‘Pimped At Birth’: Exploration of A-Tier Hip-Hop by Dolla Bill
it is not often that I sit down to write a review, and right from the get go, I feel pumped, and my head is bobbing to the rhythm from right the first 4 bars of the album– keeping going to the very end of the album. “Pimped At Birth” is one of those albums, from the kitchen of artist “Dolla Bill”. Keep reading for my thoughts!
A-tier hip-hop is what this album is. From the first song, “On The Cheap”, a production that reminds me of golden era Dr Dre work, with the bass, the plucky synths in the background, as well as the complex, layered plucky synths going on in the background. This track immediately took me back to what I think is the golden era of hip-hop, the 1990s– with the nuanced rhyming schemes that had me hankering for a lyric sheet to rap this with.
The energy balance in this track is also top-class, with some touches of modern production like the sliding sub bass pounding on the centre channel, and the orchestral horns in the faint, distant background making the transitions between the hooks and the verses smooth as butter. This extravaganza continues on “After The Show”, where the style of Dolla Bill really shapes itself, with the long, drawn-out, loose rhymes with upfront, shameless lyrical themes so as to solicit, very apt for the style of the genre.
“What You Wanna Hear” is a take on the 00s sound of hip-hop, with the growling basses, the early Kanye-style rhyming and rapping, with simpler, but equally powerful rhyming that I really loved. As we near the halfway point with “Pennies In a Jar”, the flow switches up into a cool, elegant reggaeton style with a ton of sampling and pitch work going on, with the front-and-centre vocal chops making up the meat of this track.
The second half of the album starts dark and ominous, with “Busta U-Turn”, a modern, trap-inspired hip-hop, which may be very familiar to the hip-hop listener of today, with the dark, aggressive pads and the hi-hats with a ton of bounce and power. Some other special mentions on this 14-track album include “Slammin'”, a significantly more ‘mischevious’ sound, that has to be listened to for one to truly understand what I mean here.
The album wraps up with “Old Schoolin'”, a perfect closer to this album. The production style is rich and varied with a plethora of elements that encompass 90s, 00s, and 10s hip-hop and trap, with the creative decisions in the mixing and mastering holding this album together like superglue.
The soundstage goes from front-and-centre to wafty and wide, with the energy dynamic being a similar story, which is something I truly appreciate. Experimentation and pushing the envelope is what makes hip-hop the titan it is, and I think “Pimped At Birth” does it excellently well. 10/10 recommendation! Check out the album here: