The year 2018 was when the world was truly first introduced to the artist known as Don Tolliver after being featured on Travis Scott’s hit album “Astroworld.” Since Astroworld, he hasn’t lost his steam, releasing hit singles like “No Idea,” or being featured along well known artists like Kanye West or Justin Bieber. Now the Houston, Texas native is back with his second full length studio album “Life of a DON.”
The first track to start us off was “xscape,” which introduced us to the album with a very soft and gradual tone. Paired with a soothing clap and a saxophone in the background, Don comes out with some smooth vocals. This was a decent song; however, when compared to the rest of the album, this was one of the weaker tracks. The lyrics were not too captivating, but since it was used as more of a launch point for the album, it's an all right opener.
After the first track, Don gets the ball rolling. The song on this album that really hooked me was “What you Need.” The intro was great and had a gradual buildup, which led to a captivating hook. According to an interview with Hot 106 radio, Don noted this single as his “favorite song,” which makes perfect sense. This is probably one of the most enjoyable songs on the album, and if you weren’t a fan of “Life of a DON'' after the first couple tracks, after hearing this you'll probably change your mind.
Including “What you Need,” the upcoming track run for this album is one of the best of 2021 because next is “Double Standards.” Like many other artists, Don in this track was influenced by the historic Memphis rap sound. In this track specifically, he sampled Lil Jack’s song “groupie b*tch.” In this track, Tolliver speaks about the difficulty dealing with human vices, and his lyrical and melodic ability was truly on display. Following this is “Swangin’ on Westheimer” and “Drugs N Hella Melodies” featuring Kali Uchis. Both songs are relaxing yet exciting, which will keep the listener entertained from start to finish
Of course, those weren’t the only standout songs on “Life of a DON.” For example, “2am” and “Crossfaded” were great listens. The album had plenty of great features including Travis Scott, HVN, Sofaygo, and Baby Keem (who is coming off his hit album “Melodic Blues”). There were many standout songs that felt like Don’s voice and the beat were one, not separate. The difficulty with this album is that a few tracks start to mesh together. You can be listening to one song and not even realize a couple minutes later that you're already on the next song. The album was still filled with some fun tracks and songs that are great for relaxing.
This album was not groundbreaking but not disappointing either. I give it a 7/10.