“Definition higher science, call it quantum physics, hold position while I’m pissing on your pile of lyrics/anti-bladder, it’s an arsenal of rhymes I gather/cramming letters, blowing rappers into anti-matter/sub-atomic jewels courtesy of Cold Fusion…”
– Ray Vendetta, “Generators”
During the idealism of my Brown youth, a dynamically necessary shade of insight of the Black, Black, I listened to the voices of a counterculture. The essayed singings of niggas countering niggerdom got a spic speaking proper to prepare to never pop out. Yet, the sung treatises from the worst parts on cleverly clipped song fragments of old were reaching beyond caring for I and I peoples, nuestra cosa con nuestro sentimiento, we people who are darker than truth.
These burgeoning giants learned music can be for all even if this boomed bap, Hip Hop—them gutter capers of creative labors woven into special tables and barded papers—ain’t for all. Given to the world and stolen by default, the categorized subhuman loses their counter and an Art’s peak becomes a subculture for well to do kids to sneak in and into….
…Again…Like those horned fighters from Jazz’d New Orleans or the tumbadora terrors Salsa’d in Spanish Harlem. From Basin Street Blues across 110th street down Sedgwick Avenue, writing through Sunset Park’s 48th street the songs that counterculture our truth, ultimately uploading invade links premierely. The works where the jingles are jilted, the hoodwinked hooks are John Wicked and the bamboozling of beats is a beautiful blasphemy to enforce. Works that are now impossible theorems that I, a scientist scribe experimenting with high Art explosives, have secured beyond the false hopes of genetically modified ciphers. See here, an abstract on Cold Fusion where two of the most lyrical MCs of this era, Ray Vendetta and Cyrus Malachi, merge complex lyricism with countercultural righteousness and principled battle bars into the most uncompromising of boomed bass, crunched snares and kicked beats. Absolutely something not happening in the failed heat of the mainstream cosmos but only from today’s UK dusky blocks at the illed temperatures of reality.
With the entire Triple Darkness crew embarking on releasing their sophomore work, Darker Than Black, in a few months, The Elixir will be the LPs of precision from a crew that makes no mistakes. From what I’ve knowledged of exclusive hood looks on the next TD album, it will be impeccable as there isn’t a crew with this many complex lyricists of smooth, grimy militancy rhyming today. Their work as solo artists from Melanin 9 and Iron Braydz to the Cold Fusion brothers is filled with near classic long players and wordplay that all connoisseurs of literature can quote through.
With Cold Fusion’s The Elixir, the beats from Ringz of Saturn and 7th Dan hold to a familiarity of sparse musical backdrops (i.e. the piano key trickles on “Devils Network”) and disparate bassdrum booms (i.e. “The Melting Pot”) that make so many great TD Fam tracks addictive templates that let lyrics hold spotlights. The brothers let us know that “85% of the album’s material was written and recorded on the spot during studio sessions as beats were being crafted.” The entertaining challenge is figuring how the fuck any of these are turned around so spontaneously. Ultimately, we’re hearing experts relying on their most tested and true techniques.
Cyrus Malachi leads with one of the most pronounced bass’d vocals MCing today, to sound off as a lyricist that really contends any level of any era. Coupled with his technical precision that masters the intricacies of pacing with pauses in the slow flow, his bars give great dropouts and isolation emphasis. They allow the listener to do the knowledge to his illest lines, to enjoy the sound of aesthetically pleasing words ruggedly put together. (“I see you clocking my bars…plagiarism…/this Hip Hop is an Art…sacred wisdom/harness my power like Sha(y)manism/ bury your head in the sand…like escapism..” – “Generators”). Altering words to match the bar or fit the line is something that Cyrus is getting even stronger at and it impacts his storytelling on the incredible “Portahouse.” His commentaries are as vivid as always with “Our hell is juxtaposition/wealth and poverty/in these slums of suspicion/underworld economy/ the phonetic physician I see with the prophetic vision…” (“The Melting Pot”) or “Is this Western dream a textured seam woven by Romans and omens, Anglo-Saxons and trojans that was goons with no emotions/They see us as an animal selling crack/I see us as Hannibal on elephant back/leading thousands of Moors into European shores…” (“Stained”). Detail, imagery, dynamic word choices and when the insight is absorbed the revisiting is for the wonder of its construction, Art appreciation. We call it rewind.
Ray Vendetta, an MC of subtle monotone delivery with sharp cut phrasing counters with far more continuity, less open spaces giving an aural effect of long snares. With barrages that are delivered in full phrases he uses the MC platform to distill complete diatribes. As on “Stained,” Ray dives in on break snare and builds, “Reporting live from these buildings/Henny in the Hip flask/cowboy metropolis is gritty when it gets dark…” The internal rhyming is effortless; the details are wonderful photographs the mind can light and shade with our own hells and wars while the word choices are unique setting off the appreciation courses of rewind. As on “Trenches,” there is an everyman experience Ray Vendetta shares with the ability to relate complete psychological profiles, almost a micro-profile to Cyrus’s macro-portraits. The battle lyrics are filled with techniques as alliteration (picture perfect plans I plot schemes..” – “Frostbite”) while the cleverness of their female excursions (“Science of HER”) doesn’t cliché the understanding of the effects of hells on real Original women (“Ace of Hearts”). Together, the back and forth on “Burgundy” is the product of unity where Cyrus’s vocal depth give the menacing immediacy while Vendetta’s amped fluidity catapult the action. It’s an incredible display of storytelling unfolding as context and commentary are interspersed as the tale is told.
There has always been a dismissal of the repercussions of lyricism since Hip Hop began. That there are MCs that take the responsibility to use the forum offering a real vision of what is, as artistically as they can is refreshing. It also gives vibrancy to the writing craft when to make such works immediate turnaround was part of the achievment. On The Elixir it is nearly impossible to find what tracks wouldn’t demand hours to deconstruct. We may move with the “Pound 4 Pound” battle barring that has Cyrus at his most intense or the quick dreamscape that Vendetta lays out on “Mastery Tyranny & Desire.” It is when there are men of experience in the research of ideas and facts for the living of ideals through hells that make the MC this good so quickly. Ray Vendetta and Cyrus Malachi are MCS of those means.
And the beats banging are selections known to draw out the best part. There isn’t a snare without the sharpest of snapping as on “Ace of Hearts,” or without inspiring scores as the late night horns that elegantly grime “Frostbite” to spotlight another TD voice of sinister emphatics, Tesla’s Ghost. Even where there is familiarity in the style of the chopped vocal as on “Wrecking Ball,” a shorter sample cut and horn smashes drive the toughness with freshness. HELLZECHO literally make beats as if they arrive from the grimiest portal of the 90s. Still, they are not merely retro but part of a Triple Darkness saga that is working a level of elevated expertise in Hip Hop preservation via lack of compromise that makes this music a true counterculture excelling. The Elixir is mastery that can only fuse into regularity amongst other incredible Triple Darkness LPs out and soon to drop. A writer’s idealism is restored verse over break again.