In 2020, you couldn’t go anywhere without being confronted by eyebrow-raising headlines about 21-year-old Louisiana native Youngboy Never Broke Again, who seems to have a fairly eventful love life. Yet the rap world hasn’t seen much from Atlanta’s Rich The Kid, who after releasing two decent albums (2018’s ‘The World Is Yours’ and 2019’s follow-up ‘The World Is Yours 2’) ‘fell off’, according to rap fans online, with this year’s ‘Boss Man’.
However – just when you thought the year couldn’t get any weirder – the two unlikely collaborators have brought their mumbly forces together on the unexpected ‘Nobody Safe’.
The two go back and forth on the opening title track, YoungBoy taking a melodic approach, which is offset by Rich’s more erratic flow. Built around quite an ancient-sounding trap beat, the song harks back to the rise of Soundcloud rap era of the late ‘10s. Although dated, it does exude a lovely, sparkly sound, but – as with most songs here – it seems like a Rich The Kid song that YoungBoy just so happens to feature on. The song is overpowered by boisterous but less than spectacular verses; ‘Nobody Safe’ isn’t the best start to this collaborative album.
The singles ‘Automatic’ and ‘Bankroll’ are slightly better than the opening efforts; the former oozes a brotherly chemistry from the Southern rappers. ‘Automatic’ is the opposite to ‘Nobody Safe’; it sounds like a YoungBoy song with a Rich The Kid feature. Over one of those popular, rampant trap beats that Youngboy often appears on – where the hi-hats are strategically placed and the 808s boom – his distinctive voice takes centre stage, with Rich The Kid adding a nonsensical lyric (“Pull up in the Lamb’ / That’s three-fifty”) here and there: it’s an enjoyable trap tune.
The best material is stacked towards the end of the 15-track record: fresh and sounding like hits, the trappy ‘Brown Hair’ and clubby ‘Can’t Let The World In’ are Billboard-ready. The latter is an uptempo party track that would be bumping through the clubs (if they were open), the rappers addressing the ‘opps’, their materialistic lifestyles and women: “I keep that bitch out on a curb and / I’m real, all that fake love don’t heal pain, that shit ain’t workin’”.
YoungBoy and Rich The Kid show glimpses of brilliance (even if it’s mostly up to the former to save the day) on a record filled with dated trap sounds and pretty basic raps. With Youngboy’s emotionally diverse second studio album ‘Top’ currently in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and Rich The Kid having enjoyed a good run until recently, the biggest shock of this surprise collaboration album is its mediocrity.
Release date: November 20
Record label: EMPIRE