San Francisco, California is home to one of the most prolific artists in the rap game in recent years, Larry June. June has been dropping albums back-to-back for over 5 years, and you can see the improvement within the timeframe. It seems that June has been carving his own path in hip-hop and building an empire from the ground up. June has trained his business mindset and incorporated it into his art. The production has only gotten warmer and fuller while the cadence of his flow has become more grandiose in nature.
The Great Escape is June’s eighth collaborative album released on March 31, 2023.
The Collaboration is between June and the producer/rapper, The Alchemist. The Alchemist is known for lo-fi samples as well as soulful continuity within his production. The styles blend perfectly as if they were two peas in a pod. Encapsulating the idea of a pod, they decided to curate this unique sound while using their surroundings as a muse. In the hills of Malibu, California, The Great Escape was made giving us 15 tracks.
Introduction track “Turkish Cotton” is a slow-paced warm-up to the rest of the album. Rain begins to fall onto your ears, setting the mood and adding a nice texture, then smoothly transitions into a microwaved brass sample with trumpets accelerating the sonics into a musical direction. A smooth bass groove comes in around the same time. Hi-hats start to set the rhythm in place. June introduces his staple braggadocios lyrics. “Man deviated leather in this 911” that one line sets up the album for his constant bragging rights. A 911 is a model of a Porsche but it can be interpreted as a cop car as well. The line really defines the rich lifestyle that June lives. The track is continuous in tone along with June’s kind of lazy word delivery.
My personal favorite track is “Palisades, CA” The track makes me feel like I’m driving out in California in a droptop. The beat is crafted by the alchemist once again and it leaves space for many words to be said. June doesn’t take the opportunity to absolutely rip the beat apart with words but continues the flow that never gets old. Big Sean then delivers the probably one of the best verses of the year during his guest appearance. Big Sean starts with a slow cadence and speaks about how he is bettering himself. Sean mentions fish oil, chlorophyll, multivitamins, and his hair growing out. All great signs of a healthy and wealthy lifestyle. The ending of the verse is the reason I hold it to a high regard. Sean speeds up the cadence and fits a ridiculous number of words into a few bars. All while having an inspiring tone.
In the track “60 days” Larry June promotes a healthy lifestyle and furthers his braggadocios lyricism over what sounds like the theme music that is used for an ascension into the pearly gates. He talks about driving his ever-expanding collection of classic cars to another job opportunity and makes a point to keep his nose down while working on his next move, whether that be music or business wise. He brings The Alchemist out from behind the sound board and places him in the booth, The Alchemist proceeds to add a boastful verse with a layer of irony and wit. The two brings the song a visual aid by shooting a video in the desert in isolation and seclusion from the rest of the city.
Most tracks continue the unbreakable formula that June and The Alchemist have created. Classy and professional lifestyles along with lines that inspire the person who wants to acquire such things. There are notable features from around the U.S that make an appearance but as mentioned everything was done in Malibu, California, so all the artists had to show up at the mansion and record their verses/hooks. This can be seen on the album documentary of The Great Escape posted on YouTube. The video gives a bigger look into the process of the album and makes the project much more unique. Before you listen make sure to sit down, grab some orange juice and enjoy the album.
Written by: kadencemakenna