Review Summary: Something should bleed here. Let it gel, let it flow, italicize phrases and such. Eat. Pray. Pug
I'm going to be complete honest here: I've only given this two listens. It's not that I didn't want to give it more, it's just that the new Kendrick Lamar album came out and that honestly seemed like a far more important endeavor than this. So to put it contextually, it's that I'm practically going in blind with this thing. Going in, I've provided a small list of thoughts and minor analysis of the album.
-Heems as a rapper, is clearly aware of his shortcomings
. This doesn't necessarily make him a meta-rapper (although if Das Racist was any indication, he clearly is or at least has the potential to be). What it does mean, is it allows Suri as a rapper to get introspective without getting nostalgic. He clearly demarcates the line between self-analysis and self-loathing, and tries to create a convergence point between the two. It never quite merges clearly, but his attempts at it are remarkable in and of the fact that he's probably one of a few rappers to try reflexively ironic self-awareness as a gimmick.
-This is Heems' most political album
. His work has always dabbled in sociocultural political commentary, but Eat Pray Thug
adopts a more tonally serious approach than his other works. He establishes a darker palette of racial politics and identity shortcomings with only the barest hints of humor applied. Is this Himanshu wanting to be taken more seriously as an artist by his critics and peers? Maybe, but probably not. It's impossible to parse the thoughts and beliefs of a person whose mind is not your own. One can only make general assumptions based on lyrics (viewed on Rapgenius©) and attitude of the performer.
-In presumable trying to forge a different identity, Eat Pray Thug suffers from a lack thereof
. This is where the biggest problem of the record lies. Heems wants to be a jokey rapper, a meta-rapper, a political rapper, a spiritual rapper and a self-aware artist all at once. In doing so, the album suffers from a lack of cohesion and the barest semblances of unity forming half-thought ideas. It doesn't help the production on the album is so ethereally murky and takes a backseat to everything else. It just seems to be trying to do a number of different things at once, and that is problematic. There's no equidistant point for Heems to bounce off of.
Maybe my opinion on all this doesn't matter. Is two listens even considered a foundation to build off of? Is the review in and of itself problematic and this is simply a case of "not getting it"? I mean, we will never truly get
someone's personal vision because it's their personal vision. It's precisely why I settled on a 3. Heem's personal vision isn't really accessible or made for an audience. It's the man getting his thoughts and ideologies out on record before he fades away into some sort of obscurity. If anything, we should be looking at it as a transitional state from "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" to "Suicide by Cop".