Tuesday December 5th, 2023
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Abyusif: YFGYY

The notorious rapper has just dropped an 11-track album, ready to change Egypt's Hip Hop landscape. Read our review and listen in full here.

Staff Writer

Abyusif remains in the  spotlight continuing his mission to claim the Egyptian Hip Hop throne. Arguably one of the hardest workers currently in the game, Abyusif has released his latest album entitled YFGYY, which is on point with the Arabic Rap movement flourishing beyond Egypt’s borders.

Trying to keep up with Abyusif’s work can almost feel like a full time job as the rapper/producer is constantly dropping one off tracks on his Facebook and Soundcloud. Changing his usual method of delivery, Abyusif has put together a focused album that demonstrates his ability to change up his flow and create interesting beats, ultimately upping is game.

His latest 11 track offering is jam-packed with hilarious Arabic references delivered in a variety of styles over a bedrock of creative beats. Right from the album opener B7T 3ALEIKO, Abyusif draws the listener in with a simplistic beat driven by a deep, heavy-hitting base that commands respect. Immediately it reminded us of Tyler the Creator, but filled with Arabic one liners that connect with residences of Oum el Donia.

Demonstrating that his beats can be as varied as his flow the following track, BO3BO3, is piano driven production with Abyusif delivering the same flow but with his tone changing unexpectedly, sounding like the anonymous Sparkmaster, a welcome shift which happens on more than on track. As the album plays through, Abyusif continues to delve into sub genres of Hip Hop enlisting the help of long time collaborator/producer Swag Lee.

Working together, Abyusif and Swag Lee have managed to deliver one of the best Egyptian Hip Hop albums of the year. However, despite definitely being worth the listen, YFGYY is not a flawless album and has a few shortcomings that some picky listeners will point out. The first being the absent of brain-lodging hooks. For many fans of Hip Hop it is hard to rap along with an artist who raps faster than you can, which is why the biggest Hip Hop tracks tend to have a hook that is both catchy and easy remember. The stronger the hook, the higher the chance the track will be remembered.

The only other flaw that our ears caught was the fact that many of the tracks end too abruptly. In a couple examples, the beat just drops as though Abyusif has run out of things to say and wasn’t sure how to conclude the track. However, at no point is it abrupt enough to detract from the strength of track, but what it does do is interrupt the flow of the listening experience from start to finish.

There are no shortages of standout tracks as the album avoids becoming stale thanks to diverse beats and memorable punch lines. If we had to pick an absolute favourite, then we suggest starting with Not AVLBL; the use of a high pitched Backstreet Boys sample is so unexpected that it feels wrong but sounds so good. That being said, the whole album is solid, and upon listening all the way through, there wasn’t a track that we didn’t like.

Comparing this album to Abyusif previous works is difficult considering how many stand alone tracks exist, however one thing that wasn’t considerably noticeable was the lack of Arab samples hidden within the beats. Although the use of Arabic samples helps in making it more relatable to the region, they are not missed on this album, as YFGYY comes off as a refreshing listen that may well be the best Abyusif offering to date. Hip Hop deserves more attention in Egypt then it gets and with a little luck this may be the album that launches the genre beyond its more popular, and at times more annoying, older cousin Shaabi.

Listen to more on Abyusif's Soundcloud here.

To read our full in-depth interview with this artist click here.