Album review: $NOT’s “Beautiful Havoc”

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Red and Black shapes for the cover of the new $NOT album,
$NOT’s new album, “Beautiful Havoc,” released on Oct. 30, 2020. (Genius)

“Beautiful Havoc” can be summed up in four simple words: album of the year. Florida-based rapper $NOT (real name Edy Edouard) did not have a single miss on this album. 

$NOT put himself on the map when he released the single “GOSHA” on YouTube in 2018. The song brought in over a million views within the first month of its release. While “GOSHA” itself is an amazing song, he outdid himself on his latest album.

The album consists of 12 songs, totaling just over 28 minutes. Two of its tracks, “Sangria” and “Mean,” were released as singles before the album dropped on Oct. 30.

I stumbled upon “Sangria” on its release day after I saw that established rapper Denzel Curry featured on the song. I’m a huge Curry fan myself, but I have to say, $NOT outperformed him. The song’s sound is bouncy and upbeat. $NOT’s impeccable flow and excellent delivery couldn’t be any better. He raps like he’s sitting in the back of a school bus and has nothing to lose. 

A nothing-to-lose mentality shines brightly throughout the album. Each song $NOT puts out is unique, and there isn’t a bad song on the whole album. Album opener “Watch Out (Intro)” hits so hard that it gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. The heavy bass bumps hard while a loop of hi-hats and cymbals repeats over the whole song. The track works perfectly as an intro to the album. 

The next song, “Revenge,” is a polar opposite of the intro. The main components of the song are a guitar and some hand claps. His raps here are more melodic than his traditional style. It sounds quite good overall. 

My favorite song on the album has to be “Like Me,” which features rapper iann dior (real name Michael Ian Olmo), who I’ve never seriously listened to before. In short, the song is insane. There are only a few songs I can think of that make me think the producers made the beat after the recorded vocals, and this is one of those songs. The beat goes hand-in-hand with the duo. The bass has a catchy bounce, and the melody is really soft. But the song also brings a lot of energy. $NOT’s calm and composed delivery fits really well, and iann dior’s melodic flow and autotuned voice compliment $NOT’s vocals and the beat in an amazing way.

Alongside “Like Me” and “Watch Out (Intro),” the other highlights for me on the album are “Toni Braxton,” “Who Do I Trust” and “4.” But honestly, there isn’t a single bad song. I really think this album might be what takes $NOT to the top. For me, the album is a 10 out of 10. Every single song brings a new element to the album, and nothing sounds the same. The features, beats and overall sound are all amazing. There is not a single thing I would change.

kwa7xq@mail.umkc.edu

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