By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
At a time when Future releases close to twenty projects within a year, including two studio albums, most advise up-and-coming rappers to flood the market. In the midst of this “surprise album era” and oversaturation, there is Trel Mack. His last project came in 2012.
Four years ago, Trel Mack released Inspired by Greatness, his first project in four years. Last time, it was well worth the wait and the same can be said for this time around, too. Quite a bit has changed in the game since Trel Mack last dropped.
Trel Mack is unlike many of the other rappers, both in the game and trying to get into the game. The difference between him and them was evident on Night Before The Dawn. Coming back for the first time in four years, Trel Mack had to come correct and also stay true to himself and the grind.
Obviously, Trel Mack staying true to himself and the grind means Q The Question cannot be far away. The intro for Night Before The Dawn, “The 4Ever Team,” showed just how different they are. Always delivering a positive and inspiring message, Q The Question laced the song with words of wisdom, reflective of their history, while Trel Mack flexed his lyrical prowess, showing every emcee how to open up a project.
A good intro means nothing without following through on the other tracks and Trel handled it as a Mack should, ripping it down with “Walking With God,” a track filled with thought-provoking lyrics. Where many would fall off, he increases the momentum with “Hot Pursuit” and “All I Need,” again Trel Mack proves that he is simply better than most people’s favorite rappers.
Every good story has a strong introduction that carries the audience to the climax and then there is the cool down for the ending. Trel Mack climaxed Night Before The Dawn with “I Hate These Rappers,” something only people in this industry understand. Breaking it all down, Trel Mack completely destroyed the culture of the new era he, too, is coming up in and if anyone is paying attention, they should take this as a sign to change.
On both “I Hate These Rappers” and “Aspirations,” Trel Mack gives some shine to his SKE label-mates, Shawn Archer and Petter Jones. Shawn Archer does a suitable job of relaying Trel’s message on the first mentioned track, meanwhile Petter Jones continues showing he is also a rising star, fitting on a song called “Aspirations.” If there was a weak song on the album, it would be “Deposits,” simply because of it being cliche, but Trel still flexed lyrics.
Most rappers would be lucky to have their best song on their project come close to “Deposits,” but in the case of what was put together by Trel Mack, this was the weak link. If anything, “Deposits” exposes just how good Night Before The Dawn is, before Trel Mack went back in with “Luv is Life,” a favorite from most fans off the EP. Things close out with “Caravan of Contrary,” which features Mel Alston, Jr. and Trel Mack once again shows up almost every other rapper, which was the goal, seeing how he hates these rappers (listen to the album to understand that joke).
Hip Hop Vibe’s Rating: 8/10
Purchase Night Before The Dawn by Trel Mack here.
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.