thawilsonMAG issue102

Taye Zooited's "A Gangsta’s Way" (Album Review by Jhantu Randall)

Read More by Jhantu Randall

I’ve covered Zooited Gang in articles quite a bit throughout the previous year, whether directly or indirectly. From highlighting them as a group to describing that high energy vibe they bring to every performance while also trying to show who they were as individual artists by pushing attention towards their videos. As a group, Zooited Gang has recently put out their project “Welcome To The Zoo” and now, fresh off of that, Taye Zooited is releasing his solo project “A Gangsta’s Way.”

The sound of this project really sticks to the formula of what makes a quintessential West Coast album stand out. Including both heavy baselines and melodic hooks, each track creates an atmosphere which holds your attention as Taye and each one of his featured artists guide you through this sonic world. The opening track “I’mma Take It” sets up the vibe of whats to come as the title track, “Gangsta’s Way” is where I feel the true introduction stays. The next track, “On Me” which is one of the standouts in my opinion, Taye gives a glimpse into his thought process. With lines like, “I don’t trust these niggas/I don’t trust these bitch’s/You can’t trust nobody when you out here in these trenches,” it’s a concept that is almost universal within itself regardless of how many ways its been expressed throughout the years. “Packs For The Low” is one I kept going back to because beyond the song, I immediately find myself listening to the tracks that have names of other Zooited Gang members featured. I actually felt the same way with the tracks that featured artists ZooBaby and Highway Ace as well, but every feature added another layer to the labyrinth that was being woven throughout these tracks.

A gangsta’s way has 20 tracks which allows the project to be listened to as a whole without sounding too rushed or condensed. Instead, the length of it, which runs at just under an hour, gives each track the opportunity to play out and be taken in fully. Each holds its own identity but through Taye’s lyrics, he’s able to tie everything together through his verses and storytelling ability. There’s something to be said about someone who can put together a project that is both entertaining and sonically pleasing while sounding effortless at the same time. This album achieves that in much the same way as “Welcome To The Zoo” did, and thats the proof that each member of Zooited Gang possess something that can’t be taught…or even explained coherently. It’s that feeling that rests between the canyons of knowing you have it and trying to get it. “Stole From Me” crafts a warning that sticks with you where Taye basically tells those who wanna be bold that its best not to cross him. It’s the last song “They Don’t Love” which ends this project the right way, reiterating the concepts already addressed while showing a drive that has no signs of slowing down. “A Gangsta’s Way” keeps the bar elevated, built up from the consistent grind that Zooited Gang has always established, but after hearing this I’m left anticipating whats coming next. From other members solo albums to more group releases, what sets Zooited Gang apart is seeing how each individuals talent pushes the others to keep reaching for more without having to pay attention to all the other noise that other rappers tend to embrace. That alone gives another reason to sit back, roll up and give “A Gangsta’s Way” a solid listen.

   

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