Larry June & The Alchemist – The Great Escape (Album Review)
“The Great Escape” features guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Joey Badazz, Big Sean, Curren$y, and more.
Larry June and The Alchemist provide the perfect music to cruise to with “The Great Escape.”
5. 89 Earthquake
Ironically, “89 Earthquake” is one of the most impactful records on this album.
“89 Earthquake” is powered by this soothing, piano-driven beat that has dramatic vibes and a good knock to it. Over it, Larry June uses somewhat chill and somewhat aggressive deliveries to vividly speak on his luxurious way of living and major come-up. Not only does he bring up his three cell phones, but he also talks about riding in jets and rocking rose gold jewelry. “89 Earthquake” is the ultimate flex record.
You get the most amped-up version of Larry in this song.
4. Summer Reign (Ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
Did Larry June just kill this The Patridge Family-ass beat like this?
“Summer Reign” is powered by a soothing beat that sounds like it was made in 1968. Over it, you get an airy hook by Ty Dolla $ign and rap verses by Larry June in which he defines what hard work, a real boss, and crusin looks like. What the song is supposed to do is make you hop in your car, put all of your windows down, and drive through Great Falls.
3. Palisades, CA
Is “Palisades, CA” a safe place to live?
“Palisades, CA” is powered by this easygoing, mafia-like hip-hop beat that makes me feel like someone is on the verge of getting whacked. Over it, you get very personal verses from Larry June and Big Sean. While the former chooses to touch on his major boss moves and expensive purchases using a pretty chill approach, the latter chooses to touch on his new mindset and healthy ways using both fast-paced and laidback flows. All in all, “Palisades, CA” is this album’s perfect destination.
2. Ocean Sounds
Why did all of the stress in my body fly away while listening to this track?
Larry June actually sings his ass off in “Ocean Sounds” (Well, according to his standards). The silky smooth vocal performance he gifts us with on the hook pairs perfectly with his lyrical content about finding and struggling to find love. Don’t worry diehard June fans, his rap verses about messy breakups and self-love are delivered with cold hard deliveries.
1. What Happened To The World? (Ft. Wiz Khalifa)
I mean this with the most respect in the world: “What Happened To The World?” is my favorite Wiz Khalifa-assisted track in at least five years.
Though Wiz Khalifa usually raps with a little more enthusiasm than Larry June, he smokes weed, so he understands what it feels like to be so fried that everything is moving slowly. With that being said, I feel like the two rappers blend their styles magnificently in “What Happened To The World?” Over this spritzy instrumental that you might hear at an elegant dinner party, Larry provides the pale rap deliveries, the inspirational vocals, and the pats on the back, while Wiz Khalifa provides the aggressive deliveries, braggadocios lyrics, and weed-talk. Pick your weed poison.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Turkish Cotton (4.5/5)
2. 89 Earthquake (4.5/5)
3. Solid Plan (Ft. Action Bronson) (4/5)
4. Palisades, CA (Ft. Big Sean) (4.5/5)
5. Summer Reign (Ft. Ty Dolla $ign) (4.5/5)
6. Orange Village (4/5)
7. Porsches In Spanish (4.5/5)
8. Art Talk (Ft. Boldy James) (3.5/5)
9. Ocean Sounds (4.5/5)
10. Left No Evidence (3.5/5)
11. What Happened To The World? (Ft. Wiz Khalifa) (4.5/5)
12. Éxito (4/5)
13. 60 Days (4/5)
14. Barragán Lighting (Ft. Curren$y & Joey Badazz) (4/5)
15. Margie’s Candy House (4.5/5)
The Alchemist has never been a household name. Larry June has never been a household name. What’s dope is that I don’t think they have an interest in being household names. f**k households. What these two creatives have proven to the world these last couple of years is that having a cult following can feel way more rewarding, satisfying, and authentic than any household s**t (F**k, why the hell do I keep saying household?). With that being said, The Great Escape has the acquired taste of a liquor that goes down smooth as hell.
F**k the sugarcoating, let me get this out of the way immediately: The production on this album is outstanding. The Alchemist, who is a legend in my book, gifts Larry June beats that sound like hip-hop versions of the s**t you would hear during cheesy 70s game shows, elegant dinner parties, or waiting rooms. I give the beats on this album an A+. What Larry June does over the beats he’s handed is keep it realer than a two-dollar bill about some actual s**t that every grown-ass man should care about. Yea, he does some threatening here and there, but he mainly touches on gaining wealth, investing, living your best life, and receiving pats on the back for staying true to the grind. Like, when I touch a milli after hitting a crazy-ass NBA parlay on FanDuel, I am running this album back for advice.
It’s imperative that you listen to Larry June’s words on this album because the tone that he raps with throughout isn’t quite the most exciting. I’ve been cussed out in the past for calling Curren$y a boring rapper, so I won’t do that for June; I’ll call him a rapper that makes being sedated sound cool. With that being said, I do think his confidence on the mic and the flows he toys with will keep you alert. The guests on The Great Escape, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Slum Village, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, and Curren$y, all do excellent jobs of giving the album an additional layer of energy and interest. At the same time, I have no problem with how chill the album sounds as a whole.
Listening to The Great Escape reminds me that I need to get my s**t together. No more spending money on stupid s**t, no more putting ungrateful b*tches on a pedestal, and no more penny-pinching when it comes to spoiling myself. It also reminds me that soothing, eloquently put-together albums like this are kind of my vibe now. I wouldn’t have appreciated this s**t when I was in my early 20s; I appreciate it now because I’m older, have a mortgage, and understand how quality hip-hop music doesn’t always come in the form of some super thrilling or toxic s**t.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.