Review Summary: Hear me out on this
Classics Albums Month Pt. 1: Viper - Ahead of His Time and Out of His Mind
I feel like an outsider looking in when I listen to Viper. His music is very puzzling and I dare say "challenging". When I first came across You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack
I had an appropriate laugh and then moved on with my life, but something brought me back to this album. The lyrics are absurd, the vocal performance is abysmal, and the beats sound like presets on a child's keyboard, but on repeated listens I realized this album is an amazing piece of outsider art and something to be cherished.
Viper is not a talented rapper by any stretch of the imagination. His lyrics are garden variety braggadocio and tales of the streets, but what terrible rapper doesn't have lyrics like that" What makes Viper stand out as the king of bad rapping is his complete and utter lack of variation in his flow and vocal inflection. Viper drones along in this slow, tired sounding whisper vocal technique that never changes the entire record, whether Viper is laying down a hook, or spitting a verse, it's always the same. This may sound like a major criticism, but when Viper's sleepy-time flow is paired with the beats on this album it's pure magic.
The beats on You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack
are, believe it or not, ahead of their time as they fuse a nostalgic and ethereal blend of cloud rap and vaporwave, two styles of music that did not exist when this album was released. The warbling lo-fi synths create a dreamy atmosphere which serves as the perfect complement to Viper's unenthusiastic mumbles that sit low enough in the mix to create a shoegaze-esque blending effect. The result of this combination is a relaxing and elegant sound that is equal parts beauty and equal parts train wreck.
You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack
is a strange masterpiece where everything is wrong, yet everything is right. It's like a bad movie that's so genuine and entertaining that it crosses over to amazing. Not every song hits the mark, but songs like "This is Our Ball," "I Like The Way," and "Parlayin'" have honest to God great hooks and masterful beats that prove when Viper is on point, he's on fucking point. Lil B knows he's a joke and that's great, but Viper is great and that's the joke" Anyway, You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack
is a beautiful piece of outsider art that paved the way for cloud rap and vaporwave completely on accident, and I love it so.