Planet Giza Continue Their Evolution on ‘Ready When You Are’

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

7 Apr 2023

Planet Giza is a Hip-Hop trio from Montreal that first came onto the scene in 2016. Since then, Rami B, Tony Stone, and DoomX have been making waves with their melodic and mellow approach to rap. Their debut album ‘Added Sugar‘ released in 2019, very much reflected this, but now in 2023, they are changing things up.

Ready When You Are‘ isn’t a complete diversion from the Planet Giza formula, but it certainly is a fresh take on their sound. The trio mixes up their sound pallet a bit more, which creates a more diverse soundscape across the record. There is also plenty of features on this record, something that is different from their previous material. While things may have changed, fans will be happy to know that the music still sounds good.

As the album’s cover and the title suggests, ‘Ready When You Are‘ is about Tony being on a path, but a woman in his life diverts him from that path. The path from the lyricism in the album appears to be one of negativity, self-loathing, and accepting himself as a ‘player.’ The plot and story of this LP are well told and flow nicely from track to track, with the interludes within the tracks, complimenting nicely. Although, I feel ‘DO DAT DERE‘ is more of an end credits than an album closer, with ‘FOLDED‘ feeling like the true ending.

Production-wise, the change is noticeable instantly with the very spacey sounds of the title track. Rami and Doom have done a great job throughout with their many collaborators on production adding nice touches. Many will pinpoint KAYTRANADA, alongside Da-P and JMF on ‘SOMETIMES‘ which mixes wavey synths, kick drums, and acoustic guitar; alongside the sampled hiccup vocals.

However, JMF is the most featured guest producer, and for good reason. Whether on the previously mentioned two songs, the bouncy ‘KEEP IT,’ or the club sound of the closer; this producer combines well with Planet Giza. Other great moments include the transition from track one to ‘QUIET ON THE SET,’ the old-timey noir sound of ‘SHIPS N LUV,’ and the use of the sax on the chorus of ‘ELEVATOR.’ There are also influences from Tyler, The Creator, and Run The Jewels in some of the beats. These fit the tone and the vibes of the project in a good way.

The elevation in the sound is matched by the words of Mr. Tony Stone. We have already detailed the story of the album but not the performance. The vocals are on point here, with the singing and rapping elements flowing together nicely. He fits the tone of each track quite nicely, with melodic-smooth flows on ‘THINK OF ME‘ or bringing a bouncy energy on ‘KEEP IT.’ Stone delivers on this album, as do the other two members of Planet Giza.

The vocal features are on point too. Mick Jenkins‘ husky voice matches the late-night vibes of ‘THINK OF ME,’ while Sun provides great vocal chemistry on ‘SOMETIMES.’ Kojey Radical features on album highlight ‘ELEVATOR,’ delivering a tight verse as the beat speeds up a bit. He fits the theme nicely, providing an alternative perspective to the track’s message of elevating alongside your homies.

SHIPS N LUV‘ is another key moment with Stone flowing nicely over the beat. He discusses moving to a girl during school and future encounters when he grew up and how he changed. It’s the most personal and introspective track on the record. Here, he reflects on his insecurities around himself and commitment. It feels like a key point in the story, and the freestyle feel makes it stand out from the rest.

No songs here truly disappoint. But, ‘QUIET ON THE SET‘ feels like a continuation of the album opener it follows, and ‘NORTHERN PLAYLISTIC‘ is let down slightly by its minimal beat. However, these songs do fit narratively and musically, they just won’t be on repeat like the other material here. Also lyrically, Stone and guest femdot. are on point on the latter track.

This sophomore LP from Planet Giza is a nice evolution in this trio’s sound and artistry. The more varied production and influx of influences and soundscapes lead to a more interesting listen. The development of Toby Stone is also clear to see on this record as a performer and lyricist. Also, as a conceptual album it works. Aided by the guests, it makes for a fun and intriguing listen and is definitely a release to check out.

Star Rating: 3.5/5

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