‘Castles in the Sky’ Showcases Adrian Gamboa’s Versatility

AG’s debut mixtape Castles in the Sky is a glimpse of the infinite potential for the Riverside MC.

California is home to exceedingly lyrical MCs and storytellers who offer some of the best hip-hop for the game. Riverside MC, and NOTFOR$ALE’s very own AG (@agnotforsale) recently released his mixtape Castles in the Sky, a picturesque 14-track tape that tells the tale of a man attaining his passage into a humanly untouchable castle above the clouds.

Story | Nico Blitz

Released on Datpiff on Valentine’s Day 2016, Castles in the Sky has a video game-type feel to it. The Intro sounds like an opening to a Final Fantasy installment, and sets up the story of a young hero-like villain with ideals of obtaining a dream that seems farfetched to the norm.

The mixtape features NOTFOR$ALE rapper Indie Thot (@indiethot), Indigo Caine, Tayyib Ali and Kyle Lynch; characters in AG’s story who supply sparks of their potential throughout his journey.

There are some obvious characteristics and lyrics to this mixtape that tell us a lot about AG that most rappers are hesitant of doing.

First, he clearly gets his influence from Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, and Kanye West. “The Arrival” features a sample from Good Kid, m.a.a.d. City’s “m.a.a.d City” and “Backseat Freestyle”, he mentions Cole twice within this mixtape and pays homage to his 2011 smash hit “Work Out” in “You”, while clearly stating that Drake’s been in his playlists on the same track.

Mentioning these rappers isn’t quite enough to say that he’s inspired by them, but the fact that his sound varies between Kendrick’s hardcore lyricism, Cole and Drake’s heart-to-heart conversations with the audience, and Ye’s sampling clearly displayed in “All I Know”, it’s safe to say that they play an influence in his music.

Second, AG curses less than 10 percent of the time throughout the entire mixtape, and maybe even less than that. This aspect of the young castle-maker displays his seemingly bottomless vernacular, incredible lyricism and verbal paintbrush. Not many can pull this off, and it’s definitely something to watch as he progresses in his career.

Some notable songs from Castles in the Sky include his Soundcloud hit “You” and the hyperactive, club-banging track entitled “Mr. Dapper”.

This mixtape instantly grabs your attention with the album artwork. Especially with new artists, the album artwork is the initial attraction that sparks curiosity. I wouldn’t have bothered opening up this mixtape if it didn’t have a speck of his creativity that I could look at.

Castles in the Sky successfully exhibits the extent that AG is willing to go to obtain his dreams of influencing others to obtain their castle in the sky. If you’re a fan of rappers who can switch from dope lyricism, to club bangers, to some heartfelt music, AG is the guy you should be watching.

Founder of The Lunch Table. Writer, DJ and Master of Ceremonies.

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