Updated: Mar 12
Rising UK drill artist Abra Cadabra has dropped his debut album 'Product of My Environment'. Abra's been making noise this year with singles like 'On Deck' and 'Spin This Coupe' as well as features here and there - becoming a household name in the drill scene and even landing on the UK top 40. So, with all the hype on him - would he deliver?
The Production on this album isn’t too unique, and most of the beats sound the same but oh my God do they absolutely bang, such as on 'Spin This Coupe' which has these mean 808s over this banging drill beat while dropping hard bars as he talks on spinning the coupe when they see the opps and shooting at them. He goes so hard on here he’s almost screaming in the mic, a haunting drill banger and while a bit similar to the last few I can’t deny that it bangs so much. The drill beats are dark and usually have these haunting vocal samples which bring them to life. , as on 'Show Me' as it has the drill content of girls and attacking the opps. It's not as good as 'On Deck' but it's another energetic drill banger – the flow of the hook makes it sound so good, he goes hard and it’s yet another great song on here. There’s some non drill beats on here as well which sound good with his style, as on 'You' which has this more lowkey beat with a standard trap pattern and softer sound – them 808s give it the kick he needs as he talks on the girl he loves and what he’ll do for her – D-Block Europe lose the content and start rapping about guns and jewelry but Dirtbike LB didn’t ruin it, he had a nice melodic flow but nothing crazy as Young Adz, like lb, was better than usual but didn’t add much also but a nice addition. It’s a vibey track, everyone turns up and it’s a good song – just not one of the best on here but that’s no insult. Overall the production isn’t revolutionary and it all sounds similar, but it’s packed with such ferocity and energy it sounds great all the way through.
Abra spends the album dropping hard line after hard line, as on 'On Deck', "Nah, I ain't never send dick pics, you can come get this dick in person", which is performed over this heavy trap beat with these haunting female vocals – it's a banger of a beat, the best on here so far. The track talks on attacking his opps and sleeping with girls and I’ve had this song on repeat all year it’s insanely good – it has a really catchy hook, Abra is so energetic it gets you so hype as does the beat – it's just so good and one of the best songs of the year. He also gets introspective and emotional on here which is a nice side to see from him, as on 'Begging Flexxing Stressing', "Need the money so I had to sell it close to home // Have you ever seen a local nitty overdose? // Been through all these struggles on my own", as he talks on all he’s had to see growing up and the effects it’s had on his mental health over these great strings over this booming drill beat – another banger of a beat. This emotional side of Abra shows great growth, and this is a great song especially the interpolation of 'Beggin' by Madcon. There are also moments his lyrics get tiresome and repetitive, leaving a pretty mediocre feel to his lyricism, as on 'Flicky' which has another haunting, dark drill beat as he talks about making his girl cum & and flexing his wealth and jewelry. It's another example of a decent song, but not anything more than decent – enjoyable to a degree but doesn’t hit the same as the other tracks on here. Overall though he knows just what to say to get you hyped. He has a quick flow for the most part which is good and he has this really rough delivery which sounds perfect for the heavy drill beats, but then he gets melodic too and it does sound nice on the ear.
The features on here are all more or less big names and they all do well to a degree, some are nice editions but don’t stand out much, as D-Block Europe on 'You' but I still enjoy their feature. Others are just very enjoyable features, such as Kush on 'How We Living' as there's an emotional hint to his voice which sounds good with his cold flow. The tracks focuses on when coming up they did what they had to do just to survive over this emotional piano based beat – it's not his usual style but it sounds nice. He drops some hard bars, "Growing up, I only tried to make my stack bigger // Don't remember givin' a fuck 'bout being that n**** (Nah) // But I'm still that anyway", and we get a really enjoyable hook, as I get Bugzy Malone vibes from it. Kush does really well here and the whole track is so gentle for Abra’s standards but one of my favourite songs from him because it’s so raw and emotional. I'm pleased with the features, he picked them well and they all added at least something to the track. Krept & Konan both came in with this lowkey but hard delivery on 'Seen It All', Konan has a nice melody to his flow as well over this standard but banging drill beat as Krept and Konan both bought their strengths and Krepts verse was very heartfelt, Abra’s hook matched the emotional tone of the track and it’s a really good song - I enjoyed the deeper content they went into here and they expressed it well. Dappy joins Abra on 'Selective Bad Boys' and it just works, he has the right voice and flow for it and genuinely a very enjoyable feature, also he drops some hard bars over another basic drill beat with a haunting atmosphere – it still sounds good. Abra drops some cold bars as he talks on rolling with his crew and shooting his enemies dead, and overall this track is so energetic, so mean, and so good – the beat is fire and Abra and Dappy’s chemistry is great to see.
The content is what you expect from a drill artist – banging guns and killing his opps, as on the song 'Keep Going' which has this dramatic drill beat and sounds good. There's a nice melody on the hook, this aggressive flow is so attractive over the booming drill beat and it’s yet another top quality banger on this album. His come up story is talked about on here, though we don’t get much detail it’s just very surface level, as on 'Trenches' as he talks on coming up from the streets and how he lived surrounded by guns and violence to make it where he has now. Lyrically it's mediocre, but there's a defeated feel to it with these heavy 808s and it's a good beat. This is a nice intro, he sets the tone well with a slightly melancholy tone – I don’t think I’d come back to the song but it’s still enjoyable. He also speaks on girls and relationships. I think some of the ideas are nice on here, but he doesn’t go deep into these concepts. The killing opps parts though are just always what you expect from drill and he does it well. 'Everywhere I Go' focuses on his fears living the street life of someone killing him, and how even in fame he’s still institutionalised by the street life, and he does this with some heavy and raw bars, "I'm trying never to lose my life and slip up in these streets // The roads don't play, that's why I'm praying when I wake up from my sleep // A lot of man didn't make it this week", over the booming 808s and eerie bells which don’t grab my attention too much, sadly instrumentally we finish on a low. The song has some nice melodies, again it’s just a step down from the rest of the album with his flow and delivery not being as interesting as well as the beat - it also feels a bit generic but even so, it’s an OK song.
Other tracks to look at include 'Usual' where Abra Cadabra tells us the cold reality of the streets from violence to betrayal and we're back with a drill beat, it’s quite laid back and subtle but still sounds good. Eh, it’s a decent song, my least favourite so far because it just doesn’t stand out or offer much other than a typical drill song. Finally, 'My People' has this stripped back beat, it’s pretty bland to me even with these unique instruments in the bass as he reflects on his come up and what he’s hoped to do by the time he dies with some honest and raw bars. This song doesn't have my favourite beat and while I appreciate the content he’s talking about his delivery is quite monotone on here and his flow boring – the hooks quite heartfelt at least. It's not a bad song - just very average and the lowest point on here.
To conclude, he has an ear for a catchy melody and patterns these with this energetic, hard delivery. The production suits his needs and the features add to the tracks, and Abra hasn’t just focused on just drill here and I can’t say these are all my favourite tracks, but he’s demonstrating versatility which is always good. There's a few duds, maybe a drill track or two sound the same or his ventures into a different avenue don’t work but overall a very solid debut album with catchy and hard hooks, energetic verses and booming production which all makes for an easy listen.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: How We Living, On Deck, Show Me, Spin This Coupe, Seen It All, Selective Bad Boys, Begging Flexxing Stressing, Keep Going
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: You
OVERALL RATING: Light 7.5/10
*REVISED SCORE: Review may not match favourite tracks and overall rating because I've since re-listened and changed my score.*