Review Summary: For Sport and Doodle, who be them kids that get-gettin’ it down every night.
A girl who never knew a single goddamn thing about me yet loved me desperately is the reason why I have Snapchat, my most recent social media junkie-ism. I’m not an animal, or, as her hot take of me went “fuck boy,” so I reciprocated her feelings of affection in earnest. But she still never knew a single goddamn thing about me, because if everyone’s fooled the umpteenth time, and you can’t figure out who’s to shame, spoiler alert: reflection. Intentionally? Not the point.
That notwithstanding, this young woman was brilliant beyond all measure and had a very guarded, thoughtful manner of speech that I have never had the pleasure of encountering prior or since. For someone who tends to make language a plaything- malleable and dexterous to the point that if it breaks, it’s funny. It’s still broken. But that isn’t the intention ever. She was brilliant young woman, but she met a Young Mindfuck. The only Ab to me is Liva and the the only Soulo I hold down can’t be told the odds any more than he has a “u” in his surname. But that’s beyond not being a point. It is utterly moot.
You likely couldn’t tell Rahim Samad (brilliant young man) the odds either. Vault Classic (VCP) like the infamous car show you will pretend to have heard of when you’re trunk knockin’ “Gucci Gang” in front of your wettest dream, has bars that are protected. Protected, specifically by the “sun, moon, stars with the crescent” as Samad makes very clear on Free Transportation’s A-side. The imagery he is able to craft could only be described as “careful.” If the best defense is a good offense, you could perhaps use “guarded” as well. “Televised flows- haters get closed captions,” that’s Vault Classic like middle fingers to Confederate flags on I-75. If you are still of the opine that Blackland, Carol city is still strictly for raiders, you’re a bit out of step, kid: The Aquarius’Killa is U-L-T and the top dawgs (“The same ones that inspired are the same ones tryna retire me”- one Zel’s subs to Raider Klan) are not. That isn’t the point either. I love Denzel Curry, but Rahim Samad is better. And this is “Capital ‘V’a-U-L-T Classic.” And I’m a Genesis kid anyway, do something. Point in case (of Cristal? Apropos).
I don’t think I could ever get over how clean the production is on this tape. More Records, the label you’ll pretend to have heard a lot of incredibly chic electronic and avant-garde minimalist music from, really broke the mold with this addition to their catalog. The sampling is impeccable. I will never not be golly-ass gully over the fucking intro and hook to “Bucknasty” or the strings on “Pay Attention.” Let’s get specific: those lockstep “la la la’s” on the latter? Shut up and take my money. When you ride? You made me listen.
“Strut” is a Young Mindfuck track in the sense that “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is the new millennial turn-up anthem for a “can-only-print-my-signature” generation of fostered throwaway culture. Alternatively, a more direct approach is Samad on its counterpart “Nothing To Gain.” As in “brilliant young women have...” or ominous radio silence in a non-net neutral America. Calls for truth?These rappers under the hex. Control masses when you hit mics like Joe Jackson. Even if the sound hits ya dome like rifle shots to a Kennedy. Even if you go from a grassy knoll to the embassy, without the arm and hammer and coke, will YOU get it crackin’ on Pennsylvania Avenue like 8Ball and MJG?
Point concerns the sentence I just typed.
And this one. And so forth.
Regardless, Rahim Samad spits decadent venom over a lusciously opulent backdrop and I can’t help but picture him looking slyly at those surrounding him with a wry, knowing smile on some bars, but then looking at his audience with a disdainful sneer on the other. The constant morphing of lyrical topics and subtle-yet-pronounced alterations in vocal tone and inflection juxtaposed with the immaculate sampling and penchant for wit are mesmerizing. Picture the most falsely-implanted picture of the heavens, the cosmos, space in all of its awe, glory, mystery, and terror. Now you’re on the correct trajectory. This charisma is seemingly second-nature and his presence on the mic is gushing with charm, yet looms fearsomely titanic. It seems to move with all the grace of a predator not in search of prey but defending its own- feral, but guarded. Calculated. Ready to die but without even the faintest doubt of life. It wells up in every single song on the album, and even the bad leaves you feeling comforted if you believe in the celesitals in a form of your choosing. If Juelz Santana is the anointed prince with the keys to the lock, Rahim Samad is the protector of a vault somewhere betwixt Slum Village and Zone 3. Crucial point.
You don’t spell “fuckboi,” that way, brilliant young woman. You spell it YMF. Maybe TDE. Humble gets no respect in that Ol’ Virginny. The south is malicious, and Florida is very much the south. Park some warheads 70 miles off its coast, and see who kicks up. That point may come from North Korea and explode and kill absolutely excessive old people. Like the Founding Fathers. Liberty’s on life support, man. Things is fucked
up as is.
Free Transportation couldn’t be better titled. It provides a possibly intentional (I’ll pretend I knew that, like fuckbois in the presence of “In what reality, honey...?”) allegory that illustrates the free-fall of regional barriers in modern urban music. There is no east, west, north, south- there’s elevator music, activator music, odd music, mello music, sad boy music, dope boy music, coke boy music, broke boy music, and SoundCloud rap. That is all the music there is for all eternity. But it’s malleable like language. Things change. Actually, there’s a Ray West, though his hex goes too often spent. Or Yeezy. And there’s North West to consider. The Northern Connect? Workin’ on your third? Like boom, boom, boom? The point of this particular thing is that boom-bap akin to Biscuithead Recordings or a Lord Finesse cut (think Royal Flush. Blackjack? Motherfucker we playin’ Poker) can be dirty south. Dirty but cleaner than the car of my wettest dream.
I’ll let you know when I figure out the model- it’s that VCP coming through with the speed. Vault Classic. Rahim Samad is peerless when he moves, and this isn’t music for the “literally-won’t-even-Uber-or-Lyft-because-it’s-surges-and-we-only-have-to-go-around-the-block.” Or the “overly-inclusive-and-hilariously-unfocused-esoterrorism-by-way-of-Snap-Story” generation.
Pedestrians aren’t protected by celestial bodies. Come close, pay attention and LISTEN when you ride. If your overarching point is to ask yourself if you, personally, are a worth divine intervention? Shame on you.