When I reviewed StraightFace’s first self-titled LP as part of our Straight From The Teet feature back in June, I gave it a 6.8 due to the project having an unpolished feel to it. The young Georgia native was taken aback by the mark, feeling like I could’ve at least pushed it up to a more rounded seven. With the words of my last review stuck firmly in his head, StraightFace went away and started working on his next project, and release dates kept getting pushed further back, and when he dropped a teaser video alongside his ‘5 Minutes With StraightFace’ feature on EARMILK, we thought that the album would be imminent, but it's taken a little longer than planned.
Four months later, we have finally been treated to the full project, and what StraightFace has done with Forever, is quite astonishing. If the StraightFace LP was the gritty precursor, then Forever is the finely tuned and polished piece of art that shows just what kind of a talent StraightFace has.
Right from the opening prologue, you get a great sense of epicness that's about to unfold. The opening bass notes from "I Am" make you think that the track is about to get into full turnt up mode, only to be subdued by the rawness of StraightFace's vocals, before completely dying out for a few seconds before crashing back with an eclectic hook. "Omega" follows the same kind of suit, with huge, deep kicks, overlapped with delicate shuffling hi-hats whilst plucky synths play out arpeggios on top. "Still Dade" shows a more relaxed side to the Miami native, as he spits about growing up in the Dade County area, and the trials and tribulations that he has been through. There are a couple of healthy slices of boom bap rap inserted into this project, with "Winter" and "86" serving up a head nodding treat, whilst title track "Forever" is a dark and deep look at America, with some very poignant lyrics mixed in with some bass heavy production that'll instantly have you making your best bass face.
Forever is by far the most polished and complete body of work that StraightFace has produced to date. It won't be everyone's kind of vibe, as the rawness, passion and aggression that the Georgia emcee raps with is more of a niche market, but that doesn't stop StraightFace from sticking to his guns. It's a rap album at heart, but with more alternative influences thrown into the mix that gives it more of an edge over a lot of releases coming out around this time. Without doubt its a strong 8/10, and definitely worth a download. The best part is, it's free!
- 3rd February, 2014