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Having dropped his last project 2 years ago, 26AR is back with a brand new album in “FLYEST OOTA.” The Brooklyn rapper has been dropping loosies on YouTube and Streaming Services throughout the year, but the only one to make the cut of the album was “Walk Em,” a Sample Drill bop that chops up the same sample made famous by Style’s P’s “Good Times (I Get High).” The project is a calm listen, at only 11 tracks and barely 25 minutes long, and a tight and trimmed return for 26, but was it worth the wait.

26AR does something on this album that not many other Drill rappers are eager to do: step out of the realm of Drill and hop onto different beats. While a fair amount of this project consists of your standard Brooklyn Drill sound, 26 manages to switch it up regularly across the 11 songs on the album. Tracks like “Crash Dummy,” “In Position,” and “Hottest In My City (ft. Rob49),” are standouts because they don’t follow the Drill formula, making them all the more memorable in an otherwise Drill-Centric album.

Don’t think of this as a Drill-bashing review though, because it is anything but. 26AR is a Drill Rapper first, and it’s still something he does very well. On “Nobody Safe,” 26 rhymes over a softer kind of Drill beat, but effortlessly paints a picture of his hustle mentality and the fortress he’s built around himself to protect him from the pain that comes with living in the streets.

For his first project in 2 years, 26AR has produced a quality album that displays his current skills as a rapper, while showing his taste for variety in his sound and subject matter. Although I thought the best parts of the album were when he stepped outside of Drill, it may serve as a peek into the future of 26AR’s sound. All in all, the project is proof that stepping outside of your comfort zone is always a good thing.

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