When it comes to new artists, Chicago or otherwise, I gotta give the nod to Goodbye Tomorrow as the one I’ve been most excited for in 2015.
The buzz has been building and the time has come for the release of their first full project – the debut album Goodbye Tomorrow: A Journey Through The Mind of a Non-Believer out now on iTunes via Rostrum Records.
As the summer has heated up, so has the speculation about the identity(ies) of Goodbye Tomorrow. They, the mystery Chicago collective, provided more clarity on that by redirecting the clarity to what they’re about, their why — earlier this week in a great profile by DJ Booth:
“It’s about the collective nature of humanity,” they said. “What’s possible when we get rid of the me-me-me bullshit. Everything’s so me focused, so look at me, and hip-hop’s a microcosm of that, but that attitude is everywhere. Our whole idea is to get rid of that. Our message is the power we have that we can take back and claim, to get over the bullshit that divides us.”
So, let’s all take a step back and ask the greater question: not who they are, but what’s their message?
And tonight, we get their first full body of work.
I was lucky enough to get an advance listen of the album so I can say right off the top, AJTTMOANB matches the depth of the visuals thus far. That includes their 2 music videos (“Pray 2 God” below) and their various social media imagery too.
The album is really what the title says: a journey. For the first 3 records, we hear Goodbye Tomorrow in their most rebellious form, rapping on the high life while also boasting a bravado that’s infectious to the listener. He backs it up throughout in different ways, but it’s most obvious on the high-octane trio of tracks to start out the album. His versatile flow rides the album’s wide range of polished production and layers within.
“Light One, Pour One” is the album’s turning point and Goodbye Tomorrow’s most personal and emotional raps. This is where the journey begins to take form as he battles self-doubt on his rise as an artist, but to the core: as a person.
“Pray 2 God”, “Shine”, and “Confetti” represent my personal favorite stretch of the album, and on a greater scale, continue to embody that tug of war. There’s a more positive, motivational mindset that shines through (no pun intended) and I believe these songs can become anthems for the dreamer inside all of us.
The album takes an unexpected turn thereafter. “Movie”, “(Don’t Wanna) Let It Go”, and “Cleopatraaa” show the R&B side of Goodbye Tomorrow. The rapper can sing too! “Movie” will enter your bedroom playlists almost immediately and has a different form of single potential too. “(Don’t Wanna) Let It Go” cleverly borrows a melody from “Shine” (one of the many superb production subtleties) and continues the lady-centric chapter. And “Cleopatraaa” most notably features one of the rawest, singing freestyles I’ve heard in music, delievered with a dark autotune aesthetic.
Finally, the last 2 songs of the album are the fitting conclusions to The Journey. “The Way”, as digested the other day, finds a theraputic and optimistic Goodbye Tomorrow looking forward. “28” continues the theme, flexes some more tough bars, and the experience ends with a haunting Japanese outro that’s just waiting to be decoded (…let alone the complex lyrics throughout in English. Ha!)
After the breakdown above, it goes without saying that I recommend a stream/purchase to go along with a closed-eyed, focused listen to interpret more yourself.
Goodbye Tomrrow is an artist I truly believe can change the rap game and culture as a whole. This is just the debut project so you can join us on the ground floor and experience the ride that unfolds into the months and years ahead… because Goodbye Tomorrow will certainly be a leader into a brighter light.
Top-Tier *Tibs Favs. — Pray 2 God, Shine, Confetti, Cleopatraaa, The Way.
**The album also boasts no credited features, but that’s almost certainly Yasmine from Krewella on the intro track “I Don’t Give a Fuck” and “The Way”, on top of her lead role in the “Pray 2 God” video. Plus, a few other uncredited singers add to the collective and do their thing too, adding layers to choruses throughout.
LASTLY: I stopped through to the Goodbye Tomorrow album projection tonight in Wicker Park. The setup followed suit to the aesthetic and it looks like there may be more album listening sessions to come this weekend in the Chi. Look for this truck and stay plugged in on their Twitter to find out where/when you can pick up your limited edition physical copy.