NOTE: THE OPINIONS OF THE ALBUM REVIEW DON”T REFLECT THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS OF THE TRACKSTARZ STAFF! THESE ARE JUST THE THOUGHS AND OPINIONS OF THE REVIEWER!!!!!!
The year is already more than halfway completed and so far, 2019 has had some impressive releases. Because there had been so much music dropped, it’s quite possible that some good music may have been released and gone unnoticed. One such project is ‘Misguided’ by Calvin Hill.
The first song on the project “Still” featuring Jason Jet has a nice airy vibe to it, and we hear Jason’s smooth vocals crooning about God’s love and then Calvin comes in. On the second verse, Calvin talks about how God delivered him from his past vices and how much he loves God. This is a really good introduction to this album and Calvin Hill in general. The beat changes up and we hear a chopped and screwed voice repeatedly asking “do you love me still?” And the beat just rides. This is an impressive start to the project. The second song is “No Feelins” and is probably my least favorite song on the project. As soon as you hear the first few words you already know who one of Calvin’s biggest influences is. The beat is good but I don’t like Calvin on this. Young C on the other hand rapped so well that this song could have just been his. Third on the project is “Across The World” featuring jayMilenium, and we have another R&B sounding song with amazing vocals and Calvin Hill hits us with some sing rapping with his K Dot voice. This song definitely has potential to be on the radio and do well, but I think that it would go to another level if Calvin rapped in his own natural tone. The second verse we hear more of Cal’s natural voice, and he even switched up the flow a couple of times, adding more movement to the song. On “Gaslight” this song we have Calvin Hill singing the hook. We hear more of his Kdot voice on the first verse but he switches it up and we hear more of his natural tone on the second verse. The beat is nice and Calvin does some interesting things with his flow and cadence and brings some bars from the bridge to end out the song.
On “Elevators” we find that Calvin has brought some friends along for the ride with Eli Ahmad, Tyshan Knight, and Devin Murril. We hear a voice singing about elevators and wanting to be close to God. This beat is super moody and got them r&b vibes to it, one of the best sounding beats on the whole project. You can tell that Calvin is definitely a worshiper with this song as he just recounts all the things God has done in his life. These things make Calvin want to get close to God, and he just pours it all out to God and the listener is getting a peek in. There is also a good music video to accompany the song that is worth checking out. Song number 6 is “Confessions” featuring Pj Wins and Vander. We have another nice and slow beat with some rapping done with some effects on the voice. Calvin confessed how prone he is to sin and how much he needs the Lord. The second verse starts with a chopped and screwed portion and then Calvin comes in with his regular voice. It was a very welcoming surprise to hear Calvin rap in so many different ways. Halfway through the project we land on the song “Lost” featuring Thomas E. Bell. The song is about how Calvin loses himself whenever he is with God. Thomas does a great job on the hook and adds to the song in a positive way and he gets some time to shine and sing on a verse of his own. After such a long run of smooth and mellow tracks, Calvin switches up the pace with “Never Never.” Calvin cuts the R&B vibes and gets back in his rappity rap bag on this song. Calvin sounds good on it and I like the slowing down of the song near the very end.
On “Thinkin’ Bout You Pt. 2” Calvin teams up with Smashthesinger. Smashthesinger is the first voice we hear as he handles the duties on the hook while Calvin spends this first verse talking about how a young lady had to trust and love herself before she could love anyone else. Then Hill talks about the ups and downs of a relationship. Smash sings the refrain “let’s just stay friends I’m just saying!” Then we hear a phone ring and Calvin speaks to a young lady telling her that it’s not going to work out, thus concluding the story of the song. you can really see the picture Hill painted here. Next Calvin takes us to “Appetite.” We hear the refrain “there’s something about you” and this song seems to be the antithesis to the previous song. He gets in his Kendrick bag for a couple of bars and even uses the “Lucy” adage. If the second verse isn’t Calvin’s best Kendrick Lamar impersonation, I don’t know what it is. Then we hear a deep voice quoting Scripture about sexual sin and some maniacal laughter. This song was kind of all over the place but Devon Murill sounded really good on the song, so there’s that.
We are approaching the end of the album when Calvin decides to tell us who he is with “Who is Calvin?” Here we come to a beat that has a nice bounce to it and we hear “here we go again” and ” I don’t even know who I am” said over and over before Calvin gets into his verse. Calvin tells us a little bit about himself and his background. One interesting part of the song is when Hill begins to rap in Spanish for a few bars. Interesting choice to place this song near the end of the project. On “Thunderstorms” we hear thunder and rain fall and Thomas E. Bell makes a return to handle the hook, crooning to God to rain His blessings down. This song is complete with snaps, water drops and vibes. Calvin raps in his normal voice but you can definitely feel his pain and his heart as he cries out to God. This is a very well executed song, one of the best of the project. Hill hits us with “Gotw”and the song stands for “Get out the way.” Hill tells his haters and doubters to get out of his way and he dibs into his arsenal with a little double time rap for a few bars and has some nice momentum on this song. The final song on the 14 track project is “Fallin’ Fo You” featuring jayeMilenium and Emaejai. This song has the live audience track to sound as if Cal is performing this praise and worship song in front of a crowd or church. Calvin talks about how he is falling in love with the Lord. This is a good song and will sound good at a church or youth event. A decent if cliche way to end the album.
All in all, this album is a pretty solid debut album. One of my biggest complaints is that he sounds too much like Kendrick Lamar sometimes. From the aye yah yah adlibs on the first verse of “Still” to the entire “No Feelins” song (random yeah yeah yeahs).He mentioned looking to his rap heroes instead of Jesus on “Across The World” and listed K Dot, Kendrick Lamar, as one of them. He didn’t have to tell me that on the third song as it was evident on the track that preceded it and is sprinkled throughout the rest of the project. I understand that on an artist’s first album they are finding their voice and what works and doesn’t work. The Kdot imitation doesn’t work, and if this was the early 2000s, Calvin’s name would be under the column of “If you love Kendrick Lamar, then you’ll love this artist.” This project at it’s worst hails back to the mainstream comparisons that CHH has been fighting to be free from, but at it’s best, it’s a project full of good beats and solid rapping. Calvin seems to be aware that he shouldn’t try to sing every hook so he recruited quite a few of his friends to do the heavy lifting on the hooks. I really appreciate the fact that Calvin’s songs aren’t stagnant at all, he has plenty of switch ups in his beats and his raps to keep the listener interested. 14 songs may seem a bit much to someone new to Calvin Hill but they are all worth a listen as Calvin Hill has a message that’s worth hearing and spreading. Do yourself a favor and check out Calvin’s project for yourself and see if he’s ‘Misguided’ or not.1