Don’t Be Proud Yet
An album by Carti Venandi
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to “Don’t Be Proud Yet” by Carti Venandi
One of the great things that has happened since the start of The Write Reviews is now underground artists find the website somehow and contact me about reviewing their music instead of hunting down new artists to check out. Such was the case with Carti Venandi, who emailed me inquiring about having his album “Don’t Be Proud Yet” reviewed. Obviously, I accepted. And now we have the second track by track breakdown of 2016 posted at The Write Reviews. Let’s find out what Carti Venandi is made of!
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1- Andato Indaco
The album opens up with a relaxed beat that gives off a cool vibe. Carti gets on the track and really displays a great flow. He bounces around a few topics, which is typical in many opening tracks for albums in hip hop. Also typical in opening tracks, there isn’t a hook for “Andato Indaco”, but instead this is a track with a straight bar after bar approach. Carti touches lightly on a few personal topics, diving a little deeper when he confesses to fighting inner demons until finally realizng he has been holding himself back. “Andato Indaco” is a solid opening track that gives the audience a pretty good idea of Carti Venandi’s talent.
2- About It
Honestly, I am not a huge fan of this instrumental. Carti brings back his relaxed flow but with a little more bounce in his voice, which is probably leaning more toward a sound people will enjoy simply because he sounds more into it. His lyrics are on the random side in “About It”, not really sticking to a main idea or topic. The hook is likeable and catchy. Carti’s second verse incorporates some wordplay with a couple harder punchlines. His verses could close out with a little more UMPH behind his lyrics, but it seems to fade out instead. All in all, “About It” is a good track for the first ‘true’ song of the album.
3- Waste It All
Continuing to incorporate a chill feel to the music, “Waste It All” separates itself from the two previous tracks by bringing a faster pace. While Carti Venandi does have a focus and main topic for this song, he still seems to bounce around from time to time on subject matter randomly. It’s almost as if he just likes to flow for the sake of flowing sometimes. The hook is a little different, which keeps things interesting for listeners, but it might have a hard time catching on with those listeners as well. The main message of “Waste It All” is a very good one- don’t waste everything you are for the sake of money. Unfortunately, I feel Carti could have done a better job delivering that message in a way that would be more appealing for hip hop fans.
4- Red Paint
Toning the tempo back down, “Red Paint” has a very slow rhythm to the instrumental. After several listens, I’m still on the fence about the hook; I just can’t decide if I like it or not. Carti does a solid job incorporating wordplay into his verses while still maintaining a flow that rolls well with the beat. Carti’s flow with words and his wordplay game are definitely his strongest aspects as an emcee, which really stands out for me because I am a huge fan of wordplay being involved in hip hop lyrics. He delivers some good metaphors too, but does so in a way that might have a hard time connecting with the audience. “Red Paint” closes out with a snippet from a movie scene, and by showing a little more of Carti’s lyrical capabilities.
5- Not The Same
Once again, we have a slower style instrumental with a relaxed vibe. Carti Venandi’s flow and delivery match up really well with the music. Lyrically he has an aggressive approach, but his delivery doesn’t help listeners feel the lyrics in that manner. His hook for “Not The Same” is really catchy and will definitely draw listeners into the music. He also continues to include wordplay into his verses. If Carti were to take the strengths of this song and the first four on the album and match his delivery to his lyrical approach, he would be an incredibly strong emcee. There is plenty of talent there, and he’s not hiding it, but so far it hasn’t quite came together as well as I know it can.
6- Oooh La La La feat. Jake Lambo
I really, really enjoy this beat. Carti is beginning to prove he has a knack for producing hooks that listeners will be able to easily catch on to and have trapped in their heads after the music stops playing. “Oooh La La La” definitely has radio appeal to it and Carti touches on a topic that he sticks with through every line of his well-written verse that delivers wordplay in nearly every bar. Jake Lambo has a relaxed flow that rides the music well, but he disregards Carti’s lead on a topic by going his own way within the content of his verse. Also, I feel like Jake’s verse isn’t anywhere close to as hard as he thinks it is due to his hollow lines that rhyme well. To be perfectly honest, if Carti had stayed solo on this track with a second verse that matches what he brought on his first set of bars, he would have quite an incredible song right here.
7- What’s The Hook
Here we have another track where Carti kind of just bounces through subject matter until the song’s conclusion. The hook simply lets listeners know Carti doesn’t need a hook. This track is mostly on a straight lyrical approach, but Carti Venandi also seems to get distracted by issues he feels compelled to touch base on. “What’s The Hook” is a pretty decent addition to “Don’t Be Proud Yet”.
8- Identity (Whale Child)
I am really feeling the music for “Identity (Whale Child)”. Carti Venandi returns with the laid back, super blazed sounding flow. He brings solid wordplay in his lyrics once again. There’s a couple lines on this track I don’t really agree with, and honestly Cartiay want to be careful crossing into that kind of controversy. He moves from subject to subject quickly, which is beginning to be a bit redundant. Near the end, ultimately he questions who he is and his purpose in life. One could argue that bouncing from topic to topic on this track seems fitting, almost as if he is fibding himself, but to have as many tracks delivered in such a manner as Carti does at this point in the album, I feel it takes away from the impact “Identity (Whale Child)” could have on listeners. The hook on this one simply repeats a phrase in unexciting fashion.
9- Spirit Quest (Adversity)
I like the rhythm and vibe brought with this instrumental. Kicking in a little more wordplay with a delivery showcasing more aggression in his flow, Carti Venandi demonstrates some wickedly nice multiple syllable rhyme scheme. The hook consists of repeating the same phrase for the most part, but is performed in a more entertaining manner than the way the hook was for “Identity (Whale Child)”. The wordplay on the “la la” line is very original and creative. To close out the track, the instrumental continues playing but in take over fashion as some twists to the music are likely to get listeners’ locked into this song more than they already will be. For the first time on “Don’t Be Proud Yet”, Carti smacks one out of the park from beginning to end in convincing fashion. “Spirit Quest (Adversity)” has kicked off the Featured Tracks list.
10- Carti Parti
The tempo and chill yet fun feel to the music for “Carti Parti” is enjoyable. Carti uses his laid back flow, which is more fitting for this type of track than some of the others that showed Carti using the same relaxed style. Speaking abiut his ex, real emotional ties can be heard in his voice as he spits his lyrics. I thought the switch up brought on this hook was a great way to keep things interesting. Just the wording and manner the hook is delivered to the audience is nothibg short of entertaining. Once Carti gets away from the subject of his ex, he tears into the track in a more expected fashion with his lyrics. “Carti Parti” is a real solid addition to “Don’t Be Proud Yet”, just falling short of giving the album back to back Featured Tracks.
11- Onyx Chandelier
Providing a steady beat that really hits, “Onyx Chandelier” has music containing the ability to get a crowd moving. Carti Venandi hits the topic merry-go-round again and spits out a hook of which I am not a big fan. Continually going without true direction may be the point on some tracks, but when it is happening in practically every song and the angle switches in nearly every other line, it begins to give a hollow feeling to the words for the audience.
12- Bad Earth
Opening this track is a snippet with one of my favorite scenes from Fight Club. The music for “Bad Earth” is crazy slow, but incorporates a wicked feel that draws me in. Carti’s flow matches up flawlessly with the beat. He goes in on other rappers in general, swinging some punchlines with a mixture of wordplay and metaphors included. There’s no real hook for “Bad Earth”, as Carti just takes a few moments of silence to let the beat play instead. “Bad Earth” also just falls short of the Featured Tracks list, but is definitely one of the strongest and more enjoyable tracks on “Don’t Be Proud Yet”.
13- Ape Shit
This album has several beats I really like, and on “Ape Shit” we have another one. Carti Venandi’s flow is right on time while his verses are compacted with a blend of punchlines, metaphors, some off the wall lines, and an abundance of topic touches performed in a way that will be better received by listeners. The hook is definitely catchy, but I must admit, I am not feeling the incorporation of the phrase “ape spit” whatsoever. Toward the second half of the track, a man is heard giving a speech and the hook returns to wrap up the track. “Ape Shit” is another one of the strongest songs on the album.
14- Infatuation feat. 2 Chainz
Out of all the instrumentals on this album that I really enjoy, and there is a surprisingly hogh percentage of those, this one is my favorite of them all. Carti’s flow is alive and delivered just as smoothly on “Infatuation” as it possibly could. He could’ve really ripped into this on a straight lyrical tip, but chooses to throw in some metaphors and wordplay while keeping just outside of a lyrical barrage and does so very well. There really isn’t a true hook for this track, but the concept is there. 2 Chainz spits his signature smooth flow, but as he usually does, his verse is a little lacking in the lyrical department. Regardless, and I never thought I would say this about any song 2 Chainz is on, “Infatuation” will find itself on the Featured Tracks list. Everything comes together very well and without a doubt, the audience will enjoy this track.
15- B. Y. O. D. feat. Bobby Fuego and Spook Spookson
The beat is likely to get people moving along to the music. Carti gives the audience a verse fitting for a cypher type of track. Starting off slamming other rappers in general, the meat of Carti’s verse is aimed toward the female crowd before wrapping up with a ‘get money’ mentality. He also plays off of the word ‘dope’, delivered by a female and engineered into the beat, in impressive fashion. The hook is something you don’t hear everyday, but will have listeners spitting the lyrics along with it. Bobby Fuego seems to take a jab at Carti Venandi to begin his verse then showcases some punchlines and multiple rhyme schemes. I was left feeling like Bobby Fuego could’ve came harder with his verse though. Spook Spookson has some head turning multiple rhyme schemes on the third verse that include a few punches and some wordplay. His verse is pretty solid overall. To close out the track, and the album, the instrumental switches up in an entertaining way. “B. Y. O. D.” concludes “Don’t Be Proud Yet” with its final Featured Track.
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Spirit Quest (Adversity), Infatuation, and B. Y. O. D.
The Write Up
I would be lying to everyone if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by the big picture of “Don’t Be Proud Yet”. I feel the complete opposite when it comes to Carti Venandi though, and let me explain how that’s possible. While “Don’t Be Proud Yet” has quite a few things that could have been improved on, Carti Venandi displays a great deal of talent throughout the course of the album. “Don’t Be Proud Yet” does not hit a level that makes it a stand out album to me, but Carti Venandi is very likely to grow as an artist and from his experience in creating “Don’t Be Proud Yet”, and that alone is enough to cause me to keep watch for the next album Carti Venandi drops.
(2 out of 5 stars)
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