Rapper Loyal T drops Now or Neva this week with featured artists John John and Paid. Now or Neva is the rappers first studio album, but it represents a decade-long hustle that came out of making it in the Chicago rap scene.
Throughout the album, Loyal T meshes the sounds of South side he was raised on (acoustic instrumentation and old-school drum machines) with fresher eras of hip-hop. The product is a unique rap and hip-hop album that could either be brand-new or something a bit more classic.
A highlight of the album is “Win Again,” which features rapper John John. Here, Loyal T mumbles auto-tuned lines over a crisp trap beat and classic drum machine that sounds straight out of the mid-2000s. The entire vibe of the track is something in line with Travis Scott’s Astroworld.
“Win Again” sort of captures the persona of Loyal T. Here he spits lines about that sliding scale of fame, recollecting the time before clout, before the risks and rewards were so high.
John John’s feature comes as a stark contrast to the former’s thick auto-tune and staccato flow. Here, John John slows the mood, swapping out Loyal T’s wit and one-liners about “Tom Brady” and “Imported beauties” for heartfelt rhymes, making noise about his time before money or success.
“Win Again” brings the energy and bombast that Loyal T has come to be known for. Beyond that, it ties together the wider themes of success, failure, and the impermanence of it all which seem to run throughout Now or Neva.