Review Summary: Order in the Dork Court
Back in 2012, Stefan Alexander’s kidneys failed and almost killed him – a result of some unknown trauma that overloaded them with scar tissue. Stef had to put all of his musical projects on hold until he could figure out to do with his weakened kidneys. The road to recovery was long and drawn out, marked by transplant surgeries and bedridden months that held him back from returning to music full time for nearly 4 years. His brief appearances on Doomtree’s 2015 album All Hands was his only notable musical endeavor before officially returning last year with his spectacular album Chill Dummy, which detailed that very struggle back to normalcy. He and close friend Astronautalis teased a collaboration right before the emergency, dropping a single before disappearing completely. It seemed like Four Fists would never see the light of day, and to be honest, I forgot about it entirely, until they came back a couple of months ago with a fiery passion. Each of the new songs released ahead of time were some of the hottest tracks of each rapper’s careers, easily on par with their best. Now, five years in the making, Four Fists’ debut album 6666 takes the best of two respective artists and makes something greater than the sum of its parts.
Now that it’s here though, there’s only one question - was it worth the five year wait? The simple answer is a resounding yes. Lyrically, both Stef and Astro are on the top of their game, coming up with some of their best lyrics ever. Both rappers are lyricists of economy. Not a single line here is wasted, or throwaway worthy. A simple glance at the lyric sheets for Joe Strummr” and “Sid Vishis” show this clearly. We don’t have line upon line of syllable twisting babble, we have short choppy verses that are simple on paper but come out complex in delivery and meaning. Speaking about the delivery, I have to mention how fantastic both Stef and Astro sound. I mean, holy ***, these guys can flow over nearly any beat, no matter how off kilter it is. Instrumentally, the album blows me away with how fire these beats are, especially with tracks like “Annihilation” and “Bobby Hill”. The synth and beat work on this album are ***ing next level. Just look at “Fjortis”, that song is a perfect example that showcases producers Lazerbeak’s and Subp Yao’s way with the studio with icy stabbing synth lines paired with grimy electronic and punk beats littered throughout the album. Add all of these elements together, and the result is some extremely strong collaborative songwriting on an album that ranks in the upper echelon of their brand of alternative hip-hop.
This album does not call attention to itself. It exists in a self-contained microcosm of hip-hop, geared specifically towards the niche it occupies. At this age, P.O.S. and Astronautalis are beyond trying to set the world on fire, these two are only trying to set their little corner of the world on fire, crafting bangers for their small but fervent fanbase. This is an album for the already converted, and for those who don’t like this brand of hip-hop are unlikely to change their minds with this release. However, the apparent fact that these two old heads are having the time of their lives sounding young and hungry is just enough for any one of the faithful to get up and get down like there’s no tomorrow.