With his sophomore studio album Santa Cruz or Bust, San Francisco native Yung Mars has done it again. Three years after his self-titled debut made it to #3 on the CMJ Hip-Hop Top 20, Mars’ latest endeavor combines the feel good vibes of the carefree California lifestyle with inspired and often insightful lyrics. With catchy choruses and hooks aplenty, this is one rap album you don’t want to miss.
From the get-go, Mars manages to seize your attention with his honest rhymes, while easing you into the soulful ambiance of Take a Ride. “You got the rest of your life/ to stress and try to get by,” emphasizes the blithe mood Mars wants the listener to settle into. For the rest of the “ride” Mars floods the audio field with crisp guitar, funky bass, and soulful keys (most of which he plays himself), along with the usual samples. Featuring a host of Bay-area musical collaborators, SCB compliments the usual instrumental fair with jazzy horns, sweeping strings, and sultry female vocals.
With a lyrical emphasis on personal responsibility, romantic yearnings and taking things in stride, Mars manages to sound like a more relaxed version of powerhouse rap group, Jurassic 5. Santa Cruz or Bust is a refreshing audio journey for those looking for an alternative to the bland trappings of gangster rap.
Yung Mars often plays along the California coast and currently has no tour dates for Massachusetts.