The year 2018 has gotten off to a great start musically, as a few artists have released music or have at least hinted that they may have something in the works in the upcoming months. With music more accessible than ever it’s hard for some of the newer artists to get some shine, but every now and then something new and fresh comes out that makes you sit up straight and pay attention. Such was the case with Minnesota-based group The Forks and their debut EP titled ‘Shoot for Teams.’
First up on the album is “In The Presence” which has some major bass. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting the project off with a banger. This is a dope song about getting into God’s presence featuring The Forks members Mybeatz and C-los. The phrase “Coram Deo” is chanted many times and it has a meaning. It’s Latin for “in the presence of God” and fits well with the theme of the song. Most hip hop songs about God’s presence are slow and ballad like, but The Forks went in a whole different direction. This is a great way to start off the album. The second song is “The G.O.A.T” which has SW and 2K on it has an epic sound to it and this beat automatically gets your head to bopping, like you have no choice. SW delivers a great first verse and skates all over this beat. 2K delivers a good verse as well, “I’m Irish so I got the charm” was a clever line. I love the back and forth energy of the two artists on this song. This song is a banger and definitely made sense to be the major single.
Next up on the project is “Let Me Go” and The Forks slow it down for this song. The Forks member C-Los starts off with a heartfelt verse and the production is really nice on this song, as The Forks exclaim that they know God will never let them go. I love how the beat ramps up on the hook portion of the song, it’s very refreshing and is probably one of my favorite beats on the project. Moving right along we land on “Nomads” where SW starts off the verse encouraging the listener and speaking on how being a nomad in this foreign land is part of God’s plan. The Forks member 2K encourages those who feel low to call on God’s name. Myzbeatz is on the hook crooning and the solemn yet steady tempo of the beat really fits with the subject matter. This is a really well put together song. While many try to make it seem like Christians can fit in, The Forks are very clear that isn’t the case and this song helps to remind and encourage Believers that we are really just passing through.
As we head into the final songs on the project we have “Stuck In A Trap” featuring SW and C-Los. Forks member SW promises that God can bring the listener back from whatever sin they are in. The phrase “His grace is sufficient” is the refrain throughout the hook as if to really drive the point home. Then C-Los delivers a good verse as well making it yet another solid song from the group. The second to last song is “Step Yo Game Up”with SW and 2K. The song starts off as SW brags on God while pointing out the ills of the world, whereas 2K delivers a good verse about those chasing him but they can’t catch him because God is His source. This is a nice record. Finally we have “Tuesday” and what’s notable about this song is that this is the only song with all four members of The Forks on it and they close the album out with a dope cypher. The beat is a nice steady instrumental perfect for each member of the group to spit their bars and pass it off to the next member of the crew. The name of the song seems to allude to the fact that The Forks make their records on Tuesdays. Maybe that’s the only time all four could make it to the studio, but either way it’s a dope concept and made for an interesting song title.
As a fan of music, one of the biggest fears used to be wasting your money on a project that turned out to be no good. With the advent of the age of streaming, now the consumer’s biggest concern is wasting their time listening to new music on the off chance that it may be worthwhile. In the case of The Forks’ ‘Shoot For Teams’ project, this is some new exciting music that you definitely need to check out. One of my biggest concerns when listening to artists’ debut projects is the missteps such as bad production, or terrible writing. However on this project none of those was an issue, the only problem I really had was the project wasn’t long enough for me. I genuinely wanted to hear more music, and that doesn’t happen very often in terms of new music. Don’t get it twisted, while The Forks may be a new entity, most of if not all of the group has made solo projects and that kind of shone through on this project. Typically the production is kind of bad on debut projects from independent artists because they really can’t afford the higher quality instrumentals. That was not the case, as most of if not all, of the beats had my head nodding and sounded really crisp and clean. The Forks have offered a fine first body of work and are definitely on the rise. You need to go ahead and listen to ‘Shoot For Teams’ because The Forks have demonstrated on this project that they are not afraid to shoot their shots.