Wordburglar’s “SpaceVerse” is the sixth album in his catalogue we’ve covered at RapReviews dating back to “Burglaritis” in 2006. At one time or another I’ve referred to such longevity as being exceptional, but increasingly careers spanning a decade or longer are the norm. When artists had to rely on major labels for exposure and distribution, being signed was a road to success and being dropped was the end of the road. With the advent of digital distribution and social media the old rules no longer apply. You can theoretically keep on making and releasing albums until you die of old age or quit out of sheer boredom, and Wordburglar is far from bored. His love of the nerdy is an endless wellspring of inspiration to drop Transformers themed songs like “Cybertronnoiseur”.
There are some bully of of the block hardrocks who will look down on this kind of rap music, but the truth is no other music genre has so openly embraced the comic book reader, pro wrestling aficionado, and kung-fu movie junkie. We’re all disciples of Shaolin Shadowboxing around here who embrace the Fantastic Four like the comic book success it was (and box office one it wasn’t). A Wordburglar posse track like “Space Defense Team” makes natural sense. Kool Keith was bending words at the speed of thought before most of today’s artists were born, while Mega Ran reinvented the very idea of the independent hustle meets unapologetic connoisseur of video games. They made the lanes for Wordburglar to drive on.
Despite the wide variety of influences that informs the team generally and Wordburglar specifically, his albums typically have one specific theme and “SpaceVerse” is no exception. This album leans heavily into the outer space side of things, and in that space Word went completely over my head with “Remember the Hoojibs”. I’ve got Boba Fett and C-3PO action figures from my childhood but I did NOT remember the Hoojibs and actually had to look them up. If you want a rapper who doesn’t just take a topic seriously but takes it to a galaxy far far away and a long time ago, Word is your man.
An entire album of Star Wars raps might either be too much or right up your alley, but either way that’s not what Wordburglar has done here. He brings all of the galaxy’s figures together on different tracks. He’s pulling a “Picard Maneuver” with More Or Les, Timbuktu and Touch182, signing a “Unicrontract” with XOC, and the Fresh Kils produced “Angels & Monsters (Sonic Screwdrivers Mix)” brings in the underrated Ghettosocks among others to slap around the instrumental. “Watch out for angels, monsters, robots, Judoons“.
I never knew a Doctor Who posse track was something I needed until Wordburglar went and did it. Props dude. It reminds me of the conversation I didn’t get to finish at the game store about why Christopher Eccleston wasn’t a BAD Doctor, he just left the series far too soon to be remembered as one of the greats. You see “SpaceVerse” is an album made almost entirely with someone like me in mind — great production, great guest stars, and the deepest dive possible into the nerdliest of pursuits. That’s probably going to cause some people to shy away from the album but from my vantage point it’s far from a negative. I’d rather someone be unapologetically enthusiastic about what they like than hide it in the closet and pretend to be “normal” — there’s no such thing as normal anyway.