Album Review: Don Toliver - "Life of a DON"
Written By: Mike Double G
Grade = 75% or 3.5 ️Stars
Track List - 52 minutes
Way Bigger 3:16 ️
Flocky Flocky (Feat. Travis Scott) 3:03 ️
What You Need 3:37
Double Standards 3:11
Swangin” On Westheimer 4:48 ️
Drugs N Hella Melodies (Feat. Kali Uchis) 3:18
Get Throwed 2:35
Company Pt 2, 3:31
OUTERSPACE (Feat. Baby Keem) 3:46 ️
Smoke (Feat. HVN & SoFaygo) 3:19
You (Feat. Travis Scott) 3:33
Crossfaded 2:39 ️
BOGUS 3:19 ️
Don Toliver is a rapper signed to Travis Scott’s label Cactus Jack Records. Both Toliver and Scott come from Houston, Texas. Toliver released his first major label mixtape Donny Womack in August of 2018 but the song that got him recognized was Can’t Say. This was a Travis Scott song which appeared on Scott’s Grammy nominated album ASTROWORLD. This feature put Toliver on the map but his career really took off after Travis Scott released his mixtape JACKBOYS. This project featured several of Travis Scott’s artists like Sheck Wes and Luxary Tax but Don Toliver was the one who really shined. Since then Toliver has been doing numerous features. Don Toliver’s melodic style allows him to work with almost any kind of rapper. He has done features with many of today’s superstars while also working with rap legends such as Eminem and Nas.
Don Toliver released his first debut studio album Heaven Or Hell on March 13th, 2020. Toliver was able to put together a four star project with out much help. He only had features on three of the 12 tracks. Euphoria had a feature from Travis Scott and it turned out to be one of the few weak tracks on the project. On Heaven Or Hell Toliver proofed he was not just another rapper signed to Travis Scott. He was able to make hit records with out any features. Many artists flop on there sophomore project but this was not the case for Don Toliver. Similar to his last project Toliver didn’t have many features on Life of a DON. This album includes guest appearances from Baby Keem, SoFaygo, HVN, Kali Uchis, and Travis Scott who appeared on two tracks.
Most Popular Song = Flocky Flocky (Feat. Travis Scott)
Houston’s heyday for rap was in the early 2000’s when “chopped and screwed” music was popular and guys like Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Chamillionaire, and Lil Flip we’re gaining recognition. Since then not many rappers from Texas have blown up. The few exceptions would be Travis Scott, Post Malone, and only until recently Don Toliver. None of these guys have that traditional Texas sound. Post Malone is from Dallas and covers many genres while Travis Scott and Don Toliver are the first from that area to use auto tune to their advantage. Scott and Toliver are creating the new sound of Houston. Travis Scott has become a superstar with the help of his billionaire partner Kylie Jenner. Travis was already on the rise but the powerhouse of the Kardashians have elevated him to an “A1” level. Besides Travis himself no one benefits from this more than Don Toliver.
Don Toliver is considered a rapper but to me he is more of a singer. He does rap but he’s one of the best when it comes to making melodies. One of my favorite songs on this project is Swangin’ On Westheimer. The title alone sounds like Houston. “Swangin’” is a slang term used in the south and “Westheimer” is an arterial east-west road in Houston. This song a slow jam that is about vibing with a girl in his city. It also talks about rumors and speculation. You can tell trust is an issue in the relationship. In verse one Toliver says:
Don't leave the house, baby. You gotta swing my way, but don't believe the hype, babe. I move shady so don't believe the hype, babe. I might lie sometimes, don't believe the hype, babe.
On the first verse Toliver admits to his flaws, but by verse three he talks about how she’s been doing her own dirt. On verse three Toliver says:
I had decided to take you back to the H to keep you there ballin'. You done learned some language on ya, I wanna go fallin'. You been posted at the Post Oak and I got evidence.
Post a Oak is a five star hotel in Houston and Toliver thinks this woman might be doing him wrong when he see’s her there.
The most popular song on this album is going to be Flocky Flocky. To no ones surprise this has a Travis Scott feature. This is a club record that you can turn up to. In the first verse Toliver says “Senorita got me goin, goin”. This could be a references to his girlfriend Kali Uchis who is a Columbian-American singer. Uchis also has a feature on the song Drugz N Hella Melodies. That song was one of the first singles on this project but it wasn’t my favorite. It’s possible that Toliver was bias because his girlfriend was on the song.
I don’t think this album was as good as Heaven or Hell. but I wouldn’t considered it a sophomore flop. One of the reasons I think this l album has had a lukewarm reception is because he didn’t pick the right singles prior to the albums release. What You Need was pretty good but there are other songs on this album that are better. He recently released videos for “Flocky Flocky” and Way Bigger so I think this album will continue to get big numbers after week one. I also think this album gets better over time. After a couple spins this is the kind of album that will grow on you. Don Toliver has the power of Travis Scott backing him and the two together are creating the new sound of Houston.
Best Song = Swangin' On Westheimer
Download: Life of a DON
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