Album Review: Trek Life – Everything Changed Nothing

Trek Life – Everything Changed Nothing
Mello Music Group: 2010

Ever since linking up with producer Oddisee for the remix album New Money early in 2009, the interwebs having been buzzing about the skills of the promising left coast emcee, Trek Life. That buzz only amplified upon the announcement that Trek’s 2010 full-length, Everything Changed Nothing, would be fully produced by Oddisee. In a sense, Trek fits in with the new state of hip-hop. He can rhyme and he has a definitive persona that has thus far allured many-a-hip-hop-head. However on Everything Changed Nothing, Trek is intent on setting himself apart from the crowd. How? He’s got a message that he feels the world needs to hear.

Trek rides into Everything Changed Nothing, on a warm beam of California sunshine. “Ready to Live” is a call to action of sorts, prompting people to grab life by the reigns and make something positive happen. Trek raps, “Life is hard man, nah life is easy. Life is exactly what you make it, believe me.” Carpe diem, if you will.

It’s this sort of positivity that embodies Trek’s message on the album. However, be careful to not get swept up in the breezy optimism – Everything Changed Nothing also has a subtle dark side. Trek is quick to point out the hard work and perseverance necessary to make it in our world. However, as honorable as Trek’s message is, it’s a message that has been used relentlessly by hip-hop artists for a while, so certain listeners may grow weary of the overt feel-good vibe by the end of the 12 tracks. That said, Trek gives his music a personal spin, making use of enticing anecdotes to state his case.

From a production standpoint, this album screams Oddisee. He has laced every track with his signature drums that recall the finest of the boom-bap era. There’s a pleasant warmth to Oddisee’s music that can be just as smooth (“Everything Changed Nothing”) as it can be neck-breaking (“So Supreme”). And although he’s working with samples and live instrumentation to keep the sounds fresh, ultimately Oddisee doesn’t actually produce anything mind-blowing or new on Everything Changed Nothing. Furthermore a couple beats towards the end turn just a bit stale.

From start to finish, one thing is certain: this is Trek’s show. He commands the listener with intricate, intelligent rhymes, and those who are willing to buy into his brand of optimism will surely fall in love with this record. Despite its few rough patches, Everything Changed Nothing prevails as a well-compiled album that should squash any doubts about Trek’s talents as an emcee. Sky’s the limit.

★★★½☆
3.5 out of 5
[audio: http://potholesinmyblog.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/01-Ready-to-Live.mp3]

4 thoughts on “Album Review: Trek Life – Everything Changed Nothing

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  1. This album’s nice. I think “Ready To Live” is the perfect mesh to my ears between Oddisee’s production and TrekLife’s skills. I think the track for “So Supreme” is too powerful for Trek but I liked the way everything else comes off. You’ve gotta throw this one in your whip and roll out to it cuz it’s ride music. I like “So LA”… and “Jump Out There” snuck up on me after the 1st hook. “I’d Rather Be” may be my least favorite but, what he’s saying on it makes it stick.

  2. This review is well thought out and intelligently worded, I have never heard of this cat before however I am sightly familiar with Oddisee. I must say I don’t listen to much Hip Hop anymore unless the MC has something to say and the tracks move me, and “Ready to Live” does. Because of this review and sample I’m definitely going to check out more tracks.

  3. mello – Always a pleasure. I really loved “Ready to Live,” “As The World Turns,” “So Supreme,” “Wow” and the title track. Tracks that didn’t quite do it for me include “So LA” and “I’d Rather Be.” I too will be interested to see how the album changes in my mind with time. Most albums usually do.

    Appreciate the comment and the continued support. Hope all’s well!
    –Zach

  4. appreciate your thoughts on the album. So what joints popped off for you? which ones weren’t quite doing it?

    I’d be interested to know your thoughts in a cpl months if it’s still in rotation – i’ve been listening to it for about 6 months and the album has changed a lot in my mind: Jump Out There used to be low on the list and now it’s at the top.

    Stay up Zach!

    “They lied ya’ll
    Don’t look in the skies ya’ll
    Just close you eyes focus inside to find God”

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