Rating: 5.5 / 10
In 2006, one of the best movies I’ve ever had the joy to experience was released in theaters. The Prestige, which starred Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, was one of the movies that you truly had to see to believe. Directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), the movie presented a story of a rivalry between two magicians and their search for the perfect magic trick that turned deadly. Most people that remember The Prestige don’t seem to remember The Illusionist, another movie released in the same time period that had a similar concept. The Illusionist wasn’t a bad movie by any means; it just wasn’t The Prestige and was largely overshadowed due to bad timing.
Sadly, in this case for Yo Gotti and his long-delayed debut release, Live From The Kitchen sounds as if it’s patterned after The Illusionist; this particular brand of street music is nowhere near the level of T.I.’s F*ck Da City Up, Jeezy’s TM:103, or Rozay’s Rich Forever. It doesn’t help the fact that Yo Gotti’s album comes well after two years of his most buzzworthy single, “5-Star”, was released (which spawned a star-studded remix with Trina, Gucci Mane, and Nicki Minaj). All of the singles that hit the radio at the height of his attention then are all cut; the original “5-Star”, “Women Lie, Men Lie”, and “Look In The Mirror” are nonexistent (5-Star Remix is present, however). Instead, the album is a lean 11 tracks that boasts newer content and newer radio singles as well.
Unfortunately, newer content doesn’t necessarily translate into fresher content, and a large majority of the album seems to fall into the bland, generic category due to the redundant production. Yo Gotti has never exactly been a “lyricist” either, and he needs his beats to be a little more diverse in order to reach his full potential. The features here all help to add value to the project, but it’s still futile; the big names here (Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Jadakiss, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa) all make interesting cameos in their own right, but the entire project still comes off as uninspired, especially when compared to other projects that have been released in the last month.
If Yo Gotti wouldn’t have had label issues and was able to release Live From The Kitchen when it was garnering the most buzz, we’d probably have a different, more complete album. Depressingly, that’s not the case, and we’re left with an LP that’s decent if you’re a fan of his music, but will most likely be overshadowed due to its overall lack of appeal outside Gotti’s fanbase. Hopefully in the future, the timing will pan out better for Yo Gotti as he releases studio albums.