Sean Armstrong | Staff Writer
“Mansionz,” the debut album of rap group of the same name, is a unique contribution to the rap genre that should excite connoisseurs and critics alike.
Unlike many rap albums to premiere in recent months, such as “FUTURE” by Future and “More Life” by Drake, this album tries to do something new with the genre. The album tries to delve into common subject matters in both rap and pop but in a way that meshes the two genres into one seamlessly.
This unique blend likely originates in the duo’s contrasting musical roots. Blackbear hails from a rap and R&B background while Mike Posner brings alternative rock to create a new and interesting sound.
This unique blend is most easily seen in the fourth track on the album, “Dennis Rodman.” Indeed, the music and lyrics of this song work together to exemplify the message of the whole album: be like Dennis Rodman一the NBA player turned North Korean Dictator’s best friend一and do what you want and no one can stop you.
However, “Dennis Rodman” draws more on the group’s rap heritage. For a track that perfectly balances both rap and rock elements, look no further than “Wicked.”
“Wicked” focuses on the group’s singing talent for the majority of the song until G-Eazy enters the track to add the rap that equalizes the album.
However, for those who prefer what Posner brings to the table, the song “Rich White Girls” serves as an antithesis to the musical stylings of “Dennis Rodman.”
“Rich White Girls” features a soft and melodic duet between the pair. It’s a nice back and forth that features no rap at any point and sounds more pop-rock than rap.
The various topics discussed in “Mansionz” are not a typical for the genre. The duo complains about the hardship that fame brings when it comes to finding girls: “I thought that the last tour would help me fill the hole/ And then came the income, outcome I’m still alone.”
To label this album as alternative rock or rap is shortsighted. This album truly does follow the ideology of Rodman and does what it wants now, asks questions later.
As someone who listens to music daily and for hours at a time “Mansionz” was a nice find because while not my favorite album of all time, it is something different.
For anyone that is sick of the same old music, this album is a worthwhile listen. Eschewing the solo careers of its creators, “Mansionz” synthesizes something wholly unique, and while it will be widely considered a rap album, it certainly pushes the envelope when it comes to what can be done in the genre.