Starting off with one of the chillest instrumental grooves I've heard starting a hip-hop album in a long time, and descending right into some straight up G-Funk backed old-school speed rhymes, Vicious 5150's album kicks off with some pretty solid groove and atmosphere. Crystalline and dreamy vibrating synthesizer washes compliment Vicious's swift vocal delivery as he makes his opening for this album a truly mesmerizing affair.
Continuing onward through some slower and more bass driven and groovy old-school hip-hop flavors, with the man behind the mic's delivery becoming only a little less frantic, the whole album seems to have a very contrasted feel, with it being packed with some pretty damn chill beats that then go on to act as a unique platform for 5150's intense and enveloping lyrical barrage. Even throughout the albums more calmer parts his rhymes seem packed with a (quite) few more syllables then what you'd usually expect. However, it's always to an enjoyable effect (especially upon second and third lesson when your mind actually has time to process the vibrant lyrical tapestries this man creates, truly demonstrating this man's tremendeous rapping abilities.
And proficient this man is, never falling off time and keeping his energy and flow powerful and consistent all the way through, all while not resting on a backing track during the majority of the release. Vicious certainly spits fire all the way through the duration of the recording making the experience as lit as you're gonna find nowadays. Carrying his own torch and bringing us on an adventure that will make us challenge our ideals and morals, his natural confidence and intellectualism that he presents in his lyrics aren't something you see in a lot of new school rappers these days. His honest and reflective tone which critiques self, society, and existence in a way that has an almost background dark sense of humor, all while keeping a serious enough of a tone that the message and atmosphere isn't lost, truly makes this an enjoyable ride.
Complimenting the album's standard affair of epic and vicious rhymes over hypnotic and groovy beats are three instrumental tracks which take place at the beginning, middle, and end of the album. Finding themselves to be perfect mood setting pieces, these equally contrasted soundtracks all have extremely different sonic qualities, while still managing to not only fit the album perfectly, but also act to tie it all together like a perfect little storybook that was truly intended to be meant to be listened from beginning to end. As the curtains rise you find yourself excited to where you are going, as the interlude happens you feel your heartbeat racing from the emotional journey you've just been taken (acting as the perfect place of relief, a balancing point as you traverse across the abyss), and then finally the closing piece which acts as almost a solemn sentiment to the audience who now knows that the journey is over and it's time to return to the world of reality you've been so separated from this last thirty one and a half minutes.
If you haven't figured it out already, I'd say this album is pretty damn recommended. Give it a spin if you wanna take a trip, cause that's what you'll get. Best listened from front to back, but really, any track will do. They're all pretty equally stellar.
Catch the album at a very affordable "Pay What You Want" price on his official Bandcamp: