On Friday October 30th, Process dropped his latest full length project ‘Candids’ onto streaming services for all to consume. The project clocks in at 30 minutes with 13 tracks in total. From start to finish Process crafted an absolute masterpiece that genuinely has ‘no skips’ on it. For those who are unaware, Process is well known for his work as a producer and engineer taking on both roles when working within the Dim 136 collective he’s been a part of for many years now. While the recognition for Process’ work behind the scenes has been consistent throughout the year the talk on his own personal music has been relatively quiet. In the fall of 2019 Process quietly released two separate projects one an official album and another a SoundCloud exclusive mixtape. Both projects featured quality music, but Process did little to promote either and neither really gained much traction. Both the official release ‘Beyond Me’ and the SoundCloud project ‘Craft and Crime’ had solid performances from Process but left room for growth. Throughout 2020 despite the pandemic Process locked in on that ability to grow and truly enhanced it. Working to self produce a project that he could consider a ‘musical buffet’ for listeners, Process achieved just that with the creation of his project ‘Candids’. Leading up to the release of ‘Candids’ , Process took the time to start building hype, randomly dropping ‘throwaway’ tracks that were actually quick one-off recordings that were never intended for the project. Following some weeks of teasing fans he finally announced the project’s upcoming release with the announcement of the cover art and track list for the project.
‘Candids’ was released on October 30th and was immediately given high praise throughout the local hip-hop community for Process’ work both as an engineer/producer and as a performer. The outpouring of support from both fans and his peers show that ‘Candids’ is easily one of the best local projects to be released this year.
The album opens with ‘My Head’ which presents a slower serious vibe that really sets the tone for the entire project. While some artists will go out of their way to craft a specific banger or lyrical masterpiece for their intro Process went in another direction. Instead setting the tone for the project with some dark melodic vibes while touching on some genuine subject matter.
The second track ‘Weirdos’ is an immediate standout receiving praise from many listeners on social media following the project's official release. This is a bit of an upbeat change of pace from the previous track as Process raps about how he and his crew aren't the general ‘cool’ or popular rappers but it fits their weird nature. The track is easily relatable and catchy it probably should’ve been the lead single for the project leading up to it’s official release.
‘Haunting’ is a return to the darker vibes with some heavy drums and serious content. The beat switch on this one to transition from a darker introduction into more of an upbeat vibe once again helps set the tone for the entire project. While tracks like these might not be for all audiences, the audience this does cater to will appreciate how effectively Process can produce a track like this and is a personal stand out.
The vibes set in ‘Haunting’ set the perfect transition into ‘Best Lie/Fake’ as we go from heavy darkness to a somber mood with Process addressing some relationship issues. The ‘Best Lie’ portion of the track is easily one of my personal favorite portions of the entire project, and once again presents Process in a similar yet still different sound than what we’ve heard on the project thus far. The transition to ‘Fake’ at the end of the track just shows Process versatility as both an artist and producer. It adds to an already great track but adding that variety to it makes it an easy track to go back to time and time again.
‘ATL Living’ is another instance of Process showcasing his versatility returning to the somber melodic vibes at the start of the track. Halfway through the track he takes a complete 180 transitioning to an upbeat fast paced autotuned sound that is completely different than anything heard on the rest of the project. The track is a true situation of Process ft. Process as the change up is so drastic and yet done so effectively. While this is a sound that’s prominent in modern music thanks to artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Process showed an ability to once again do something different at a very high level.
With ‘Blood Drunk Interlude’ we once again return to a darker mood with some heavy drums and some clear Kanye West influence. Despite Process attempt and in large part success at creating a ‘buffet’ it’s worth noting the general sound throughout is more of the ‘backpacker’ style. Its a blend of many different high quality artists who branched off sounds that Kanye perfected. ‘Blood Drunk Interlude’ is a great example of that as Process once again effectively puts his spin on a familiar sound.
‘Fade’ is a heavy hip hop track that really flexes Process ability as a producer and artist. It’s one instance of Process standing his ground and letting his peers know that he knows how good he really is. While Process is incredibly talented and gets praise for such, it’s nice to see a generally humble artist remind everyone what he thinks of himself. The first feature on ‘Candids’ comes by way of Sheridan Crane a fellow Upstate NY artist who has also been on the rise over the past few years. Sheridan features on ‘Human’ another track that shows Process in a completely different element than anything we have heard up to this point. A more up-tempo track with content that is not nearly as upbeat. The production on this track continues to show the versatility the Process has as a producer. The selection for features on this project is another high point as Sheridan easily delivered on this track. The production, quality feature and complete change up from the rest of the project make this an early stand out.
‘Talk My Shit’ comes at a solid time on the album after the up-tempo track we got with Humans we slow things down a bit and allow Process a chance to rap. While the production on this track is a standout part it’s nice to have a more traditional rap track that still features artistic elements to it.
The second interlude on the project is titled ‘Girls from Home Interlude’. This track features the first true negative takeaway I have for this project. While I understand the idea of mentioning Drake in the beginning of this song I feel like dropping any names as a local artist can be a difficult move especially the biggest pop star in the game. While Process absolutely delivers on this track, it’s hard for your listeners to not immediately make comparisons to Drake and no matter who you are it’s going to be hard to take those seriously. While the influence from Drake on the track is apparent, the comparison might not be made so heavily if that wasn’t directly stated. The track itself is actually very well done and it’s hard to complain, but its still also hard to compare it to a Drake track.
The transition from ‘Girls from Home Interlude’ into ‘Pretty Savage’ makes me more upset at the previous reference. It is such a flawless transition between songs that makes it more disappointing to not love the very beginning of the last track. ‘Pretty Savage’ is a catchy banger that shows Process' ability to make a track that is similar to what is popular within hip hop today.
‘Messy’ is a slower personal track that also has some true hip-hop elements to it that once again shows Process’ versatility as a producer and an artist. The switch up on this track isn’t a personal favorite on the project despite still being very enjoyable. While I do like the song, ‘Messy’ hasn’t been one I go back to likely due to its slower nature.
The final track on the project features the only other feature on the project. Fellow Dim136 member J.J. Wolfe appears on the closing track ‘Tokyo’ and again shows why Process did a fantastic job in selecting his features for this project. J.J. delivered a phenomenal catchy hook on a track that deserves a music video and proper ‘singles’ push following the release of ‘Candids’. Process’ decision to close with a more somber mood than we got on the rest of the project was the perfect choice. Once again highlighting his versatility while providing a high quality track that sounds nothing like anything else we have heard on the project.
‘Candids’ is a project that deserves to be consumed from start to finish. Some tracks won’t work as well in individual listens. Tracks like the intro ‘My Head’, ‘Haunting’, and ‘Messy’ are better consumed within the scope of the project and again the production of the project leads to it being consumed as a whole.
With that said there are undoubtedly standout tracks throughout the project. No track could be deemed a ‘skip’ and tracks like ‘Weirdos’, ‘ATL Living’, ‘Human’, ‘Pretty Savage’ and ‘Tokyo’ are clear standouts. At times features on a project can easily hurt an artist and hold down the entire project from being one that is suggested to others because one song really doesn't fit. ‘Candids’ doesn’t suffer from that problem. The production throughout is a reason enough to give Process credit as in general that credit would go to the producer and Process handled every major facet of that.
‘Candids’ is easily one of the best projects I’ve heard all year, this includes many mainstream projects. While I won’t overhype it in saying it’s a top ten overall it’s easily a top 10 local project for Upstate NY. The growth from Process' last two projects to this one is incredible and ‘Candids’ is a great showcase for Process as he continues to grow and find his sound.
Final Take: ‘Candids’ is a front to back no skips project, once you dive in you’re in for the ride. Process ability as an artist and producer is undeniable, this project will easily be a personal top ten for the year and has made me a certified Process fan. While it’s a great project it’s impossible to say the room for growth and development of Process’ sound isn’t there. There are so many different wonderful influences apparent throughout ‘Candids’ and at points we catch glimpses of Process personal sound, we still don’t fully know what that is. The future is bright for Process and the reception to ‘Candids’ has been very positive, as the young artist continues to grow so will his sound.