Joyner Lucas is a rapper that has been on my radar for quite a while now. If you’re a fan of him, or even if you have listened to any of his songs, then you’ll know that his writing is unlike anyone else’s. His ability to pace multi-syllable rhymes on beat, provide amazing rhymes and delivery, and experiment constantly so that his music sounds fresh are just a few examples as to why he deserves his title as one of the greatest MC’s of this generation. So with ADHD, his debut album and one of my most anticipated albums of 2020, one question remains: Is It Good?
The album opens up with Screening Evaluation (skit), in which we hear a conversation that unfolds between a young Joyner and his doctor. Although the conversation starts off pleasant as he correctly guesses what a series of photos represent, he begins to struggle to recognize them, thus angering the doctor as a result. The track then transitions into I Lied (intro), in which Joyner reflects on his life before he became a celebrity while admitting that his new luxurious life has changed him. Even though he had loyal friends and family members in the past that loaned him money on the promise that he would return it at a later time, he lied. Both of these tracks do a great job at setting up the main themes of the album: Joyner reminiscing on his past life and comparing it to his new one, and his struggles with ADHD as a child that continue to affect him to this day.
Despite the album being eighteen tracks long, when you take into consideration that four of those tracks are skits, and nine of the tracks were already released beforehand, we are left with only five new tracks. The War (feat. Young Thug) is by far one of the standout tracks of the album, and really emphasizes Joyner’s versatility even when rapping alongside artists who don’t match his general style. Gold Mine is also another great track where Joyner reflects on his past struggles and how they eventually paid off because he turned his dream into reality.
Despite three great new additions, the remaining tracks just feel mediocre. Finally (feat. Chris Brown) is the perfect example of wasted potential and simply fails to capture the magic like their other great collabs (Stranger Things & I Don’t Die). Still Can’t Love (feat. King OSF & Fabulous) features some pretty cringe-inducing bars by Joyner, and overall feels out of place on this album.
Joyner concludes the album with Will and Broke & Stupid. The former is an ode to Will Smith, one of his idols. The music video features Joyner recreating classic images and scenes from Will Smith’s movies and TV shows, and it even garnered a response from the legend himself. The latter, Broke & Stupid, is the albums outro. It features a similar instrumental to Dear Summer by Memphis Bleek and Jay Z, and has Joyner reflecting on his success and being grateful for how far he has come.
In conclusion, ADHD is a solid debut album by Joyner Lucas that solidifies his position as a top-tier MC. Although him rolling out each song separately may not make sense to some, it was a smart move by Joyner and probably made him more money than if he decided to leave the songs unheard until the album. So, Is It Good? Yes. I enjoyed all of the previously released singles and even found enjoyment in the newer tracks as well. Although not all of them were as great as others, no song on this album is necessarily “bad”. What I mean by this is that although I didn’t enjoy the tracks, I can definitely see the appeal of them. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, then this album is definitely worth a listen.
Standout Tracks: I Lied (Intro), Isis (feat. Logic), The War (feat. Young Thug), I Love, Devil’s Work, Revenge, Will, Broke and Stupid