Pi’erre Bourne lives life through a retrospective lens. The fifth installment of the producer-artist’s acclaimed series follows the South Carolina beatmaker down a path of self-reflection. Everything is accounted for, even the broke days that contributed to Pi’erre’s humble flex displayed in song today. He’s not ashamed of what he went through, but most importantly, he’s not indebted to anyone or anything but the perpetual grind: Pi’erre is self-made.
Much of Pi’erre’s childhood was spent split-city living, traveling between upstate (New York) and down South (South Carolina). Early on, a studied approach towards perfecting his craft subsequently led to catching the ear of a few notable figures within Atlanta’s underground rap scene, primarily Young Nudy and Playboi Carti.
Admittedly, Pi’erre’s stylized beat-making ability is somewhat gamelike, making use of distorted synths and spacey chord progressions that sound out of place. But it works, blending together sonically to produce a hybrid of anime-trap beats with a lo-fi acoustic. He’s literally in a class of his own and although it may ruffle a few feathers, it’s evident that a number of up-and-comers have been influenced by Pi’erre-type beats. Whether they want to admit or not.
With TLOP5, Pi’erre sets the standard for what a sophomore album should represent: growth, on a holistic level. He’s taking up residence in two worlds at the same time, offloading beats and bars that demonstrate his duality as a creative. There’s no denying his pen, but even a blind man can see that Pi’erre’s life leads with production, something tried and true to his storied legacy in rap.
The Life of Pi’erre 5 starts out with a determined inquisition about home. Coming in hot with a recorded conversation from grandma, it’s evident that she has a vested interest in Pi’erre’s whereabouts. But not because she’s being nosey, she’s simply tired of “bumming rides.” The South Carolina artist-producer rushes her off the phone with an inwardly laugh and a sense of urgency before a smooth transition into the album’s next song.
“Switchin Lanes (feat. Playboi Carti)”
Accompanied by his signature sound and exclamatory adlib, Pi’erre revisits the aforementioned problem his grandmother presented during their most recent phone call: she needs a new whip. While the average person might look for an immediate resolution, Pi’erre views this moment as an opportunity to acquire material for his Playboi Carti-assisted single. Next thing you know, an uptempo beat pattern ensues and one quiver of a cup filled with ice preludes the Whole Lotta Red rapper’s 16-bar sequence. In typical Carti fashion, he lives to die lit, but not before manages to switch lanes and “move at a different pace.”
No, this isn’t a song about the subscription based service that conveniently offers live sports. Bass-heavy production allows Pi’erre to channel his thoughts into an otherworldly existence where gravity doesn’t exist. Admittedly, a good amount of the song is dedicated to Pi’erre’s come up story. The sleepless nights, long hours at the studio, and summers spent on grandma’s block have all contributed to the big shot mentality he demonstrates today. Everything earned, nothing given, especially the za (zaza).
From sleeping on his brother’s couch in the trenches with a couple thousand to his name, to never speaking to him again, life has a strange way of working out. The life of Pi’erre revolves around life’s many full-circle moments, but he always manages to come back home, despite the wounds and betrayal. Even when nobody else saw the vision, Pi’erre knew his broke days would eventually pay off in the long run. His flow doesn’t divert away from the pre-established tempo set forth by previous songs featured on the project. If anything, this song affirms Pi’erre’s notion of growth, on a holistic level.
Vibrant, keyed production helps set the tone for the life Pi’erre was destined to live, one that’s often misunderstood. While narrating tales from the past that offer insight into the reserved disposition he exhibits today, this song is short in length but integral to his storied success. He’s not one to get lost in the Soss, but don’t misconstrue Pi’erre’s shortened verses for lack of interest, he has so much to talk about: the good, bad, and the unforgettable.
Class is in session. A hopeless romantic in song, Pi’erre flirts with the idea of what could be after successfully killing the cat from the comfort of his hotel suite. Sporadic and very in-the-moment, it’s almost as if Pi’erre has no intention of being ambiguous in his approach to entice listeners with sex stories and scientific innuendos.
Just because he’s young and in his prime, it’s paradoxical to assume Pi’erre has all the time in the world to pursue his dreams. A flash of remembrance reignites the flame that initially catalyzed his artistic pursuits from the beginning. He’s on a crusade for peace, trying to find the balance in life’s guilty pleasures and the sensible moments of bliss that come with financial freedom.
“Sossboy 2 (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)”
Paying homage to the Sossboy lifestyle, Pi’erre pairs with Lil Uzi Vert for more flex-rap and cash-rich mentions. There’s never a dull moment when money’s involved, as best expressed by Pi’erre’s palpable sense of confidence in song. He sounds amped to rhyme and count up dividends. The spacey synths in use help establish that high-energy feel we’ve grown accustomed to experiencing with the South Carolina beatmaker.
At this point, he’s just having fun. And yes, we’re talking about practice. I’m convinced Pi’erre is hellbent on testing the boundaries of how many times he can use his signature tag in one song. Although it comes off a bit forced, his quick-witted bars flow endlessly over looped production. I can’t decipher whether or not the fuck nigga in question is a former colleague turned foe. Either way, I’m intrigued. I support the madness.
In a dark, ominous kind of way, this song is strangely uplifting. A humble flex on wax, Pi’erre is full of pop culture references. Despite the repetitive nature of his burning desire for new shit, it’s quite clear that Mr. Bourne is about his ends. The song title alludes to trigger-happy behaviour (I think) but ironically Pi’erre strays away from making a single firearm reference throughout the records’ entirety.
A flashback to the glory days of high school and homeroom shenanigans, Pi’erre loves to live life through a retrospective lens. While he does have a blatant tendency to revisit the past, it’s needed to provide context on his present day mindset. A trial by fire is the best way to summarize the magnitude of feats he’s experienced so far in life. Everything he has now is a byproduct of learned behaviours developed overtime.
“Drunk And Nasty (feat. Sharc)“
I got something for you, if you want it that is. I mean, being drunk and nasty is always a vibe with your significant other. It also doesn’t hurt to avow your love through autotuned caterwauls of emotion. Slightly impulsive with the lo-fi metrics used on beat, but it works. Whether it’s the warped production of Pi’erre’s throwed voice inflections or his deliberate use of a momentary pause to help build tension, he serenades listeners with intoxicating possibilities of what could happen. Ah, the thrill of being drunk and horny – a dangerous combo.
Pi’erre gon’ keep his faith. While he’s on the perpetual paper chase, he doesn’t forget to pray and trust in the Lord. In a daring attempt to live life in the fast lane, Pi’erre’s frame of mind is an indispensable part of his creed. Some of the core principles instilled in him during the Myspace era is what has afforded Pi’erre the opportunity to bask in the fruits of his labor.
Who else you know fashions bars from the use of a double entendre? Pi’erre flexes over the competition in a braggadocious manner. Leaning on witty punchlines and a contrasting style to champion his animated personality, Pi’erre is seemingly loyal to the bag.
Distorted synths and choppy chords lay the foundation for Pi’erre’s high-fashion aspirations. If it hasn’t been previously stated (which I’m sure it has), Pi’erre has money and isn’t afraid to let that be known. Judging by his actions, the self-described Sossboy is motivated by the ability to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.
Penning the soundtrack to love and Pi’erre’s fondest memories from back home, The Life Of Pi’erre 5 ends with sweeping emotion. This one song is like an abridged version of the quintessential rapper lifestyle: money, girls, and the grind. Hardened by the streets and run-ins with failed relationships, Pi’erre remains faithful to the idea of what love is supposed to feel like. He’s forever hopeful.