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Cousin Stizz - Just for You Music Album Reviews

Cousin Stizz - Just for You Music Album Reviews
On his latest album, the Massachusetts rapper recognizes the value of sticking to a formula and gently retooling what works instead of drawing attention to what doesn’t.

Cousin Stizz can hardly believe he’s made it this far. The Massachusetts rapper’s songs exist within a strict binary, bouncing between party anthems and clear-eyed reflections on his scrappy Dorchester upbringing. No matter what story he’s telling, it’s sold with a preternatural cool, like that fun-loving relative you spend an extra half-hour smoking gas with before Thanksgiving dinner. “Shoutout,” the breakout single from Stizz’s 2015 debut Suffolk County, helped him land a deal with RCA Records in 2016. And though he’s never produced a chart-topping single, his unassuming demeanor has cemented his status as a hometown hero for one of rap’s most underrepresented regions.

Stizz has since parted ways with RCA and reclaimed his independence. Just for You could’ve been an excuse for him to push boundaries as a result. But after some ill-advised experiments on 2017’s One Night Only, he’s self-aware enough to recognize the value in gently retooling what works instead of drawing attention to what doesn’t. So the formula goes unchanged here. “When shit get real, from the pavement to roof/Summer showers, winter snows; count fans at the shows,” he raps on opener “Save the Day,” his disbelief shining just bright enough to briefly betray his slick persona.

At their best, Stizz’s raps create the illusion of intimacy without giving the plot away. On early single “Blessings,” he raps a quick aside about moving drugs to buy cars before the story ends abruptly. He can get specific—namedropping Boston streets like Talbot Avenue on “Save the Day” and neighborhoods like Savin Hill on “Guts & Glory”—while also establishing boundaries on what he’s willing to reveal: the subjects and tales of brothers-in-arms songs like “Look Both Ways” and “RIP Bro” remain nameless. These moments are very “if you know, you know,” amplifying the intrigue of his story but being just removed enough for a listener to graft their own experiences onto it.

This calculated remove backfires when there’s less personality in the writing. Bars like “I came from nothin’, I mean that/I got their neck where my feet at/That shit was all for the mean bag,” from “After the Buzzer,” land because of their choppy delivery, not for their clever wordplay. “Stone” and “MIA” are full of bland flexing that could’ve come from any rapper with a YouTube account, the lyrics outshined by the Kal Banx beats that propel them. Stizz’s charisma—his sheer commitment to gliding over all others with a diamond-encrusted Dreamworks smirk— saves these songs, which is a testament to his skills as a performer.

Stizz’s production ear keeps Just for You bouncing along. He’s comfortable over a range of beats, including the shimmering drums and vocal sample on “Blessings,” produced by Tee-WaTT and M. Ali, and the gloomy sonics of “LBS,” co-produced by Stizz’s longtime collaborator Snapz. Boston rapper-producer Latrell James bends ticking 808s around neon-drenched synths that give the rags-to-riches tale of “Guts & Glory” a sleek nightlife glamour. Stizz’s toasts to the homies and career aspirations hit harder thanks to the album’s handsome production.

Though he has yet to break through the industry’s glass ceiling, Stizz has built himself a respectable independent career. He’s philosophically aligned with a kindred spirit like New Orleans stalwart Curren$y, who happens to be Just for You’s only guest. On closing track “Star Power,” they address paranoia and sudden failure from opposing perspectives, with Stizz’s fears temporarily getting the best of his good fortune: “The glass ain’t half-full here, it’s half-broken.” He’s used to good things disappearing suddenly and refuses to rest on his laurels, but that doesn’t mean he’s above giving his base exactly what they want.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Cousin Stizz - Just for You Music Album Reviews Cousin Stizz - Just for You Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 Rating: 5

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