Rome Fortune's long-awaited Beautiful Pimp II dives headfirst into elegant yet grounded experimentations. The production is handled entirely by CitoOnTheBeat, a bold but ultimately rewarding move. Released a year ago, Fortune's first Beautiful Pimp tape was a singular standout in Atlanta's wild rap landscape: it had one foot rooted in the city's radio-savvy street rap, and the other foot in something more whimsical. Restrained, almost-familiar trap productions from soon-to-be-big names like Dun Deal and Childish Major were painted in gentle watercolor brushstrokes but they still knocked.
If BPI felt like a sketchbook of intriguing ideas, BPII is a cohesive statement. And a weird one. Cito's icy palette interpolates yacht-rock smoothness, slow-mo snap and Ryan Hemsworth-esque wistfulness, but overall his sound is wholly his own: hushed and precious, with undercurrents of sorrow. Over all of this, Fortune is more emotionally raw than ever here, his thoughts winding and trailing off in a way that feels like unfiltered inner dialogue. Heightening the intimacy, the tape features Fortune's grandfather playing vibraphone on five tracks, as well as vocals from his oldest son. It's a calm, quiet triumph.
Download: Rome Fortune, Beautiful Pimp II