I don't often do this, but it's been a really long time since I've personally done a review post and I'm finding myself especially excited about this one. Lately it's been difficult to find the time to really sit and absorb a solid hip hop album, hence the brevity of what I've been uploading and the lack of commentary on the music itself. But I wanted to go into Decuma's mind blowing trip that is Feeding the World Serpent because it really is that noteworthy, and full disclosure I haven't even finished it yet.
This album sounds nothing at all like anything else out there. It sort of straddles the line between spoken word and straight up hip hop, utilizing unconventional rhyme schemes,completely bonkers time signatures (no you won't be nodding to this anytime soon), impossible to predict composition and beatmaking, left field songwriting, cinematic orchestral sample choices crossed with Nine Inch Nails-esque discordant distortion and notably for such an abstract offering, very clever and moving lyrics.
I don't know how I originally stumbled onto this album or this artist, but I do know that weird (scratch that, EXTRAORDINARY) emcee and producer Th' Mole was kind enough to point us in Decuma's direction which gave me the impetus to actually give it a listen. He is just as stoked about it as I am, and I really wanted to spread the word as much as our humble little corner of the internet is capable of.
From the beginning this album sounds like a complete sonic clusterfuck. But be patient! The feeling of drowning in noise will ebb away as Decuma masterfully transitions the flow from field recording type spoken word pieces to straight up (well sort of) hip hop music in such a way that you won't even notice the change. That said, when he wants you to notice it you will. I guess what I'm trying to say is the true genius of this album is how random and chaotic it seems right up until you realize how purposeful every note and line actually is. Take that odd percussive triangle in "An Empty Sky, a Bank of Fog". Oh wait, it's a bullet casing hitting the floor, and you're feeling it hard as you watch a young woman bleed to death as the crowd watches, indifferent.
Decuma has so much to say on topics like race, politics, growing up, spirituality... the only complaint I have, and it comes with a suggestion as well, is that it's often a struggle to make out the words. Plus I'm almost forty and my ears ain't the best anymore. Which also reminds me, this kid is 21 (!) years old and displays a mastery over music that some thirty year olds are falling short of. Anyway, for that reason and that the production is just so genius and subtle, I HIGHLY recommend this album be listened to on headphones, preferably with as little disruption from the outside world as possible. I only was able to do that a bit today, but it made all the difference.
This album is a difficult one, but another thing I find so great about it is how unashamedly art rap it is without ever seeming pretentious or deliberately unlistenable. I really think a lot of different folks could grow to like this with the proper time and effort. But that really remains to be seen. Just give it a shot, if nothing else you will agree, shit is one of a kind!
Just be cool and listen to Feeding the World Serpent... please?