Raz Fresco – Pablo Frescobar [Review]
Skepticism and uncertainty arises regarding the current state of hip-hop and its future knowingly its artists of today deliver counterfeit music with no street credibility or rep and nowhere near categorized as classic material- where everything sounds similar and in the Drake album title and applied motto ‘nothing was the same.’ Though, there is hope for the new wave of artists like Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Drake, Joey Bada$$, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, to Duck Down’s and Brampton Ontario’s Raz Fresco to elevate hip-hop music to a plateau of substance and reinvention having guardianship of some traditional elements of the Golden Era.
Minus the hip-hop cooning, 20-year-old Raz Fresco is the new entry of the genre that gives hip-hop’s golden plate a polished gleam of old school soul meshed with new school aura of lyricism and creativity. His chef-d’oeuvre Pablo Frescobar is the restoration the masses await from a modern emasculated genus. Fresco’s borrowing of reggae artist’s Peter Tosh historical audio clip, ‘I am going to kill the fuckery out there, and people is going to be in demand for the truth,’is indicative of what is to come, an emcee that will bein A$AP Rocky’s voice ‘a f**kin’ problem’ to the music industry.
The album perfect for summer to bang top down cruising features East Coast and Midwest guests Raekwon, Bishop Nehru, to Chuck Inglish. He lets the masses know he represents “Up North”. Fresco vividly tails the events that take place in his hometown- a typical day in the hood. His artistic virtuosity and insanity shines in “Live from Hades/Blood of Slaves” as he invites listeners to get inside his mind to survey the assessment of modern day slavery that mentally oppresses blue collar lower class. The single’s Einstein grows thick as he flows perversely on two different melodies amalgamated in one song.
The musicology thickens as he spits knowledge and life philosophies “4 Da Godz” to search and speak the truth and to expand the mind from mental limits society impose. The Raekwon assisted “Influenza” is vintage Wu Tang lyrically and musically it scorches the soul raw with a fever of one-hundred and ten- good for hip-hop to sweat out infested impurities trap musicians fester for royalty gains. What ‘Whoa!’ is to Black Rob, the socially conscious charged “Another N***a” is to Fresco. It is a heat seeker that masterfully interlaces ornate and cautious delivery with wicked storytelling of how he views Black men not honing to their responsibilities as a man leading destructive lives that reinforces the stereotype supported by a Caucasian point-of-view. “Screwface City” comes strikingly alive like the film Sin City spitting chilling cinematic street tales at its darkest.
Raz Fresco, opposite of pop Souljah Boy ignorance, is a much needed game changer reflecting the sign o’ times exposing content that matters ranging from racism, Black history, uplifting hip-hop and African American culture, police brutality, poverty, crime to other societal ills. Pablo Frescobar is a state of mind, voyage of self-discovery, embracing an alter ego of a young hip-hop theorist and street philosopher versus a mafia figure psychopath. The album comes from a perspective of a young man’s upbringing and rising to the ranks of hip-hop stardom as Illmatic is to a young Nas’ world twenty plus years ago. Fresco applies universal themes with universal truths to cogent rhymes drenched with Spartan bars of everyday life storytelling, heavily bizarre rap techniques, and infusion of different melodies into single compositions,austere delivery and production with stamina. The album’s majestic bass lines and luxurious allegories make the album a hip-hop deluxe!
-Hector De La Rosa