Hamza Abo$$’s ‘I’m Not Perfect’ Reminds Listeners Why Underground Rap Is Important

All rap and hip-hop fans should familiarize themselves with 21-year-old Seattle rapper Hamza Abaas, better known by his stage name, Hamza Abo$$.

There are undoubtedly great artists in the mainstream, but Hamza Abo$$’s debut project “Im Not Pefect” is a perfect example of an artist whose talent had already surpassed the minimum qualifications needed to stand alongside those previously mentioned acts.

The project, which features the likes of artists such as Mick Jenkins, Bishop Nehru, Stro, Lord Apex, and Fly Anakin, runs at a quick twenty-seven minutes and some change. All ten tracks are unique to Hamza Abo$$—despite feeling strongly comparable to artists such as MF DOOM and Flying Lotus.

The album has a certain lyrical quality and production that usually isn’t associated with a debutant. It more or less exhibits itself as if it were a low-key release from a much more notable artist such as Earl Sweatshirt or Mac Miller, not the debut project from an up-and-coming artist.

“Im Not Perfect” takes its name literally discussing motifs such as poverty, family, success and relationships. The verses have a monologue-like aesthetic to them, choosing to narrate by mode of stream of consciousness more so than anything else. Every listener is bound to resonate with at least some portion of the project—even if every song doesnt necessarily connect with them on a personal level.

The album begins with “Brief Message,” a track that has a production style reminiscent of a Griselda mixtape. You can just picture Westside Gunn’s bombastic “BOOM BOOM BOOM” over the track. Hamza’s easy-to-listen-to-vocal delivery is an infectious encounter that is guaranteed to charm any who disagree.

“Carpe Diem” begins like a Tyler, The Creator track, but soon separates itself with its unique vocal passages and euphoric style of groove. The project continues in a low-key yet invigorating style that’s all too refreshing to hear in a trap-dominated rap world.

As the album approaches it’s finish, we are introduced with one of the more melancholic tracks off of the project: “Race to Riches.” Hamza Abo$$ unveils here a lyrical ability that’s difficult for any artist his age to achieve, especially in the underground.

“Look, I should be *uh* exercising the strength I need to maintain

Instead of playing myself with this final stretch feeling drained

Seeing I’m dealing with way more heavy lifting this run

Despite of gaining support from them practice rounds that I’ve raced just

Know I’ll work out what Imma need to succeed

Even though I’ve been burning out on account of mental fatigue”

Its this type of refined wordplay that sets Hamza Abo$$ apart from his contemporaries, allowing him to further flaunt the unrivaled potential he so undeniably has.

Hamza Abo$$’s delivery on “Trust Issues” was as smooth and concise as it was polished. The tune itself, however, exuded a far edgier and darker atmosphere in relation to the rest of the project, with the vocals feeling slightly more resonant with that of an XXXTentacion song. “Trust Issues” and “Carpe Diem” were the only songs off of the album released with music videos to accompany them each—both can be viewed on Hamza Abo$$’s YouTube channel.

The album closes with “Ungodly,” a song that capitalizes on the guitar and pop-driven vocal styles that were so duly presented to us throughout the projects ten-track run. It’s production follows much more of a trap-style arrangement, helping differentiate it as one of the more unique compositions of the project.

“Im Not Perfect” has already managed to amass over 3.5 million combined streams on YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify within just a month of its debut. Do well to check out the project before Hamza Abo$$ becomes a household name in the rap game.

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