Apr 30, 2019

Album Review: Hood Gospel - @mostdopemusic_ (written by @RamseySaidWHAT)

Artwork by @HuesHQ
It's been a little while since I've penned something about Asbury Park native and A1's MostDope. I once watched a IG story where A1's creative director, Trust, told the editor-in-chief of The Source Magazine that MostDope is in his top five dead or alive. Think about how hard it must be to back that kind of talk up.

Okay, so last we heard from Most was his lead single, True, to this new project, Hood Gospel. Unless you've been to any of his shows at The Saint or House of Independents we haven't heard new material since Perfect Timing, his collab tape with Mula O. Hood Gospel is the true follow up to Pressure and Product of My Environment respectively. Let's dive in.

In my last interview with the Asbury upstart, he addressed some critics about their perspectives of him stepping away from his traditional style of MC'ing and moving into a more melodic feel over his 16s and verses.

"I've evolved, but not to everyone's liking because people didn't understand the route I went with Pressure and some of my newer songs." MostDope on A-Side B-Side Podcast Episode 12

This new project further solidifies that he isn't the artist we knew him to be when he first began. Musicians and people are allowed to be multifaceted and grow. We can say that this here is confirmation that he's not the same wide-eyed spitter down in West Virginia. Upon listening, Hood Gospel is the perfect name for this project. A hip-hop professor I took once taught me that in the early days the rappers were the journalists for the places news trucks and police won't go. More than just a journalist for his world, MostDope serves as the pastor to this church he's preaching to through song. I mean aside from chicken spots and liquor stores, you'll always find a church on the block, right? If you ask Most, he'd say that it's always a bigger picture. He's not glorifying what he's seen or done in the streets but simply embracing it because it made him who he is. When he speaks on it, it feels like gospel.

The A1 rapper takes on more ballad writing on this project. Maybe this is more of the Casanova we know him to be or maybe a particular woman inspired this but songs like TNL (Thugs Need Love) and The Real Her soften up a particularly ice cold project. If you've been to the shows you've heard Check and the lead single, True.

I think MostDope has figured out who he is and his signature sound. He just has to be careful of falling into the trap of making repetitive melodies and cadences. That's no diss. I think as far as songwriting goes, MostDope is one of the best in Jersey and has a sick upside. Where he's adopted a style that's trending today, MostDope has a better voice and is more talented manipulating it. He sings better than most and doesn't need as much pitch correction. The only qualm I may have with the project is some of the levels. Sometimes the harmonies and back tracks get a little cluttered. It's great layering but sometimes it means we need to re-mix and master the tracks for volume or put a lo-pass filter on the track to filter the volume. In some of the places it's done it works. In other places I'm worried the harmony overshadows the melody and it's too much going on in between our ears.

Hood Gospel is to MostDope as Get Rich or Die Tryin' is to 50 Cent. He even took a page out of G-Unit book with his outro, P.I.M.P and the remix. The beat breakdown on the last hook accompanied with the Friday clip of Katt Williams was a nice touch. I can tell this is an album that is meant to be heard live. I think a performance experience of this album can put him over the top. A couple times listening I asked who's the feature on the track just to realize the whole thing is MostDope. To be high energy and sound like Most featuring Most says a lot. Hood Gospel is out everywhere you stream music and Apple Music below. Check it out, it speaks to just about everyone.

Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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