AAAND the award for first direct lyrical reference to the COVID-19 crisis heard by yours truly goes to… Port Coquitlam, BC rapper Vicious 5150 and his surprisingly infectious quarantine-inspired EP Getaway Music, released independently on April 25th, 2020. This rapper is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; I went into this review fully expecting to be subjected to more terrible party rock à la Saintvicious (read our review of their latest effort here). Instead, I discovered a lyrically clever rapper with good flow and a strangely refreshing penchant for old-school g-funk beats.
Vicious 5150 kicks off Getaway Music with laid-back vibes on “Dead Zone” and “Inside,” which both refer to the COVID-19 crisis and the ensuing challenges of societal shutdown and self-isolation. “Self-isolation is a bitch but I’m not / So won’t be cracking,” he raps in the opening track. The follow-up “Inside,” an anthem for social isolation, might be my favourite track on this album. The chorus is immediately catchy and resonates with the common experience of self-isolation we’re all going through. You, too, will be singing “Inside is where we stay every day” before the song is over!
The album is divided in two halves by the instrumental “Sisolude Six” before shifting into high gear. Special mention goes to “Strong Friends,” a track which, despite clocking in at just under a minute, showcases Vicious 5150’s impressive flow.
The production style on this album sounds like a more basic version of RJD2’s beats, with a rap lead vocal much like his collaboration with Jakki tha Motamouth, “F.H.H.” The sound is groovy, thematically on point and well balanced, but doesn’t offer much originality or depth. That’s OK, though – rap, much like folklore, is mostly about the words and their message. Well, mission accomplished: even for someone who doesn’t listen to much rap to begin with, the message was clear. The melodic choruses punctuate the rap verses in just the right way to keep the listener interested.
Written by Henri Brillon
*Edited by Dominic Abate