From Grammy nominations to headlining concerts, the 24-year-old Maryland rapper Cordae has become a beacon of light for lyrically gifted rappers in the new wave of ‘Gen-Z rap’. As he nurtures the original rap style that he was brought up on, Cordae also manages to incorporate his own unique flow into his music that has solidified his skills ever since his emergence. With this new release being teased for several months now, fans are eager to see what more he can bring to table.
After his split from hip-hop group YBN in August of 2020, Cordae went straight to work on building his solo discography; with the aim to establish himself and maintain the momentum he had built prior. With multiple single releases towards the back end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, Cordae was alluding to a new album that aimed to rival the success of his 2019 debut studio album ‘The Lost Boy’.
With the release of ‘From a Birds Eye View’ Cordae has attempted to further diversify the type of music that his fans relate to him. He might sing his heart out on some songs, while on others he resorts to his traditional rap style that put him on the map. The use of simplistic beats and pure focus on vocals creates a nostalgic listening environment for fans of traditional hip-hop. On tracks such as ‘Jean-Michel’ and ‘Sinister’ we are treated to some complex and thought-provoking lyrics on top of beats that isolate the vocals rather than drown them out. As Cordae puts it “this aint rapping, this straight literature”.
While it may be impressive, exciting lyrics and flows are no new feature on a Cordae album. With this new release we have seen his melodic skills shine through and in some parts overshadow the traditional rap. For me, this is a much welcome feature, and it continues to show the diversity that this artist has and why he deserves all the praise he has received recently. On tracks like ‘Want From Me’ and ‘Chronicles’ we see that lyrical side push through and they prove to be a good way of breaking up the monotony within the project.
For me, as we delve deeper into the true meaning behind this release, we see Cordae looking back retrospectively on this journey to where he is now. A lot has happened to the young artist that has moulded his sound and influenced the topics that he discusses on a lot of his tracks, and it makes the songs he releases a lot more personal and gives a sense of connection that his fans can latch onto. The title carries a lot of significance as it shows a sense of growth and allows him to reflect on the mistakes that he made earlier in his career.
To sum up, the album is outstanding. There may be a few faults here and there, but Cordae is still learning and for a 24-year-old to be able to create a project of this quality and complexity gives me hope that the rap industry won’t descend into a pit of minimal effort and money hungry youngsters. Yet the real reason this album scores so highly is because of the message it carries. Cordae has managed to take his fans on a journey through his life and creates a strong bond between him and his supporters at the same time (something which is becoming increasingly rare). I personally, can’t wait for more music from Cordae but until then I will revel in this masterpiece and enjoy the music for months to come.
Written by Joe Bell