This is the 5th EP from Ukrainian-American emcee/producer Your Old Droog. Emerging in the underground off his self-titled debut, many first thought he was an alter ego of Nas given that their voices are somewhat similar. Nonetheless, the guy has reached legend status at this point by proving that he was in his own lane off later albums such as Packs & It Wasn’t Even Close. But coming fresh off the incredibly conceptual TIME & Space Bar over the summer & fall respectively, Droog is kicking off his 2022 by enlisting Nicholas Craven to fully produce YOD Wave.
“Fela Kuti” kicks off the whole EP with some gorgeous piano melodies saying he’s being away for too long whereas “Scooby Snacks” takes a more soulful boom bap route looking back on where he came from before getting back to business. “.500” works in some dramatic string sections talking about having less than nothing just before the organ-laced “Purple Rain Freestyle (Game, Blouses)” comes through with some braggadocio. The song “Black n Red Huaraches” with Tha God Fahim finds the 2 comparing their lives to operas even though the instrumental is my least favorite on the whole EP while the penultimate track “Lost Love” gets romantic over a drumless chipmunk soul sample. Fahim returns once more for the closer “Body Right, Mind Right” to jump on top of some solemn piano chords talking about taking no one’s advice.
Coming from someone who’s been down with Droog since the beginning, I genuinely believe that YOD Wave is the best EP he’s made yet. It’s not as conceptual as his last 2 albums, but he’s just spitting nothing but pure heat for 20 minutes accompanied by some of the most astonishing production that Craven had to offer.