Death of the Critic

Broken Hearts and Bankrolls - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich


I try to listen to artists that I am not familiar with for this site. There is something about finding someone new that can be a uniquely pleasurable experience. You get to hear sounds from all over the country and world, with drastically different styles and compositions, connected together with some common threads. And it keeps you from having to read the same review that you can find on any other review website in the world. As you can imagine, this quest to find artists that I like can be a bit of a crap shoot. Sometimes you find someone great (Mick Jenkins’ The Healing Component is an excellent recent example), but sometimes you find someone bad (I’m talking about you Futuristic). And then there are artists like IshDARR, who lie somewhere in the middle.

Broken Hearts and Bankrolls isn’t a revolutionary album by any means. It won’t change the rap game. It doesn’t really bering anything new to the genre. But at the same time that level these (incredibly common) complaints, I couldn’t help but find myself enjoying it over and over again.

It is rare, but highly appreciated when I find an album without any tracks that I dislike. It’s why I like short albums so much. Half upbeat anthem rap and half ice-cold chill music, Broken Hearts strikes a nice middle ground between bangers and easy listening. Smooth synths and tight beats support the solid vocals from the back. They don’t stick out at first, but on my repeat listens, the beats quickly became my favorite part of the album. “Sugar” should have been a cheesy song about women instead became complex and relaxing, even if the vocals are somewhat sub-par. The foundations of this album are incredibly strong, but they built a really short building on top of them.

“Side Weights” and “Dumb Playing” also stand at the top of the record with easy, but punchy chooses that worm their way into the back of your head, demanding attempts to rap along as you drive. It is where the album truly succeeds. It knows exactly what it is and embraces it, allowing the sound to flourish. By no means is this a groundbreaking or revolutionary record, and for once it doesn’t act like it. If IshDARR had better lyrics this would easily be one of my top albums of the year so far.



  1. Crown Ct, Racine
  2. Yes, You
  3. Bad Four You
  4. Bandits
  5. Sugar
  6. Side Weighs
  7. Time Shawty
  8. Dumb Playing
  9. Locals
  10. Mistakes
  11. Gone
  12. Breaking Hearts (Feat. EMAAD and Ju Preach)

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Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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