We rarely get energy in hip hop like Joseph Bills. From his infectious stage presence to his high octane delivery that reaches through the speakers, Bills is all about the #MAXOUT. With his rabid fan base and devoted following its easy to see why Joseph Bills has started to branch out from being an Arizona hip hop staple to an indie darling that is bringing attention from other regions back with him to Arizona. His latest EP #BecauseBills is a perfect introduction for those that know not of the mastery of the #MAXOUT maestro and also a fitting continuation for those who have already been along for the journey of Joseph Bills.
The EP starts with a lyrical anthem dedicated to the intro song's namesake, "GBE" (Got Bills ENT). GBE is exactly what you think it is. It's the brand and group of Joseph Bills, the man who delivers some well timed bars that put you on notice he can bring the heat if and when he wants to, but keeps the vibes easygoing which compliment the catchy instrumental by Abstrakkt and sets a great tone for the rest of the project. The next track, "Let 'Em Know", might be the best lyrical example of what Bills can do on the EP with Abstrakkt delivering a superb instrumental and Bills using it to craft an aggressive warning about the path to success. Just looking at his line in this song, "down for the cause like I'm Kaepernick, flows and the shows get me dough - and its tax exempt", shows how unorthodox and impactful his bars can be. He isn't just aggressive throughout the song and his ability to write and compose really come into play as the hook is foreboding and effective while being a subtle and melodic.
Next up is "I Want It All" where Dela Preme joins Bills for a huge impact. This track might be considered the best on the EP and definitely makes its hard to choose between this one and the previous track. Bills does his most infectious word play on the EP here as well as giving us a catchy hook that could find itself populating Tik Tok videos any second now. Dela Preme brings a much welcomed counter to Bills but matches his energy well. The two of them fit well on tracks together and this song is helped by Dela Preme and his emphatic delivery and distinct voice, when you hear Dela Preme, you know it. The next track "Really Really" features Nov the Zoner on the beat and it's a sports soundtrack/workout playlist darling in the waiting. The instrumental gets you hype just like Bills does and the hook could be easily chanted, another testament to the song writing of Joseph Bills.
The next track and latest to get a music video, "I Don't Get Mad I Get Money" might be the sleeper track on the album as it has real lyrical content as well as a radio friendly vibe and a younger audience appeal with it's sound easily fitting in with Migos and 21 Savage.
The EP wraps up with the fan favorite "Day 2 Day" featuring Jamee Cornelia & Dela Preme. This song is like the cherry on top of a great sundae. This EP feels complete and then we get this beauty of a song. Jamee Cornelia delivers some great lines like this gem, "I just did shrooms in my air BNB, hopped in my LYFT and my driver playing me", which might be the most quotable line in the song. She also brings an amazing flow to the hook and the song is decidedly elevated by her cadence. Dela Preme gives a clinic in delivering honest bars that can make you vibe and make you listen. His line "I've been building up a biz, just to give it to my kids" hits home and puts massive context to the meaning of " Day 2 Day". Joseph Bills not only elevates his bars to the level his two song mates but also gives us the hook of the EP. The pairing of Jamee Cornelia and Joseph Bills on the hook is a perfect blend and hearing the entire EP end with her saying "I'm with Bills getting bills" is the perfect way to cap it off.
This EP plays with no filler tracks. The production is on point as always with Joseph Bills and his song writing is easily the most impressive aspect of the EP in its entirety. None of the parts felt like they lacked but the true standout element was how well written the hooks were and how the composition of every song felt unique to itself but collectively felt like it was being funneled through a singular voice. If you need anymore reasons to listen to this EP, how about #BecauseBills.
by: Steven Sandage