From star basketball player, to viral hitmaker, to Cactus Jack and GOOD Music’s most promising signee, Sheck Wes’ career has already been a whirlwind. Today, the 20-year-old rapper delivers his highly-anticipated debut project, ‘Mudboy’, marking another milestone point for the Harlem-native.
At its core, ‘Mudboy’ functions as a come-up album, charting the young talent’s success up to this point and projecting where he plans to go in the future. Wes fills the project with exactly what you might expect from him stylistically at this point, relying on his 0 to 100 vocal presence. In a moment’s notice, he can go from whispered mumbles to full-volume howls and already iconic ad-libs. While he does try to switch things up, 14 songs is just a lot of Sheck Wes to take in at once. He’s at his best when he’s rapping from experience, whether he’s painting the walls of his Harlem upbringing with grimy resonance or repping his endeavors in basketball and high fashion. He strikes a good balance on the album’s closer, “Vetements Socks”, tempering his jagged-edged energy to suit a more low-key, atmospheric beat. Although it gets sidetracked by some songs that just feel like filler, ‘Mudboy’ still contains glimpses of greatness from Sheck Wes when he’s in his element.