Maybe Chief Keef should take a rest. This is something he openly admits on “Sky Say”: “I should take a vacation / I should take a stuntin’ break.” The drill-rap pioneer has had an almost unprecedented past few years, releasing four mixtapes in 2017 and a slew of B-sides. The quality of these projects has varied from inspired (Thot Breaker’s raw vulnerability and surprising cohesion) to phoned-in (One Two Zero Seven and Dedication’s wheel-spinning). Mansion Musick falls somewhere in between, with flashes of the wild experimentation that Sosa’s toyed with in the past alongside generic trap-bangers. Opener “Belieber” and closer “Letter” are jarring piano ballads played unironically, with Keef Auto-crooning about the countless lovers he hopes still remember him.
This type of sentimentality feels at odds with tracks like “Get This Money,” which are bass-heavy and delivered in a half-mutter — with lines about stuffed mattresses and bad bitches — which make their contrasting poignant lyrical reflections and sonic change-ups welcome inclusions. The most moving moment on Mansion Musick comes from the standout feature on the project: rising Atlanta star Playboi Carti, whose mumble-stylings have been clearly influenced by Keef. On “Uh Uh,” the father and son meet for the very first time, and share great chemistry. Unfortunately, it’s after this high point that things start to devolve rather quickly, with the stretch from “Hand Made” to “Part Ways” sounding like cluttered leftovers from this year’s Ottospy EP. It’s frustrating to see an artist like Keef vacillate in quality this much; perhaps a Sosa sabbatical is in order, because these inconsistent releases have been piling up with way too much frequency of late.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Issue 1