REVIEW: I Love Makonnen – ‘I Love Makonnen 2’

Artist: I Love Makonnen
Album: I Love Makonnen 2
Label: OVO Sound
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B

I Love Makonnen entered the national conversation with his Drake-assisted “Tuesday” in the summer of 2014, but his self-titled OVO Sound EP hinted toward a much broader vision beyond the overt quirkiness of the left-field club anthem. After a year spent exploring his boundaries with lower-key singles like “Look At Wrist” and SoundCloud exclusive gold like “Leave It There,” the Atlanta artist has concentrated his vision into a potent mixture of 808-laden trap and high-octave R&B with I Love Makonnen 2.

Case and point: on “Flipping All Night,” Makonnen boasts, “I be super greening like all my shit so bright,” with an unabashed level of cockiness in his voice that complements the menacing Richie Souf beat. On the flip side, the preceding cut, “Second Chance,” finds him contemplating lost love over a snappy DJ Mustard production with an emotional croon for the chorus; “I wish I had a second chance at lovin’ you.”

Makonnen also explores the depths of just how eclectic the two aforementioned styles can sound (similar to the musical ethics of fellow ATLien, Young Thug) with jarringly disparate results. On the ultra-memorable “Where Your Girl At,” Makonnen takes onomatopoeia to new heights with an ad-lib that would make Thugger blush, while lead single “Trust Me Danny” mixes heaps of references to his hometown with a admittedly goofy hook containing tales of moving packs from town to town. It’s a mixture of creative ideas that don’t make sense together on paper, but Makonnen proves himself to be an innovator when it comes to assimilating sounds.

The album’s highlight, however, comes in the form of “Forever,” an exercise in gorgeous melodies that finds Makonnen at his vocal peak with the added bonus of a guest appearance from Santigold. The utter catchiness of the song hints at greatness beyond what even a Billboard-charting track could affirm; not only is there plenty to appreciate in its immediate wake along with the rest of the record, but pieces of it have potential for lasting impacts as well.

SCORE: 8/10

Mike Giegerich
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3 Responses to “REVIEW: I Love Makonnen – ‘I Love Makonnen 2’”

  1. Chris O says:

    solange? you mean santigold?

  2. Fixed, thanks for catching that.

  3. Chris O says:

    not a problem!