Last year, OMB Peezy shared a brief glimpse of his talents on his Humble Beginnings EP with acclaimed producer Cardo. But with the release of his full-length debut Loyalty Over Love, the 300 Entertainment signee is exhibiting his entire skillset.
Despite being a protégé of E-40 and moving to Sacramento at the age of 12, the Alabama native’s sound has very few traces of the West Coast. Rather, it’s unabashedly shaped and influenced by the Gulf Coast — but it’s a far cry from the trap rap tropes of his peers.
Instead of boisterous drums and beat drops, Loyalty Over Love is filled with the deep-fried funk that Pimp C, Rap-A-Lot’s N.O. Joe and Big Boy’s Precise churned out two decades ago. Producers Dubba-AA and DrumDummie cook this gumbo for Peezy, wielding bass guitars and smooth piano keys to orchestrate a familiar but refreshing sound. There are even traces of Trill Entertainment’s glory days when Boosie Badazz and Webbie were cranking out hits, as heard on the bouncy anthem “Yeah Yeah” with T.K. Kravitz.
Without the desire or pressure to compete with what’s hot, Peezy is able to dive headfirst into the pain that weighs heavily on him. Although many of his raps pack on bulletproof bravado, the battle scars of a hard life clearly loom on his mind.
Peezy is an open book on Loyalty Over Love, recalling run-ins with the law and often revealing his struggle to truly move on from the trappings of the streets. One of the most vulnerable sequences of the project begins with “How I Move,” which explores his rags-to-riches story and the path created by dropping out of school.
Things get heavier on “My Dawg,” which features him wistfully rapping about survivor’s guilt. He follows it with “Rain,” a track describing himself as a powder keg waiting to explode due to his methods for coping with pain.
Peezy rarely deviates from the gutter-to-glory narrative, but he changes his presentation in an effort to avoid getting stale. He’ll switch up his flow, abandon the use of hooks, sprinkle in melodic vocals or get an assist from likeminded rhymers, such as Mozzy. And while he’s occasionally guilty of generic bravado, his contemplative and reflective nature always seem to shine brighter.
“I understand, I know ain’t the greatest/And don’t feel like I’ve made it/Bitch, I’ve made it when all people living good on stateside,” he raps on the closer, “Mind Of Overkill.”
At 21 years old, Peezy still has a lot of room to grow. Despite his best efforts, the lack of diversity in his subject matter does hamper the project’s replay value, such as the glaring misfire “It’s Whatever.” Guest Paper Lovee’s speedy delivery gets old in a heartbeat and derails the song due to its overbearing nature.
These flaws are easy to overlook though because Peezy’s maturation as an artist will likely rectify them. Loyalty Over Love goes far beyond his EP and standout singles to prove Peezy is brimming with promise and potential.