KISS TOP TEN ALBUMS OF THE YEAR #9: POLO G (HALL OF FAME)

KISS TOP TEN ALBUMS OF THE YEAR #9: POLO G (HALL OF FAME)

Photo Credit: Columbia Records

Despite all of the twists we’ve experienced in 2021 one thing has seemed to be consistent the entire year, Polo G is going to make really good music and a lot of people are going to listen to it. Since the 2019 release of  his first true hit “Pop Out” you’d be hard pressed to find a young artist who has transcended and exceeded all expectations better than Polo G. 

At just the age of 22, the Chicago native released his third full length project “Hall Of Fame”. The album sits comfortably alongside the other two projects in his discography 2019’s “Die A Legend” and 2020’s “The GOAT”, all three in name and subject matter deal directly with a question that you may not find on mind of most people around Polo G’s age, that question being “What will people think of me when I’m gone?” 

“Hall of Fame” is a fast past examination of each new element of fame Polo G has encountered in the past couple years even the choices in featured artist like Lil Wayne put Polo G alongside Hip Hop royalty who he has said was one of his biggest inspirations growing up. In an age where many of Polos G’s contemporaries are stuffing albums with filler to boost streaming numbers, Hall of Fame not only justifies it’s 20 song near hour long runtime, it takes full advantage of the time to explore it’s themes of the downside of success and the concept of legacy.

The song that generated the most conversation was obviously “Rapstar”. Regardless of all of the meme’s it spawned and it’s infinite replay ability, it stands as maybe the most melancholy hit Hip Hop song about success in recent memory. There are a few classics that also deal with the same topics like Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” or Jay Z’s “Success” but these tracks have upbeat instrumentals that provide contrast to the lyrical content, Polo G leans completely into the problems he’s facing. He uses the instrumentation to make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale immediately after the “happily ever after”, leaving the listener with the feeling of “what do I do with myself now?” “Epidemic” is another track along the same line but just makes it more clear that everything that comes with the fame seems to just be in the way for Polo G. He seems much to be primarily focused on being remembered. Of Course we are accustomed to brag raps but I’m not sure if there are many projects where we see an artist document their legacy as they attempt to build it.

The biggest indicator that an artist is ready to take another step forward is when introspection seems not to satisfy them anymore and they begin to relate themselves to the world around them and their thoughts about it. This album seems to be the beginning of that process for Polo G and if he ends up achieving anything matching the promise he is showing currently, we can’t say he didn’t tell us so. 

-VK

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