Review Summary: A rapper inspired by Kurt Cobain, Toby Keith and... Andy Kaufman?
The line in the song 'Marketing Campaign' sums up this project in a weird nutshell: "I'm pop, *** hip-hop it's easy to make it, count cash and count those I can ripoff". It's not some self righteous underground criticism but it's not exactly true either. Roamin isn't pop, he's punk. With track times all at about a minute and lines like "*** saving whales I'm an oil leak, buy into me loyally and I'ma sell the *** out royally" with occasional scratchy vocals and bizarre production( the hookless hooks on the headbanging 'WorldWarYeahLet'sGo' sandwiching doomed bragadocious verses of American supremacy; or the escalating sounds of spanish guitars plucked into oblivion on 'Osiris'; and the aforementioned 'Campaign', which sounds like The Million Dollar Man running through hell ), this seems inspired by, I may be wrong, Black Flag's 'Nervous Breakdown' EP. He embraces this punk spirit in a different way than what has been typical "*** the system I'm so different rebelblahblahniggaI'm***ingradical" since the inception of both hip-hop and punk rock.
This brings me to the lyrics, now I don't know how old Roamin is, or where he's from ("*** a hometown" he punctuates his 'Air Strike' spit with) but the youth in his voice and even his face makes what he's saying hit even harder. In the opener he chants "*** having fans, I want sympathizers, I eat beats and *** out synthesizers", ***ing A weird right? The words crackle and have color in these bursts of bars twisting themselves into the short banging and haunting instrumentals. When he isn't boyishly crooning here and there hooks that don't want to be hooks ("eat yellow snow" from 'Clean Brain'), he is creating a world where he is fed a steady diet of heroin and soda and other name brand products to spout good government praises, which hits a boiling point on 'WorldWar' "I'm watching all seasons of Jersey Shore on my phone while your necks bleed". Sounds like the American nightmare. Then on 'Osiris' he declares his devotion to his aptly named girlfriend(wife?) Rosalie Osiris in one of the most ***ed up love songs I've ever heard, "Don't care about all these other bitches in my songs, 'cause you're the one I share my needles with". He goes on to offer the equally punk sounding Rosalie the rights to his image and music, the new dozen roses to musicians, in a weird way this reminded me of Kurt Cobain, sounds obvious in content but I mean in all it's ***ed up sincerity. In the album's closer, the disaffected-but-okay-with-it-youth song'Lord.of.the.Flies' his flow is none better, referencing, and rhyming with; Fraggle Rock, Salvador Dali and Hunter S. Thompson being his babysitter.
I see this possibly dividing people as there is alot of talk about being a gov't pampered junkie aspiring pop icon splattered across beds of grand, unusual self-produced instrumentals. Whether or not you want to believe the web he's weaving here i.e the hilarious claim of having a middle aged ghost writer and being a whore for all things commercial, that's upto you. The talent is evident to me and even though there are a few snags here and there (the hook on 'Bathtub' was good but the stuff in the middle was just okay and 'Penis & Vagina' was immature and a bit pointless, although it seems like a jab at hip-hop's obsession with pussy and dick punchlines COUGHBig Sean Childish GambinoCOUGH) there seems a good promise here, not classic, at least not now, but if people get behind this I feel a ground swell could lead to some great stuff in the future. As he says in 'L.O.T.F' this album is a "sign o' the times, sign o' the times". Guess we'll have to wait and see if that's good or bad.
My name is Isaac Cantar, thanks for reading.