What is success? And what’s left after the party’s over? Backed by the lush, vivid beats of Canadian producer Factor, Bay Area emcee Kirby Dominant ponders the perils of self-actualization on their third LP together as Paranoid Castle. Are the trappings of success smoke screens for inner turmoil or are they success itself? Do the drugs and women provide joy or fleeting escape? How long can one keep clawing out at temporary pleasures in the wake of unresolved anguish? Kirby’s narratives reflect upon these and a host of other grown man queries. And if the answers don’t come, what does come, is hope. “If the sun comes back to town, I want to be around,” Kirby sings on the catchy, ebullient hook to “Fear of Missing Out.” He maintains his sense of humor in the face of being broke on “Laugh Out Loud,” drops a hilarious one-liner here and there on “Cemetery,” and ands traces of positivity through gritted teeth. Welcome To Success, the culmination of a 13-year working relationship, showcases two seasoned vets playing on each other’s strengths and making a grand artistic statement. Kirby continues to sharpen his delivery and singing chops with each release, often rapping and crooning on the same track and shifting moods between verse and chorus. Incorporating live instrumentation and samples, Factor’s dynamic beats accentuate the emcee’s ruminations while making statements of their own. Welcome To Success is grown man music, unafraid to ask painful questions and wise enough to make you laugh if you don’t like the answers.