It has been almost five years since the general public first heard the voice of Don Toliver on a major album. Travis Scott’s last album, “Astroworld,” first broke the airwaves in the summer of 2018, and not only was it one of the best rap albums in recent memory, but it also carried a newly signed voice on “CAN’T SAY.”
Now, after a couple of successful albums and features with artists like SZA, Skrillex and Lil Uzi Vert, the Cactus Jack Records artist is back after a decent break with a new album called “Love Sick.” Not even a week after its release, Toliver dropped a deluxe version of the album with four new songs.
The strategy has become popular among rap artists in the era of streaming in order to boost sales, especially since artists like Yeat and Key Glock outperformed the album within the same first week of sales. But don’t let the numbers fool you; Toliver dropped yet another dope album and is proving his consistency and that he’s not just an artist associated with Scott.
Sure, Toliver had to include the Houston-based artist on the deluxe album with the song “Embarrassed,” produced by megaproducer Wheezy. Their collaborations never miss and always hit, and this one may be one of, if not the, best collaboration they have had.
The iconic producer tag hits right away, the calming guitar under the 808 drum beats set the tone, and once Wheezy is outta here, Scott feels wearing his jewelry has him embarrassed while with a woman out in Paris.
Looking at the main album that dropped before the deluxe, it starts off with a less than two-minute intro that’s mainly a groovy beat and gets listeners locked into what album they are about to hear. Toliver does throw in some vocals later on, but the scene is ultimately set.
The album has a nice mix of more hard-hitting rap and R&B songs, like the song “Leave the Club” featuring two mega-stars Lil Durk and GloRilla, transitioning right to the strictly slow-paced R&B tune with Kali Uchis called “4 Me.”
The hook couldn’t be catchier.
“You’re the only girl for me / You’re the only girl I need, yeah,” Toliver sings.
But the two most streamed songs from the album on Spotify do not include the third part of his ever-popular song “Company” or any of the songs that feature artists like James Blake or Brent Faiyaz. Rather, the top-streamed song on the platform, with 23 million plays, is “Do It Right,” which is carried by the vocal sample behind the beat from Jahaan Sweet and reminiscent of The S.O.S. Band’s debut single called “Take Your Time (Do It Right).”
Many people thought the second most streamed song, “Private Landing,” would feature Scott, as well as Justin Bieber and Future since the Cactus Jack Record owner played it at a recent event. But in the end, Toliver took the lead with only the Canadian singer and the Atlanta rapper alongside him. Cardo, along with a few other producers, create a beat that makes hitting one key on a piano sound as fire as possible.
Future does what he does on almost every single song he’s on and flows immaculately with the beat. And the duo of Toliver and what many people call “Bugatti Biebz” (Bieber on rap and R&B songs) is something I never thought I needed but I now want more of.
It may not have been Toliver’s best work and he did drop on a loaded weekend with other great albums, but the singer is proving to himself and the world that he is here to stay with the elite of the game. And “Love Sick” proves that Toliver needs to be on Scott’s next album, “Utopia,” with a vengeance.