Mack Wilds- New York: A Love Story Album Review by Victoria Shantrell @MackWilds @TristanWilds

Mack Wilds- New York: A Love Story Album Review by Victoria Shantrell AsburyArtist: Tristan “Mack” Wilds
Title: New York: A Love Story
Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop
Released: September 30, 2013
Social: Twitter

Mack Wilds—the young Staten Island native, known best for his acting roles, including Michael Lee on HBO’s hit series The Wire—has released his debut album, New York: A Love Story, just in time for cuffing season. The topic is typical (love) and the sound and samples are familiar and will definitely take you back. The 24-year artist does not have a classic with New York but he definitely displays potential.

Listeners are introduced to Wilds as a rapper and singer on New York’s opening track “Wild Things” featuring Method Man. Although Wilds and Method Man rap about the gritty streets of New York City, there’s a pop element that makes it hard to take Wilds seriously. “Wild Things” is more reminiscent of MTV’s Carmen: A Hip Hopera than “the bottom, the dirt, [or] ratchet shit.”

New York: A Love Story gets better as the album progresses and Wilds sings more and raps less. Likewise, the album’s lead producer and label head, SaLaAM ReMi and other guest producers recreate a distinct late-90s, early-00s New York sound which is truly the highlight of New York. For instance, Mack sounds good vocally as he tries to convince a young hottie to come over on “My Crib.” But what’s more exciting is finally recalling the “original” sample—the Roc-a-Fella jam “You, Me, Him and Her” from Jay-Z’s The Dynasty. Mack Wilds continues to acknowledge other New Yorkers who embodied and shaped the hip-hop culture of his day on tracks like “U Can Cry to Me” featuring Raekwon and Dougie Fresh and “The Art of Falling in Love” which opening and closing sequences are plays out of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill play book.

“Don’t Turn Me Down” is hands down Mack Wilds’ standout track. This airy, mellow, sexy track makes a detour from the late-90s, early-00s New York musical theme. Mack Wilds sounds almost flawless on this track. It’s one of the only times on New York when it seems like the producers made tracks for Wilds rather than Wilds forcefully trying to fit onto a track that was never meant for him. If New York: A Love Story was filled with more tracks like “Don’t Turn Me Down,” he might have had a critically acclaimed album.

For a first album, Mack Wilds should be quite proud of New York: A Love Story. The production on the album is top-tier; in fact, if an instrumental-only album is released, I’d definitely give it an A rating. New York is a testament to Wild’s vocal ability; he just needs to find his true voice and craft his next project around it.

Rating: B

Tracks We Like: My Crib, Keepin’ It Real, Don’t Turn Me Down

Mack Wilds- New York: A Love Story Track 2: My Crib


Mack Wilds- New York: A Love Story Track 6: Keepin’ It Real


Mack Wilds- New York: A Love Story Track 8: Don’t Turn Me Down



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