Review Summary: Canadian rap?!
As far as rap goes, I wouldn’t say that anyone associates good-natured Canada with any of the harder stuff. Yes, yes, Drake is indeed Canadian, but if he’s your idea of aggressive, then Mr. Rogers must be the monster under your bed. If anything, Canadian rappers seem to have made a name as low-key Juno nominees (Moka Only, Rich Kidd, Ghettosocks, Shad, Maestro, the list goes on…), which is why the aptly named Madchild is such an odd artist to come across. His nasal voice fumes and spits nonstop over Lawn Mower Man
’s 14 tracks, antagonistic pretty much to the last syllable, and you know what…it’s not too bad.
That’s not to say it breaks any new ground either. The production is good but not innovative in any way; by the third track, it becomes apparent that major chords and wobbling backbeats will dominate the sonic palette. The choral intro of ‘It Gets Better’ is comparatively unique, but overall you should expect some decent (but indistinguishable) plunking and creeping keys over a solid kick n’ clap. I would say more, but the music is merely a background for Madchild, and as such it gets the job done.
The self-declared "tattooed midget with the bad temper" has a furious and mocking flow that hints at his roots in rap battle-dom, and for the most part he commands the microphone with a venomous, tongue-in-cheek style. Standout tracks like ‘Tiger Style’ (“Lyrically I’m Mike Tyson, I’m an ear-cruncher”) and ‘FTW’ (“Record company contract, suicidal bomber jumping out of a Tomcat, every single day of my life is like combat”) highlight Madchild’s vicious lyricism, and his slew of sardonic movie references (which include Braveheart
, Beavis and Butthead
, Hunger Games
, Apocalypse Now
, and many more) bring a fair amount of witticism to the table. However, this is once again nothing new in the world of hip hop, and while the Canadian’s delivery is certainly respectable, his approach to the genre is well-worn at best.
Don’t pick up Lawn Mower Man
expecting to find anything that hasn’t been done before. That being said, the album is definitely a solid release, and certainly worth a listen for anyone wondering exactly what it sounds like when a Canadian says the f-word.