RIYL: Odd Future, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes
Recommended Tracks: “Barbell” and “Final Hour”
Review By: Sean Lynch
Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide serves as the solo album debut for Hodgy, with his previous projects falling under Odd Future or as mixtapes or EPs. Formerly known as Hodgy Beats, the rapper shows change from his Odd Future days, but doesn’t really grasp a direction in which he wants to go. The album is all over the place when it comes to production and style and does not show any real creative direction.
“Barbell” comes as the best track off of the album. A consolation to some of the weaker tracks it is surrounded by, the track is the only one that shows any real direction in terms of sound. The beat comes smooth and haunting as Hodgy raps from the heart about losing friends. “Ain’t bothered by hate, I’m steppin’ to it/ We face the fate nigga,” and “See what they did, man they made you hate your circle/Ya’ll some wild niggas, and to them the colour purple.”
In “Final Hour,” Hodgy speeds up the tempo on his rapping and throws some singing into the mix to create a perplexing combination. The gain in speed takes away from the rapping, but it sounds as if he is trying to compensate for the speed of the Busta Rhymes. The feature sounds drab and doesn’t fit with the beat choice.
“Tape Beat” continues the theme of weak feature on the album with Lil Wayne’s feature on the track. Hodgy puts down some good verses on the track, but Wayne’s feature takes away from all the positive work with his lazy lyrical content – creating a short and boring feature.
The album ultimately fails to show anything new or unique from Hodgy. While he has shown potential on previous projects, Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide does not have a clear vision and fails to set him apart from the field. The album shows that Hodgy’s best work comes in a group setting and MellowHype provides him with a better platform to do that type of work.