Vegas-based reformist rapper HighDro has undoubtedly the gift of gab, yet his rhymes do so much more than merely flow fluidly. He is one of the (few) rising conscious rap stars that just makes you want to feel better with every listen. Releasing his debut full-length album Highatus back in October 2021, HighDro is now re-releasing this exquisite and uplifting masterpiece as of January 28th, due to… well… lack of buzz. This album deserves praise, accolades, stigma… never to simply be swept under the rug.
But, why HighDro? What makes his hip hop more impactful?
Just give him half of your attention and you will find out. Whether you’re treading water in life, drowning from circumstance or even flying high, HighDro has some words of wisdom. He’s been through the grinder and out the other side; his personal struggles aren’t too far different than yours. Stemming from song one “Full Circle” to the very last motivating track “Determination”, HighDro has what you need to persevere. The determined call to action from “Full Circle” gives way to the second song, “Uncomfortable”, appropriately titled since most progress isn’t meant to be pleasant! “Tap In”, song three, is accompanied by a militant beat, with introspective messages on how to find your true self-worth — “know that you’re enough,” HighDro chants.
Moving on down the list is “Learn To Fly”, a slower track of self-growth, coaxing to let go of our “ego” and beat the odds of the hands we were dealt… even birds with clipped wings can dream to go sky-high. The next track — an interlude — is interesting, for it contains a series of voicemails strung together on human happiness; this is followed, naturally, by a song entitled “What Makes You Happy”. Instead of HighDro detailing his existential or material happiness (as most rappers tend to do), he builds on his followers’ and fans’ examples. If “life is chaos”, as he claims, talk about a guy who actually cares amidst the madness.
A blues-y lo-fi track enters the ear at the start of “Disaster! Danger!”, of course ramping up when the beat drops and HighDro warns of “chasing fame and money”. It’s easy to get derailed by distraction and emotion in this life. Probably the most hard-hitting single on the whole album is “Greatest Gift”, an intensely reflective track for HighDro (and anyone who hears it). HighDro admits he has contemplated suicide and an attempt with a neck tie. Instead of succumbing to the emptiness, he expresses hope: “It’s your year // Face your fear // Put in work // Persevere.” It’s an ode to the lost, the left behind and the last straw… and oh so authentic.
To pull you out of the depths of despair, HighDro then drops the reassuring and radiant song “Kick That Depression”.
Being depressed isn’t a choice and it can seem almost impossible at times to shake. HighDro is here to help. One day at a time, one step in the right direction — that’s all it takes! Find that “strength from within” and “make a plan” for a better tomorrow. And, if you need a little extra oomph to do so, just give thanks that you made it another day, expressed in the spoken word-influenced track, “I’m Alive”. HighDro’s lyrical delivery in this one should also be noted, for it’s quite impressive. To wrap up this 11-song self-esteem booster of an album is “Determination”, featuring the vocal talents of B. Rose and produced by HIRIE’s Blaine Dillinger.
Whether you believe it or not, you need a piece of HighDro’s optimism, appreciation and dedication to self-improvement embedded in every track on Highatus. Stream or purchase the album via the links below and make sure to follow this promising conscious rapper and hip hop yogi on social media for more.
Purchase or stream ‘Highatus’ album:
- Full Circle
- Tap In, feat. Ekoh
- Learn To Fly
- Homie Hotline (Interlude)
- What Makes You Happy
- Disaster! Danger!
- Greatest Gift
- Kick That Depression
- I’m Alive
- Determination, feat. B. Rose
HighDro – “Greatest Gift” lyric video
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.