Has-Lo’s somber, composed, controlled. No matter the track, no matter his subject matter, the man lets bar-after-bar slip out without stress or hesitation, like he’s just sharing a few thoughts with the listener. “Never Was Yours” first met the world as “Everything Is,” a reflective, smooth track off In Case I Don’t Make It – which is still one of my favorite releases this year, by the way. The “Everything Is” beat bounces, with the joy of a man speaking the truth, as hard or as easy as that can be, in Has-Lo’s verses. But now, after Kev Brown put his own spin on the vocals, the track has a little more of that bounce to it, a little more of that even-keeled, reflective joy. I think it’s the minimalist, funky guitar lick.
Plus, the verses still hit me like a left hook. I mean, “This is me. The kid with the sick granny/Who dreamed I could sit pretty, and I could lift Grammys/And I was better off rich/and now I’m older with issues the money can’t fix/how naive that I could be/I exist in the guise of a life complete/I compete to win though I lose myself/In a penthouse room, with a view from hell.” Damn.