Pi’erre’s 5 deemed greater than 4

The Life of Pi’erre 4’s cover art features a simple solid shade of purple, while The Life of Pi’erre 5’s cover art features Pi’erre standing on top of a pile of expensive Takashi Murakami pillows with a stack of cash to his ear with one hand while showing off his jewelry on the other.

Collage by Grayson Salomon ’22, Album Artwork by Pi’erre Bourne, Cian Moore, AJ Bourne and Takashi Murakami

The Life of Pi’erre 4’s cover art features a simple solid shade of purple, while The Life of Pi’erre 5’s cover art features Pi’erre standing on top of a pile of expensive Takashi Murakami pillows with a stack of cash to his ear with one hand while showing off his jewelry on the other.

Grayson Salomon '22, Editor-in-Chief

As it is almost one month after the release of the highly anticipated The Life of Pi’erre 5 album from producer, songwriter, and rapper Pi’erre Bourne, I decided to compare the project to its predecessor, The Life of Pi’erre 4, which was released two years ago in late June 2019. 

Pi’erre returned with the fifth instalment of the The Life of Pi’erre series in June 2021 with The Life of Pi’erre 5 after releasing the deluxe edition to The Life of Pi’erre 4 in June 2020, and the rolling out period consisting of three singles off the tape. Bourne treated his fans with “4U,” “Groceries,” and “Sossboy 2,” which featured rapper Lil Uzi Vert, whom Bourne has collaborated with in the past with instrumentals. 

The Atlanta made producer is mostly known for having made countless beats for trap artists such as Playboi Carti, Young Nudy, Trippie Redd, 21 Savage, Lil Yatchy and even hip-hop top shots such Travis Scott and Kanye West. West is also the reason this series even exists, as the whole series is a nod to West’s The Life of Pablo album and a way for Pi’erre to be noticed by West, Bourne claimed in an interview with Kids Take Over.

Although the series consists of three more mixtapes, I’ll only be comparing and referring to TLOP 4 and TLOP 5, respectively nicknamed 4 and 5, since they both were released on major streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music and both gained the most traction in the quintet. 

Starting with 4, the first thing I notice is the similar sound and flow to many trap artists. An example of this would be Playboi Carti which is whom Pi’erre gained most of his attention from with his distinctly and widely recognizable “Yo Pierre! You Wanna Come Out Here?” tag, which is sampled off of The Jamie Foxx Show. This is a good similarity since I really enjoy Carti’s sound. I also noticed supporting ad libs from Trapaholics, claiming we are listening to “the number one rated mixtape of all time!” and many nods to Pierre’s “soss.” These ad libs are heard during the intro and outros of most of the songs that add a fun element to the whole project. 

The main feature on this tape that many fans of  Pi’erre enjoy about his production and praise him for is the seamless transitions between every song on the entire album. These transitions are so good that it feels criminal to listen to the album on shuffle. It makes it sound like you are listening to one big song, which can be good and bad depending on your personal preference. 

Pi’erre’s lyrics mainly revolve about the usual rapper bragging, coming up from nothing  and ridin with his bros, but also of Pi’erre taking the perspective of someone who has just lost a girl they had feelings for claiming, “You can’t keep me waiting on your love forever, Girl, you got me waiting on your love forever” on the songLovers.” This sets a melancholy tone and gives the whole album a gloomish feel. 

However, he does this while keeping an upbeat flow and delivery throughout the 16 song tape, with exceptions of songs likeBallad” and “Speed Dial.” Although his flow is upbeat, he does seem to come off monotonous on songs like “Try Again,” “How High,” and “Feds,” which is my only gripe. 

Other than that, 4 offers that legendary production from Bourne with a familiar but unique sound that offers a fun and joyus listen, with my favorite songs being “Be Mine,” “Racer,” “Routine,” “Doublemint,” and “Guillotine.” 

Next is 5, which has had fans waiting anxiously along with promo and teasing from Pi’erre himself. The main difference  I noticed is that 5 had a more celebratory and boastful tone than 4 did, which can be seen even without listening to either. 5’s cover art features Pi’erre standing on top of a pile of expensive Takashi Murakami pillows with cash to his ear with one hand while showing off his icy jewelry on the other. This is a huge difference to 4’s simple solid shade of purple as its cover art. 

4 also had a saddish tone and had sadder chords and melodies paired with heavy hitting bass and drums. 5 still has its share in the slower and heavier hitting songs such as “HULU,” “YNS” and “4U”. However, 5 sounds way more proud and cheery with upbeat instrumentals on bangers like “Couch,” “42,” “Sossboy 2” and “Practice.” 

The boastful tone begins with the intro track, which is a recording of a call between Pi’erre and his grandmother, in which she calls him while he is on tour to ask him for a new car. In the following track, “Switching Lanes,”  he raps, “Man, I’m on a plane, Man, I can’t complain, First-class gang, Too-much-money gang…Mama just pray, Grandma just pray, Grandma want a car, Wanna switch lanes.” 

The braggadocious lyrics don’t stop there, in the song “Groceries,” which refers to Pi’erre’s prior job at a grocery store, he brags, “Who you know get the bag like P? Get the cash like P? Get it fast like me?” Also, in the song “Sossboy 2,” where Pi’erre claims that he has so much money coming in, he’s lost track of what most of it is from. 

So much money comin’ in, I don’t know what this check is for.”

— Pi'erre Bourne

Bourne also brings backup with some familiar artists such as Playboi Carti on “Switching Lanes” and Lil Uzi Vert on “Sossboy 2” and with a new face, Sharc on “D. And Nasty,” who is on Pi’erre’s label Sosshouse. Pi’erre also replaces Trapaholics’ ad libs on this tape with a Carribean-Haitian voice vocalizing throughout the outros in preparation for Pi’erre’s signature transitions. 

On this tape, I thought the transitions were good, but a bit repetitive and predictable since mostly every song transitioned with the same transitioning sound effect. Even though being a bit repetitive and predictable, Bourne’s diverse production on this album makes it so that you can listen to all of it front to back with seamless transitions, but also, other songs being transitioned with ones that are not listed together. 

A good example of this would be the transition from “Practice to Biology 101” and “Retroville to Amen.” On 4 it was really hard to do this, but on 5, it’s super easy and makes listening on shuffle a good alternate option if you want to change the listening experience. It also gives the impression that the whole tape is actually an album and not just one long song. 

 Unfortunately, this album isn’t perfect. The gripe I have on this album is that Pi’erre sometimes has a boring, monotonous flow on some songs such as “Amen,” “YNS,” and  “D. and Nasty”. This is reminiscent of some of the songs mentioned previously on 4.  Also, I feel that some songs are super drawn out and could have been a minute or two shorter like “Amen” and “Couch.”

After listening to 4 and 5 repeatedly over the last month of 5’s release, I have concluded that 5 is greater than 4. 5 brings a wider variety of Pi’erre’s beats and insane production skills with a more complete and happier tone on the album. He took what made 4 good, added to it and made it better to it to give us a solid much needed summer album after the pandemic. 

My favorite songs on the 16 track LP are “Butterfly,” “42,” “Retroville,” “Practice,” “HULU,” and “Groceries.” I think every fan of artists like Uzi, Carti, Thugger, Gunna, Ken Car$on and Young Nudy or of just Bourne’s production should definitely give both albums a listen if you haven’t already.