Terrain To Roam

[2/5] Giovanni Marks may have grown up in Compton, but you certainly wouldn’t guess that from listening to his records. As Subtitle, he’s spent his rap career avoiding clichés, choosing to hang on the outskirts of the genre. And while that’s always a commendable task, Terrain To Roam isn’t going to turn any heads. It’s one of those albums that doesn’t seem to leave any lasting impression. His lyrics are well-written, but the problem lies in the delivery. It’s slightly off kilter and a little bit lazy, and though that’s sort of what he’s going for, it quickly fades into the background. Beat-wise, he definitely enlisted the best (Madlib, Daedelus, Dntel, etc.), but most of their contributions sound like leftovers. It’s hard to diss on a dude who’s obviously putting his heart into his music, but unfortunately there just isn’t enough here to really make a dent. (ALPHA PUP; Eddie Fleisher