DJ Scheme, long time collaborator of artists such as Juice WRLD and XXXTENTACION has dropped his debut album 'FAMILY'. This album features close friends of Scheme's as it seems the albums sole purpose is for his own fun, so I can't knock that. But - a review is a review, so would the debut album of producer DJ Scheme - studded with some of the brightest prospects in hip hop right now, live up to the hype?
The production overall is either generic or bland for some points, such as on 'Homesick' which has this lowkey, stripped back beat with these plucking guitar strings which doesn’t do much for me as he talks on missing his family and home while he’s away as a big superstar musician with some emotional lyrics. He provides nice vocals but the song's just not needed, it's such a weird song to be honest just seemed to have no point or no real conclusion. It suits the artists well but them artists themselves are generic or bland, such as iann dior on 'Baby' who talks on his girl who drives him crazy over this guitar based, mellow trap beat. There's an element of catchiness which stops this being bad – but it’s still not good, iann just doesn’t do anything to stand out from other melodic rappers and his vocal performance here isn’t the strongest and the song writing is awful – take back the catchiness part this is bad actually. There are some banging beats on here, such as on 'Blue Bills' which has these vocal samples which sound great over this lowkey but banging trap beat. Both Fenix Flexin and $NOT are lyrically uninteresting as they flex their wealth and status, warn their opps not to mess with them and talk on their weaponry. This is a just a lowkey banger, nothing special to it but that beat slaps so hard. Overall though as I said, it’s got nice quality it’s just the beats are uninteresting and generic at times, but the majority do a decent enough job.
Most of the rappers on here are either very generic or basic as lyricists, such as Danny Towers and Jackboy on 'Zebra', with Jackboy being the example, "So, all in white, just flex, serve another plate for the fam' // We'll beef over a cigarette // She a freak, all I want head // Could've wished your bitch in my bed", over this flute based trap beat which sounds OK I don’t love it, as the track has no focus – talking on their come up, sex, attacking their opps and money. We were on a run, but this is just a boring, unoriginal trap song which I hope to never return to. There are some standout performers though, such as Ski Mask on 'How You Feel? (Freestyle)', as he drops horrible bars but his whole personality and charisma makes them funny and enjoyable, "Then made her tickle my pickle, uh // Metal on me like a nickel, uh // Ice on me just like a 'cicle, uh", over this typical Ronny J beat with heavy distorted 808s which make things sound great. Danny Towers has eh lyrics and Yachty drops bad lyrics as they rap on girls, drugs, money and violence. This is just a heavy trap banger with fun flows and great chemistry. Overall though, most rappers on here are uninteresting and the lyrical performance on here are nothing to cheer about. 'Thor's Hammer Worthy' actually see's some really bland one liners from Ski Mask the Slump God removed of all personality, "Got him breakdancin' 'cause I made a little Uzi, no Vert", as the track talks on shooting at people, flexing jewelry, girls over this heavy trap beat which is as chaotic as the flows and vocals on here. The hook is hype from ZillaKami, Ski deploys many fun and elastic flows to give us the first turn up banger of the album. We've got a nice selection of talent on this album, there’s some entertaining flows on here, but a large chunk of the rappers are just very generic or uninspired.
Most of the content on here actually revolves around love, heartbreak or showing love for your significant other, such as 'Splurgin' where Lil Gnar and Shakewell spend money on their girl with some pretty bad lyrics, "All of these toolies, I'm strapped up like a turban", over this guitar based trap beat and banging 808s as the rest of it is OK. Both rappers are uninteresting, the song sounds so generic and dull, not interested in ever returning to it and didn’t really enjoy listening to it. There’s of course the usual topics of flexing, shooting your opps and sex, as shown on 'E-ER' where Ski Mask, Danny Towers and Lil Yachty all contribute, with the latter dropping some funny one liners, "My bitch pussy sweet, it help with my diet", as well as Ski, over these unique synths in the beat, which are very zany again. Danny’s hook is nice, Ski’s flows as well are interesting and fun as usual, it’s a good song overall and then Yachty then comes in with a non stop flow and really lowkey delivery and it works – a great track. There’s a few moments where rappers take their chance on this album by getting introspective and personal, such as Joey Bada$$ on 'Trust Nobody (2 My Brothers)' as he talks about how he can’t trust anybody, talking about his poor mental health and putting a brave face on for everybody over these vocal samples in the beat and melancholy guitar with it and it’s alright. Joey drops some introspective and heavy lines, "Uh, have you ever felt guilty to be alive? (Yeah) // At age twenty-five I made a pact with all my n****s that died now // Tears down they mama face done dried now", and he slides on the beat, the content is heart felt and it’s just a really good, introspective song. The content is uninteresting, but DJ Scheme, despite many faces, has got some kind of themes and cohesion content wise on here, so that’s a positive - it’s just a shame the content is very bland.
Other tracks to look at include includes 'Bussin' Out' over these fast paced keys and hard trap drums which sound OK. Lil Mosey and Ty Dolla $ign talk on lean, girls and flexing and are pretty generic as the hook is nice but Mosey’s verse gets boring, Ty’s verse is also very forgettable – overall not bad because I was enjoying it at first, it just finished quite mediocre. 'Soda' has these heavy trap drums and twinkling synth bells are in there too and it's a solid beat. Ski comes with fun wordplay and punchlines and Cordae with good bars as they flex their wealth and tell their opps don’t mess with them. Ski kills his verse and Cordae is a great addition – both work well together and provided us a great song and a great single. 'Falling 4 U' has this trippy atmosphere with this deep, heavy synth bass as TheHxliday expresses his love for his girl with some basic wordplay, "Act like you don't need me, like DJ, she's scheming". This songs such a chore to get through – bad vocals, generic and uninteresting melodies and bad rapping. It has a very boring topic not explored at all – and it's the worst song so far. 'It's Alright' has this light, mellow guitar based trap beat which is nice as Tes X talks on his mixed feelings for a girl – he really doesn’t stick to the songs subject though. This song has some nice melodies, the songwriting is basic but it’s quite pleasing on the ear, and while nothing special it's a decent song - the first half better than the second half though.
'3 Sum' has this fast paced trap beat with these unique, sci-fi like synths – it's a great beat as Robb Bank$ talks on sex, his time in prison and position he’s in now. His lyrics are meh and it's yet another uninteresting song on here. 'Top Of The Mountain' has a banging beat, it’s slightly eerie and sounds OK as Lil Keed flexes his new found fame. I don’t like Keed because he’s incredibly generic and boring as a rapper, and this song is a prime example of why, it just does absolutely nothing for me. Finally, 'Feel it' has this heavy synth bass, dance hall vibe and is a nice beat, it feels a bit generic but I don’t mind it as we find Cris Dinero and G.Wakai reflecting on a breakup and taking drugs to get over it. Cris provides some witty punchlines and heartfelt lyrics too but they are a bit basic, "I'ma never leave your side like a tattoo", and it's a good song to finish things off, the vocal performances are pretty generic but it has a nice groove, catchy hook and nice beat.
To conclude, with an album like this, many different names and producers I didn't expect it to be cohesive, but it sounds like a 14 year olds playlist. The production is OK but not good enough to carry the album, the rappers on here are either generic or bad and it just feels so flat. There’s actually quite a few diamonds in the rough, but overall this isn’t very good and these kind of albums never work, because you tend to get some of the most uninteresting rappers in the game at this current time and they don’t even put in all their effort since it isn’t there album. Ski and Yachty (he wasn’t bad despite that weird delivery he went with) had nice performances throughout, and artists like Joey Bada$$ and Cordae were good on their tracks but most rappers on here were just painfully mediocre or worse. I don’t think we actually needed this album to be made but there's a few songs for the playlist.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Trust Nobody (2 My Brothers), Thor's Hammer Worthy, E-ER, Soda, Blue Bills, How You Feel? (Freestyle), Feel It
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Falling 4 U
OVERALL RATING: Light 4.5/10