Living well and truly in the moment, Christopher A. Taylor strives for spontaneous creativity through and through. His last album release was the aptly titled 10/31/2019, and like all of his work to date, the project features freestyle raps exclusively.
Rarely do you come across a full length project or even an official single that celebrates free-styling. It could be argued that the art-form has lost some of its integrity in recent years – many of the freestyles we hear are actually pre-written, pre-meditated performances. In this case, you get a series of professionally crafted, artistic soundscapes and hooks, but everything else – the verses, the long-form bars and streams of consciousness – is presented off the cuff. It’s raw, consistently real, and introduces Taylor’s voice and style in a bold way.
From Good Morning you get an early sense of brightness, a rightful optimism that kicks off the album and indeed your day with positivity and a smooth, laid-back flow. There’s a retro nature to the instrumental, a quality that runs throughout the collection. Another Fucking Freestyle! furthers that vibe with vintage synths and a jazz-kissed, distorted bass back-bone. Classic raps ride alongside all of this, keeping the good mood at the forefront.
Essentially, you’re witnessing an artist lost in the moment – happy to be performing, to be contributing, utilizing his voice and his imagination in an uninhibited, unconcerned setting.
As things continue, hints of intimate truth come through, laying bare a certain realness, even vulnerability, which helps elevate the project and offer audiences a meaningful connection with a thoughtful, intentional creative. My Life is a striking example, a somewhat sci-fi-soaked ambiance accompanies a deeply personal story-line. A definite early highlight.
Wrecking Records follows and brings a touch of swagger and confidence alongside more unwavering truth; and a new variety of strangely stunted flow. Another One carries the scratch sound through almost like a sequel. Then there’s the nineties anthem-like aura of Bitches Get No Love, which is perhaps one of the most notably genuine sounding freestyles in its simplicity and late-night minimalism, its natural attitude. Afterwards, Mama Said Call The Cops pours through with more space and a meandering, carefree performance.
Fill The Album is an unexpected highlight, loaded with optimism – the self-empowering inner monologue that seeks to inspire and motivate. There’s a lightness to the beat, which works well where it is. Then you get the return to weight and darkness as You Again? kicks in. Guzzle Cum Hoe takes these qualities further, igniting a tired sense of inflated ego alongside a uniquely gamer-like beat.
Neck Breaker adds a touch of memorable energy and intensity at the penultimate moment. The flow is less structured, more random seeming and almost spoken-word-like on occasion. Then comes the enjoyably jazz-kissed yet poignantly considerate They Don’t Like My Shit! This is the artist admitting a lack of concern for the opinions of strangers – in particular, haters. It’s a proud perspective to adopt – well, oh well – the idea finishing the project with a refreshing air of freedom.
Christopher A. Taylor has that freedom about all he does. His voice has a tone and his flow has a style, both of which become fairly recognisable as you make your way through the album.
Download or stream the project here.