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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Gaither

Cordae: "Just Until...." EP - Review

In today's music, one of the biggest criticisms both seen and heard is that the days of authentic Hip-Hop are behind us. If you're one of the very people who makes statements as such... you're lazy. Why? Because, with artists such as the 23-year-old icon in the making, Cordae (and others), you're simply not trying to hear good music. It may take some digging, but it is there.

While the Maryland native has been relatively silent since the release of his Grammy-Nominated 2019 debut project, The Lost Boy, young Cordae is back with a brand-new EP. Released Thursday (Apr. 22), the young star returns with his four-track EP, Just Until.... While very concise, the EP is better than actual full-length projects. With a runtime of merely 12 minutes, Just Until.... only holds two guest features, Young Thug ("Wassup) and Q-Tip ("More Life"). The project is also Cordae's first official release of 2021.

One of the alluring qualities within Cordae's artistry is his wise, prolific flow. Reminiscent of J. Cole, Cordae's flow is authentic and transparent. He speaks only from experiences, pain, and growth. While adapting to the fame and showing his rather luxurious side on the Young Thug-Assisted, trap-influenced, "Wassup," Cordae is in his zone when he flows about life experiences.

For example, on the EP's opener, Cordae not only speaks about having not dropped a song in a year, but from there he gives us vivid images into his experiences. Listeners hear (and can visualize) him flowing about playing basketball with Kyrie Irving. He speaks about remaining true to himself, pursuing happiness, and manifesting the very life he's living now. If this is your introduction to the young star, you easily see that there is pure substance on the inside of him. In a time where much of today's music is influenced by TikTok dances and heavy drug usage, Cordae reminds us all that what's real will always remain solid despite anything else. Q-Tip provides a catchy, magical chorus that further amplifies the song's essence of living more life.

As the EP continues, themes of transparency and realness intensify as Cordae raps on "Dream in Color" about personal issues within his life as well as within society. Subtly, he speaks on having trust issues, firing his lawyer, meeting Stevie Wonder, and the budding love between both he and his girlfriend, tennis star Naomi Osaka. As the song continues, he reflects on his last album, having a genuine heart and his humble upbringings. He maintains his focus as he asks himself what his goals are, his purpose, and his motive. While staying tunnel vision, he also reminds himself to give a huge middle finger to opinions of others as they are not meaningful at all.

A personal favorite arrives at the trap-booming "Wassup." Teaming up with Mr. Slimy himself, Young Thug, the two get straight to business. On this track, Cordae brings out more of his flexing side. He showcases more lavish bars as he raps about his famous lifestyle, wealth, and stature.

"I got forty-five K in my pocket

Ain't no cappin', I say it, I got it

Do a show, thеn I make a deposit

I'm in Europe, thеy ragin' and moshin."

Both he and Thug trade bars back and forth and make their listeners pull out the infamous stink face. Cordae's confidence rages on the Take a Daytrip-produced track. He goes as far as to label himself as the greatest of his generation and he declares it with authority. Thug provides the same appeal labeling himself as the G.O.A.T. With a plethora of braggadocios bars, Thug keeps the slimy nature on full display.

The EP's final track ends the project in a very classical way. On "Thornton Street," Cordae reflects on his youth, being raised in a single parent household. He looks back on the struggles his mother faced raising him alone. He also speaks on his father going to prison and the impact his influence had on his life. Despite the distance, the two managed to still connect. The song is very personal as Cordae continues to evaluate his decisions and choices. Insightful, he continues to reflect on how far he's come and how much impact he has already made in such a short amount of time.

The song exudes heavy Jay-Z and J. Cole energy as Cordae flows about family matters, ignoring the critics, getting richer, and remaining authentic. At the end of the record, he assures his fans and listeners that these four songs are just a piece of his heart as well as an appetizer for the main course, his upcoming sophomore album.

"This four-pack, man

It's just, all songs from the heart, dawg

Just somethin' to hold y'all over 'til I'm done with the album

Man, truth be told, uh

I'm more of a perfectionist than anything

But um, next body of work comin' soon

From A Bird’s Eye View."

Although Just Until.... is only 4 songs long, it packs such a punch that you simply cannot help but be eager for the next work. Cordae continues to push his pen and outdo himself with each release. His verses are intentional and filled with substance that resonates on the inside of each and every listener. He continues to remain to true to who he is as both a person and artist. While many conform to whatever the ongoing trends are to remain relevant and seen, Cordae literally thrives from life experience. Majority of his flow comes from literal things that have occurred within his life. He strives to be no one but Cordae and the music displays exactly that.

While waiting for his highly anticipated sophomore album, you can stream Cordae's Just Until.... -EP here via Apple Music.

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