As Nas showed with Illmatic, keeping an album short, to the point, and devoid of weak material can make you a household name if the skills hold up. Fellow Queens, New York, native 360’s debut album, Everywhere and Back, follows some of the same blueprints that Nasir Jones paved nearly two decades ago. Both MCs hail from Queens and came equipped with production handled by a small, select group of beatsmiths in order to create a cohesive album.
The opener “Everywhere and Back” featuring Mela Machinko, sets the album off on a high note with a welcoming track full of energy and good vibes. 360 makes it clear that he is here to take listeners on a brief, but fulfilling journey. Other cuts that are inviting on the ears include the J. Cole-produced “What Goes Up,” the festive “Drink Celebrate,” and the relationship tale “Lovin You (Tonight).”
Not everything is traveling and partying on the album, though. The tale of slanging yayo, “Cocaine,” while creatively done, misses the mark with the delivery and production and begins to drag after a bit. On “Woulda Kid,” transparent cats that aren’t there when putting it to the grindstone are put on the spot. It’s this variance of subject matter that creates a consistent listening experience when some of the production lacks.
While not an instant classic like some of his past Queens brethren have released, Everywhere and Back proves that 360 has the knack for making quality songs. The project allows listeners to sit back, strap on their seat belts, and enjoy the ride. —Matt Wright