You’ve probably already heard that JT’s latest change of brand is a colossal failure and that’s really all there is to it. For me, the problem is similar to that of the likes of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry last year who were both trying to be everything for everyone. They both brought in trap tinges, Perry tried to go political whereas Swift tried to both play the victim card and make fun of herself for doing so, but neither quite match up to the width of JT’s net.
“Haters gonna say it’s fake” he says on the first track over a combination of dubstep bass and Futuresex/Lovesounds-esque, well, love sounds—it comes across as an attempt to maintain his BET audience. The very next track seems like an appeal to the MAGA side of the room, however, with the line “Ya’ll can’t do better than this/act like the south ain’t the shit.” JT has always been someone who sees a musician/artist do something and respond with “oh I can totally do that” and with the help of Timbaland, he’s generally skated through safely, but here he didn’t even approach passable and his critical skewering is entirely deserved.