Lyrical Lemonade, the Cole Bennett imprint that made its name off of psychedelic, heady music videos like Lil Tecca’s “Ransom” or YNW Melly’s “Mixed Personalities,” has continually sized up in terms of the artists it worked alongside, or on a few occasions, introduced to the world. The whole way through, Bennett drove home in interviews that his vision for LL went far beyond just visuals. Now, we get to see the fruits of that dream with All is Yellow, the first album published under the Lyrical Lemonade name.
Lyrical Lemonade Brings Out the Stars for All is Yellow
Best conceptualized as a Gen Z DJ Khaled album, All is Yellow functions as a spotlight for the impressive Rolodex the multimedia enterprise amassed over the past decade. To that end, many of the guest appearances on the tracklist evoke the biggest music videos they headed via repeat appearances—Lil Tecca reprises after “Ransom,” Juice WRLD after “Lucid Dreams” and Eminem after “Godzilla.”
“Fly Away” is our introduction to the project, and probably the highlight when it comes to no-frills rapping. Ski Mask the Slump God and JID handle the bulk of that, a match made in heaven given their similarly nimble and high-speed cadences. For long-term “SoundCloud scene” fans, the latter’s appearance here is one of the more welcome surprises on the tracklist. The Slump God, notably quiet over the past few years, is truly in vintage form once again in his re-emergent verse. “You a clone, you a Meseek / I’m a Roadrunner, meep-meep / Think I work at Best Buy with the squad how I be geeked.”
Lil Yachty & Eminem Headline the Before Unheard Material
Like many rap compilation albums before it, All is Yellow sees Lyrical Lemonade capitalize off of hypothetical “what would that sound like?” collaborations made real. “First Night” is the initial one chronologically, bringing together the diverse talents of Teezo Touchdown, Juicy J, Cochise, Denzel Curry and Lil B. The equation squares itself by placing Teezo on the intro for a soulful, sung section and Lil B for a heartfelt outro. In the meat of the track, the middle three make a bit more sense placed alongside one another, with Juicy J and Denzel Curry already making their collective introduction for a remix of the latter’s breakout hit “Ultimate.” Their shared Dirty South DNA again strikes gold on the track, with both MCs and Cochise tapping into cool, confident flows that are accented by hard-hitting trap production.
Generally speaking, Lyrical Lemonade saved plenty of star power for the full release of All is Yellow. Of the material not released in the lead-up, “Say Ya Grace” with Chief Keef & Lil Yachty, as well as “Doomsday Pt. 2,” are clear standouts. The latter will surely generate a ton of headlines, as Eminem in a solo appearance spends most of his time dissing once adversary Benzino. Perhaps more notably for younger fans, Benzino’s daughter, Coi Leray, ends up in the crossfire. “Well, I guess then I regret to inform you, hate to spoil the day / But this doesn’t bring me no joy to say / Guess that Coi Leray feat’s in the toilet, ayy?”
Lyrical Lemonade & All is Yellow Are Equal Parts Melodic & Aggressive
Eminem’s appearance here is a full circle moment in a few ways, but most importantly because his “Doomsday Pt. 2” follows the original “Doomsday,” where Juice WRLD & Cordae trade bars over Slim Shady’s own “Role Model” beat. In the full tracklist, that single is again one of the best. Given that the late “Lucid Dreams” rapper has had plenty of posthumous material released since his passing in 2018, this track shines given how it was clearly conceived when he was still with us, the clear chemistry between the two rappers elevating already exceptional verses from both.
The most trendy moment comes with “Hello There,” which embraces the sample-heavy wave of recent hip-hop and pop by Lil Tracy, Corbin & Black Kray interpolations of Blink 182’s “I Miss You.” In particular, Tracy’s twangy, emotional register adds a ton of depth to the 2000s classic, doing a lot of work in elevating it above the level of just a backward-facing retake.
Dave & Jack Harlow Provide a Heavyweight Close
Speaking of singles, “Stop Giving Me Advice,” Dave & Jack Harlow’s collab, gives Juice & Cordae a run for their money in terms of lyrical caliber. Harlow is in JACKMAN form, intent on reminding the masses that despite his charting success, he’s still a rapper through and through. With most of his first verse framed as a series of hypotheticals, his best couplet comes in his second verse: “All this red carpet s***, brand partnerships, I must’ve let y’all forget that boy nice / No Sprite but life givin’ me lemons with the limelight.” As many before him have, unfortunately, he falls victim to an incredible Dave verse that follows. “Oh Jemima, trips in the park with my oldest rider / To test out the 9 like I loaned a striker” is just one of the slick double entendres the UK product employs in a lengthy, S-tier verse closing out the song.
In all, All is Yellow enlists 34 unique artists from Lyrical Lemonade’s past and future. The task of making that cohesive over the span of just 14 tracks is honestly an impossible one. Expectedly, there are some moments where the album doesn’t entirely land the emotional switches from one track to the next. But given the diverse cast of characters, there’s assuredly something for everyone on display, whether you’re a hip-hop purist, a fan of the more melodic, or just a “Rap Caviar” type of listener. You can find the album now on streaming platforms everywhere.