Looking to add himself to the list of rappers to make it out of Rochester, HB Cozy has been dropping music consistently for the past two years. This past weekend saw the release of his most recent project, “Count Us Out,” a 7-track, 19-minute joint project with frequent collaborator, CleetLord Lass. It’s his second project this year, with “Cozy Szn,” dropping in back in April. Outside of the two EP’s he dropped this year, HB Cozy has managed to drop several loosies as well to help build out his discography and establish himself and his artistry. His work ethic and consistency are surely something to be noted and admired, but what about the actual music?
On “Count Us Out,” HB Cozy and CleetLord Lass trade bars about their upbringings and hustling attitudes. HB maintains his laidback flow, while his counterpart Lass is a welcome addition to the tracks they both appear on. Lass’ deep voice fits the tone of the moody Trap beats they selected for the project, but my biggest criticism of the project is that the mixing of the songs feel muddy. While there are some moments in which you can hear the beat and the vocals distinctly, their delivery and the lack of sonic refining on said vocals leads to elongated “s” sounds that aren’t always pleasant to the ears. Dealing with this issue throughout the EP makes the listening experience feel somewhat choppy, despite the bars of substance that both artists have on the project. Compared to “Cozy Szn,” it certainly feels like a step down.
Even though the overall quality of the production on “Cozy Szn,” is considerably more minimalistic than its successor, HB’s vocals come off much cleaner and make for a listening experience that is much more enjoyable. HB sounds much more comfortable on this project as well, experimenting with different flows and production styles too. To assist him on this project are Lou Marley, and Nosym. Both artists have standout features on the 6-track, 13-minute project, helping elevate it entirely.
What HB Cozy’s work may sometimes lack in the mixing department, he makes up for it in his lyrical and storytelling ability. Through his work ethic, he has helped flesh out his discography with one-off tracks and mini packs of music as well, but I would personally like to see him step out of his established sound. The trap genre is one of music’s most oversaturated, and while his laidback flow is not one you hear often, its constant employment does feel a bit overused at times. Regardless of the opinions I had, listen to the music and create your own verdict. I’ll certainly be on the lookout to see what Cozy comes up with next.