Good Times Ep
Reviewed by Sophia Guerrier
One among many Grams projects, Good Times EP ranks as the best so far. The Baltimore native runs a lively narrative about his ongoing adolescence, pairing it with skillful storytelling, politics, and veteran rhyme schemes. Smooth, mellow beats capture an old school vibe that play perfectly with Grams general sound and flow which guides you into a trance of nostalgia. Only 7 tracks was needed to array the life of the 18 year old which exemplifies Grams ability to get his ideas across without being excessive like many rappers today.
"I mean welcome to my project, i just really want to jot a ...the sense of what goes on in my head on a day to day basis" - off the rip we get a genuine feeling for the project from a simple intro from Grams. The soft piano pattern and drums create a calm mood that allows us to continue to feel a sincere essence. Personal bars about poverty, police brutality, and a chorus about his father's use of cocaine came to a surprise at first, but as he goes on it seems as though Grams uses the gentle beat as a sense of therapy and makes the subject matter essential to the overall feel of the song. Great adding of the background element towards the end which makes the song a bit more fuller.
Another soft piano instrumental greets us but this time with a alarm clock that puts us into memories of waking up for school. The chorus also assists in this feeling and from two songs Grams has already demonstrated his developed skill of setting an atmosphere for his listener. A strong delivery and faster flow brings out great appeal especially with the solid, skillful bars that Grams spits that fits the setting altogether. The only thing is, is that the song sounds incomplete simply because of the length of it. It would feel less of a tease if Grams gave us another verse.
Seems like soft instrumentals is becoming the tendency for the EP and it fits very well. The cuts at the beginning is very refreshing because of the rarity of turntablism being present in rap today. Grams and Hayelo do an efficient job on presenting their thoughts on the youth's obsession with designer clothes and keeping up with trends. Again, another Grams verse would help the song's message since it does remain vague.
4. WAY BACK
Nice reminiscent track with Grams continuing to unveil his consistency of producing substance in his music. His expressing of his experiences are very prevalent and comes off as short again but is still well done. 5. BALTIMORE First thing that grabs the ear is the gritty, aggressive beat that slaps from the jump of the song. Great instrumental change from the past 4 songs and constructs the character of the content and potentially his hometown. Grams flow is super potent and goes harder than it has for the whole EP so far. His storytelling is that of a veteran and his bars illustrate the plot twist robbery brilliantly, easily the best song of the EP.
A switch back to the softer vibe of the project, this is also one of the more softer, laid back tracks as well. "Real nigga hours" is certainly the mood and Grams expresses himself in such a cool manner that it's like we're chillin in a room with him. We finally get more than one verse from Grams and it proves to be so essential to the impact of his songs; getting more lyrics from him only opened up a greater understanding of him and how great of a rapper he is.
7. SONG CRY PT. 2
What a great choice to begin the song with such a soulful sample and allowing it to define the track. Grams gives us the emotional side of him and details the experience of his father passing beautifully. "I couldn't see it coming down my eyes, so I had to make this song cry" is the elegant line that makes the song so special and evokes either the empathy or strong relativity from the listener that can't be ignored. Past or future releases, this track is going to be one of his best written songs in his catalog.
Good Times EP confirmed Grams a path to the crown of Hip Hop. The potential is blatantly there and the fact that an 18 year old produced music at such a great quality means that it's only going to get better. There is, of course, a lot of room for improvement for the young MC that this EP exposed. The length of songs need to be expanded where we can hear more of Grams ideas in his bars and fully grasp the meaning or impact of a song. Often times we're left feeling stranded from one verse and a repeated chorus on almost every song where there isn't enough substance to leave us satisfied. That being said, creativity is also lacking in the overall project; Grams harnesses the same flow, the structure in the production remains the same, and the songs themselves are extremely similar as a I said before, one verse and a chorus.
Despite all of this the project still remains impressive. As Grams continues to develop his artistry he can reach levels that many of his peers won't.