We’re talking about the man who wrote “Rain drop, drop top,” so you know the syllables will slap. Offset has a gift for finding the pocket of the beat. He laps up Wavy’s production on “Lick," a slippery tale of crime and punishment. “Father of 4” is an introspective look back on Offset’s bumpy road to fatherhood and features some of his strongest writing. J. Cole and Cee Lo Greenbring strong guest verses to “How Did I Get Here” and “North Star," respectively. Perhaps some doubted him, but Offset has more than enough charisma to carry an album on his own.
Many albums are frontloaded. However, Father of 4 is so top-heavy that it’s about to fall over. The back half of the record is a morass of similar-sounding flows over repetitive Metro Boomin beats. There was a time when seeing Boomin’s name 10 times in an album’s credits meant there was a minimum of 10 great songs. But these days, he’s too busy, perhaps even overexposed. Now if he contributes 10 beats to an album, they might not be the 10 best beats he made this month. “On Fleek” and “Quarter Milli” feel like tired versions of better songs, and “Underrated” never quite wakes up.
Finally, the song “Clout” had explosive potential, featuring as it does Offset’s recently estranged wife, Cardi B. Offset spends the first few tracks of the album revealing more of his personal life than he ever has before, but by the time “Clout” rolls around nine tracks in, he has retreated to platitudes. Or perhaps the marriage wasn’t in a place where the couple felt comfortable discussing it.
Offset splits his time between personal stories and generalized trapping, with mixed results. When he finds the right flow, few can match him for sheer musical joy. Other times he sound flat and stale. But Offset has proven he can carry his own solo album, and you have to respect the work ethic that produced these 16 tracks, even if many of them don’t merit a second listen.