Delaware emcee Lil West comes through with his new album LW17, which features a solid lineup of guests and producers. Over the course of eleven tracks, West showcase a wide range of versatile vocals, proving to have a keen ear for melody and radio-friendly sensibilities. Despite some of the more romantically inclined cuts found on the album's latter half, tracks like "Your Ears Are Pierced? Bool" find West comfortably in his element, embracing his swagger and harnessing it over some raw production from the likes of Dmac. In fact, the project's highlights often arrive when West goes into beast mode; his tendencies for selecting unconventional, yet hard beats help stand him out from his up-and-coming peers, who often tend to rely on mirroring the latest trap crazes.
With the opening guitar arpeggios on introductory cut "Bit My Tongue Now My Mouth Is Bleeding" lulling you into a false sense of security, the track proceeds to explode into a sea of distorted, noise-based production before concluding on a softer note. These experimental arrangements are not as prevalent as they might have been, but they help give the album a unique feel. Centerpiece track "Gum In My Hair" is probably the album's strangest cut, and I wish West continued pushing the envelop a little bit more in this direction, as the daring moments are often some of the strongest.
Insofar as lyrical content, nineteen-year old Lil West switches it up between inebriated hedonism, the difficulty of the come-up, and giving in to his softer, more romantic side. If you haven't been checking for West, LW17 is a great starting point. Despite some off-kilter production, the project remains accessible enough to please fans seeking to discover a new artist. Check it out now, and be sure to show your support.