Sum and Belief are The Lone Wolf
North Carolina rapper Sum and West Coast-raised, New York-based producer Belief reinvigorate jaded listeners’ faith that hip-hop can be meaningful. The Lone Wolf is nice, characterized by Belief’s mellow beats suffused with jazz samples and Sum’s smooth storytelling. However, both poetry and jazz can be beautiful yet boring. Belief’s production perfectly complements Sum’s competent, but ultimately forgettable delivery. He has a smooth voice and flexes a few different cadences, but hardly varies his tone. Plus, the album doesn’t have a clear hit. A near miss is â€œ35 Cents,â€ built on guitar loops and a sleepy, mildly spiced hook. â€œKakalak All-Starsâ€ also gets close, invigorating with dope hip-hop historical details, but it’s brief and lacks a chorus. If The Lone Wolf duo is to find commercial success, the choruses must be shined up and the beats need more pop.