MC Bravado – Walk the Line
Walk the Line, no not the country album, this is MC Bravado’s third release since 2012 and I’m going to stamp it right now as being his best. So get your comically oversized ear-phones on, because if you’re as impressed as I am, you’ll want every detail honed and sharpened. Of course Bravado’s not alone, this is a rap album, this is a hip-hop album, meaning a song is only as good as it’s ‘featuring,’ and in this case we have a full line-up of peripheral black-belt nasty. The good kind of nasty. Each song movingly mixed and produced, Walk the Line is nourishing ear candy.
Existential rap, here we go! Last track wooed me: ‘Infinite/Finite (Man Comes Around) ft. Soul Khan and C-Nature’ borrows riffs and samples and interviews from Johnny Cash to make a pithy song about religion and the infinite. Not atheist in any dimension, but certainly suspicious of conventional and hypocritical dogmas, aka the “hypocridiots.” The performances from MC Bravado, Soul Khan and C-Nature bit right through my eardrums, extra crispy. I love a good epigram in the morning “Remove the ‘I’ from infinite.” And the Cash riff is what the samplers dream of; chugging guitar loop, my chin can’t help but drop on the down-beat.
Cash permeates every song on this album, justifying the album title and adding a trans-generational and trans-genre correlation that elevates the music. It’s fascinating to see a more-than-emerging artist empathising with the reformed Johnny, who made it out of his drug fueled ring of fire with only a few scars. A little bit angry at the haters and the doubters; they’ve certainly informed his lyrics. ‘X’s&O’s/O’s to Exes (Hurt) ft. Aaron Michael Chamberlain’ brings out a sample of June and Johnny bantering on stage as she prepares to sing a love poem; it’s a quaint set-up that flips entirely when the familiar ‘Hurt’ riff and opening lyrics are looped as a base. “Make a goddamn discussion” this is a ‘wish I wasn’t in love’ song; playing the game is hard when no one wants to commit fully to a relationship. The song is arresting and moving, like the last instrumentals: light and ethereal touches afford a platform for the lyrics of adult reality. No whiney brats on this EP.
“We all hope to go to heaven,” the last words of the album, the last seconds of time given up to Cash: the spirit animal of Walk the Line (this version of walk the line). Normally I would harp about riding coat-tails and key-words for cross-referencing search-engines, but MC Bravado is a beast with an old-soul, and I think I’m in love. Also featuring performances from Anthony Vincent of Ten Second Songs, Fonte Cruise, SC Static, and No-Name, this album is oozing with ability. The good kind of oozing. The sexy kind. Both serious, and seriously talented, MC Bravado is a master from Maryland.