If you're even slightly tapped in with the Upstate NY Hip Hop scene you've undoubtedly heard the name Corey Loveless. Whether it be from his performances in Syracuse or Ithaca, his mixtape releases 'The Things that Trouble Me' or 'Carpe Diem' or even his latest full length releases 'Bright' or 'Sunsets Over Burning Cities' you've likely come across something Loveless has worked on. The work ethic is undeniable and the drive for success is there.
Over the past year Loveless has slowed down his release schedule, transitioning from a desire in 2019 to release a new project every quarter of the year to something much more calculated. Initially only planning to drop singles Loveless dropped a number of tracks through the year consistently gaining praise for his growth.
In the later part of 2020 Loveless began to tease the idea of releasing a full length project and on an episode of the 'More than Music' interview series announced his plans to release 'For...Anyone' before the end of the year. Finally after much anticipation and excitement on December 18th Loveless released 'For...Anyone' a ten track, 27 minute project full of content intended to resonate with anyone who tunes in.
The project opens with a familiar feature in frequent Dim 136 collaborator Process singing a somber hymn like intro with some heavenly production. The Process intro on 'Spaceship' impressively transitions to an old school boom bap style you might not have seen coming based on the first 45 seconds but is done so well. This boom bap style is prominent throughout the project as Loveless continues to showcase growth within that element. Spaceship is a solid intro to give listeners an exciting preview of what's yet to come on the project in terms of production and lyricism.
One of the key pieces to this project being an immediate standout from Upstate this year is Loveless' ability to bring content to a style that traditionally doesn't utilize that kind of content. Loveless sticks to his preferred style of New York boom bap hip hop but continues to bring the emotional true to self content that we received on earlier projects like 'The Things That Trouble Me'. This is evident throughout the project but what ultimately stands out the most is the way Loveless can be speaking on his personal situation but still making it relatable to whomever is listening. There are tracks like 'Running', 'Belief', 'Self Love' and 'IEP' where Loveless is inviting the listener into his world while also making them feel entirely comfortable because it's easy to relate. On 'Belief' Loveless raps
"Call it seasonal but I feel it year round"
a line that on the surface level is a simple statement but when it connects it resonates. 'For...Anyone' is full of lines like this.
'My Favorite Drug' is another track that clearly tackles the topic of depression and mental health in a powerful way. While covering the typical vices people turn to in negative moments he explains that his favorite drug is actually love from others but what he really needed was to give himself love. The track is a personal favorite off the project but personally think it would've made more sense to follow this track with 'Self Love' rather than the other way around.
Alonzo Brunn is the only other feature on this project outside of Process and unlike Process and Loveless, Zo and Loveless have not had as much time to build that chemistry. Regardless this track is without a doubt another personal favorite. Zo delivered a great verse and Loveless stood right there with one of the best lyrical artists in the Upstate music scene bar none. This lead to a fantastic track, one that shows the lyrical content is not lacking in Upstate at all.
'Death' is the final track on this wonderfully constructed 10 track project and is once again a clear sign of the undeniable chemistry Loveless and Process have developed with one and other over the years. The track opens and feels similar to something you may have expected on Process' recent release 'Candids' before quickly implementing the boom bap element you'd expect from this project. The result is a collaboration that just feels like the perfect way to close out a great year for the Dim 136 collective.
Overall Loveless delivered one of his best projects to date and personally my favorite project i've heard from him yet. For anyone tuned in to The Cypher podcast on Upstate Aesthetic's facebook page you've heard the discussion of Loveless' growth this year. This project was the perfect showcase of that growth while ultimately still leaving more room to grow. In terms of production the project is masterfully done incorporating fun obscure samples throughout while also giving a more modern feel to older sounds.
With ten tracks and a thirty minute run time there's really no excuse not to check this one out. The content is highly relatable throughout and showcases real elements of Loveless' life as well while also delivering with the production throughout.
Final Takeaway: Personally boom-bap hiphop is typically not my forte and in general have a difficulty going back to that kind of music. In this case that's not at all how I feel, Loveless' ability to make me connect and relate to his music over this sound almost doubles how impressed I am because it's just generally not my cup of tea. There are so many elements of mental health and depression throughout this that truly resonate with me as a listener and make this one of my personal favorite releases from an artist this year. While there will always be room for growth this has been a massive step in the right direction for Corey Lovess.
Stream 'For...Anyone' below:
Disagree with the review? Sound off in the comments on Facebook and let us know what you thought of the project!