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Now Hear This: Surviving - Avery LR & Inwood Dave

Rating: ****1/2

Must Listen: They Don't Like That, Loose Yourself, 400 Lux

Skip: Fight Night, Stack Up

I don’t know for sure, but I imagine there aren’t a lot of hardcore rappers hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s just a hunch and I’m totally open to the fact that I could be wrong. So needless to say I was a bit surprised to see that the subject of my next review, Avery LR, calls SLC his home. When I dig a little deeper to see that he was born in Baltimore before moving to Columbia and eventually settling in Landover, Maryland it all starts to make a little more sense. Fed up with the harsh realities of his surroundings, Avery moved to Salt Lake City to live with his mom and that’s when he started delving into his musical gifts. Let us review his latest mixtape (w/ Inwood Dave) to see the results.

Watch the video for “They Don’t Like That” below:

“I don’t do friends/I was born alone and I’ll die alone” is a lyric from the first verse of Chiraq intro. Damn. Dude ain’t messing around. Early impression is that he’s good. Really good actually. The beat is hard and the lyrical content is real af. What U Know Bout Dat has a slightly more commercial appeal. The hook is on point. Really good start to this. All The Way Up is another strong cut but track number 4, They Don’t Like That is a show-stealer. A tough guy anthem, with a hypnotic beat. This one will be on repeat. Dreams changes things up a bit. Slower tempo. One things for sure, this dude is laying it out there for the world to see. Really honest lyrically. Reminds me a bit of Bone Thugz & Harmony. Enemies and Same Difference are both solid if unspectacular. 7 Years is an earnest tune about Avery keeping his kids safe and features vocals on the hook from his son Aries. Good stuff. Panda, You Mad Bra, and Believe Me are more of the same. Good lyrically and rapped masterfully. Not a bad track yet. I Make It I Spend It is the “don’t bother saving” theme song. A song I can relate to on some levels. Some. Not all. Definitely not all of them. Fight Night and Stack Up are a bit basic and slow the album down a bit. It picks back up at Loose Yourself as Avery raps to the famous Eminem Lose Yourself beat. Between the lyrical content and the Martin Luther King sample, this one is powerful. One of the highlights of the second half of the record for sure. Hot N**** is swaggy and dope. Never Surrender slows the tempo down a bit but it’s a welcome change. Another autobiographical track. Well rhymed. N****** Got Me F**** Up, Goin Up, and Hating on Me are all short and sweet bursts of fury. On My Grind is a boastful homage to hip-hop heroes and a declaration of hard work and dedication leading to being the hero himself. Fire is catchy as hell. Definite single-material. Way more pop appeal than the previous tracks. Poor Decisions R.I.P. AARON is a Geto Boys-sounding memorial to a fallen friend. Another solid cut. 400 Lux is next and the penultimate song on the mix. Really strong groove on this one. Solid rapping. Dude has bars for days. We end on Hello Outro, a heartfelt message to a beloved grandmother. Damn. That was great.

I honestly think Avery LR can be a big star. This mixtape is excellent. It’s not perfect, but it’s close. I can see a big label getting ahold of him soon. The sky is truly the limit.

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