‘Life of a Don’; Album boring, full of uninspiring songs, lyrics

Don Toliver recently put out a new album called “Life of a Don”. In my opinion, Toliver is a very boring artist. The Travis Scott protege has only gotten less and less interesting as time has gone on and he has proven to be a rapper that I just can’t get behind, despite his ever growing popularity. I won’t deny that he has some hits that I really enjoy, especially off his first project “Donny Womack,” but at the end of the day I think he’s just a clone of the Astroworld star that signed him (and who I am also not very big on). I wouldn’t say his music is bad and I wouldn’t judge someone for liking it, but in my opinion, the content he puts out is very bland and uninteresting.

Better words could not describe this album. The hype for his newest project, “The Life of a Don'' was real. With his having been absent for more than a year, I myself was interested in seeing what direction he would go. Maybe he would finally present his music in a way that clicked for me. Sadly, I was let down just like with his last album, “Heaven or Hell,” except this is even worse. 

I feel that the thing that makes artists like Travis Scott appealing is the otherworldly feeling their music can make, the way they slather themselves in autotune, losing all human-like qualities and becoming something else. It normally helps when they add lavish production and absurd lyricism that involves abusing drugs and other remedies in life. 

Don Toliver is like if you stripped all that away, and lacks the talent to make up for it. Travis Scott isn’t just trippy voices and atmosphere, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into his act, and that’s something I feel his protege lacks.

His lack of creativity and a voice are apparent on his newest album, “The Life of a Don”. The production here, while crisp and lavish, doesn’t have the out-of-this-world kick that you would expect from a rapper like this. Toliver also replaces the over-the-top lyrics with more braggadocious and romantic tunes. It reminded me more of an R&B tape rather than a rap one. The slow auto-crooning that Toliver subjects us to is sleep-inducing. He slogs his way through tracks without bringing any compelling lyrics, ideas or vocal talent. I wouldn’t be opposed to this if he had a great singing voice or really any catchy melodies, but sadly all of those aren’t present here.

The few standouts in this album can’t outweigh the weak songs, but I’ll name them off to give this project the credit where it’s due. I honestly think Toliver is much better when a feature is present to help lighten the load he has, as opposed to doing a solo act. “Drugs” and “Hella Melodies” have a good Kali Uchis feature, “Outerspace” has Baby Keem and him show off their chemistry, and any songs where Travis Scott is featured normally bring a bit more energy to this otherwise dull outing.

I was struggling to keep my eyes open over the various mediocre, repetitive and lifeless love songs that Don Toliver throws at his listeners. I couldn’t tell you a lyric or rhythm from the opening songs or really anything in the middle.

This is the definition of a snoozefest, and at 16 songs this feels way longer than it should. I think this whole thing needed a bit more energy: some tracks that you can really get turn-up too, not slow love-ballads. Tracks like “5X” and “Double Standards” really stand out as painfully dull.

I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to like Don Toliver. This saddens me because a lot of people enjoy him and I’ve always wanted to like the kind of sound he’s going for, but there are too many shortcomings with this project and his artistry as a whole to make me want to come back to him. 4/10.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

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