By Sam Tornow, General Manager
[Glo Gang; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Mailbox”, “Negro”
Finishing up his release year, Chief Keef has thrown one last batch of tracks into the mix with the appropriately named, Dedication. Siso’s 2017 releases, like most of his career, have been hit or miss, peaking with his most dynamic release to-date, Thot Breaker. Dedication falls on the miss side of the scale, taking few notes from what made Thot Breaker so successful, and instead opting for subpar lyricism and Great Value brand beats.
At one time, being known for his innovations within the Chicago scene, Keef’s approach and effort on Dedication do little to separate him from the contemporaries that once held him so high. The opening tracks, “Ticket” and “Keke Palmer”, provide the listener with little to grasp. Both roll in around the same BPM and drum machine presets that have become overly exhausted, with only the piano ambiance of the latter throwing diffraction into the mix, which makes for skeletal songs, void of any meat or muscle.
“Mailbox” digs back up the energy of Dedication, showcasing a squeaky clean flow with Migos-style delivery in the chorus. Unfortunately, the track is immediately undermined by the meme-able “Cook”. Here lies Dedication’s barrier: top-notch Keef hits followed by speedbump tracks. It’s an erratic cycle that hinders the flow and quality of the album.
Now, after a year of putting out five mixtapes, Keef sounds exhausted from playing the same gimmick game that swallows up countless artists every year. The same game that pulled the rug of relevancy out from under his feet over the past few years. Dedication is only half the battle after all.