Time for a reality check. It’s Friday. What are you doing? You’re at home, in the dark, reading a music website. That’s the wrong answer. You should be at the bar mixing it up and meeting new people (assuming you’ve been vaccinated), or playing some pickup basketball, or teaching your niece or nephew how to grill. Something. Anything, but reading this. At least get up and open a blind or spray some Febreze. If not for me, then for yourself.
If you’re really settled in though, the very least I can do is give you something decent to listen to while you are here. That’s why I’m giving you a heads up that Chicago noise rock and rap duo Angry Blackmen have dropped a new EP. It’s called REALITY! and it’s out via Deathbomb Arc.
Angry Blackmen is Brian and Quentin, a duo of MCs and beat-makers who are keeping the great tradition of shit-talking alive, one shotgun blast worth of snack at a time. I would not want to be in a rap battle with these two. I’m not even sure I’d want to be present for a rap battle with these two. Putting a mic in front of these two is like tossing it down the gullet of a wood chipper and once they’ve peppered their opponent with enough verbal shrapnel to reduce them to a pile of pink linguine, they’re likely to turn their attention to the audience. Honest, I don’t know if my ego could take that kind of a thrashing. I may need to have my therapist on hold for an emergency mental detox. If she is out though, I have to shove a catheter in my temple, do a handstand, and just let all the feelings flow out that way. Is this what they call homeopathic medicine these days? I may have to get back to you on that.
I don’t want you to get the impression that Angry Blackmen are the only rappers in Chicago right now who can spit bars. G Herbo can sure hold his own when it comes to verbal swordplay, so can Noname when she needs to. But with Brian and Quentin it’s just a different experience. It’s doesn’t feel like you’ve entered the arena on a level footing with them. It feels more like they’re a lion and your some poor smuck who has been chained to a pillar. I hope you’re not too attached to your skin, because you’re not going to be wearing it for much longer.
The bombast of their delivery and the icy industrial quality of their beast, helps the savagery of Angry Blackmen’s rhymes land with the appropriate impact. The fact that the production is as dank, dirty, and overheated as is frankly just a consequence of giving these songs what they need in order to pupate into tiny Mothras. The opener “Vomit” sounds like an arcade game being rocked back and forth until its sound card becomes dislodged and begins repeating the same pleading measure in a fruitless attempt to illicit the sympathy and aid of bystandards. “Haywire” hosts a chop and splatter approach to club beat baking that soundtracks an industrial slaughterhouse of serrated, braising bassline and bone powder making piston-percussion. The influence of clipping.’s disorientating, cyber-future imperfect theatrics can be felt on “Blueprint,” and closer “Reality” kicks the casket lid closed with a grievous, ghostly moan and bars that land like shovel fulls of dirt on the lid of your freshly sealed, sub-level, pine-box condo.
Call your insurer and make sure you’re covered and your premium is paid for when REALITY! hits your ears, because once Angry Blackmen are done with you, you’re going to need an assessment.