Medhane’s “Own Pace” is a minimalist, cathartic album that reveals the trials and tribulations of being a young adult in times of change. The Brooklyn-based rapper has found a “perfect pace,” in the midst of trying to find balance. Medhane’s lyrics are introverted, in “Own Pace” he reflects how it feels to be trapped by your thoughts. Throughout the project, there are slivers of light that provide traces of hope. Medhane wants to find positivity in the hardships of the daily struggle we may find ourselves in and the confidence in friends in creating his album.
Medhane starts off “Own Pace” by exercising a lesson in patience on the intro track “Trauma & Grace.” The thoughtful emcee talks about owning up to the conversations we have about sacrificing morals and values on the path to success. This is a recurring theme on the rapper’s first full-length project. “On Me” opens with wailing string layers that sway back and forth like waves crashing against rough rocks. Medhane spits about finding comfort in his place in his life. Having just graduated from college, Medhane isolated himself and fell into a lonesome cycle of depression and anxiety. On the opening line of the track Medhane raps, “Inner struggle chasing my bliss/through the dark I persist.” Medhane has found the ecstasy in the darkest of times.
Similar to the fruit where the song gets its name, “Grapefruit” is bittersweet. The song opens up with a pitched down vocal chop, the minimal production resonates throughout the entire track. Although the production is lush, colorful and sweet, the lyrical content is bitter and harsh. Medhane’s past collaborations with fellow NY emcee MIKE are a testament to their chemistry, and “Looking 4 Runtz” is a perfect example. Both artists spit with calm and collective energy. The production juxtaposes beautifully with a chaotic instrumental.
Medhane begins “Walk With Me” with a merry-go-round-esque sample that echoes throughout its two-minute length. Medhane raps in a soft tone about his struggle and inability to manage his emotions. “Hard to cope I be looking for a new way…I’ve been missing since a youth…Wish I could hide my scars with a coupe… Holdin’ on been the hardest to do.” This sequence of bars is reflective of the overall feeling that the album projects into the listener’s ears. On the final track, “2020sht,” Medhane raps, “All the shit on my mind…Brodie said the life left from my eyes,” an emotionally charged bar that hits home. Medhane is expressing how it feels to be depressed. He simply states that he was visibly depressed; he wasn’t interacting with his peers.“2020sht” features fellow Brooklyn native, Massai who spits an equally deep and spiritual verse.
Throughout “Own Pace,” Medhane is expressive and transparent; revealing a layer of himself he hadn’t shared with the world in quite some time. Each stanza and verse holds honesty, and it’s evident that Medhane is confident he will see a brighter day. For the listener, it provides a hopeful outlook on life, and that it’s ok to step out into the sun.