Creativity is often overlooked in the rap game. Redundancy is often valued over variety and uniqueness. At least that is the current state of the rap game. In its infancy and growth, hip-hop stood for creativity and variety. Somewhere along the way, that was lost, and today you often see cookie cutter emcees rewarded and unique emcees ridiculed. Eprhyme is such an emcee who fits in the unique category. He looks nothing like you would expect an emcee to look like. His background and influences also fail to fit into the hip-hop mold. He claims to have been a big punk rock fan in his earlier years, something that is easy to believe considering he originally hails from Washington. His conversion to a hip-hop fan and performer was fueled by his wish to deliver a positive social message. To differentiate himself from other similarly minded emcees, Eprhyme employs worldly influences in his production. The combination is definitely a unique one, the question is – does it work?
Whether "Waywordwonderwill" works is largely dependent on your enjoyment of the message and the production. The production, provided presumably by Eprhyme himself and Smoke of Old Dominion, is easily the highlight of this album. Over 13 songs, the production delivers track after track of fresh music. "tikkun adam" is a laid back experience meant to set a serious mood. "punklezmerap" is an upbeat track with what sound like middle eastern influences. In fact, the Middle Eastern influences dominate the album. "my mouth is a house of prayer" is another upbeat anthem with Middle Eastern influences. The album is given variety through tracks like "tears of stone" which is a dark, somber track that could be at home in many genres with its dominating drums and subdued guitar. Musically, this is a solid album.
Lyrically, Eprhyme is an emcee with a worthwhile message but who lacks the talent to match his ambitions. He's not wack, but his flow and lyrics are average at best:
"There is a distant memory assembling a remedy
Ahead of me, a heart of me, and every single part of me
It's like archery, aim, hit the artery
Pick apart the gang, blame fame, it ain't hard to see
The fault lines bigger than the San Andreas
Like birds that won't fly away out of open pages
This nation is a state sanctioned slave ship
Fighting over pavement, while the world is so spacious"
Eprhyme attempts to give an uplifting and revolutionary speech through his verses, but for the most part his words remain unspectacular, even if he is very enthusiastic about his craft. He does the best with his talent, and he should definitely get some credit for the positive tone to his words, but it would take a very engaging emcee to pass off the lyricism.
"Waywordwonderwill" is a mixed bag. On the positive side, you have a well produced, fresh album with a positive message that reverberates through out. On the negative side, you have an emcee with the best of intentions, but with average mic skills. If you place importance on vibes and music, this might be an album you enjoy. If dope emceeing is an essential element, this might be something you want to pass on.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: September 29, 2009