And why the artist should not remain a secret to anyone in 2020 – yes I’m that excited about the record! And there’s plenty of reasons (tracks) that justify my enthusiasm.
I discovered Arod a little while ago, when I listened to his single ‘Adolescent’ and had been waiting for a follow up to the pleasant surprise ever since.
How I managed to miss out on his recently released debut album, remains a mystery. However, when I stumbled over the record’s review on LaTabloid, reading that the album did the phenomenal single track justice, I decided to take an hour off and listen to the full LP, something I haven’t done in quite a while.
The ‘Intro’ begins with a high pitched sample of The Jones Girls’ ‘Who can I run to?’, with Arod joining in with the trap-style patterned drums, dedicating the record to his single grandma who raised him.
He jumps straight into an introduction of his world, a place filled with struggle, hardships but also big dreams and achievements.
Arod, who graduated from high school and made it to college despite all his young live’s challenges, dropped his studies only to fully dedicate his efforts to music. And the result, well we can hear it.
The Intro is followed by ‘Adolescent’, the track that got me hooked on the Austin born and raised artist in the first place. I don’t know why, but the track is even more impressive in the context of an album. The dedication to recent victims of police brutality adds to the urgency of the record.
The third song on the album introduces his first feature artist – nobody less than Tsu Surf. That’s another nice surprise and it seems he is picking his feature artists just as confidently as his soulful beats. A beautiful laid back track with both artists shining equally next to each other.
Track four is another instant favourite! ‘Scenic Route’ is built around samples of The Dynamic Five’s ‘Beautiful Lady’. The album lives of the brilliant harmony between the artist and producer and at this point it’s been such a pleasure listening, it’s hard to believe we’re already four songs into the record.
‘Grandma’s Blessing’ is another insight into Arod’s eventful life and another mention of the special woman that raised the artist.
Then, ‘Pac Flow’ follows. And that’s all. Pac flow you shall receive.
‘Summer Madness’ is another laid back, truth filled arrangement that features the beautiful voice of Austin singer Ly.Ebss.
Arod doesn’t hide his affiliations, despite his positive outlook and pursuit for greater things. On ‘Mobb Ties’ a darker beat gives him the space to go into those parts of his story a little deeper and shows a side of the artist that I hadn’t seen before.
The tracks ‘Karma’ and ‘Survival’ bring back the vocal samples, piano and uplifting hustle spirit.
You’ve gotta love it, when it’s this well made.
Before the album closes, ‘D.O.A.’ has Arod talking about all kinds of demons that follow him on his road to glory, but none of them would survive a lyrical shootout with this crafty writer. Probably the most ‘battle-ready’ track on the record, Arod effortlessly makes a statement here.
‘Problem Child’ makes sure the album ends on the same note it started on with the successdestined rapper telling us some more stories about his childhood and the times that shaped him into who he is today – my secret favourite artist of 2020.