As an avid hip-hop listener, it’s so fascinating to me to see how different regions of the United States pretty much all have their unique sound(for the most part). Who would have ever thought that Alabama would be one of those states to emerge musically in recent years? Someone who has caught my ear and attention recently is Jay Montona, representing Mobile, Alabama. Over the past few years, Montana’s presence has been steadily growing, thanks to his previous bodies of work, Not A Rapper 2, B4DACHECK, and The Vulture that will be soon cemented as classics one day. But his new mixtape They Forgot, is one for the books. Even though the lengthiness of the project is intimidating with it being twenty songs in total, it is somewhat necessary to display all of the development that he has made artistically.
He opens the project with an introspective song titled “Love Serious”. It's such a great way to kickstart this mixtape and set the tone. He questions the authenticity of the love he's receiving. Rather it is from people on the street or women in his life, he can't separate what's real and what's not. From there, he raises the ante flowing into the next track, “Bloodshed”. I applaud Montana for his vocal range. It is evident how much his range has expanded since his last release. He allows the song to be the vehicle to speak on real hood trauma and the dangers of living the hot life. He even touches on the lengths people will go to for revenge, with Montana knowing what it's like through first-hand experience. After that, we have “Cartel”, and this one feels more lighthearted compared to the last track. Supported by phenomenal production from one of Alabama’s elite producers, Al’Geno, he throws a smooth assist to Montana to be himself. Slap yourself if you aren't familiar with Al’Geno or his production, he is one of the original pioneers of that “Mobile-sound” that has begun sweeping the nation. In his verse, not only does he show off his clever lyrical ability, but he also uses it as an opportunity to discuss pressing problems he encounters in his daily life, but at the same time he's certain he will overcome all obstacles that come his way. My favorite feature comes from Montana’s friend, Monie Luwopp, and their chemistry is unmatched, no wonder they are frequently collaborating. This beat suits the two, especially Monie, I love the way his strong Southern accent layers over the soft acoustic production. So many artists love to tease their fans with snippets that will never be released, but fans will rejoice when they hear the eighth track, “You The Type”, a track that fans have been patiently waiting on. Montana glides over the glossy produced by Kabo. Most snippets never live up to the hype, but this one exceeded my expectations. One last stand-out song is the final track, “They Forgot”. Throw away any expectations, because Montana introduces a unique flow that we haven't seen from him before. Even though it's a hyper-pop beat, Montana doesn't run away from the challenge. This is pretty much the theme of this project, no challenge is too big for Montana. Montana executes every one of these songs with ease. This mixtape will be added to his dense catalog of music. Some artists would dream of having a cohesive discography like his, providing a sizable assortment of songs with some being lyrical and some being more vocally versatile. If he can make something shake in Alabama, it's only a matter of time till the rest of the world knows.
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