Cyhi The Prynce may have just taken the hip-hop crown as the king of word play on his most recent mixtape Ivy League Club. He absolutely abuses tracks with interminable references that pile one behind the other. This G.O.O.D Music member lives up to the name of his clique, and considering rap bars, he makes good music.
On “Food Savers & Scissors,” easily one of the most thorough topical tracks on this tape, Cyhi proceeds to deliver a set of instructions for trappers in the dope game. He makes it clear that by using food savers and scissors an individual can conceal the smell of drugs and transport them to desired destinations. This track works well with the theme of the Ivy League Club because Cyhi assumes roles as rapper and professor while simultaneously delivering a message/lesson and bragging about his success moving weight.
“Im the man with them O-Z’s my plug call me wizard. Shawty I got some purp, and I got some killer. To you it smell like gas, but to me it smell like vanilla. And all my bud light cuz I don’t f**k with Miller. Not liquor… Reggie, I keep a bag of them veggies”
That’s a reference any smoker will instantly understand. Cyhi saturates his mixtape with exceptionally metaphorical smoking references using any vernacular commonly associated with marijuana.
Anytime you hear Cyhi say “like _________” whatever simile fills the blank as a punch line is a direct hit. Not only are his hooks catchy, but he literally beats the track up with punch lines. Hooks, jabs and uppercuts all connect as he bobs and weaves on the beat.
Yet, his composition is more than a punch line rapper. Songs like “Ivy League” and “Real Talk” exhibit how Cyhi elaborately paints pictures by allowing his references to link two unrelated topics into one cohesive idea.
Songs like “Tomorrow” and “Lives” exhibit charisma illustrating how Cyhi can curb the street edge and cater his flow to charm women.
Although Ivy League Club shines in lyrics and many other facets, there are some drawbacks.
Cyhi quickly tacks on lots of samples. “Lives,” which samples instrumentation from “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang, and “Entourage,” which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” made famous by Marvin Gaye, are two examples of sampled beats. Illusive Orchestra, producer of the two beats, masterfully composed the instrumentations, but the industry wants new material, and that’s more Cyhi’s fault than the producer, especially given that the songs “Tool” and “Feet Up” sample the pattern of two other well-known songs.
“100 Bottles,” the only song that shows need for improvement, features Chris Brown and fellow label mate Big Sean. The hook’s redundancy lacks cohesion and is slightly annoying. Furthermore Cyhi’s flow didn’t uphold the standards asserted on the 16 previous tracks.
Apart from those few bobbles, the rest of Ivy League Club is masterful. Cyhi presents fans and haters with the dilemma of deciding whether he is a rapper or lyricist. His clever wordplay is just short of genius and possesses very distinctive qualities. There isn’t another rapper that has the ability to lace bars the way Cyhi does. His unpredictable combination of punch lines, similes, internal rhyme, irony, and relentless references makes him a truly unique artist.