1. Take Me Alive
The intro reminds me of the sound my favorite artists would use to open their albums in the early 2000's. Horns, solid percussion, and dope lyricism was the recipe to the opening track. 'Take Me Alive' is no different as its an immediate introduction to Shuicide's rapping ability. It's layered with punchlines and metaphors, the perfect setup for Shuicide to grab your attention yet leave you wanting more.
The first thing to grab your attention here is the production. The beat has a very unique sound, the combination of synth and DJ scratches is very different. Shuicide Holla brings a steady dose of bars then it breaks down into the hook and adlibs. This balance creates a format where you can turn up to the music or just listen for the bars or appreciate both.
3. Ms. 808
Shuicide Holla has a knack for choosing dope beats so the production will always be on point. Ms 808 is no different as it provides a soothing melody with powerful 808s underneath. Lyrically, Shuicide details the relationship he has with his ideal woman. It's one full of trust, protection, and providing the finest things in life.
4. Hit Dem Folks
A viral hit online, Hit Dem Folks is one of the biggest singles out of Cleveland as of late. Capitalizing on the popular dance, Hit Dem Folks became the anthem and spread all over the world. The beat is crazy, one of the best beats I've heard over the past year independent and major combined. Shuicide also gets features from Young Shank and Preme Dibiase who really help create a hit record.
5. New Whip
This one Shuicide had been teasing for a minute and when the full record dropped it did not disappoint. One of Shu's biggest qualities is his versatility in the type of record he can create. It's nice to hear him doing something outside of what you usually hear from him and he also does it well. New Whip has the melodies and cadences popular in rap today, definitely a laid back, feel good song for the spring and summer.
6. The Bag
Another standout track on the album, 'The Bag' has all the makings of an industry smash. The production is crazy, the percussion is original and the beat has a big sound when the hook drops. Shuicide also delivers a catchy hook and his usual rapid fire flow to bring it all together. 'The Bag' is definitely a banger.
7. Summer Fling
Another one for the ladies, however this one is a little different than the earlier Ms. 808. 'Summer Fling' is about a fleeting relationship where they both know it isn't going to last forever but it's perfect for right now. As mentioned before, Shuicide's versatility is key and the perspective in 'Summer Fling' brings more solid storytelling to the project.
8. Higher Learning
The reggae vibes really stand out on this track and it has an overall dope sound. The beat is layered with all sorts of melodic sounds which come together perfectly but create an original blend. 'Higher Learning' is about realizing what separates the best from the rest and Francis Fall provides a nice feature verse to drive the point home.
The constant bass knocks are the signature sound on 'Dumb'. It instantly grabs your attention and puts you in head nod mode. Shuicide "dumbed it down" on this one but still manages to deliver a dope flow and wavy vocabulary. From the beat selection to the adlibs Shuicide's personal touch is all over this track and it's another standout from him on 'G.O.A.L.S.'.
10. Grey on Grey
The mood that the instrumental creates sets the perfect tone for the storytelling to follow. It's a dream like vibe heavy with synths with light percussion underneath. Shu details the events of him meeting a woman earlier in the day and what follows. It's different from the rest of the album in that it's no chorus or heavy adlibs just a storyline to follow. 'Grey on Grey' is executed well and shows just another element Shu brings to the table.
Even the most confident people feel vulnerable at times and 'Faded' speaks on that situation. 'Faded' goes over the feelings and thoughts that come when you and your partner are not on the same page. There are a lots of thoughts crossing your mind and you're anxious for answers but you have to be patient. Shu details these feelings with great details and delivers two relatable verses. Dre Walton is featured on the hook and provides a soulful chorus that compliments the beat very well.
12. Man In My City
Most rappers have the goal of putting their city on the map and 'Man In My City' is the official anthem. The sound is big and the tempo is a little slowed down so it's very easy to vibe with the sound. The emphasis on this track is the varying flows and intensity felt in each word delivered. The message here is a mix of arrogance and confidence. Not only saying you are the 'Man In My City' but believing it and proving it as well.
13. The Truth
The final track on the album and one of the most personal songs I've heard from Shu. 'The Truth' is a realization, coming to recognize who are the people that have helped you along the way and who are the people that just want a hand out. On the road to success a lot of artists face these situations and Shuicide details the extent of the pressure you feel from friends, fans, and even family members.
'G.O.A.L.S.' is an ambitious project in a variety of ways. The meaning of the album itself, 'Greatness On All Levels of Success', the features chosen, the beats selected, it's all next level. I can appreciate the effort Shuicide put into constructing this album, it was tailored speficically for the listeners enjoyment. There are songs for the people who love lyricism, who love to dance, for the females, and for the aspiring artists. No matter who you are or where you are today, 'G.O.A.L.S.' has a relevant message for you hear. The maturity in Shuicide Holla's music and business is evident and 'G.O.A.L.S.' is a great indicator of his skill level today and the potential he has to offer.