Meyhem Lauren / Daringer Music - Black Vladimir Music Album Reviews

Meyhem Lauren / Daringer Music - Black Vladimir Music Album Reviews
Buffalo producer Daringer’s austere music spotlights Meyhem Lauren’s phonetic idiosyncrasies. For the first time in years, the Queens rapper is an unequivocal headliner.

As New York City enters its fourth decade of real estate speculation and cultural diffusion, the term “New York original” connotes anachronism as much as innovation. A New York original is a throwback to the days of accents and attitude, when the city was defined by characters and vice versa. For Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren, the designation fits. A larger-than-life street rhymer with a penchant for luxury brands, he pokes fun at rap tropes while maintaining reverence for hip-hop canon; his inflection is so non-rhotic, he sounds almost British. He embodies Biggie’s kingpin persona and linguistic alacrity with none of the finesse, bulldozing through couplets preposterous enough to make Paul Barman blush. Lauren is Barry Manilow to Roc Marciano’s Rod Stewart, his showmanship bordering on absurdism.

Embellishment is the order of the day on Black Vladimir, a full-length outing with Buffalo producer Daringer. As ever, Lauren sticks to the four Fs: food, fashion, flights, and fornication. “Black Pinot” alights on ancient Greece: “People fuck up, they say you changin’ if you don’t forgive ’em/I just forget ’em ’cause we movin’ at a different rhythm/Absorbin’ wisdom from the Socrates Prison/As I breeze through the Acropolis, my life is never profitlеss.” Daringer’s piano loop is almost simplistic in its austerity, but it foregrounds Lauren’s unmistakable locution—you can picture the mangled vowels escaping from his mouth.

In less inspired moments, Lauren gets by on his gruff voice—but Black Vladimir ranks among his more accomplished technical offerings. On “Red Pesto,” his alliterative multis render Conway’s guest bars modest by comparison; the emphatic syllable placement of “Chicken Chinese” breaks the pace of the album’s first half. A consummate shit-talker, Lauren writes in a way that’s governed by phonetics more than any narrative concern. “Lavish Vision” is a grab bag of free-associative spontaneity (“My closet’s like a down payment on a duplex/Anytime I’m headed outside, I’m gettin’ new sex”) interspersed with enigmatic disjointedness (“I’m outside, my flesh lookin’ radiant/I’m okay, my life is a gradient”). He hits for power as opposed to average, but even his groaners (“I’m eatin’ broccoli rabe, you get robbed for your broccoli”) are good for laughs.

In spite of their flinty source material, Black Vladimir’s instrumentals assume an ambient quality. An architect of Griselda’s early triumphs, Daringer loops one- and two-bar samples with minimal deviation, a departure from Harry Fraud and DJ Muggs’s ornate production on Lauren’s most recent projects. He conjures a grainy noirscape on “Conflict Resolution,” stretching oboe and horns across an understated bassline. Although the drums on “Nigerian Vegetables” are barely perceptible, the organ takes on a percussive quality when paired with Lauren’s quixotic bars (“Internal Revenue Services is my only obstacle/Grew up out Jamaica Hospital, now life is tropical”). There aren’t any show-stoppers to speak of, but the unobtrusive music spotlights Lauren’s idiosyncrasies—for the first time in years, he’s an unequivocal headliner.

This is a golden age for forty-something tri-state loudmouths, and Lauren fits better in today’s scene than the soupy, navel-gazey blog-rap era in which he first arrived. On Black Vladimir, he’s exactly who he’s always been: a colorful if one-dimensional B-lister with a deep Rolodex. If the novelty eventually wears thin, Lauren and his stable of Queens County mavericks—Action Bronson, Hologram, Big Body Bes—have refined their craft, and the blunt Griselda sound suits them as well as any. Meyhem is still more stylist than trailblazer, but that’s all modern-day New York asks.

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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.
Meyhem Lauren / Daringer Music - Black Vladimir Music Album Reviews Meyhem Lauren / Daringer Music - Black Vladimir Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 14, 2022 Rating: 5


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