Everybody’s waiting for Rich Homie Quan’s next huge single. “Type Of Way” dominated the summer, with stuttering rhythms and Quan’s choppy sermon of a hook. Fans are waiting with baited breath for his big move, the one that will take him farther than Atlanta and the Internet. For now, Quan continues to demonstrate his worth as a contemporary rap mainstay and not a one-hit-wonder on the new project I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In.
“I Fuck Wit You Girl” is an acoustic guitar-driven song that finds Quan listing the reasons why he’s down with a certain female, and it shows hints of mainstream appeal—this, like many other songs on the front half of the tape, would fit snuggly on the radio. On the opening “They Don’t Know,” a coolheaded but still lonely Quan reflects on his success: “They ain’t know I was worth that much ‘til I dropped that mixtape and showed they ass / And they ain’t know I was on that Percocet, but they know I be on them Zans.” There’s a lot boiling under Rich Homie’s skin, but it seems like he doesn’t want his emotions to spill over quite yet.
While his subject matter is still reserved, he flaunts his dexterity in cadences and tone. “WWYD” sounds like Rich Homie is skipping through Willy Wonka’s factory toward the beginning; “Blah, Blah, Blah” tiptoes between meme mimicking and indulgent silliness; “Reloaded” feels like a cheap piggyback of Toto’s “Africa,” but the next song, “Make That Money,” makes up for it with catchy repetition. This is Rich Homie’s strength: unique, spirited songwriting.
The heat on this mixtape will turn a couple heads, too. Young Thug’s disrespectful verse on “Get TF Out My Face” gels well with Quan’s. The cross-coast Miilkbone flip on “Man Of The Year” should soundtrack every room you walk into, and the aforementioned “They Don’t Know” is a strong leadoff but fails to reach the caliber of other standout cuts from his catalog.
Production accounts for one of the tape’s biggest strengths. Though “Type Of Way” producer Yung Carter is absent, K.E. On The Track helms the outro and DJ Spinz and Metro Boomin’ concoct a banger that fits in the realm of MMG’s radio smashes. FKi, the rising duo that’s showing up in all the right places this year, does work on “Get TF Out My Face” while IzzeTheProducer chefs up two emphatic beats for “Blah, Blah, Blah” and “I Fuck Wit You Girl.” Dupri and Problem are behind the boards for the slow-burning “Walk Thru,” and the swilling production on “1000” is courtesy of Tramatone.
The mixtape logs 15 tracks plus two bonuses. Fillers take up some of that space, and Quan could have benefit from a more condensed effort. The tape is also a thorough listen, but some songs just don’t have the widespread appeal as “Type Of Way” or “My Hitta.” With such a vigorous output, Quan is now at a point where a focused project will bring him to a larger audience.
Quan’s presence in hip-hop isn’t a fluke. We know he has the ability to pen incredible music but still faces the task of refining his process in order to break into the mainstream. Time will tell if he can keep riding on this strong, steady pace.—Max Weinstein