Brandom the Goat's "Tmrw" album art

"Tmrw" album art, courtesy of amazon.com

Throughout his Oct. 2020 album “Tmrw,” Baton Rouge emcee Brandom the Goat’s characteristically nonchalant and dexterous flow combines with top-tier production for a body of music that’s as enjoyable for the listener as it is sonically coherent.

That coherence of both quality and style is the vital organ of the album. Though I’m unsure who’s responsible for the production, the way it complements and interacts with the Goat’s flow creates a distinguished and immersive vibe.

An important factor in that vibe, lyrics aside, is a distinct sonic pallet. While there’s no lack of variety on the album, there are certain trends in the production that make it a unified experience as opposed to a mere collection of good songs—trends like compressed, reverb-heavy keyboard and guitar samples, often embellished with pitch bends, that give the album a dreamy, lo-fi flavor.

But production alone can’t get all the credit. Lyrically, the album ranges from self-reflection and affirmation to sly topical nods to police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I took the key to the streets from the n*ggas that had it by time they found out I was gone,” he raps on the opening track, “HOTCAKES.” Here and throughout the song, he speaks to the success his music has brought him, both financially and through the power and independence that come as his career gains traction.

But the highs are not without their lows, and the album communicates this. In the second track, “USED TO,” the Goat conveys the sense of burnout that often accompanies the unyielding grind of the rap game.

“I don’t love the game like I used to,” he raps, “sh*t ain’t been the same like it used to.”

The song is a powerful examination of the trials of the Hip-Hop landscape. And while it’s impossible to convey that by simply transcribing his lyrics onto the page, rest assured, it speaks volumes.

From there, the album leads the listener through a varied gamut of both stylistic and thematic elements, all conveyed through the Goat’s clever lyrics and deft flow and all accompanied by stellar beat production. But most importantly, it gives the listener the choice to either vibe out to the beat of the rhythm and the warmth of the sound or to really delve into it on a more profound and intentional level. Either way, there’s something to be gained from “Tmrw” on every listen. 

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