Note: this is an informal review.
Of all the Yela projects I’ve heard, this is definitely one of them. I’ll do a track by track review and then give my overall thoughts at the end.
Catfish Billy Speaks (Intro)
Cool intro that sets the tone of the album nicely. I’m never going to listen to this again.
It, uh… yeah, sure. Nice Yela hook, Cookup put me to sleep and I can’t even remember what Moptop did. I think it had a beat but I don’t remember that either.
You & Me
I now sympathise with those that didn’t like the Ghetto Cowboy version of Renegades. They fucking slaughtered this track. I’m not that mad about it because they clearly couldn’t clear the sample and had to work around it, but this is such a noticeable downgrade from the original. I think it’s just because the original is so great though – if that didn’t exist I think I’d appreciate this more.
What I do like about this is the fact that it has a completely different vibe than the original. The original was a very energetic track whereas this feels much smoother and laidback so, like the HOTEL/GC Renegades difference, both versions have value to me because of this. Once I’ve gotten over the removed sample, I can see this growing on me. I also liked Kris Flair’s hook.
Take It There
One of my favourites on the project. That’s not saying much because there’s nothing special about this, but it’s a fun listen that, again, highlights Yela’s superb hook making. I also enjoyed Bubba Sparxxx’s verse, it had a great energy to it that, combined with the minor beat switch, made for a fun listen.
However, the most notable thing about this track is that it really highlights how bland Cookup is. His delivery is so flat compared to Bubba and Yela does more interesting things musically just singing “ooohhh” than Cookup does with an entire verse. In a project centered around Cookup Boss, Cookup Boss is the worst part of it by a country mile.
No Hall Pass
Another highlight for me. Upchurch is what surprised me most here, I’ve heard a few people say he’s good and I can see why he’s lauded. The delivery in his verse is excellent and he was undoubtedly my favourite feature. Yela also killed both his verse and hook.
I was going to end this by noting this is probably one of my favourites because it’s the only song that Cookup isn’t on, but listening to it now he actually is on here lmao. I couldn’t tell you a single word he’s rapped on this entire project, he’s unbelievably forgettable.
Never Coming Down
The year is 3027. The economy is destroyed, most buildings worldwide are rubble and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Rittz is rapping on his deathbed somewhere, still using the same flow he’s been using since 2007.
Seriously, has no one sat him down and, with a comforting pat on the back, told him no one will hurt him if he experiments a little bit? Outside of that, this song’s not bad. I like Yela’s hook (I’ll probably just have that etched on my gravestone at this point) and, despite my immense hatred of the song, I really appreciate the Box Chevy 6 callback. I think Cookup was on this one but I don’t remember it.
Look how they massacred my boy. I could maybe understand the You & Me butcher, because they couldn’t get the sample, but what in fuck’s name happened here? The sample is still there so I don’t understand why they didn’t just keep this the same. The new beat demolishes the awesome vibe of the original and even gave me a bit of a stroke.
This version definitely fits this project more than the original would have, so I somewhat understand the change, but if this is the direction they were taking it they really should have just used the original like Sauce. Speaking of which…
After the crucifixion of You & Me and Muddy Waters, hearing Sauce survive was really nice. Yela’s verse is hype as hell; his flow is really catchy and it’s probably the most fun verse to rap along to on here.
This is also the only track on the project where Cookup is borderline listenable so, in a way, I’m glad this is the closing track because it makes it feel like a redemption story for Cookup. After seven of the blandest, most uninspired rap verses I’ve heard since KTT first opened their creative section, he finally pulled out a 6/10 effort on the final track. Powerful.
Overall, this project is a fine addition to the bottom of Yela’s discography. If you liked the middle portion of Trunk Muzik 3 then I think you’ll enjoy this, but if you didn’t then there’s nothing here other than some fun Yela verses and hooks, a nice Upchurch verse, a respectable Bubba Sparxxx verse and a solid anime redemption arc for Cookup Boss. It’s a Cookup Boss album with a Yelawolf feature on every track and, if you treat it as such and nothing more, it’s a fun dessert to the two main servings.