Young Dolph – Role Model

Sup motha fuckas. Today we will be getting into the newest release of Memphis, TN rapper Young Dolph, his fifth studio album Role Model. First up will be a scouting report, where I talk about his strengths and weaknesses as a rapper, best works and other notable things about him. Then I will get into the track-by-track breakdown where I’ll make some notes about each song and give each one a rating out of 5. Finally, I will break it down with some final thoughts about the album itself and give it a final score out of 100 (see previous post for more detail on how I score tracks/albums). Without further ado, let’s turn the fuck up.

Scouting Report

  • Famously known for beefing with other Memphis rappers Yo Gotti, Blac Youngsta and the rest of Gotti’s label CMG, he put out this song and video  as the diss track that won the beef (on wax at least… it gets deeper)
  • Has had two attempts on his life presumably related to the beef (but have not been proven by authorities). The first one in February 2017 ended with him unharmed in Charlotte NC, and proceeded to put out this album with a GOAT level tracklisting about a week later
  • The second attempt on his life took place in Los Angeles, CA about 7 months later in the same year. This time he was not so lucky; he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was treated in critical condition where he made a full recovery and released this album about a month after. Clearly incredibly resilient and will let nothing stop him from feeding his fans.
  • Puts out A LOT of music; has released 9 (NINE!) projects since the start of 2016 when he released his debut King of Memphis (4 releases in 2017 alone). Makes sense as a fully independent artist to maximize streaming numbers and cash out but as a fan, I wish he would trim the fat and emphasize more quality over quantity.
  • Very strong and passionate dirty south-style spoken word rap delivery and amazing ad-libs, one of the best in the game currently in that regard
  • Not very lyrically diverse in terms of rhyme scheme, bars, subject matter etc. but does inject humor and solid punchlines frequently in his songs
  • Not very good at nor uses melody very often but does craft good spoken word hooks and picks beats that fit his style, can hold his own without lots of features on a project
  • Best songs prior to this release: “Get Paid”, “Fuck It“, “150 (feat. 21 Savage)“, “Play Wit Yo Bitch” “100 Shots“,
  • Best project prior to this release: King of Memphis

Track-by-Track

1. Black Queen (feat. Momma Gobanna)

  • Touching song over a piano loop, no drums. Made it a point for the listener to focus on his lyrics
  • Not without usual cliche rap flexes but does wax poetic about him and his families rise from rags to riches, specifically biggs up his mother (who is featured at the beginning of the song) overcoming addiction and raising a superstar
  • OVERALL: 4/5

2. By Mistake

  • Released a week prior to the album release
  • Hard hitting trap beat, right in Dolph’s wheelhouse in terms of sound, one of the best beats I’ve heard Dolph rap on ridden with Memphis legend Three 6 mafia samples
  • Great delivery on full display, varied voice inflection, and classic Dolph ad-libs
  • Some great quotables: “Hate to brag but I’m the shit/got some head when I was six”; “If I take you out bitch that’s a million dollar date”
  • Very infectious spoken word bridge and hook, made it’s home in my head after the first couple listens
  • OVERALL: 4.5/5

3. Major (feat. Key Glock)

  • Released a few weeks prior to the album release
  • Beat is again right up Dolph’s alley but not as hard-hitting as “By Mistake”, too generic as far as trap beats go
  • Dolph first verse starts off with a strong but relaxed delivery, fantastic flow
  • Key Glock (first time ever hearing anything from him) couldn’t match Dolph on the quality of his verses, would’ve rather heard another Dolph verse instead
  • Hook is a bit too repetitive and cliche for me
  • OVERALL: 3.5/5

4. Lipstick

  • Nice touch on the flute with the trap drums on this beat, not super hard hitting, more luxurious sound
  • Does a Gucci Mane-ish flow and delivery for the chorus, very relaxed delivery juxtaposing the vulgar content of the hook
  • Great quotables: “Smashin from the back looked at her friend and said you next bitch”; “I bet I got more bitches in Dallas than the Mavericks” among lots of various flexes regarding money/cash/hoes
  • OVERALL: 4/5

5. How U Luv Dat

  • Goes back to more of a hard-hitting style of beat produced by Honorable C-Note, but the low piano octave loop is a bit repetitive to me
  • Hook is repetitive and seems uninspired
  • Subject matter is still lots of flexing and bravado (getting repetitive) but still manages to be amazingly on point with his ad libs
  • OVERALL: 3/5

6. I Think I Can Fly (feat. Snoop Dogg)

  • Buddah Bless gives us an airy/spacey beat complete with trap drums, slightly different for Dolph
  • Lyrics are all about getting high; smoking weed and drinking lean (not a good look, drinking lean is essentially liquid heroin)
  • Snoop Dogg gives a sub-par verse in terms of his first-ballot-hip-hop-HOF standards but still holds his own with Dolph and recites similar subject matter
  • Hook is yet again not very inspired and repetitive
  • OVERALL: 3/5

7. Break the Bank (feat. Offset)

  • Beat is more of a generic trap style of beat with heavy bass, nothing special
  • This hook is the most repetitive of this mundane mid-album stretch for Dolph, becoming a negative trend
  • Offset has a good-but-not-great verse, outdoes Dolph lyrically  with some good quotables: “I got birds like Arthur Blank”; “Yeah that coupe came from Uranus/Cut the top, chop it off no brainer”
  • OVERALL: 3/5

8. On God

  • Beat is more complex, more upbeat and has more bass than the last few, nice refreshing change from the last few songs
  • Great varied delivery on display again, one of his best performances in that regard on the entire album,
  • Just as much flexing as the rest of the album but this song has more motivational content, speaks the rags-to-riches story again to inspire
  • OVERALL: 4/5

9. Still Smell Like It

  • Best. Beat. On. The. Album. Straight GAS!!!
  • Dolph at his best with his braggadocious delivery, ad-libs, flow, everything that makes him a strong rapper
  • Unapologetic flexing throughout and it still has not gotten old because he keeps coming with the quotables (too many to name), name drops are plenty in this one and they all work with his flexes
  • Hook is repetitive but infectious due to how it’s delivered. This is exactly what I want to hear when I listen to Dolph
  • OVERALL: 4.5/5

10. Whole World (feat. Kash Doll)

  • Average beat by Zaytoven in terms of his standards, have heard much better works of production from him
  • Uses autotune on the hook but not an excessive amount, not as repetitive as others on the album but not especially catchy
  • Good verse from Kash Doll, steals the show channeling her inner Lil Kim with her sexually suggestive lyrics (which is not uncommon for her if you are familiar with her music) and outdoes Dolph on his own song
  • OVERALL: 3.5/5

11. Playin Wit a Check

  • Another generic trap beat from Buddha Bless, nothing special here
  • Pretty generic hook that get’s repetitive towards the end, not as much umph as other hooks on the album that do a similar amount of flexing
  • Does the same flow that really isn’t too special for the verses as well, overall not a very impressive display cause of the lack of quotables
  • Didn’t need to put this on the album
  • OVERALL: 2/5

12. Muhammed

  • Better beat than the last one, more complex and drums hit harder, one of the better ones on the album
  • Hook is long, and not repetitive, does a good job varying his inflection on his delivery
  • One of his better rapping performances on the album as well, changes his flow up and finds some nice pockets in both of the verses
  • OVERALL 4/5

13. Space Jam

  • Great beat, bass very heavy and has nice eerie sounds pulsing through it, Buddha Bless did his thing on this one and made up for the Play Wit a Chek
  • Great hook, very infectious and made itself at home in my head after just a few listens
  • Complete with plenty of flexes but gives his thanks to God and talks more about his specific made-it-out-the-streets story once again
  • Great delivery and good flow throughout both verses
  • OVERALL: 4/5

14. Trap Baby

  • Good beat, lots of elements in the beat, not just a generic trap beat, good bass and drums knock hard
  • One of the best hooks on the album, great quotable “Skeeted on her face, made her my babysitter”
  • Yet again, flexes a lot but also counts his blessings in terms of his content, varies his delivery and voice inflection to great effect
  • OVERALL 4/5

Final Thoughts

  • Solid effort from Dolph, only one song that was disappointing
  • Better project than the EP he put out earlier in the year overall in a “slow year” in terms of content for him in 2018 but not quite at King of Memphis level
  • Sticks to a tried and true sound; doesn’t really take any big risks or make any big changes in lyrical content or beat selection
  • Best songs “By Mistake” and “Still Smell Like It” are right up there with the same quality of the best songs listed prior to the review; vintage Dolph
  • Proves once again that his spoken word delivery is one of the best in the game when he wants it to be, however, there were songs where he did seem a bit uninspired compared to others where he was on top form; inconsistent
  • Gets repetitive with the subject matter as he almost always does, but does keep it interesting with great quotables throughout, however, I do like his personal story and is very motivating and don’t get tired of hearing that

Final Score

76/100

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