Be Yourself is modern hip hop album loaded with big dreams and high levels of energy. Ridikule works to the best of his abilities throughout the project, kicking things off with a clear scene to indicate the direction of his aspirations, then bursting into the classic heavy rap aura of the title track. Thick beats and ambient melodies support the outpouring of ideas and personality, and pretty quickly you get to know the sound of his voice and this particular style and approach to rap music and expression.
Ridikule puts everything into this album, the playlist pours through complete with creative and comedic skits, numerous musical details that keep things interesting, and an overall theatrical level of passion and entertainment that reminds you of the classic breakthrough albums of the genre from a simpler time – Lil Wayne, Eminem, Dre. Walking On The Sky as a song shows this weight pretty well, a track with a powerful hook melody and an uplifting overall feel – not to mention a soulful feature from Tracy Lane. The RnB vibe breaks things up well here.
Elsewhere on the project, tracks like Addictied introduce a striking and reflective soundscape, upon which the artist’s voice mellows out a little to captivate with an almost whispered bit of story-telling and some of his best lyrics and ideas yet. The variety and changing levels of skill consistently showcase a creative with a clear love for the art of making music. Then you get tracks like Did It My Way, offering precisely that level of motivational vibrancy and self-confidence, self-empowerment, to inspire and simultaneously impress. Ridikule’s flow here is insane and the song grows more intense and uplifting as it moves along.
American Pie is another first half highlight, the spacious and characterful nature of the beat lets the artist’s vocals ride free – hiding behind nothing and never needing to. After this, things continue to explore new realms of thought, underlying the rapper’s perspective and lifestyle in detail throughout the extensive collection. As stated, the passion and effort that has crafted this, and the skill, and the undeniable professionalism, makes it easily worth a download for 2018.
No Stress is an easy stand out for its depth and honesty, and the calming musicality that embraces you as it pours through. Ridikule’s voice has a familiar and rather legendary sound by now – it’s reliable, loaded with identity; you know the playlist has you covered. Am I Losen You highlights an emotionally vulnerable side to him that adds a refreshing touch of humanity and personal difficulty. Gotta Let Em Go follows and changes the mood significantly. A brilliantly nostalgic riff leads the ambiance, and another satisfying balance between the melodic and the rapped.
Moments like Minimum Wage reach out and connect with the vast majority of listeners in a relevant and open way. The realness is easy to relate to, and when it’s followed up with Fame & Money you get a flicker of poignancy and a reminder of the important things and of not letting the cash drive you down a dark road.
That’s Just How It Is offers another dash of hypnotic realness in a calming manner, this latter half of the project is undoubtedly where the depth and authenticity is. You get a superb balance between entertainment and honesty throughout, always well crafted, passionately performed, and flawlessly produced.
Family Matters as a final track works beautifully. The important things are left lingering in your mind, along with that hook melody and this inherent sense of togetherness. Ridikule presents one of his most rhythmic and poetically entrancing streams of lyricism yet. A great way to end and a final reminder to make sure this project finds its way to the long term hip hop playlist. A hard working, talented artist – well worth discovering.