Chicago’s “chosen one” assembles super-team of artists to take his new album to the next level.
THE GOAT was filled with somber songwriting, heartfelt lyricism, impressively introspective subject matter and show-stopping singing performances — finding his bag and refining a style that is all his own.
Now, on his third album Hall of Fame (released June 11), picks up right where Polo G left off — crooning over mellow, contemplative tracks. It seems as though Polo eases the listener in on these albums, picking up the intensity with a banger once they are engaged.
He did so on his last album, opening with the first three songs “Don’t Believe The Hype,” “Heartless” and “Martin & Gina.” This is not to say these songs are particularly melancholy or sad, but definitely have a toned down vibe relative to the consecutive songs that immediately follow, “Flex (feat. Juice WRLD)” and “Go Stupid (feat. NLE Choppa & Mike WiLL-Made It)” with Stunna 4 Vegas.
As for Hall of Fame, following this trajectory, the first five tracks include the opener “Painting Pictures” where Polo mourns those who couldn’t live to see his fame and reflects on the violence he has survived.
I feel as if we all got a purpose and we all special in some way
But me, my potential is unmatched
I’m the chosen one
But only time’ll tell, long live the guys“Painting Pictures” — Polo G
“RAPSTAR” and “Epidemic” were released as singles before the album, as both were included in this opening portion. The wildly popular “RAPSTAR” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart upon its release — featuring forlorn verses over a laid-back, ukulele infused beat, while “Epidemic’s” hook of, “I’m so sick of farewells and R.I.P.s,” shares the same message.
Every day a battle, I’m exhausted and I’m weary
Make sure I smile in public, when alone, my eyes teary
I fought through it all, but that shit hurt me severely“RAPSTAR” — Polo G
“GANG GANG” with Lil Wayne and “Boom” are the consecutive upbeat bangers that follow and insert immediate energy into the tracklist. From this point on, the record serves as more of a showcase for Polo G’s artistic growth and versatility, as the features help to enhance Polo’s growing repertoire.
“Party Lyfe” sees Polo craft an enjoyable, rhythmic banger where DaBaby sprinkles some aggression onto the track with his verse on the back end. “Losses” is a relaxed bop where Polo’s sung hook full of “ohh”s is split with a subsequent, complementary Young Thug hook filled with “een”s that adds great contrast.
Roddy Ricch and Polo G mesh perfectly on the guitar-infused “Fame & Riches” where Ricch employs his trademark exaggerated crooning on his verse. Nicki Minaj hops on the playful, pop-oriented beat well-suited for her on “For the Love of New York,” where Polo appropriately executes a romantic first verse and hook.
“Clueless” sees the late Pop Smoke bring his Brooklyn flair to Polo’s hometown of Chicago with frequent collaborator Fivio Foreign and a hard-hitting drill beat. “Clueless” is certified as a highlight on the record with Pop Smoke’s braggadocious hook:
I’m downtown Chicago, on Michigan Ave with Polo and we on some woo shit (Woo shit)
I walk into Saks Fifth with a bad bitch and we both feelin’ ruthless (Ruthless)“Clueless (featuring Pop Smoke and Fivio Foreign)” — Polo G
Overall, Hall of Fame is an essential highlight reel of Polo G’s complete capabilities. He shows that he can lyrically impress with eye-popping verses on “Zooted Freestyle” and “Go Part 1″ with G Herbo, while also holding his own with other major artists on a track like “Heart of a Giant” featuring Rod Wave, or “No Return” featuring The Kid LAROI and Lil Durk. The features, while not necessary for Polo to deliver good music, enhance each track because the instrumentals fit well with their respective styles.
Polo G’s incredible self-awareness is evident as he still dips into his bag of passionate, soulful sing-rap like on “Black Hearted.” However, he successfully swerves into other avenues of hip-hop like on the belligerent single “GNF (OKOKOK).”
Not only is Polo G’s future looking exceptionally bright in the rap game because of his versatility and strong songwriting, but Hall of Fame proves that he is presently one of the best hip-hop has to offer.