“From a Bird’s Eye View” Review


Benjie Thimangu, Radical Reviwer

Raleigh rapper Cordae made waves this week with the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album “From a Bird’s Eye View.” The 22-year-old rose to popularity through his remixes of famous songs such as Eminem’s “My Name is” and J Cole’s “1985”. 

Cordae has been praised for his unique style that combines rap styles from both current day, the ‘90s and the early 2000s. In his debut album, “The Lost Boy”, Cordae demonstrated lyrical mastery that was not apparent in the YBN mixtape, the collaborative album with Nahmir and Almighty Jay. 

“From a Bird’s Eye View” shows a continuation of these elements but also a certain maturity that was not present in his previous projects. It reflects on his rise to stardom and has features from rap legends like Eminem and Lil Wayne, but stays true to his humble roots. This is evident in the first track, “Shiloh’s Intro”, a freestyle by Cordae’s childhood friend recorded over a prison phone. 

The second track, “Jean-Michel”, details Cordae’s struggles with insecurity as he rose in fame with lyrics like “Underrated, over-hated, I’m tired of the nonsense. Things I could’ve done better… I’m my own worst critic.” The beat is very smooth with a heavy bassline and a light piano in the background. The lyrical delivery is equally smooth, invoking a sound similar to Freddie Gibbs. The following song, “Super”, sounds much more modern. It lists his accomplishments, from his Super Bowl deal with Coca-Cola to texting Jack Dorsey but that’s “The perks of being super”. 

“Mommas Hood”, is not particularly remarkable and goes back to the smooth sound of “Jean-Michel”, but focuses more on his upbringing. It feels significantly more forced and lacks soul. “Want From Me” is significantly better, featuring a Boyz II Men-esque R&B beat and lyrics. In the heartfelt chorus, Cordae sings “What do you want from me, what do you need? I’m only human baby.” This song in particular highlights the synchronous nature of Cordae’s music, sounding both nostalgic and new. 

Cordae seems to ride the beat of “Today”, which features Atlanta rapper Gunna. The strong bass combined with the light sound at the forefront of the instrumental is the perfect vehicle for a more aggressive tone than the previous tracks, and it sounds great alongside Gunna’s now iconic style. 

“Chronicles” is truly a standout track, featuring H.E.R, and really shows the best that Cordae has to offer. The track is more fun and less serious than some of the other tracks, and it is clear that when he is playful like that he is better than in a lot of his other songs. 

In terms of lyrics, the “Parables” remix featuring Eminem is the best on the track, and Cordae’s flow is great. The combination of wordplay and playfulness is complemented by Eminem’s faster paced lyrics, leading to a type of contrast between the artists that complements one another very well.

Overall, “From a Bird’s Eye View” is a great second album for Cordae, and shows some maturity that his previous album lacked. However, going forward, Cordae needs to find a better balance between the many elements in his music style and settle, as they often contrast in a way that is slightly off-putting. The album as a whole is good, and I am excited to see where the young artist will go from here.