First Impressions: 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi

An Intro To 070 Shake

070 Shake is a 22 year old rapper from North Bergen, New Jersey, who has had quite a quick and steady rise to fame since turning from poetry to a career in music back in 2015. Since early in her career she had been heavily affiliated with the 070 Music collective, a group of rappers and producers from New Jersey, and is where her rap name derived from. Shake released a couple of singles at the tail end of 2015, and by 2016 was getting hundreds of thousands of streams on her tracks. In 2016 she also released her break through single ‘Trust Nobody’, and later that year she signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. To wrap up 2016 070 Shake along with the rest of the 070 collective released their debut mixtape ‘The 070 Project: Chapter 1’.

2017 was a quiet year for 070 Shake, with her doing some modelling and announcing her upcoming EP, but 2018 was her best year yet. She released her debut EP ‘Glitter’ in March of 2018, and followed that up with some big features on songs by Kanye West & Pusha T on their ‘Ye’ & ‘Daytona’ albums, both released in May. Each of these features received a load of critical praise and did a wonderful job at propelling 070 Shake further towards stardom. 2019 was another fairly quiet year for her, with her not releasing any solo projects, and the most notable feature being a feature on DJ Khaled’s ‘Father Of Asaad’ album. In June of 2019 Shake also announced the title of her upcoming debut album, Modus Vivendi.

And that brings us up to date! On January 17th 2020, 070 Shake finally released her solo debut album ‘Modus Vivendi’. The album has 14 tracks and no features, and leading up to the album she released 4 promotional singles; Morrow, Nice To Have, Under The Moon, & Guilty Conscience. Below I’m going to review the album in 2 parts. First will be my informal and unedited track by track review of each song as I listened through, and following that will be my opinions on the album as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream the album and some discussion questions at the bottom. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. Don’t Break The Silence – Production feels so grand. This song makes me feel like I’m watching an Attenborough documentary with this beautiful music playing as they show some mountains. The flows and melodies from Shake aren’t too bad. Sounds like your typical intro track, is just okay

2. Come Around – This production is more Kanye-esque with these grandiose synths and thumping 808’s. Beat overall is quite captivating. The singing and the effect on Shakes voice sound amazing, but the lyrics are basic the the vocal delivery is a bit one dimensional. Song felt like it ended too soon, needed another verse. Decent song

3. Morrow – Love the switch up from the pleasant guitar to the hard hitting bass towards the start of the song. Shake’s vocal delivery is amazing in this, the flows sound pleasant and the singing really draws you in. Good lyrics on this one too. Catchy little hook that sounds great. Lots of versatility on display by Shake. Drags on a bit too long but is a good song

4. The Pines – Sounds Rock influenced, interesting synths and thumping bass, changes up quite a bit too. Shake’s delivery on the hook has this haunting tone to it. The flows on the verses are great and the lyrics are enjoyable again. Whole song has this awesome dark vibe. Love the strings towards the end. Real interesting and enjoyable song

5. Guilty Conscience – Some Real beautiful singing and melodies on display. Once the best gets going it has this real poppy Weeknd vibe to it. Real captivating performance from Shake, some enjoyable flows and melodies on the verses. Whole song is quite poppy but also super well executed and quite enjoyable too

6. Divorce – Real intriguing beat, has this odd percussion and synths. More nice singing at the start. Song has lots of subtle changes in the production and Shake’s delivery. Love Shake’s flow at times and the lyrics are decent to. The guitar in the beat is spectacular, particularly the solo towards the end. Interesting but good song

7. It’s Forever – nice little interlude, short and sweet

8. Rocketship – Beat is interesting again, some fairly basic drums and synths but the composition is chaotic. Some more thoroughly enjoyable flows and melodies of 070 Shake. Her backing vocals and harmonies are amazing on this too. Also interesting and also good

9. Microdosing – Mire Kanye vibes with the thumping 808, love the bongo like drums though. Shake sounds amazing with more captivating melodies. Hook is catchy but too repetitive for my liking. Love the momentary change up about half way though the song, awesome touch. Love the production back song lacks something. Just okay overall

10. Nice To Have – Some great lyrics on this one, a bit personal but simple and relatable. More simple beat than most, but isn’t too bad. Good mix of singing and rapping but sounds great either way. Great backing vocals. Good song

11. Under The Moon – The bass in this is kinda funky. Shakes flow and bars are great from the start. Singing on the hook is nice but nothing new and is a bit too repetitive. Actually love Shake’s delivery on the verses, is slightly melodic at times too and it sounds great. Average song

12. Daydreamin – Real interesting switch up in vibe to the rest of the album. Shake sounds menacing and the beat is equally as eerie. Momentarily switches up to this grand atmospheric production which was nice, but it masterfully reverted back. Really impressed by Shake on this, the contrast between her beautiful sung hook and her cold delivery on the verses is amazing. Good song

13. Terminal B – Takes too long to get going. More of the same from Shake, more impressive singing and melodies but nothing overly exciting. Beat is basic but feels real grand, song is just far too long, lost interest part way through

14. Flight319 – Another song that took far too long to get going. Enjoy the flows and lyrics more on this one though. Beautiful singing on display again too. Song is a 2 part song with a beat switch and all, but whole thing feels a bit messy. Okay song but nothing special

Album Summary

Overall I felt like Modus Vivendi met my personal expectations, and as an album I think it’s both a good showcase of what 070 Shake is capable of as an artist, and quite an accessible and enjoyable listen no matter who you are. 070 Shake’s melodies and singing are both beautiful and unique, and she also has a good deal of enjoyable rap flows throughout the album as well, and with experimental production that keeps you on your toes and intrigued for the duration this album is a pleasant listen and a breeze to get through. 070 Shakes voice is one of the most captivating in music currently, something about it draws you in no matter what she is saying, and it almost always sounds amazing. I can understand if people found this album to be boring, but personally I felt like she changed things up enough that whenever I started to think things were getting boring she would draw me back in with something new and exciting.

Coming into the album I was hoping that 070 Shake would live up to the potential she has shown earlier in her career, and although I don’t think she fully took advantage of her talent, I felt she at least continued to show how much potential she has. I felt like the album could have used a couple of features to break up the constant stream of vocals from Shake, but without it features it meant that just about all the standout moments from the album were 070 Shake herself. Her singing talent and unique voice is obvious, but I particularly enjoyed the darker haunting tone in her delivery on songs such as ‘Pines’ and ‘Daydreamin’, loved her confidence in switching up her flow and delivery on ‘Divorce’ & ‘Nice To Have’, and I was glad I didn’t listen to ‘Guilty Conscience’ when it released a couple months ago as I thought it had some of the most impressive and beautiful singing on the album. The production throughout had a fairly consistent vibe, but never shied away from changing things up as the songs progressed, keeping things fresh. The production itself had some standout moments, most notably the stringed section towards the end of ‘Pines’, the guitar solo in ‘Divorce’, and the bongo like drums on ‘Microdosing’.

In summary I think this album is enjoyable but falls short of my personal expectations and also fall short of what 070 Shake is capable of. I think the album was a great length and easy to get through with a multitude of impressive singing and rapping throughout, but drags on a bit as it goes on with only the one vocalist for the albums duration. I think a couple of songs could have been cut shorter and the album could have used a couple of features, but regardless of that I think it was an enjoyable album with a couple highs and no real lows. If you enjoyed this and want some more of 070 Shake I implore you to check out her album with her 070 crew titled ‘The 070 Project: Chapter 1’, it contains most of my favourite 070 Shake performances ever as well as some great raps from her 070 pals.

Final Notes

You can stream Modus Vivendi on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or you can listen in full for free on YouTube here!

‘Guilty Conscience’ Music Video

‘Under The Moon’ Music Video

‘Nice To Have’ Music Video

My Favourite Songs were Morrow, The Pines, Guilty Conscience, Divorce, Rocketship, Nice To Have & Daydreamin.

What were your favourite songs from Modus Vivendi?

Who would you like to see 070 collaborate with?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

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