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Offset - Set It Off (Album Review)

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 Written by Jack Terry

The best word to describe Offset’s career to date is turbulent. On one hand there’s being part of one of trap's greatest groups, Migos, and forming a rap power-couple with Cardi B. On the other is scandal and tragedy, including the loss of his bandmate  Takeoff last year. Nothing has come easy, and so it is with his second solo album 'Set It Off'.

Things start well enough with On The River. Its braggadocious lyrics ("White Rove / Twenty hoes / White gold / Mink roll") form a bold juxtaposition against a sample of Kirby's stunning Black Leaves. 

Say My Grace, meanwhile, finds the Atlanta rapper trading bars with Travis Scott, fusing a club-ready beat with introspective lyrics ("I took the bodies up out of my closet / I buried 'em deep and they still in the way") in masterful fashion. It’s an early album highlight.

Before long, though, things take a turn, with a seven song stretch of duds. Fan feels amateurish and Hop Out The Van is grating, while Night Vision commits the cardinal sin of being so dull you wonder how a rapper with a penchant for hype allowed this anywhere near the final cut. 

Even through this patch though, the production is mostly elite. There are superb beats courtesy of Boy-1da, Oz and Southside, while features from Don Tolliver, Latto and Cardi B are peppered throughout the record for that extra flavour. Future's turn on Broad Day makes for a garnish so good it threatens to overpower the main dish.

In a career of highs and lows, it's tough to place 'Set It Off'. Undoubtedly an improvement on 2019's 'Father Of 4' but never quite meeting his personal pinnacle of Ric Flair Drip, it’s another head-scratching chapter in the life and times of one of modern rap's brightest sparks.


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