Storming through with eleven original, new tracks, stylishly fusing the colour and bounce of RnB with the confidence and anthem-like qualities of hip hop, Papiwthawork drives with personality and impeccable flows on this album.
From the retro brightness and addictive hook of Cham-Pain, Papi makes his vocal style and sound clear, and holds tight to that thread throughout the album. While there’s a nostalgic, classic feel to the production, Papi’s vocal rhythm and his lyrical story-telling impress more and more so as the music goes on, helping things lean in a refreshing, contemporary direction.
Don’t Know takes the contemporary angle more distinctly, leading with multiple layers and an auto-tune hook that slots right into the rap sounds of today. In contrast, a delicate and clean verse helps add dynamic, and creates a whole new, more likable and clear-cut vibe that paves the way well towards the return of that hook.
Drip Like This keeps familiarity at the forefront – you know the voice and the style now, the way the melodies and bars are formed. Once again though, the verse goes on to add impressive details and a cleaner, calmer moment of clarity that works well in rebuilding things. Definitely a highlight for its swagger and set-up combined.
Rob Raxe features on Way Up, a fresh soundscape, creatively designed, pours through as a moment of genuine eclecticism. Another highlight, great verses that set the scene with imagery and mild theatrics alike. Then you get the sudden softness and ballad-like ease of Wrong Time – a reflective, honest track that balances dreamlike synths with a heavy, funk-soaked bass-line, and more of that unwavering confidence. This is easily one of the most memorable hooks on the project – hear it once and it stays with you; a mainstream quality that always hits with impact.
Conceptually, See You Winning is perhaps the most striking track, intent on making its point, and taking its time to do so with realness and depth. An inspiring, motivational moment that really helps light up the project.
Then you get the equally thoughtful tones and chord progression of Counterfeit, the closing track and one that sees Papi dive into a vintage anthem with a modern edge and more of that recognisable, identity-loaded songwriting. Another mighty hook, another captivating verse, and a great way to wrap up the album.
In a world overloaded with similar sounds and hip hop that copies and kicks it with the last big release, Papiwthawork takes only that which matters to him, and builds upon it a sound of his own; with his own stories, his own sense of character, and his own big dreams.
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