“Big Baby D.R.A.M.” loses momentum

Album only meets half of fans’ expectations.




Cassidy Campos, Writer

This year has seen hip-hop evolve from telling the dark truth into presenting playfulness. Hip-hop has become a music genre those facing hardship can turn to for something relatable. However, new candidates have come to change this direction, including Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi and Designer. The artist who founded a middle ground between playful beats and truthful lyrics is Shelly Massenburg-Smith, remove better known as D.R.A.M.

A steady rise to fame

His number one hit in 2015, “Cha Cha,” blew up after Beyoncé posted a video on Instagram of herself dancing to the song. He slowly climbed the ladder of fame once Chance The Rapper asked him to join his 2015 “Family Matters Tour.” D.R.A.M. was an artist bound to become noticed with his astonishing beats from his song “Cha Cha,”made clear as  Drake “borrowed” the beat for his iconic song “Hotline Bling.” Shortly after this, D.R.A.M. went viral after “Broccoli” put him in the spotlight. This song became a teaser for his new album, “Big Baby D.R.A.M,” released on Oct. 21.

What makes D.R.A.M stand out from other artists that have come to change hip-hop to have a meaning and having a story is his combination of being playful and just simply being raw and real. D.R.A.M. does a wonderful job meeting expectations— for the first half of his album. This album consists of 14 songs beginning with “Get It Myself” and ending with “Workaholic.”

A structural hindrance

Frankly, this album should have been cut short, and ended with track seven, “Broccoli,” featuring Lil Yachty. The album would have worked better as a whole with being playful and addicting while still having meaning through tracks like “Wifi” and “Misunderstood.”

Track five, “Wifi,” featuring iconic Erykah Badu, easily stands out on the album. While still having fun with the lyrics, they state a real problem with society today being absorbed in their phones. Ironically with speaking truth about the phone problem Erykah Badu made a whole philosophical and clever mixtape about phones last year. Erykah Badu is an admired artist in the hip-hop and R&B world and because of her expertise, it brought the song to respected level.

Cutting the album short with track six, “Cash Machine,” and seven, “Broccoli,” as the final songs would have been to D.R.A.M.’s advantage. However once track seven transitions into “Cute” the album begins to fall apart with almost ear bleeding vocals. His beats continue to be groovy, but the structure of the songs from track seven to track 14 ends horribly. It would seem D.R.A.M. has not become cut out for LPs, and should stick to shorter releases.

To say that D.R.A.M. truly achieved anything truly memorable would be a lie. D.R.A.M. has a unique and soulful voice that he could have been incorporated easily with the right structure to make his way up the charts. D.R.A.M. had the ladder to fame, but only climbed half way up with this album. D.R.A.M. still has his radio listeners, but that can only take him so far.

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