Young Dolph - Paper Route Frank Music Album Reviews

Young Dolph - Paper Route Frank Music Album Reviews
The Memphis rapper’s posthumous album honors his legacy by spotlighting his unmatched charisma, technical prowess, and storytelling flair.

Young Dolph’s straight-faced authenticity was his calling card. “Remember used to rap about weed/he didn’t sell pies,” Gucci Mane reminisced on his 2021 tribute to the Memphis-raised artist. In a genre of Scarface-like fairytales, only Dolph could be celebrated for something as innocuous as selling weed. He rapped constantly about his enemies and defying death, but his car was actually riddled with 100 bullets in 2017, and four years later, he was murdered during a shooting in his hometown at the age of 36. Like 2Pac’s Makaveli persona or Drakeo the Ruler, Dolph was brash, paranoid, and confrontational in his shit-talking, already clear-eyed about the inevitable consequences of being outspoken and targeted for it. And like the murders of 2Pac and Drakeo, another generational voice was forcefully silenced.

Paper Route Frank is the first posthumous Dolph album, one that honors an enormous legacy in the best way possible: by sounding precisely like a project Dolph would have made when he was alive. The songs here reflect not just Dolph’s unflinching tenacity, but everything else that made him special: his charisma, deadpan humor, technical prowess, vulnerability, and unflappable dedication to the rules of the streets. In short, Paper Route Frank is a reminder of what a complicated, singular star Dolph was. 

Dolph also had one of the best ears for beats in the game, knowing exactly what type of production would support a voice as lead-heavy and nimble as his. Here, he makes light work of everything he touches. Standout “Woah” sounds like something Pimp C would have produced for early 2000s UGK, thick with syrupy bass and horror-movie piano lines. Dolph switches flows with flair, always sneaking in a dose of humor (“In high school, I had more money than everybody, includin’ the faculty!” he spits). Longtime collaborator BandPlay provides many of the strongest beats, particularly the sitar-centered firecracker “Uh Uh” and the blown-out, violin-heavy “That’s How.” The latter is an effortless collaboration with Dolph’s cousin Key Glock that echoes their fantastic collaborative tapes from 2019 and 2021. 

The few collaborations are just as fitting: There’s no opportunistic tack-ons, only friends. In addition to Glock and a posse cut with two protégés, Paper Route Frank features Gucci Mane (“Roster”) and 2 Chainz (“Beep Beep”), both of whom turn in some of their most memorable guest verses in recent memory. Gucci, who recorded two separate collaborative projects with Dolph, is almost in hardened pre-prison form on “Roster,” rapping with determined menace, like he’s swimming upstream. The best verses still belong to Dolph. If the songs themselves sound somewhat like retreads of past material, his rapping does more than enough to keep them gripping. He tells a remarkable story of turning down a deal with Roc Nation, but still having $2 million dollars to pay Jay-Z for a verse on “Hall of Fame,” and reiterates his commitment to street codes on “Always,” leading, per usual, by example: “I look my plug in the eye,” he raps somberly, “Then I hand him the bag.” 

Dolph was guided by fierce emotion; his love of family in particular was always on the flipside of his bombast, and was further proof of the realness Gucci and so many others so admired. “I had my lil’ boy, that shit changed my whole world/A couple of years later now here come my lil’ girl,” Dolph remembers on “Old Ways” with heartbreaking earnestness. It makes the details of his murder—he was shot while buying cookies for his mother at a bakery in Memphis—all the more crushing. The focus on the raw facts of his reality is the only way a posthumous album could do right by an artist as beloved, independent, and layered as Dolph: the trash talker and storyteller, the devoted father of two, the martyred spokesman for a city, and a movement all on his 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.
Young Dolph - Paper Route Frank Music Album Reviews Young Dolph - Paper Route Frank Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 12, 2023 Rating: 5


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