Compton hip-hop star Problem shares his latest album, Selfish. Coming in 9 tracks strong, the “Get On It” hitmaker unveils his most candid and diverse body of work to date. Widely known for his party-friendly records, Selfish finds Problem unveiling an au courant version of himself. Unabashed and brazen, Chachi serves up a multitude of moods that are unapologetically him in full form, exploring themes of growth, advancement, and certainty. Eight years independent in the game and a rolodex of successful party tunes later, Problem explains, “This is that time musically and sonically to show some growth at this point in my life, and I think I have to be selfish to do that.”
Selfish arrives a little over a year since his last release Rosecrans, in collaboration with DJ Quik. The project, an ode to the main street that spans through Compton in South Los Angeles, was conventionally Californian in format, mixing G-funk with soulful psychedelic sounds. His latest return to the airwaves, Selfish, reflects a more all-encompassing landscape that slightly veers from the Cali kush and riding on hydraulics soundscape. It’s very evident that his changed life landscape has led him to this point, perhaps collaborating with Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, and Herbie Hancock–or his recent GRAMMY nomination from his work on Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom. From the project’s launch to landing, listeners are kept at the edge of the seats due to the cohesive messaging and adjacent production compliments of 9th Wonder, Terrace Martin, JB Minor, Mike and Keys, Iamsu!, DJ Quik, Problem himself and more. The opening track “Mission Statement” finds Problem in a gritty rap mode, truth telling about life’s woes, money, politics, drunken nights, lady affairs, and more. Although there’s a scroll of problems he spits about, his perspective points to a sense of removal from it all. Mentally, Problem exists in a plane far above his old self.
As the project progresses, listeners are greeted with a variety of sounds. The Airplane James-assisted “Top Off,” takes fans back to California sunshine with its buoyant beat and soulful melodies, while jams like “Living Good,” which features Nipsey Hussle and IAMSU, starts off slow-moving but switches tempos midway to a pounding rhythm that’s reminiscent of funk sounds from LA to the Bay. The project’s most unique song is standout track “Ain’t Like You,” which features Neyo and Terrace Martin. The trippy electro R&B track, laced with tranquil vocals on the chorus from Neyo, is ever evident that Problem’s creativity sees no confines.
Overall, the project comes at the perfect time. As fourth quarter comes to a near, and individuals reflect on the past year–whether ups or downs–Problem teaches us that self-reflection and self-serving are virtues, and that perhaps our best coming of age is carved from egocentricity.
Listen below for our full interview with Problem where he breaks down the making of Selfish!
Also peep his latest visual, “Ain’t Like You”, featuring Neyo and Terrace Martin,
The views of our contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of Boi-1da.