The artist from Maryland is one of the best rappers of this ‘new school’, and on his second album he proves this and much more.
He’s only 24 years old and this is only his second album, but there’s something about Cordae that makes you compare him to the best. That something is none other than her incredible facility for rapping, her lyrical framework and her versatility to do it in different rhythms. Her debut album “The Lost Boy” has already given her two Grammy nominations, and with this one she wants nothing more than to improve herself.
In “From a Birds Eye View” Cordae is not afraid to open up and tell us how he is currently feeling, tell us about his own, or talk about his past life. As we can see on the cover and as a reference on several occasions, his art for him is like a painting , which he has created with care and knows that it is well painted.
This new art piece opens with “Shiloh’s Intro” . From here we can already see what kind of guy Cordae is, since the intro is nothing more than a freestyle from one of his best friends, Shiloh Young , from the prison phone. According to Cordae, they grew up rapping together, and Shiloh did it better than him and at the time had more fame, so he feels that he is partly reaping what Shiloh planted and wanted to give him his space in this intro. Despite the obvious poor quality of the audio because of how it’s recorded, Shiloh leaves us with some very good bars about his life. He also appears with a shy ‘Hello’ in “Shilo’s Interlude” ., in which we mostly hear the answering machine of a telephone.
The intro leads to “Jean-Michel” , the first track as such but which also looks like a freestyle . Over a very relaxed boom bap beat, Cordae reflects on life and himself. Even in a short track like this, we can hear how each bar speaks of something different, proof of his lyrical capacity . With this style we also have “C Carter” ; Cordae here talks about how he has achieved dreams that he imagined on the sofa in his house when he was little. He does it with a chorus that personally reminds us of the style of Mac Miller, and especially with a second verse to frame. Pure and hard rap masterclass.
Chill rap is not the only thing that Cordae displays on the album, far from it. “Momma’s Hood” brings us closer to 90s hip hop than ever before on the album. As we hear in the first verse and in the chorus, the theme is similar to that of “C Carter”: he reflects on his past and present in a positive way. But in the second verse things change completely and Cordae tells us about one of his best friends, murdered last summer. The emotional lines dedicated to Juwan Walls aka Pit , make the whole nostalgic atmosphere of the song make sense.
Another completely different flow is the one we hear in “Want from Me” ; this time Cordae dresses up as Anderson .Paak and leaves us with a funk-tinted hip hop with which she truly surprises. This time with a somewhat more abstract theme, where it seems that she is talking to a woman about her mistakes as a human and makes some other metaphor with mother nature and father time.
Being from this generation of artists makes Cordae also know very well how to trap . The first advance we could hear from this album is precisely it. “Super” is a full-fledged ‘fronteo’, but Cordae does it with much more class and shows off much cooler things than most artists. You only need to listen to the chorus to understand what we are talking about. Also, once again the rapping on this track is just on another level . Later on the album he joins Gunna on “Today” , another trap piece with a really original beat , produced by Nils and Kid Culture.
We say that Cordae has sat down to eat with the greatest, partly because of its high level, but also because some of the best of all time have wanted to be present on the album. “Sinister” has the contribution of Lil Wayne , together they rap at a higher level on a serious beat that goes well with the setting of the video clip, where they dress as Black Panthers. But the most surprising collaboration on the album comes with “Champagne Glasses” , alongside Stevie Wonder and Freddie Gibbs , and with Nasparticipating in his writing. The hip hop over the piano that unfolds here talks about celebration and also about pain, thus showing Cordae the duality that he lives right now. As we have seen on other occasions with other artists, Stevie Wonder takes care of the outro with a wonderful harmonica solo . Finally, Eminem himself also joins Cordae in the remix of “Parables” , yes, outside of what the album is. This remix and the song “Gifted” have been included as two bonus tracks that are not part of the story that Cordae wants to tell with the first 12 songs.
Before addressing the last song, it should be noted that Cordae shows yet another record in “Chronicles” . Here his most singing side comes out, perfectly complemented by HER and Lil Durk to make a perfect r&b. Now yes, to finish we find “Westlake High”.
Cordae closes his second album as it could not be otherwise: celebrating . The rapper is aware of his success but he always does it with his feet on the ground and with his mantra of ‘everything at the highest level’. He ends up dedicating this wonderful project to his grandmother Janet Dunston, who passed away last year and even sang interludes for his debut album.
Little more remains to be said about “From a Birds Eye View” . Although we may be a little precocious, one of the American hip hop albums of the year and we are only in the middle of January. After this, Cordae’s career can only take off like a rocket and no wonder.