I put on midcity, not really knowing what to expect, only knowing the album was referred to as experimental rap and nothing else. Well, the album starts about as sensationally as any I have ever heard, screaming “Its clipping bitch” and followed by an explosion of an amp malfunctioning united with as much distortion as the speaker seemed to be able to muster. It was harsh and disgusting, full of static and clamor. And then the rapping started. Fast, succinct, and extremely staccato, the rhymes almost seemed to fit with the abrasive noise that was going on in the background. Sometimes though, it feels like it the rapping is more acapella than not because of how unusual the beats are. There is really no form to the noise for the rap to build upon.
That doesn’t take away from what they talk about, as they seem to mock modern rap with their repeating of the word swag on multiple songs with static exploding in the background. Not to mention, the last track is a solid 10 minutes of the words “get money” being repeated over and over as if to point how exhausting America’s obsession with money is.
More often than not, this album feels more like a harsh noise album than anything and the combination of rap and noise to form a super genre may be one of the farthest pushing ideas of the year.
Midcity was the most experimental, coarse, scratchy, rap album I have ever heard and I hate to say it but I did not love it. I understand how important this album is to the genre and to music in general though, so periodically I try and listen to it and get over the unforgiving squalor of beat choices. Rap needs to grow and push in some direction and if harsh noise is the way we are headed then so be it, just as long as people like Pitbull and Ke$ha do not take over the genre. I can get over the chaos of clipping before I will accept a Pitbull take over.