'Netflix & Deal' : 03 greedo & Kenny Beats - Album review
Netflix & Deal is the collaborative brainchild from Watts rapper 03 Greedo and everyone's favorite cop Kenny Beats. With each track, Greedo pays tribute to a different film that was important to his life pre-fame. With the exquisite beat selection and a stellar group of features, assisted by Kenny, Greedo takes a step forward artistically with this album. Is this album enough though to push 03 Greedo into the mainstream, even when he's stuck behind bars?
03 Greedo has been making waves on the west coast for years but has caught the attention of many with his string of projects over the last year and a half. Working closely with acts like Shoreline Mafia, Drakeo the Ruler, and Mustard, he's been able to generate some buzz. I recognized his talent in tracks, because he can definitely make a good song. However, I felt that for him to get me fully engaged in a project, he would need to wholeheartedly grasp a concept or cohesive idea for the track listing.
As the title suggests, the album deals with Greedo's love for movies. Netflix & Deal is a concept album based on the movies he watched in his trap house in Atlanta.
"I wanted to tie that shit into my life, just to show that I felt like I was living a movie."
Inspiration for tracks on the album are inspired by movies like Paid In Full, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Maria: Full of Grace, and Greedo's all-time favorite Blow. Taking this approach actually seems like a genius idea on paper. It allows Greedo to share some of the ruthless, gritty, and potentially self-incriminating details of his life without actually claiming responsibility for them.
Fuck character acting, this is character rapping.
Before I get into the album, my thoughts, critiques, compliments, and overall verdict, I wanted to tangent into explaining a little bit about 03 Greedo's legal situation. It gets DICEY.
Greedo, known legally as Jason Jamal Jackson, was pulled over with over four pounds of amphetamines and two stolen pistols. This led to a 300+ year prison sentence, shortened to 20 years, that was started by Greedo last summer.
He has already taken steps to put himself in the best possible situation with his sentence, as he recently got his GED.
Greedo is rumored to have recorded 3,000 songs prior to his incarceration, so we shouldn't expect him to slow down anytime soon. He has released two projects this year already, more than many liberated artists can show for themselves.
35 minutes of new music coming from the Wolf of Grape Street is always welcome.
This time it's different though, Netflix & Deal is that project for Greedo.
He has a manageable tracklist, clocking in at 13 songs.
He has a dream cast of featured artists, NO SEGA.
He also has the production of one of this year's most profound new producers, in Mr. Kenneth Beats.
For those who haven’t listened to much or any 03 Greedo before, I want to clear up that stylistically, he’s most definitely a Young-Thug-Inspired melodic rapper. He spends much of the project singing in autotune, something I usually don’t go crazy for. His West Coast influences are utilized in beautiful little bursts, as he can pull a gnarly couple bars out of nowhere. On the opening track, Traffic, his rapping is on display in what I think was the best solo rapping effort on Netflix & Deal. He gets oddly real for a second saying,
I only use the word oddly because his raps tend to be more Schoolboy Q-esque Gangster Raps, like the notable bar in the single Maria,
Greedo comes through showing he can write catchy and clever hooks on tracks like Paid In Full and Brad Pitt, with both beats possessing exotic, eastern civilization type samples with beefy 808s making for that classic Kenny sound.
03 Greedo delivers a performance that shows he's growing as an artist. With an increased amount of consistency, drive, and focus, it's clear to see that this is Greedo's best project to date.
Production on this album is incredible, with each experience more engaging than the last. You can't expect anything less from Kenny as he has become what seems like everyone's favorite producer this year.
He also brings some friends aboard for features, rightfully giving Netflix & Deal the alias of "The Cave Tapes Vol. 1." Common collaborators such as Freddie Gibbs, Maxo Kream, KEY!, Vince Staples deliver verses on tracks, along with others like Buddy and OhGeesy of Shoreline Mafia.
Freddie hops on the 3-minute homage of Johnny Depp's Blow, entitled Disco Shit. Instead of Gangsta Gibbs usual quotable coke raps, he takes Greedo's approach as he sounds like Future autocrooning over the groovy, synth heavy instrumental. They may be singing, but they're still spitting, as both have good flow switch ups and meaningful references to the life of the movies protagonist, George Jung. I was conflicted about whether I loved or hated it, I was indifferent. It's new, it's different, it's disco shit. It has grown on me though and I think it's an overall positive for the tracklist.
Houston's Maxo Kream helps out dropping the hook and first verse in Beg Your Pardon. This beat goes hard and does a great job complimenting the choppy delivery on Kream's chorus, but the actual verses were mediocre. I like Maxo and he did his usual thing, but sometimes he really goes off and says some cringy shit. Why he felt the need to make a fart sound for an ad-lib, I cannot explain. It's not bad, it's pretty decent, I just lose full interest and attention in it at times. I can say the same about Greedo's verse as he says some truly inaudible lines to kick off his verse.
Blue People is in my opinion the best song on the project. 03 Greedo raps about being surrounded by Crips and cops. He compares these blues to famous ones from the silver screen like Stitch (Lilo & Stitch), Nightcrawler (X-Men), and the Na'vi (Avatar). The Pessimist of Poppy Street, Vince Staples, has the hottest verse on the project. It's worth a listen or a hundred, even though he confirms one of my biggest fears with the line,
VINCE QUIT PLAYIN! WE NEED THE ALBUM!
Until hearing Aye Twin, I never noticed the stylistic similarities of Greedo and KEY!s vocals. Key's verse is definitely sharper and more precise. However, I would understand someone getting mixed up on the who's who when hearing this song for the first time. The hard hitting drums put me in a permanent mean mug, and I'm left satisfied knowing that Key and Greedo can be spiritual twins.
Payback is one of my favorite instrumentals on the project with its joyful, effortless bounce that compliments OhGeesy verse to perfection. Never been the biggest fan of his, but "Love my dog like Ralo, all them tips is hollow. Bulletproof SUV, it's a mothafuckin' Tahoe. Need my money fast, real fast, like pronto. Sippin' on that pink, smooth green, like Wanda and Cosmo" is a bar and a half.
The smallest but most valuable contribution comes from Buddy on Soul Food. He provides a simple chorus that really elevates the mood of the song, allowing Greedo to avoid his usual subjects of the streets and genuinely rap about his love interest and her cooking abilities. Buddy's hook gives me major déjà vu of YBN Cordae's Thanksgiving.
Now this song didn't have a featured artist, but Brad Pitt also deserves discussion and praise. The hardest track on the album has a slightly more intense version of the Paid In Full instrumental. Greedo commonly has his pen game discredited as he's labeled as a shitty mumble rapper, but his writing is genius here.
Here's a list of all the Pitt movies referenced that I caught:
As you can see, he's not playing around here.
03 Greedo gives us his best performance to date, his features help take tracks over the top, and the in-your-face production of Kenny Beats keeps listeners engaged through its lulls and dry moments. The concept was beyond dope and I hope to see this project propel both of them into the mainstream.
This might just make a case to push into my Top 10 albums of 2019
Yeesh, this review was long. Shoutout to you if you're here at the bottom with me reading this. We made it. It's over.
I'm gonna try to get shorter album reviews out more frequently for y'all.
Thanks for ya patience!
It's still #FREEGREEDO