With little knowledge of Sydney-based rapper Skryptcha and his work, I listened to his new album Mindful – the current feature album on the Obese Records website – with a completely blank bias about his earlier projects. Having said that, being familiar with producer Illmind, I was expecting hard-hitting bangers and synth samples laced throughout and was not disappointed on that front.
The album sets the tone early, with the first two tracks ‘Graduation’ and ‘Take Off’ giving off a pre-party vibe of uplifting beats and content which really drew me into the following tracks. I found the tracks addressing the safety and necessity of love a bit cringe-worthy. For instance, on ‘Crash Course’ Skryptcha uses a seatbelt as a metaphor for a woman being his safety from danger and on ‘Sun’ he says ‘I’ll choke so you all can breath’. While I personally found these tracks a tad corny, it must be said that the beats and story-telling throughout are all incredibly dope.
On a more positive note, there are a plethora of absolutely killer tracks on Mindful. ‘Work Out’, featuring label mate Spit Syndicate, is probably the best lyrical song on the album – every verse is flawless. ’50 Ways’ illustrates Illmind’s ability to drop as heavy-hitting beats as anyone else out and ‘I’m Good’ is haunting with its soulful beat and chill flow.
On the whole Mindful is a great album. Outside of Skryptcha’s heavy reliance on females as his muse, this album exceeds almost all domestic competition. I would recommend this record to anyone, not just those who like laid-back hip hop, due to staggeringly consistent production and the easy cadence Skryptcha possesses that is so easy to enjoy.
By Jim Hall.