Rapper/songwriter Solo has completed his Dreams trilogy with the release of C.Plenty.Dreams. It has been four years since the release of the second installment in the series. With the large gap in the trilogy, it's only fitting to playback the whole trilogy and see how it all pieces together.
There's something about a first installment in any series that makes it arguably the best in its series. It might just be nostalgia. Or it could be the difference in time. Dreams.A.Plenty had a killer intro. Solo rapped with composure. The storytelling was intriguing, the sound Jazzy.
Dreams.A.Plenty is the project that put Solo on the map with skngs like The Shame featuring Buks, The Frolic and Star Dust Remix which featured Tumi and Proverb. The original Star Dust is on the same album and some might argue in favour of it over the original. It's a well-produced albums with plenty of gems to go around. Solo snapped on Kinda Sorted and Time Of Our Lives. The list of features is long but it's incorporated in a way that doesn't take anything away from the album. Overall start of a long journey.
Dreams.B.Plenty is the middle child of the trilogy. For the most part, Solo is just kickin' it with the content, having fun with his raps. The stories are still as cryptic as before, being about life and experiences. The interludes are worked into the tracks, telling a love story as it unfolds.
The range of sounds is reason to marvel. Solo's style is a derivative of boombap. A more musical adaptation. It's interesting seeing how Solo dabbles in vernac raps and chooses to do so within the confines of his own style. Dreams.B.Plenty dropped at the height of the Kwai-Hop era but is free from that influence of sound.
The journey continues on C.Plenty.Dreams. The sound invokes a spiritual experience. Solo shows a level of growth which wasn't that distinct between the first two projects. A sound unique only to him. A great effort went into production and beat selection. The beats aren't just 4-bar loops of the same progression from start to finish. There is that signature Jazzy flavour once again. To add to the musicality of the album, Solo features vocalists strategically. Langa Mavuso is on the title track, which starts things off and sets the stage.
The second verse of Imposter Syndrome shows Solo at his best with an intricate flow that squeezes in a mouthful of things to be said into his lines without compromising his flow. What better way to address imposters than to put them on the spot. The same display of breath control shows again on Ubuntu Babo. Solo's stories and messages are cryptic, you miss the gist of it all if your attention lapses even for a bar. Take Me pays a poetic tribute to fallen giants in the game, HHP and Pro. Solo raps about the pressures of the game and how heavy it weighs on artists.
It's too soon to judge how the project fairs in general, other than to say it’s a good offering. It still has to face the test of time. It does hit differently when you have the entire trilogy fresh in memory. It tells a more complete story. Besides singles that were already out, look out for other standouts like Imali, Imposter Syndrome and Ubuntu Babo. More items to add to a killer live performance set. “You best not fuck with Solo, bruh”