yU continues to become one of my favorite emcees with his work on the Diamond District album and his debut album “Before Taxes” two years ago. In December of 2011 the Mello Music Group emcee released his sophomore album “The Earn”. Which in my eyes and after listening to the project “The Earn” is in some ways a sequel to his debut. “The Earn” progresses on some of the subjects projected in “Before Taxes” but also moves forward some of the ideas proposed in “Before Taxes”. Let’s see if yU was indeed out to “Earn”.
My first standout track on this album was “Bonafide” and for this track being at the beginning of the album, it gives you a pretty good idea of where this album is going in terms of sound. “The Earn” has influences from all genres of music, from soul to rock, from boom bap to jazz. yU really takes the role of teacher in this track, speaking of just everyday life, but at the same time continuing the grind that you’re on right now. The whole subject of this album is earning and grinding towards what you want, this track starts the journey.
The title track gives me the whole idea that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish in this world as long as you’re willing to work hard to get what you want. The track stays true to the entire theme of the album. Right after the title track is “The Money (Ahh Yeah)” talks mostly of the evil that it causes and how it pretty much influences every part of our lives sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.
One thing I like about “The Earn” is that the album handles theme of working and grinding in many facets. In tracks like “If U Down” yU covers some of the negative and downsides that we go through when we’re trying to make a living while following our dreams. In tracks like “I Believe” yU takes more the role of motivational speaker. If you don’t walk away from this track feeling like you can take over the world, then clearly you aren’t listening well enough!
Honestly if I had more space I’d go over all the tracks of this album, that’s how good it is, but I couldn’t end this review without speaking about “Highlights Of Life Pt.2” first of all, where the heck is part one because based on this track I need to hear it. This beat was produced by yU himself and in my opinion it’s the best song on the album. “Highlights Of Life Pt.2” I think is just a summary of where yU is at now, what he’s learned, what he’s been through and even more. This song is the reason why this review is two months late, I had this song on repeat for weeks and I always go back to it at least once a day if not more.
Put bluntly, this record is grown-man rap, you hear the journey of a man who’s been through a lot, fallen, gotten back up, fallen again and gotten back up. Like I said earlier yU covers the entire spectrum of what “The Earn” means. It’s a life record, listeners will be able to relate to the record, learn from the record and most importantly in my opinion be motivated by the record. This was one of my favorite releases from last year and there’s really no reason that you shouldn’t have this in your collection. The production has variety but still has a cohesive sound, yU’s lyrics express more or less every emotion possible and it will have you wanting more.