I am not very familiar with today’s rap scene. I had a period a few years ago when I listened to the likes of Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Odd Future. As time went by, however, I drifted to mostly listening to 70’s-90’s rock. However, after listening to a certain album, my interest in rap has been somewhat rejuvenated. The album that I am referring to is CyHi the Prynce’s No Dope on Sundays. I was tasked with reviewing this album, and I’m happy that I was.
First of all, the production value is very nice. Every beat sounds pleasing to the ear and they back the rapping very well. Songs like “Murda” and “Nu Africa” have a nice old-school hip hop sound, whereas songs like the titular track, “Movin’ Around,””Closer,” and “Dat Side” feel more contemporary. This helps make the album diverse in sound and make it a more enjoyable experience.
A great of example of how good the production value is on the song “80’s Baby.” The sound of a beating heart on life support is the base of a beat that incorporates an upbeat tempo, and it also feels very relaxed and hectic at the same time. Combined with the song’s point of view of a child witnessing his mother’s destructive life makes this a very powerful song. Production like this can help an album go a long way.
Another aspect of the sound that I liked was how songs like “No Dope on Sundays” and “Trick Me” changed tempo and sound around midway through. It helped give the album a little more variety. However, it got a little annoying hearing “CYHI!” every other song. This album also has some features which are… fine. People like 2 Chainz and Pusha T give a good performance, but something about Kanye West’s delivery on “Dat Side” just doesn’t do it for me.
This album covers several themes, most notably racial injustice and the power of faith. CyHi does a good job of making his opinions clear, and unlike albums like Gorillaz’ Humanz, it doesn’t come across as overly preachy. Even the frequent Bible verses throughout the LP don’t distract from the experience. They add to the album, if anything. Songs like “God Bless Your Heart” and “Nu Africa” come to mind when thinking about these themes.
The highlight of this album, in my opinion, is “Get Yo Money” with its heavy sound and lyricism. Not far behind is the titular track, which is, for lack of a better term, hype. “Lookin for Love” is also very good, with a catchy chorus and a unique beat that kind of reminds me of that one anti-weed PSA.
Overall, No Dope on Sundays is a very solid rap album, and one of the better ones that I’ve heard. Everything is done well, but altogether, the album doesn’t seem that groundbreaking to me compared to albums like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and The OF Tape Vol. 2. Taking this into account, I give this album a solid 8.5/10. Also, I found out that CyHi doesn’t seem to have a lot of exposure compared to other contemporary acts. He deserves far more recognition than he currently has. If people like Pitbull and Taylor Swift can get mainstream recognition in today’s music scene and CyHi can’t, then something seems wrong.
Thank you for reading this review, and make sure to check out this week’s playlist and everything else here on the site!