I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been this excited for an album in a long time! I’ve always believed YBN Cordae was one of the next great rappers in the game, and with this debut album, I think he has a chance to fully mature into a current great.
5. WE GON MAKE IT
In my opinion, you must be good as s**t if you get Meek Mill to do your hook duties, mainly because the Philly rapper tends to be all about dropping a quick verse for his peers when he features on their s**t. On “We Gon Make It,” Meek hooks YBN with a helluva hook, as on it, he passionately sings about his come-up over this soulful instrumental. No need to worry Meek fans, he also drops a pretty serious verse on the song, but I thought his hook was his special contribution to this joint.
YBN Cordae spits wise, hungry and aggressive on “We Gon Make It,” caring less that this song is powered by a soulful instrumental that I can see being played at a church in the hood. At times, I do see YBN’s competitive side coming out, but at the same time, I hear this brotherhood between both him and Meek that is beautiful to hear.
There’s no way in hell a song called “We Gon Make It” was going to be weak.
4. BROKE AS F**K
“Broke As F**k” is a track in which YBN Cordae gets a chance to talk about his motivations, his struggle to get to where he is now, his shaky past, and his guilty pleasures. While a good chunk of the track takes on this menacing tone (Especially instrumentally), for the most part, there is this humbling nature attached to it.
I love how “Broke As F**k” takes on this smooth tone towards the end, turning into this old people jam I can picture being played at a black bingo. Arguably, YBN spits his hardest on this portion of the song.
3. BAD IDEA
YBN Cordae and Chance The Rapper are cut from the same dope ass cloth.
For all of the individuals that think the young people of today killed hip-hop, search either Chance The Rapper or YBN Cordae, and what you will find are catalogs full of phenomenal music. With that being said, it’s an absolute blessing that the two decided to unite for “Bad Idea” — a soulful banger that features all kinds of old school vibes and clever bars. While neither rapper raises their voice all that much on the song, their lyrics centered around making it out of everywhere from the hood to struggling times will catch your attention.
I’m f**king with the wholesome vibes this song gives off! It reminds me of some “Growing Pains (Do It Again)” type s**t!
2. HAVE MERCY
“Have Mercy” is the one song that told me Cordae really is out here out-rapping folks.
With “Have Mercy” being powered by this flute-heavy instrumental, YBN Cordae goes off, praying to the LORD for mercy, understanding, and the ability to forgive. Cordae also brags about his winning ways on the track, putting his foes down in the process. All in all, I think listeners are going to love Cordae’s aggression, relentless flows and wittiness throughout this track, especially how each aspect comes out ridiculously easy for him.
YBN Cordae is a real one, so it’s no surprise that other real ones f**k with him. In “RNP,” two of the realest out there in J. Cole and Anderson .Paak decided to link up with the DMV rapper, creating a timeless-sounding tune with great bars and plenty of soulfulness.
Believe it or not, “RNP” is a dance-heavy rap track. On it, we are blessed with an uptempo/electrifying instrumental by J. Cole that has plenty of pauses and smooth vibes. Over this instrumental, YBN and Anderson go back and forth, rapping boisterously, slyly, relentlessly, aggressively and pimpadociosly. Goddammit, these n***as must’ve been cool in high school, college and graduate school with how they swagged their way to the finish line of this song!
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. WINTERTIME (4.5/5)
2. HAVE MERCY (5/5)
3. SWEET LAWD – SKIT (N/A)
4. BAD IDEA (4.5/5)
5. THANKSGIVING (4/5)
6. RNP (5/5)
7. BROKE AS F**K (4.5/5)
8. THOUSAND WORDS (4.5/5)
9. WAY BACK HOME (4/5)
10. GRANDMAS SKIT (N/A)
11. BEEN AROUND (4/5)
12. NIGHTMARES ARE REAL (4/5)
13. FAMILY MATTERS (4.5/5)
14. WE GON MAKE IT (4.5/5)
15. LOST & FOUND (4.5/5)
YBN Cordae is an old soul with young energy. On “The Lost Boy,” ironically, he establishes his niche for creating timeless music, finding a way to rap with the confidence of a veteran, the knowledge of a legend, and the fragility of a rookie.
YBN Cordae is not just a good rapper, he’s a fantastic rapper! On “The Lost Boy,” his punchlines are top notch, his flows are relentless, his lyrics are meaningful, and his focus is serious. It’s funny, when YBN first came out, I didn’t think I could get past his lisp (Similarly to KYLE), but once he showed his skills off, I was sold! But with all that being said, what makes him special is his ability to talk about meaningful topics. Throughout this album, you get stories of Cordae’s family trials and tribulations, his come-up, his struggles, his balling ways, and his knack for trying to understand this crazy world we live in. I love how open and vulnerable he comes across when tackling each topic, especially how he straddles the line between relatable and grandiose in the process.
I loved the instrumentals featured on this album. In my opinion, they were soulful, vintage and slightly hard-hitting. Though some listeners will find what they heard boring, I thought it was conducive to the type of artist Cordae is.
For someone who’s career really just started getting poppin’, I thought YBN Cordae procured some pretty impressive guest appearances on this album. Not only did we get fantastic features by Meek Mill and Anderson .Paak, but we also got something deep from Chance The Rapper and Pusha-T on their respective songs. In the end of day, YBN was good/entertaining enough to hold his own, so if this project had no one but him, I would’ve been fine.
YBN Cordae is special. I love what he represents, how hungry he raps, and his intent on being different from the other young rappers in the game. Not only does he have a long future, but he might also have a classic album with “The Lost Boy.” (It’s about time he takes off that dusty YBN off his name)
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.