Published Aug 15, 2019Following a two-year musical hiatus to rediscover himself, his faith and his path, Toronto rapper Puffy L'z has returned with his new project, Take No L'z.
"Take no L's, time will tell, only the real prevail," he raps, seemingly from a distance, on the opening cut. It's a theme that drenches the album from start to finish, shifting a focus on industry jealousy and newfound fame, as well as the good and bad that comes with both.
Throughout the album, Puffy L'z drives home the idea of community, specifically in relation to Toronto's Regent Park. The "Awoolay" call-out saturates the album (a distinct Regent Park-ism), while also featuring fellow neighbourhood artists Safe, Jay Whiss and the late Smoke Dawg, a close friend and peer of Puffy L'z who lost his life in 2018.
The latter both appear on "Boring," including a new verse from the late rapper, as well a fiery energy from Jay Whiss that commands the track overall. Similarly, UK rapper Giggs, who appears on "Front Gate," also steals the show from Puffy L'z in both delivery and style.
At times, Puffy L'z's delivery lags behind the beat and other times, he misses his cue completely to connect to it. Whereas production can often hide these missteps, the production on Take No L'z leaves everything in the open.
Contrary to the toned-down bass lines throughout the album, Puffy L'z excels on the uptempo cuts "PLL" and "Big Timer," as well as finds his way lyrically on the introspective "Hey Mama," "Regent State of Mind" and the heartbreaking "Letters to My Akhs,"
Take No L'z is fully driven by taking one step forward and two steps back. Though there are elements of thought-provoking content, its delivery still needs to be polished. (Independent)