Being seventeen years old isn’t easy. I’m nearly twice that age but have fond memories of what it was like. When I was that age listening to and creating music was an escape. For seventeen-year-old Chris Malcolm music is a therapeutic medium in which he uses to cope with internal struggles. I like the fact that Malcolm raps about peer pressure, self-identity, family and culture.
His recent release Adolescence is a hip-hop album that shows some talent but is far from perfect. Malcolm sounds most similar to Eminem more often than not. There is something about his inflection that is reminiscent of Slim Shady but his own style also often emerges.
The production is solid throughout. I’m not sure what was sampled and what wasn’t but in this day and age with groups like Girl Talk it seems like everything is free game. I didn’t notice the second track samples “Walk In The Park” by Beach House. Malcolm layers a hip-hop beat over the music and replaces his vocals with Victoria Legrand during the chorus.
“Contradiction (feat. Jyln Jml)” revolves around a hypnotic piano melody and a hard-hitting beat. The flow is top notch and Jyln Jml is definitely someone that Malcolm should continue to work with. “Urgency” is a highlight on the album. It's upbeat and relaxing in both the lyrics and overall vibe. I loved the female vocal parts.
When it comes to straight up skill look no further than the title track. Malcolm spits out about eight words a second. He manages to do that without getting sloppy and still pronouncing the words so you can hear them. It is obvious Malcolm has some talent but for someone who is this young it’s pretty undeniable that his best work will lie ahead. Overall, Adolescence is a solid start that will hopefully be just the beginning of an artist who will evolve as time moves on.
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