Being an indie artist can’t be an easy job in today’s society. You can’t go more than 2 feet without meeting someone who’s a rapper and has a mixtape to hand you. The overflow of talentless emcees makes it that harder to see the few who have potential. Trying to standout about the crowd of mediocrity is Wem. His DJ Ill Will assisted mixtape Unexpected sets out to show that Wem is something different for what you’ve heard already.
You Already Know, featuring Young Jerz, is an upbeat summer type joint. A piano driven track where Wem spits lines like, “Hurt feelings every time I step out/ These other dudes are garbage and it’s time to take the trash out/ Leave your girl behind and I’m going to put a dent in her/ Pockets full of presidents and even on inventor/ That’s Benjamin.” While not the most lyrical song, the hook comes in at the right time to save the song: “You already know/ Swagger through the roof/ Keep a bunch of dollars on me (one me)/ You already know just how I get down/ If you don’t then let me show you homie.” Yung Jerz ends it with lines like, “I got my shades on, but this ain’t for 3D/ Them divas want to turn me on like a TV/ She in my crib touching my tattoos trying to read me/ Superfly but you already know like a genie/ They say they recognize me from the Internet.” This track may be the best song on the set.
On Kamikaze, Trigga opens up with, “No one seems to really hear like I’m speaking sign language/ Rhyme so retarded guess that means I’m brain damaged/ Corruption is my motto now, hope is way above the clouds/ Ain’t nothing funny so wipe the smile off your face you clown.” Trixx did a good job on the beat providing something simple enough to make heads nod, but give Trigga and Wem room to show off some bars. Wem comes in with, “When you stare at me, man I know you bitter/ Got my girl eating out a girl like a chicken dinner/ Don’t see clearly that Wem is the winner/ It’s the unexpected like when you get a splinter/ I’m so glad to be Wem, I wouldn’t want to be ya/ And I see myself on top I got a ladder and a mirror.”
Johnny Juliano provides the soundtrack for another standout track titled Life Is What You Make It. A slow moving soulful track, Wem spits about “Life is what you make it that’s what my mother told me/ I don’t go nowhere where them dimes and hoes be/ I just get the paper and worry about mine/ Head is spinning as I’m looking through the road signs…some many issues, well that’s life/ You gotta hit the pedal when you see the green light.” Getting more introspective on this track, Wem lets you into his world and thoughts allowing the listener a chance to see that he’s more than money, hoes and clothes.
The Jahlil Beats creation You Can’t Tell Me Nothing gives Wem some more ammo. “Just by looking at us you can tell we ain’t the same/ But you can’t tell me nothing ‘cause I’m winning in this game/ Look into my eyes/ You can tell I’m faded, but I’m shooting for the skies.” Adding, “I’m dangerous on the track ‘cause I got the opposite of soft/ And it’s Wem motherfucker with the safety clicked off/ Here with a shovel just to bury this shit/ ‘cause I’m a go-getter so I go and gets it/ Better call the doctor when you decide to stare at me/ My style with give you cataracts, go get UV therapy.” Here is where Wem falls short lyrically, but Jahlil saves him with the production.
17 tracks in and I feel like Wem has a ways to go. His style seems to still be developing at times vocally he can sound like Drake, Mac Miller and Big Sean all in one. Lyrically, he has bars, but those bars can be tightened. Not a failure, but not a complete success either.
Unexpected reminds me of a rookie who’s still getting adjusted to the big leagues. Where you can see the talent, it still will take a couple of more games before you see the talent.
Standout Tracks: “Life Is What You Make It”, “You Already Know”, “You Can’t Tell Me Nothing, “Runaway”
1. Bright lights ft. B. Madison (prod. by Superstar Q)
2. Runaway (prod. by Kanye West)
3. Look What You Created (prod. by J.D. Beats)
4. Fallicious Thoughts (prod. by Desmond)
5. You Already Know ft. Yung Jerz (prod. by Real Talk INC)
6. Emotionless (prod. by Chink Santana)
7. No Title (prod. by Jai B)
8. Fly High (prod. by Trixx)
9. Kamikaze ft. Trigga (prod. by Trixx)
10. The Boy Left Behind (prod. by Johnny Juliano)
11. Respect My Grind (prod. by C.P. Beats)
12. Doin Me (prod. by Respect my grind INC)
13. I Go In (prod. by Trendsetterz)
14. M.O.N.E.Y ft. Jay Burna & Johnny Juliano (prod. by Skate Bravo)
15. Life Is What You Make It (prod. by Johnny Juliano)
16. Shoot Me Down ft. Jimmy Macguire (prod. by D. Smith)
17. You Can’t Tell Me Nothing (prod. by Jahlil Beats)