Jon Briggz, of Milwaukee, originally formed The Lost with brothers and close friends as a way to express the way they lived. The group released two mixtapes and performed in local venues over a two year period, but without leadership and guidance the vision of the group was lost and led to their dismantling. Each member eventually realized what the concept of The Lost meant to them and reformed as We R The Lost. In addition to the continuation of this project, Briggz continues to work with other members of his team and other Milwaukee artists. Enjoy our review of We R The Lost’s “Still Lost”, below.
‘I’m Spotted’ opens “Still Lost” with a grooving sampled backbeat drum pattern and an excellent piano melody. The vocals are mixed well, and Briggz vocal tone is sound and his vocals are mixed well within the track. From the very beginning of the album it is evident that Briggz is witty and intelligent and will be using these skills to his advantage. ‘New Black’, the track that follows, is of a different style; a heavy-hitting beat pounds overtop great production (echoed vocal parts, pauses in the beat). Brigg’z vocal tone is commanding, his performance especially impressive throughout the first minute. The song’s chorus is sung and includes vocal parts that are doubled. The song features an interesting storyline and lyrical concept and again, Briggz’s witty wordplay is present in the verses, this time with a broader, more colorful vocabulary. The production of this track is absolutely incredible; it certainly would not surprise me to hear this on the radio. ‘Gold’ a short, spoken-word rhyme leads into ‘Say The Word’, which features T. Harris. Briggz is ever-evolving throughout the album; a different style here, another there. This particular recording opens with a synth and an exceptional verse, both musically and vocal performance-wise. The production is again amazing; the lyrics rhyme and vibe perfectly together. The chorus sounds especially good, as the vocals that are sung are sung very. This could easily be another radio single. Lyrically, Briggz doesn’t withhold much: the lyrical content is raw, brash, at times. Musically, the song is excellent; the recording quality and production is outstanding, notably the inclusion of vocal harmonies that close the song. ‘Still Got Love’ opens in a trippy, disorienting manner; the drum sample is excellent, accompanied by retro-style vocals, and the production is huge (notably the backing vocals that are present in sections of the verses and choruses). Each of these songs is produced so well; Briggz is assertive and insistent here, and his rhymes are incredibly on point. A spoken word female voiceover opens ‘X’ along with indiscriminate, ambient singing. Again, the production is incredible; the first verse is exceptionally hard-hitting. Unfortunately, the chorus is very weak; there is nothing new lyrically covered here. The performances leave more to be desired, as does the instrumentation. This trend continues as the track moves along, as the second verse is weaker than first, rhyme-wise, and while the song does contain an ever-developing storyline, the most interesting bit is the first verse I mentioned previously.
‘The Times’ follows, opening with a sample of one of Martin Luther King’s Jr’s famous quotes (“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children.”). Again, the production is extremely intense and hard-hitting, but this time it is also haunting and trap-like. Bili Ro$e’s part from 1:35-2:55 was excellent; Ro$e goes off, showcasing an impressive, particularly fluid flow. He provides a new perspective, as well as new content, and references pop-culture from time to time. His final line could’ve been much more impactful, though, being that it closes the song. Multiple synths open ‘Influence’; the song features Slim Ali, and his opening section is done almost-impeccably. The first minute of the song is absolutely outstanding both production and structure-wise. The real highlight of the song is this hook/chorus section; I love the tempo and everything about the music and the production of the song, and while the final few lines that Briggz delivers are impressive, his performances within the verses are not spectacular. ‘Lost’ is the final full-length recording the album contains; quick rhymes from Briggz open the song, accompanied by an intriguing melody. The vocal performance in the verse is strong and engaging, and even though SirCastro’s effort at one minute in is stellar, it is overshadowed by Briggz’s outstanding performance. The album closes with the amazingly funky drum and bass groove ‘You Made It’, a cool instrumental outro that first shows appreciation for those who he works with, only then to turn negative and abrasive with Briggz calling out those who are “petty”. Throughout the album the production just gets better and better. Every single song is produced exceptionally. Everything is incredibly detailed and full, and small variances in the melodies of each song make each distinct. Briggz is extremely versatile, as this unique and captivating ten-track album shows. Lyrically, Briggz started incredibly strong, but fell off somewhat as the album continued. There is no question that Briggz is at his best when he avoids using degrading comments; this vocabulary is largely unnecessary and takes away from the overall impact that these songs can have. The stellar instrumentation and production of this album is the main takeaway, as are many of Briggz’s vocal performances.
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