Don Toliver, the Houston native and prodigy of hip-hop superstar Travis Scott, has released his second official project, Heaven Or Hell. This is his first project since the release of his mixtape Donny Womack in August 2018. 

Since the release of his mixtape, Toliver has signed to Cactus Jack Records, a label founded by Scott himself. Toliver is also a member of the hip-hop conglomerate, JACKBOYS, featuring artists such as himself, Scott and Sheck Wes among others.

JACKBOYS released a self-titled project in December 2019, and Toliver played an important role in giving that project a different sound than most other mainstream trap projects. Toliver carried that same energy over to Heaven Or Hell.

On the surface, Toliver may sound like another Scott. While it’s not the worst thing to be compared to one of the most dominating artists, it’s not entirely true. Throughout his 12-track project, Toliver provides a more melodic and canorous approach to modern trap music.

The intro and title track creates an outstanding foundation for the project. The production on the track, as well as most of the others, give it a somber, melodic feel while Toliver provides energetic yet rhythmic vocals.

The next track, “Euphoria feat. (Travis Scott & Kaash Paige),” is one of the best slow trap performances to be released in a long time. Paige’s high-pitched vocals along with Scott’s deeper, autotuned sound creates an unsuspecting, yet perfect harmony. Toliver’s contribution toward the end followed by a synth-heavy instrumental outro puts a perfect cap on the flawless song.

Although the project features a lot of darker-sounding tracks, it is not without its more lighthearted songs as well. Tracks like “Cardigan,” “After Party,” and “Spaceship (feat. Sheck Wes),” to name a few, are more upbeat tracks with infectious hooks and solid verses as well.

While Toliver is much more versatile than other trap-heavy artists, the album is not without its minor flaws. The project tends to get somewhat repetitive from track-to-track, especially with the more upbeat songs. That is not entirely bad, as most of the tracks are extremely catchy and have replay value, but it could pose the question of how many different sounds Toliver can provide well on a project.

Despite those slight issues, Heaven Or Hell still remains a top-tier album and solidifies Toliver’s place in hip-hop for years to come. The project provides an impressively unique approach to hip-hop and trap music that ultimately paid off well for Toliver. The solid performance on Heaven Or Hell will make it exciting to see how Toliver can grow and mature on future projects as he continues to find his own sound even more.

Rating: 4.5/5

@JoeyPerkins_

jp391418@ohio.edu