Saturday, August 27, 2016

Red Pill offers another way to perceive the world in 'Instinctive Drowning'

Instinctive Drowning by Red Pill
Southeast Michigan ambassador, Ugly Heroes emcee and very close acquaintance to real life, Red Pill sees nothing much in his style that needs changing, and he would be right in that regard. His tone orbiting reality-based malaise and his solid bars of wordplay don’t require a lot of maintenance at this point. Only a year after coming out with his solo debut, Look What This World Did To Us, he returns with album number two, Instinctive Drowning (Aug 26, Mello Music Group). This time, he again thinks out loud candidly and outside the box bringing quality lyrics of course and inventive beats by Ill Poetic.
The real talk begins in “The New Normal,” as Red Pill’s sagely, spirited spitting projects down-and-out feelings like that which is conveyed when he says “the new normal is hopeless.” From “Four Part Cure,” we can see that he’s really into those unsexy natural discussion topics that everyday people would talk on. There’s no corporate, top-down mandated agenda speaking here. Plus, the aggravated rock refrains and light psychedelia interspersed in the verses there give it a double feeling much like the duality of life. Club privilege, something Red Pill is probably relatively new to, gets the spotlight in its own song over swingy electric guitar and the feelings that come with having unquestioned celebrity pull.
Sh*t gets even realer in “Stars,” as Red wrestles with longing, desire, and the difficulty and refusal to fit into the roles pushed by the media. The one and only guest, P.O.S from Doomtree, stops by in “F*ck Your Ambition” to help make the point that failure makes us what we are more so than success. Two great concept pieces remain, “Instinctive Drowning” and “When The Devil Knocks.” The first is an anti-alcoholism notice tacked to more psychedelic rock, this time building and lightly suspenseful, and the second warns of the final ultimate judgement when we’ll all have to answer for our evils. It’s also a bash on imperialism, religious fanaticism and right wing white supremacy.
Red Pill just supplies incredible wisdom and counter-philosophy in perfect poetry. Of the recurring themes – sadness, the search for happiness, the problems with self-medication and the eventual regret that comes with it – are of course big ones, but Red Pill does touch on a few others, like technology and consumerism. There is still the overhanging question of where his glum disposition will head in years to come, but now it’s like his fuel, his driving force. Shouts also to Ill Poetic, whose creative new arrangements are truly rich and dynamic, never cheesy or thin. Instinctive Drowning is another win for Red Pill, Mello Music, Detroit and hip-hop.
4 out of 5 stars

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