Armani Caesar - The Liz 2 Music Album Reviews

Armani Caesar - The Liz 2 Music Album Reviews
Sounding effortlessly in command of her money and her sexuality, the Griselda rapper’s new album oozes seductive pleasure.

The rap collective Griselda takes its name from Griselda Blanco, the so-called “cocaine godmother.” Escaping an abusive childhood for life outside the law, Blanco became one of the most infamous operators in an underworld more often dominated by male kingpins and drug lords. The story of a woman who survived by any means necessary must resonate with Buffalo native Armani Caesar, the so-called “first lady” of the overwhelmingly male Griselda label roster. But Caesar’s own chosen icons aren’t all notorious crime bosses, or even corporate girlbosses—her work honors a pantheon of misunderstood women, recognized for their glamor but not always their hustle. The Liz 2 is her second project to be named for Elizabeth Taylor, whose face peers out from the cover, third eye open. No matter the era, Caesar loves a diva with big hair, and her new album abounds with references to everyone from Diana Ross to Paula Deen.

Caesar has been in the game for over a decade, and her work has matured with experience and the aesthetic guidance of the Griselda braintrust. Though she doesn’t share the family connection of cousins Westside, Conway, and Benny, she aligns perfectly with the creative mission of Griselda, a hub for hardworking rap veterans who never quite got their breakout moment. On early mixtapes like 2009’s Bath & Body Work and 2011’s Hand Bag Addict, Caesar worked in a more uptempo pop register, spitting over Dr. Dre and Jazze Pha beats. As her sound has slowed and deepened, she’s taken on an aura that’s arguably closer to the legends she idolizes. Her patient delivery and effortless gravitas command attention rather than giving it.

Draped in fur stoles and costume jewels like a Hollywood star of a bygone era, Caesar holds herself at a distance—not necessarily cold, but poised and self-assured. The new album’s production is a lush velvet of funk samples and soulful strings, the air thick with hairspray and blunt smoke. There’s a disco flair to the Nile Rodgers-like bassline on “Meth & Mary,” and the video for “Diana” imagines something like a remake of Mahogany co-starring Kodak Black. Trippy Moog tones float in the clouds on “Queen City,” and a brooding synthesizer rolls in and out like the tide on “Hunnit Dolla Hiccup.”

When Caesar sings, on tracks like “First Wives Club” and “Snowfall,” her voice is softer and brighter. It’s a sharp turn from her exacting rap flow, but her guard never drops. Words leave her mouth with emphatic precision, and while the pace is thoughtful, certain consonants hit like jabs to the chin. There’s menace to her delivery, and an unsettling tactility to the production—the classic breakbeat and thick bassline of “Survival of the Littest” are married to an incessant background tone that whines like a tea kettle. She’s in her hardcore New York bag on “Mel Gibson,” built from a wonky, scattered piano sample that would sound at home on an Armand Hammer joint.

Caesar’s Griselda period is a redefinition rather than a total reinvention; her core voice remains consistent, but she’s confident enough now to think about the total package. On “Survival of the Littest,” an origin story in the “C.R.E.A.M.” tradition, she breaks down how she hustled her way out of precarity, first as a stripper and then as a rapper. Like her labelmates, she proudly owns what she’s done to survive; there’s an obvious line between the sexual confidence and business acumen of her lyrics and her past work in another genre of performance. Fittingly, The Liz 2 closes with an outright banger that feels destined for placement on the P-Valley soundtrack: the 808-heavy “Sike,” featuring Queendom Come and legendary Texan strip club maestro BeatKing. But The Liz 2 is more than music for the club itself; Armani Caesar is speaking to the girls in the dressing room, reminding them that feeling yourself is the first step to making it on your own.

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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.
Armani Caesar - The Liz 2 Music Album Reviews Armani Caesar - The Liz 2 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 01, 2022 Rating: 5


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