Written by Matt Brown (@m_dot_br33zy)
Once a rapper and producer for member of Pittsburgh’s native, Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang, Neako is now beginning his own journey in the hip-hop world. He formed his own label, LVLYSL, and is preparing to release his debut album, These Are The Times, on November 27th. Having worked with some of the game’s top artists such as Bun B, Snoop Dogg, and Curren$y, Neako decided to come alone on his first LP. Neako also gives fans the best of both worlds not only showing off lyrically but production wise as well.
The album opens with Winner’s Spirit where Neako raps of his humble beginnings coming up and desire for success over the dark and grim beat. As a kid growing up in the streets, Neako is sure to let you know there is no easy route to reaching the top. His coming of age sound echoes throughout the entire album on joints like Levitate, Morals, and Going Up. Neako’s story of struggle grants him giant steps into a game where many of the greats have shared the same starts.
Struggle is only a part of what Neako looks to bring on his first go round. Songs like SuperBowl, Just Like I Thought, and I Made It All, show off his flashier side. Stepping away from the tradition hip-hop beats, Neako cooks these tracks with unconventional and head bobbing sounds and drums, some of which reflect those of the Neptunes and other legendary production names.
Neako doesn’t forget the ladies on There Are The Times. His song, If We Ever, shows off his smooth side with lyrics diving into life with a special girl by his side. If We Ever brings a slow and dreamy beat with heavy synths. All A Dream takes a different spin in the relationship zone of a rapper trying to make it having dreams of the struggles that come with success.
Like MMG artist Meek Mill, Neako toasts the life of a young hustler who doesn’t take no for an answer. Not one song on the entire album shows any signs of fear or second thought of Neako’s confidence as a rookie in the game. Much of the album features Neako rapping strong lyrics proving that even though this is his first time out, his talent can match with the best of them. Lessons learned in the streets shaped him into the inspired lyricist he hopes to portray on These Are The Times.
Real hip-hop fans should keep their eye on this new rising star in the game. Even though he’s independent now, it won’t be long until some of hip-hop’s top artists come banging on Neako’s door. Pre-Order These Are The Times here.
These Are The Times Tracklist:
1. Winners Spirit
3. The Trip
4. Going Up
5. I Made it All
6. LVL’s Ready For This
7. Everything’s Good
8. Winners Spirit
9. To The Max
12. I Am
13. All A Dream
14. Just Like I Thought
15. If We Ever