The New 1017 / Atlantic · February 5, 2021
This buzz and controversy, combined with Shiesty’s signing to Gucci Mane’s 1017 label, set high expectations for Shiesty Season, which Shiesty seems to have mostly met. With three singles on the project, the album delivers a total of 14 new songs, most of which are very fun, quotable tunes. One initial downfall, however, comes from the fact that “Shiesty Season Intro” is packed with the same creativity and passion as was employed in the track’s naming process, which is to say none. Despite its status as a lifeless opener, it still manages to transition well into “Back in Blood,” and so serves its purpose. The next track, “Ugly (feat. Gucci Mane),” continues to pick up the slack, and delivers a very catchy hook and stellar verses from both Shiesty and Gucci. The latter opens with the memorable line “I just Louisville slugged that lil boy like I’m from Kentucky (Baow),” which is enjoyable.
The next song is already being touted as the album’s big hit, and for good reason. “Neighbors (feat. BIG30)” starts off with a nasty set of hi-hats and distorted vocals which transition into another excellent pair of verses. As with all their previous collaborations, Shiesty and BIG30 have amazing chemistry here and deliver many quotable bars. Among these is BIG30 claiming to have “had a Glock before I lost my virginity,” which, although it probably doesn’t come off as impressively as he thinks it does, remains pretty fire. At the time of writing this review, there is only one comment on the song’s Genius lyrics page, but that user conveyed the essence of the track beautifully, saying “Please put this in Fortnite.”
“50 Shots” and “No Chorus” are solid tracks as well, but suffer from the same repetitive flow and lack of standout moments as some prior tracks. They’re not bad, just a little boring. “Box of Churches (feat. 21 Savage)” is a noted improvement on the previous two tracks, and like “Big 13 Gang (feat. Lil Hank & Choppa Wop),” demonstrates that Shiesty works best when he has other rappers to bounce off of. That being said, “Choppa Way” and “Gone MIA” are two solo tracks that prove Shiesty can hold it down on his own if need be.
“Master P (feat. Tay Keith)” is the second to last track and is, unsurprisingly, by far the most rich track on the album production-wise. Shiesty’s ad-libs float over the beat, and he drops some relatable bars like “I just woke up out my dream ’cause I ain’t feel my drink with me (Where the fuck my drink at?),” which I’m assuming refers to his experience of waking up at night with a dry mouth and not being able to find the glass of water he left on the nightstand. This is a definite standout and helps to revive the last quarter of the album.
The most unique-sounding song is easily “See Red,” which opens with a scratchy vinyl soul sample that floats into ethereal production. The string riff that plays alongside the hi-hats is enchanting, and after 14 tracks in the same style, it’s a breath of fresh air. The biggest problem with the album is the very noticeable lack of variety. Not every song sounds the same, but they all sound similar, and “See Red” is a glimpse of what Shiesty is capable of outside that realm. It demonstrates his versatility and a couple more weird or different cuts like this would’ve helped the project feel a lot more breathable.
Shiesty Season is an incredibly consistent body of work, and although it packs few surprises, it’s evident that Pooh Shiesty knows his niche and plays it well. There are a few duds here and there, but for the most part every song is at least good with some great ones shining through. It’s hard to knock the album for a lack of musical diversity, as that was never Shiesty’s mission. What he does deliver is some really enjoyable, aux-safe, good music. It’s not overly ambitious because it doesn’t need to be. Overall, Shiesty Season is a solid debut project from an exciting rapper, and showcases Shiesty’s great potential.
Listen to Shiesty Season: