Rapper Joyner Lucas’s newest album, “Evolution,” was released Oct. 23, 2020. “Evolution” is likely Joyner Lucas’s most R&B inspired work, with a heavy dose of soul in songs such as “Things I’ve Seen” and “On This Way.” However, there are some heavy trap beats as well as light piano keying in songs like “Str8 Like Dat” and “Zim Zimma”.
Content wise, the album has some generic themes common in rap in the last few years like “Zim Zimma” and “Str8 like that” which cover what it is like living a life of crime. There are a few songs, however, that are extremely personal in nature. For example, in “Like a River’’ Lucas examines his toxic relationship with his father and how it influenced his life and his rap career.
The stand out of the album has to be “Snitch’’. In “Snitch,” Lucas goes back to his roots of narrative storytelling and examines the thought process of someone who is arrested for a crime and is asked to inform on his friends. In the song, Lucas plays the role of the angel and the devil trying to convince the prisoner to snitch or not snitch. Both sides make interesting points talking about honor, what will happen in prison/if he snitches, as well as the prisoner’s legacy. I won’t spoil the ending, but it becomes fairly clear what Lucas thinks the right choice is.
Overall, the album was decent but not great. Some of the songs lyrically weren’t up to par from what avid fans have come to expect from Lucas, especially after a smash hit earlier this year with his album “ADHD.” While the beats vary, there were times where they were somewhat boring and uninteresting. That being said, the album did have some great songs like “Snitch” and “Like a River” which made it worth listening to.