An album by Noah Yount
Review presented by Issac Sandoval
Listen to “Whuddisay” by Noah Yount
Noah Yount made waves here at The Write Reviews with the review of his first album, Renaissance Man. After receiving a nearly perfect rating on Renaissance Man, Noah Yount wanted to see what we thought of an album he had released prior to Renaissance Man. That album, Whuddisay is the one being review here. Since I reviewed Renaissance Man, I thought our resident Expert Examiner, Issac Sandoval, should be the one to break down Whuddisay to see if Issac felt Noah Yount had delivered another great album, and to prove there wasn’t any bias going on. I don’t know about you all, but I’m ready to find out how Noah Yount’s Whuddisay fairs against our Expert Examiner.
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CHECKS & BALANCES
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1- Dinner Served
It is mind-blowing to me that I literally started snapping along at the very instant that Noah said he would get our hands clapping and our fingers snapping, this lets me know from the very beginning that I’m not dealing with the average underground artist. Everybody has bars, but Noah is somebody who can make records, and this makes me excited to see what he has in store for me. Dinner Served is one of the better intros that I’ve heard. He’s not trying to be overly lyrical like so many of the artists congesting the underground. He has mic presence, a unique voice, and a unique taste for word choice that is sure to create some flavors that you have yet to hear. “Break it off like a hippo on a kid’s swing” made me chuckle in a way that is rare for emcees to accomplish anymore.
2- Do It Better feat. Fresh Air
I love this hook, it is a fun and exceedingly Hip-Hop take on “Anything You Can Do” with a splash of Jay-Z’s “Renegade,” and this vibe carries throughout the entire record. The record could possibly come off braggadocio if it wasn’t so dang fun. Fresh Air takes the second verse of this three verse record and does not disappoint despite stepping into the ring with Noah who established himself as a formidable emcee even before the intro concluded. This record could be a banger, for turn up, pregame, basically any situation that is not somber.
3- Digital Sex
KRS-One defines Hip-Hop as “peace, love, unity, and having fun.” So many underground artists and heads not only neglect the last one, quite a few hate that aspect. If you’re one of those underground inhabitants that is white-knuckle lyricism all the time you will not enjoy this record, it’s not for you. As for me, I can’t remember a time I had so much fun with a singular song from a project. The instrumentation makes me picture the choreography from Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” It’s definitely not a song that you want to play when it’s actually time to do the deed, but I could see people going nuts for this in the club. Matter of fact, this song may be enough to get me in the club, it’s THAT fun!
4- Havin My Baby
We’re only four songs in at this point but already the sequencing is already superior to even most major label releases. It’s more subtle than something like Good Kid, m.A.A.d City, where the artist is clearly telling a linear story. But I urge you, as you listen to Whuddisay, listen to how well the songs transition from one to the next, both in subject matter and sonically. Having My Baby picks right up where Digital Sex left off, the tempo is a little slower and the tone more lax, but it’s still a fun record and the two tracks make a great pairing. The song is great as a whole, but the hook specifically is a stellar example of how to use repetition without making it stale. Artists, take notes…I did.
5- High As Fuck
There are so many subtle things that Noah does well that take this album to the next level, and sadly, the average ear is probably going to miss most of them. No joke, the first time around I thought the first verse was a featured artist and I had to double check the tracklist. It is in fact Noah who is using a voice different from what we’ve heard so far and it really helps to create the atmosphere that this record demands. Then in the third verse Noah picks the pace up and reverts back to his usual voice and the switch is executed so seamlessly, it’s beautiful.
I don’t particularly like making comparisons, and it might make the artists annoyed, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Have you ever wondered what Hopsin’s “Pans In The Kitchen” would sound like if you took out all the obnoxious, shock jock, Hopsin filler? Well that’s this record, and it’s the “Pans In The Kitchen” that Hip-Hop deserves. Noah displays his story-telling for the first time here and shows that it’s on par with the other aspects of his craft. The most interesting thing that this record presents, at least for me, is: did Noah produce this album himself? If he did that impresses me to nth degree at this point. A self-produced album is something that falls flat on its face about ninety-five percent of the time.
Ok, Noah might not be the greatest singer ever, but personally I have no beef with rappers who are not amazing vocalists singing if they desire. Some people do, and that may be the only reason this song would receive any negative reaction. Noah brings some more story-telling to the table, and this one is more impressive in that aspect than Beatbox. While he is not Mariah Carey, he is still able to hit the necessary notes to convey the emotional impact of Photograph. I also admire that he was able to catch me off guard with the melody in the hook. After the first three lines, I knew where I thought he was going with it, but he went in a completely different direction. I have heard this record over twenty times at this point and it still throws me off.
8- My Way
Again I want to point to the sequencing of Whuddisay, go back to Photograph and see how the synths from that track sound and the synths in this song, that’s how you do it. With My Way Noah goes back to getting after the competition, but I don’t feel this one like I did the previous efforts. I don’t particularly like the way Noah’s lyrics are striking the drums at numerous points in the song. That aside I do really enjoy the vibe and energy of the record, as well as the hook. Like I said early on Noah is an emcee that knows how to make complete songs.
9- Torch It All
I know plenty of underground artists that would take offence to what I’m about to say, even if they shouldn’t. So I apologize in advance to Mr. Yount if this does offend, but this is a record that I truly think I could hear on the radio. From the EDM reminiscent instrumentation, to the melodic hook this is a song that fits the radio formula. The verses are impressive without being too complex or demanding too much attention which is another major reason I feel that Torch It All could perform well as a radio single.
10- On Me
I love that Noah and his sound are impervious to being crammed into the tiny underground box that everybody seems to aim for. Noah employs autotune for the hook on track ten and it’s brilliant! Another joint that I could see getting spun at the club that would make the kids jump around like rabbits. The first verse kicks off with some interpolation of Hip-Hop’s immortal words, “It’s been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you…” If anyone is familiar with me, and my tastes in Hip-Hop you know that interpolation is the way to my heart, I think it’s the best way of paying homage. But the fun doesn’t stop there as Noah delivers about three minutes and twenty seconds of a good time.
11- Rap Sum’n
If it’s the bars you’ve been waiting for, you can find them right here on track eleven. This is the record for the Hip-Hop heads, the most traditional of all the instrumentals on the album. Yet again Noah’s personality shines through his loose and relaxed composure at the mic, and his creative and unique choice of words. The line “don’t be so sensitive you soggy clit,” is all the evidence you need to see that Noah’s mind is working differently from most people’s. A shorter track, but the more you listen, the more you’re gonna catch.
12- Sins of the Father
I’m not even going to wait for the features tracks section to tell you that this is my favorite song on the album, and I also believe it to be Noah’s best display of songwriting. The entire project to this point has been Noah putting on a songwriting clinic, but this one is truly stellar. The hook sets the tone beautifully for the record, the vocal effect is perfectly executed. He takes story telling further than most emcees do in the sense that along with the story we also see character development and world building. It’s also a brutally honest look at humanity and how despite the best of intentions you can become exactly what you hated the most in this world. I can say as a fellow emcee this is a song that I’m mad I didn’t write, it’s perfect.
13- Raise Ya Cup
We get an unusually long piano intro that sounds decades old, but as soon as the drums kick in it’s one hundred percent Hip-Hop. Noah brings a laid back, bouncy flow that playfully dances with the piano. Now I don’t turn up, but if I did, I imagine this would be the soundtrack of choice, there’s not a second of this track that isn’t pure fun. The hook is something that could be easily followed even if you may have had too much. Bonus points for being the only emcee that I’ve ever heard refer to the police as “the fuzz.”
14- Still Raining Diamonds
This one is a little tricky, because I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad song, I think it’s the context that is to blame for Still Reigning Diamonds feeling like it misses the mark. It sounds too derivative of what we’ve heard to this point. Each part of the song sounds like it was borrowed from one of the previous tracks. There is also a few bars towards the beginning of the first verse where Noah’s flow loses its precision and its effortless sound that we’ve become accustomed to by this point in the album. So while I don’t actually give this song a thumbs down, the product we’ve been given to this point just makes this one seem like a step back.
15- With You feat. Amir Hadayo
Thanks to the surging popularity of EDM this is another song that I believe could have a successful radio run, while simultaneously intimidating the die-hard underground heads. As is the case with the EDM joints that we the public are being served, this song is all about the hook. This hook is guaranteed to get the festival goers bouncing and I enjoy it very much for what it is. Noah does not rap a single syllable on this record, instead singing the entire time. Again, not everyone is going to love his voice, but if you enjoy Hailie’s Song you have no excuse to hate on this one, because Noah sings better.
16- The Gods Must Be Crazy feat. Fresh Air
We got an old west sounding intro that transforms into a hard underground Hip-Hop beat, much like “Bad Meets Evil” by Em and Royce. And just like that song we have two heavyweights throwing haymakers, and it’s exciting to hear. Just like their last pairing it’s a display of lyrical prowess but with a much more aggressive tone, and a much better hook. Good lawd this hook is great!!! There isn’t really much more to say at this point, so let’s move on to the featured tracks.
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Dinner Served, Having My Baby, Beatbox, Photograph, Torch It All, Sins Of The Father, and The Gods Must Be Crazy
THE WRITE UP
Noah Yount is an emcee who is no stranger to critical acclaim, already receiving a nearly-classic rating from The Write Reviews for his project “Renaissance Man.” With “Whuddisay”, Noah delivers another great album, and I had a blast reviewing it. Noah displays his very own style, something there used to be a lot of emphasis on in the game. When you hear Noah Yount, it’s recognizable. His flow and delivery are excellent, and his word choice is so unique. His punches are humorous, and his personality is on display throughout the project. But perhaps the most impressive of all of his traits as an emcee is his songwriting ability. Many emcees in the underground can rap, a lot of us “got bars,” but the majority struggle to write a complete song. We struggle with hooks, story-telling, staying on topic, etc. These are not problems for Noah as he puts on a songwriting clinic from beginning to end.
I don’t think I even have anything negative to say about the album, just things that aren’t necessarily favorable, and they would probably just come across as nit-picking. If there were anything I would change about the album is I would probably just take out “Still Reigning Diamonds,” I just don’t think it fits well with the rest of the album. So while it’s not even a bad song, it just ends up being the low point because the rest of the album is up so high. I’m afraid I’m not awarding a classic rating to Whuddisay, it’s lacking a certain oomph needed. However, this will be just the third project that I’ve reviewed that will stay in rotation after it is published, and an album that I will personally recommend. Props!
(4.5 out of 5 stars)
Noah Yount has also had his “Renaissance Man” album reviewed on our site!
The Write Reviews caught up with Noah Yount for an interview!
Check out more great stuff at The Write Reviews!