Riker’s Island goes to Sunday school in “Papa Dios,” as taught by Peruvian native Eff Yoo. Building on biblical parables, Eff Yoo constructs a grandiose structure of easy bravado and street-wise rhythms. Grungy, minimalistic production by Rediculus assists the conceptualism, and emphasizes the lyricism of the artist.
One of the best tracks on the album is “Lust In Eden,” featuring Spit Gemz and Carmen Indhira. Eff delivers a Dead Prez “Mind Sex”-esque ode to sexual tension on strumming sitars and Eastern drums, weaving a story of Adam and Eve between exotic rhythms. Intimate rhymes like, “He sees you as an underling/you were meant for more/come under my wing/we can be an army/make the angels sing,” interlace graphic details that are artfully narrated by Carmen Indhira’s lilting whispers.
The next track, “Trouble Child,” featuring Aye Wun, is markedly more aggressive and addresses critics and haters. “If you ain’t standing with me then you tasting my wrath/if you say I’m living righteous then you kissing my ass,” he spits over instrumentals that hint of his Peruvian roots, the pipe music harkening to the Andes. Perhaps he’s taking a Steinbeck turn with his Christianity, bringing the wrath of the slighted, disfavored Cain upon the goody-two-shoes Abel of mainstream music.
In “Modern Day Sodom” it’s “All Hail Dionysus” for Eff, as he simultaneously laments and revels in the vices of modern society. While he participates in “Sex drugs and rock n roll/ Pulling guns at every show/Somebody stop me/Strong-arm robbery/Full-on debauchery,” he’s also judging “bitches and sluts.” There’s a dramatic choral build-up with heavy punk drums that carries over to “Don’t Blame The Messengers,” featuring GS Advance and Godilla Born Unique.
He hits with heavy boasts in the second interlude, “Holy Heel,” featuring Bloodstain Lane, propelled by the cacophonous fist of mysticism, “Liquid Swords” style. By the time we end on “The Truth 3,” he hits a peak of dexterous lyricism. Here he divulges the final word on his Biblical beliefs in butter-smooth prose, over bright, grandiose metal guitar akin to the trumpets of Heaven.
The album is at times hypocritical and quite simple beats-wise, but Eff Yoo never loses the calm of his bluster. Eff Yoo’s braggadocious rhymes roll off the tongue effortlessly onto a canvas of scriptural verses, illustrating once again his rapping prowess.