EP REVIEW: 4 FREEDOM
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 30, 2018
LABEL: NEVER BROKE AGAIN, LLC
‘4 Freedom’ is exactly what NBA dropped this EP for. NBA is longing for freedom and constantly points out that no one is listening to what he wants. Just looking at the cover, you can see how dark he is feeling with the black background and the broken heart. The broken heart symbolizes that even with superstar status, everything that glitters isn’t gold. Ironically, the heart is gold to, which could also symbolize that NBA has a heart of gold and willing to do anything for anybody but it seems like no ones wants to reciprocate the love.
NBA starts the EP off with the soulful track “Drawing Symbol“. I call it soulful because although it’s carried by the heavy 808s, it also features a saxophone, grand piano and a soulful female vocalist in the background. YoungBoy challenges his artistry by using the third person narrative throughout the entire song to dwell on how outsiders aka haters view him and his choices.
“They say he drawin’ symbols in the sand ‘till his pain gone baby/ They say he movin’ onto the land where the gates close, baby.”
They might even refer to NBA’s personal demons which is another reason he uses the third person narration, so he can explain to his fans how he feels about himself.
“Run in Here” is the second track on ‘4Freedom’. NBA talks about how he’s come in contact with all different kinds of people, real, fakes, haters and they’re all the same. The chorus, which is pretty powerful and relatable goes, “I done died and came back and I still see the same thang/ I done died and came back and I see not a d*mn thing changed.” Dying doesn’t mean physical but could symbolize one dying mentally. Youngboy has lost his way, been out on the road, and sacrificed himself to provide for his family and still nothing has changed.
Track three, “Change (4 Freedom)“ is the anthem for the EP if you ask me. NBA is very redundant in his music and if you’re a YoungBoy fan then you know he raps about change faithfully. Even Future told NBA he needed to change and switch lanes in order for him to reach his full potential as an artist. Youngboy is addressing all the pressure he’s facing and for that he hates himself. He is constantly pressured by the media because of his last relationship that he desperately wants back but can’t have because of legal issues. “I don’t want no one else/But I have to be all alone for the change.” I think this track is very courageous being that NBA is only 19 and it’s very hard for people to admit their wrongs yet put themselves in the right positions even if it is uncomfortable. “Change” is a personally favorite of mine.
NBA YoungBoy finishes up the EP with “We Dem”. I guess he got tired of being in his feelings because on this track he’s demonizing the harmonic beat. When I heard the intro, I knew it was over. “Aye, you can’t let nobody make you mad/ I’ma say it like this, “How the f**k you don’t want nobody controllin’ you, but you let that person make you mad?”/ They controllin’ you.” After that intro, YoungBoy just took off and let all of his haters know that he might be hurting right now but nobody is going to control his life or altitude. As for his fans, NBA uses situations in his lyrics such as “Went back to jail’ cause you steady kept rushin’/and ‘Be able to see through a kiss and a hug/ Prepare and protect your heart from fake love“ to let them know that your time is your time, never rush greatness or let anybody withhold you from your goals.
Overall, ‘4 Freedom’ was a great EP, very polished and expressive. I give it 10 out of 10 stars.