From the confident statements of the inspirational “Neva” to the exotic melodies of “Money UP,” “Shut Shit Down” and the brooding sway of “Tragedy,” there isn’t a boring moment to be found in the album OGs Are Forever from OG Cuicide, which features the likes of Pall Wall, Kurupt, Apryl Paige, Epademik, Big2DaBoy, JMinnix and AD alongside the title player – just to name a few. Although littered with quality collaborations, OGs Are Forever is a distinctly solo album that teaches us a lot about the artistry of its creator without overindulging in any specific attributes he offers listeners in an LP setting.
There’s pummeling beats ala “On My Grind” with Indee B, R&B-flavored breakdowns courtesy of “Everything” with Jackie’s Boy and a sensational lead single in “Keep it G” that is almost guaranteed to get the critics abuzz this season. No matter what the mood or the tempo you’re trying to connect with, this record seems to have an answer within its nineteen different tracks. It’s a full-color concept work that will stay with you well beyond its sixty-two minute running time, which is quite the testament to the abilities of OG Cuicide and his crew.
There’s definitely some optimism sewn into the melodies we find in “Thank You,” the darkly pop-friendly “The Hustle Don’t Stop” and “My Own Lane,” and I get the feeling from the overall construction of this tracklist that balance – aesthetical, poetic and compositional – is of great importance to OG Cuicide when he’s making an album. His first record hinted at elements of the elaborate framework here, but by and large, songs like “Know My Pain,” “I Believe” and “Get Paid” make it hard to compare the two LPs without acknowledging his immense growth in the past eight years. He’s never overeager in his delivery, and whether he’s sharing the spotlight with Chevy Jones in “Rebellion” or Kali Red in the 90’s-style “Triple Death,” he tends to hit the mark as a supporting player as well as he does the lead role. We’re able to feel the grooves in “Homage,” “Sometimes” and “Keep it G” not only because of the crystal-clear sound quality but, perhaps more prominently, because of the forcefulness with which they’re catapulted in our direction.
If what I’ve heard in OGs Are Forever is a true encapsulation of what OG Cuicide is all about as an artist, his time in the underground is soon to conclude as he makes his way into the mainstream circles he’s belonged in for a long time now. Everyone he invites to this block party of beats brings an off the hook energy to the tracklist that I just didn’t get from his first LP, and for what I look for in a new rap album, it suggests a strain of potential simply too rare in 2020 to be dismissed.
OGs Are Forever doesn’t feel like a grand finale, but rather a stepping stone for its leading man towards a higher level of appreciation in his scene.
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