Ariano’s brilliant new album, F… You, I Love You, Pay Me, is more than just the West Coast artist’s best release to date. Sure, it’s brimming with masterfully produced instrumentals and impeccable songwriting, all in his own, very unique style. But it’s also a sharply written critique of our modern times, from the shallow ways in which we communicate with one another to the miscreant currently occupying the oval office.
The multitalented artist has a cutting approach to his lyrics that has permeated through his past records as well. It’s never been quite this powerful as on F… You, however, and that could be because he’s so succinctly taking power away from his subjects. No songs on here wear out their welcome, and most fall into the 3-minute range, but even when he does go long, like on the 1-2 punch of “Bipolar Boyfriend” and “Rich Man Poor Man,” it’s with damn-good reason.
It’s on these tracks and others that his bluesy, Jazz-tinged style really shows off what he’s capable of: searing, powerful criticism. This is apparent on other standout tracks including the religion-questioning lead single, “Do You Know My Name” and “No More Emoji’s,” which features a blistering takedown of modern-day communication alongside LFD. And then there’s Ariano’s personal favorite track, “Calm Down,” which discusses his son’s life as a young black man in America in addition to the artist’s own growth over the years.
In all, FYILYPM is an understandably cynical and realistic portrayal of life as we all know it. The verbal shots at coke-sniffing rappers, the president, gun violence, and everyone else deserving are made that much more potent thanks to Ariano’s raw, layered production. His instrumentals shape-shift as often as his vocals, providing an organic and cohesive feel to what is his magnum opus.
“This is my best work because it’s my most raw and in your face,” Ariano explains, adding that he produced, recorded, mixed and mastered every song. “It’s an album that helped me grow and return to a sound. I also freestyled the whole album—each song was one take, purposely leaving room for mistakes. It also felt good to rap again on this project.”
F… You, I Love You, Pay Me is available now through all major digital retailers and streaming platforms via Popular Nobody.
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