A sizable seven years and a bunch of mix tapes filled the space between Young Dro's debut album, Best Thang Smokin' and his second album, High Times. Fortunately, he remained a signee of T.I.'s Grand Hustle label all through those years and even received two verses from T.I. himself for High Times. The album shows great improvement in Dro's lyrical flexibility but falls in a funk of worn gangsterism at points throughout it. Its offerings do not expand much outside of drugs, money, sex, violence and macho braggadocio. Since his debut, Young Dro has let his image age on the shelve, strengthened his rhyming skills, and modernized the production choices for this sophomore studio effort that nicely represents the South and ups his ante in the rap game.
The biggest weakness in High Times is Young Dro's material mindedness and gross arrogance which comes through in the countless lines about cars, clothes, jewelry, and easy women, that serve only to demoralize the competition, and fans unintentionally so. If the motive is not focused on possessions then it is concentrated on, you guessed it, threats of violent retaliation, where the potential for take home messages is small. To his credit, Dro's wordplay is much more impressive than that on Best Thang Smokin' as he raps with a larger vocabulary and tries out a few new flowing techniques. Other bright patches on the project are a tongue twisting chorus on "Djuan & Spodee," both T.I. verses, the humility Dro exhibits on "Free Fall," and the inspiration oozing from "Corner Boys." The beats play the background in a low key manner except for strong bass lines throughout, and while the beats employ some modern sounding drums, claps, and taps, nothing reaches revolutionary status. For best results when listening, look out for nice verses by Spodee, Mac Boney, and Problem.
High Times symbolizes progress for Young Dro all in all. Detectable are formulas that have already been on the music market for some time now, but Dro's respectable lyrical game does score him points. For those in need of something game changing, look elsewhere, but for those desiring good old fashioned trap rap, cop High Times for sure.