YBN Cordae | The Lost Boy
I tell ya what, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a debut album this good! I’m trying to think of somebody who was as young as YBN Cordae (21) that’s put out this level of quality in their first major go around. I’m honestly drawing a blank. The Lost Boy was so impressive to me, that Illmatic is really the only album that comes to mind.
I know I know, Illmatic comparisons have been played out for at least a decade. I’m not saying they’re anything alike, because they’re really not. It’s a completely different style of music, but YBN Cordae still comes off as mature for his age, and certainly wise. NaS sounded like a full grown man on Illmatic, even though he was only 17. For some reason I thought he was only 15, but I just looked it up and Wikipedia said he was 17 when he started recording Illmatic, and it dropped when he was 21.
Influences on The Lost Boy
Pretty quickly into The Lost Boy, it was apparent to me that YBN Cordae has a very similar taste in music as me. At least that’s the way I look it. What I mean is, there’s so many samples that I’ve heard other rappers use, and there’s similar drum patterns, and even the lyrics sounded influenced by other rappers. In some cases, this would be a bad thing. Logic is pretty hit or miss in his homages. The Lost Boy brought a bunch of music that I used to listen to back into my mind. I will now share some of those moments.
Bad Idea (feat. Chance the Rapper)
Gil Scott Heron is quite possibly the most popular jazz artist in hip hop. “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” has been sampled by many producers, including Kanye West for Common’s “My Way Home”. While “Bad Idea” doesn’t actually sample the song itself, it does interpolate the lyrics. Either way, it made me think of Common, which is not a bad thing.
Way Back Home (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
Alright this is weird one. I’m sure I’m gonna fuck this all up and somebody out there will be outraged at my ignorance, but oh well. So, the melody of the hook is what I recognized. The part where Cordae says:
I’ve been up and down, ’round and ’round
Tryna find my way back home
Gone too long, drownin’ out
Still gonna play that song
I’ve been around, seen some things, sexed a lot of girls
I did my time but in my mind, I’m still thinking it’s my world
I figured that maybe Phonte had used the same melody as another singer. That’s definitely happened where I’ve heard multiple rappers use the same cadence or melody, and then I find out years later that they all really got it from The Beatles or something obvious like that.
This one is only slight, and you may even say I’m reaching. But I know I felt something when I listened to “Been Around” that distinctly reminded me J. Cole on 2014 Forest Hills Drive. If you felt it then maybe you understand, otherwise the only evidence I can provide is from this lyric:
I think I could do better
But I still, I want this forever
Cole had a couple lines that could have possible been what I was thinking of. They’re from two different songs though, the first being from “Hello”:
I always thought that we would be together
I always knew that we would be together
But I don’t wanna wait forever
I don’t wanna wait forever
The second being from the song “Apparently”:
And I need to treat you better
Wish you could live forever
This is probably the one that got me. Is it a stretch? You decide.
Family Matters (feat. Arin Ray)
On top of “Family Matters” being one of my favorite songs on the album, it also reminded me of The Kendrick Lamar EP, which is one of my favorite projects. The sample used in “Family Matters” was also used on Kendrick’s song “Faith”. Both of these songs are close, personal songs about family issues.
We Gon Make It (feat. Meek Mill)
“We Gon Make It” is another example of a song that used the same sample as a song I already like. Chamillionaire’s song “The Truth” from The Mixtape Messiah used a sped of version of the same sample. It took me a second to recognize it because of pitch change. Still brought back the warm fuzzy feelings of Cham talking real life over a chill beat.
My Feelings About The Lost Boy
I love it! That was simple eh?