Detroit-based rapper Tee Grizzley has catapulted into the spotlight within the past year, and all eyes are on him for the release of his debut album titled, Activated. Throughout all eighteen tracks, Activated maintains explosive energy from start to finish. From Tee Grizzley’s hard-hitting delivery to the crisp production, the album is a great listen with the addition of notable features that include Chris Brown and Jeezy.
Tee Grizzley keeps his topics simple and honest on Activated, as he focuses on his city, his friendships, and his life experiences. His lyrics are gritty and at times unpleasant, but his message needs to be heard in an honest and raw perspective. Prior to the release of the album, he clarified on the direction he was making with his music:
“When people hear my music, they ain’t really hearing about no shiny stuff, the glamorous life. They’re going to hear that gritty, slum. It’s a dark cloud over my city. I’ve been through it and I’ma tell you in detail. A lot of people just ride past the slums in their music. Boarded-up trap houses, cars parked on the grass. I’m going to take you into those houses, into the minds of the people that’s in those houses.”
One of the main highlights on Activated is the masterful production heard throughout the album, most notably from “London On Da Track,” “Helluva Beats,” and “ChopsquadDJ.” Throughout the entire album, most instrumentals maintain a fast, hard-hitting vibe through the 808’s, kicks, and snares – a sound that can be described as “crisp” and “clean” as a whole.
In regards to instrumentation, we hear a large variety of sounds throughout the album, like the contrast between piano-driven instrumentals in “Activated” and “Jettski Grizzley”, and the more synth-based sounds like the ones heard in “Set The Record Straight.” These powerful instrumentals give Tee Grizzley the confidence to spit hard on each track, with both the power of the instrumentals backing his compelling delivery.
Overall, Tee Grizzley’s debut album Activated emerges successful, as it’s ultimately a fun and engaging listen the entire way through. While Grizzley’s lyrical content can be repetitive at times, his aggressive delivery is a highlight.
The production on Activated is good – almost too good at times. While looking at the sonic landscape and overall vibe of some of the instrumentals, at times the instrumentals are so full to the point where it feels as if Tee Grizzley is trying to fit into the instrumental, rather than owning it himself.
In regards to the features, Chris Brown and Jeezy have respectable contributions while Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, and YFN Lucci have more forgettable verses.
Overall Score: C+