So… E.V.P. (Enhanced Vision Project) are out to “pave the way for a new realm in West Coast Hip-Hop,” to “deliver a spanking to all presumed artists,” to “dethrone all whack Hip-Hop artists selling their souls and pride for fame and a quick buck,” to “overthrow and conquer this Hip-Hop industry with prolific rhyming/lyrics and innovative music/beats that cannot and will not be regarded as mediocre or ordinary,” to “engage, arouse and entrap real Hip-Hop junkies not Pop-Hop flunkies!” Not by a long shot, folks. I usually avoid quoting from press statements as musicians should be judged by their musical output, not the comments they make about it. There is such a BIG discrepancy between what E.V.P. promise and what they deliver though that I couldn’t help myself. After reading about a “wicked intellectual taste of rap music” with “true prolific rhyming” and “superior thought processes” I was at least expecting some Ras Kass/Chino XL type of lyrical mastery, but all I got was an amateur show of the worst kind.
With the most basic of flows and only slightly more advanced lyrics E.V.P.’s three rappers, Krooked, Sinister Mr. B and Big-Filthy are wishing for some lyrical miracle that’s not going to happen in a million years. If you’re three group members and not one of you realizes you’re all wack, then you definitely have a problem. Torn between pity and mockery, it’s their pseudo-intellectual press babble that makes me lean towards the latter. Yet there really is no need to mock the afflicted as E.V.P. unintentionally do that themselves. Here are some of the lines that they consider proflific rhyming: “Making you fakers fall and I’m standing right above it.” “I’ve been steady smokin’ MC’s while y’all barely smokin’ blunts.” “I’ll diss you at your own events, punk.” “This is from the mic cause I hold and grip it tight.” “I’m filthier than swamp-diggin’ monsters put together.” “Your rap is a disaster so your end is comin’ faster.” “It’s all about the lyrical, you’re fake like plastic silicone.” “Your booty raps are fuckin’ soft like my testicles.” “You got no ammunition so don’t you get suspicious.” “Been breakin’ mics so bad that I’m now buyin’ ’em at wholesale.” Now I’m asking you, does that in any way sound advanced to you?
After you heard the first two tracks of “Relic the Lyric” you know it’s not going to get any better. You can’t really listen to this all the way through, you have to take it in small, digestable doses. But this is definitely not something a doctor would prescribe. Hip-hop is in need of much more potent measures than three stiff-tongued rappers issuing warnings and talking about taking over when they completely lack the means to put anything of that into effect. Their one-dimensional, self-opinionated ‘hardcore’ attitude leads to the inevitable: the things they say about others only mirror their own behavior. Okay, so they might be right when they wonder: “How the fuck illiterate thugs be gettin’ record deals / servin’ garbage with no skills?” But when they serve garbage with no skills themselves, we have a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Same here: “Creating noise, not music, don’t assume superior if you rap inferior.” Or: “You make me sick claimin’ hip-hop when you’re bullshit.” Right back at ya, buddy.
Dope tracks can cover up a great deal of wack rapping. Not here. Because there is no such thing as a dope track on “Relic the Lyric”. Producer Sinister Mr. B has aligned all the, uhm – sinister sounds his keyboard was able to produce. Unfortunately they are b-movie kind of sinister, meaning they’re bound to have just the opposite effect. Instead of scaring people, they’re making them laugh. Not all hope is lost though. Totally untypically for the rest of the musical disharmony, “2002 Phrase” grooves quite nicely with tight organ sounds supported by an organic rhythm section. But that’s about it. One of the rappers, Sinister Mr. B, might claim a vocal resemblance to Xzibit, another, Krooked, to Chino. But even if Krooked is a tad bit more skilled than the others, his stiff delivery brings him right back to zero.
As much as I’d like to see some Mexicans from South Central show us a different side of L.A., Enhanced Vison Project’s wackness does not render a favor to the Los Angelinos with real skills.