Review Rating: Must Listen! [4.7 / 5]
He's ambitious, honest, and bold - WHATUPRG just joined the Reach Records family. His EP, Pleasant Hill, kicks off his journey with clear passion and a message to deliver. It's an album that launches into WHATUPRG's battles, drawing the line between who he is and who he wants to be. With expertly delivered vocals, engaging beats, and inviting lyrics, Pleasant Hill is a fantastic start for the artist.
WHATUPRG opens with the infamous 116 message of Reach Records, then kicks into the main beat of "Yellow Paint." It's a mellow, yet upbeat and engaging sound, with smooth electronics accented by a steady beat. Sounds rise and fall, developing a dynamic range. The road is paved for WATUPRG's flowing yet powerful vocals, describing a desire to live for Christ and continue in the fight - lest the warnings in the yellow paint fail to dissuade him. It's a theme that extends into "Lil Holy," a song with a catchy, cycling beat that describes the struggle of a character - Lil Holy, the part of WHATUPRG that struggles to live as Christ intended. It's the sort of honesty that marks the EP, a definite highlight in WHATUPRG's music thus far.
Lil Holy still doesn't have it all figured out quite yet - and "Rose Gold" nails this concept home. A subtly shrill electronic chiming plays in the background, creating a foundation for confident beats. It's a song that advances with undeniable boldness. That's the theme of the track - boldly going forward and seizing your dreams. Two sides become clear across the lyrics: "sometimes the dreams you chase are from God, and sometimes they're not what He wants for You."
It all comes full-circle with "Lovely," a slow and steady closing track that focuses on what matters most. A calming array of electronic pings and chimes meshes with a gentle beat for a contemplative sound. Lyrics focus on God's love, highlighting the bad times and uncertain moments yet never straying from His constant presence. The last part of the track features voicemails from those closest to WHATUPRG, subtly showing how God's love spreads through His children.
From here, it's only onwards and upwards for WHATUPRG. Pleasant Hill is merely a sample of what's to come, painting a very bright future for the rapper. In the meantime, we've got a solid EP, one guaranteed to stick with listeners through every listen. WHATUPRG has put his best foot forward, making Pleasant Hill well worth the listening.