Eighty4 Fly's New Colors Project Is Promising Brag-Rap With Room to Grow

Released this weekend, Eight4 Fly's new project, Colors (stream here), puts some top-notch brag/punchline/hash-tag rap on display, and features well-chosen guests like Royce the Choice and Nipsey Hussle. Some prime examples: "You ain't nothin' new--old news/with your rusty-ass flow--old tools/you ain't even got a buzz--O'Doul's," E4F spits on "Hammer" (which is a great track, and probably the best song on the album); "Fuck these cornball n*ggas, you see, we bypass 'em/you bein' a killer is funny, I almost died laughin'" raps Royce the Choice on the same song. Also, each track is tagged with a color, perhaps to match the mood or feel of the song, and adds a certain continuity to the project, though telling is always more important than showing.

In between the clever punchlines though, are essentially endless manifestations of the phrases "I'm fly," "we do it big," and "girls want me." It's not uncommon territory in the field of rap--not by a long shot--and over nineteen tracks, the Seattle MC doesn't do much to distance himself from the rest (or at least not as much as he's capable of). Each song has a different (mainly well-done) beat, and a different chorus, but rhyme-wise, it's hard to tell the songs apart. E4F's lyrics hover at a consistently good level, and his beats are equally well-suited to fit his style, but he borrows much of his delivery from mainstream figures like Kid Cudi (see: "Kush High"), and Big Sean (see: his default cadence on most songs; or "I Do It"). Both songs labeled "Purple" have a slowed-down (screwed) vocal segment to fit A$AP Rocky's style/color of choice.

It's image-rap, as he spits on "Late Night": "We been stylin' since stylin' been stylin'/jet settin', jump from island to island to island...Versace shirts and new toys, the world is our playground/she stay 'round, tell her to hop in and stay down," though he does it better than most. On the upside, there are moments of clarity that wind up being some of his best. When he says "Obviously killin' shit, not even in my prime/and yes, the Lambo's rented, but I drive it like it's mine", on "Let Me In", he lets on that he's good, but he's still getting better, and that he may rap about globe-trotting and general excess, but the gaudy car's just a rental. What is his is the reckless, fast life mentality, and in the right setting, he wears it well.

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