Polo G has had a meteoric rise to the top of the Hip Hop game ever since he burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. He seemingly came out of nowhere in the year 2018, with multiple songs of his garnering 100s of millions of views on YouTube. He has taken advantage of this vitality and not slowed down at all over the last 2 years, having released his album Die A Legend in 2019 and his album GOAT in 2020 to critical and commercial acclaim. Polo G hails from Chicago, and similar to most rappers from that city, spent his childhood involved in gang violence and experiencing constant tragedies. Polo G wears his heart on his sleeve and tells everything he’s been through in his lyrics, making him extremely relatable to listeners and connecting with them through his vulnerability. Polo G’s latest record, Hall of Fame, was his first to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It has been received mostly positively, with listeners loving Polo G’s performances but some not loving 100% of the production. I kind of agree with this sentiment; Polo G himself is great on this record, but not every instrumental suits his style and quality. I feel like all of the best instrumentals were used on songs with big features, which is why most of the best songs on this record have at least one big guest spot. With that being said, instead of reviewing Hall of Fame as a whole, I am going to talk about my favorite tracks from the album. Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite songs see from Hall of Fame, and also let me know in the comments how you feel about the album as a whole.
‘Rapstar’ was by far my favorite single released in anticipation of this album. This is a song that showcases all of the elements that make Polo G great. His flow, lyricism, and ability to be melodic and make Pop-tinted music are all used in major ways on this record. ‘Rapstar’ has a very catchy melody and is easy to listen and makes the song fun to sing along to. On ‘Rapstar,’ Polo G raps about how even though he has made it to the top of the game, he still goes through spells of depression and has as many problems as anyone. The trauma of his past life will never fade away and it will be difficult for him to ever be truly happy. ‘Rapstar’ is a relatable banger that showcases how great Polo G can be.
NO RETURN(feat. LIL DURK AND THE KID LAROI)
One of my favorite things about Polo G is his diversity as a Hip Hop artist. Because he can excel in so many types of Hip Hop, he can make songs with pretty much anyone connected to the genre. This makes songs like ‘No Return’ possible. I honestly would never expect to hear Lil Durk and The Kid Laroi on the same song, but the adaptability of Polo G makes this possible because he can bridge the gap between the two artists. It’s interesting how different artists can change how the same instrumental sounds. When Lil Durk raps on this track, the melody and beat sound intense. When Laroi comes in, the instrumental sounds a lot softer. Polo G’s sound on this song is sort of right in the middle of these two extremes, and he makes the track sound natural. ‘No Return’ is a song that highlights how talented Polo G is while showcasing how great Lil Durk and The Kid Laroi are at what they do as well.
GO PART 1(feat. G HERBO)
‘Go Part 1’ is a song that I think has been overlooked as far as quality goes. This is a song I could see going viral and becoming very popular way down the road. This track has an anxious and intense melody and beat that fits in so well with the Chicago Trap and drill sound. It makes the listener feel the anguish and tragedy of the gang-ridden areas in the city. Both vocal performances match this energy, making the listener feel the emotions being portrayed in the track. One thing to note about this song is Polo G’s chemistry with G Herbo. Their vocals flows, and overall rapping styles compliment each other super well. I want to hear a lot more music from these two together in the future. Until that moment comes, I’ll be frequently listening to ‘Go Part 1.’
PARTY LYFE(feat. DABABY)
One thing that both Polo G and Dababy are very good at is making Pop-Trap music sound fun. Both of them excel at making Pop-tinted bangers that work perfectly for dance clubs and parties. ‘Party Lyfe’ is an excellent example of both of these artists being at the top of their game when it comes to this. This is just a fun Pop-Trap track that should bring up any Hip Hop fan’s mood and make them want to have a good time. This song is aptly named because it is a party track. This is not the most sophisticated song on the record, but it is not meant to be. ‘Party Lyfe’ is a song that does exactly what it is intended to do; it injects positive energy into a public gathering. I could see this one becoming one of the most popular from this album eventually because is perfect for any setting where people are just having partying the night away.
FAME AND RICHES(feat. RODDY RICCH)
Many people would probably consider Polo G and Roddy Ricch to be two of the biggest faces of the current melodic Pop-Trap movement. Both of these artists have demonstrated that they are the cream of the crop when it comes to catchy Pop-Trap songs with addicting hooks and extremely smooth flows. ‘Fame and Riches’ is an excellent example of what makes these two artists so great. This is a song with a sweet and fun guitar-driven melody and a hook that is a total earworm. Polo G and Roddy Ricch glide effortlessly over this instrumental, demonstrating the elements of their rapping that make them so popular. ‘Fame and Riches’ is a fun song to listen to because it’s easy to sing along to and is bound to make you bop your head and move your feet while listening. It is not very complicated or sophisticated, but it shows many reasons why so many people love these two artists.
FOR THE LOVE OF NEW YORK(feat. NICKI MINAJ)
Like I stated earlier, one of the best things about Polo G is his ability to adapt to the styles of other artists. He is able to work with pretty much anyone and incorporate their sounds into his own, making most of his collaborations work very well. On ‘For The Love Of New York, which features Nicki Minaj, Polo G takes on Nicki’s iconic Caribbean Pop-Rap sound. This track sounds like it could have come off of one of Nicki’s first albums; the instrumental and vocal performances from each artist are truly a blast from the past. Polo G fits this style of music perfectly, demonstrating once again his prowess as a Pop-Rap star. Nicki provides a verse on this track reminiscent of some of her biggest hits, showing that she is still a queen and top dog when it comes to the Hip Hop game. This track is just as good as it should be considering the talent of the artists on it, and I would love to hear Polo G and Nicki Minaj collaborate a lot more in the future.
CLUELESS(feat. POP SMOKE AND FIVIO FOREIGN)
Anytime two artists as eclectic and talented as Polo G and Pop Smoke(RIP Pop Smoke) are on the same song, something special is bound to happen. ‘Clueless,’ which also includes Fivio Foreign, proves this point. This track has an instrumental that feels like a straight combination of melodic Pop-Trap and New York Drill music. It kind of falls right in the middle of the styles of music Polo G and Pop Smoke/Fivio Foreign are known for respectively. All three performances on this record stand out. Polo G has a killer flow and makes the song palatable for more casual Hip Hop fans, while Pop Smoke and Fivio Foreign bring the gruff and tough attitude and demeanor NY Drill artists are known for. This song just has so much energy and is so fun to listen to; it proves why Polo G and Fivio Foreign are considered experts at what they do, and it shows how immensely talented Pop Smoke was.