Release Date: May 13, 2014
Record label: Heart Break Gang
Genre(s): Rap, Hardcore Rap, West Coast Rap
Iamsu! opens Sincerely Yours interpolating the late, great Pimp C. In many ways, it signifies who he is or perhaps who he aspires to be. His sing-songy reanimation of the classic swaggering bars from the best verse in Jay Z’s boisterous hit, “Big Pimpin’,” hums through sans charisma, and it segues without affect into Sudan Williams’ own life story, one lined with Rap clichés and forced hubris.
DJ Mustard has the hits to rightfully claim ratchet music's crown, but Richmond rapper/producer Iamsu! has equally pushed the minimalist Cali sound to the masses. A founding member of Bay Area collective Heartbreak Gang, he produced Loverance's “Up!” and contributed to Sage the Gemini’s viral-turned-Top 40 hit “Gas Pedal”. His nasal smooth-talking has factored in West Coast rap’s return to the mainstream, and his debut LP, Sincerely Yours, is Su’s opportunity to move forward through the doors he's already opened.Sincerely Yours picks up where Su’s Kilt mixtape series left off, with the young Bay Area rapper looking for a deeper niche beyond weekend party-soundtracking tracks.
The brightest talent from the Bay Area's eminently twerkable, social-media-driven rap rebirth, IamSu!, has nimble rhymes, a killer fashion sense and a catalog of great mixtapes. But he doesn't do enough to stand out on his first proper album. Outside of its strong singles ("Only That Real" and "What You 'Bout"), Sincerely fades into rap's existing trends instead of bucking them: "Intro" mirrors Drake's or Kendrick Lamar's purpler moments; the title track's "'G' Thang" breaks and swooning strings sound more Dre and 'Ye than Bay.
Bay Area rapper/producer Iamsu! has made himself easy to respect as we’ve watched him follow the come-up blueprint faithfully; floods of solid mixtapes, a grip of national performances, and eventually, co-signs and features with some of the industry’s big names. Consequently, The 24-year-old MC’s debut album is preceded by so much buzz (the Kilt series in particular) that those same big names are scattered generously throughout his project’s liner notes. Sincerely Yours is a highly listenable sampling of throwback Bay undertones, overlaid with a more modern sound and structure.