The dreaded sophomore slump still exists. For Cordae, however, the Hip-Hop world should have known that wouldn’t be a problem. On Cordae’s second album, From a Bird’s Eye View, the young star sounds hungry and determined to show that he is one of the best the culture has to offer. 

The new album is inspired by Cordae’s life-changing trip to Africa, losing a friend, and evolution as an artist and a man. The new album has Cordae highlighting the stories through elite wordplay that provides a vivid image of what he has experienced.

“I just went [to Africa] because that was just something I had to get off my spirit,” Cordae explains in the album’s docuseries. “And that was a bucket list thing for me too. It’s always been on my bucket list to go to Africa.”

That trip did Cordae good. If you were to catch any of his freestyles before the album dropped, including his visit to the L.A. Leakers, you could tell Cordae was entering this album with a laser-focused. Upon pressing play, that translates. Cordae approaches every verse as if he has a chip on his shoulder and raps with an intensity that sounds like someone questioned his skill. In a social media era, you wonder whether he saw someone’s slick comment, felt some pressure from another rapper, or simply has the fire burning in his competitive spirit to attack an album and don’t leave room for questioning his talent.

From a Bird’s Eye View offers a moment of reflection, inviting fans into Cordae’s world by introducing one of his biggest influences, his brother Shiloh. For those unfamiliar, Shiloh is Cordae’s incarcerated brother. Not a blood brother, but the type that our culture understands. A “blood couldn’t make us any closer,” brother. 

Shiloh introduces us to the album, showcasing his talent, which sadly we cannot experience more of due to his situation. But what better way to salute your brother and inspiration? Cordae detailed in his latest Breakfast Club interview that Shiloh had the neighborhood stamp and encouraged him to keep going. That neighborhood stamp shows as he effortlessly flows over the phone about the struggles of being a young Black man in America. 

From there, Cordae takes over. “Jean Michel” evokes the spirit of the late iconic artist into the tale of what it is to become and exist as an artist. Cordae follows that effort with “Super,” a heroically versatile effort, highlighting why he is special and soon to surpass any of his peers both as a businessman and lyricist. 

Cordae’s introduction via Shiloh isn’t the only foray into exploring his friendships. “Momma’s Hood” is a sonically sharp trek into his past, saluting a friend who he lost. The song serves as a form of audio self-therapy and examines how that tragedy has shaped Cordae into who he is today and going forward. 

Approaching the middle of From a Bird’s Eye View, Cordae showcases his versatility. “Want From Me” serves as one of the smoothest offerings, paired with “Today,” featuring Gunna, showcasing how the two styles don’t clash. “Today” is catchy, primed to become a single, and the two young stars surprisingly blend well without sacrificing who they are as individual artists. 

Cordae’s ability to blend worlds with the other superstars is rare. After putting on an impressive display with Gunna, Cordae continued to invite more names into his world. The Lil Wayne-assisted “Sinister” offers a synergy that would lead you to believe the two were in the same room for the recording. In actuality, they were not, and Cordae hit up Weezy F Baby for the feature some ten months after their first conversation, which occurred via live stream during COVID-19 quarantine. An instrumental that is a modern descendent of the boom-bap era and a plethora of elevated bars and quotables make this song a go-to stand out.

From there, Cordae recruits H.E.R. and Lil Durk for a Hip-Hop love ballad, showcasing the ability to take it slow and highlight the potential ups and downs of love. One of the more surprising collaborations is “Champagne Glasses,” which instantly provides the thought of “how did Cordae, Stevie Wonder, and Freddie Gibbs get on one track?” For Cordae, this could appear to be a tall task. Gangsta Gibbs is one of rap’s most revered artists today, and he showcases a lyricism that isn’t easily matched. Then someone with the stature of Stevie Wonder, a true musical savant, one of the elite artists that anyone on this planet has had the privilege of pointing an ear to lacing your second album with a perfect harmonica solo is special. A true honor. How does Cordae respond? Elite storytelling and lyricism of escaping the trenches and having the luxury to celebrate with his friends and family. Touring, backstage passes, and of course champagne to christen the moments.

Cordae approaches “Westlake High” as a true closer. He is reflecting on the road travel in his life and this album. What is consistent in this song is that hunger for more, just as all the others. From a Bird’s Eye View isn’t Cordae’s peak. Instead, it’s a warning. 

Understanding every stellar effort deserves an encore, Cordae returns with two songs. “Parables,” pairing him with another legend in Eminem, showcasing that he is one of the best lyricists of today and can stack up to another legend. Shady matches the energy of Cordae, abandoning his blistering flow for a more moderate pace and recollection of dreaming up five mics from this exact publication. He then closes with “Gifted,” a Roddy Ricch-assisted celebratory number equipped for clubs and the upcoming hopeful warm season. 

In From a Bird’s Eye View, Cordae displays his maturity. It can be heard in his sound, voice, and the overall product of his music. What’s impressive in that display, Cordae doesn’t lose his age in the content but manages to open himself to a wide variety of audiences.