Hear Yves’ latest album, A Good Catholic Boy, featuring Things With Todd, Dylan Cohl, Tony Dark, and more.

“I feel it’s important in life to know who you are, in order to progress.”

These words are uttered during one of the spoken intervals of “Ox Tails,” the D.R.E.-assisted third track on Easy Yves’s latest album, ‘A Good Catholic Boy.’ It didn’t seem like much time had passed since The Niceguys affiliate dropped his last project, ‘Don’t Panic, and yet that was almost a year ago. ‘AGCB’ arrives a week ahead of the Catholic-observed Holy Week, with plenty of stories to tell.

Fourteen tracks deep, ‘A Good Catholic Boy’s’ breadth is deceptive. It’s only 21 minutes long and its longest track, the album’s closing track “Blood on My ’88s,” has a three-minute runtime. But ‘AGCB’ executes under that old adage that less is more, with Yves’s tactical style of punchline-driven rap and a knack for storytelling carrying the load.

Yves bears the gift of rappity raps for those who say rappers don’t just rap anymore. On “Vanity Fair,” Yves assesses his survival and critiques the culture in disgust, noting how the planet “demands that we share private matters and dirty laundry, just for status” (with a bluesy trumpet to close it out). And he goes open-mic on “Commercial,” a one-minute clinic of chain-linking homophones where Yves won’t apologize for being who he is yet, with Hennessy-stained breath, begs for empathy.

On the features front, Things With Todd rides alongside Yves in a trip to the past on “1997” and joins him again at the end on “Blood On My ’88s” (which bears a clever shoutout to Houston DJ outfit The Waxaholics). Tony Dark appears twice, especially flourishing on the boom-bap era-inspired “P.O.M.P.O.P.O.M.P.” And Dylan Cohl, the Houston emcee-producer who branded himself “Death Proof” last summer, tells a dark yet vivid story of a love that went left on “Persona Non Grata.”

Throughout the album, Andre Kohn Jr. serves as Yves’ “Kohnscience,” spreading out Rudyard Kipling’s famed poem “If” over the course of four spoken-word interludes. “If” the poem is about persistence and adaptation – about being the kind of versatile person who can move through any crowd and conquer all self-doubt.

The poem, in essence, may sum up exactly what Yves attempts to do on ‘A Good Catholic Boy’: express his skill while remaining true to self. You’d be hard pressed to say he doesn’t succeed.

Stream Easy Yves Saint’s ‘A Good Catholic Boy’ album below and grab it for yourself off iTunes now.

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