by Carla Bynum
A month earlier than expected, he released his sophomore studio album True to Self on May 26th, instead of June 23rd as originally planned. The album was supported by the release of the songs “Honey,” “Somethin Tells Me,” and “Get Mine” featuring Young Thug.
Bryson is interested in a girl who already has a man. They started off as friends but he wants things to move to the next level. “This ain’t the side nigga anthem, I’ve been straight forward, he’s going backwards,” he croons on “No Longer Friends.”
Bryson is the only drug his lady needs so he constantly tells her “Don’t Get Too High” when she’s out with her friends.
He calls out all the frauds and fakes who are “Blowing Smoke” or lying about their lifestyles on the next track.
“We Both Know” is dedicated to a girl he’s interested in although she already has a man. While Bryson isn’t her man, she runs to him whenever her man is acting up or they fight. Every time they are together, it is cinematic and he can’t get enough of her.
Bryson sings about how him and his lady spoil each other on the song “You Got It.” She has what he needs and he spoils her with the nicest things. The song contains a sample from Kendrick Lamar’s song “FEEL.”
He finds himself losing focus and he needs someone to keep him “In Check.” He’s been getting sidetracked by the women in his life and now he’s ready to get back on track.
Bryson is “Self-Made” and has worked hard for all that he has. He bought everything he has for himself and continues to strive for more.
On the track “Run Me Dry,” Bryson reflects on a relationship with a girl who took advantage of him while they were together. Now it’s his turn to flex on her.
“High Stakes” was recorded on Bryson’s 24th birthday and he was feeling good. He reflects on how far he’s come since he first emerged on the music scene and how his pockets have grown and there’s no position he would rather be in. The song contains a sample of The Spinners “(Do It Do It) No One Does It Better.”
“Rain on Me (Interlude)” is a skit that features a girl Bryson was seeing venting about how she was always loyal to him although he mistreated her. She’s willing to forgive him for all that he’s done but it’s unclear if he feels the same way. That is until the next track “Teach Me A Lesson” plays. He questions what he would do if his woman ever left him. He comes to the conclusion that if his lifestyle is too much for her then she’s not the one for him. Although he doesn’t believe they are meant for each other, he knows she will find someone who is ready for her. The song contains a sample of Marsha Ambrosius’ “Your Hands.”
Bryson remembers how his lady walked out of his life, chucked the deuces and told him to “Stay Blessed.” He sings about all the things she did for him during their relationship and how he played too many games with her.
“Money Problems/Benz Truck” is broken up into two parts and is all about his money.
“Set it Off” is an ode to his daughter’s mother because she’s always remained loyal and held him down. She’s been committed throughout the entire journey and he thinks she may be the one for him.
On “Nevermind This Interlude,” Bryson sings about his newfound fame and how much it he hates it for taking a toll on his personal life.
Bryson sings about his haters on the track “Before You Judge.” He encourages his haters to check themselves and take a look at their lives before they judge him. The song contains a sample from Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self (Remix).”
“Somethin Tells Me” was released on May 11th along with the songs “Honey” and “Get Mine.” This song serves as the official single for the album. He has a feeling that his relationship isn’t going to make it. Something is telling him that they won’t last.
The album closes with Bryson admitting his truest feelings for his lady on “Always (Outro).” Although they don’t always get along, he realizes that he loves her and would never give up on her. He hopes she won’t give up on him either.
While it is difficult for True to Self to live up to the expectations set forth by his debut album, it is equally as raw and passionate. Bryson isn’t afraid to embrace his vulnerable side, as he proves on “Always (Outro), and perhaps that’s why so many fans can relate to him and his music.
Bryson will embark on his “Set it Off” tour featuring H.E.R. and Metro Boomin. The tour will kick off in Atlanta on August 3rd and conclude in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. on September 16th.
Recommended Tracks: “Run Me Dry,” “Teach Me A Lesson,” “Before You Judge,” “Set it Off”