Andy Mineo is one of the most successful rappers on Reach Records’ roster. He was active for ten years prior to signing with Reach however. He joined rap group Fat Camp after graduating college. The group and Andy were signed to Marshall Street Records after winning a song contest. They opened for acts such as Common and The Roots and released their album The Food, before Andy stepped away to join T.R.U.C.E. with Alex Medina. Andy’s departure led to the closure of Marshall Street Records. Andy toured with TRUCE and released his first mixtape Sin is Wack. While touring with Da’ TRUTH, he met Lecrae and was featured on his song “Background,” as well as Tedashii’s song “Reverse”. After his singing feature, he was sought after as a singer, causing him to split personas, using his real name for singing and C-Lite as his rap moniker. In 2010, Andy was signed to the label as a rapper and Andy dropped the C-Lite moniker. After being signed by Lecrae and company, Andy hit the ground running, releasing his mixtape Formerly Known. In 2011, Andy released his debut album Heroes For Sale. He followed that up with his EP Never Land in 2014, which features “You Can’t Stop Me,” which went gold. In 2015, Andy released his album Uncomfortable, produced by !llmind. He took 2016 off to reflect and work on new music. He filled the gap with Candy Rain, a single. In 2017, Andy formed a rap duo with friend Wordsplayed called Magic & Bird and the duo released their collaborative mixtape Magic & Bird the same year. Now, Andy finally returns with the music he’s been working on since 2016 with Chapter 1: The Arrow. Will the first chapter of his year long project live up to the hype? Find out here on this special edition of #MusicMonday.
1. I’ve Been…
The lyricism is solid and his production really solid. This intro is an honest and well made track. Andy explains to us that he’s been lost in a bad place. How’d he get there and what was it like? We’re about to find out.
Track Rating: 8/10
Transitioning right into the next track, Andy keeps the lyricism at 100 and delivers his own “44 Bars” of truth and honesty. His vocals are solid and the production is really solid. This is a very personal project for the artist who has been missing for three years. The speed changes as Andy gets more and more into his head. He deconstructs his life and faith and rebuilds all in the course of 4 minutes. The spoken word samples are a perfect addition.
Track Rating: 9/10
3. Family Photo
The production is more laid back, but the honesty doesn’t change. The picture he paints of his wedding day and his family drama is absolutely captivating and heartbreaking. This is his therapy session and we’re all just listening in. This is an absolutely incredible song.
Track Rating: 10/10
This is one flowing story that is a sobering window into a man’s soul and mind. This transitional song perfectly captures what it’s like to try and make it through an anxiety attack. However, it’s not a track I’ll revisit often.
Track Rating: 7/10
5. I Ain’t Done
This is the celebration song here! Andy produces a banger that is truly honest in its sentiments and completely uplifting. The song shows what’s it like to overcome anxiety and depression. It samples rock to make a truly courageous song about beating the demons. This is the best song off the album.
Track Rating: 10/10
And now we return to the beginning. We’ve seen what Andy was going through the last two years and now he’s giving us the closing statements. He explains that he was lost and hit a rough patch but he’s back now. It’s a triumphant and gorgeous finale that really ties everything together. Andy’s talking at the end was amazing and completely concludes the first chapter on a huge, perfect note.
Track Rating: 10/10
Andy just told one of the best stories of the year in six songs. It’s very cinematic and personal. This is only the beginning to what he’s got planned for this year. Chapter 1 was a great start. I’m excited for the rest of them. Andy Mineo is back and he’s got more to say. I can’t wait for the rest. It’s very beautiful, personal, raw, emotional, and theatrical. This is Andy’s best EP and it’s shaping up to be a truly revolutionary set of music.
EP Rating: 9/10