Rod Wave “Beautiful Mind” Album Review

Beautiful Mind

Rod Wave

    • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
    • Date: 12 Aug, 2022
    • Content: explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 24
  • ℗ 2022 Alamo Records, LLC/Sony Music Entertainment

Continuing his LP streak, Rod Wave makes his full-length return with Beautiful Mind. The album’s track list consists of 24 songs, two features from Jack Harlow and December Joy, four of its pre-released singles and an interlude performed by viral comedian Druski.

Rod Wave’s brush with legal danger gives Beautiful Mind’s its structure as well as a sense that he’s charting new territory, and not just the themes of success and alienation that fueled past hits like Ghetto Gospel and Pray 4 Love. With Beautiful Mind‘s arrival, it’s looking like this project will be the end of a dramatic, therapeutic era provided by one of hip-hop’s most emotionally vulnerable artists.

Album Cover Art

Rod Wave &Quot;Beautiful Mind&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, June 23, 2024

On the very colorful painting that is the album cover, an animated version of Wave can be seen in a somewhat studio scenario with a recording microphone slightly positioned above his head that is raised toward the microphone as he lays down some vocals over the beat playing through the headphones worn over his head.

But something spectacular is the energy he is surrounded by, depicted by the colorful worm-like things floating everywhere in the background, which we can take to be the effect of his words and vibe all created by his Beautiful Mind.

Tracks and Features

Expressing vulnerability, the kind found in sweet, impressionable kids, he gets in his feels and brings us along on “Leave Me Alone,” singing and pleading anxiously, “I don’t wanna be alone…don’t leave me alone.”

“They say I’m crazy, I’m bipolar, I need some damn help/Why say forever if we gon’ die by our damn self?” he sings on “Sweet Little Lies,” admitting that the promise of living happily ever after is a myth. Moat definitely the emotions of a troubled man who is desperate for some tender affection and care.

If he still feels a part of the rap world, it’s due to subtle touches, like stacking his verses into hard, anguished thrusts on “No Deal,” where he claims, “I’m trying to ball, niggas trying to take my life,” and says he doesn’t feel comfortable without carrying a .45 automatic handgun. The tune finds Rod Wave reminiscing about his youth as he sings, “I was just on the bus stop, getting higher than my brain/Headphones in, listening to Kevin Gates.”

“Rockstar Heart,” to a large extent, echoes Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” although the former questions a pills-and-thrills lifestyle instead of embracing it. That sense of deeply informed passion not only emerges from his performances, but the varied musical references he and his producers deploy, while a quiet storm radio interlude, “Pt. II,” samples K-Ci & Jo-Jo’s “Just for Your Love.”

On “Me vs. The World,” he sets things off with a slowed-down sample from the late Baton Rouge rapper Lil Phat’s “My Glock,” then dips into multiple references to 2Pac’s pre-incarceration classic Me Against the World. A handful of lyrics on “By Your Side” interpolate Plain White-T’s emo ballad “Hey Delilah.”

Wave spends much of Beautiful Mind‘s second half unpacking conflicted feelings over his partner. “In my cell all alone I still hear your cries,” he sings on “Mafia,” before comparing the way he and his team move like the Mafia and, oddly, the Taliban. On “Pieces,” he admits, “I tried to find another bitch, I just look for you in her.” And while “Everything” soars like a Brian McKnight ballad as he sings, “This my last song about old girl,” “Married Next Year,” sees him trying to find some kind of closure in order to move on.

“Cold December,” which closes Beautiful Mind and was originally released last November, uses a sped-up section from Hank Williams Jr.’s mea culpa “O.D.’d in Denver.”





1 Alone 3:11
2 Yungen (feat. Jack Harlow) 3:46
3 Never Get Over Me 2:50
4 Stone Rolling 3:00
5 I Know It 2:37
6 Forever 3:34
7 No Deal 3:07
8 Quiet Storm (feat. December Joy) 3:43
9 Sweet Little Lies 2:54
10 Rockstar Heart 2:17
11 Fading 2:43
12 Time Kills (Love Birds) 2:53
13 Druski Phone Skit 1:13
14 Keep Going 3:10
15 Never Find Us 2:08
16 Mafia 2:33
17 Me vs. The World 2:45
18 Pieces 3:28
19 Pt. II 1:06
20 Everything 2:40
21 Married Next Year 3:10
22 Better 2:55
23 By Your Side 3:14
24 Cold December 3:12

Album Theme

On his fourth album, Wave gushes about love in a way that seems unusual for someone so closely identified with rap. He is a complex individual who oscillates between macho anger, heartbroken tenderness, and career desire. And even though he makes a great effort to prevent having suicidal thoughts, he is conscious of how brief life is.

Production Credits

Producers on the album include Aldaz, Amineskkrt, Angel López, Artiisan, Bad Habit Beatz, Blondy, B Squared and a host of others.


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