Way2Lennon, the full-length debut from Pittsburgh rapper Guapo Lennon, merges gritty lyricism with a flair for the melodic.
“Bloody Piano,” the album’s longest song at nearly four minutes, functions as its cinematic mini-epic, an anthem in the spirit of Meek Mill’s “Dreams And Nightmares” or Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out.” Like those two songs, it takes its time to come on, waiting for nearly a minute before dropping a trunk-rattling beat into the mix. Where the others are solely triumphant, though, “Bloody Piano” shades its glory with streaks of crimson sadness. Guapo opens with the evocative, almost Gothic line, “I got all this blood dripping on these piano keys,” and returns to that image throughout the song, using it as an anchor for his sprawling musings on substance use, trauma, heartbreak, and ambition. Guapo’s bars have a ton of melody, his voice climbing close to Young Thug-ian highs and his ideas flowing so quickly that words come out slurred and jumbled. There’s real pain here; Gaupo sings, “All these demons inside me is killing me,” mourns the fact that he was locked in a jail cell during his daughter’s birth, and at one point simply says, “Ain’t no good in me.” “Bloody Piano” is a raw, confessional saga, one of the most emotionally fraught rap songs I’ve heard in a while.