Mach-Hommy - Mach’s Hard Lemonade Music Album Reviews

The clandestine and engrossing Newark rapper’s latest is a seamless continuation of a long string of reliable records; it is also one of his strongest yet, engrossing despite its brevity.

About halfway through Mach’s Hard Lemonade, Mach-Hommy thanks his fans, then catches himself: He’d rather refer to them as “investors.” This word is both a reference to the unusual passion the Newark rapper inspires in his followers and of the exorbitant prices he charges for his music and merchandise (the deluxe vinyl version of Lemonade retails for $444.44, the standard version a steal at half the price). But as time goes on and Hommy’s catalog grows, the idea of fans as investors begins to evoke the image of a satisfied shareholder, idly reaping the benefits of betting on this nomadic maybe-genius who seems committed to quarter-over-quarter growth.
Mach-Hommy’s public persona––the quasi-anonymity, the wonderfully prickly interviews, his refusal to allow sites like Genius to sell ads against his transcribed lyrics––and his probing, uncompromised music might suggest a flightier artist. But Hommy has grown prolific, even when you allow for gaps on the release schedule where albums that are unaffordable or unavailable on streaming platforms might otherwise sit. Lemonade is the seamless continuation of a long string of reliable Hommy records; it is also one of his strongest yet, engrossing despite its brevity.

It would seem that there is an opportunity for Hommy to court some crossover fame: Lemonade’s digital release was exclusive to Tidal; he was photographed last fall at a meeting with JAY-Z, who took obvious inspiration from Hommy’s cadences for his verses on Jay Electronica’s A Written Testimony. But the closest Hommy comes to incorporating Jay into his latest work is a line on album opener “SBTM” (“I seen the same shit happen to Shan”) that alludes to a quip on Vol. 3 about rappers biting another Juice Crew member. And so when he raps, on that same song, “I was hidden/Now I’m risen,” you understand that Hommy––and not well-meaning advisers assembled around a conference table––is the one setting the stakes and scope of his myth.

Lemonade is mixed more crisply than some of Hommy’s other records, but the sound design––pleasingly jagged, occasionally muddy––is still the unifying force in his music. Hommy is a collagist, someone who can connect lines from a posthumous Biggie song and Baby Doc Duvalier’s reign in Haiti to MC Shan and the Atlanta rap group D4L (Fabo and the late Shawty Lo are both shouted out in the opening verse of “Smoked Maldon”––before Hommy compares himself to Steve Prefontaine). These scraps of material culled from seemingly disparate worlds suggest an observer so keen that he sees the source code of life hidden to the rest of us; he realized the value in masking up in public long before the plague.

When rapping, Hommy exercises remarkable control: at times his verses will seem to careen across the beat, becoming more and more verbose, all while slowly revealing an underlying, rhythmic logic. (This makes it all the more jarring––and rewarding––when Hommy opens his chest and bellows a verse, as he does on the superb closer, “NJ Ultra.”) But it’s Hommy’s intermittent singing that makes his albums so dynamic: See his chorus on “Marshmallow Test,” where the way he croons “One for you… one, two for me” turns an experiment famously carried out on children into a cool, capitalist taunt.

Lemonade’s high point is “Squeaky Hinge,” a moment of complete synthesis for Hommy’s technical virtuosity and musical instincts, his sly humor and his feel for the violent undercurrents in American cities. “The smell of death” wafts from apartments on gentrifying blocks near where the “hot mama” is “in the bordello with the Jonathan.” There’s a devilish bounce, even, to the way he opens the track: “What’s pocket change?/What’s house money?/What’s stock exchange?/All I know is clout, dummy.” Mach-Hommy is interested in evoking, not explaining, and has neither the patience nor desire to bring you up to speed.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mach-Hommy - Mach’s Hard Lemonade Music Album Reviews Mach-Hommy - Mach’s Hard Lemonade Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, August 24, 2020 Rating:

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