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Review by Malcolm Baum

The genre of ‘cloud rap’ reached its peak during the second half of 2011 with the release of mixtapes like ‘808s & Dark Grapes’ and ‘Live.Love.A$AP’. These tapes didn’t focus on heavy lyricism, but rather on dream-like beats and relaxed flows. While Antwon was never exclusively a “cloud rapper”, he was lumped into that scene because he had a couple of producer Clams Casino’s beats on his ‘Fantasy Beds’ mixtape, which was released in late 2011. It’s now 2014 and Antwon has survived the fads and has released two solid projects up to this date. His most popular work has featured funky basslines with infectious hooks that get him plenty of Biggie comparisons. ‘Heavy Hearted In Doldrums’ uses some classic Antwon song formulas and features some dope new ones as well.
HHID starts out with “Rain Song (Ft. Lil Ugly Mane)”, which sounds exactly like a track that would be placed on an album called Heavy Hearted In Doldrums. Lil Ugly Mane does a great job portraying a broke, depressed loser with his verse. The rest of the album doesn’t sound as morose as this track does, but there is no doubt that Antwon continues delivers some “heavy hearted” lyrics. “Baby Hair” is a great display of his explicit passion for sex, a constant theme throughout the album. The track is backed by a clunky cloud rap beat, which is an instant success. About 2/3rds of the beats are undoubtedly guilty of 90s worship, which isn’t a bad thing because it suits Antwon’s flow well. “Don’t Care (Ft. Sad Andy)” and “Metro Nome (Ft. Wiki)” are songs that stray away from the BBQ music aesthetic that you get with ‘Heavy Hearted in Doldrums’. They both feature new school rappers who both have higher pitched voices that create a nice juxtaposition with Antwon’s deep, gruff vocals. Complaints I have about HHID are that it features multiple tracks that are around or under two minutes which have no aim but to display single verses that possibly Antwon didn’t feel like expanding on. Also, the mixing on “KLF ELF (Ft. Heems & Lakutis)” is really bad, at times during Heems’s verse you can’t hear what he’s saying, which sucks because it sounds like he’s flowing hard.
I consider ‘Heavy Hearted In Doldrums’ to be Antwon’s best project to date. It captures what was good about his previous tapes and what he can make going into the future. This album also displays the most aim and focus on any tape Antwon has released to this date. It’s not lyrically dense or the most professional album, which usually works in the a;bum’l favor, unless those are things you look for in rap. The flaws aren’t major though, and it’s a really fun project that’s meant to be listened to while coolin’ in the sun.
Rating: 7/10

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