It’d be easy to pigeonhole Dorrough as just another ringtone rapper. True, the Dallas-based rookie’s catchy debut single, “Walk That Walk,” and flossy follow-up, “Ice Cream Paint Job,” are both mindless bangers—heavy on the beat but light on the lyrics. And, yes, the album’s primary subject matter revolves around partying and paper-chasing, like on “Wired to the T” and “Boy I Grind,” respectively. But what makes the E1-signed talent stand out from the rest is his assured, clear delivery and the effectiveness of his hooks.
Dorrough exhibits both qualities well on the Slim Thug–assisted “Piece & Chain Swangin.” While he isn’t a rapper’s rapper, Dorrough easily rides DJ Montay’s synth-driven track with stupidly simple lines like, “All around the world like CNN/Off in the hood like UPN,” and somehow manages to make it enjoyable. On the spaced-out “She Ain’t Got It All,” Dorrough speaks on his dating exploits with half-witted humor: “I took her to the crib, she was naughty, though/She took me to the head, just like a Tylenol.” It’s not all fun and games, though. The rapper gets relatively introspective to discuss his life struggles (“Feel This Way”), past relationships (“This Time You Was Wrong”) and troubled friendships (“Never Changed”).
Dorrough Music isn’t without its missteps. “Flashout” is repetitive and tired, while “What’s My Ringtone” is an unsubtle and forced attempt to cash in on a played-out trend. Still, it’s a praiseworthy first solo effort from the rapper, as he experiments with semidiverse content and varied production. If Dorrough keeps up his bouncy and singsong sound, his next effort just may be chock-full of more thorough music. —JAEKI CHO