The Standards and Practices of a Nomadic Heart.
If you have no fucking clue who this guy is, We’re in the same boat. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, because without new shit, we start to feel old as hell! Known by the government as Armando Flores Jr., I guess he operates out of Los Angeles, California, and keeps his Blue Dream in a glass jar. This release is something that could definitely be used as an example of what the differences are between the musical definition of hip hop versus rap. If you are intending to lose yourself in heavy bass and repetitive lyrics, this isn’t the release for you and you might be better off looking elsewhere for reviews on that kind of music. This is introspective and honest, regardless of the listeners judgment. Sometimes not saying anything is worse than being judged for your honesty, and each of the eight songs on this E.P. Tackles a different facet of our fractured existence through the lens of someone who doesn’t exactly fit in with the majority of society. From land ownership, racism and violence, to more psychological subjects such as substance abuse, love, and rejection- this E.P. produces a lot of self-critical analysis that more people should subject themselves to. Maybe then we could understand humility a little better.
There are only two features on this release and both are the sweeping and beautifully morose vocals of an Emcee named Emily Anne. There are also only a couple of vocal samples on the E.P., both from a newer Netflix Original Release called BoJack Horseman, which are quite succinct and perfectly placed to accentuate that Sick-to-my-Stomach feeling that the E.P. Tends to prescribe. In my opinion, The continuity of external media used on this release gives it the feel of a Concept Album, a vivid and chronological story from start to finish. I have no idea if that was S.A.’s intention or not, but it adds a terrifying reality to the well spoken sadness carried by the album. Listen to it until you catch all of the lyrics and their meaning. What this dude says is worth being heard!
Now, with my praise on the table, there are a couple of constructive criticisms I have to give. Otherwise I’m not doing my job, right? I think most new or little-known Emcees are generally not skillfully developed enough to hang with the instrumentals they choose for their releases, but that’s not the case with Social Anxiety. His instrumentals aren’t diverse enough for his lyricism. This isn’t to say that they’re bad, I don’t want to give that impression. They’re perfectly acceptable instrumentals, But for Social Anxiety, specifically, I feel like instrumentals that fluctuate more frequently in intensity would allow for S.A. To take more advantage of the emotion in his voice. It always helps when the instrumental is strong enough to carry the intended tone of voice. It’s some powerful stuff, and I cant wait to see what Social Anxiety evolves into with more releases in the future!
Personally, intellectual and introspective hip hop will always have a place close to my heart. I believe whole-heartedly that our societal divide is only an illusion brought about by the shame we are made to feel for not being what the media tells us is “adequate”. We don’t talk about it… but we all know its happening, and at least some of us know that it is us who are letting it happen. Thanks to Social Anxiety for not being afraid to talk about it! For what I believe is a self released and low budget E.P. this dude did everything he could with the resources he had. I’m gonna say its a 7/10! Listen, Uplift, and Network! You can help real people listen to real music again!