We are Cameron Freeman and Quinn Robinson, and we listen to a lot of music. This column is here to share only the truth about which albums and EPs are worth your time. Each week, we pick one that’s caught our eye — regardless of genre or popularity — and run through our thoughts.
With its catchy Fortnite-inspired chorus and relatable references to the doldrums of the modern American educational system, “Weekdaze” — the debut track from Yung Fuego, better known on campus as Tafari Friday ’20 and Layomi Oloritun ’20 — brings an Andover-centric perspective to the SoundCloud rap scene.
The beat, produced by CashMoneyAP, an online music producer, exists in the same vein as most others in the free “-type” genre on YouTube and SoundCloud. It features a slow and chord-driven piano melody, reminiscent of the tambor of the “Minecraft” soundtrack. Laid on top is a typical trap 808 pattern, shuffling hi-hats, and off-beat claps driving the progression forward. While the instrumental certainly makes sense within the larger musical movement of the SoundCloud rap scene, it leaves one wanting more. A more forward-thinking and experimental choice in rhythm and instrumentation or a catchier lead melody would certainly help propel the track and consequently the duo to new artistic heights.
Yung Fuego’s lyrics discuss the relatable tribulations of Andover life: “stress, mess, these tests / sports, courts, port-a-forts / leave that s— for the weekdays.” The tone of the track matches the relaxed, laid-back beat, giving the song an overall sleepy feeling. The lyrics follow the tone, coming off as generally languid and leaving much to be desired at points. The second verse, delivered by Friday, however, is a clear standout on the song. As he switches up his flow into a double-time rhythm, “Got twenty for the snacks / toys in the back / chillin’ with my boys in the back” hits much harder than the first verse and chorus. Until this point, the track seems like it needed some kind of energy to encourage engagement with the song and its lyrical content; this verse is a welcome change in the overall progression of the track. A trap-influenced hip-hop song should be danceable, and Friday’s flow allows the listener to bob along rather than just listen passively. Unfortunately, though, the rest of the track does not.
Overall, “Weekdaze” represents a valiant effort on the parts of Friday and Oloritun. The rap scene is inundated with aspiring stars, many of whom get buried in the sheer volume of songs circulating platforms like SoundCloud. While they are only starting out their careers, we encourage them to move beyond the established trend of their scene into their own unique corner of artistic merit. There’s a lot of promise in Yung Fuego’s debut single, and, with practice and further exploration, it can be refined into a legitimate force.