Pooh Shiesty’s debut album packs a consistent punch but lacks a star-making track
Pooh Shiesty has a lot to live up to. The Memphis-bred artist’s debut, Shiesty Season, under trap legend Gucci Mane’s label 1017 and shows he’s ready to trade bars with some of the genre’s most reliable veterans.
From the beginning, Shiesty is firing on all cylinders. The explosive “Shiesty Season Intro” is the table-setter for the healthy 17 total tracks on the album. It’s punchy and without a hook, leaving Shiesty to showcase his rapping ability all in under two minutes. While not always rapping on the beat, the 21-year-old’s ability to tell his stories and scoff at death threats (“Tryna pay to get me killed, why you won’t come do it? (Come do) / Get sent out, watch how I send you back to ’em shows he can’t be fazed”).
Shiesty Season’s impalpable energy makes its 50-minute run time that much more palatable, but some tracks towards the middle of the album tend to bleed onto each other. “Choppa Way” and “Gone MIA” aren’t unlistenable, but they don’t necessarily scream out “essential tracks” on the project.
The collaborations are what make Shiesty Season as engaging as it is. “Big 13 Gang” featuring Choppa Wop and Lil Hank is an ardent semi-posse cut that sees all three rappers going back and forth backed by a simple instrumental whose purpose is to focus their commanding voices.
21 Savage, Gucci Mane, and Lil Durk are the biggest names on Shiesty Season and on each track, Pooh Shiesty proves he’s more than just a major-label signee with buying power. On “Box of Churches,” the Memphis artist raps over a flute-led beat about his success and gives out his own advice to those who might heed it. Yet, he never feels overpowered by his guests.
Shiesty Season lacks a winning track that can win over a crowd of people and the extended runtime does overstay its welcome, but Pooh Shiesty has a winning formula. His ability to craft consistent, albeit unspectacular bangers will continue to flesh out as he drops more under Gucci Mane’s 1017 label. After all, he does have one of the best trap hitmakers of all time to help him out. Pooh Shiesty will be alright.
Trial Track: Box of Churches (feat. 21 Savage)