Polo G reaches moderate to high levels of greatness in “Hall Of Fame.”
So many tracks could’ve made #5 on this list: “Clueless,” “GANG GANG,” “Painting Pictures,” and “No Return” all could’ve been #5. The reason I picked “Boom” is that it features one of the most epic beats I’ve heard this year and one of Polo G’s most unique rap performances to date.
Believe it or not, Polo G hits us with different flows in “Boom” (I promise you); that alone makes this song amazing. Aside from that, I feel like his lyrical content indicates that he still has the same empty stomach he had when he was a young kid trying to make it out of the streets of Chicago (You have to love that as a rap fan, right?)
4. BLACK HEARTED
You get a mix of emotional vibes, hood teachings, and sturdy flows in “Black Hearted.”
Of course, you will feel a track called “Black Hearted” in your soul. While I don’t know Polo G on a personal level, it’s dope listening to him talk about the demons he battles on a daily basis, the lessons he learned growing up in the hood, his relationships with both GOD and his girl, and his approach to beef in the song. All in all, “Black Hearted” is a nice little summary of what Polo is all about.
“Black Hearted” is “RAPSTAR” meets “21,” to me.
“RAPSTAR” is a career-defining hit by Polo G.
“RAPSTAR” is powered by a ukelele-inspired trap beat that will make you want to ball up in a corner and cry. Over it, Polo G hits us with his signature gloomy melodies and elementary flows. He also hits us with lyrics that will let you know that he’s hip to the women on his jock, the price that comes with fame, and his temper.
If you would’ve asked me three years ago whether or not Polo G could make a song like “RAPSTAR,” I would’ve said “hell no.” That just shows you how much he’s grown these past couple of years.
2. PARTY LYFE
“Party Lyfe” will be played on both black people and white people radio stations (I’ll put my very rare three-dollar bill on it).
Can you believe it, a track called “Party Lyfe” features a style of music that will work in clubs, beaches, birthday parties, and television shows. The beat that powers the song is hella smooth (It actually reminds me of Bryce Vine’s “La La Land” beat), the hook that Polo G blesses us with is as infectious as it gets, and Polo’s lyrics about celebrating wins and ducking losses will put a smile on your face. The song’s icing on the cake is DaBaby’s randomly aggressive verse about running up on opps and slutting some chick out (For some reason, his verse sounds so tight because it sounds like it’s not supposed to fit in the song).
1. BLACK CANVAS
The storytelling that Polo G does in “Black Canvas” is amazing.
If you are a casual Polo G fan, you probably don’t know that he is really good at storytelling. With that being said, the intriguing story that he tells in “Black Canvas” will strike a chord with you. Not only will you be glued to your seat listening to the 22-year-old rapper talk about a young kid who sought revenge after his friend was shot down, but you will also be enamored with how descriptive his lyrics are, how animated his deliveries are, and how emotional the song’s beat is.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. PAINTING PICTURES (4/5)
2. RAPSTAR (5/5)
3. NO RETURN (4/5)
4. TOXIC (4/5)
5. EPIDEMIC (4/5)
6. GANG GANG (4/5)
7. BOOM (4/5)
8. BLACK HEARTED (4/5)
9. BROKEN GUITARS (3/5)
10. GNF (OKOKOK) (3/5)
11. GO PART 1 (4/5)
12. HEART OF A GIANT (4/5)
13. ZOOTED FREESTYLE (3/5)
14. PARTY LYFE (5/5)
15. LOSSES (3/5)
16. SO REAL (4/5)
17. FAME & RICHES (4/5)
18. FOR THE LOVE OF NEW YORK (3/5)
19. CLUELESS (4/5)
20. BLOODY CANVAS (5/5)
Isn’t Polo G someone that is so damn easy to root for? More than any other artist, I find myself enjoying watching his ascension to the top of the rap game. After listening to Hall Of Fame, I’m convinced that he is either at the top of the game or a few centimeters away from the top.
The first thing that comes to my mind about Hall Of Fame is how the album features a great mix of commercial records, hood emotional records, club records, street records, and whatever the hell you would call “For The Love Of New York” records. If you listen to the album from start to finish, you can literally hear Polo morphing into something that you never thought he would morph into a couple years ago. With that being said, the emotional bangers on Hall Of Fame didn’t hit me as hard as the emotional bangers from G.O.A.T. hit me; I don’t know if that’s because they are not as good or if our hero has outgrown that sound. I actually found myself fascinated with the commercial records on the album, as Polo did some things in them that I think make his destiny as an all-around hip-hop star clearer and clearer.
I thought Polo G put up some good rap performances and some so-so rap performances in Hall Of Fame. While I continue to love how he spills his heart out about everything from his romantic relationships to his beef with his opps to his shaky come-up in the album, I’m not going to lie, I think at some point he has to switch his primary flow up. Whatever the case may be, Polo is engrossing enough to keep your attention at all times.
There are some very interesting guests on Hall Of Fame. While some did a great job of complimenting Polo G’s energy, others did everything they could to make the song they were on theirs. All in all, I love what Fivio Foreign, Pop Smoke, Rod Wave, Lil Wayne, and DaBaby was able to do on the respective songs they were featured on.
Some beats on Hall Of Fame were extraordinary, while others were meh. What I will tell you is this: Most pull at your heartstrings, so make sure that you have a box of tissues by your side when you listen to the album.
Polo G is arguably one of the biggest rap stars in the game today. While I know a bunch of folks will want him to revert back to his old gutter self, I think it’s obvious that he thinks a rap star is someone that feels comfortable stepping outside of the box a little, because I heard a bunch of tracks on Hall Of Fame that follows a formula that will lead to commercial success. I’m not mad at Polo, as I feel like he should do everything he can to maximize his potential. I mean, to make it to the Hall Of Fame you have to be special at your craft, right?
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.