Ballout & Tadoe - "The Rise of Glo Gang Empire" Apr 9, 2015 23:05:47 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Apr 9, 2015 23:05:47 GMT -5
The Rise of Glo Gang Empire (2015)
By: Ballout & Tadoe
By: Ballout & Tadoe
Ever since Chief Keef's Chicago-based rap label Glory Boyz Entertainment became "Glo Gang" in 2014, the focus has been on two things - new artists and new sounds. With the induction of rappers like Lil Flash, Justo, and Benji Glo to the Glo Gang catalog and the headmaster Chief Keef experimenting with different sounds on his various mixtapes, Glo Gang has taken very different directions from its roots, and seeing as it's a relatively new label with no one over twenty-five belonging to it, this kind of experimentation is rare. With that, however, veteran GBE artists like Ballout and Tadoe have taken a backseat to a great deal of the action, releasing projects but drumming up nowhere near the circumventing buzz of Lil Flash's new song or Keef's new mixtapes.
While we were promised a collaboration album between Keef and Fredo and a collaboration mixtape between Keef and Tadoe, the surprise mixtape we received from Ballout and Tadoe, two charismatic members of the Glo Gang label, will do just fine. The Rise of Glo Gang Empire is probably the most accomplished release since GBE's rebranding and reminds long-suffering/waiting fans that full length digital downloads can be just as strong as sporadic single releases.
The Rise of Glo Gang Empire kicks off with two memorable tracks right off the bat, "Childpak" and "California," the former taking on one of the many aggressive styles both Ballout and Tadoe can be known for, and the latter taking on a more soothing, almost cloud rap level of hypnotic chants. However, for the most part, the two voices pose an interesting contrast; Ballout, unlike Keef, bears a sleepy voice that is induced by the lack of autotune and vocal-tampering that provides for something oddly soothing, especially when juxtaposed with harsh realities and conventions of the drill genre, and Tadoe is loud and proud, with a higher, more distinct voice that also works well with drill concepts.
"Beverly Hills" has a chorus by Ballout that sounds like one of many of Ballout's freestyles, with Tadoe chiming in with the zealous energy he is known to provide, making for a track that absolutely slaughters all potential preconceived notions that this album would be another oddity. Furthermore, Chief Keef chimes in for one of his strongest songs in quite sometime on "On Me," where his traditional chorus flows well with the sleepiness of Ballout's verse and the more humbly assertive tone of Tadoe's (and, once again, Young Chop's production can virtually do no wrong). To put it simply, both of these tracks are back to back winners in every respect.
The latter half of the release unfortunately detours into less polished tracks that feel more like forced freestyles than anything of notable quality, especially given that several of the preceding tracks could very well be placed among some of the finest work these two respective artists have done in their careers. While "Kill Me" flows like a nursery rhyme with the way Ballout and Tadoe ebb and flow with the classic trap instrumental, "Surveillance Cameras" and "BLT" are half-baked (pun intended) failures that don't exercise the true talents these two young men have beared throughout this entire release (whether this is because the style can be monotonous or the tracks really aren't that great by themselves is something I have yet to clarify).
The Rise of Glo Gang Empire is a lean and thoroughly mean release, which I would take any day over a bloated, poorly-mixed mixtape. The sub-premium price the digital release (I'm not sure if this is considered an EP, a digital album like Keef's Nobody, an album, or what-have-you) bears is definitely deceptive; this is some of the most accomplished work from the label in quite some time and, if nothing else, a solid introduction to both of these rappers and their strengths.
Recommended tracks (in order): "On Me," "Beverly Hills," "Kill Me," and "California."