“Simon” (previous review)
“The Purge” (previous review)
Racine artist Rob Hicks decided to allow the site the privilege of an early listen of his brand new forthcoming album, LXSTSXULS. It contains a total of 16 tracks, three of which are bonus items. The official release date for the project is the 29th of this month which is this coming Friday. See which set of unreleased tracks especially caught The Illixer‘s ear after the jump.
“Welcome To The Show”
This is the very first record on the LP. It opens with a cryptic voice sharing the definition of the phrase and basis for the album title, ‘lost soul.’ From there the production kicks into full swing. It is of a superior quality. The booming bass, uncanny supporting details, advancing rhythm, and severe vibe fuse amazingly together. The hook is fly as well. The delivery is entertaining and the lyrics are authentic. The verses are a hit. Rob Hicks goes in with his signature stand out flow, lofty wordplay, and impactful rhymes. He sets a very enterprising tone for the opening of the project. A few significant lines from the eccentric talent include: “Planned Parenthood yeah they provide protection. But never elaborates or educates on exactly what a parent should do to be a good mom and avoid making minimum wage. Cable bill in yo mom’s name. Light bill in yo son’s name. You a bad b—h. N—as be lined up when they see that a** twitch. Yo body is a weapon. It can buy you anything that cash gets.” Those words right there pack a lot of potency. All in all, this was an excellent way to kick off the album. And this single is a site favorite for sure.
The production here is atypical yet quality. It consists of: an understated foundation, lightweight musical components, a slower tempo, and an offbeat vibe. The hook is intriguing. The delivery is inventive and the lyrics are deep. The verses are original. Rob Hicks calls upon a versatile flow, personalized wordplay, and haunting rhymes. He paints a vivid image of an individual who is plagued by a variety of serious troubles. A sprinkling of lines from his chilling picture are: “People always telling me what I should do. People always telling me what I should write. None of y’all n—as know what I been through. None of y’all n—as ever lived my life. None of y’all know what I just put in my vein. None of y’all n—as ever felt my knife. (…) Shots to the brain. Funny how what’s killing me is giving me life. Listen I ain’t no thug. But see I ain’t no b—h. Say cuz around Blood. Say blood around Crips. Man I keep it so trill. I ain’t never gone slip.” One can’t help but to feel the darkness in those bars right there. Overall, this is a gripping selection.
The production here is on point. The subtle infrastructure, complimentary background ingredients, middling gait, and laid-back vibe make for a charming blend. The hook is catchy though it is only played at the end of the track. The delivery is favorable and the lyrics are incomplex. There is only one verse on this cut and it’s choice. Rob Hicks enlists a lively flow, conspicuous wordplay, and ambitious rhymes. He gives a colorful account of his perspective on a scattering of different scenarios. Observe as he spits: “Somebody come step on my land mine. I been trying to blow up for a while. Now where my damn time. All these n—as getting on but honestly they can’t rhyme. All these b—hes showing pretty titties on my fan sign. So now my girlfriend be like who that? Girl you f–king with that n—a. Bae, I thought you knew that. See I could f–k ’em all but ain’t the type of dude to do that.” The forwardness in those bars right there is alluring. As a whole, this is a worthwhile effort.
**My Two Cents: LXSTSXULS is a consummate project. Rob Hicks has a phenomenal ear for choosing production and his contribution was of a high caliber as well. His flexibility as an artist really allowed him to bring something different to each track which in turn gave the album a plethora of originality. That’s an element that is way too absent from Hip-Hop these days. Additionally, the guest appearances on the LP were wisely placed. Everything came together nicely here and I think Rob has a real winner on his hands with this collective. Don’t sleep, make sure you save the provided link for the big release this Friday. I promise LXSTSXULS is not a project to be missed. -MinM