Review Summary: Peerless exposition
I know I’m never the “nice guy” on the internet these days. Quite the contrary, I come off as a cantankerous old fart most of the time. This is a fact that I am acutely aware of, even more so, when I read a particular Soundoff for Deniro Farrar’s Rebirth
“If nothing else, this is the album cover of the year. Music and production are wonderful, flow is decent, but I just can't get into the lyrics.”
I hadn’t noticed this particular Soundoff due to having not checked the page for Rebirth
before my life turned upside down and I ragequit Sputnik. It’s curious that someone wouldn’t be able to connect with the lyrics of Rebirth
as it is a deeply personal album that showcases that Deniro Farrar is a master of observation, capable of juxtaposing introspective, and, at times, powerfully expositional raps with some of the hardest trap bangers you’ll ever hear. “Rebirth/Hold On,” “Notice,” and “Tired” are the songs I cite as being examples of the former.
And believe me; I understand the energy and effect of the trap raps. “Bow Down,” the lead single from this EP, featuring BRK rapper Denzel Curry was a sight to behold when performed live on the tour of the same name. I witnessed it in Philadelphia. People were going insane. Blunts were smoked. Pills were popped. Lines were sniffed. It was truly a night to remember. But what I will remember most is Farrar performing his solo material, particularly those three remarkably deep and expositional tracks.
On all three, Farrar makes references to his growing up without ever knowing his father. This is something that I, personally, can relate to, having never even had the privilege of knowing what my father looks like. With “Rebirth/Hold On,” Farrar introduces us to his family and the people in his general surroundings, as well as takes us into his state of mind. He raps about his having two baby boys with separate women, and not calling his close friends in prison. He raps about how he can’t tell his little brother he’s a role model, and how their father’s bloodline is a bloodline of “killers.” The song's beat switches between some of this with an interlude provided by dream pop duo Child Actor. As good an introduction to the album this is, Farrar ups the ante even further with “Notice,” a shoutout to a single mother he knows, one where he spits compliments and praises her for her strength, but in a deeply personal, expositional way that never comes across as insincere or creepy. It’s not game, so to speak.
“Tired” is the real triumph of Rebirth
, however, closing the album with the most powerful rhymes of all. Farrar raps:
”Sick of puttin’ work into plastic/Off white work, Michael Jackson/Sick of runnin’ and dodgin’ these cases/Down to kill a nigga when it come to big faces/Goin’ in a fuck nigga mouth, no braces/White girl cocaine crazy/Let her snort lines til her body start shakin’”
He goes on to say:
“Light turn green, hope you ready/Sellin’ break down, my nigga, that’s petty/Straight drop dope make the fiends go crazy/Stealin’ from their family, abandon their baby/First of the month “fuck you, pay me”
“If you’re bitch-made a nigga will try ya/Maybe make a couple mil then I’ll retire/Smoke ten blunts won’t get no higher.”
Therein lies the most powerful exposition of all. If you listen to the entirety of "Tired" and seriously can’t relate to any of it, then you’ve lived a very sheltered life, and I truly envy you. I imagine Deniro Farrar does too.