Album Review: 11 and 28

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I know the first thing that popped up in your head when you clicked on this review was,“Trey Songz still makes music?”

Because that was my exact thoughts when Songz dropped two mixtapes ’11’ and ’28’ with Atlantic Records unannounced on November 28, 2018 in honor of his 34th birthday. Now, the real question is, “Were the mixtapes a go or a flop?” Songz’s music will forever slap. He’s given us millennials so many gems that if we heard any of his classics like “LOL Smiley Face” or “Bottoms Up” right now, we could give a quick story about what life was like when Songz was making music.

Sad to say, things change, and people change and ’11’ and ’28’ didn’t remind  me of what life was like when he was making music. These mixtapes were more for a celebration, just as it intended to be.

’11’ was his own personal mixtape. It didn’t have any features just Songz being himself. Immediately, when I saw the drop I was hyped because he was a huge part of my childhood, so my expectations were HIGH. I’m not going to say it was terrible because I’d be lying but he could’ve kept the two mixtapes, combined them and called it 11/28.

’11’ had ten tracks and out of that 10 there were five solid bangers which were “Drugs”, “Lay Yo Head”, “Solid”, “Reflection”, and “Let Me Know”. I would consider these five songs as 11’s hits and the rest throwaways. I call them that because personally, I think he just put those on there because he’s been gone for a while and maybe he thought he was serving justice to his fans. But as I said earlier he could’ve kept the two mixtapes, combined them and called it 11/28.

As far as ’28’ goes, this was where the real celebration started. All of the 10 songs on here were made specifically for the radio. It included features on every song (except for one) from artist such as Jacquees, 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, Swae Lee, Tory Lanez, O.T. Genasis, Shy Glizzy, Rich Da Kid, Jeremih, Dave East, Chris Brown and Fabolous.

I can’t be MillionDolla if I don’t keep it buck and ’28’ was a flop. His style of radio bangers didn’t change, in fact it actually gave us that old Songz back but that was the problem. As an artist, you have to grow and really create quality work for your fans, especially the ones who stuck around when you left. You can’t just put a tape together and say, “I’m Trey Songz, they’ll love it regardless.” There has to be thought put into a project, because real music lovers will hear it and cancel you.

Now, what I’m not going to do is cancel Songz because he has solidified his position in my book of greats. There were only four GREAT songs on ’28’ which were “Body High” ft. Swae Lee, “Top 10″ ft. Jeremih, “Rotation” ft. Dave East and “Don’t S**t” ft. Chris Brown and Fabolous. And the songs were only great because of the features.

FIVE BANGERS from ’11’ plus the FOUR GREAT songs from ’28’ equals NINE. If Songz would’ve collab’d the two they could have reinvented his career and overall been a 8.5 out of 10 mixtape but non of that happened so I’d have to give ’11’ 6 out of 10 stars and ’28’ 4.5 out of 10 stars.

Amari Ferguson is a Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Gary, Indiana. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2018-2019 school year.

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