The Leezy Way 2 brings hip hop and RnB fans a fresh set of good vibes, a strong collection of melodies, and a generally smooth and bright go-to playlist for 2018 in general. The collection is all about the soundscapes and the musicality, Leezy utilises his voice and his creativity to craft and complete beats that reach out in an easy going, calming sort of way. From Hold Up through Backshot Backrubs (Feat. Smoove Unlimited) the energy is uplifting, bringing the right kind of mood to open the project up in an appealing way. Then you get the sultry tones of Everything, a different vibe and a more reflective topic yet still holding close to that familiar thread.
Leezy’s sound showcases the distinct meeting of modern RnB and something that is recognizably his own. Wind it (Extended) brings the energy back up a touch, then Lil Baby, Lil Mama returns to the slow grooves to really bring something confidently romantic to the stage. Come Over Interlude (Feat. Smoove Unlimited) is a delicately addictive highlight, the leading riff and the rhythm of the piece offer a smooth yet infectious, lightly dance-hall-like presentation.
A brief reminder of a classic track comes through as No Love Ting (Feat. Mthaang) breaks through, the instrumentation keeps that softly colourful ambiance alive and well, and the feature adds a fresh dynamic to the mix that helps keep things interesting – a notably higher concentration of lyrics makes for a more captivating story-line in many cases.
The production on this project underlines precisely the high quality required to let these kind of beats and performances shine brightly in any setting. She Goes is another highlight, the higher key of the hook introduces things and this immediately creates an attractive contrast that keeps you involved throughout; you anticipate its return, and you listen more intently to the verses as that initial, emotional presence suggests something real and worth paying attention to. Some of the lyrics here really start to show those intricate character traits that help people connect with an artist.
Switch On Me takes things in a slightly darker, more industrial sounding direction. The beat is fresh, the thread remains, and all in all it makes for something that fits well at this point within the project. A flicker of an earlier hook returns to re-emphasise that, and the shortness of the track (just two minutes) actually leaves you wanting more. Tony Montana (Feat. Stunna June & Rexx Life Raj) follows, keeping the darkness alive, swapping what felt like a touch of the Caribbean with a more classical, fairly haunting piano part – though the banana boats work hard to keep the former alive. The mood of the music fits the story-line well. The title is repeated throughout to make certain it stays with you, it’s definitely one of the more memorable concepts of the album for its familiar central idea. The rhythm of the track also adds to the effectiveness.
2400 is the penultimate track of the project and another highlight, in my opinion. The creative, retro style of the beat, the vintage, gaming-like bass-line, all makes for something that allows the quicker paced vocal delivery to stand out. Then things come to an uplifting finish with the striking instrumental set-up and melody of Direct Messages. This one reaches out directly to modern life yet brings about a surprisingly gentle and joyful soundscape that closes things down with a lot that lingers in your mind. It’s a great way to end the album, a great track that’s easy to recognise after you’ve heard it even just once.
The Leezy Way 2 will suit fans of the genre well – the smooth, good vibes of RnB and melodic sub-genres of hip-hop come through with plenty of colour and professionalism. 12 tracks make for an extended collection that will keep fans coming back throughout the next few months.