First Impressions: Money Man – Epidemic

An Intro To Money Man

Money Man is a rapper from New York City who grew up in Decatur, Georgia, and who made his first attempt at becoming a rap star early last decade. He decided to take a few years off to focus on his finances, and made his triumphant return in 2016. That year he released 3 mixtapes (Black Circle 1, 2 & 3) with features from artists such as Young Thug & Gucci Mane, gaining him a significant following this time round. Money Man continued the grind by releasing 2 mixtapes the following year, ‘Secret Society’ & ‘24 Hours’.

In 2018 the grind only got stronger, with Money Man releasing a total of 5 mixtapes throughout the year. The mixtapes further increased his popularity, and in 2019 he made his way into the charts for the first time with the release of his 25 song mixtape ‘Paranoia’. The mixtape contained just 3 features, but reached the top 40 of the Billboard 200, his most successful effort yet. Later in 2019 Money Man linked up with fellow rapper Peewee Longway for their collaborative effort ‘Long Money’, a 20 song mixtape with features from Young Dolph & Kamaiyah.

And that brings us to this album! On the 21st of February he released the appropriately named mixtape ‘Epidemic’, containing a total of 8 songs and no features. Below I’m going to review the album in 2 parts, first will be my track by track observations as I listened through, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include links to stream the project and a couple of discussion questions at the bottom. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. 24 – Beat has this addictive guitar melody and thumping bass, and Money Man rides it excellently from the get go. The flow on the hook is really solid, but the hook overall isn’t too catchy or memorable at all. The flows on the verse aren’t too different from the hook, so are quite good and Money Man changes it up a couple of times to keep it exciting. His delivery is pretty one dimensional throughout though unfortunately, so although he rides the beat amazingly his verse gets a bit boring fairly quickly. Whole song was decent, but nothing was overly good

2. Quick To Judge – beat is a fairly simple trap beat but has really enjoyable bass, is like this hard hitting west coast bass. The flows on this hook aren’t as good as the last song but the delivery is better and the hook is catchier overall, has a good flow to it. The delivery during the verse is average again, rides the beat well but everything else is just mediocre. Another decent song with no standout moments.

3. Know Ya Type – Another average hook, the delivery lacks energy and the flows are simple, isn’t very catchy at all. The verse carries on with the same delivery and flow to begin with, but Money Man changes up his delivery a few bars in which is a nice change, the monotone delivery bores me but the higher pitcher delivery is much more enjoyable. 3rd song in a row that was hook>verse>hook which is a shame cause the hooks aren’t too good. Just an average song

4. It’s Yo World – Much more generic hook on this but it works in Money Mans favour, is simple but catchy and has some real enjoyable melodies. Verse is much more melodic than the first 3 songs too, is surprisingly good and the bars and rhymes aren’t too bad either. Flows well throughout the verse and switches it up a decent amount. The guitar in the hook is a real earworm. Same structure again but it works better this time, good song

5. Another Lifetime – Beat is great, has an amazing contrast between the thumping drums and the majestic piano/wood pipes. Hook is okay, has some nice melodies but some average rapping. Much more of a low energy melodic delivery on the verse, kinda matches the vibe of the song but isn’t exciting enough to ever really grab my attention. Flows are basic and the bars aren’t anything too special. 5/5 songs with the same structure now, getting a bit over it. Just an okay song

6. Courtesy – Another decent beat with a real catchy guitar melody and some other interesting synths too. FINALLY a song that starts with a verse, real fire verse too, rides the beat amazingly well and has this super addictive flow that switches up multiple times throughout. Hook flows really well and has a solid rhyme scheme that makes it quite catchy overall. Second verse is fire too, Money Man rides the beat with ease and has a range of enjoyable deliveries as the verse progresses, just sounds amazing for the whole verse. Refreshing having a differently structured song, good song overall

7. No Talking – Enjoy how the beat fades out a bit half way through the hook, is pretty average to starts off but gets much more exciting then, decent hook in the end. Verse has a pretty basic delivery and the one flow pretty much the whole way through, isn’t too exciting, gets a bit better for the last few bars though. Back to the hook>verse>hook structure, not a good song but not a bad song either

8. We Not Lazy – pretty basic trap beat with the generic trap drums and a simple piano melody. Some good rhymes on the hook but the flow and delivery isn’t anything special at all, not very catchy. The verse is pretty 1 dimensional too, not a lot of variety in the flows and Money Mans delivery is quite basic for the entirety of the verse. Okay song, nothing too good

Album Review

Going into this album I wasn’t expecting anything too great; I wouldn’t really call myself a fan of Money Man but his 2019 project Paranoia had a couple of songs (Foul & At All Cost) that I thought we’re amazing, so I was prepared for a surprisingly great album. Unfortunately what I got was more of the ‘nothing too great’ than the ‘surprisingly great’ I was hopeful for. The beats weren’t too exciting, the hooks were mostly average, and Money Man himself didn’t deliver too many performances that impressed me.

I’m going to start with one of the most annoying things about the album, the repetitive song structures. I believe 7 out of 8 tracks followed the structure of hook>verse>hook, which isn’t a bad song structure without context, but when it’s used on almost every song and a majority of them are mediocre it really gets stale fast. Because of this song structure 2/3 of each song is usually taken up by hooks, and that’s another one of my main gripes with this album; forgettable hooks. Apart from 2 or 3 songs I felt like all the hooks were bad on Epidemic, with most of them lacking the interesting melodies or fun rhyme schemes that make a good hook catchy. My final problem with this tape was that Money Man himself and the production were just real average for the most part. The instrumentals were generic for the most part, made up of trap drums and either piano or guitar melodies, and Money Mans vocals were often just as generic with uninteresting flows and a boring delivery present on most tracks.

There were a couple of highs on this album but nothing that compares to my favourite moments of the year or even the month of February. I thought the beat on ‘Another Lifetime’ was the best on the album, bringing together these majestic synths and instrumentation with this awesome thumping bass for this captivating end product. I enjoyed the change in pace from Money Man on ‘Its Yo World’, which has him using a much more melodic flow and delivering one of the most catchy hooks on the album. And finally is the song ‘Courtesy’ which was my personal favourite, being the only song to combine a catchy hook with some impressive rapping on the verses, good track for its entirety.

So in summary this album was pretty mid, and even with such a short run time it was quite a bore to get through. With nearly all the songs following the same structure, no features, and some mediocre raps from Money Man, this album really lacked exciting moments and overall exciting songs. Regardless, this project further proved to me that he has a great knack for riding a beat effortlessly and delivering an impressive performance, so I’m eager to check out his ‘State of Emergency’ project that he released a month after ‘Epidemic’

Final Notes

You can stream the mixtape on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or listen for free on YouTube here!

My favourite songs were ‘Its Yo World’ & ‘Courtesy’.

What were your favourite songs on the mixtape?

Who would you like to see Money Man collaborate with in the future?

What are Money Man’s best past projects?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

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