Review: Handles - 809060

Handles’ 809060 is titled as such because the Virginian rapper was born in the 80s raised in the 90s and learned from the 60s, and these things about him are unpacked quite nicely throughout the album. He handles his bars, has well-chosen features, and vibrant production. 809060 is definitely a cohesive project that should get more than a few listens out of most. 

He starts things off with “Amnesia,” which is ironic because the track is not forgettable, rather it serves as a reminder of Handles’ skills as he spits over a drum and piano driven instrumental. He reinforces this reminder with the second track “Stop Sleepin,” and calls for his ride or dies on “1 thing,” while commenting on some of society’s pitfalls.

“BR+LS” is for the fans of the puff puff pass, and Kori Nicole’s vocal assist lands the cut high on my favorite 809060 tracks list. But the fifth track snags the number one spot for a reason that should be obvious, it’s titled “Sidney Shaw” after the character who played XXL’s Editor-In-Chief in Brown Sugar. Handles and Rone take inspiration from the 2002 film as they express admiration for hip-hop and a lucky lady. 

Rone stays on to contribute his vocals to “Shore Thing,” where Handles raps about his surroundings and their influences on him over production with a bluesy undertone. “Shore Thing” is followed by “Break Records” featuring rapper Skyzoo and singer Charlie Rae which is about exactly what you think it is. On the energetic “Who” featuring Kajmir Royale Handles tells a story of entanglement of love and lust, and asks the person at the center of it all to make a decision. Things get a little more tranquil with the smooth interlude “Half A Letter.” 

“POV” demonstrates what life is like through Handles’ eyes to put it simply, and “Looking For You” featuring Gabriela Tristan is about how simple love could be. 809060 ends things with “Want It All” and “Too Obvious” featuring Sanura. And like most of the songs on the album they get you amped for more from Handles.      

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