Your Choice Way

Fly Anakin - Frank Music Album Reviews

Fly Anakin - Frank Music Album Reviews
On his proper debut album, the underground Virginia rapper sounds both flashy and laconic, seeming at once like an everyman and cooler than you.

In 2007, Frank Walton bonded with a fellow weirdo Marcus Law over their similarly out-of-date rap tastes. They were eighth graders at the height of the Soulja Boy Era, but Walton and Law tended to the rap of their 35-year-old uncles and older brothers: Wu-Tang, specifically Ghostface; Mobb Deep, specifically Havoc’s murky production; Boot Camp Clik, specifically their pugnacious mouthpiece, Sean Price. They were raised in Richmond, a city without a major rap history, so they acted like any kids without a local scene to plug into—they began building their own.

In 2022, Walton, aka Fly Anakin, has more company. From New York to Buffalo to his own Richmond, the grim atmosphere and coded slang of Giuliani-era New York are everywhere. His old friend Marcus Law—now Henny L.O.—is the co-founding member of their 11-member collective Mutant Academy, which has helped define Richmond’s own scene, and which places Fly Anakin in the middle of it all, surrounded by like-minded peers. He’s not as soft and introspective as MIKE, not as mysterious as Mach-Hommy. He's not a wild knucklehead like Westside Gunn, nor a hardcore street rapper like Benny the Butcher. He brings a bristling, skeptical attitude to the scene, and he sounds good on just about anything you put him on. Like another hero of his, Curren$y, Anakin does a good job of making his records sound flashy and laconic, seeming at once like an everyman and cooler than you. And if we’re talking fundamentals—syllable counts, breath control, cadences, rhyme patterns, delivery—he’s probably the single best pure rapper in the scene.

Frank is billed as his debut, but the distinction probably matters most to Fly Anakin, and to hear him tell it, it doesn’t even particularly matter that much to him: “I called this one my debut because it cost the most money to make,” he says. He might have given it his government name, but in every way, Frank is a continuation of the music he’s been making without fuss or cease for at least eight years. The production is muffled and murky, and his voice cuts through it, pitiless and Ginsu-clean, for 38 sustained and effortless-sounding minutes.

Despite all the Ghostface love he’s shown in interviews, Fly Anakin’s voice hits the track with a crisp forward motion that reminds me more of the Brooklyn legend (and perennial NY rap also-ran) AZ. Anakin throws his syllables like combinations at a speed bag: When he raps a line like “Now all of the lines is getting crowded,” every word somehow sounds like it starts with the letter “D.” Also like AZ, he sounds so commanding over the beat, the syllables locking in place just so, that you occasionally forget to pay attention to his words.

When you tune into the lyrics, you get little glimpses into his mind, like “Two seats ain’t enough when the gang carrying hurt and work” (“Love Song (Come Back)”) or “Why when niggas die they need a go fund but flexing when they on earth?” (“Class Clown”). More often than not, he offers you opportunities to admire the way he pushes word sounds up against each other: “Maneuver wrong and we gon’ move you off the atlas, pawn,” he raps on “Sean Price.” There’s a workmanlike quality to his writing, which eschews confessions or personal detail—the closest we get to autobiography is when he tells us he “got my alias from a bar fight.”

If Frank represents a culminating moment for Fly Anakin, instead of just another brick in his discography, he finds subtle ways to show us. For one, it’s longer than usual, about as much as legroom as he’s afforded himself. For another, he collaborates with some of the artists who first inspired him to make this kind of music, back in 2007. Madlib, who gave Fly Anakin a big cosign a few years ago, shows up as producer for the fantastic “No Dough,” and Dilated Peoples’ Evidence gets behind the boards for “Sean Price.” Richmond hometown hero Nickelus F, a battle-hardened rapper who influenced (and possibly wrote for) a young Aubrey Drake Graham, delivers a hilarious verse on “Ghost.” There’s a track called “WaxPoetic,” and at one point he even works a reference to Soundbombing into an awkward sex rap: “Something rawkus thumping, bomb the pussy like a sound bite” (“Underdog Theme”). For a rap nerd, the kind of kid who found his community trading and memorizing verses, this is as close as he gets to showing us his heart.

Share on Google Plus

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.
Fly Anakin - Frank Music Album Reviews Fly Anakin - Frank Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, March 25, 2022 Rating: 5

0 comments:

Post a Comment