Skribbal – “Black Eyed Children” review

This is the 3rd album from Los Angeles emcee Skribbal. Coming up in 2016 off the strength of his full-length debut Drug Spun Funk, the man would catch the attention of the rising Wisconsin underground label Force 5 Records & put out his sophomore effort Skinwalker a couple years later. But once Skribbal dropped his debut EP Quarantine Sessions last 4/20, he would leave the label to form his own Sony Music imprint Hell Patrol Records & the newfound independence by coming together with the highly anticipated Black Eyed Children.

After the “Retribution” intro performed by death metal icon Chris Barnes, the first actual song on the album “Born All Over” is a Napalm Drop cut where Skribbal & Big Left get together to talk about how hip hop gets them through the day on top of a sample of the O.V. Wright joint of the same name whereas “Find My Way” is a somber boom bap cut about being afraid of change.

For “Bring the Pain”, we have Skribbal on top of a quasi-funky instrumental to declare music as his therapy before declaring that he’ll never sell his soul on the dysphoric “Vampire Tactics”. We have RedCloud accompanying the mic for the heinous “Dreams in the Witch House” & the Iyze Lowe takes his spot to rap about how “can’t nobody do it like we do” on “Keep It Movin’”.

Meanwhile on “The Man Who Fell from the Sky”, Skribbal vividly details a story about a man trying to escape the US while he & Emycst declare themselves stronger than ever on the enchantingly-produced “Stronger Than Ever”. The song “We Are Not Alone” with Aether Haze is a cool dedication to all the struggling foster kids in the world on top of a beat with some grimly bells, but Celph Titled & Damian Krypt come together to get on the horrorcore tip for “Halloween Apples”.

Even though “Beyond the Black Rainbow” has a dark sound to it, I do enjoy the motivational lyrics about finding the light. The penultimate track “Wreck the System” with The R.O.C. is a dusty battle rap cut & to finish it all off, Dopehead Dan & the DG@F general himself Chucky Chuck hop on for the weed-themed “Pass the Green”.

The first of 4 bonus songs “Man with the Screaming Brain” goes into a more trap direction as Skribbal challenges all competition to bring the smoke before returning to a more boom bap sound to detail everything he’s learned on “Child of the State”. Dude brings in an organ & vocal harmonizing for the self-deprecating “Slave to the Pain & then we get some ominous keyboards as he details a regular day in the ghetto on “No Good: A Hood Story”.

In comparison to Skribbal’s last 2 albums, Black Eyed Children is a completely different vibe but in a good way. He focuses a lot less on the horrorcore aspect of things lyrically to focus on displaying his overall skills a lot more & is prominently boom bappy than before.

Score: 3.5/5

Force 5 Records – “The Ruckus Mixtape, Vol. 2” review

Force 5 Records is a Milwaukee based hip hop record label founded in 2002 by The DRP. However, it wasn’t until 2017 after returning from a 3-4 year hiatus where the label became the powerhouse that it is today by bringing a handful of big underground names on board from Bay Area horrorcore veteran Mars to the late Saint Dog of Kottonmouth Kings fame. They put out a showcase mixtape that same year called The Ruckus Mixtape but as Force 5’s roster continues to grow over time, it’s only right for them to drop a sequel.

After the intro, we get into the first song “$1,000 Quartet”. Which is pretty much The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Rick Dogg spitting over the instrumental of Gang Starr‘s “Full Clip” for 2 minutes. The next track “Crystal Meth” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Skribbal sees the 5 comparing their bars to drugs over a beat that I can kinda picture hearing on a Jedi Mind Tricks album while the song “Fuck Fame” by Big Left, The DRP & Jaysin Logik talks about living this shit over a heavy boom bap instrumental. The track “It’s a Revolution” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, King Relik & Prolifik calls to end killing & violence over a futuristic beat while the song “Intelligence” by Jaysin Logik & Prolifik finds the duo spitting food for thought over an instrumental with a vintage feel to it.

The track “Charut” by Danny Diablo & The DRP is a invigorating moshpit anthem with an eerie trap beat while the song “One” is a Jaysin Logik solo cut about feeling empty over a piano & some fast-tempo drums. The track “Murderific” is a King Relik solo cut getting on the horrorcore tip over some funky bass & string sections while the song “Get Up 2020” by Prolifik & Rick Dogg is a fun, rap-rock flavored party starter.

The track “Make It Look Easy” by Big Hoss & Danny Diablo finds the 2 talking about being the illest in the underground over a victorious beat while the song “Cudahy Girl” is a Rick Dogg solo cut getting flirtatious over a country flavored instrumental. The track “Pervert” is a Prolifik solo cut that perfectly lives up to it’s name as he rocks it over a jazzy beat while the song “Dem Hoes 2020” by The DRP, R.A. the Rugged Man & Skribbal goes in detail as to how fine these certain group of hoes are over a grimy instrumental.

The track “Fuck Rick Dogg” is a 45 second, rock-tinged King Relik solo cut where he jokingly takes shots at Rick while the song “How You Like Me Now?” is a DRP solo cut about being the best MC on his block over a dusty boom bap beat. The penultimate track “Like You Do” is a dope leftover from Saint Dog’s final album Bozo discussing this woman in his life being heaven sent over an instrumental with some prominent bells whereas the closer “Walk the Walk” finds The DRP teaming up with the The Night Crawlers to take aim at the mainstream over a deranged beat.

I think Force 5 Records has been killing in the underground for a while now & if anyone reading this review is looking to get into them, this tape isn’t a bad place to start at all. Every signee they have to offer sticks out in their own unique way & the amount of diversity in the production is sweet too. I’m really looking forward to watching the label grow from hereon out.

Score: 3.5/5