My friend Jay (a local Austin engineer) forwarded me this album, and I did not know what to expect after seeing the album artwork. However, when the opening track began I was completely blown away. Left On Read is an open diary to rapper Beez fans – about his life experiences with love, breakups, ups and downfalls. It’s truly a lyrically insightful piece of art, that you may only expect from an artist more experienced in the rap game.
Story | Sara Loretta
Image | via Verge Campus
Left On Read opens with a spoken word piece in “Equal” filled with lines discussing jealousy and forgiveness for the people who’ve turned on Beez since his popularity began to grown. He explains that his “circle is smaller [and] the bigger the opportunities start to present themselves” because priorities are no longer distracted by fake personalities, and are instead driven by person positivity.
“You said you’re not good with titles [but] I see you got an Apple on you.”
After hearing “Equal” I set the bar extremely high, as it made me feel like I did first hearing SweetSexySavage by Kehlani, empowered and ready to conquer the bullshit around me. But then moving more into the album, a few tracks like “Take My Time” reminded me of Big Sean’s quick melody/slow chorus type style; I didn’t feel empowered anymore, but instead I felt like I was lost in my thoughts late at night – kind of how Bryson Tiller makes me question every action in a relationship. Then the track “Orange” reminded me of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin About You”, with the play on words and flat tones to express love for someone else: “I just wanna be your orange / I don’t wanna rhyme with no one else just like an orange”.
As the album progressed, I felt Beez’ original message was lost in translation due to the oversaturation from his influencers. While I usually don’t enjoy records like this, I do believe that the Indiana rapper meant for every track to not only appeal to his diverse fan group, but the chosen instrumentals/vocal ranges were a way to express each experience as Beez saw them. For instance, “365” is a party track meant for turning up every night, just like the Migos do.
On the contrary, “Everything But Happiness” is a reminiscent track discussing the emptiness felt from fame: “feeling under pressure, dealing with depression / check to check to check, neck and neck / trying to stay afloat”, before moving back to his hometown to be with the people that mattered most.
I definitely applaud Beez’ work on Left On Read, as he took the time to tell his story, instead of making an opus about drugs and women. As this is his first full-length album, Beez has an amazing starting point to show the industry what he is capable of. I recommend mixing these tracks in with your Drake/Bryson Tiller/6LACK playlists for all of your mellow listening pleasures.
Did you know that Beez reached #11 on the iTunes charts with his 2016 E.P. Hey Tomorrow and he’s a famous Youtuber, with over 1 million subscribers, watching his vlogs and remixes? You can find him on all social media platforms, @bugattibeez.