Don’t sleep on this new album from T.R.3. It was released on January 6th this year. T.R.3 is an Atlanta artist who I’ve covered a bunch of times over the past 12 months or so. My favorite project from him so far is his GRIEF EP, but based on the singles that I heard from this album I knew it would be pretty great. All three of the projects that I’d covered from him in the past were super different from each other, but they all kinda satisfied a separate niche. With the ANGELES EP he was doing Trap music, then he went for the lo-fi emo rap style with GRIEF, and then finally he went for the Rock-influenced emo Trap music with Black Nirvana, so it was cool to see his versatility there. I assumed this album would give a better idea of what his overall style is rather than him experimenting with different subgenres, and I wasn’t wrong. I definitely appreciate how diverse this album is sonically. Since this isn’t really a full review I’m only gonna talk about a few highlights, but it should be noted that there aren’t any tracks that I don’t like on this album.
It starts off with a highlight right away entitled Spirit.
Ariano‘s lighthearted, melodic production here sounds really nice. I can imagine hearing a Chicago artist like Chance the Rapper or Mick Jenkins over it. The vocal sample sounds really angelic. I think the hook from T.R.3 is pretty nice, and both of the verses are dope. It’s got a very straightforward structure, but everything here is just really well done.
How many children gotta suffer from our own demise?I'm just tryna lower the number of black on black crimeFlip the energy and take it back, yeah that mankindMasculinity up in it's prime, divinely implemented, feminine energy every lineDon't decline your calling, if you stalling you gon' miss the ringEvery time I swing a hook I leave you blinded by the blingQueen just hit my hotline like it's 'bout time that we number oneI'm not talkin' billboards, talking culture that they stealing from
It’s dope as hell to me. It’s followed by Rags2Riches.
This track is really short so there isn’t as much to dig into, but the verse here is pretty dope, and the melodic hook is nice too. Ariano’s production is of course very good as well. I think one line in this track that really kinda sums up T.R.3 as an artist is “Never hear a verse with no meaning come out my mouth.” He seems like he has really strong principles and values that he stands behind, and they’re always on display in his music. The song is dope. The next major highlight for me is called Light Harvest, which I wrote about early last year for one of my Best Singles of the Week posts.
I don’t know exactly what it is, but something about this track in particular made me feel like T.R.3 is probably gonna be gaining a lot of new fans in the near future. Maybe it’s because of how polished and well-shot the music video is, but this doesn’t feel like a song from some random, obscure independent artist. I’ve compared him to Mick Jenkins in the past, but this track in particular reminded me more of Kemba. The melodic delivery during the first verse kinda sounded like something he would do. The hook on this song is fire though. Like, seriously, this is catchy as fuck. The singing sounds way more polished than I would’ve expected. Maybe it’s because of the way the vocals are layered, or maybe he’s using some effects. I can’t really tell. This shit sounds great though. I can’t decide which song is my favorite out of the three singles he dropped this week. All of them are fire though. This one is probably gonna be the most popular because people generally gravitate to more melodic stuff these days, but I love all of them. If you’re gonna listen to anything this week, make sure it’s this. It’s dope af.
The next highlight for me is entitled The Source. This one is pretty short, but T.R.3 spazzed here. I love how aggressive and passionate his vocal performance is here.
We can never end up where we started, where you wanna go?I brought Chicago to the A, ain't no bluff up in this snowEvery verse I fuckin' write you think a nigga finna blowTop off every rapper like I'm Kendrick, this a rigor mo'But I'm the top god I flip the dog as above so below
He killed this shit. The song is dope as hell. The next highlight for me is entitled 1 of Us. This track stands out a lot because it’s basically a Trap song. The beat kinda sounds like something from an old Super Mario game, but in a good way. I think it’s really cool. The hook from KANGFRVR is fire too. I’m not really familiar with that artist, but to me his voice sounds like that of Comethazine. I don’t mean that in a bad way though. His flow is far less lazy than that of Comethazine. I love his performance here. T.R.3 fucking killed this shit too. Once again, his flow and delivery are super aggressive, which I love.
Bitch I'm a G and I stick to the codeGod in my DNA, how can I fold?Step on the devil, and that's on my soulNow I'm just runnin' it, bitch I'm the covenantLook at my skin; look like a walkin' lickTakin' our children and poison they waterBut still cannot kill usWe took our vibration and highered it
This track needs a music video. I feel like Cole Bennett would make a great video for this track. It’s dope as hell. The next highlight is called Vices & Devices. This one features two artists named Self Provoked & Jon Swaii. I enjoyed both of their performances. The sung hook from T.R.3 is really great. I didn’t really know he could sing this well until I listened to this album, so that was a nice surprise. He sounds really damn good. The first verse from Self Provoked was nice too. His voice reminds me of Big Baby Gandhi a lot. He killed this shit honestly. The second verse from Jon Swaii is nice too. I think the song’s dope as hell. Same goes for Hypocrites, which I wrote about in the aforementioned Best Singles of the Week post.
Honestly, I think I might like this track even more than Donuts & Derbies. I don’t know. I can’t decide which one I prefer. This shit is great though. I think this one has a bit more bounce and energy to it. T.R.3’s aggressive delivery is really infectious, and his flow here is impeccable. He fucking slaughtered that first verse, and the hook is actually really nice too. Honestly, there’s really nothing I don’t like about the song. I think this shit is amazing. The production is glorious, and T.R.3’s energy here is really exhilarating. He was spazzing all over this shit.
You niggas just cap like a blue emojiYou niggas ain’t real like a tickin’ rollieAnd you niggas ain’t gang, stop finger foldin’False claiming, you niggas just takin’ shots & not aimingNeed a whole machine behind to be famousDangerous details, you followin’ satanCan’t celebrate livin’ with all of these pagans
I fuckin’ love this shit. It’s fire. Don’t sleep on this one.
It’s followed by yet another highlight entitled Flying Faith. I love the melodic production here from LDontheCut. The opening verse from T.R.3 is fire too. The second verse is performed by Krum, who I’m not that familiar with. However, I know he released an album fully produced by Theory Hazit a couple years ago, which I still need to check out. He did a great job here. Same goes for Pecks-One on the third verse. I’ve never heard of that dude, but he killed it. I think that’s actually Ariano on the hook, so that’s cool. The song is dope as hell to me. The closing track is a highlight called Donuts & Derbies, which I also covered in the aforementioned Best Singles of the Week post.
As much as I enjoyed the two extended plays that T.R.3 dropped earlier this year, I think this song is a nice change of pace. ANGELES & GRIEF were both very well made projects, but I don’t think I’d be able to describe them as “unique” in good faith. ANGELES was basically just a Soundcloud Trap project, and there are obviously hundreds of thousands of those all over the site, albeit with varying degrees of quality. GRIEF is more my cup of tea, but that lofi, melancholy style is super trendy right now, even if I think GREIF is one of the best projects in that style. This song right here doesn’t sound like him following trends though. The influences aren’t super obvious anymore. I feel like we couldn’t have gotten something like this without that GRIEF EP. This sounds like the result of him digging himself out of the depression he was in throughout the recording process of that project.
I’m sick and tired of wasting timeSo I spit up and change the climateNo more rainin’ from my eyelidsIn a blink we could be flyin’Yet you live afraid of dyin’We could be something bigger than giantsLike a star to Orion, constellations in this boothI spit a word, it’s livin’ truth
I love the way this song is structured too. He’s just spazzing the entire time, and the way the beat progresses prevents it from getting stale. Even if he’s not switching from a hook to a bridge or a verse, the production is always changing up. Shoutout to Ariano too. That beat is really goddamn great. I saw that it was compared to Organized Noize, and I guess that’s the closest thing I could compare it too. It’s kinda ATLiens-ish. This track has me really excited for anything T.R.3 has coming next because he’s clearly showing off a lot of versatility this year so far. Check this shit out.