Twitter: @toobefresco Never Better is the new and rightfully titled album from rapper-producer hybrid Toobe Fresco. The project is woven with harmonically layered beats, soulful piano pieces, and uplifting lyrics. After listening front-to-back, I’m starting to think he is one of my favorite artists on the scene. From the opening track, we’re met with introspective questions uncovering the overarching themes of the album- topics such as faith, love, and trust. While the idea of a positive rap album might turn some audiences away, it should be noted this is far from an after-school special. Toobe delivers a message with substance over a variety of musical styles including the signature drum kits of the modern trap era. The Cleveland based artist says he wants listeners to take away whatever meaningfulness they encounter in the project. The hope is that people will find refuge in the music and that the album can spark an idea, maturing process, creativity, or spiritual journey. This motivation is underlined on songs such as “In the Morning” where Toobe writes: I never been on a plane I never danced in the rain, I never stayed up and partied with chicks at The Fillmore who feel more than just what I’m sayin’ Never had a hundred grand I never gripped on a grain Never swung through the lanes. I never not had faith enough to get through the pain Throughout the album, there are countless examples of thought-provoking lines inviting us to reflect, rejoice, and rethink. It’s verses like this where Toobe’s gratitude and energy really shine through. Overall the sound of the project is fresh, hopeful, and moving. The unique blend of Hip-Hop Soul is ideal for listeners who appreciate thoughtful and emotional art strung together with lyrical wit. There’s no gassed up hype train behind this article- it’s just flat-out good. Keep an eye on this guy.