As I always say beforehand with these reviews, listening to music is subjective. Just because I like something, doesn’t mean that you will & just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean you won’t like it. Now onto the review.
When I was first was called on to do this review, a friend of mine described Darrio as “the Columbus Rick Ross”. I immediately rolled my eyes, not because I have anything against Darrio (this would be my first time listening to a project of his), but because it seems like we always do this in cities that aren’t New York, Atlanta, Miami, etc. Instead of letting us listen to someone with fresh ears, we have to tag this artist with a comparison that is more likely than not, unfair. To my friends point, Darrio doesn’t exactly shy away from this comparison, considering when I checked the track list, there was a song called “William Roberts” on it. Who am I to tell him that he’s not the biggest boss in the city? Let’s see if Ultra backs up this claim.
Ultra starts with a short-recorded phone call from “Mook” then goes into a complete banger as the first (actual) song “Yea Right” comes in loud and triumphant seeing Darrio in his bag about the accomplishments and accolades he’s getting all while letting you (whoever you may be) know that they don’t believe that you’re doing the things you say you are. The beat itself reminds me of Drake’s “Trophies” with its horns and the way it makes you feel like you that guy whenever you walk into the room. I am a huge fan of good intros, I feel like it sets off the tone of the entire project and Ultra succeeds in this area.
We then go to “Down Fall” a Dom Kennedy sampling track about people not wanting him to succeed, typical trap fare with you know, not trusting anyone at all. “Bang” has him showing some of his lyrical prowess with lines such as “I’m ready to die, that’s Big Poppa/Gotta feed the fam and my partners/I want the whole land, that’s my offer/wanna get a piece? It’s gon cost ya” Then we have “1 Life to Live (3)” and “Take It Easy” lighter beats than the first couple offerings, with the former sounding like something Lil Uzi Vert would be comfortable on and the latter a piano-driven track that finds him asking a young lady to “take it easy” with her requirements of a relationship. One thing that does compare to Rick Ross is his beat selection, as we know that Ross is notorious for picking absolute masterpiece instrumentals and so far, Darrio seems to have shared that trait.
One of my favorite songs comes next with “F U Money” with it’s 1970’s sampling track and it’s UGK inspired hook and it really inspires me to boss up on all these fools. It’s just a fun record, even when you’re being inherently disrespectful to people by saying you have F you money. Then we have “Not Impressed” and “Dismissed” because he really felt the need to show y’all how much he doesn’t care about his haters and the women that come and go out of his life? Both these tracks sound similar as well, with soul samples and Darrio spitting about how he doesn’t need whoever in his life, one of these tracks could have been left on the cutting room floor. Another interlude comes and goes and then we have “Make It Last” another one of his lighter tracks and another track I found myself playing back again, one of his positivity tracks talking about how the good things in his life, he’s going to make it last.
Serious question, who are the producers on this project? Because they as a collective, blessed Darrio with some A quality soundscapes. So much so, it makes a repetitive track like “Ain’t ReaL’ sound much better than it has any right to. We do run into a little bit of a lull with “Jimmy Snuka” and “William Roberts” towards the end, it may be possible that I was so impressed with the earlier tracks, that the later 2 don’t hit the same way. But then Darrio nails the outro. Another soul-sampling track “Ultra” has him and Soop trade bars back and forth with chemistry that suggests that they have been doing this for a while, a la Jadakiss and Styles P. This is the strongest lyrical output of the project, fitting that it came at the end after he does a pretty good job convincing you that he is the biggest boss in the city.
In summary, this is a consistently good project. Few weak spots, the beats are ridiculous and Darrio Lamont holds his own lyrically. He’s not the type of rapper that’s going to go over your head with any bars but his voice and presence carries him throughout here. I endorse this tape, and feel like it can stand on it’s own merits, without any comparison to Ross or anyone else. Darrio Lamont is his own man and he proves it on this project.
Favorite tracks – Yea Right, F U Money, Make it Last, Ultra