Brooklyn Legend OnPointLikeOP has returned to our ears with his latest project, “ My Brother’s Keeper.” Across the 15-track and 19-minute project, OP offers a variety of different sounds and vibes on this multifaceted tape, which ultimately makes for a well-developed album. Starting off with the intro track, “Better & Better,” I was not a fan of OP’s flow on the hook. Although it initially grew on me, I found myself drawn to the lyrics instead, where he keeps in line with the name and theme of the album. OP describes the journey he’s taken in the music industry, from the hood to where he is now as head of 1090 Music Group. Because of his background, he’s able to lend a nuanced perspective as someone who’s both in the scene and behind it. Following this track is “Boom,” another Drill track though it’s got more in common with your typical drill track. Though formulaic, OP’s flow bounces alongside the beat and makes the track all the more enjoyable. “24hrs,” is a Yozora-produced track where OP details his hungry perspective and describes how he utilizes all of the time given to him each and every day. It’s a dark, drum-heavy drill track and a quick listen, often leading to several repeat plays.
The project’s first feature arrives in Rowdy Rebel on the track “Big Steppers,” where he and OP taunt their opposition and warn any who think about playing with them. Rowdy is sharp as ever, and the energy from his delivery puts friendly pressure on OP to step up to the plate, which he does easily. “Stay Dangerous,” features Dusty Locane, and is a previously released single which we also reviewed a while back. Within the context of the project, the song is just as good as it was when it dropped. Rah Swish comes through as a feature on “Hit Or Miss.” one of the better tracks on the album. Both MCs give insightful verses on the lessons they’ve learned thus far, and what they won’t tolerate at this stage of the game. Bobby Shmurda makes an appearance on “Doggytime.” which is my favorite track thanks to its different beat, and the notable shift in energy that Bobby brings from his own music over to OP’s. Because of how prominent Bobby is on the track, it does feel more like a Bobby Shmurda track with an OP feature, as opposed to the other way around.
“Stickup,” features Jime Jones and Dusty Locane and another previously-released single that also found itself on this project. It’s great as a solo track, and within the context of the project, especially thanks to Jim Jones’ performance. Although his performance on this track is lessened by his appearance on the later track, “Everything A Go.” Though OP has a standout verse, Jim Jones's flow doesn’t come off as tight along the beat as it usually does, and the latter half of his verse feels more like him iterating a myriad of slang terms and modern lingo. Instead of appearing as an OG who can still hang with the younger crowd, it feels more out of touch, like a little kid who learned how to curse and doesn’t know how to use the words right. “R U Dumb?” is a short track that feels a bit incomplete and too repetitive for how short it is. “TIE DIE,” is another track I wasn’t a fan of, although the beat is bound to get stuck in your head. OP
S melodic hook does feel a bit generic, and the use of autotune doesn’t help soothe out OP’s attempt to hit the necessary notes.
“Better You,” is fully a love song with TJ Porter in the feature spot. OP’s lyrics about yearning for love with someone special are both compelling and relatable. TJ Porter’s hook helps flesh out the song, and its sonic contrast from most of the album helps it stand out in a great way. “Trip,” is another love song and finds OP detailing how he wants to take his girl on the trip of her dreams to wherever she wants. Although it’s a Drill beat, it’s refreshing to hear lyrics of love and adoration over one, even though OP still finds space to threaten his opps. “Shop Never Close,” features Gwoppy and a string melody that contrasts well against the harsh drums found on your typical Drill beat. “Distance,” is the project closer, and the best track by far. Not a Drill track, OP talks about the switch up in his life as a result of going the distance and putting in the work. With a string loop that’s central to the track’s melody, the bouncing kicks that follow underneath create another sonically satisfying contrast that is sure to bring joy to your ears.
“My Brother’s Keeper,” is a solid project from OnPointLikeOP. Despite the shortcomings, OP has managed to craft a body of work that, although it is mostly Drill, it manages to supersede the expectations automatically placed on it by featuring that sound. The handful of non-Drill songs that flesh out the rest of the project are great, and have me eagerly awaiting to see if OP continues to expand his palette with whatever he chooses to put out next.