ALBUM REVIEW

YBN Cordae’s “The Lost Boy”

In Summary

• “The Lost Boy” is a great start for YBN Cordae as he sounds quite free.

YBN Cordae's "The Lost Boy" Album cover artwork
YBN Cordae's "The Lost Boy" Album cover artwork
Image: Courtesy

Title: The Lost Boy

Artiste: YBN Cordae

Genre: Hip hop/ Rap

 
 

Release: July 26

American rapper, singer and songwriter Cordae Dunston, known to the public as YBN Cordae, started rapping probably at the age of 10. He grew up rapping to a number of classic beats on the Internet, but it was only recently that he started recording his own music. Now he is perhaps the most promising a member of the hip hop collective YBN, short for Young Boss Niggaz.

For those who are not familiar with him, he has appeared on a number of collaborative efforts leading up to the release of his debut project, “The Lost Boy.” He has worked with amazing acts like Anime, NBDY and H.E.R. and was part of the 2018 “YBN: The Mixtape.” In an attempt to make his mark he arrives with this 15- track debut.

“The Lost Boy” reintroduces us to a sound and style lost with the current wave of young rappers. You can trace the aesthetic as soon as it begins with “Wintertime,” a track that introduces us to the rapper and that includes a jazz-inflected chorus.  His rap dexterity is felt on smooth instrumentation on tracks like “Have Mercy” and “Thanksgiving.”

For a debut project, the guest list is quite mind-boggling. Cordae finds his voice on “Bad Idea”, a sound inspired by Chance the Rapper, who helps detail the broad aspects that make up life. Anderson .Paak offers his vocal brilliance on a J Cole-produced “RNP”, which sees both artistes trade bars on their sense of style. On the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Way Back Home”, the rapper tells of his rise in the rap game and how he hopes to stay grounded.

Three-quarters of the project is quite cohesive, with an essential track “Broke As F**K” and two skits “Sweet Lawd” and “Grandma’s House” acting as perfect interludes for the album. On the second skit, “Grandma’s House,” we get to experience Cordae sing Luther Barnes’s 1990 track “Trouble in my Way” together with his grandmother.

The energy of the album starts to sink as soon as he gets to “Nightmares Are Real,” which features Pusha T. Arin Ray attempts to save this moment on “Family Matters,” but the artiste is unable to keep the inspiration and vibe going on the Meek Mill-assisted “We Gon Make It.” However, the closing track “Lost & Found” manages to give an uplifting outro.

 
 

“The Lost Boy” is a great start for YBN Cordae as he sounds quite free. At least he plays it safe and sticks to what he is familiar with, probably borrowing a lot from his predecessors. Where the album loses out on its production, Cordae makes it up with brilliant lyricism and delivery. Now that he’s on the verge to solidify his place in the music scene, all he needs to do is find his way and own it. 

Star rating: 3 out of 5