It’s been a long time since I’ve heard an album that’s as deep and emotionally raw as Tedashii’s Below Paradise. The album focuses on feelings of loss, angst and struggle. You won’t find any songs on getting turnt here, and if that’s what you’re looking for then I suggest you go find something else.

The album will resonate with anyone who can sympathize with the emotions mentioned above. Tedashii isn’t afraid to tap into dark themes and ideas here. After all, bad things happen all the time, and this is acknowledged throughout the album. In fact, one could consider Below Paradise an audio journal of the hip-hop artist’s recent life – the loss of his son and the effect it had on his marriage and his faith. Anyone who has lost someone or has truly been at a dark place at some point in their lives (many, many people) can appreciate the themes the album explores.

The song “Paradise” really embodies the dislike for the illusion of happiness that makes people ignorant to the more grotesque side of life.

“Make no mistake, life is great, but it's still lacking
Sister gone, son gone, can't deny what happen
Expensive look, crystal clear, this ain't paradise”

I can understand how the pessimism and overtly tortured vibes can turn some people away, and that’s okay. Below Paradise is not for those who are looking to have fun or a listen to catchy hip hop tunes casually. The album does contain a few feel-good tunes with happier beats that I could bop my head to, such as “Be With You.” And the good news is these pick-me-up songs don’t really make the album feel disjointed, but instead, gives us a little break from the intense emotion. If you’re a hip-hop fan looking for something that grounds itself in the reality life and is brutally honest, Below Paradise should feel right at home in your music library.

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