- Swervin (feat. Diplo)
- I Need More
- My Ex
PnB Rock enlists some big features for his sophomore double disc album, Trapstar Turnt Popstar. PnB described the meaning behind the idea of a two-disc project saying, “The TrapStar side is just me telling you the stories, regular s**t: how I used to come up, and the hardships of me as a trap star. Now, I’m a pop star. That’s me having fun, traveling, moving around, living life, experiencing different s**t.” When I first heard about the concept of the album, I was worried the end-product would be in-cohesive and be better off as two seperate projects. But Trapstar Turnt Popstar is a succinct body of work that maintains its spacey Trap and R&B sound across both discs, taking on a range of themes from trap hardships to pop heartbreaks.
The first disc starts strong with Dreamin’, I Need More and Deez Streetz (feat. Lil Durk), all portraying his rise to fame and the connection he’s maintained with his trap lifestyle. I Need More’s chorus is a noticeable highlight on the first disc along with the storytelling on Nowadays and the XXXTENTACION feature on MIDDLE CHILD. MIDDLE CHILD is one of the only posthumous songs I’ve heard from X that feels genuine and doesn’t come across as a cash and clout chase. It really shows the artistic friendship between the two and that this track wasn’t one of X’s leftover verses but actually a product of their studio time together. PnB Rock’s songs with Tee Grizzley and Quavo respectively are two of the weaker joints on disc 1 but he manages to finish off strong with Now Or Never 2.0, a great reflective ender that clearly divides the two works.
Similar to disc 1, disc 2 starts off with a similar bang with Swervin’ (feat. Diplo), I Like Girls (feat. Lil Skies) and All These Bandz (feat.Tory Lanez). PnB nailed the popstar intro with production work from Diplo and continuing with an even brighter and more upbeat style. While I thought the popstar side of this album would be an excuse for endless bragging and over used lyrics of flexing, he explores a more lustful and troublesome side on tracks like My Ex and Put You On (feat. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie), which brings some questionable lines from the guest verse. Don’t get me wrong, the album is still littered with lyrics about designer clothes and fast cars on forgettable songs like Penny Proud and Stage Fright but PnB Rock has definitely showed a more creative side that I think really sits him a part from his contemporaries.
PnB Rock is an underrated artist who, in my opinion, will experience great career longevity if he continues with works like this.
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