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Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp II

Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp II

rome fortuneRome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp II
Self-released: 2014

Rome Fortune battles with the sound and feel of the here-and-now on his new mixtape Beautiful Pimp II. More than anything, the new project feels like an impressive balancing act between today’s strongest musical elements. He and CitoOnTheBeat – the sole producer of the mixtape – have pulled some of hip-hop’s most contemporary strands and shaped them for Rome’s own use.

As straightforward as this process may seem, few artists are able to fully integrate themselves within the sounds that resonate in a given moment of a record and create something unique. Relentless 808s & dominant, smooth, EDM-inspired synths lace the soundscape. Vocal references to today’s rap elite occasionally surface (on his track “Secretly”, Rome mirrors the upward inflection previously implemented by Ab-Soul on “Bohemian Grove”), but it doesn’t feel like mimicry. Rather, he and Cito have closely studied these popular sounds, whether consciously or subconsciously, and re-crafted them into a structure that feels remarkably personal, allowing Rome’s lyrics to wind through the instrumentals with ease.

This personal touch is accented by the vibraphone noodling that pops up throughout the 30-minute project. This instrumentation, provided by Fortune’s grandfather, often serves as a capstone for one of the more sprawling tracks, “I Was On One, I Can’t Lie” – the clear tones bring the listener back to earth after three minutes of suspension in the airy production. This juxtaposition sometimes seems a touch unnatural, like at the end of “OneDay”, when the vibes’ melody is dissonant to the beat. But this dissonance isn’t displeasing, and actually works well to jolt the listener out of the track’s haze.

For the most part, Rome avoids falling into the pitfall of lyrical laziness that accompany other rappers’ laid-back flow by remaining sharply in the pocket, hitting rhythmic points of emphasis with force. His content is complex, but remains accessible because he manages to share complicated ideas without obscuring them behind overcomplicated rhythmic cadences. The listener has time to take in what he has to say, from “Bad For Me”’s tortured musings on a troublesome female to his declaration of future stature on the finale “So”. He maintains this balancing act between complexity and clarity, between popular sound and individual vision, a truly impressive feat from a truly promising novel voice in hip-hop.

★★★★½
4.5 out of 5

You can stream Beautiful Pimp II here.

11 Comments

  1. Justanotherdude
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 20:56:00

    Sounds great but his lyrics dont make him very likable or memorable

  2. Get A Life
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 14:54:00

    Why still replying after all that? You sound like a loser lmao just shut up already, no one cares about you – I’m just replying out of pity. Dude got you smh, what’s wrong with people these days

  3. JEDI
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 14:19:00

    I thought it was good, but Rome Fortune isn’t really talking about shit imo. From a purely sonic standpoint it’s excellent, but I’ve been listening to this tape for 2 weeks now and I still can’t think of any memorable lines/concepts, either for being insightful or clever. I really enjoy it, but I’d give it a 3.5 personally.

  4. meh
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 04:14:00

    Still salty it looks? “fuckboys”…cool slang bro. Also good that you put me in the eminem fanbase, comes to show us how little u know.
    Now take a deep breath.

  5. Le Magnifique
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 01:01:00

    you dont get ish about good sound boooy
    Rome is a truely dope and slept on mc!!!
    Shout out to Daniel for the awesome review

  6. EricBananaK
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 19:58:00

    I actually think this tape is really good. I think all of the ones you just listed were very lackluster in comparison….

  7. learn some manners brat
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 19:10:00

    what i took personally was an influx of fuckboys like u who think they know anything about production (why don’t you namedrop some more, maybe people will think you know how to open ableton) or flow coming in here with their thumbs up their asses crying about why eminem didn’t get a 5, telling bloggers to quit lol. u should be grateful i’m even talking to something like u,
    be gone, trash

  8. meh
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 15:44:00

    It looks like you took it way more personal, man.
    And lol @ “spectacular production” if you really think that this is “spectacular, you should probably grow up…oh yeah and don’t take things so personal

  9. you can suck my ass breh
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 11:32:00

    man quit your fucking bitching, you whinyass sucka. why the fuck do you go on blog reviews if you’re too damn immature to not take an opinion personally? god damn disgrace to the genre, this tape has spectacular spacey production that’s continuing the trend you here with the Weeknd, FKA Twigs, etc. and the lyrics come off as pretty genuine – all of this considering it’s a free tape. actually I don’t know why I’m justifying my opinion to a lameass brat like yourself. grow up.

  10. Đ℞ΞV/
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 10:06:00

    Rome Fortune is awesome. this tape and Beautiful Pimp I are too good to be slept on!

  11. meh
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 07:00:00

    What the actual F***? Step Brothers – 3.5, James Vincent McMorrow – 3.5, The Doppelgangaz – 3 and you give this shitty mixtape 4.5? Now I see why your blog is slowly dying. Daniel Kisslinger – please quit.

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