Toledo’s A-Foe and Caine Sounds take a trip on FLIGHTS, their first collaborative project. On it, A-Foe addresses BLM, the election, and women and relationships.
A-Foe comes out with some awkward flows and wordy, sometimes cringeworthy lines. “Rockin” in particular is guilty of this: “Niggas back home won’t believe it ’til they see the pics / So check my Story / Exes mad ’cause they lost me just like Dory.” He later raps, “I make her feel inspired like a Rocky movie fucking can.” The wordplay doesn’t work and the punchlines don’t land. Even on the hook A-Foe sounds a little off, like on “Weak In The Knees.”
The track “Like You” also features a hook gone wrong, though possibly intentionally. Stephen Spottswood offers a comical chorus to the track, but the fact that it’s not completely obvious is a little concerning.
The exception in all of this is “The Riots” featuring B Flame and the project’s final track, “That’s Cake.” A-Foe sounds like a completely different person: “C.R.E.A.M. like RZA and the Clan said way back / Ross been making it clear hoes love the Maybach / So the young boys fiend for the payback / A puttin’ the work in to get paid back.” His flow makes a complete recovery.
Caine Sounds fairs better on production. He flips a memorable “U Know What’s Up” sample at the center of “Hot Summer,” giving the track an easy summertime feel hence the title.
On “In Your Eyez” in particular, the altered pitch on the sample of Ashanti’s “Rain On Me” retains the somber mood of the original record. Along with the addition of Charlé Sly, the melancholy production compels heavy lyrics by A-Foe on the prison industrial complex and the death of black men by police.
Caine Sounds has room for improvement for sure, especially in places where the volume is off for the foreground or background, or but his production brings an addictive nostalgia at its highest points that make a few tracks on FLIGHTS replay worthy.
Obviously these Toledoans have talent, but why the two aren’t always able to execute is less clear. From the looks of SoundCloud, A-Foe doesn’t have any other music uploaded and Caine Sounds’ production sounds much different when it stands alone, which is a good thing. Maybe this collaboration doesn’t do A-Foe and Caine Sounds justice individually, or maybe FLIGHTS is just the best these two have to offer.