Wax
Scrublife


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
April 8th, 2011 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is not for the less astute guppies, so go back to watching videos of cute puppies.

Many of you have likely heard of Wax; he has been building up his name for the past three years or so by posting his videos of himself rapping, sometimes with his twin brother Herbal T, on Youtube. He has just recently been signed to Def Jam records, which is actually a pretty big deal for someone who got famous in the manner that he did. His new mixtape was officially released on March 15, 2011. It features many of his well known tracks, including New Crack, which has an intro that references his popularity on Youtube: "We just reached a million views, about to drink a billion brews." Most of the songs on the mixtape were produced by EOM, his colleague and long time friend. The two had previously collaborated on 2008’s Liquid Courage, self released by Wax and EOM.

'Scrublife' is really a fitting title to this collection of songs. In the age of the internet becoming famous via Youtube is no longer that unheard of, but it’s still a little bit odd. For the most part, he’s just a regular 20-something trying to live a good life in California. His raps are less about bling and swag and more about bike lanes and splurging on Captian Morgan’s spiced rum. Listening to lines like “Oh yah, oh my my, I don’t give a fuck about a DUI, you can take away my license but you can’t take away my pride, Oh yah oh my my, Imma keep drinkin’ till the day I die, two wheels is the way I ride” from Two Wheels, it’s nearly impossible to not relate, or at least empathize, with the everyday struggles of his “scrub life.”

Wax’s rapping on the mixtape varies in quality, but when it's good, it's incredible. The standout song is definitely 2010 Til Infinity. On this track, Wax delivers his best vocal performance behind an incredibly subtle, yet gripping beat which is taken from a song by Oakland hip-hop group Souls of Mischeif called 93 Til Infinity. The chilled-out piano-based beat rocks by subtly in the background as Wax's clever lines take centre-stage. The track opens with "This is not for the less astute guppies / go back to watching videos of cute puppies / or little babies dancing to 'Single Ladies' / whatever stimulation the simple taste of your brain needs" and I could go on, but I would probably just end up quoting the whole thing. Every line is clever and well-executed and the general 'theme' of the song is how he's started to take charge of his own life. It's uplifting and very easy to relate to, like much of the mixtape. That's the thing that's so awesome about this release, Wax raps about stuff that regular people think about: spending too much money on beer, hating his shitty day job, staring at himself in the mirror and telling himself this he's going to get his life together, and so on. He makes me feel like I could be a rapper (except there's no fucking way I could be a rapper at all, let alone be anywhere near to as good as he is).

Other clear standouts include the first two tracks, Red and FAIL ("you're an F to the A to the I to the L"), the fun Dispensary Girl, which is a track about a woman he meets at his local medical marijuana dispensary, and the penultimate track, Wax Goes Bananas on Shade 45, where wax does a "writ-style" live on radio. (He admits it's not technically a freestyle, so the DJ compromises.)

Some of the songs are admittedly of much lesser quality; Everything and Limousine come to mind. But to be fair, this is a mixtape. It's really just an amalgamation of all the songs he posted to Youtube over the past three years or so. Also, the weaker tracks are not necessarily bad at all. They're just not on the same level as some of the monster tracks on the album. The choruses on the weaker tracks tend to be what turns me off for the most part, but it's just because they aren't as gripping as the perfectly simple beat and genius rapping found on the aforementioned 2010 Til Infinity (fuck I love that song). What I'm trying to say is, every song is still at least fun as hell and full of hooks. And no matter what the tone of the individual song, Wax is always spitting some pretty funny and/or accessible lyrics. He gets pretty serious sometimes like on Music and Liquor:

"Addictive personality, ironically, I write my realest shit when I escape from reality. I drink to forget then I write to remember, its been like that since my high-school tenure. I can't imagine if I never had this rapping hobby, I'd rarely be happy probably. But I knew a lot of people when I lived back in Maryland; they had it way worse getting addicted to heroin. So I shouldn't be too pissed, I'm just getting sick of writing drunken self-help to do lists that remain unchecked cause I never follow through, and when you move old habits follow you."

But it is most notable on Mary. This is a song told from the perspective of a young girl who has never met her dad. Her mother's boyfriend moves in after a while and things start off OK. As the song progresses though, the new house guest reveals himself to be an abusive alcoholic. He starts sexually assaulting Mary (this is never actually explicitly stated, which is clever, because which little kid knows what 'sexually assaulted' or 'raped' even means?) and one night Mary gets fed up and hides a knife under her pillow. When he comes in that night to do his thing, she goes crazy on him, justifiably so, and just absolutely murders the FUCK out of him. It's actually pretty brutal.

And then there's weird, funny, totally not serious stuff like the guest appearances by Dale Firebird. I'll try not to give away too much here but Dale Firebird is a 'hick' who "only drinks American beer" and has a guest track. He also appears for several 10-20 second skits though where he lets us all know that the mixtape is "fucking god awful." Simply put, it's hilarious.

This is a mixtape with a lot of content and I could go on; I've really only mentioned about half of the tracks that I feel are notable. There is a lot to say about the 17 tracks. Some of them are phenomenal, most of them are great, and a few are just passable. Overall, sounds like a pretty good album, doesn't it? And even if you don't like some of the songs, well, cool it. It's a mixtape and this guy just got signed. With the continued help of EOM, Herbal T, and Dumbfounded, and the financial backing of a big music label, Wax has the potential to really take the mainstream hip-hop world by storm with a strong full-length LP.

Recommended Tracks:
- Red
- Dispensary Girl
- 2010 Til Infinity
- Mary
- New Crack
- Wax Goes Bananas on Shade 45



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream or download the album at his bandcamp: http://waxdotcom.bandcamp.com/

Also, check out his website for more information, show dates, photos, T-shirts, all that good stuff http://www.waxdotcom.com/

Some videos to entice you (this review is kind of tl;dr....)
2010 Til Infinity - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-IKvw3-Rss
Dispensary Girl - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlwXuIBhWmE
Wax Goes Bananas at The Crib (alternate version of the album track, almost identical though) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlwXuIBhWmE




iFghtffyrdmns
April 8th 2011


7047 Comments


"splurging on Captian Morgan’s spiced rum"

as a second-year college student, I can relate to this just a little too well haha

nice review though, long as sheyittt but still smooth and well-written.


Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice thanks man. It's weird, I posted this on my blog and just wanted to write a quick paragraph on it but ended up writing like ten paragraphs haha. I'm like "well I guess I better review it then"

totally out of the blue, I have two others planned. I wasn't planning on doing this one at all.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2011


7275 Comments


Well-written review, but to be honest with you it's just waaaayyyy too long. Have a pos for some solid prose kicking around here, but for now I will posit to you that this review a.) struggles to hold the attention of the casual reader and b.) really sounds blogpost-ish. which might be a problem if you were aiming for a professional sound.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, I definitely think it's too long and it was a blogpost before it was a review so that explains that. when I was looking at the document on word I thought it would appear waaay larger on the sputnik screen than it does but I dunno, it's not that bad.

DarthBlubber
April 9th 2011


218 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"trying to live a good live in California"

second live is life?

Good review though, found this mixtape through RWJ. It's definitely solid, haven't spun it that often though.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks ill fix that

love love love your avatar

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck, someone listen to this

Shlub
April 10th 2011


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll have to check this out when I get home.
Edit: I listened to it, it's great.

lancebramsay
April 30th 2011


1585 Comments


will check out soon'ish

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 2nd 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

needs more ratings, someone listen to this. I'll even make it easy, here's a sample (track 5 on the
mixtape):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-IKvw3-Rss

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

alright you fucking dipshits, someone listen to this album

ZGP1992
October 13th 2012


302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wax is an amazing MC. He is sorely underrated. This mans a genius on the mic



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