Track: Rank & File / Artist: Wordburglar (prod. by Savilion. Featuring Touch, Chokeules, Esh The Monolith, CasUno, Savilion, Jesse Dangerously, More or Les & Timbuktu.). / Album: Welcome To Cobra Island
Now I know I've stated in a previous post that I'm not a huge fan of the Nerdcore genre.
That being said I really dug this album by Wordburglar. I'm by no means a huge fan of G.I. Joe. I'm a Transformers nut, but I did grow up watching both cartoons in the 80's. I also started getting back into collecting the figures again once I saw the Pursuit Of Cobra, 25th Aniversary, and G.I. Joe Resolute toylines that Hasbro had put out in recent years. To make a long explanation short: You don't have to be a die hard Joe fan to get into this album.
If you either religiously watched the cartoon in the 80's, even casually read any of the Marvel comics, or saw the animated movie, you should have no problem understanding most of the G.I. Joe character references and story elements mentioned in the album. For those that have done all three, it'll be a lyrical trip down memory lane. There's a lot of little references sprinkled throughout the album that hardcore fans will pick up. But you also have tracks like I don't wanna go to Cobra-La , that will still make sense to anyone who saw the animated film but didn't read the comics.
There are tracks dedicated to both Cobra and Joe characters. The song about Chuckles in particular is IMO hands down one of the best tracks on the album. I know crazy right? I mean who would've thought that a song about Chuckles - a character not too many people remember let alone are huge fans of, has one of the best songs on the album?
Wordburglar does a fantastic job with the mic skills. He's got a relatively smooth flow and has a really good handle on utilizing multisyllabic rhymes with single lines and mixing between the two. He also does a good job of telling stories in rhyme. These days there just aren't enough artists that still do this.
I was pretty impressed by the production on this LP. If you're a fan of that 90's era east coast "boom bap" sound like I am, then you're in for a treat. Despite the fact that there's a different producer for each song, they all have that unified boom bap feel to it while maintaining its own identity.
The producers also make good use of sampling some of the more memorable music from the cartoon. They all did a pretty good job making sure that their own instrumentation blended well with the orchestral samples. I don't know about you but I find it lazy when a producer just lets a really good sample dominate the beat, and the percussion adds nothing to the composition as a whole. These beatsmiths do a good job of fitting the tunes with the tone that the lyrics set. A perfect example of this is the track Call Destro. The low bass has that reverberating echo that just gives you that rough thorough feel to it. It goes well with Wordburglar's braggadocious lyrics as Destro.
Overall I really dig this album and if you give it a spin, I'm sure you'll dig it too. You can download the album digitally for free here, or if you want to support the artist you can buy a hard copy.