Alby Sound is a rap/hip hop artist hailing from Rodeo, California. Previously known as Oktayne, he rose through the ranks of the indie hip hop charts and is now back with a new moniker. He cites Kanye West as a major influence and his talents have been described as a cross between Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper.
This album, Adventures Of The Sound, consists of sixteen hip hop tracks that show his musical diversity. Opening track Origins of Alby acts as a good introduction to him as an artist, starting with a haunting piano intro then progressing into a mellow groove, with Alby delivering some fine verses about his past. His laid back rapping style helps you get into his lyrical flow.
WLGYL ft. Takticz is based around the super catchy hook of “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade….”, while Clap Your Hands is a real highlight featuring a superb sax break towards the end. Lyrically, he distances himself from the violence in the culture surrounding hip hop: “Keep them bullets away from us….”. The hook sticks in your memory instantly and this is a potential single.
Prison Of The Mind ft. Kareless MF’ah is another excellent track and full of lyrical wisdom (“Racism is a prison for the mind….) while Friends is a poignant track about not knowing who to trust, built around a powerful synth melody (“Got a knife in my back, and I might get stabbed…”)
Vibe N’ Ride is a more feel good track about the ladies which lightens the mood after a few ‘heavy’ tracks, lyrically speaking. Unlock Ft. El-Merow is another highlight with some slick vocoder vocals and a slinky, addictive beat. Situation is the super laid back epic of the album at five minutes, and shows Alby at his most explicit and amorous, shall we say. A track for an intimate evening, the ideal mood setter. The tight, rhythmic acoustic guitar really grooves this one along.
Grow Up is one of the most powerful tracks on the album, an inspirational message about staying positive and having high expectations for the future: “When I grow up, I wanna go far…when I grow up, I wanna reach the stars….”. Musically, its excellent too with piano and sax providing the perfect backdrop.
It’s aimed at his younger audience (“The children are the future… they always have been…staying in school is the motto to live by…”) and its nice to see a rapper putting out a good example when so many are led astray by the ‘bad boys’ of hip hop who glamorize violence and greed.
Final track Racing Division also has a powerful message, this one focussing on all that’s wrong in society: “All we talk about is race and religion…”. These are the things that divide us, along with greed: “Sell your soul for a motherf—– loan…”. Two great tracks with something important to say to finish a fine piece of work.
Overall, this album stands up to any hip hop out there currently being made. While Alby has his ‘good times’ tracks, he also has plenty to say about the big issues in life and suggests a positive, more spiritual approach which is refreshing. With several stand outs, this album should help Alby Sound make a name for himself.
Verdict: 8.5 out of 10