Recently I had the chance to talk to Printts A, a rapper from Lafayette, Louisiana. He has recently put out an online album entitled “Superhero Status 2”, available for download or streaming, proving that there is more to Lafayette than Cajun music and zydeco. He claims his stage name is an acronym for Please Remember Individuals Never Think The Same. This could be said of all the tracks on his album as well. While they contain a cohesive thread and general sound, the tempo and feel changes from track to track.
The album opens (appropriately) with “Wake Up”, performed over the beat of AWOLNATION’s “Sail”, already introducing his eclecticism. The flow here is a bit slowed-down but a decent introduction to his material. The lyrics could use some punching up and the ideas could be further developed. But that is forgivable since this is still a young artist finding his voice.
The energy picks up with the second track, “What You Got”. The fee of the song is faster and Printts sounds a bit more energized. Overall, the mood you get from this album is that he is hungry. As an artist not yet to the famous and wealthy levels of Jay-Z or other big hip-hop names, there’s a sense of urgency and striving here. Here the themes are the usual in contemporary rap: the privileging of individual effort, taking swipes at enemies and critics, what have you. But talking to Printts, he seems like a friendly and self-aware guy. The tone is confident but never harsh or angry; there’s a sense of subliminal playfulness that undercuts the biting lines like “I’m always on my grind/ I’m getting mine”. He also thankfully avoids the ignorant, overly boastful tone of 2 Chainz. I’d best describe his style as a mix between Kanye West and T.I. “Resurrect” is the best track on the album to me. With a hypnotic and swirling sound to accompany him, he sounds his most organized, lamenting that hip-hop is dead like a Louisiana version of Nas but then claims he will bring it back.
On some of the tracks he does stumble. While his flow can be fluid there is some stretching to make the phrases fit that comes across as a bit awkward. Some of the aggression and hip-hop cliches also seem a bit forced and excessive. “Be Friends” is a bit of a slower ballad that is situated perfectly in the middle of the album. But overall this is a solid album from a young rapper. It has better production than many works out there. The beats swirl, with hints of electronica and pop creeping in. “Oh You Mad?” is a freestyle that sounds like it could be a club hit. After listening to this, it’s not far off to imagine this as a superhero origin story. It waits to be seen if Printts A will don the cape and fly into the sky, but thats not far off.
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