This review is brought to you by Tipsy Bartender, because I feel like I need a couple of glasses of Hunch Punch just to get through this review. Pressa is a Canadian rapper from the 6 (Toronto) but you wouldn’t know it from listening to “Prestige.” In fact if you had to guess blindfolded knowing nothing about him, ATLANTA would be the first choice. On songs like “Fox Fur” he’s indistinguishable from the identifying sound of the A-T-L — high pitched, AutoTuned, heavily medicated, and incomprehensibly slurred.
After being exposed to his music, I looked up his bio to find out what Pressa’s story is, but much like the sound of his songs you’ve heard it all before. He grew up a fatherless child, he got in trouble a lot, he was discovered by someone who liked his sound and he opened for Drake on tour. The details are as interchangeable as his music. Even videos like “Should of Been a Pimp” are just one long cliche of scantily clad women prostrating themselves for Pressa’s pleasure. “I just blew a bag” brags Pressa. I just drank another glass of punch.
Years ago the song “Sons of 3rd Bass” contained a sample that goes like this: “He is stupid, but he knows that he is stupid, and that almost makes him smart.” On some level I feel like Pressa is that self-aware when he creates tracks like “Lil and Dumb.” He’s at least acknowledging that he lacks any kind of depth or substance to his words. If we’re acknowledging then I’ll do the same and admit the song has a catchy electronic beat and sufficient drums and bass to just barely qualify as head nodding.
I kept looking for the moment on “Prestige” that would justify this album’s existence. I even looked for the guest stars to raise this album’s status, but Burna Bandz on “Goin Thru It” isn’t a big enough name to change this game. “We so sad, I need a bag.” And I need more punch.
There’s absolutely nothing special about Pressa that necessitates his launch to recognition in Toronto (where he was born) or Los Angeles (where he now resides) let alone the rest of the world. Everything about this dude is something I’ve seen before, heard before, and experienced before. The music is okay. It’s nothing special. The lyrics and their delivery are far less than okay — they’re banal and insipid. You should avoid “Prestige” unless you are inebriated enough to not be able to tell the difference between him and a dozen other sound alike artists.