HDBEENDOPE – “The Greay(t) Area” LP (Full Review/Download)
Early this week, Brooklyn rapper HDBeenDope released his long-awaited project The Greay(t) Area, after almost a year after since his last drop. After interviewing HD back in the summer, I knew that I would truly have to sit with his project to get the full scope of the release. TGA is packed with 21 tracks, which comes out to about to 1 hour and 30 minutes of music. That amount of time on a free project may scare some people away, but it is only a testament to the amount of work HD has put in since 2013. After the needle drops, The Greay(t) Area begins to play like a score to a full length movie, with motifs of unfilled dreams, doubts of success, and uncertainty. HD even begins to flash shades of Nas and Biggie Smalls over a variety of production most artists dream about.
The LP is carried by a persistent question; “What is the meaning of Life?” This helps set up the framework of the project as the protagonist tries to find true answer to the overarching question. You can download the The Greay(t) Area here
Highlights: “Synopsis” & “On the Daily”
HD begins his story with brutal honesty about his dreams, doubts, fears, and failures in his personal life. My favorite track from this section would have to be “On the Daily”. He is able to turn a mundane daily routine subway commute to college into one of the backbones of the project.
Highlights: “Moshin’ In the Woods” & “Six or Seven”
The tone of the project switches up and the energy picks up. If I had to sum up the tracks in this section it would be heavier beats and raw punchlines. It is also where one of my favorite tracks from tape lives in “Moshin’ In the Woods”. Imagine the energy of Death Grips and Ho99o9 all bottled up in a 4 minute composition. I can’t wait to see HD perform this live and see the audience’s reaction. *I wouldn’t rock my favorite sneakers if this song was on the set list.*
Highlights: “Daydreaming” & “Lovehall/Pride”
After about 7 tracks of straight energy, we get a
softer blunt HD, as he touches on relationships, pride, and unfaithfulness. The 90’s are well represented here with songs like “Daydreamin” and “11:26” that sound like they belong in the golden era where your favorite rapper wasn’t afraid to hop on a R&b record. My favorite moment happens when we’re transported to a lounge and Darius Lovehall aka HD drops a spoken word over a bass guitar driven two-part song “Lovehall/Pride”.
The strongest section of the project is surprisingly at the end. The raw emotion and storytelling gave me chills and flashed me back to the first time hearing Illmatic and Ready To Die. Don’t slander me just yet, I know I just compared HD to Nas and Biggie. But after listening to “Copper”, a story told from both sides of police brutality, I think the comparison is worth some consideration.
The Final Word
The meaning life isn’t solved at the end of this tape, but HD found out something else”
“No one knows the meaning of life, when you don’t know you can create… It’s okay to say I don’t know, but it is never okay to stop searching for answers”
Be sure to grab a download of TGA here