Review: ItsYaBoiH2, Pair-a-lesions
“Preachin’” is the opener for Pair-a-lesions and a great choice for it. The song is deep, surprisingly so for the first cut, and fulfilling as well because it showcases not only that H2 has bars, but also that he can conceptualize a thought-provoking song heavy on both meaning and thump. The song’s optimistic and I felt as though it was more a conversation with an old friend more than anything. The strings combine well with the core elements of the song and provide a subtle nuance that makes a huge difference.
“My Basement” is the antithesis of “Preachin’” as he talks about the issues that have befallen him. What gets me about the track is how adept he is at being situational; so many other rappers tend to mix braggadocios lines in with their supposed woes in ways that ultimately just feel unbelievable. H2 has a way of articulating his rhymes in a real, honest manner, and “My Basement” is a perfect example of this. The melody is one that creeps into your soul after a listen or two and it will definitely be one that I remember for quite a while.
“New in Town” gets props for being ambitious and stepping outside the tired box of representing whatever city you were born in as he talks about moving around, and, if you’ve ever done it before, you can definitely feel what he’s saying here. I absolutely dug the muddy bass and succinct wordplay; YaBoi is on it lyrically, and as I’ve progressed through the album the picture of the kind of MC he is has begun to surface.
In large part the production of Pair-a-lesions is full of samples. From Nina Simone to Led Zepplin, there are dynamic odes to the classics through this medium and YaBoi knows exactly who he is on each song. Amazing, really, is that even though the instrumentals at time are huge, H2 never gets lost on them and his command of his flow is something definitely to behold. “Lay It on the Line” is the finale here, and a fitting one at that; you can almost feel the way he feels, a sense of completeness and victory pours through the speakers and this is probably my most favorite track on the album because of it.
Overall, Pair-a-lesions is a solid, full and worthy body of work that showcases the southern MC in a light that may not be fully appreciated right now but in time will definitely be called seminal to his growth as an artist. I look forward to more from ItsYaBoiH2 because I know that this is merely the beginning of a long and fruitful career.
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Written by: Charles Sweet