Producer and rapper BEAM has been having a thrilling year so far beginning with his appearance on Skrillex’s single Mumbai Power. Now he has released his debut album titled 95. The album has been long awaited since BEAM shook things up with his banger “Chat Bout” last year.
The album features stunning production from Chasethemoney, Cardo Got Wangs, Frank Dukes, and more. Right out of the gate, the bar is set high with the intro song “Drop The Roof”. BEAM gives a captivating howl over this track before he delivers an intense verse filed with a reggae tone. The Jamaican influence continues on the next track “Soldier” where he introduces a plethora of flows paired with a killer hook.
The title track “95” shows his 90s hip-hop appreciation with a golden era Wu-tang essence and a Kriss Kross refrain. This is also an ode to the year he was born, 1995. Next is a change of pace. BEAM effortlessly floats on top of the trap sounds on “Unda Armor”. “I had the unda armor vest to protect myself” is simply unforgettable. This track easily takes the cake for best hook on the album.
Similar to the ominous instrumental we heard on “Drop The Roof”, BEAM hits it on the mark once again on the track “Numb” featuring vocals from Morgan Saint. Structure wise, “Numb” sounds the most intricate. From the infectious hook, flow changes, and beautiful outro.
We get more of the island sound on the next two tracks and especially “Mad Gaal”. This song sounds like futuristic dancehall. If this song was a bit longer or had a nice feature at the end, it could possibly be a mainstream contender. Though we live in the era of short 2:00 – 2:30 songs, BEAM is more than capable of holding your ear for longer and almost every song on this album is like a cliff hanger. Whether this is intentional or not, we’re definitely going to need some longer songs in the future.
Moving on, “Lost” is another standout on this album. The intoxicating horns in the background coupled with the light piano and powerful drums are just to die for. As BEAM raps in perfect pocket, the song’s title proves to be fitting. It feels as he’s forever swaying around the beat.
From beginning to middle, BEAM shows incredible technical skill to hold interest. He could have easily phoned in the exit track and it would have been fine. But “Stranded” is a different story. It’s another top-notch show as far as production. It also features fellow producer/rapper, Childish Major. Their light vocals together combine for an epic and vulnerable sendoff.
Overall, 95 was an amazing first effort for BEAM. His raw skill shines bright throughout every song in more ways than most. There’s no doubt that he has at least one song you won’t be able to get out of your head.
Hopefully he continues on with the icy releases as we head into 2020.
Listen to 95 below