Features, Reviews

Review: 40b focuses on the street’s highs and lows on “Trapped In The System”

Often times it’s easy to see that just because someone does a few bad acts doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person. In hip-hop the term “product of the environment” is one to keep in mind. People can often seem as if they are glorifying a lifestyle that is rooted in evils, but to believe that all the time would be to ignore circumstances. When you’re left with fewer options from the start it can be easy to fall into bad habits. When you fall into that rabbit hole it doesn’t take much to become trapped in that system.

Bringing this concept full circle is Orlando’s 40b on his recently released EP “Trapped In The System”. The first words heard on the tape are, “This outbreak is day-by-day becoming out of control and it’s going to get real close to the point of no return here, if we’re not already there.” This statement sets the tone for which 40b kicks off the EP. He does so with “System”, a single that focuses heavily on his experiences being trapped in that hole we have been speaking of thus far.

On the intro track 40b releases a lyrical fury in a biographical style record. We get to really gain an understanding of how 40b become the person he is today. Though the sound is very street in it’s sound there is a good bit of knowledge to be obtained in it as well. Lyrics like “Been trying to get out the game ever since mama told me she’d never bail me out again” act as a cautionary tale for the listener rather than leading them into a glorification of the trap. I commend 40 for the message on “System”.

Next up is “All I Ever Wanted”. This record keeps the darker vibe from the first record going. Topic wise 40b focuses on trust and love, or rather the lack-thereof that comes from being a part of the game. “Hold all conversation please cause money is all that’s on my brain”, says 40b, placing his focus on the hustle on full display. This song is a less somber song than the aforementioned “System”, but it is still one that is well put together and has a message contained within the flashiness that you may catch on first listen.

“Rabbit Hole” follows as track 3 on the set. This record may contain the best raps of the whole tape bar-for-bar. He continues the theme of a man stuck in the hustle, but he seems to embrace it more on this track. “Stumbling down the rabbit hole with your hoe, she a savage though” shows that he is aware of still being “trapped”, but it also shows that he has a certain level of comfort in that position. I found myself playing this one back a few times.

The last track on “Trapped In The System” is the one that contains the most abstract song in comparison to the rest of the project. Rather than using production more akin to the southern trap sound, the beat on “That Sauce” is closer to the EDM spectrum. On it 40b focuses more so on the residual affects of the hustle. Namely the people in his life who want to ask for money and don’t really care about him. If there was one track I would label the “club banger” it would be this one. Definitely much more upbeat than the beginning of the project.

All-in-all, 40b takes a different approach with “Trapped In The System” than he did with his previous project “Love Riot“. While the previous work showed emotion in a more traditional form, this one does the same but combines it with 40’s tales of feeling confined to a street lifestyle. Luke Rosswell produces the entire project, which adds a heightened level of cohesion to it.  The sound shows versatility for the Orlando project and he also makes sure to put a message inside the madness of the EP. You will come away feeling like you know 40b better as a man, and he leaves you with a since that maybe the trap isn’t all it’s cut out to be by some other rappers. Well put together EP and a quick listen that I recommend everyone check out.

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