On “So Nostalgic”, Ginger displays his story-telling ability, as he paints a vivid picture of how hip-hop influenced his upbringing and childhood.
Ginger Breadman made a bold statement by naming his debut album “Rookie Of The Year”. If the album lives up to its title he will be seen as a talented, confident artist. Should it not, he’ll be a reminder of just another overconfident rapper who can’t back-up his boasts.
The 13-track album kicks off with the opening track “The Winter’s Mine”, which introduces the listener to Ginger Breadman. Spitting an a capella rap, Ginger makes his intentions clear from the get-go: “My season, I’m the man of the house” boasts the confident rapper as he announces his arrival to his peers and fans.
The second track on the album “What It Look Lyk” opens with more boasts and clever rhymes over a thumping beat. On this track he raps directly at his competition. “Underground won’t make it on radio right, but I’m on every radio breaking that stereotype” sounding like a hungry rapper. This track sets the bar high as he gives us a glimpse of his clever wordplay and punchline-heavy verses. On “You Don’t Want a Thing” Ginger continues to announce his arrival and status as one of the best new artists in the game; teaming up with Riot who handles the hook and a verse over another banging beat. “Lack of money made a homie anti-social. All I did was rhyme sick the wordplay was gross too” is just one example of the clever wordplays he displays on this track.
“Where We At” follows in much the same light as his previous three tracks, with Ginger once again bigging himself up. The lyrics aren’t as impressive as in his previous tracks, but the beat is on point; this could very well end up being one of the album’s next singles.
“Handle My Bi” is one of the many standout tracks on the album as Ginger reveals a bit more about his come-up and what he’s been through in the game thus far. “Not performing for free if the promoters charging at the door” raps Ginger. On the next track “Game Change”, he is still rapping about how good he is, this time revealing how he plans on changing the game. There’s a really good verse from Ras, and the track comes together really well.
Sick wordplays and hot beats have filled up the first half of the album, but at this point it’s becoming a bit repetitive; with most of the tracks consisting of the Potchefstroom-born rapper spitting about how good he is. While I understand that it fits in with the “Rookie of The Year” concept, a bit of variety would have been welcomed. On “Real Talk” the subject matter finally changes up as Ginger opens up about how his rap career has affected his relationship with his girlfriend. “Talent has a price that’s why it’s a gift and a curse. This is who I was destined to be, but my lust for success doesn’t make me less of a cheat” raps an honest man. The production and features from PDot O and Ayanda Jiya compliments his style and tone really well, which results in what is arguably the album’s best track.
On “So Nostalgic”, Ginger displays his story-telling ability, as he paints a vivid picture of how hip-hop influenced his upbringing and childhood. “Still zoning off ‘Illmatic’, and this white boy who rapped about his mom being an addict” raps Ginger as he reminisces throughout the track. This track is special, and shows just what a talented emcee Ginger really is. The album closes out with “Realest Ever”, another really good track showing the more humble side of the rapper while still displaying his trademark punchline-heavy bars and witty wordplay.
“Rookie Of The Year” is a solid debut album, and one of the best South African hip-hop albums I’ve had the pleasure of purchasing this year . The production which was largley handled by Ginger’s in-house producer, Dotcom, is incredible. Lyrically there aren’t many rappers that can keep up with Ginger’s well-constructed verses, clever wordplay and punchlines; nearly every verse is meticulously constructed. The features are also a great addition with every artist adding their unique contribution.
Sadly, my main criticism with the album is the lack of variety in content during the first 30 minutes of the album. The first seven tracks all share a common theme about how good he is. Overall though, the variety does exist on “Rookie Of The Year”, but because it comes in on the latter half of the album (‘I’m Just Saying’, ‘Real Talk’, ‘So Nostalgic’, ‘D.O.A.R.’) it does tend to give this project somewhat of a repetitive feel.
With that said, “Rookie of The Year” is a very good debut album contribution and I can’t think of a more fitting way to describe Ginger Breadman. Rookie Of The Year. No doubt.
Written by: Ashraf Stakala (@ASHownsCHEKA)