many funerals, I’m bored with coming.” Any person discover this boy some peace. His rapping is sharp, and he’s browsing the beat like no different. I think about he finds peace in that. “DND” was a single, proper? It sounds prefer it. [Editor’s Note: Yes.] Nice track.
A handful of tracks left. As a lot as I’m having fun with The GOAT, we’ve already reached the “it’s just a few songs too lengthy” portion of this system. Fascinating beat alternative. The Chinese language guitar pattern is one other left flip Polo G is utilizing to his benefit. I used to be joking earlier than, however I’m having a tough time maintaining with these tales now. If this can be a marathon, I’m glad we’re within the remaining stretch. “Chinatown” isn’t grabbing my consideration like that; the primary track that seems like a real skip.
15. “Trials and Tribulations”
When Polo G has a narrative to inform, he has a full-blown story to inform. No secrets and techniques. “These imply streets flip a great child right into a colder savage.” A pleasant Kobe Bryant bar. Polo has many sins to reply for, however he’s standing 10 toes. Listening to him look again on his previous whereas persevering with to craft his future is highly effective stuff. Not a favourite however not unhealthy.
16. “Wishing For A Hero” feat. BJ The Chicago Child
Homestretch. What may a Polo G and BJ The Chicago Child monitor presumably sound like? Gospel choirs are a brand new search for Polo. These pianos are so shiny. The white carpet is being rolled out. “They killed Martin for dreaming, now I can’t sleep.” He’s considering his ancestors. And right here comes BJ on a cloud of voices. If Polo G’s verses weren’t right here, this could really feel like a BJ track retrofitted for him. Their worlds meld collectively effectively, although. Both means, “Wishing For A Hero” is an inspiring notice to finish on, philosophically and musically. “You made it, large brother. You’re the GOAT.” Smiles throughout.
Closing (First Pay attention) Ideas on Polo G’s The GOAT
Just like the title implies, Polo G’s sophomore album The GOAT is bold. The Chicago native continues to memorialize fallen comrades whereas trying towards the longer term with an expanded musical palette. The beats add guitar and throbbing bass to his repertoire, and several other are among the many sunniest he’s ever rapped over (“Heartless,” “Flex,” “21”).
In contrast to on Die A Legend, Polo G is open to celebrating his shiny future, however we’re by no means too removed from the sting of desolation. “Can’t relapse off these medicine, man; RIP to Juice / We was tweakin’ off these percs; I popped my final one with you,” he says on “21.” His most affecting writing sounds prefer it was pulled from personal remedy classes.
Any album with 15-plus songs is sure to have just a few misses. Lil Child outshines Polo’s reflection on their collab “Do One thing,” drowning him out with extra vitality and slick wordplay. Polo’s makes an attempt at love songs (“Martin & Gina,” “Lovely Ache”) lack the distinctive writing he flexes elsewhere. “Be One thing” and “Chinatown” add pointless padding. Sequencing can also be a difficulty throughout The GOAT, with track transitions leading to a tonal whiplash lacking from the leaner and laser-focused Die A Legend.
But, none of those shortcomings outline The GOAT as an album worthy of the dreaded “sophomore stoop” label. Polo G, a 12 months older and extra mature, stays one in all his technology’s most gripping and considerate writers. For all of the demons he’s confronted on the streets and in his thoughts, he’s one step nearer to securing his legacy.