In rap, there are a few artists that you can tell want it so bad that everything they release sounds captivating; Katrel Kelly is one of those artists. When I hear him spit bars, I hear an individual that’s hungry and determined to succeed. In “Night Before The Dawn 2.0,” listeners get a chance to experience some of these characteristics from him, which results in a body of work that never lets up in riveting vibes.
5. MAKE YOU LOVE ME
You know what I like most about “Make You Love Me?” It has this celebratory feel to it that is way too hard to ignore. Whether it’s the vibrant instrumental that powers the song, featured guest Ashley Patterson’s deep hook or Katrel’s sturdy lyrical content revolving around dismissing haters and getting to the top, everything about the song has this inspirational feel that oozes out confidence.
In my opinion, you get Katrel’s best rap effort on this song. I love how he rides the beat he was served with, the appealing bars he delivers on his verses, and how he continuously dishes out thoughtful bars throughout.
4. YOU THE ONE
OK, I admit, I am a sucka for hip-hop love songs! “You The One” is one of them, and not so surprisingly, it ended up on my top 5 songs list for this album.
“You The One” is tranquil, but at the same time, has some serious bass to it. This makes for a great combination of infectious melodies and gritty bars. Lyrically, Katrel does a great job of giving off nothing but feel-good sentiments, as he does his best to motivate, excite and energize his love to be the best version of herself through solid harmonizing and steady rap flows.
Featured singer Trevor Callendar adds that last bit of flair to “You The One” on the hook, gifting us with a contribution so smooth, I closed my eyes listening to that s**t!
3. ALL I NEED
“All I Need” is one of those tracks that allows listeners an opportunity to get inside of Katrel Kelly’s mental. Not only does the song have this piano-heavy instrumental that practically puts you in the mood to hear some emotional s**t, but Katrel also opens all the way up on it, dropping wisdom about seizing opportunities, valuing the right things and staying true to oneself.
Musically, this song is very simple, featuring a consistent flow, lyrical content that is kept 100 at all times and a repetitive hook. This makes it feel like a very relatable effort.
2. LUV IS LIFE
Seeing as how Valentine’s Day is when I wrote this album review, hopefully luv is also forgiving me for working on this special day 😬!
“Luv Is Life” is powerful, it’s charming, and most importantly, lively! The song features a hard-hitting instrumental that has its fair-share of dramatics attached to it (Especially on the chorus). Over this instrumental, Kelly inspires, reminding the world how strong love can be when it’s nurtured correctly.
Personally, I enjoy every single example Katrel uses in his raps to describe love and life, the high energy he utilizes to deliver his every word, and at times, how he lets the crying woman in the hook drown listeners out.
I would change 0 things about this song.
1. HOT PURSUIT
“Hot Pursuit” isn’t just a good song, it’s a special one! Powered by this heavy-hitting/soulful instrumental, Katrel Kelly lets his heart bleed, rapping ruggedly about his dreams, missteps and ultimate takeover.
What I love most about “Hot Pursuit” is Kelly’s energy on it: it’s grungy, but at the same time passionate, which is the perfect sound for an underdog like himself.
This is the perfect song to open an album up with.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. HOT PURSUIT (5/5)
2. THE ROUTINE (3.5/5)
3. LUV IS LIFE (5/5)
4. YOU THE ONE (4.5/5)
5. DO YOU LIKE THAT (3.5/5)
6. ALL I NEED (4.5/5)
7. HELL AND BACK (4/5)
8. MAKE YOU LOVE ME (4/5)
9. WALKING WITH GOD (4/5)
10. DEPOSITS (2.0 (3.5/5)
11. I HATE THESE RAPPERS (4/5)
12. WARREN BUFFETT (4/5)
13. CARAVAN OF CONTRARY (4/5)
Believing in yourself can take you a long way in the rap game. Katrel is definitely one of those people that feels strongly about his talent, and it illuminates all over this album.
What Did I Like About This Album:
- I loved the passion Katrel gave us throughout. On literally every song, he rapped like it was his last day on earth; I’m talking urgent bars, steady flows and animated deliveries. Never at any point did I think he underwhelmed performance-wise on this album.
- I loved the subject-matters he gave us. A good chunk of the songs talked about real love, others talked about understanding one’s worth, and others talked about celebrating both. Unlike some of the rap acts in the game, these are topics and subject-matters that actually mean something,
- I loved the focus on making long-lasting music by Katrel on this album. If you ask me, what i heard was something that people who enjoy 90’s, early 2000’s and current rap can appreciate. And when we have kids, I’m pretty sure they will play this album back, too.
What Did I Hate About This Album:
- If I was nit-picking, it would be the two or three songs that I felt kind-of fitted out on this album. I enjoyed Katrel when he was on his inspirational tip, so I didn’t enjoy songs like “I Hate These Rappers” or “Warren Buffett” as much. Nonetheless, they are still good songs, this is just my personal preference.
All in all, I think “Night Before The Dawn 2.0” is a fantastic listen. I highly recommend it.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.