“Take my life away and let me die where I reside/I’m a Florida boy forever, my city immortalized”
From a city known for its beautiful scenery, the vices that lurk in the cocaine covered streets are often under reported. Those from the outside looking in become mesmerized with its beauty. While those who have resided there have become hostage to its glitz and glamor. All that could have been accomplished has been thrown to the wayside as the good life you’ve always envisioned is right at your fingertips without the cost. That sense of confinement is blinded by the sun. Then next thing you know, you’re trapped. Despite this, there is an unwavering love for a city that’s so flawed and throughout his latest project Five Five, Pouya expresses this same sentiment through his own form of imagery.
First and foremost, Pouya is not your typical Miami rapper. Miami Bass (also known as booty music), once South Florida’s most popular subgenre of hip-hop in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, is noticeably absent here. What’s undeniable, is the Horrorcore inspired production that was popularized by The Geto Boyz in the late 1980s. Pouya has openly admitted that one of his biggest influence is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. And the similarities are undeniable. Aftershock perfectly encapsulates the mood of the album. A harrowing sound of wind breezes underneath the bass, which continues once Pouya jumps on the beat.
The album consists of a man who still has troubles dealing with his newfound fame. Despite all the money and the success, he’s one of many people in this generation trying to figure out his worth in a world that only see him for me material assets. On track 2 “Void”, he spits
“Hate me, love me, don’t say you know me that money makes me feel less lonely/ the women Make me feel so phony/ my own homies wanna buss my dome Piece”
Lyrics like this are scattered throughout the mixtape. Even when happiness seems attainable, the thoughts of a man who feels worthless dives him deeper into a state of despair. There are songs on here that give the sense of genuine self-endearment. The title track “Five Five” boastfully states how he isn’t here to be admired but to. Denouncing the current state of hip-hop, the glorified usage of Xanax, warning how an image doesn’t match intent. Handshakes, one of the standout tracks, an infectious banger that will have you calling out your enemies with unnerving confidence. However, a predictable pattern begins to form in the song structure. Just like Five Five and Handshakes, Don’t Bang My Line, Back Off all have the chorus, verse, chorus that becomes noticeable the more you listen to the album. The confidence succumbs on the finals track Suicidal Thoughts in the back of the Cadillac pt. 2. Going full circle in a journey of trying to find happiness, admiration, and trust. Which becomes harder and harder to do the more success he attains.
Overall, this is a very good album. One of the best of 2018 so far. And to be honest, this is my first time listening to Pouya. The uniqueness, the ability to never sound stale with his flows, lyrics or production is a rare trait now and days. While I am not a huge fan of how short some of the tracks are and how the album does come & go relatively quickly. There’s no denying the replay value this album contains and how enjoyable it is from my first listen to my twelfth. Along with Horrorcore being the catalyst for his creativity and artistic journey, Pouya truly has superstar potential.
Stand Out Tracks:
Suicidal Thoughts in the back of a Cadillac pt. 2
Bars of the Album
Handshakes: “I pour water on the roots of every rapper that I touch/ Pay yo homage when you see me sacrifice yo womans guts”
One Time: “just did a kamikaze in a Maserati cause I hate myself and I hate everybody/You love me then you hate me/ wanna fuck me then you rape me out my money like I never been nobody
Suicidal Thoughts in the back of a Cadillac pt. 2: “I’m a down south Florida boy, ain’t goin’ back to Hollywood/ From the gutter to your guts, let me ignite the firewood”