Gene the Southern Child :: Southern Meridian
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
Gene the Southern Child is one of
the best Dirty South rappers to cruise around with the top down to. His
syrupy Alabama drawl is as soothing as the promethazine melodies supplied
by his partner in crime Parallel Thought. P.T. has shown himself to be one of the most
chameleonic musicians in the rap game today, adapting his superb production
technique to fit whoever he's working with to a glove. You might ask why
he didn't forge this Southern swang partnership with an already established
legend of the Dirty like Devin the
Dude or Eightball, but the
answer is in the question - "already established." Thought picked a
diamond in the rough and offered his polish, and the soulful brassy yet
dark and moody sound of "Loyalty & Luxury" shows how they shine.
This suave team of bling and swing could have put this one out through
regular retail, but in a networking move (pun intended) to get them greater
exposure, this album has been featured in commercials and bumps during the
[adult swim] block of
nightly programming. It's not unprecedented to see [as] pledge allegiance
to hip-hop - they've heavily pushed everybody from El-P and Killer Mike to Aesop Rock over the years. Their musical choices reflect their
programming choices - unusual, independent, and more than occasionally
offensive - all in a good way. They pride themselves on going against
the grain, while Gene the Southern Child prides himself on gripping grain.
"Southern Meridian" is one of those rap albums tailor made for the summer.
Even though Gene is down as fuck and ready to bust a hater quick, his calm
and measured delivery suggests you'd have to make an extra concerted effort
just to get under his skin. He's as cool as the proverbial other side of
the pillow. Even when he picks up the pace on a track like the electronically
wired "Smackman," he doesn't sound peturbed or stressed - it all comes naturally.
"You know the motherfucker love to talk about the scraps
AK-9, fo'-fives and the Macs
And if you gettin money then you better get a gat
No I ain't gotta go nowhere and come back
We scrapped all the time bitch, how you like that?
Ol' slick killer sittin there talkin like it's cool
What'chu thought, that a nigga was fin' to play wit'chu?
Do you understand nigga, do you motherfuckin copy?"
Copy that Gene. Over the course of 14 tracks and 43 minutes, the Southern
Child keeps his composure and lets the water splashed his way duck roll
straight off. "Calvary Dust" is country on a whole new level - you can
actually hear the insects chirping outdoors. It makes you want to grab a
jar of moonshine and start sipping. "If you cain't look me in my eyes you
don't believe in yo'self" and "you ain't no killer, you a book on
the shelf" are better verbal smacks than all the shouting a hundred other
more animated rappers could provide. That's what makes "Southern
Meridian" a winner from start to finish - the natural confidence that
the charming Gene musters in every bar of every verse. There are very
few emcees I can say I like more each time I hear them - but Gene is one.
Music Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Originally posted: July 15, 2014