The second quarter of the year is officially underway and lots of music has been released or is starting to get released. One such project that is set to release is Young Parker’s ‘Lost & Found’ set to release on April 24, 2021. Trackstarz got the exclusive and listened to the album and this review will be posted a few days before the album releases. This project was written to appeal to the lost and the found and was meant to showcase different perspectives, let’s dive into Young Parker’s ‘Lost & Found.’
The first song on the album is “Bungee Gum,” which starts off with someone trying to hustle people on the street and tell them “Sticky” has everything they need and will get them right. Who or what Sticky is is not known, but it seems like Sticky can make everyone’s dreams come true. The beat has a nice funky and groovy sound to it. It sounds like a jazz beat and the chorus sounds like a bunch of people singing about satisfaction. The second verse is almost an about face from the first one. Sticky is still around but now it seems like your life is worse off because of Sticky. It can all be summed by the line, “Sticky get you stuck.” Sticky could be another name for Satan or sin, much in the vein of Kendrick Lamar’s nickname “Lucy.” This was short for Lucifer or Satan, commonly known as the Devil. The song doesn’t reveal Sticky’s identity, only that it’s bad for you. This was an interesting and mysterious way to start off the project.
The second song was “Myrtle Beach” and Parker started off singing and then got into his verse. Parker speaks about feeling safe within the four walls of his room and music is where he feels like he can truly be himself. The chorus says Young Parker wishes he could go back to Myrtle Beach, a popular vacation spot in Florida, and just relax, but his demons are haunting him, making him not want to go outside. The song is a paradox because Parker feels safe in his room and while he is making music, but he desperately wants to get away at the same time. The laid back feel of this beat makes this a song that’s easy to throw on repeat and ride around thinking about life.
On song number three, “Get Ahead,” Young Parker starts off by saying “Chicken dinner what I want, they ain’t never gave me none/ so I took it from their homes.” Parker sung these opening lines offkey but it felt like he did it on purpose. He chronicled his old life back when he was hanging around with his friends up to no good. He is pursuing things all in the name of trying to “Get Ahead.” Parker wants money but, ” I spend it fast, it don’t ever last, it’s a flash sale huh?” Sticky is mentioned again but this time it’s referred to as messing with the listener’s conscious. Parker wants to get ahead while still holding on to his soul but it feels impossible. Young Parker used his voice in interesting ways on the song, using different tones and making his voice perform like an instrument. I liked his adlib “huh” on the track, it could be a catchy adlib that the fans will latch onto and recite at his live shows.
My favorite song on the project thus far is the the “Writer’s Block Interlude.” Young Parker wastes no time and gets straight to the point with lines like, “What’s your writer’s block, is it because you write a lot/ Imagination out of juice, or do you doubt what you got?” As a writer, these first two bars smacked me in the face and made me sit up and dial in to what Parker was saying. He talks about his own battles with writer’s block but he walks the listener through how he gets over it. He remembers that the love he has for music, not the attention or fame he hopes to garner, that keeps him going. Young drops a lot of gems on this two and a half minute interlude and it’s definitely worth multiple listens.
Song number five is “If There Is A God” and Parker started this song by talking about the fact that just because we are on the this faith walk doesn’t mean that we won’t have question. Parker raps some common “why ” questions that folks often ask God on the first verse, but he takes a different approach on the second verse. Parker doesn’t attempt to answer the questions he’s just asked, but instead he offers some suggestions. The hardest lines on this verse are, “Why we blame God for how people walk? That’s like blaming the student for what the teacher taught!” Young goes on to tell people to stop holding God accountable for how people walk. Everyone was given the gift of free will, so their actions are on them not God. This was a very well crafted and executed song and I appreciate the message behind it.
Next is “You Matter,” and Parker merely seeks to encourage the listener that they matter. Young alludes to the fact that life in this world isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. But no matter how you feel, your life matters. Young had a line about working all year long just to receive a raise of two dimes, and that line is one of the most relatable bars on the entire project. Parker offers no easy answers on this song and only seeks to affirm that the listener’s life matters, whether police, society, or the listener themselves believes it or not. The seventh song on the project is titled “I Do.” Parker has been in his jazz hop bag on this project, but this song is really in that vein with the horns playing in the background. Young has been fighting for his faith and fighting to stay inside God’s grace. He spits a verse about giving his gift and life back to the Lord. After the hook we hear an elder woman give her definition of what it means to be lost and what it means to be found.
The second quarter of this project is rounded out with the song “Hammer and Nail.” This is one of the shortest songs on the album and has a lot of sing rapping going on, but that doesn’t take away from the song. I like this beat, the vibe, and the fact that Young Parker only gave us one verse on this song. Parker says he’s been knocking these pieces out like a hammer does to a nail. The hook is catchy and after you hear it the first time, you’ll probably be singing it when it comes back around. I enjoyed this song and thought it was a nice change of pace on the album. On “Trust,” Young Parker reaches back into his singing bag. Parker speaks about the need for someone’s trust and it could be from a romantic relationship or a family member. Whoever it is, Parker makes it clear he needs them to trust him. This isn’t my favorite record but I’m not mad at it either.
The tenth song is called “I Love Y’all,” and Young hits us with the hook immediately as he pays homage to his family. This two verse bop of a song, Parker walks us through some of the members of his family and why he honors them. Young had some witty lines that stood out to me. On the first verse he said, “That’s why I honor them/Same name different beings like a homonym.” I also appreciated, “Hard pill that I’m swallowing/ Nothing’s really mine, this body I’m borrowing.” On the second verse Parker opens up and says what he’s learned from each member of his family. This sounds like a song that should be at the end of an album, but I’m not mad at it’s placement. this song signals that the album is beginning to wind down. On “Video Game Break Interlude,” we get a break from the jazz and switch to some synth wave sounds, a throwback to the 80s, the time when the video game market started to thrive. Honestly, this track confuses me. We are near the end of the album, there is no need for another interlude. I kind of like the song but I don’t think it fits on this particular album.
The next to last song, “Take Off,” finds Young Parker taking an abrupt left from jazz to a straight up trap beat. It’s quite a jarring departure from the rest of the album but I like it. I’d like to hear Young Parker on more beats like this. Parker’s goal is to “Take Off” and go higher and farther than he’s ever gone. One of the goals that accompanies the take off is to create an album that speaks to the lost. Young is skating on these verses, but I really like his second verse as he addresses some things. “Really dog, it’s not hard to do trap/Jesus, Jesus this is easy to rap,” is Parker’s way of addressing how formulaic Christian Hip Hop can become. He also asks rappers why they don’t switch up their flows, really bring bars on their songs, and some other issues. He also addresses folks who used to make Christian rap or practice the lifestyle but they suddenly aren’t Believers anymore. I enjoyed this song, the only bad part of the song was the hook. I just wasn’t feeling it. The “whoa” portion sounded like he was doing more talking than singing. The verses were on point, I just needed something different on the hook or cut the hook out altogether.
The final song on the project is “Subliminal.” There are a lot of things that are subliminal. From the treatment of Blacks in America is some of the most disrespectful treatment, there is nothing subliminal about that. Parker talks about police stereotyping black men in nice cars and wanting to get an IT job so he can help his girlfriend achieve her dreams. His lines, “But I’m scared tho, I’m aware tho/People don’t support what they fear tho,” were some of the standout bars on this track. This was a nice and solemn way to finish this album.
Young Parker delivered an impressive album, but not without it’s missteps. Parker does a lot of unnecessary singing and strange noises before he starts the song like Chance the Rapper and it doesn’t work for me. A couple of the records could have been cut from the project, but overall this was an enjoyable listen. I loved Parker’s sound that he went with on this album, it was jazzy and had a live feel to it. I don’t know who his producers were, but Parker needs to stick with them. Sometimes a rapper’s beats are fire but the bars are lacking, but that wasn’t the case with Young Parker. I had quotable lines for almost every song and each one has replay value. This album was thirteen songs long and Parker didn’t have a single feature. Normally I would say an artist’s project could sound monotone without any other voices, but that’s not true for Parker. He uses so many different tones with his voice, and switched from rapping to singing and a mixture of both, he kept me engaged throughout the album. I was pleasantly surprised by this project and can’t wait to hear more music from Young Parker. If you want to hear great music with a message for the churched and unchurched, you should check out Young Parker’s ‘Lost & Found.’