Blackbear is an American hip-hop recording artist who has collaborated with several well-known musical artists such as G-Eazy, Childish Gambino and Pharrell Williams, as well as Mike Posner in their collective known as “Mansionz.”
Blackbear released his first studio album “Deadroses” in February 2015 and “Help” the following November. In March 2017, the Mike Posner and Blackbear collective “Mansionz” released a self-titled album. Now we have “digital druglord,” an album that is as much beautiful as it is haunting. “Digital druglord” is an album that delivers relaxing and chill elements that fabricate themselves into an oddly sophisticated sound.
On the track titled “hell is where i dreamt of u and woke up alone,” the listener is immediately thrown into Blackbear’s world.
“My nose is burning/ too much cocaine/ got caught in Brooklyn/ with gasoline backed up with cellophane,” he says.
As the words present themselves over the auto-tune Blackbear has supplied, the compiled sounds feel like listening to a beautiful hell on Earth. In fact, a lot of the auto-tune used on countless parts of this record feel reminiscent to that of Kanye West’s 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” in which West utilized the audio processor to create some pretty outlandishly stellar tracks that still hold up in the test of time. Blackbear now uses some of those same wonderful characteristics, bending them to his own twisted will to paint a picture of unrequited love, drug use and life as a numb 20-year-old.
Towards the middle of the album, Blackbear addresses how completely finished he is with the sight of his old fling on the track, “do re mi,” also serving as the album’s single.
“Do, re, mi, fa, so f*ckin’ done with you, girl/ so f*ckin’ done with all the games you play/ I ain’t no Tic-tac-toe/ send all the X and O’s on another note,” he says, hitting high falsettos with a punching and bitter take on Julie Andrews’ “Sound of Music.”
Towards the end of the album, Blackbear depicts an emotionless castle party on the epic anthem that is “chateau.” Here the synth is manipulated to make the listener feel as though they are somewhat royal, the mighty feeling accompanied with Blackbear’s voice weaving in and out to the catchiness of the beat, as he says, “No love, no love, no love,” constantly in order to serve as the chorus to this deeply disturbing, yet fun-filled sound.
The closing track, “make daddy proud,” finds Blackbear, yet again, dissing his previous love interest in a closing “f*ck you” track that is, like Blackbear’s prior work, sonically ironic. With lyrics that fire evident shots towards a woman he once knew who isn’t quite herself these days, Blackbear has discovered a serious formula for making the cold, cruel and distant sound like a catchy, tropical dance track as he says, “Started spending all of his money/ tell me how’d you get so codependent, girl/ all of his money/ justify your independence, girl.”
Though the lyrics on this album are hauntingly real, the production value of the beats create a paradoxically chill and relaxing filter for even the most darkest and sordid of tracks to pass through. He creates elements that the listener can’t help but keep stuck in their head when engaging in their daily endeavors.