Album Review | Early Adopted – Tarred & Feathered

This album was released on April 3rd this year. I’m going into this record almost completely blind, so I don’t really have much to say in this preamble. I don’t know shit about Early Adopted. I’m just checking this out because it has one of the best album covers I’ve seen all year, and it was released under one of my preferred record labels, Strange Famous Records. I’ve only heard one song from this project, but I really enjoyed it, so I think I’m gonna like this quite a bit. Every track is produced by Tundramane.

1. Tarred & Feathered

The production on this song is very hard hitting, and slightly cloudy. It kinda reminds me of that TXTMS extended play that I reviewed a while ago. Anyway, this shit is amazing. The concept of this album is that lately Early Adopted feels that life has been curb stomping him, and pouring salt in his wounds. The way he’s flowing over this beat is great, and the Brian Wells reference blew me away.
See, life grabbed me by the neck, I am the rap game Brian Wells
Someone detonate this bomb so I can finally go to hell
The line about how life is a bitch but he couldn’t make her cum because the SSRI’s made her numb was crazy too. The verse here is fantastic, and the record scratches from DJ Decepta that come in during the outro were the perfect cherry on top. I think this song is fucking awesome. The production is stellar, the lyricism is superb, and his flow was great. This shit is dope af.

2. The City the Whales Once Ruled

This was the only single I’d heard from this album, and it’s the song that drove me to check out this project. Once again, the production is kinda cloudy and Clams Casino-ish. It kinda sounds like something Open Mike Eagle might’ve rapped over for one of his earlier albums. Early Adopted spazzed on this shit too. There’s no hook here; the entire song is just one verse, and he murdered it. Well, the song’s kinda split into two verses. I love how the beat kinda switches up for the second verse. Early Adopted’s flow and delivery get far more aggressive and passionate-sounding for this part of the song, and it’s awesome.
I was fussy, wouldn’t eat it; you in line just to drink it
Playing dead in Guyana while the congressman’s fleeing
Shots ringing, he won’t make it to the airstrip
I was planning my escape under bodies that were scared stiff
Living in the city where the whales once ruled
Shoot a harpoon, you get to close to my food
See in this house we clean our plates
‘Cause in your future there’ll be days where you ain’t ate
I think this song is even better than the preceding track to be completely honest. The production is stellar, and I love his rapping here. This shit is dope af.

3. Safety Coffins

This beat isn’t as cloudy as the first couple, but it’s still pretty good. The record scratches from DJ Decepta are fantastic.
Kill every one of your idols before they let you down
The guilt of murder won’t be half as bad
As the disappointment that you feel if you meet them and shake their hand
With the grip of a child, you’ll wish you put them in the ground
The first verse here is really fantastic, and the scratches on the hook are pretty nice. The second verse is even better than the first one.
You can ostracize me ’til you fossilize me
But make sure I decompose ’til you say how much you miss me
Don’t jump the gun, or I guess you could if you wanted to dance
Hopscotch with a Glock until each one of ‘em lands
I think the actual rapping on this song is stellar, but I will admit that the tone of Early Adopted’s voice did get slightly grating by the time it was over. He honestly sounds kinda whiny here, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just got sort of irritating after a while, but the song is still very enjoyable. I don’t think the production here is as great as it is on the opening couple of songs, but I definitely like it still. This shit is dope.

4. Sea of Trees

I really love the melodic and hazy production on this track, and Early Adopted’s flow on the opening verse is great. I think this song has some of the best rapping from a technical perspective up to this point on the project. It has some of the cleanest rhymes and smoothest flows.
Let’s go camping in a sea of trees
Walk to the darkness just to see you leave
Try and talk me down from an evergreen
Use my last breath to talk down to G-O-D
He ain’t respond, never did give a shit when it came to me
Well, guess that’s proof; leap of faith so fetch that noose
Got hung up, where is you? Only ran when we’re loose
The entire track is just one verse, so as a complete song the structure feels a little thin. I enjoyed this a lot though. I was more impressed on the first listen than I was on my second or third, but I still really like it. I feel like if this track maybe had a good hook or a guest feature to mix things up a bit it’d be more memorable. The structure is pretty much the same as everything that came before it. It’s still dope though; I like the production a lot, and the rapping here is great. The scratches on the outro were a nice touch as well. This shit is dope.

5. Turn on Me (Interlude)

Once again, the production here is very cloudy and Electronic sounding, much like the early stuff OME rapped over. It’s just an instrumental interlude, so Early Adopted doesn’t rap here at all. The entire track is just a really nice beat with what sound like audio clips of a documentary from the History channel of someone speaking about tarring and feathering. The scratches from DJ Decepta are dope. This is a pretty cool track; obviously it’s not the most memorable song since it’s just an interlude, but I enjoyed it.

6. Wait for You

I really love the production on this track. It’s a much more relaxing, watery beat than most of the others. It makes me feel like I’m floating in the ocean. The lyricism from Early Adopted here is really fucking awesome too.
I let her run her hands through my head
Hairs stood up on the back of my neck
Horripilation of a horrific nature
I let a satanist in my bed
I’m not really sure what the ghastly female character is supposed to represent, but the way he’s rapping about her is really fucking cool.
I was a lost boy until you came along
“I wrote this for you,” she never sang along
Don’t wanna hear the truth, do you?
How could the one ‘bout our flaws be her favorite song?
So she sharpens her talons on a weekly basis
And the colors change with her mood
She’ll laugh then paint it, a distraction from her pain
What a pretty way to remind me who the prey is
I think this is the first song on the album with an actual hook. Well, that’s not true; the hook on Safety Coffins felt less accentuated than this though. The singing on this hook isn’t super impressive or anything, but it works, and I think it sounds pretty good. This is a major highlight on the album for me. I’m guessing the avian, arachnid woman is supposed to represent an abusive romantic partner, but I could be totally wrong about that. The second verse on this track is fantastic.
For me holy man was her manicurist
Guess I was her cure, maybe a quick fix
Lips gentian violet, come give me a kiss
Then string me along, I’m your marionette
Honestly, I think this song is amazing; there’s not a single aspect of it that I don’t like. The production is stellar, and the writing from Early Adopted is phenomenal. This shit is dope af.

7. Self-Taught (And I Haven’t Learned a Thing)

This song has one of my favorite instrumentals on the entire album; I think it’s incredible to be honest. It builds up for a long time before the percussion finally drops, but it’s definitely worth the wait because the beat is wonderful. The rapping here is fantastic as well.
I detach my head from my shoulder blades
To escape, if only for a moment, this hopeless maze
Flowers for Algernon chase Marmaray
Pull up Charlie Gordon learning in this world I have no place
I really love this verse; the song kinda reminds me of something that Sadistik would do. It reminds me of something that would’ve appeared on Ultraviolet. There’s only one verse on this song, but I love it. The hook is pretty simplistic, but it works really well. The sung outro isn’t amazing or anything, but I didn’t mind it at all. I think this song is dope as hell.

8. Hello Nightmare featuring Lucy Camp

I’m pretty sure Lucy Camp is the only actual artist signed to Tonedeff’s Quintic label, but I might be wrong about that. I’ve tried listening to some of her music, and it’s not really my cup of tea. I really wanted to like it because I think she’s really attractive, but it’s just not my style at all. Anyway, this track also reminded me a lot of Sadistik. The opening lines from Early Adopted sounded a lot like something Sadistik would say.
Oh hey, Nightmare; how are you?
Glad to see that you came through
After that you made it a reality and became true
My biggest fear’s fruition came to realize my condition
Hit the bottom of the well when I’m just tryna wet my whistles
The beat has pretty much the same aesthetic as the preceding instrumental, albeit more fast paced and danceable. I feel like out of all the beats on this album, this one makes the most sense for Lucy Camp. Early Adopted’s flow sounds a lot trendier here than it does on many of the other tracks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The flow isn’t wack or anything. It’s just not super unique. Lucy Camp actually slaughtered the second verse to be honest. Her flow was fantastic, and the way she came in sounded awesome. I honestly think her performance here outshined that of Early Adopted. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that. Both of their verses were enjoyable. My reactions were different though. When Early Adopted finished rapping, I said to myself, “that was dope.” When Lucy Camp was done, I was like, “that was fucking awesome.” Overall this is kind of a low point on the album just because the Lucy Camp feature is the only aspect that really stood out that much, but it’s still a very enjoyable song. It’s not as stellar as the preceding couple joints, but I still really liked it. It’s dope.

9. Milton

This song has another really nice instrumental, and I love the way Early Adopted was flowing on the first verse.
Independent, but impudent if it isn’t of interest
Did you play this predicament on the industry?
Your kids in this shit, in this scene it’s a business, be busy
Bees only get one stinger, try to fly, now you dead with wings
As much as I love his rapping on this song, I have to admit that this is one of my least favorite songs on the album just because it’s so sonically unadventurous. There’s only one verse, followed by some record scratches, and the beat is actually pretty repetitive. Nothing about the song stands out in a bad way, but it feels relatively unseasoned. The rapping is great enough to make this worth returning to, but aside from that, very little stands out. I feel like I’m coming off very critical here, so I wanna stress that I do think it’s good. It’s just a low point on the album for me personally. I still fuck with it though.

10. Mr. Sleepless

This is the longest song on the album, but I guess that isn’t saying much since it’s still under 5 minutes. This is a great finale though; it really feels like the climax of the album. He killed this shit.
False promises to myself, mostly ‘bout drinking
Criticize my friends, afraid of family never trying
Not realizing it’s a defense mechanism of mine this whole time
And I’m no better than anyone unless you’re in my genre
That box you put me in is my place of work
Not a job I had a problem telling the boss to fuck up
What’s this? At what point did it go wrong here?
Look mom, my life’s become exactly what you never wanted
Been beggin’ that they step into my crosshairs
Then pull it all myself, I’ve been wondering if God’s there
The first verse is great, and I like the hook a lot too despite its simplicity. The second verse is even better than the first one. I kinda wish he threw a curveball at us—maybe like a beat switch or something—because the song is a bit predictable; it’s not structured very differently from any of the other tracks. That’s just a nitpick though because he rapped his ass off on this track, and I really like how tense the instrumental here feels. The song is dope as hell.

This is another one of the better albums that I’ve heard so far this year. I’m really glad I caught that latest music video because if not, this would’ve completely gone off my radar. This was my introduction to Early Adopted’s music, and I’m definitely a fan now. I think this this shit is really great. I love the theme of this album, and I think he executed it really well. There’s not a single song here that I don’t like. I think Early Adopted’s a fantastic writer, and the production here from Tundramane is pretty phenomenal across the board. I will say that the only slight gripe I have is that the song structures started to become a bit predictable by the time I got to the second half of the project. A lot of the songs are just him rapping one verse or two, and then maybe some scratches from DJ Decepta on the outro. A few of the songs had hooks, but most of them weren’t particularly memorable. I think throwing in some beat switches or doing more to distinguish certain sections of the songs would help prevent things from getting monotonous. That’s a nitpick though; I definitely consider this album a success, and I’m on board for whatever this guy does in the future. This shit is really dope. Don’t sleep on it. Also, shoutout to Brian Huntress for creating some of the best album artwork I’ve seen so far in 2020. I love that cover.

SCORE: 87 (A-)