“Promethazine. It is used to treat allergies, trouble sleeping, and nausea. It may help with some symptoms associated with the common cold. It is available by mouth as a syrup.”
The first thing that came to mind when I saw the name Comethazine was that he’d be an AutoTune singing rapper flowing over slow syrupy beats. If you didn’t know purple drank has a high concentration of promethazine thanks to the cough syrup used in it, this association might not seem obvious, but to me there was no other reason for Frank Childress to have chosen the name. A whole generation of sizzurp sipping emcees paved the way for the sound that has driven artists like Future to the top of the charts.
First impressions are the reason you never judge a book by its cover. I can’t say whether or not the St. Louis rapper is a syrup user/abuser, but he’s not trying to penetrate slowed down brains with slowed down bars and beats. “Bawskee 3.5” (he seems to have skipped 3 altogether) has more in common with Kendrick Lamar and Tee Grizzley than the wavy generation of emcees let alone famous artists from his local scene. That’s another misconception you should get out of the way — Comethazine is not a “hurr/thurr/okayurr” emcee. He growls and grumbles his way through short and aggressive songs like “Find Him” with bars like “Knock off a cracker for callin me n%$$er/He dirty and dingy and smell like a Swisher/No features I’m better alone check the stats/Sixty-nine niggaz and all of ’em rats”.
The closest he comes to being a AutoTune emcee is on the track “Stand”, but I don’t mean that his voice is being modulated. He’s clearly singing his bars, but the track is almost completely free of instrumentation. There’s a little bit of humming in the background, but most of the melody is provided by Comethazine’s echoing voice as he spits his amped up raps like “Fuck a pistol, sock him dead in his chin/That boy tried to play me, now he on his deathbed/Paramedics pulled a slug out his head”.
Did I mention that Comethazine is aggressive yet? Not only is he proud of doing his entire album solo, he’s titling songs “Fuck Errbody” and “Goddontlikeugly” in case you were still unsure about how he really feels. In this instance you CAN judge the book by the chapter titles. “I don’t like the labels, but cut me the deal/Threw me a hundred, turned into a mill’/I bought my first crib ‘fore I learned how to live”. He’s investing wisely.
Despite his seemingly unapologetic I-do-for-delf stance, the opening track titled “Hench Mafia” and repeated shoutouts to the same suggest he does have SOME people in his circle he trusts. There’s not too much I can knock about Comethazine at this early point in his career except for the fact this “album” is only 22 minutes long. Just about the time you start feeling Co’s flow and enjoying his vibe the album’s already over. If I had to pick one other thing it’s that I’d wonder when Comethazine will begin to enjoy his sudden ascent to success. He seems perpetually pissed in a way even Sticky Fingaz would find difficult to duplicate.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there was some controversy about how Co seemed to suddenly chart out of nowhere, but since he was bubbling underground for 2-3 years I don’t know if this was accidental or engineered (and I can’t prove it either way). Regardless of how he got his name out there I have to think his adrenaline-fueled lyrics and delivery will KEEP the name Comethazine on your lips rather than the syrup that he’s named for.