After the breakout hit of his debut album “Happyland,” 19-year-old Hoorn rapper Jacin Trill released its sequel last week called “Happyland 2.0.” Though undoubtedly continuing his unique, uplifting style of hip-hop in its songs, the formula seems to be starting to repeat itself.
The album starts off with the song “Heppieland2,” clearly a reference to “Heppieland,” which was the first song on “Happyland.” The song, like half of the songs on the album, kicks off with the recognizable shoutout to producer “808milli” (Emile) which has become a staple for the songs produced by him. After that, it continues with Jacin rapping about being the king of “Happyland,” rhyming at a level that would not be uncommon in most primary school classes. Luckily the song only spans one minute, and we quickly continue to “Byenkorf.”
“Byenkorf,” which refers to the shopping haven located on Dam square, talks about Jacin suffering under the weight of all the items his girl wants to buy after he received his salary. Even though the lyrics on this song are relatively simple, the production is definitely well done and stays in your head for a while. This is definitely one of the songs with hit potential.
The same can not be said about the next three tracks, however. “Ubettanah,” “Keshinkeshout,” and “Teddiebeer” are annoyingly repetitive and have narratives that are impossible to discover. Songs like these make you wonder why this album has 13 tracks listings when at least 6 of these could impossibly be distinguished from each other after a first listen.
A surprising relief from this comes with “Clout,” a song, which like a lot of others on the album, is about the fame he gained and the girls that inevitably come with it. With an interesting 8-bit beat and a refreshing rapping style that finally diverts from the high-pitched voice Trill usually puts up, the song is an outstanding example of the potential of Trill and his producer 88milli.
The same sort of beat is continued in “Purplekolour,” which is nice. This time, however, it is combined with a sound that is annoying at best, and plain unlistenable at worst. In songs like these, you start to wonder whether Jacin Trill only records his songs once, without retaking anything. While possibly being as intended, Trill produces a sound that resembles Kanye West in his debut single “Through the Wire” (you know, the one he sang with his jaw wired shut).
“Commaar,” which goes back to the theme of Trill being a king, talks about the problems he has with his haters. He might as well not have put music under it, because it feels like he is just telling a story. The rhyming lacks once again, and production seems lazy.
While not being a stand-out hit, “Geenidea” does have a nice flow at times, and is one of the few songs on the listing that is actually relatively listenable at times. The same holds for “Hokuspokus,” which has a couple nice parts and actually mentions his improved flow himself (“/ Ik verbeter mijn flow /”), even though this is definitely not the case in all of his songs.
The album ends off with a light-hearted jab at the singer and pianist Ray Charles with “Outro (ray charles sample),” which shows the true strength of Jacin Trill. The song, like “Marley” on his previous album, does a funny re-enactment of a famous artist in a way that makes it almost impossible to hate on it. If Trill were to benefit from this more often on his album, it would certainly be more fun to listen to.
Overall, it is the songs that differ from his regular style that sound the best on “Happyland 2.0.” While his talkative, child-like style was what got him in the spotlight in the first place, it is time that Jacin Trill starts to develop his skills further in order to become a fully fledged rap artist. His potential is showing, but the execution still lacks.