It’s been a long time coming and finally it is here. Trackstarz’ own Sean David Grant dropped his album ‘Wonder Years’ the biggest release from Trackstarz this year so far. Sean crafted this album to be patterned after the life of a Believer and the word “Wonder” he used in the title is very fitting. When you first get Saved you have a sense of “wonder” and awe about God and the new life that you have. However, when you walk in this life long enough and get tested, you tend to question and “wonder” if God is real and loves you at all. Sean’s album is a journey, but it actually resembles more of a roller coaster with the ups and downs this project takes us through. Buckle up and get ready for ‘Wonder Years.’
Sean kicks the album off with “How About Now” produced by PK One Day and what a way to start off this project! The beat sounds kind of ominous, like you don’t really know what to expect. Sean asks “how about now” speaking to naysayers who said they (could be Trackstarz or Believers) would fail and to pipe down. This could be to those who doubt believers and those who doubt Sean. “I’m acting, I’m just faking this accent. I’m just Idris Elba” is a dope bar. The song ends with a child exclaiming “I’m gonna be somebody.” Next up, is “They Know” featuring Mouthpi3ce. First of all, Trav.is. Music put his FOOT in this beat! This song is like an anthem for the Believer. People can play dumb, but they know who Sean and the Body represent when they step out. Mouthpi3ce delivered an amazing guest verse and he and Sean skated all over this instrumental. Track number three, “Temper Temper,” which has an upbeat instrumental finds Sean almost taunting those who are hating on him. Everyone has an opinion and Sean in the hook says, “Temper Temper” low-key mocking those who may have rage against him. He says he’s forgiven them and is amazed at the anger that people have pent up. The hate is real, but Sean is above all that. Next we have “R-rated Nights” produced By C-Beats. The first thing we hear is a monologue about let’s get this money and there’s nothing but space and opportunity. “They do it for the likes… R-rated nights” “ain’t this what Papa said/ it was prophe -said/ I would hear what mama said and do opposite.” Those bars capture the heart of this song. Being a young Believer doesn’t mean you’ll make the best choices off the bat, you may still rebel. Sean really captured the angst of being young and striving to be on fire for God on this song.
As we turn a corner on the project and land on song five, “Addicted,” featuring FMG. This is yet another banger by C-Beats and Sean enlists the help of his FMG brethren to speak on addictions. Jeremaya kicked off the first verse. Sean channels a little Tupac when he goes into his “enemy” rhyme scheme. “The one that took my credit and gave me debit is so debonair” was a hard line. This next song is probably one of my favorites on the project and it is titled “We Rise” featuring Jasmine Le’Shea. Solemn keys, soft strings and Sean admitting that he’s not as saved as you might think; is how the listeners are greeted on this song. Jasmine on this hook gives the song a real triumphant vibe. She’s perfect for the song, as she’s had to overcome crazy obstacles and you can feel that hearing her put some of it into the song. As we look to the sky, we know that one day we will rise. This is a song for those who need hope. Halfway through the project is a song that has a lot of value for Sean. Here is “Alfie” produced by Jay Cardec and it gets real ballad like with the keys on this beat. Sean pours out his love for his wife and sings her praises. It’s great to hear a man talk about how much he treasures the love of his life.
Track eight was one of those valleys mentioned earlier. The song is called “Suffocating” and it features Camille Priscilla. This song is truly a family affair as we hear Sean’s mom leaving him a voicemail of encouragement and blessing. Sean rips this first verse speaking about drowning in depression and going through hard times. On the hook we have Sean’s sister, Camille, delivering a soulful hook. This next verse we find Sean the artist suffocating in thoughts of why do people want to listen to him, and he begins to doubt himself once more. Suffocating in doubt is a part of the life of a Believer than one would like to admit and Sean sheds much needed light on this. The track “Paper Weapons” with Ric Sincere is one of the singles for the album. Sean gives the listener a glimpse of his younger days when he was banging CHH, but was ashamed to talk about the music he loved and his faith, until after graduation. He was given a vision to help renovate the music industry. Trav.is. Music once again gets the credit for crafting an amazing track for Sean and Ric to spit on. This is an encouragement to the Christian Hip Hop artist using their paper weapons for God’s glory. Another great song is “Glorious.” Mr. Grant enlists the help of Danny Script, as they both speak about how glorious God and His Presence are. How He is taking them so high they lose their breath, so much so Sean said he needed to lie down. Danny Script is pulling double duty producing and dropping a guest verse. Love the back and forth between Sean and Danny on the hook.
We head into the final few songs on the record and the Trackstarz CEO is holding no punches. Track eleven “Good Enough” speaks about feeling good enough, dealing with insecurities but also realizing that most of them are in one’s mind. Using words like “self inflicted” helps bring this to the forefront. The hook speaks to is it even worth a try. Eshon drops a dope guest verse on here as well. “Ain’t nobody who was ever chosen deserve it” is a dope bar from Eshon and this beat from Wontel is one of my favorites on the album. The next song “Worry” featuring Jaystrong has Jruckers as the maestro for this instrumental. Another song where Sean speaks about worrying whether he is good enough to follow through on his vision because of his own weaknesses. As a Christian, one worries even though it is sinful. The next to last song “Abandon” finds Sean asking The Lord not to abandon him sounds as if he is rapping while borderline crying, which is a very real feeling. The somber instrumental coupled with Sean and the Spoken Word of Celita really bring this song to life. Sean brings the album home with “Honest with Me.” Sean is screaming for honesty on this track and The EDM elements are a nice touch on this song. As you may have noticed, Sean asked a lot of questions on this song and it seems as if he is asking God, the listener, and himself to be honest with him as he strives to please God and execute his dreams and visions for the glory of his Savior.
In conclusion, this album ‘Wonder Years’ is chock full of excellence. Sean can really rap, and in my opinion, he raps like someone with an engineering degree. Every word has its place, and Sean uses a lot of internal rhymes, which makes the bars sound even more impressive. Mr. Grant is a lyricist and the fact that he had features from Mouthpi3ce and Eshon Burgundy and didn’t get washed is a testament to Sean’s skill with the pen and pad. The Trackstarz front man has an ebb and flow to his flow patterns, making sure to always change it up and never be monolithic in his delivery, but it’s never too much to where you feel like you’re getting lost in his flow. The sequencing on this project plays a major part in the progression of the story Sean weaves. The first three songs are very high tempo and resemble the very early days of the life of a Believer, but “R-Rated Nights” and “Addicted” take us to the low part of our lives. When sin and temptation knock us down that just sets us up for “We Rise” and “Alfie.” Shortly after the rise and finding love, one tends to be “Suffocating” with thoughts and hurts. Then songs nine through eleven take us back up on our journey. Then “Worry” and “Abandon” take us a little low as life often does on our attempts to climb out of a hole. Then we end this particular chapter of life called ‘Wonder Years’ we ask God, others, and ourselves to be “Honest With Me” to see if we are really making progress. This album will leave you in wonder so do yourselves a favor and check out ‘Wonder Years.’4