Review: Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season”

The hot newcomer to 1017 Records recently released his highly anticipated mixtape

Pooh Shiesty’s Debut Mixtape “Shiesty Season”

Atlanta’s 1017 Records has changed a lot over the last decade or so and trap music, which the label played a big hand in popularizing, has changed along with it. Despite all of the chaos the label was associated with in the last decade founder Gucci Mane, who bears a lot of the blame for driving the label down, seems to doing all he can personally to reclaim some of its glory. He’s been steadily releasing albums on the label and garnering hits once again but everyone knows Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was it built by one man. He’s sought to build careers of unknown rappers in the south and Pooh Sheisty seems to be the first big name coming out of the revitalized label.

Pooh Sheisty is a rapper from Memphis, Tennesse who rose to prominence last year for his single “Back In Blood” which featured Lil Durk and rose to number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100. He’s been garnering some attention since then for his steady release of singles and being featured with 1017 labelmates on the So Icy Summer and So Icy Gang Vol. 1 compilations. Now he’s dropped his first mixtape with the legendary label and I’d say besides Gucci Mane he’s probably the only artist on the labels current roster with a release. He’s certainly making a splash with this one as his projected sales for his first week are impressive to say the least, certainly not top of the Billboard sales but great for a first mixtape.

Despite these impressive sales projections and all however I can’t see this mixtape really making much of a mark on the trap scene or assisting in distinguishing Pooh Sheisty from any other trap affair. The beats are fairly similar and barebones to say the least and while that’s sometimes all a trap artist needs in order to make a mark with their performance. Sheisty to me just doesn’t make that mark on this release but I certainly feel like he could.

He’s a bit too laidback despite his vast lyrical content, he’s got paragraphs of lyrics on songs like “Neighbors” and it’s pretty impressive lyricism for his first major label release. His delivery of these lyrics as well is fairly consistent (I suppose consistency is what they were going for on this album) and he flows along quite well to the barebones trap beats backing him. I think with these skills and the way he presents himself he has the potential to be one of the standout artists on 1017's roster throughout the 2020 decade.

Despite all the positive things I have to say about Pooh Shiesty I also have to comment on the negative aspects of this mixtape. Firstly, I think his adherence to consistency on this album weighs him down and becomes too homogenous, particularly his delivery and the production which I’ll get to later. Pooh Shiesty never really switches up the pacing or delivery in his vocals in a way to make each song standout. I know this is a mixtape not a major album production we’re working with here but I think his weakest skill at the moment is making individual tracks standout rather than bleed into each other.

The production on this mixtape is also fairly laidback and barebones to the point where many songs sound all too similar and indistinguishable. You’d be forgiven for not distinguishing the tracks “Back In Blood” and “Ugly” from each other because they do sound kind of similar. Not to mention I find some of the albums mixing to just feel flat as opposed to other mixtapes like 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s Savage Mode II last year, which felt a lot more alive than Shiesty Season.

I will say though the production on songs like “Guard Up” and “Box of Churches” were both really good and stood out as the top tracks on this album. 21 Savage’s feature on the latter track really brought out some life which he always seems to do so effortlessly in all of his releases and features, he certainly gets better with age. I also want to particularly comment on Lil Hank’s feature on the track “Big 13 Gang” as he comes in with probably the most surprising verse on the album and he does fairly well. Gucci Mane’s feature on “Ugly” was also quite good lyrically but I honestly couldn’t distinguish him for the first few lines of his verse because it was mixed a bit poorly to me, he seemed almost buried under the beat.

Overall I think this album will be a dish out some good tracks to vibe with and whatnot but I don’t think any of them really get the party jumping off which I think Shiesty has the potential to fulfill just not on here. There’s too much of the same old song and dance in terms of trap music here and mixing in with the crowd doesn’t necessarily help an up and coming artist. There’s a lot of room for improvement here and I do hope Shiesty does because as I said, I think with his lengthy verses and clear voice he has a lot of potential. I’d love to see him live up to that.

Rating: 4.5/10

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Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor

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BA — Bridgewater State University, English Student w/ Minor in Latin American/Caribbean Studies Music journalist