The sophomore album from Conrad Clifton is an intermix of the best of hip hop and atmospheric ambiance - a matching crafted by the hand of a producer at the top of his game.
Infinity Pool marks the start of the record. It’s the track that you’ll throw on for a morning drive along a palm-lined highway - smells of the sun and ocean mix with a hint of perfume. There’s an anticipation at the beginning here - hammering drum synths layer with a repetitive dusting of horns.
The album then shifts into gear with Roll Call - immediately with sounds of the West Indian Day Parade, getting the crowd hyped up. The message here is clear - Clifton’s not fucking around with the rest of this album. This call to arms fades out with latin strings that pluck right into Prince of Crown Heights. This royalty lives up to it’s name - it’s the anthem to a liquored, candle-lit, 3am oiled dance party. It’s the scene that happens after* carnival - a sexy, breathy, badass bounce with bare feet.
From there we fall into Nitemare (feat. Knesecary) / It Was All A Dream. Here Clifton’s punchy beats and Knesecary’s rap weave together seamlessly - it’s an interplay achievable through Clifton’s intuition as a homegrown Atlanta rapper-turned-producer and Knesecary’s popped wit - next time you need to get hyped up you’ll find the voice in your head say “What’s that? I’m a motherfuckin’ nightmare.”
All I Hear then shifts gears and brings you into sparkling, polished break, an indescribable abstract sliding into iridescent, bubbled bathwater. It’s then time for the album’s namesake - Beautiful Tragedy. Shakers, pop rocks, wings flutter. Beautiful Tragedy is a slick recall into the feeling of operating from a perfect consciousness - no thinking, just feeling. Textures and air.
Time (feat. Da Rookiez) is the moment where Clifton brings it back into representation and rap - it’s one last rubber bass roll. It’s an excited kind of scene playing across warm pavement, Da Rookiez’s words flow like drawn chalk - lines swirl around laced shoes with each step. This track achieves the kind of execution that all of the most seasoned rapper/producer collaborations aim for.
V Pages - In & Out feat. Saint Savior (Conrad Clifton Remix) tops it all off as a combination remix. With this bonus track, Clifton leaves you something familiar with his own twist - an ending with a fun nod to others in the scene, accomplished with whispers of a realized singular sound, and self.
- Jenna Matecki, Writer