[Words By: Yori // @AnAmazingFeat]
- “JAY Z”
- “The Way”
We’ve officially entered the “surprise drop” era of music, transgressing from an over abundance of trailer YouTube videos to random links popping up on the internet. This type of marketing has been largely successful for established acts because they have the fan-base to make the reward worth the risk. Enigmatic Chicago emcee Goodbye Tomorrow has adopted an entirely different approach to piquing the interest of his potential fan-base. Staying in full stealth-mode for his album A Journey Through The Mind of a Non Believer, he has dropped artistically sophisticated videos, with absolutely no hint at his true identity. Although he has given interviews, his dedication to complete anonymity has left it to the music to create the portrait that he wants the world to see. For a rapper without a face, the leap of faith that he has in his ability as a lyricist could have extraordinary results or career-ending consequences.
Going into a project with only a skeletal understanding of the artist highlights the importance of word choice and instrumental vibes. Goodbye Tomorrow is well aware that all we know about him is what he has chosen to rhyme to. With this in mind, putting a track like “I Don’t Give A F*ck” first is a bold statement, both in intensity and production. On the flip side of that coin, If you hadn’t heard his singles for this album, expectations for the first listening experience are non-existent, therefore open to an infinite amount of interpretations. Sliding into the second track, however, it’s evident that GT is lyrically feeling himself. This conclusion can’t be made at this point in the album, but it is evident by the production level and polished sound of the tracks that he is no novice in the booth.
Though Goodbye Tomorrow has a great talent for writing about himself, it takes four tracks before he actually tells us anything. The vibe of “Light One, Pour One” is the first glimpse of an introspective writing style from the incognito rapper. He drops lines about an ex and the exasperation in following his dreams. In an act of sequencing genius, “Pray 2 God” explains the frustrations felt in “Light One, Pour One” which drops more hints as to his background and mind-frame. History and influence are major parts of an artist’s writing style but by keeping behind the curtain, Goodbye Tomorrow is forcing us to reverse engineer his lyrics.
As mentioned before, this way of introducing himself to the world could backfire or solidify a loyal fanbase. If the latter is what Goodbye wants to obtain while maintaining his hidden aura, he will have to give the listener more than witty wordplay. He shows a more playful side of his personality with “Confetti”, which has an addicting cadence and an impressive snare drum riff. “Confetti” is a saving grace for the album because it shows that he can pen tracks with substance while still staying veiled. While his talent isn’t in question, his ability to paddle out of the shallow end of the pool is still to be determined.
The breadcrumbs that Goodbye Tomorrow drops throughout his album are fulfilling enough to enjoy the album and kick-start an appetite for his genre of Hip-Hop. The ambiguity that he has cloaked himself in helps provide an unbiased listen, however not having context clues to the tracks makes it hard to sketch them together to form a sharp image of the emcee. This debut album for Goodbye Tomorrow succeeded in showcasing his lyrical aptitude and sonic vision for his music. The abstract portrait of him that it sketched, however, leaves much to the imagination, with hope that he will fill in the blanks with later releases.
THE QUICK RECAP
- + Goodbye Tomorrow has obviously honed his lyrical ability and wordplay.
- + The beats he chose help to further depict his personality
- – A lot of repeat themes of his grandeur, but there’s not a lot of insight to his motivations.
- -/+ The album leaves you feeling good for pushing play, yet with no more information about the artist. This intrigue could be exactly what he wanted.
The REDEFINED Rating
3.5 out of 5