Sheck Wes - Mudboy
At first glance i's easy to think Mudboy the debut album from Sheck Wes is not for you, maybe even after hearing a bit of it. It's aggressive, not in a typical hip hop way, but in an entirely unique zone of it's own. There are trap drums sure, but there is much more of an experimental vibe to this album that you would ever expect. Sheck got his start when a 20 minute freestyle He recorded was put on Soundcloud without his knowledge. The song "Mo Bamba" landed him a deal with Travis Scott's Cactus Jack and Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. The album came together slowly building tons of hype, but in a crazy turn of events Mudboy actually lives up to it;s hype. The grimey nature of the album adds a really diverse dimension. This could have easily been another run of the mill New York rapper album, but Sheck pushes the boundaries. You get twinges of Arca and other more experimental artists, but then there is the same likability that Travis Scott employs so well also. The occasional shouts of whispers of "mudboy" or "bitch" feel like ad libs that aren't forced down our throats. Sheck is doing really intricate things vocally and stylistically, but He does it with an effortless ease. "WESPN" sounds like this vaporwave jam but the trap drums ground it in this hip hop space as Sheck does his version of crooning overtop. It's truly a wild experience.
The low end of this record will blast your soul into pieces if you let it. Listening to this in headphones almost doesn't do it justice as songs like "Kyrie" plain out fucking bang. There is a distinct of the moment feel to this album, like it could not exist at any other time than this very moment. It gives the record this sense of time and place, but also gives it an urgency. Sheck doesn't meander even when it feels like He is just popping in and out. "Burn Slow (Interlude)" a three minute track is not a typical hip hop outing but still has an edge and style all it;s own. There is an overt misogyny throughout the record that is a bit troubling, but luckily it doesn't permeate everything He does like so much of Hip Hop. The thing about this record is you can almost imagine the places that Sheck will go next. There is so much experimentation here and so much wild energy that it shows incredible promise for the young artist. I don't know where this music is leading or what place it has in popular culture, but the excitement and energy is simply undeniable. Don't let the dark vibes scare you, Sheck Wes has the goods.
8.3 out of 10