Big O and his crew eat well in “In the Company of Others.”
5. Grind (Ft. B-SKE & Shari)
“Grind” is that certified struggle music.
“Grind” is a classic-sounding hip-hop banger. It features a hard-hitting, almost church-like hip-hop beat, inspirational rap verses, and a soulful hook. At the end of the day, I think it’s the messages that we get from B-SKE and Shari that will really resonate with folks. They talk about putting their heads down and grinding their asses off, blocking haters and learning from their past experiences along the way.
This might be the first time I heard someone say, “from Philly to the UK.”
4. No Regrets (Ft. Tranzformer, 3D & Fashawn)
Trust me, you won’t regret pressing play on this song.
“No Regrets” is a f**king vibe. In the song, Big O hooks us up with an old-school beat with a “G-Funk groove, silky layered moog keys, and tons of energy.” Tranzformer, 3D, and Fashawn all meet the beat at the rim. The California rappers do a fantastic job of hitting us with raw, laidback deliveries, steady flows, and intoxicating melodies. As for lyrically, in their raps, they talk about overcoming hardships and living life to the fullest, even if their beliefs don’t align with other people’s beliefs. Listening to this song through some earphones is cool, but if you want to feel its power, play it in your car with the top down as you drive down the highway.
3. Ms. Takes (Ft. L.O.U, Frannie El & P-Rawb)
I dated a few “Ms. Takes” in my life. As a matter of fact, one was French; I called her Mme Prend.
In “Ms. Takes,” everyone is on the same confrontational page. In L.O.U.’s verse, he talks about wanting a relationship with no attachments or headaches (aka a Cuddy Buddy), while in P-Rawb’s verse, he talks about pushing a mischievous partner to the curb after realizing she wasn’t good for him. I love how both rappers plow through the song using tongue-twisting flows and a tone that perfectly straddles the line between laidback and aggressive.
Even though “Ms. Takes” boasts somewhat fiery lyrics, the song has a pretty gentle feel. Frannie El’s hook is smooth as hell, while Big O’s production features a chill vibe, a dramatic melody (Almost opera-like), and a bit of an R&B feel.
2. Seen it all Before (Ft. Lomax & Cosm)
“Seen it all Before” just calmed my nerves completely.
Ironically, “Seen it all Before” has a vintage feel. The song is powered by this soothing beat that would fit perfectly on a Shaft-like movie and these soulful vocals that appear occasionally. Lomax and Cosm are the ones that bring the modern and gritty flavor. In their verses, using raw rap styles, the two artists reflect on their unique come-ups, tumultuous pasts in the streets, and more. Though I cannot quite relate to what they’ve been through, the vividness they rap with definitely makes me at least understand what they’ve been through.
My second favorite beat on this album is featured in this song.
1. Generational Curses (Ft. MC²)
Did anybody else applaud after listening to “Generational Curses?”
I’ve heard a bunch of Big O beats these past couple of years, and I can honestly say that “Generational Curses” is one of my favorites. I love how soulful, emotional, and frankly simple it sounds. To say that MC² meet the beat at the rim is an understatement. In their verses, they do a fantastic job of confidently speaking on issues black folks have to go through, including police brutality, oppression, curses, and crime. Their flows are so f**king smooth, I legit cannot believe it’s not butter.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Where We’re Meant To Be (Intro) (N/A)
2. A Cause for Concern (Ft. L.O.U. & P-Rawb) (4/5)
3. Seen it all Before (Ft. Lomax & Cosm) (5/5)
4. Generational Curses (Ft. MC2) (5/5)
5. Vantage Point Of View (Dray Taylor, Lynx 196.9 & Nique Robinson) (4.5/5)
6. Ms. Takes (Ft. L.O.U, Frannie El & P-Rawb)
7. Win Or Lose (Ft. G-HOLY) (3.5/5)
8. Seasonal People (Ft. P-Rawb & Rxlph) (4.5/5)
9. The Company We Keep (Ft. B. Chaps, Tyler.V, Rhakim Ali & Ohzhe) (4/5)
10. Green with Envy (Ft. Maine Soul & Dankery Harv) (4/5)
11. Dark Bright (Ft. L.O.U. & P-Rawb) (4/5)
12. Wishing Well (4/5)
13. No Regrets (Ft. Tranzformer, Fashawn & 3D) (4/5)
14. Grind (Ft. B-SKE & Shari) (4/5)
15. The World Is Mine (Ft. Loki Loko, YungLean Dough, Gotham Green & Groove) (3/5)
16. Farewell & Good Night (Outro) (N/A)
In the Company of Others is a remarkable album that delivers an inspiring blend of musicality and meaningful storytelling. From the first note to the last, it’s a captivating journey through the realm of self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth, all wrapped up in a tapestry of soulful vibes and old-school hip-hop charm.
The album immediately draws you in with its impactful production. A fusion of dramatic elements, including enchanting violins and retro synths, gives the music a cinematic quality that sets the stage for what’s to come. This blend of vintage and modern hip-hop vibes creates a unique sonic landscape that feels nostalgic and fresh.
Lyrically, In the Company of Others stands tall. The powerful verses dig deep into themes of rising from adversity, chasing dreams, and recognizing one’s self-worth. The lyricists behind this project take you on a lyrical journey that will resonate with anyone who’s ever faced life’s challenges head-on. Each track conveys empowerment, urging listeners to pull themselves up from the mud and strive for positive change.
The album’s commitment to lyrical depth is commendable. It’s evident that every word is carefully crafted and thoughtfully delivered. The verses are not only impactful but also thought-provoking, offering a rare combination of substance and style.
One of the standout features of In the Company of Others is its seamless infusion of soulfulness. The smooth vibes and melodic hooks add an emotional depth that elevates the listening experience. It’s the kind of music that touches your soul and leaves you reflecting on life’s journey.
In the Company of Others is an album that not only entertains but also inspires. Whether you’re searching for good vibes or seeking motivation for your personal journey, this album delivers on every front.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.