H.A.D. is a hip-hop artist from Baton Rouge who now resides in Chicago. He recently released a full-length mixtape entitled Mr. Almost. In his own words “It's about this idea of a guy whose almost there most of the time. He almost gets the girl, he almost does the right thing, he almost makes it but something always gets in the way. The album deals a lot with those inner battles I had after I had relationships fail, both short and long term.”
One thing I noticed right away was the exceptional production. It’s not only really well mixed but the beats are inventive and sound distinct on each song. You could hear the lyrics clearly and there was a lot of stereo width within the songs.
The album opens with a short Intro of phone calls all behind a beat. There are actually some funny moments in there. H.A.D starts displaying some of his skills on “Mr. Almost (Part I).” The verse is atmospheric with piano but what I really enjoyed was the hook. It’s catchy, smooth and well delivered.
“I Made It feat Diezel” displays a different side of H.A.D. I sensed a little bit of Eminem on this song. There are a lot of pads in the song along with a hard-hitting bass drum and distinct hi-hats. “That’s How I Go feat Everyone” has a feel all its own and could barely be considered a rap song. That being said it works. I thoroughly enjoyed the horns and harmonica breakdown section with the crowd cheering. The song is downright celebratory.
One of the highlights is Crashing feat Lauren Teeter. The female vocals sound great and add a lot to the song. Definitely a collaboration I want to hear more of in the future.
At thirteen tracks this is a hefty album but luckily there is enough diversity from the dark and hard hitting “Kylo” to one of the more unusual tracks entitled “Alice In Wonderland.” Lyrically, H.A.D doesn't rely on cliches and ties in the themes about relationships into most of the songs.
Mr. Almost is an album with a lot of focus and detail. That combined with the raw skills of H.A.D and you have a winning combo.
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