NGeeYL Returns With New Project Hiatus
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
NGeeYL is back after a long break from major releases with a new project aptly named, Hiatus. After being drawn in by singles like ”Didibop Gang” and ”We Ain’t Goin,” I was waiting for a full project that could have YL come into his own. Last year, he dropped Tales of YL. It was a good collection of bangers, but few songs had the same flair and style showcased in the singles that attracted me to his persona. Hiatus does a great job of showing listeners where YL wants to be sonically, and for those who are new to his music, I believe the project is a better introduction to him than Tales of YL could ever be.
We start with “Sub Me In,” and I love the beat so much; it works so well as an opener. The beat is setting the listener up for a wild ride off the rip. The producer was definitely having the time of his life adding the 808’s. YL has an equal amount of fun playing with sarcasm in his verse. “Cock that bitch back, shoot. I don’t give a fuck bout ya crew/ Mom dukes on the news/She givin’ interviews/ That’s what the fuck’ll happen when that shit get foreal, dude.”
Point taken. Well said YL.
“Lick,” featuring Valee, keeps the momentum going. The beat‘s sample is a simple five-note melody. Again, YL’s beat selection shines as it seems to be fined tuned to an atmosphere all his own. I feel like I’m in a swamp with my head just above the water that pulsates with each bass note. Valee’s delivery in his verse matches this energy, and his lyrics compliment YL’s keenness for irony: “Smokin exotic, I just got that/ I don’t want your hoe, if it's not that.”
This is the content I signed up for.
The hook for “Minute Maid” continues the lyrical hilarity of the project. “I just bought a diamondback wit some titties/ So I call that motherfucker Tee Grizzley.” YL elegantly enunciates every line of the hook. I felt the verse was anticlimactic, but who cares? The hook comes back around, ending the song, and making me forget about the slip-up. It should be noted that while most of the tracks on Hiatus are similar in length, a select few actually feel short. “Minute Maid” is definitely one of those tracks. It comes on, hits you, and then it’s gone.
Something similar can be said about the next two songs, “Floatin” and “No Jack.” Hot beats, but the shortness of the tracks make them a bit forgettable. Memorable lines don’t reappear until “Bruisin.” “I’ll hit that nigga, no shells? Ain’t no case, boy/ Closed casket for ya ass, they can’t show ya face boy.” “Floatin” and “No Jack” are cool but seem like Tales of YL material, a.k.a. mixtape level music. “Bruisin” brings forth again YL’s calm, sarcastic, swampy style mentioned earlier.
“Child’s Play” marks the project’s experimental turning point. The beat’s vocal sample is melodic, drowned out and disturbing. The prevailing sound of the beat is it’s guitar riffs. YL continues his aggressive gun talk, but I wished he delve into something more poignant over this beat. But right as the disappointment begins to settle in, the song ends, and the next one plays, saving the day.
“My Gun” is simply a banger. It’s also more upbeat, which gives the listener a break from the mostly grim aura of the project. Yes, it's obviously more of the same lyrically, but my spirits were lifted listening to this song. In my opinion, it's the most replayable song on the project. The bounce of the record takes me back to how hype I would get listening to “We Ain’t Goin.” The track also blesses us with a buoyant variation of YL’s baby voice. Thank you YL.
“Smoke” gives the grandiose smack in the face it seems like “No Jack” was aiming for. The beat employs the high 808 bass notes at their most ridiculous until the lower notes splash you and bring the beat back around for the next loop. The beat is humorous and serious at the same time. YL paints this canvas perfectly: “Hop out, big ass gun. Smoke, he don’t want none/ Birds? I got the swans/ Stick just like desert storm/ Nigga know that I flex so hard that a young legend might break his arm/ Turned up in the trap right now, you know I gotta get em’ goin.” Ya dig?
“Pariah” is where this project should’ve ended, to be honest. The beat is the most experimental on the project, with a vocal sample similar to that on "Child’s Play" switching front positions with a raspy flute melody. YL speaks on opioid addiction, and the sorrow felt when you’re down bad surrounded by people who you can’t trust or expect to help you. We get two verses, making the song feel more complete than the other tracks it shares space with. After this, we’re given two more songs that honestly just feel like bonus tracks. The smooth piano of “Lullaby” and the electronic sound of “Hot Shit” sound nice but out of place. Both give us more of YL’s baby voice, so all is forgiven.
With Hiatus, NGeeYL gives us another example of the bizarre and outlandish turn underground trap has taken. Every day, the world around us seems to be getting crazier. Musical projects that mirror this phenomenon by embracing the ironic and absurd at the very least help pass the time, and NGeeYL’s Hiatus is time well spent.
Stream Hiatus here. Enjoy!