Young rapper Ill Fayze is one of those cats – who upon first listen – exudes a ton of promise and potential. Officially, he started his career back in 2013, as part of a Baltimore-based foursome by the name Bashment Gang Empire, or BGE for short). He’s released a few collaborative/group mixtape in the past, but his latest project, Yearlong Vacations & Constant Celebrations, is unique; it’s his solo debut and his formal introduction to the world of hip-hop.
The project itself is quite eclectic in its production style and arrangement. It runs the gambit from booming contemporary (trap-ish) beats, radio/club friendly affairs, and more traditional backpack hip-hop. The wide range, though, makes this project feel more like a mixtape than an album — and that’s not meant to be negative. It seems like he’s trying things, taking chances, and finding himself; we just get to go along for the ride.
He leads the project off with “Mattress King,” and the bassy “Won’t Be Fayzed,” a play on his name. With lines like “From zero to best — no in between,” and “They think I’m rookie, been stunting,” Fayze wants you to know of that top that he’s serious, and he’s been grinding. His production, as I mentioned, is quite impressive. Sean Ross lays a dope sound base for Fayze to rock the head nodding “Hypnosis” (which received visual treatment), and JB3ATS laces the ode to his inner circle “All A1’s.” “Go Blind” is a club record for the ladies, with a buttery hook; along the same vein, Let It Bang, by the Mittens Mob, with its catchy sing-song hook has tons of commercial potential. “Most Days,” and “Game Over,” see him stepping out of the project’s lane for more of a “hip-hop” vibe. I honestly found it refreshing, and it made me question whether he should either focus on more of this type of production or find a way to blend more of it into his more contemporary-sounding tracks.
A listen to the track “Murda Fa$hion,” reveals that Fayze isn’t that concerned with name brand shit, or standards/conventions; indeed, a great quote from the album is “There’s no satisfaction in believing in the easy.” Ill Fayze, even when rocking more of the ‘everyday’ production, stands out with both his vocal cadence and actual lyrical content. He’s different and isn’t afraid to put in work. Yearlong Vacations & Constant Celebrations is a stepping stone towards his dreams. My advice, keep an eye on him!