PARTYNEXTDOOR • PARTYNEXTDOOR • OVO Sound • Release Date: July 2, 2013
“Girl I’m out here / getting to the money / blowin’ these hundreds / blowin’ these hundreds…” Yeah, yeah, yeah… How many times have we heard these same lyrics or a similar sentiment? A new youthful male R&B and/or hip-hop star gets the ‘come-up’ of a lifetime and brags about all the money, the newfound fame, and girls that want to do him (if they haven’t already). Basically, that is a common theme of Drake signee PARTYNEXTDOOR’s debut, self-titled mixtape. This youthful sentiment is by no means a deal-breaker, but in itself, it is a topic that seems to be retread by every new star. Regardless, PARTYNEXTDOOR ends up being a worthwhile mixtape. The production is notable throughout, BUT the perceptive listener instantly picks up on the clear similarities to Drake or The Weeknd. In the long run, who wants to be little brother? No one.
“Welcome To The Party” serves as an intro, establishing the alt-/modern R&B vibe that has come to characterize PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Canadian colleagues. The vocal processing is heavy, but itcontributes to the rapper/singer’s overall style, so it’s not a detraction.
If “Welcome to the Party” initiated the party, “Wild B*tches” fully embraces it. Obviously, PARTYNEXTDOOR’s taste in women is… something (who am I to judge?). “Shawty a kill, come straight from Atlanta / shawty a dealer, he momma’s a dancer / Poppa a pimp, cousin’s a killer…” Yeah, that’s some kind of picture painted… But when a track is as explicitly titled as this particular cut is, what do you expect? It’s raunchy mind you, but it does highlight the artist’s musical style. Basically, a little risqué, ‘loose’ fun never hurt anybody, right? Well now…
The party don’t stop after “Wild B*tches”. No brah! “Relax With Me” continues, objectifying women in the process. “Hear the clapping, that’s the instrumental / girl yo a$$, it’s so instrumental / if you gas, let me push the pedal…,” PARTYNEXTDOOR sings rather un-gentlemanlike. That’s not even the wildest the 19-year old horn-dog gets: “Lay that … out, … me on the sport car…” (I’m trying to clean it up here!). A freak he is indeed, perhaps it’s his irresponsibility that is most troubling: “I ain’t afraid to cross the line with you / I ain’t afraid to do a line with you…” Drugs, sex, and rock and roll, huh? It is successful enough, but a bit shameful and self-indulgent in the process.
“Right Now” doesn’t let up from a ‘stripper’ fixation, with PARTYNEXTDOOR bragging “I pay you in cash baby, he just pay you mind…” He also claims his superiority to those ‘lames’ (“…quit f**kin with them lames right now / I could put you on some game right now) while hungry for the do (“Just let your p***y talk, don’t let this feeling fade / girl cut them b*tches off, they ain’t got sh*t to say”). Again, this is quite similar to the salaciousness of The-Dream or The Weekend. If you can get past the oversexed nature, it’s an enjoyable cut.
“Make A Mil” isn’t that much different conceptually, with more ‘cheap’ stripper lines including “My b*tch educated, had her clients pay the payment…” My advice to PARTYNEXTDOOR would be to go ‘bigger’ than strip clubs. If gentlemen’s clubs are seen as ‘temporary’ excitement, why shouldn’t songs about them get the same temporary enjoyment before falling flat?
PARTYNEXTDOOR doesn’t quite leave the strip club (“Tight jeans on so she feels my…”), but he goes a bit deeper on “Break From Toronto”. “Still f***** with the same a$$ n***as / I know you want a break / I know you want a break from Toronto,” he proclaims at the close of the cut. Essentially, he’s suggesting that the girl of which he sings about has already slept with the same type of guys in her hometown of Toronto Canada. He wants her to ‘broaden her horizons’ you might say and check him out in Mississauga, Canada, often referred to as ‘Sauga’ throughout the effort. Sure, it’s far from ‘world peace’, but it’s not as shameful as “Relax With Me”.
“TBH” has the most substance of any of the cuts… and that’s truly profound based on the material showcased as of yet. “Girl it’s all over your face, there’s someone taking my place / Guess that’s something that I”m dealing with now…” Basically, his girl has found someone else that tickles her fancy and he’s the victim. This is ‘tried and true’, though it’s always captivating to hear it from the perspective of a male. More pleasant is the fact that the sex-obsessed side of PARTYNEXTDOOR dies, if only temporary, and allows from genuine, relatable emotions to come into his music. “TBH” gives the singer/MC a ‘moment’.
“Wus Good / Curious” continues an upswing, but the bridge is among the horniest of the effort: “Good lovin’ feel so numb / ride me till I’m ‘bout to *** / I see you are ‘bout to… so, oh girl, don’t be shy…” PARTYNEXTDOOR’s biggest weakness may be his brutal honesty, but this double-cut is enjoyable beyond the singer’s rather immature, youthful yearning for pleasure.
“Over Here” gives PARTYNEXTDOOR a superstar collaboration, but that’s pretty easy when it’s with your boss (Drake). It’s back to ‘blowing money fast’ for the most part, but Drake has his moments on the second verse, whether it’s “…But I was there Nas don sh*t, a couple things sit on my conscience…” or “They gave the task to a purposeful child / verse’s starts to get a little more personal now…” It’s assembled like a hit, but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece per se. Good, but still room for growth.
Closer “Ballin’” doesn’t leave much room for the listener to formulate his/her own picture; he basically illustrates for you. He’s not the best at ‘romance’, but he has physical pleasures locked down, or so he suggests: “That’s my baby / better get you wet now / better make you sweat now…” If you don’t mind your R&B rather unemotional yet hyper-sexual, “Ballin’” should suit you.
Overall thoughts? PARTYNEXTDOOR is a solid snapshot into the artist’s potential, but there is also plenty of room to ‘step up his game’. Yes, money and sex are popular topics that effect everybody, but, it doesn’t hurt to ‘flip the script’ sometimes. The mixtape suffers from being ‘formulaic’ when compared to his contemporaries from Canada; that may be the biggest glaring issue. PARTYNEXTDOOR must make sure he crafts his own sound and opts for more than his stripper escapades as a basis for his music. Sure plenty of men enjoy the same things PARTYNEXTDOOR speaks of, but isn’t there more to him than that?
Favorites: “Wild B*tches”; “Break From Toronto”; “TBH”