The cover of 19-year-old NY MC Bad Luck is a black and red photo of a guy with a gun in his mouth, and it looks more punk rock than hip hop. It starts out with a sample of screaming girls from a horror movie, before going into beat layered with horns and singing women. Bad Luck immediately starts in with the shit-talking:
Yo, I'm gonna take it back to basics
Face this, I'm hot
You got two seconds to run before the glock leave you legless
Rhyme scheme is tasteless
Flow is all fucked up
Couldn't drop a jewel if your punk ass got trumped up"
The song establishes Bad Luck as a bad ass who will not hesitate to kill you and then go shopping with your girlfriend. He's brash, cocky, and not afraid to offend. "Gun Shots" and "Prevent Lies" further expand upon his skills with the glock in a way that seems more fantasy than reality, as if Rakim was flirting with gangsta rap with his microphone assassin rhymes. Despite all of his talk of murder and mayhem, Bad Luck comes off more like Kool Keith than 50 Cent. He's more out there than menacing, and even his most hostile rhymes are backed with a certain Bellvue twist. The Kool Keith influence comes out especially strong in "Acid Trip," an ode to tripping:
"I'm tripping on 'cid
Skipping through Arabian nights
Courageously striped through the pages of life
I'm taking a knife to the side of your brain in a fight
Flavor the light
Honey screaming out she favor my mic
I'll put an end to you with cosmopolitan subliminals
Fuck you in your interviews
I'll show you how I get it, dude
Leave you wet with the skit
Bring your innertube
We don't like to rap about sex
We ain't feeling you
All of you dudes is fake
You better elucidate
Before I hallucinate
And leave you in a crucial state of mind"
He rolls off his rhymes with the same schizophrenic confidence as Dr. Octagon himself. His Myspace tag, "MF SHROOM," gives further evidence of just where his head was at when he was recording "Make It Brief. Speaking of "Make It Brief," Bad Luck definitely does that, keeping most tracks under two minutes, and the entire album (EP?) under twenty minutes. The short track lengths have the benefit of leaving the listener wanting more rather than reaching for the skip button.
Bad Luck shows his age and inexperience with his occasional clumsy rhymes and elementary school homophobia - everyone he doesn't like is labeled gay or a faggot. For the most part, though, he delivers consistently entertaining rhymes that are equal parts menacing and bugged out. He is backed by beatmakers EDK, who deliver nine tracks of solid East Coast hip hop that have a little trip hop mixed in. If Bad Luck is clearly inspired by Kool Keith, than EDK obviously have heard a few Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow 12 inches. The result is a solid album from an artist with a lot of promise.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: April 22, 2008