Stik Figa - "As Himself"

  • Stik Figa - "As Himself"

    I just copped the new Stik Figa long player, As Himself, out this week. While Mello Music Group have been on a pretty hot streak of late (dope releases from Gensu Dean, 14KT and the Self Sacrifice compilation), on first hearing I'm disappointed in As Himself.

    Stik has a pretty nice, drawling flow, delivering a solid vocal performance across the 10 tracks, and producer Micheal "Seven" Summers sure knows how to make those 808s go boom, so what's the problem? Put simply, we've heard all this shit before, and the 'one-MC, one-producer' approach doesn't hold the listener's attention here. Too often, the lyrics resort to stock hip-hop approaches ("Corner Store") or downright cringe-inducing cheese ("Susan B"), undermining the solid vocal delivery, while the beats resort to tired samples we are too familiar with ("Medicine" takes pretty much all the key elements of Aaron Neville's "Hercules" and does nothing new with it) or fail to bump despite some valiant attempts to rock the party (opener "The Skinny" being a case in point).

    For an underground hip-hop head like me, innovation is not always required - hardly ever, in fact. Beats & rhymes are all I need, and these are still the cornerstones of the genre in it's purest form. MMG releases usually succeed by staying close to these core principles, but when your only instruments are two turntables and a microphone, you gotta be sure to use them in an engaging way.

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