February was a busy month for hip-hop. On Feb. 14, rapper G Herbo, often referred to as Herb, announced that he would be releasing his upcoming album “PTSD” on Feb. 28. While the Chicago native is subject to hefty criticism on social media due to “rapping off beat,” he ignored it all and channeled his focus into creating an incredible body of work.
Starting with the album cover, it is evident that Herb invested a lot of emotion into the album. The cover features him holding an American flag with bullet holes and blood, which explains the violence plagued environment he grew up in. Instead of posting the flag’s 50 stars, there are faces of 50 people that he has lost in his short 25 years of life. He claims that he became numb to the losses and quietly developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to the album title.
From the first track of the album titled “Intro,” Herb set the tone with intense lyricism, delivery, and emotion. Using the sample from Jay-Z’s classic song “Dynasty Intro,” Herb had no choice but to deliver top-notch lyrics, and he did exactly that. Some of the stand-out songs are “Party in Heaven,” featuring fellow Chicago native Lil Durk; “By Any Means,” featuring 21 Savage and “Shooter,” featuring Jacquees.
Another interesting track from the album is “PTSD.” The self-titled single features verses from Chance the Rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, and a posthumous hook from the late Juice WRLD. Each verse on the song describes traumatic experiences that each artist has experienced. Juice’s hooks and bridges in the song creates a mood that expresses symptoms of PTSD. The song is an emotional track that ties Herb’s vision together. Herb was adamant about having Juice on the album because they were close friends prior to his death, as he is one of the many faces on the album cover.
The album only had 14 songs, which makes it easier for the listener to invest themselves into the body of work. The songs are perfectly balanced on the tracklist and complement each other as the album progresses. Given the clever track placement and the ideal number of songs, “PTSD” is a project that wastes zero songs and takes the listener for an enjoyable ride. Herb isn’t stopping here. He launched the “PTSD Tour,” which is a nationwide tour to promote and celebrate the album release. Most of the shows have been sold out because of the strength the album holds. After listening to the album, Herb has earned all of the success he is receiving. If you enjoy top-notch hip-hop music from all aspects, then “PTSD” is the album for you.
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