Don Toliver releases debut album Heaven Or Hell


Kyle Atkinson

2020 has already been a pretty good year for hip hop prior to March, but it’s really set off now. March 13th brought the release of projects by notable artists including Lil Uzi Vert (read my reviews of his projects here and here), Jay Electronica, Rich The Kid, Jack Harlow, and Don Toliver. The latter is one of the most hyped artists of the year and his debut album Heaven Or Hell was anticipated by many. But in order to understand why the release was hyped, you have to learn a bit more about him.  

Who is Don Toliver?

The Houston-born Cactus Jack Records signee has been on the scene for two years now, jumping in during August 2018. In the summer of 2018, the rapper/singer was signed by Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack imprint and released his debut mixtape Donny Womack. The release came on August 2nd, 2018 and Toliver subsequently featured on Scott’s historic album Astroworld on August 3rd, 2018. Donny then accompanied Trav on the hugely successful Astroworld Tour.

Naturally, this huge feature gained him many new fans and listeners, including myself, that finally realized his huge potential. After the summer of 2018, Toliver has capitalized on this huge amount of upward momentum. Throughout 2019 Don was working on his debut album, dropping songs, and accompanying Travis Scott. Songs he released in 2019 include “Best You Had”, “No Idea”, “Can’t Feel My Legs”, and more. “No Idea” gained him some solo acclaim as it went viral on TikTok. He made notable contributions to the Cactus Jack JackBoys compilation album that was released on December 27th, 2019.      

Heaven Or Hell

2020 started off great for Don Toliver as he featured on Eminem’s surprise album Music to be Murdered By. He was also announced as an opener for The Weeknd’s After Hours World Tour. But by far the most hyped part of 2020 in regards to Toliver is his debut album Heaven Or Hell. After many teasers, it finally arrived in full on March 13th, 2020. 

To the surprise of many, Heaven Or Hell features a compact 12 tracks. This is unusual for a debut album, especially one from a rising star that has a viral song included. The album features three previously-released tracks in “No Idea”, “Can’t Feel My Legs”, and “Had Enough”. Features are sparse here, with only Travis Scott, Kaash Paige, Sheck Wes, Offset, and Quavo making appearances.

The lack of features really allows Toliver to show us what he’s been working on solo. The tracks range from typical bangers like “After Party”, “Cardigan”, “Wasted” to more melodic in “Euphoria”, “Candy”, and “Company”. The outros to each track are beautiful as well, showcasing guitar solos and dope melodies. 

Final thoughts

With the release of Heaven Or Hell, Don Toliver has officially arrived. He showed us a little bit of what he can do on Donny Womack, but this project is a new level. Toliver combines all of the styles he’s shown before and then some. There isn’t a bad track on this album; each song brings a unique vibe for different situations. Heaven Or Hell is focused and concise and I know that we will continue to improve in the future. As if he already wasn’t, Don Toliver is a hip hop artist to watch for the foreseeable future.  

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