Classically thick hip hop vibes pour through with confidence and smoothness on this album. The title track kicks off the style and the vibes with a soulful, multi-layered ambiance, upon which Skyla Mac’s hard-hitting voice emerges and drives the energy and sentiments of the song in an authentic and notably Tupac-like manner. A brilliantly big hip hop hit and a great choice to start things up and make sure listeners stick around for the long run.
As the project continues, fine production meets with entrancing rap flows and a consistent level of honesty and depth that adds so much value to the whole process. Cold War is all of this, delicate initially but cleverly utilizing contrast to make those verses stand tall and the hook hit hard. Mac’s word’s are mesmerising, his voice has weight and intensity – you believe it all with ease, so it feels genuine; heartfelt and easy to let play. This kind of quality and introspection is immensely refreshing right now, and it shows no signs of slowing down right the way through the album.
Every skit and every moment within this project, right down to the structure of each track and the arrangement of the playlist, artistically reflects the days when a hip hop album release meant an entire show for audiences to take home. Tracks like Never Over You and We Want Smoke add a distinctive level of personal truth and a change in musicality that keeps things eclectic and worthwhile. The latter has a simple but effective hook that helps give the song a classic-hit feel, nostalgic and memorable.
Elsewhere on the project there are equal parts personal and observational story-telling, as well as plenty that seeks to inspire or motivate. Get Money N***az is a bold example of all three elements at work. Afterwards you get the melodic and interesting Bad Dreams, a track with a few flickers of reggae and rock just to mix things up further. A definite highlight for its sense of character, creativity and grit combined. Then you get a lot more of the personal touch, those moments to connect with the artist – instances of vulnerability and unedited realness – Baby Momma offers this in strong supply. All the while the music works perfectly and Mac’s voice has those fine qualities and the right kind of flow to carry things with style.
Towards the end of the album, More Weed stands out for its unique musicality – the opening riff has a haunting aura, the heavy bass-line that follows and the chorus of melodic voices all furthers the track’s inherent unpredictability. This quickly becomes something of an anthem, growing more immersive and addictive as it progresses, keeping things both simple and appealing to a fairly wide audience right now. After that, reality comes crashing in with the notably emotional and musically delicate This Ain’t Livin’ – an endless stream of truth-bombs walks hand-in-hand with a surprisingly colourful, joyful ambiance. That depth returns in full force and the contrast within is mighty in terms of making certain those ideas and stories stand out. A definite highlight as the project approaches the finish line.
Adding a final hit of weight and pace, intensity and drive, the bonus track – Thuggin’ – closes things down with a hypnotic meeting between blissful instrumentation and a passionate and fast-paced vocal performance. A stunning way to go out. Mactober is a must for the genuine hip hop fan. The project in full offers no filler, nothing that doesn’t impress or fit or even inspire a deeper level of thinking. Well worth exploring.