#SubstanceOverHype Review of @Shane_Eagle – Never Grow Up
Doesn’t it feel like yesterday where you were just a toddler learning how to find your steps or stance or better yet relishing your childhood at a theme park with your peers creating the same Throwback Thursday memories that you are posting on social media? Well growing up isn’t easy at all, however, you need to accept that it is inevitable, even though Shane Eagle is campaigning on opposing the natural order of life in his 7 track EP called Never Grow Up which was released on the 28th of December 2018. This comes after his prosperous debut album titled Yellow reaching the gold status and not forgetting having surpassed the million streaming mark. This offering was to cement his musical versatility and also remind his counterparts why he is on a league of his own in the continent. The EP cover has a very young Shane Eagle which could be paying homage to Illmatic (Nas).
The young Eagle whom considers himself a diamond raises the curtains with Homework Assignment which is a relaxed, travel music with a dark reflective projection of Shane’s desire to not age and how the system is designed to divide the masses with the intention to conquer them. From the first rhymes you can discern the pensive content direction “Product of the violence/Said she seen too much, she would rather sit in silence/Stare into my iris/Love's like a virus/And I would rather be infected by all the kindness/See...Love is natural, they orchestrate the hate/Don't be knowing what is real, and be infatuate with fate” he is on to a lot of truth that would rather be kept in the dark.
Things switch up when the lead single of the EP Apex comes on, with Like on the production keys, an up tempo club banger which also plays out to be a radio single. This feel will take you back to the humble beginnings of Shane’s career when he released Way Up ft. Big Star Johnson with a Jazzy twist and you can tell that maturity seems to be the difference between the two songs. This song highlights how he is looking at the bigger picture which is to make music that inspires not proliferate fame at the expense of the craft lovers “Nightmares got me feeling like a nigga can’t sleep/I do this shit to save niggas/They do it for the fame, nigga/Wrote this verse in a new whip with the down pipe switching lanes, nigga/I set the bar high like gymnastics/Love is a drug I’m an addict” this is truly a perfect way to spit heavy hitting bars and sell the material in a commercial manner. The single has a remix that is out that features Dreamville’s very own Bas.
Chocolate Milk is a hard core Boom Bap joint with eccentric melodic keys that will mesmerize you. This is tied in to the Never Grow Up theme where Shane just laying down the accelerated pace that we experience once you detach from childhood. He also is appreciative of his grandmother that has nurtured him when he was a kid “I'm at peace, and my grandma my side/She my angel, only one know how I'm feeling inside/I'm like the top, lower than ever, but sure as hell I'm 'bout to rise/Momma, your son, he doing fine, he 'bout to rise” An emotional song that would probably make you want to call your father or better yet mend a fractured relationship.
Ronnie Hughes is an ode to his Irish father and it is such a breath of fresh air to hear that the tone is far from acrimonious. Chest pains aren’t really alleviated as reality hits that “I'm staring at the wall, world spinnin' and shit/Guess the inevitability of life is a b**ch/Never thought I'd see you get old and sick this quick/You 76, I'm 22, that's a miracle inheritance/Like a eclipse, Orion's Belt, in line with the pyramids” the penning down of that entire rhyme pattern is so incredible that even fans were lamenting seeking a second verse from this heartfelt track.
Then he tackles his Fears & Demons with streaks of a Speed Flow that just annihilates the beat and the irony is that he is utilizing that tool to address those that gravitate towards popularity as oppose to honing their skills on the mic. The beat is designed to keep you in a trance especially if great music is your thing.
Ride Dolo – What You Wanna Be that begins with a Martin Lawrence skit, it plants a seed that pieces the puzzle together when you hear Eagle saying “She rollin' with Eagle, she fly, never go tellin' no lies/Never go switchin' no sides, I know that she ridin' until she gon' die/She wanna go fuck in my ride, she wanna go down while I ride” that is just clever wordplay that keeps you entertained whilst bumping this E.P
The end of the road is when the climate changes so you can embrace Purple Rain with Shooter Khumz on the balls of production and this is now Shane showing gratitude to the highest power for keeping him sane from the delirious ways that blemish the world. “Wa-, wa-, wakin' and bakin’ - My eyes low like Jamaicans, or maybe Asians/Recorded this somewhere on the island on vacation/So when you think of me, just think about the moon, or maybe like the ocean” Purple Rain is a metaphor referencing Mary Jane.
This EP is filled with quotable; the only fault is that it is very concise, 17 minutes. Some songs could have been stretched or added verses could have most definitely made this EP a classic offering. This is good one for the books.
Check the EP below: