Penomeco: Dry Flower
It shouldn't have surprised me, but it does. Penomeco is another in a list of rappers who've decided to try the Drake approach to their so-called hip hop. Let me just say this right now and forever:
An album isn't hip hop just because it's from a hip-hop artist.
People want everything to be hip hop nowadays, and that simply isn't the case. When it's more singing than rapping, more pop and light-rock conventions with a sparse smattering of drum machines, it is not hip hop.
Penomeco's Dry Flower is a pop album, and that's perfectly fine. Own that, be okay with the fact that you wanted to make a pop album and succeeded in making a pop album. Eventually, R&B, but not hip hop.
All that being said and true, Dry Flower is a good pop album. It's emotive early, hits listeners with an emotional core that allows them to become invested right away. Penomeco isn't a "singer," per se, but he does have a decent voice when he's trying, as in track "JAJA." When he enlists the help of singers by trade, obviously his vocals don't stand up (either that, or he minimizes his vocal abilities to allow the feature to shine in the role they were hired for).
Dry Flower is tender, in parts incredibly lovely ("Rain Drop," "JAJA," "Insomnia"). It's certainly a good addition to his discography. If Penomeco is more interested in making pop or R&B, he's made a good case for it with Dry Flower. Emotional, vulnerable, at times absolutely gorgeous. It's a good album. It's just not hip hop. And as I said, that's okay. Let it be what it is, embrace and accept it. I have, and there are no regrets.